Elderly MIL from hell... - Talk About Marriage
The Family & Parenting Forums Family dynamics can be exactly that - dynamic! Post here about family related issues such as parenting, blended families, step-families, new relationships with children involved, family of origin issues, in-laws or sibling issues.

User Tag List

 41Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
peacem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 544
Elderly MIL from hell...

Firstly I believe my MIL has a personality disorder which looks a lot like narcissistic PD with some borderline expression....just to give a an idea the type of person we have been dealing with. There is a history of childhood emotional abuse, neglect [all siblings] and physical abuse [of his brother].

When my H was growing up he was the golden child and nicknamed 'loyal [name]' because of his people pleasing nature. When we got married 21 years ago he literally became public enemy no.1 even though he was visiting every day, doing jobs to appease her (we even bought a house across the road so he could help her out after work).

She never liked me and has accused me of ruining his life, pulling him away from her...etc etc. I could do no right. As a result she has slowly pushed us away and it became a self fulfilling prophesy.

She has 5 children. The youngest took over role as golden child (strong traits of BPD) and this double act has finally resulted in the entire family barely speaking to each other. This includes MIL's sister and her children. There is constant drama, we generally try and keep out of it, just observe from a safe distance...until now.

H visited his mother. Normally critical and belittling, she is now gushing him with praise and adoration , she is fussing over him and acting like he is the best son in the world. I have now gone from being the worst person in the world to the best mother and wife and all round perfect person [yawn]. She has latched herself onto my daughter (adult) as the family genius (she normally treats her as an invisible person). The reason for this sudden change; she has now fallen out with ALL of his siblings, plus her sister and her children. She basically has NO family left she has pushed them all away. She is 85 has a debilitating disease that is making mobility increasingly difficult.

She now wants him to go back to being 'loyal [name]'. She refuses to go into care. He has told her that she needs to pay people to come into her home and do jobs. So far she has hired a cleaner that comes once a fortnight (the house is still a real mess - its not enough), but she cannot afford any other help (she has a history of hoarding large amounts of money then crying poor to get her children to pay for things. She borrows money and never pays it back. H has paid for heating bills only to discover she is spending a fortune on luxury items literally days later). H is getting regular messages needing help with this and that (sometimes the jobs are very petty and could wait until the next visit - but she wants it doing NOW). She has even started hinting about moving in with us (we have a large house with downstairs facilities) .

So ...after 21 of being a scapegoat, he is now golden child again and feeling very obliged to look after his elderly mother, heart strings being pulled with stories of poverty, slipping comfortably back into the old role of 'fixer'. He is fully aware that favour can go as quick as it came. i.e he is being manipulated. He is aware that as soon as she makes good with SIL he will go back to being the worst son in the world...(excluded, put down, demoralised, shamed). She's a very hot and cold person. You are either a saint or a devil depending on how the wind is blowing.

We also have a profoundly disabled teenage son who is pretty much a 2 person job and I genuinely need him at home and I cannot cope with the drama this woman brings into our life. When we were on the periphery of the family (as the bad children) at least we didn't have to deal with the drama. Now it feels that every member of the family has jumped ship and it is my husband that is left to deal with the elderly and increasingly disabled mother (from hell). I would describe my husband as co-dependent and finds it very hard to say no to her.

What to do?

x


Last edited by peacem; 03-23-2017 at 05:10 AM.
peacem is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 08:06 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,299
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

some thoughts to have:

1. your husband has 4 siblings who can share the care of your MIL.

2. since you have a special needs child, you shouldn't be called upon to do much if anything at all. I noticed that my mother did not share in the care of her FiL.
then of course, she started to have the responsibility of taking care of her mother. My father was annoyed that he brother didn't do anything to help. He always remembered how his MIL wrote my mother a letter while he was still in med school that if he didn't have $5 for her to take the trainto visit her, then my mother married the wrong man. And decades later....... my father's wealth covered some her shortfalls.
NextTimeAround is online now  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 08:29 AM
Member
 
jb02157's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,190
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

I had a MIL from hell to so I know what you're going through. I have the role of "Mr. *******" locked up. I know how manipulative in-laws can be. You're just enough a part of the family to be called on to do things that are not your responsibility. I think that's true in your case. But, since your MIL wrecked her relationships with all of her other children, it should not be your H's responsibility to care for her, especially since you have responsibilities to your own children to care for them. It will be hard but sooner or later you're going to have to have a talk with her and your H that he cannot be at your MIL's disposal for whatever. If she wrecked all her other relationships, she'll just have to go back to paying people to do what your H is doing.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
jb02157 is offline  
 
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 09:05 AM
Forum Supporter
 
Emerging Buddhist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: World-wide
Posts: 1,350
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Please do not move her into your home. I was the only family member to take in my grandmother at 85 because neither her children nor grandchildren could live with her and it did not end well and we suffered under her heavy and "I am old enough to say what I think" approach. She even insisted on paying a small "rent" to us and then justified her mean-spirited comments because she "paid her share" and was entitled to "express herself as she saw fit". When she did move into a nursing home she went through more roommates than anyone in the facility.

I would arrange a family group meeting in a very comfortable place not in anyone's home... book a private room to start with in a restaurant (keep the drinks to a minimum), if nice enough a park, someplace neutral and come to a common plan on how you will ALL work together to get mom into an assisted care facility. Be sure all take notes on what you accept as next steps to and review them together so you all confirm what you agree to.

If you need to do this in a counseled setting... group rates apply (a little humor, many family counselors are good at the same rate whether one of you, or ten in family counseling), but it does need to be a cohesive effort because when she finds out you all have met, and she will, you can have a solid plan she cannot manipulate.

He can lead... just do it in a different way. This would be a great way to rebuild those bridges with siblings and families too... and would reward you all in many ways.

नमस्ते 🙏
Emerging Buddhist is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 10:32 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,404
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Don't waste you youth caring for an elderly person, it can ruin your life.
uhtred is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 10:46 AM
Member
 
FeministInPink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,032
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerging Buddhist View Post
Please do not move her into your home. I was the only family member to take in my grandmother at 85 because neither her children nor grandchildren could live with her and it did not end well and we suffered under her heavy and "I am old enough to say what I think" approach. She even insisted on paying a small "rent" to us and then justified her mean-spirited comments because she "paid her share" and was entitled to "express herself as she saw fit". When she did move into a nursing home she went through more roommates than anyone in the facility.

I would arrange a family group meeting in a very comfortable place not in anyone's home... book a private room to start with in a restaurant (keep the drinks to a minimum), if nice enough a park, someplace neutral and come to a common plan on how you will ALL work together to get mom into an assisted care facility. Be sure all take notes on what you accept as next steps to and review them together so you all confirm what you agree to.

If you need to do this in a counseled setting... group rates apply (a little humor, many family counselors are good at the same rate whether one of you, or ten in family counseling), but it does need to be a cohesive effort because when she finds out you all have met, and she will, you can have a solid plan she cannot manipulate.

He can lead... just do it in a different way. This would be a great way to rebuild those bridges with siblings and families too... and would reward you all in many ways.
All of this. No one should be saddled with a person as awful as the OP's MIL. The kids need to get together and decide what to do, and I think putting her in a home is the best way to go. And then they can all never visit her and leave her to her own misery.

OK, that was a little mean. But seriously, if she's alienating everyone and treating everyone bad, there's no reason that ONE person should have to shoulder the burden of this woman. Work as a team. You all have a common enemy. Form an alliance. If your husband knows his siblings are rallied together, he may find it easier to stand up to her.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
FeministInPink is online now  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 10:41 AM
Registered User
 
Edo Edo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: In a van down by the river...
Posts: 20
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

I think it's generally agreed by most that your MIL sucks and you don't owe her a thing. Your other problem though is your husband, because he has fallen back into the role of the golden child. It's easier for him to forgive her after 21 years of BS drama because he's related. You are able to step back and see the situation for what it really is. I think sometime when it's just you and him around, have a calm, yet thorough conversation about both of your thoughts about how his mother should be treated as her health deteriorates. Make clear that you have not come as far as he has in terms of "forgive and forget". Be as respectful and understanding as possible (it IS still his mother...) but also make clear in the conversation how far you are willing to go and make clear any of his behaviors toward her that you are not willing to accommodate. If necessary, even put these in writing. Some examples could be:
-She is not allowed to move into the your and your husband's home.
-Your husband should not spend more than X hours per week helping your MIL, especially if his other siblings living nearby do not assist her.
-Your husband should not spend more than $X on your MIL, especially is she has money to spend on other items.

Remember to listen to his concerns too (Effective communication is speaking and listening). It will give you perspective as to how he feels about the situation and can help you manage your growing concerns more effectively. Remember through, at this stage, you should be communicating with your husband about these things and he, in turn, should be communicating with his mother to present your collective concerns as a united front. Based on your description of your MIL, it will not help the situation for you to address the issues directly with her...
Edo Edo is online now  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 02:04 AM
Member
 
frusdil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,897
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

OP, you know that I too have the mother-in-law from hell. Well, the in-laws from hell actually - they're all as bad as each other. My husband must be adopted, lol.

Do NOT for the love of god, let her move into your home. No no no!! And do not pay ANYTHING to or for her, she can pay her own way - you know this for a fact.

Your husband and his siblings need to speak to their respective spouses about options, (living with MIL, paying for x, y, z, visit roster etc.) and then the siblings themselves need to get together and discuss what happens next.

Don't be manipulated by her.
frusdil is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 02:07 AM
Member
 
frusdil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,897
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Also, you have an advantage in that your husband is aware that he's being manipulated by his mother.

Mine is still often unaware of what she's doing until after he's been played. He'll say to me "Why would mum do that?" I'll reply that "Because she's manipulating you and it worked, because she said/did a,b,c and you then did x, y z"...THEN the lightbulb comes on and I just shake my head...
frusdil is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
peacem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 544
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Thanks everyone and @frusdil (glad you replied).

I think it is a very good idea that the siblings get together as did H. One of the siblings is a real trouble maker (its like dealing with a small child), but the others totally understand and are good people.

One issue that is going on at the moment is both MILs brother and sister are very ill with dementia. They are living in their own homes but have a great family support system where they are taking turns to care. One relative has even moved in with his dad. MIL appears to be incredibly jealous and is lashing out at them (telling them they are being selfish etc) and at the same time ramping up her own demands to be looked after more by her (terrible ungrateful children). Its a confusing paradox but that's the world of a narc.

She changes her will at breathtaking frequency depending on who is in favour. I started a thread a while ago about her changing her will so her daughter will be the beneficiary. Now she has fallen out with her, she wants my husband to be the sole beneficiary with the agreement that he looks after them in their old age and they do not go into care. My husband has told her he DOES NOT want to be included in the will and that they need to release equity to pay for someone to go into their home and help. (She is not happy about this).

Yes h is totally aware of the games she plays. But at the end of the day its his mum.

peacem is offline  
post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 08:26 AM
Member
 
FeministInPink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,032
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Hopefully, as a team, the other siblings can reign in the troublemaker sibling.

Reading all these posts, it makes me think that your MIL must be a real miserable person. She wants what other people have, not realizing that her misery is of her own making, and if she treated her "loved" ones better, she might actually have the kind of life she envisions/wants. It's very sad. But that doesn't mean that you and your husband should be miserable so she can have what she wants. She made her own bed.

Good luck to you both, please keep us informed.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
FeministInPink is online now  
post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 08:32 AM
Member
 
stixx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 261
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by peacem View Post
She changes her will at breathtaking frequency depending on who is in favour. I started a thread a while ago about her changing her will so her daughter will be the beneficiary. Now she has fallen out with her, she wants my husband to be the sole beneficiary with the agreement that he looks after them in their old age and they do not go into care.
My dad's done that. I think at last revision my brother was exluded, and since now he and I are in a rift, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I hit the chopping block as well.

I wonder if when the time comes the final will can be challenged due to all the constant changes which could indicate an unstable state of mind.

To put someone in your will and make it dependent on them being guaranteed "out of nursing facility" home care by the beneficiary is just.. wrong.

Unless it's a boatload of cash in which case I'd be ok with it.
stixx is offline  
post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:48 AM
Member
 
Chuck71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Where I lay my head
Posts: 6,627
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by peacem View Post
Thanks everyone and @frusdil (glad you replied).

I think it is a very good idea that the siblings get together as did H. One of the siblings is a real trouble maker (its like dealing with a small child), but the others totally understand and are good people.

One issue that is going on at the moment is both MILs brother and sister are very ill with dementia. They are living in their own homes but have a great family support system where they are taking turns to care. One relative has even moved in with his dad. MIL appears to be incredibly jealous and is lashing out at them (telling them they are being selfish etc) and at the same time ramping up her own demands to be looked after more by her (terrible ungrateful children). Its a confusing paradox but that's the world of a narc.

She changes her will at breathtaking frequency depending on who is in favour. I started a thread a while ago about her changing her will so her daughter will be the beneficiary. Now she has fallen out with her, she wants my husband to be the sole beneficiary with the agreement that he looks after them in their old age and they do not go into care. My husband has told her he DOES NOT want to be included in the will and that they need to release equity to pay for someone to go into their home and help. (She is not happy about this).

Yes h is totally aware of the games she plays. But at the end of the day its his mum.
Peace.... your story sure brought flashbacks. I was lucky, I had a great MiL. She was my 2nd mom. Most... are nowhere near that lucky.

My mother and I were close. She had a heart attack in summer 2015. She seemed in great spirits after the triple by. What did her in was... the mini strokes. For her last year (Fall '15 to Fall '16), she was Jekyll / Hyde. She had two older sisters but they had already passed. Her one brother had died the year before her HA. While mom cared for him... he became mean and violent.

Her remaining sister... well....let's just say I do not recognize her as family and barely a human being. I can name 5 disorders she would fit right into. But let's just say.. drama queen who loves to stirschit. When mom's dementia started, it was hardly noticeable. In hindsight, it had started around five years earlier.

Mom would regress to the teen / early 20s hot mess she was in the 1960s (picture Raquelel Welch). Mom would try to play her sister and I. I know I knew it, I don't know if her sister did or not but if it garnished her attention, she wanted it. At first... with me, mom wasn't bad. Basic guilt trips over very petty things. As mom revved up her anger, I began instituting boundaries.

Peace...... this is where I can relate with your H and you are very understanding of his situation. Up until mom's mini strokes, we were close. The one person in the world I could trust 100%. When she changed, to me, it was like she slowly died. But she knew she could push me, even though I would stop talking to her for periods of time. (At this time, it was already know she had cancer in stomach and she refused to have it looked at). She knew she could run to her sister and say (insert anything, I mistreated her, I cussed her, I starved her) "save me."

You'd have to know her sister.... you can only take her presence for short periods of time. Then... she would run her off, and call crying to me. This push / pull she had with her sister and I went on for about eight months. As a last resort and olive branch, I had her start moving in with me. (She did not want to go to one, her family(s) weren't that way. Plus they would make her go outside to smoke. Ration her cigarettes. Trying that with her is like kicking a pit bull and finding out he wasn't chained up)

She was great the first couple weeks. Then.... the cussing, how sorry a son I was, crap that stung. And..... when I refused to listen to her degrade me, I went into my bedroom, locked the door. She kicked, hit the door, broke the lock, slammed the door knob into closet door. I told her to leave or I will call the police. "I'll tell your a$$ this, if abortions were legal in 1971, I would have aborted you.'

Next day told her to leave, start getting her stuff moved back to her apartment. This.... Peace... will probably be what your H will be in for. I am glad to say, mom and I did not speak for three months... until the hospital called. God dementia had ravaged her, even worse than the cancer. We made our peace and I was at her bedside her last night her... talking about Christmas' past and how much of an ornery schit I was as a kid.

But it took it's toll on me.... and I am the alpha / IDGAF type. Mom wasn't herself for the last year, I accepted that. I remember who she was.

Peace... your H wants to make both of you happy. Two most important people in the world to most men, his mother and his W. But when you have a family, kids...parents have to understand. When I first got M, she had child from previous M, mom vanished like a fart. She didn't want to come between my M.

Heck I meant to give you advice and this came out. Well... I don't talk about it much so... for what it's worth. The advice you have already received..... is very sound and correct.

A-Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
B-We know what we are, but know not what we may be
C-Never make the person in your present pay for the sins committed by people from your past
Chuck71 is online now  
post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 10:23 AM
Member
 
jb02157's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,190
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck71 View Post

Peace... your H wants to make both of you happy. Two most important people in the world to most men, his mother and his W. But when you have a family, kids...parents have to understand.
Yes! Your H is trying to make both you and his Mom happy, unfortunately it's turned into a situation where, despite his best efforts, neither are. You're going to need to communicate somehow to your H that in this situation his responsibility is to his family and not to his mom. I had always tried to find how I could satisfy my MIL and lose the "Mr. *******" title until it finally hit me that it didn't matter what she thought and my responsibility was to my family, not her. I tried making both happy to and discovered it wasn't possible.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
jb02157 is offline  
post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 11:53 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 122
Re: Elderly MIL from hell...

I don't envy your husband's situation, but at 85 I wonder how mentally sound she is as well. As with her own siblings, she may have some sort of dementia as well and may just not be expressing them as prominently. Clearly, she is no longer self reliant but it should not be the job of any single offspring. You already have that burden with a special needs son of your own. Is there somebody else outside of the family who is impartial who could take on her power of attorney?
m00nman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MIL drama katiecrna The Social Spot 83 03-24-2017 10:35 AM
Narcisstic MIL dkong General Relationship Discussion 19 09-19-2016 03:41 AM
How do you feel about the concept of hell and people suffering for all eternity? Quadronos The Social Spot 64 05-14-2016 07:03 AM
MIL babies my husband and he lets it happen YoungWife94 New Member Forum - Introduce Yourself! 7 01-10-2016 08:52 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome