Toxic In-Laws

I just had to share with everyone my love for the book "Toxic In-Laws" by Susan Forward. If any of you are feeling the strain of truly damaging in-laws in your life, please read this book. I'm not talking about basically good in-laws who annoy you from time to time, but the truly poisonous type of people who are seriously harming you, your spouse, and your marriage. The best thing about this book is that it doesn't focus as much on THEM, it's about finding the healthiest way to deal with the problem between the husband and wife to keep the marriage strong and that's the most important thing. My MIL is the #1 biggest problem in my marriage and always has been. I'm very proud of the progress we've made as a couple but lately I've been running out of steam and feeling like I'm out of options. This book has given me all new perspectives and refreshed HOPE! I recommend it to anyone else in this messy type of situation.

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 9:11 am
odessa33
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wildfirej29
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Thanks for the recommendation!  I think my MIL has good intentions for us and wants us to have a happy marriage, but I've had my fair share of issues with her in the past.  :(  So far since getting married, things have been much much better and I'm starting to see things more from her perspective--but who knows--I might need this book in the future at some point.  :)

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 9:50 am
odessa33
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my husband had gotten her book "Toxic Parents" to learn how to deal with his mother. When we saw how insanely accurate the book described every aspect of his mother and had GREAT advice for how he can deal with it better, I looked into her other books. This one has been my new bible! LOL Like I said, it's not meant as an attack on in-laws. Some in-laws are great and even the annoying ones often really do act out of love and are well-meaning. But then there are the "toxic" ones, like mine, who are a destructive force in your lives and marriage. My husband and are are often like war buddies, trying to get each other through the worst of it and deal with the post traumatic stress together! Susan Forward's books have been wonderfully helpful and accurate. I hope they can help others.

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm
wildfirej29
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:(  I'm sorry--that CAN'T be fun.  What kind of things does your MIL try to do?

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm
odessa33
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thanks.....oh boy....the list is WAY too long to fit on here! But basically she's the type to manipulate with guilt, to demand and control, etc. Ya know like if he says he has plans for his birthday that don't include driving 5 hours to have dinner with her then he is "giving her a heart attack" and "abandoning her cruelly when he knows she has no one else" (all totally untrue by the way) He is a "horrible son who is ungrateful for all that she sacrficed for him" if he forgets to call her one Sunday. Oh the hell she put us through leading up to the wedding!! Trying to convince his uncle not to marry us (he is a judge who was performing our ceremony) because she didn't feel we were giving her enough of a spotlight at the wedding, calling us everyday to tell us she isn't coming and his family doesn't want to be there either and things like that, all were lies just to hurt us days before our wedding. Why would a mother do that to their son?


The hard part is the affect it has on him. He literally breaks out in hives sometimes when he has to talk to her on the phone!!! It causes problems between us because I can't always understand why he subjects himself to her nastiness and why such a strong, intelligent man crumbles against some crazy old lady! Of course I've learned about the years of emotional abuse that started since he was a baby, that sticks with you even into adulthoodand isn't so easy to break away from


But like I said, over the years we have (and especially HE has) made incredible progress in breaking the cycle of abuse and in being united together. I can't remember the last time it caused an actual fight between us. But it's getting to a point where I don't know where to go from here. I see no real solutions anymore other than having nothing to do with her, and it's his MOM so that's not really an option. For the first couple years I did everything a person could possibly do to become friends with her and invite her into our life. That just blew up in my face because everything was just ammunition for her to use against us. I really have been getting desperate for a new way to handle this. this book really made me feel better!


I'm so happy for everyone who has the wonderful, caring parents and in-laws that they deserve to have! For the rest, give this book a shot...it sure can't hurt.


 


 


 


 


 

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm
wildfirej29
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Oh.  Wow.  I am REALLY sorry.  You should not have to deal with that--neither should he.  One thing I always tell myself when I get frustrated with my MIL is that no matter what she does, she's my husband's mother.  No matter how frustrated they get with their mom, there's just something about that mother/son bond.  My dad's mother was horrible to her husband and her kids.  She was manipulative and sometimes downright evil.  (As a granddaughter I never really saw any of this until I got older--I totally loved my grandma)  My dad had SO many fights with her, stormed out countless times, got so fed up with her.  But no matter what she did, he loved her so much.  Since she passed away he just hasn't been the same.  He gets so depressed on Mother's Day and gets really sad when something great happens bc his first impulse is to call his mom and then he realizes he can't.  In the end, it didn't matter at all that she was kinda crazy and mean...her death left a void that he'll never get over.  I know the same would/will be true for my husband and his mother...so I TRY to keep it in mind, as hard as it can sometimes be....but again...my situation isn't NEARLY as bad as yours.  I wish you the best, and that you will somehow be able to find a peace about the situation and find some sort of balance.  Hugs!!!

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm
odessa33
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aw thanks! Youre totally right. That's why I've never suggested that he have nothing more to do with her, even though that's secrectly what I want. It's his mom, it's different. I really needed to find ways to stay out of it and support him but not be a doormat or leave him unprotected to her attacks either. It's a hard balance. When your husband is being hurt so badly by someone you want to protect him from that. But when it's his own mother what can you do?


This woman is a truly horrible person. She does evil things throughout her life (like rip off the old ladies at the nursing home she works at so she can buy a new car) oh yeah, THAT evil! In my life if I find a person is negative, damaging to me, mean spirited, not interested in resolving conflict, etc....I choose not to have anything more to do with that person, SIMPLE! But that's not an option here because I am married to her son. I can't even begin to imagine how I could behave in a loving, family type manor around her when I feel she is an evil person. I dont know how to do it, I don't lie or pretend in my life, the thought makes me sick. So right now I don't know how to be around her, that's the struggle.


She doesnt even know this but we are TTC....we need to get this under control before I'm pregnant because I know that's when the mess is really going to hit the fan! we are the most blissfully married couple I know and have so many blessings, with this one black spot in our lives....the MIL


I'm sure I'll be venting on here again! LOL

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm
wildfirej29
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haha aw!  I can't say I'm sorry enough!  I'm curious to see what it will be like with kids in the picture.  Maybe it might make things better?  Although it sucks that your kids will have to be subjected to that!

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm
odessa33
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yeah my biggest fear is with kids involved I won't be able to so casually turn the other cheek and walk away. Right now I brush off her crap and don't take it personally because I know she is nuts. But if it involved my kids in any way....wooo!!! lookout for the mama bear!


 


My husband's ex-wife actually tried to physically attack this woman and had to be dragged out of the house punching and kicking trying to get to her.....that's how crazy she makes people! I'd never actually do that, but I sure as hell understand the urge! LOL


 


So sad...


 


Thanks for listening to me vent

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm
wildfirej29
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Hahaha anytime!!!

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 5:10 pm
Niecy
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((hugs))  .... WOW!   ...you deal with some shit .....  it's awesome you are sharing this book with people .... Your amazing  in staying positive through all MIL has done !!!

Posted on November 30, 2009 at 3:31 am
odessa33
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Aw Niecy thanks! I am always trying to do the best I can to stay positive but some days are harder than others. I'm just grateful that I have such an amazing partner in all this. I've heard stories of MILs like mine but the situation is so much worse because the partner is not willing or able to work on it. So I feel pretty lucky actually and count my blessings!

Posted on November 30, 2009 at 7:46 am
heartsetfreebylove
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I'm excited you posted this. This will definately be my next book. My in laws have made our life a living hell the last 7 months. It's like the day we got married they decided I was the enemy. Here's the basics that have happened so far...



  • We gave MIL a car a couple years ago. She agreed to take over the payments and since she has been last 23 out of 27 months. It has ruined DH's credit and is the main reason we can not get a house, we tried to repo the car this october, but she freaked out and threatened to kill herself. Made DH feel like a complete POS and she blamed it all on me.

  • My SIL is pregnant and is a complete idiot about it. She drinks, smokes cigs and pot, horseback rides (cross country jumping), hangs out in the hot tub, and just doesn't care at all. She was originally going to get an abortion, decided not too, but now she is seriously putting this unborn childs life in jeapordy!

  • My BIL is a money sucking, pot addicted pig. Who lies to his girlfriend (she doesn't even know he smokes pot or cigs), steals all his families money and treats me like shit. The day before our wedding, he texted my mother a picture of his penis. YUCK!

  • When I found out I can't have kids my SIL made a point to start talking more about her pregnancy and all the things she is going to do for her baby. I was being really supportive of her but when she is trying to hurt my feelings on purpose what am I suppose to do.


I've accepted that obviously I can't change them, so I need to change the way I react to them. My biggest fear is that when and if we have a baby, they won't respect my wishes. They don't even respect that I don't want my dogs fed table scraps, so how in the hell do I expect them to not smoke cigs and pot and drink around my child?


UGH! Anyway obviously I need help and I'm gonna go buy the book!

Posted on December 2, 2009 at 4:39 pm
odessa33
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your BIL sent a pic of his penis to your mother the day of your wedding!?!?!!?!?! Are you F-ing kidding me?!?!


Oh my sweet lord I'm so sorry for all that you've both gone through!! Yes, read this book. But it honestly sounds to me like they are so clearly destructive that for your own survival, you and the hubs should be distancing yourselves as much as possible from these people. I know that sounds harsh when it's family, but damaging people are damaging people whether they're related to you or not. I've had to cut out people like that in my life and it was the best thing I ever did.


Get "toxic Parents" for your hubs to read. It helped mine so much!


 

Posted on December 3, 2009 at 4:22 am
heartsetfreebylove
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Thanks odessa! I will get him that book as well.


Ya my mom is a flirtacious woman and he took it the wrong way. I found out when we got back from our honeymoon and I reamed them both, I was so upset. I told him if he ever disrespects me and my family like that again I will NEVER speak to his sorry ass again.


They are incredibly toxic and DH and I have considered moving to a different state just to get away from them, but that would mean moving away from my family as well and I'm just not willing to do that

Posted on December 3, 2009 at 10:14 am
maynard2010
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Wow, I am SO glad I am not the only person who has a toxic in law. Thank you so much for posting that about the book, I need to find it and read it before I loose my ever loving mind on my FMIL. Ok so I have to vent about my FMIL a little bit, I cant to my FI because well as we all know, thats his mother.


My FI is in the Army and was deployed for a year. Before he deployed my FMIL was so nice and sweet and understanding and caring, then he deployed and all HELL broke loose. I was in college to get my nursing degree and was going to school full time and me and my FI had talked about it, my JOB was to care for the house and get my degree. I was scheduled to graduate a year and a half early even. Well that was not ok with FMIL, not one bit. She made me feel EXTREMELY worthless. Anyways to when it got REAL bad. We were suppose to get married September 19, 2009. My fiance and I had talked about it and were good with that date, so I was planning while he was gone. Well in February 2009, alot of different things happened and I ended up in the hospital extremely extremely sick. I was there for a month and half. Well my FMIL convinced my FI during that time that he needed to postpone the wedding so we could "work on our relationship". I am ok with postponing the wedding because if we would have gotten married then it would have been a month after he got home from being gone for an entire year, I realize now, not such a good idea. What i am not ok with is he did it because SHE said so and to top that off, when she convinced him to postpone it, I was in the hospital, so she came into OUR house and got ALL, I mean EVERY SINGLE PIECE of the wedding stuff i had, including my wedding dress and veil and shoes, all the decortations etc, and had a bon fire with it all. SHE BURNT MY WEDDING STUFF. Then she changed the lock to OUR house so I couldnt get back in after i was released from the hospital, so I had to go live with my parents for 4 months until he got home and while I was gone I dont even want to know the things she told my FI about how horrible I am and how he shouldnt marry me. Mind you I have NO idea why she did this. I was never hateful towards her, I tried to fill her in on the stuff i heard from my FI, I tried to ask her for help since this whole deployment thing was new to me. Now, I wont say I am PERFECT and did NOTHING wrong during this deployment, however I am still the EVIL one to her and I am NOT GOOD ENOUGH.


Ok this is long, sorry. I need to hush now. Didnt realize I had so much. Sorry guys. Thanks for listening though.

Posted on December 27, 2009 at 10:26 am
Niecy
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ummmm ...she set your wedding stuff on fire and changed the locks on you???  ..Does your FI know about this ?

Posted on December 28, 2009 at 2:05 am
odessa33
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yeah.....you are talking about seriously illegal actions......am I missing something to the story? That's incredibly serious..how could your FI be ok with someone stealing and destroying your poperty and kicking you out of your own home? She CAN'T do that....I'd press charges, mom or not

Posted on December 28, 2009 at 2:13 am
maynard2010
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Oh yea he knows and he bought me a new dress and replaced all the wedding stuff. At the time he said he couldnt do anything because he was deployed and over 8000 miles away but when he got home he replaced the stuff and I guess had a serious conversation with her, I dont know, I am staying away from her. Odessa33- No you are not missing anything in the story. Honestly I was as confused as you are. And she THOUGHT she could because I am living with my FI and my name is NO WHERE on the mortgage, however my FI informed her I guess when he got home that this was my house to. I dont know, I just wish I could convince him that we need to live more than 2 blocks from her and his twin sister.

Posted on December 30, 2009 at 3:46 am
odessa33
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wow I'm so sorry....I still would have pressed charges with the police...I don't care who it was, someone stole and destroyed your property...yikes! Toxic indeed!

Posted on December 30, 2009 at 6:23 am
BlingBride22
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I can TOTALLY relate to this post! My MIL was a BIG problem for years! When my DH and I would talk about marriage I told him that I would never marry him unless he learned how to control his mother (notice I said control not change, because she will NEVER change).... Here are just a few examples of the torture I endured through the years:


 



  • She would always making comments about how my family was going to take her "baby" away because we were more fortunate than her.... 

  • When I would get a new purse etc she would make comments like, "must be nice"....

  • I was too young for him (we are only 2 1/2 years apart)....

  • I don't wait on him hand and foot.... I was raised that you and your partner are EQUAL.... I am not a freaking slave....

  • When he lived with her she would tell me that he wasn't home when he was....

  • When he lived on his own he wouldn't tell her that I spent the night for fear that she would get upset.... One time I had stayed at his house and she came over unannounced while I was in the shower and when I got out all my stuff was hidden! 

  • She didn't go to my bridal shower....

  • She didn't go to the rehearsal....

  • She told me that our babies name is ugly....

  • When she comes over to our house she swipes the counter for dust! I am the biggest neat freak and she isn't going to find dust if she had a freaking forensics kit! 




There are so many more things that have happened over the years and I can say from personal experience that it isn't about trying to change your In-Laws because you can't change them.... It is about how you and your DH handle the situations that arise.... I let my DH handle his mom because no matter what I say it is going to be more effective coming from him.... When she gets out of line he will stand up for me and say something to her.... Also, getting mad only makes matters worse.... If something is bugging you, calmly tell your DH what happened and they respond to it much better....

 

Posted on January 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

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