Need your opinions...

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Need your opinions...

    So I just got into a heated argument with DH about my MIL...big surprise there.  Most of you already know that I have serious issues with her -- invading our privacy, sharing our personal information with her friends, trying to pin DH and I against each other, and just always having a motive with everything she does.  Obviously I'm terrified that once the baby is here, it's going to get a thousand times worse.

    Since she found out that I'm pregnant, she's insisting on DH and I joining her for dinner for a night.  I know it's because she just wants information about us and the pregnancy (which she won't keep quiet).  I've made it clear to DH that I can't handle the stress she causes me, especially now being pregnant (I was actually on anxiety medication because of her when DH had surgery earlier this year, and he knows this).  I've asked if he could just spend time with her on his own, like I do with my family all the time, but he insists on me showing up.  He's pressuring me to again "make the sacrifice" and just go, full well knowing that I'll stress over it before, during and after.

    I feel like I'm always the one making sacrifices, so I put my foot down this time.  I told him that I don't want to go, and for once in my life I'm going to consider my needs over everyone elses, both for my benefit and for the baby's.  He's furious.  And I admit, I'm also annoyed about him asking me to make sacrifices when he won't do simple things for me when I ask.

    What do you think ladies?  Am I being a crazy, overly emotional, stubborn pregnant woman, or should DH lay off and stop trying to put me in an uncomfortable situation?  I really don't know what the right answer is here, so I need input.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Pugs, I'm so sorry you are still dealing with this and will for the long haul.  She sounds like my BIL.  I've been doing serious research about his "symptoms" and found a disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder that describes him to a tee.  They are manipulative, deceptive, gossipy, and, of course, extremely self centered to the destruction/disruption of everyone else's lives around them.  I ordered a book on the disorder from Amazon, but it hasn't arrived yet.  If you read this link and say, "OMG, that's HER!" let me know.  I'll let you know if we find the book helpful (if it ever arrives).  It's supposed to let those who are dealing with people with this disorder in on proven methods to handle them effectively.  They are emotionally sick individuals that require (in my experience) skills I've never needed before.

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Wow.  I almost fell off my chair reading that, especially the section at the end about the typical beliefs of those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  That's her.  Please let me know if the book is worth a read!

    Although, I don't think there's anything out there that can help me deal with her, except for copious amounts of alcohol.  Wink
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    I was almost sure you'd see her in that from what I've read about her here.  I'll be sure to let you know.  I cannot wait 'til it arrives.  It gets 5 stars on Amazon. 

    (By the way, not that you can do this with your MIL, but I've completely cut off contact with the BIL except for at family gatherings.  Thanksgiving will be the first event since then.  It's gonna be a scene, but not as far as I'm concerned.  I'll just stand there 'til he either stops ranting and raving or leaves.  Great, huh?  I can't wait.  I'm actually hoping to have a terrible flu.)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    pugs, from your post i don't think you're being ridiculous.  refresh me - how far along are you?  maybe you can tell DH that you'll do it after you're x weeks (whatever point you'll feel comfortable) but for right now you want to keep a low profile and keep your stress down as much as possible.

    i got in major arguments w/ my DH at the beginning too - similar stuff - i hope eventually yours will come around.  mine has - being PG is hard and your DH will eventually see/understand this and hopefully be more willing to help out/not add stress to your life.

    the alternate approach is trying to work on ways to NOT let her get to you - is there anything you can do?  my MIL is super catholic and kind of earth-mothery and i had some stress when she sent me some la leche league books about b-feeding, and STILL live in fear of when she asks the dreaded christening question.  but for the most part i chill around her, b/c i realize (and thankfully my DH agrees) it's my body, our children, not hers, etc.  do you think you can ever get to that point? 

    sorry for your situation!  deep breaths.  :(
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Whatever you do, you're going to be criticized and have everything blamed on pregnancy hormones anyhow, so may as well do what makes sense.


    If the husband is going to pitch a fit if you don't give in to his mom, or worse, pick her over you, better to find out now.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Stefani, I'm 21 weeks now.  Past the critical point, but I'm still trying to avoid situations that I know will stress me out.  I do have anxiety and I'm prone to panic attacks, so I'm trying my best to keep it under control.  I know I can't cut her out completely (though I'd like to), so eventually I will have to work on ways to not let her get to me.  I'm sure we can get to that point someday.  I just don't feel like right now is the time, you know?  I'm trying to keep my stress levels down, and she's the one person that can send them spiraling out of control.

    It just seems like in his quest to please everyone, my feelings are the ones that get overlooked by DH.  I just can't figure out a way to convey to him just how hard it is for me to be around her.  He thinks it's no big deal, it's just a few hours, but for me it's the worst situation I could possibly be in. 

    I don't even know how to compromise on this one.  He wants me to go; I don't want to be there.  Is there any way to meet in the middle here?
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    I don't know if there is a middle ground.

    The simple fact is that you're carrying this child. If spending time with her (plus the anticipation/aftermath) causes you such anxiety that you have to be medicated, it's an unnecessary risk to you and your child. High blood pressure in pregnancy can lead to lethal complications and, if it were me, no amount of pleasing any family member is worth your life or your child's. Not to mention that the anti-anxiety medications aren't really an option for you now.

    Your husband feels like he's trapped between the two women that he loves. Trouble is, there's a third person in his life now who needs the best possible environment to grow and thrive. It's not about your sacrifices, it's about the health of the person you're growing.

    Maybe hearing from your doctor that you should be avoiding all stressful situations might help? You're at a critical time now, when developing high blood pressure would be really bad, so that might help your cause.


    Good luck.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    If you are Christians, you can remind your husband that a husband is to, "leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife." (Genesis 2:24)  I think this implies that the wife comes first once a man gets married according to Scripture.  But, if the Bible is not part of your faith journey, that's obviously not a helpful "reminder," and I'm not implying that it should be.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Oh wow.  Pugs, your MIL sounds exactly like my mother!  She has been the source of so much pain in my life, and like your DH I had just come to accept her horrible treatment as normal.  For me, it took DH showing me that it didn't have to be that way for me to finally be able to stand up to her.  It's so hard because (1) she's my own mom, and (2) she has a way of making me feel like I'm 12 again when we talk. It pains me to say our relationship has gotten so bad I've basically cut her and my Dad (her enabler) out of my life. My DH has tried so hard to help me cope with my mom. Encouraging me to tell her she's wrong and tell her how I really feel, but it's so hard. Just last night he ordered some books on amazon about narcissistic personality disorder! I can't believe Kar mentioned this too! He is hoping it helps us deal with her, but honestly, I don't know if were beyond that now. It's just so sad.

    One regret I have is not dealing with this before getting pregnant and having my DD because from this point on there really is no good time to try and deal with the situation between us. Does that make sense? We had this huge argument when DD was 2 months old that basically resulted in DH throwing my parents out of our house. Now I just feel like it's a lost cause. Luckily they do not live locally like it sounds your MIL does.

    Anyway, I don't have much advice other than, if you think you can, try to set boundaries sooner than later. Otherwise, it'll only get worse once your LO arrives and you may have to take drastic measures like I did. And that would be so sad.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Trouble, so sorry you recognized the condition from personal experience, too!  The thing is with these NPD people is that they are so manipulative you can't communicate with them like everyone else in your life.  The biggest thing I've read online about how to deal with them is to never talk alone with them.  They twist everything you say and even outright lie about it later unless you have a reliable witness.

    It's unfathomable to me that it's a disorder, but I believe it, now, after all I've read.  Please let us know what books (if any) you find to be particularly helpful.  It's such a distructive thing....  Again, sorry you can relate, too. :(
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Kargiver, that verse doesn't just "imply" that meaning, it screams it loud and clear.  At least in ordinary circumstances, one's spouse comes first and one's parents come second.  It can be a very close second, but second nonetheless.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Well, I didn't want to start a religious firestorm so I didn't say "screams it," but I do agree with you, purple.  In fact, my DH found that verse very comforting when it came to dealing with our situation between me and his brother with NPD.  His father (my FIL), actually, pointed it out to my DH when he asked for his dad's advice.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    kar - good item from the bible - of course i wouldn't have known that, but i bet MIL does - hahaha!  might have to use that one!  ;) 

    pugs - would having her to your house make you feel more comfortable - like so you could escape to the kitchen if she started driving you crazy?  if not (and even if so and you STILL don't want to deal) i am totally on your side and think you should tell DH you can't risk raising your stress levels or having a panic attack over this.  hopefully he has had time to reflect (or will) and will see your side. 

    and re: pregnancy hormones - i hate how people LOVE to blame everything on them - ugh!  ;)
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    LOL, Stef - good luck!  Ask her what Genesis 2:24 "means to her" and see where it goes. ;)

    There's no reasonable expectation of relief from a person with NPD that I can see.  All my communication tools and difusing techniques are ALL USELESS when it comes to my BIL with NPD.  (I have to admit, he hasn't been diagnosed by a doctor, but he fits every single descriptor of the disorder so if anyone has it he does, imo.)  You can't expect reasonable responses from someone who deceives people to get their way 24/7...at least that's what I've come to believe after dealing with BIL for 3 years and is what led me to stop playing his game altogether.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Hi Pugs,  I don't want you to think I am taking your MIL's side because I know from your other posts that she is a nightmare.  But I do think you should think about what you can do to improve the situation.  Unfortunately, you can't change her, so what can you change to help you deal with her and the situation? 
    Could you and DH have dinner with her once every 3 weeks or something like that?  I can see how knowing you had do to it in x number of days would still stress you out, but just throwing the idea out there.  Would it be more tolerable in a restaurant where the time would be limited to a couple hours and then you could go your separate ways?
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from SilverFestiva. Show SilverFestiva's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Pugs, I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I have issues w/ my MIL too - although not really as severe, and my MIL means well generally she j ust annoys the cr*p out of me.

    That said, I don't have any advice but I do not think you're being crazy or unreasonable - and hopefully after some time your husband will see that.

    :-(
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Over the 3 years I've dealt with my BIL and, in the process, learned about NPD, I've come to realize that anyone with this cannot be pleased or helped under any circumstances.  Normal, rational, communication and diffusing techniques fail, and normal rational people end up being at a complete loss as to what on earth to try next...hence my book purchase which can't get here soon enough.  Nothing works, nothing makes peace!  NOTHING!   And, I have a lot of experience with (other) mental illness.  My father is bipolar, and I have been through major depression myself.  My mother taught Parent Effective Training and was able to teach me many communication tools that I've found exceedingly helpful over the years with many "difficult people," but everything I know has proven completely ineffective when dealing with this person.  It's like nothing I've ever experienced before.  I was so glad I found that disorder online; it gave me insight into why I couldn't make any headway no matter what I did, didn't do, said, or didn't say.  It just didn't seem to matter, and I couldn't figure out why.  It was a godsend to find out so I could align my behavior with much more realistic expectations.

    ETA:  By the way, Pugs, the list of things you enumerated in your OP about the general problems you have with your MIL (invading privacy, sharing personal information, pitting you and DH against each other) are the EXACT same things that my BIL does with us.  He pries and manipulates the whole family to get information to then use against everyone.   His behavior actually led me to believe that his ultimate goal is to get us to get a divorce.  Nice, huh?  Even if I'm wrong, you have to assume his behavior is pretty darned bad for me to assume THAT.  They sound like they both have this disorder to me.  I cannot wait to get this book.  Where is it?!

    Oh, and I can imagine that to anyone not familiar with anyone with this disorder it must seem like we're unreasonable freaks not able to cope with difficult people or not willing to try or whatever.  But, at least in my BIL's case, he's been this way with everyone his entire life.  It's not me.  He can't keep a girlfriend or a job.  Every relationship in his life is a total disaster, but he blames everyone else (as per the disorder).  It's unbelievable until you experience someone like this yourself...really, I wouldn't have believed it, either. It's truly, literally, insane.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Pugs - I'm sorry you're continually having to deal with something that is obviously so stressful, and not going away any time soon.

    Regarding the dinner, can you somehow control it to make it more comfortable for you?  Picking the location, the day, the time... Inviting other people so that it's not just the 3 of you? 

    The harder part of this scenario, and really the bigger issue here, seems to be the strife it's causing between you and your husband.  I obviously don't know you personally or your situation other than what you've posted, but I would bet that the dinner would not be nearly as difficult for you if you were going into it knowing DH was on your side and totally understood where you stood with the whole thing and completely supported you.  MIL aside, the fact that he's having such a difficult time understanding what you're going through seems to be creating a rift between you, and that's not good.  He's grown up with his mom being this way, you're trying to make him see how she effects you... somewhere you're not meeting in the middle.  Would you consider (i know this sounds cliche but bear with me) therapy to try to have a neutral forum in which to really discuss the issue?  It seems like it is making you so unhappy, and you and he should be enjoying and celebrating this time... this whole issue is getting in the way of that.

    The NPD thing is very interesting and perhaps the books would shed some light, but when I read your post I find what stands out to me is that this is harming your and DH's relationship, and to me, that is the most important part to deal with first.  About the dinner... I don't know what to tell you to do, except to do what you feel is healthiest and best for you and baby at the moment.

    Oh, and even as a definite non-Christian, I agree 100% with the bible quote that Kargiver posted.  Spouse comes first, parental units (and siblings, and siblings-in-law, etc) come after.  There is nothing I find as amazing and comforting in marriage as for the first time ever in my life feeling part of a solid, unbreakable "team".

    I feel for you and wish for a solution for you that leaves you and DH happy and feeling like a team... keep us posted.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Pugs, I am sorry you are dealing with this. I don't think you should have to put up with it but I also think that if you don't go it will escalate the situation.

    I also had stress and, um "support" shall we say issues during my pregnancy (my MIL lived with us for my entire pregnancy, certainly not in the same league as you, but unpleasant nevertheless!). I talked to my midwife about it and she recommended I bring DH to my next appointment. She looked him in the eye and told her he had to do everything possible to eliminate stress from my life. And seriously, with her making it a medical and baby-health related issue it totally set him straight. It really relieved my situation by taking the burden off of me.

    Worth a try.

    It's 11 pm.m, IPW must be a Mom by now!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    I definitely didn't mean to imply that only Christians put their spouses first, I just meant that only people who profess the Bible as what they try to live by would find a verse about the issue particularly encouraging (not that anyone of any life walk couldn't or wouldn't agree with it).  Your post made me wonder if I offended non-Christians, poppy - I hope not!

    I LOVE the idea of taking the burden off them by having the doctor tell the in-laws (or whomever is a problem) what for.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Thank you all for chiming in on this issue with your opinions and your personal experiences.  Like Kar mentioned, I have no problem dealing with difficult people (I do it all day long at work!) but this woman is like nothing I've ever encountered before.  And she's good.  I can see right through her, but she's very good at manipulating everyone else and making them believe that she "means well." 

    She's done some things to me personally in the last year or so that I just can't forgive her for (revolving around our wedding and my DH's surgery earlier this year).  Before I got pregnant, I decided that I needed to distance myself from her, and it's worked wonders.  Just not being around her and not dealing with her has been a huge relief.  And for now, I think I may keep up with that.  DH is free to have whatever relationship he wants with her, but I've decided that I don't want one at all.  I will be cordial with her at family events, obviously, but aside from that I don't want any contact.

    The good news is that DH thought about what I said yesterday and he finally came around.  He called his mother and told her that dinner wouldn't be happening, and that she needs to give me my space, especially during the pregnancy.  He told me that he's not going to pressure me about the issue anymore, and if someday I decide I want any sort of relationship with her, that's entirely up to me.  He said he's finally seeing how difficult and stressful things have been for me, and from now on he wants to help, not make it worse.  I'm not sure what finally clicked for him, but he's starting to understand now.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from SilverFestiva. Show SilverFestiva's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Pugs, that's great, I'm glad to hear he came around.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Pugs, I'm SO HAPPY for you!  I, obviously, totally can relate to why you cannot have a constant/ongoing relationship with your MIL.  She's too manipulative and deceptive to make it worth even trying.  If the stress of keeping the relationship going has no chance of paying off, there's no point.  This is counterintuitive and "wrong" to give up on someone, especially family, to anyone who's never dealt with a "sufferer" of NPD (and I quote it because they cause everyone ELSE to suffer!), but I get it.  HUGE KUDOS to your husband for coming around and doing the hard, albeit very right, thing.

    At some point (for both of us) this will become the norm.  I don't have an ongoing relationship with BIL, and you don't have one with MIL.  It will be the "new" status quo, and no one will think much about it.  I try to remember that when I stress out about family gatherings in the near future.  Life changes, and the way things were is long forgotten soon enough.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Need your opinions...

    Pugs-glad to hear your DH realized what you were saying.

    I've got a similar situation, except its my DH that can't stand my father & sister. I don't blame him for his reasons why he doesn't like them, I just wish he didn't take it personally or even think about it.

    In the beginning it was more difficult for us. I expected DH to "s uck it up" and just come to the family events-and I fully know how painful this is for DH (he hates the way they treat me and can't stand to see it-I'm used to it and have gotten quite good at ignoring it). Now I invite DH to any event, no pressure from him to attend, and I've found that he actually suggests gatherings with my family now.

    And I believe having DS has actually helped DH-he can more easily ignore my sis & father  and focus on DS. Hopefully this will be your case. DH even let it roll off his back when my sister would flip out when we asked her to wash her hands before holding DS as a newborn-or the time my father stormed out of my hospital room when I commented on my father's smoking and not wanting DS (who was a nicu baby for breathing problems) to smell the smoke on my father (he reeked!).  DH realized what I knew, it was my father's issues, and not ours. My father didn't have the "tools" to create the relationship he wanted with us, and no matter how hard we tried it was next to impossible. So we actually stopped trying, and not having that stress has helped all of us.

    We're now faced with the situation of my father being very ill. He's been in the hospital in ICU for the past 7 weeks, and my sister and I are faced with the tough decision of how much more my father should go through, would he want to be on the level of support he is currently on...I don't share this to be a downer, but like Kar's bible quote above, your spouse comes first and there will be a time that you have to do the things you are uncomfortable with for your spouse. My wonderful DH, has been an amazing source of support and compassion for me in this time of dealing with my father-a man DH once threatened to tell off and never see again. DH has done things that are uncomfortable and painful for him to support me.

    You're right in the fact that you need to set your boundaries with taking care of the baby and yourself, and if that means passing on some family events, that has to be okay with everyone. Your DH can go to dinner with his mother alone. But there will be a time that you put your spouse first and do the things that are uncomfortable for you.
     
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