Daughter's MIL... A very TOXIC woman....Help, Please

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by ksp56, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Our daughter was recently married. Her DH's mother is not a happy woman, and it spill's over to all.

    She has never had a good word to say about our DD. Her response at a wedding shower, when asked,about 'wedding advice was.."It will be interesting to see how this turn's out." When asked about first meeting DD, her memory was, "There was a catbox, down by the stair's." The kid's had a private entrance leading to their apartment. Everyone was appalled, and angry. We did not show this to MIL. We were shocked, but also courteous. (sp)

    MIL, upon finding out DD and DSIL engagment, told her DS, "I'm happy for you both. I just WISH that You and Your ex could have worked thing's out..." She's a lovely one. True Jewel of a MIL!! LOL

    Her DD, decided at the very last moment she wasn't going to be a bridesmaid, in the wedding, OR attending it. Infamous MIL told her own son that she wasn't doing the 'holiday's' this year due to HIS problem's with his sister. Nothing was done to her. She has always been welcomed to her brother's and DD's home. She told our DSIL, she never had wanted a relationship with him. This to her baby brother.

    I've suggested to our DD, that she and her DH, may need to take turn's going to each family's event's. Problem being, his mom doesn't, and hasn't for year's, celebrated anything. In fact, she still head's to DSIL's 'EX' for the holiday's. More power to her on that one!

    I know this is long. It's leading up to a phone call received from our daughter, this morning. She was crying, telling her dad that her DH had gone to shovel his mom's driveway.

    His mom, started crying (mind you, in three years I have NEVER seen one tear shed) and asking why we hate her so much. Why we didn't ask her to Thanksgiving, etc.? We don't hate her, but don't care to celebrate with someone who is negative about our daughter and SIL! As well as life, itself.

    She's never treated anyone,in our family, with respect. She put's down our SIL, constantly. If I hear this, I say something very kind about him. She lied and said my DH didn't talk to her at the rehearsal dinner. We sat across from her, and talked with her new boyfriend and her. My DH thanked her for the wonderful dinner, when he made a toast. She is a true manipulator.

    I'm sorry to vent. I am just really stressed. Holiday's are already very difficult, for me, and then this to top it off.
    I really thought we would not have to deal with her, in our home, for holiday's etc.

    Heaven know's, we are not perfect! We and our DD has done NOTHING to this woman, other than to be nice. Which is difficult!

    Everyone who meet's her, comment's on her rude behavior. This from people who have lived in same small city for year's, and didn't know, until we invited them to the wedding, that she was DD's new MIL.

    I know everyone has much bigger 'fish to fry' than this. It sadden's me for my DD, and the rest of our family, that we may have to invite her again to keep our children from being in the middle. Of course, now it would include her boyfriend. He does have an adult family of his own, who he is very close to.

    Our biggest concern is our DD. I don't want to make thing's even worse than they have been. My own belief is, this woman is trying to make more problem's between them. One the other hand, I don't want this one person to have control over what we do, and don't do, be it holiday dinner's or anything else..

    I don't know what to do, and my coping skill's seem to have flown out the window. Really, I am not usually one who can't make a decision. I actually do well, when I need to! LOL

    Any suggestion's? How you have handled these things in the past, etc., etc.?

    Even stories that would make me laugh are appreciated.

    Hugs to all,


    [This Message was Edited on 12/17/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 12/17/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 12/17/2007]
  2. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Thank you for your support!

    DH and I talked and decided to let our daughter know that her DH can invite his mother, to our brunch (usually at 5 PM! LOL) if he would like to do so, this year.

    This is the best compromise DH and I could come up with. I do usually try and take the 'higher road'. This is how high my road is at this time! LOL

    Once she's invited, I think she will probably say no. I know she would come out feeling the 'winner'.

    She is a sad and pathetic woman. I do pray for her, and our DD. However, if she does appear, I will act as if nothing is wrong.

    You're so right Terch, it does tend to take the smug look off of faces! LOL

    I've decided to use information from you both..

    Many hugs,


  3. sisland

    sisland New Member

    I Had a Mil like her for 14 years! what a nightmare! after the divorce is when she decided to treat me like a human being!,,,,,

    I have noticed that people with Attitudes like that have a shorter life,,,than people with loving attitudes! just an observation,,,,,,

    if it were me i would just ignore her rude behavior like mentioned above and just be yourself,,,Your a sweet lady and your DD deserves the best!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Do you Remember the Movie "Monster-in-Law" with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez,,,,,,,,,,,This reminds me of that!,,,,,if you get a chance to see it,,it's really good!,,,,,,,,Hugs!,,,Sis
  4. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    This is awful. I just popped in to see what's up and found this.

    I am aching right now...back and neck and must get off computer. Will respond later.

    Just wanted you to know I saw this and will be praying for wisdom for you and you DD and SIL.

  5. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Sis, thank you for your thoughts and encouraging words. I will be cheerful and nice. Our daughter's happiness is what is most important! Thanks for sharing your story, too!

    Sue, thanks for your thoughts. How are you feeling? Please let me know.

    Hugs to you both..

  6. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I had a MIL like that.

    They do these things because they are insecure.
    They do these things to try to maintain control over everyone.

    They do these things to feel as if they have some power. Granted, the power is SICK, but they feel as if they would be abandoned if everything was running smoothly.

    How does your new Son in law respond to all of this? He is the key to resolution.

    I suggest you purchase the book "Emotional Blackmail" by Susan Forward and give it to your daughter after you have read it. you may be able to find it at your local library.

    There is another book that several people have commented about, I can't remember the title.

    I think your daughter and sil are going to need counseling to determine how they are going to cope with this.

    This woman continues to do this behavior because IT WORKS FOR HER. She is one of these people who recharges her batteries by draining someone else's.

    You won't change her, but you can change your reaction to her. Trust me, it will just get worse and she is planning to make her son one of her chess pieces. You will not be able to please this woman. The harder you try, the more ground she takes. She is a manipulator who is willing to act like a victim and play the pathetic role. She will continue to spew hurtful remarks in an attempt to make others feel as emotionally rotten as she feels about herself.
  7. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    I felt as if I was reading our daughter's story!

    Everything you wrote, sounded exactly as this MIL. I ordered a book regarding toxic family, etc. I did see the book and will order it also!

    I'm not sure how much help our SIL will truly be. His mother has never been a nurturer, or even given much thought of her only son. He act's like a greatful dog, who has been abused. They do really need counseling. I pray it's something they decide upon.

    He has talked to his mom, about incident's which have hurt our DD. He doesn't like confrontation of any type. I can see this becoming an issue as times passes. Hopefully, not. Our daughter would not choose to live this way forever.

    I so appreciate your reply..

    [This Message was Edited on 12/18/2007]
  8. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    It sounds like you already know what to do.

    You wrote:

    We don't hate her, but don't care to celebrate with someone who is negative about our daughter and SIL! As well as life, itself.

    Why don't you look her straight in the eye, and very calmly, and with compassion (and it couldn't hurt to squinch up your forehead like Catey Couric does when she's interviewing someone who just lost a child or something - you know the "I hate to say this but I'm going to anyway" look) and just flat out say "when we celebrate something, we don't want to celebrate with someone who is full of negativity . . . especially about our daughter and SIL. It takes away from the celebration." And then stare at her and wait for her to respond.

    Just keep a straight face and don't apologize for saying it. She will either agree and try to do better or be appalled and deny it. If she agrees and wants to do better, then you agree to help her. If she denies it and gets huffy, say "see, that's exactly what I'm talking about" and leave it at that.

    If she's all huffy, she's probably hopeless (the older they are the worse they are) and then you just keep on ignoring her. Some people cannot be helped and if they wait until it's too late for help, then it's no longer your problem - as if it ever was.

    If you are brutally honest and blunt and say it without batting an eye, you will bring it out into the open faster than anyone will be prepared to deal with or think of an answer and then you will know from the response if they are willing to be nice or they are not. If they are not, they are not worth your time of day. Period.

    Most people who are like her thrive on the fact that nobody is willing to be brutally honest and say what's really happening because it is so awkward. But when people like this are finally faced with it, they crumble like the fruitcake you got for Xmas 8 years ago and have been saving for posterity. Why should you ever be embarrassed about saying the truth to someone who is disrespectful in the first place?

    By keeping quiet, it's like you're condoning the behavior. So quit keeping quiet! What's she gonna do - tell someone what you said? But if it's true, she's just going to make an ass of herself when she tries to tell it! Unless she totally lies about it and then that means she's completely hopeless and you should never speak to her again, anyway.

    Be brutally honest! That's how you can measure a person's worth right away.

    good luck

  9. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    I love how you said to approach the situation. I have a family member who I avoid as much as possible and I know she has noticed my absence. If she should ever ask me about it, I'll use your words. They aren't hurtful if they are truthful.

  10. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    The best thing she can do is to remove the audience (her).

    She should not try to play "peacemaker". If I were her, I'd deliberately keep the husband as her shield. It will force him to toughen-up.

    When the MIL calls and starts a guilt trip on your daughter, your daughter should set the phone down and tell your hubby that his Mom wants him on the phone.

    If MIL calls when hubby at work (a favorite stunt of my MIL when she was alive), your daughter should make up some excuse that she was just leaving the house and will call her back later. When hubby comes home from work, your daughter tells him that his mom called and he needs to call her back.

    It does absolutely no good to complain to the husband about his Mother. If anything, it actually makes him protect/defend his Mother more. He will eventually get tired of the nonsense and gain some backbone to deal with her if he is forced to deal with it on his own.

    Personally, I think they need counseling. Remember, he was raised in this warped dynamics and it seems "normal" to him.

    I'd have him read "cutting loose" and Emotional Blackmail. It will help clarify the garbage he is dealing with. I still can't remember the name of that other book people have recommended.

    I would be respectful to the MIL, but I wouldn't sacrifice myself to please her. I know the kind of MIL you are describing and killing them with kindness doesn't work. It only gives them more territory and power.

    The ambush attacks will start (if they haven't already started). She will act civil to your daughter in front of her son, and say some mean hurtful remark to your daughter the minute he leaves the room. Then her son comes back into the kitchen and can see your daughter is visibly upset.

    Later on when they are alone, your daughter talks to her new hubby about his Mother. Your new son in law gets the impression that your daughter is "too sensitive" and is exaggerating. Boy, I've been down this road, and it has plenty of bumps and blinding curves in it.

    You can't make this stop by killing the perpetrator with kindness. This is one bush-whacking, scheming, hurtful Monther in Law who recharges her emotionsl batteries by draining other people's batteries. THey leave you emotionally depleated.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/18/2007]
  11. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    Ummmm, could be tricky but maybe could bring it around so that it becomes just "a family thing" with amused acceptance of her negativity.

    Maybe I've been watching too many sitcoms on TV, but perhaps it could become a source of amusement in the family, with MIL even joining in.

    It can be an acknowledgement,validation, acceptance of a person to goodheartedly say to them, "Oh, you're always the Pessimist in the Family. You can't really be serious, can you?". Maybe defuse some of tension and turn it toward "healthy" laughter.

    'Course may require a "healthy" family to deal with tensions that way.
    Mr Bill
    [This Message was Edited on 12/18/2007]
  12. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    All of your thought's were very helpful and informative.

    DH and I have talked ourselves to death, about this woman. For our DD sake, we told both she and our SIL, that she could come for dinner on Christmas. Also, this would be the LAST holiday spent with her. They will need to figure out how to handle next year. Maybe his mom, could host something? What the heck did she do before us. The true answer is nothing. Period.

    SIL called yesterday to thank me for inviting his mom. I asked him how she could feel comfortable, after we'd hurt her so much, supposedly? He apologized, said he didn't understand her at all, and never will. I told him, in a nice way, that I believe his mother is not a happy person within, and it appear's, she want's other's to feel the same.

    After all of her hysteria, it turns out her boyfriend and she are spending that day together. So as it turn's out, he will be here too. He is very nice, and for this one day, knowing it is the last day, we'll deal. I will be cordial, but inside singing with glee...

    Thank you ALL for the time you took to respond! I hope I am able to do the same for you someday!


    I have ordered a 'Toxic Family Member's' book and told DD, I would pass it on to her. I'm not sure our SIL is ever, going to truly get it. it will be her decision if she wants to continue with these sick dynamic's.