Dealing With A Narcissistic Mother In Law | Signs Of A Narcissistic Mother In Law
4. Involving a third party to get her way
She’s prone to giving “concerned advice” to someone else in the family – most commonly her son (your husband) – about the way you’re doing something, whether it be about raising the kids, cooking, or your career.
He might listen to her and try to talk to you about doing things a different way, the way she suggested.
This might cause you to argue with your partner, or any other family member she uses (like your sister-in-law), completely unaware that she’s the source of the problem.
Your ultimate goal is to try to remain aware of all the times you’re enabling this triangle and invariably helping unravel all the mess.
This is something all toxic people do. Just like her other tools, this one too is used to gain more power over the victim of her narcissistic abuse.
This is how it works. When you try to live your life and show your independence, she takes that as being unappreciative of her and everything she’s done for you.
When you choose to do what you want to do, that’s painful for her. By guilt-tripping you, she connects your wishes and desires to guilt.
Ultimately, when you want to do something you wish to do, you immediately feel that guilt.
This is a tool narcissistic parents will mostly use with their own children, but it also applies to their in-law relationships.
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Having a narcissist mother-in-law is hard, but having a narcissist mother is harder. Be compassionate.
No matter how much it annoys you to hear your partner making excuses for his mom’s behavior, try to understand him.
By now, he’s probably developed a coping mechanism to deal with her. Ask him for some tips. Decide together on how to maintain your relationship with her – be open and honest.
For every one of her toxic behaviors, you have to set a limit. If she calls too much, make a decision not to answer at certain parts of the day or on certain days.
If she comes by unannounced too often, tell her you had different plans the next time she surprises you.
When she goes into being verbally abusive and demeaning towards you or your children, kindly and firmly tell her that’s not going to work out.
She needs to know you’re onto her, but you mustn’t lose your cool. For every limit you set, talk about it with your husband first and make sure you’re both on the same page.
1. Praising Someone Else Or Something Else
Did you see the way he performed last night? He was incredible!
She’s such a good wife. He’s lucky to have her.
They did a great job decorating their home. I love it.
What pisses off a narcissist? Feeling like someone else is better than them. Very few things make them feel more miserable than that insecurity.
Their egos cannot comprehend that other people deserve recognition and attention in the same ways they do. Instead of feeling happy for someone else’s success, they tend to experience confusion, jealousy, and even contempt.
When they hear you praising someone else, they will usually respond by:
In other words, a narcissist doesn’t really know how to be happy for someone else. Instead, they will search to find a narrative that suits their personal success story.
Narcissists assume they know the best way to live life. For instance, if they love golfing, you’re an idiot if you don’t enjoy the game. If they enjoy a particular restaurant, you lack good taste if you prefer somewhere else.
Pursuing your own interests can easily piss off a narcissist, especially when your preferences clash with theirs. Some major conflicts of interest can include:
To retaliate, they may tease or criticize you for your choices. Or, they may try to sabotage you altogether. Their efforts to belittle you often come from a place of insecurity and fear. Deep down, narcissists feel afraid of losing power- and they worry about losing you to someone or something else.
Many narcissists are obsessed with earning and flaunting money. Big houses, fancy cars, designer clothes- they want it all, and they want to show it off to everyone in the world.
Many times, they substitute love for money. They also may inflate their worth by trying to prove their love by how much stuff they give you.
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If you don’t show much interest, they may feel oscillate between feeling embarrassed, confused, and irritated. What do you mean you don’t want this? What’s wrong with you? Anyone would kill to be in your shoes! You don’t even realize how lucky you are.
4. She’s defensive (about herself)
She’ll do whatever it takes to prove she’s right. She can’t take any kind of criticism and will turn the situation around to make it seem like you or anybody else are attacking her out of spite.
Whenever she does something, she gives additional explanations of the goodwill she’s put into doing that because she cares about the well-being of the family (while she’s actually doing something completely selfish), just in case you try to confront her.
If you find someone to support you in fighting her – your husband perhaps – she’ll attack you with everything she’s got.
Her narcissistic behavior has probably caused your husband to be either overly sensitive and codependent or a narcissist himself.
If he’s sensitive, he’ll understand you, and you two together might handle her easier if he has what it takes to fight her.
If he’s a narcissist himself, we’re sorry for you, but it might be easier for him to deal with her because he already has the tools.