My MIL has a personality disorder. It’s not the opening line of a joke. It’s not funny. She is the single most difficult and unpleasant person I have ever had to deal with.

I have started this blog so I can dump all of my thoughts regarding her, my husband and my methods of dealing with her and all the stupid, irritating, weird, dysfunctional things she does in one place. Someone else reading this may well find it useful.

I know quite a lot about psychology. I’m well educated (you might even say very well educated, I have a PhD but not in psychology, in another science). I have spent years reading everything I could lay my hands on about all sorts of aspects of psychology. I read Freud, Jung, Adler, Frankl, Maslow, Bowlby, Winnicott etc. I read the fluffy self-help stuff, the meaty self-help stuff, the designed for therapists academic books and even the DSM IV and V. I went into therapy. Individual therapy, group therapy, both helped a lot and both were educational. I am not a professional, but in another life I could have been. I understand the theories as well as anyone.

What I am not is objective. How can I be when this woman is infiltrating and meddling with the fundamentals of my life? This is not a cooly objective blog. It is about dealing with the behaviour of a personality disordered individual. It is for those who have to cope with all the unpleasant behaviour and it pulls no punches.



Filed under Describing narcissism, Effects of NPD on others

15 responses to “Welcome

  1. Cinderella Charming

    I too have a narcassistic MIL. We have only just discovered this. She has always been “difficult” but it is since the birth of our first child four years ago that this has reached another level – I suppose because we have to speak to her (them) more and their opinions on bringing up our children are dumbfounding. I will tell you more another day. Love your blog. We are already taking on on board your advice – we’ve already decided we should not be alone with her. The difference with us is that my husband can’t stand his mother and as soon as he read about no contact he was thinking it was a brilliant idea. I don’t think it’s quite as easy as that.

    • Hello Cinderella Charming, thanks for your comment. You are in a good situation if your husband is fully aware of his mother’s problems. Sometimes I feel like I’ve had a harder time pulling the wool from my husband’s eyes than I have had dealing with his mother’s nastiness!

      No contact is an option. Many people go no contact as a last resort. It sounds like you think there are some alternatives to try out before taking that step. There is always the option of your husband removing himself from seeing his mother and leaving you and your child to see her on terms you are happy with. We have sort of done that in reverse, I have next to no contact and my husband takes the kids to see her.

      I hope reading about our experiences can help you work out what is right for your family.

  2. I, like you, have read everything I can get my hands on and have come to many of the same conclusions and also recommend the narcissistic family – overall the most helpful thing I’ve read. Today I ran across your blog for the first time and it is *fantastic. * I will recommend it as the starting point for anyone looking for resources going forward. Very accessible and smart. Thank you so much for writing these posts.

    • Goodness I’m blushing! I’m really pleased you have found this rather personal blog useful. Thank you for passing it on to others. Narcissism is not widely spoken about here in the UK, I have found more sites in the US but none specifically about evil MILs. I hope I’m fulfilling a need.

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you for this. I too have a narcissistic MIL and both my husband and I have recently discovered that she embodies this disordered trait of her personality. She has been a difficult and confusing person from the day I met her. I have come to the conclusion that very little contact is the only option. My husband has minimal. Your blog is very informative, appreciated and helpful. I look forward to reading/referencing more.

    • Hi Anonymous, it’s a bit of shock and a relief to find a name you can put to the difficult behaviour of a MIL. Have you heard of crazy-making? The way some people can make you confused and doubting of your own perceptions. I found a second hand copy of a book “Stop! You Are Driving Me Crazy” by George R. Bach and it was really interesting. Low contact or no contact I suspect is the way forward for all of us.

  4. Anonymous

    Yes, I agree about the low/no contact. Been dealing with this for a long time; well over 20 years now! The self doubt/questioning went on FAR too long but no more. I actually had a dream last night about a horrible, sneaky email she sent me but was relieved when I woke up! Ugggh, talk about nightmare. Thanks again and I will be sure to follow your blog. This is a God send.

  5. Alexa

    Hello FierceCorkWoman,
    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this tremendous difficulty that impacts every area of your life. Today I read most of your posts and just wanted to say that you have a tremendous understanding of NPD and are able to articulate all of the intricate ways the disorder affects the lives of the non-disordered family members. Your understanding of the disorder, especially in terms of your MIL, goes beyond the understanding of many therapists. (That is, therapists in the United States). I too have a MIL who is a malignant and aggressive narcissist. Prior to getting married, I did not know such people existed. For years I was driven into despair trying to achieve a functional relationship with my MIL. Finally I got into therapy for it and after that I went on to get a second master’s degree, which is in the field of clinical psychology. Don’t mean to be too forward, but it would be great if you could expand this blog into a self-help book. You have a depth of understanding of NPD as well as an honesty about you that allows you to convey to others the unfiltered disaster that narcissists create around them. There are few books in the self help market that so honestly tackle this subject. Thus, I would highly encourage you to put together a book if you have the time. Thanks again for your wonderful blog!

  6. Thank you for this blog. Truly. I also have a narcissistic MIL that we have almost successfully cut off from our lives for a year and a half. Unfortunately, at some point we told her to get therapy, which she did and now expects rights to her grandchild and the grandchild on the way. This week will be my first therapy session with her and I break out in a sweat just thinking about having to deal with it. I have been looking everywhere for a honest and intelligent real life story to help me through. Thank you for writing this.

    • Would love to view your blog if you allow views. I see you have marked it private. I will totally respect if you aren’t interested in sharing, but wanted to check. Thank you!

  7. So enjoying this blog. I have a MIL from hell, and things are really just getting worse, and getting my DH to learn about NPD and deal with her is hard. People who have a MIL like this, we weren’t born into this family, but had to accept this sick, twisted person as whole and who they are being plopped into our laps and expected to deal with her as normal.. While most people around them have already figured out their stupid coping mechanisms, we are left standing there mouth agape wondering what the HELL just happened. Ugh.

    • Al

      Dear Misguided Angel, your husband probably has a coping mechanism to deal with her. Whether it is a healthy one or not is the question. Mine did not see until he started seeing a counseler. Even then it took him. Several months before he would admit that the counseler also diagnosed NPD for. The parent.

      • Absolutely. I read the remainder of this blog last night and FCW’s husband behaved(s) very much as my husband dies. When we are at her house, he will not relax, flits around waiting to do her bidding. He is never relaxed. đŸ˜¦

  8. NYC

    Hi FCW, thank you for creating this site. I think I may have found a support group here. My mom has NPD and ever since I got married 4.5 years ago my relationship with her, and my husband’s subsequent relationship with her, has gotten harder and harder.

    We had our first baby 9 months ago and were hoping it would alleviate the tension and stress we’d been feeling, but ever since we got pregnant my mom’s NPD has manifested itself in a new extreme. She offered to host a baby shower but strictly on her terms and when I started feeling like the shower wasn’t really a celebration for me, she screeched, “It’s not a shower for you, it’s for your baby.” She said we didn’t have to have a shower if I didn’t want to. I didn’t, so I respectively and graciously declined. (She wanted to invite 22 of her friends – she left 1 open spot for 1 friend of mine – and have it at the house I group up in, which is small and in a podunk town 3 hours from the city where i live. She picked a date not even asking me if i was free.) She called me a few days after I politely declined and said it was a “slap in the face” and that I was “entitled” and had “no respect for my elders.” My mom, and most of the friends on her invite list, are in their late 60’s, good health, travel the world, workout, etc.

    She lies, manipulates, is passive aggressive, but to the outside world comes across as a sweet, thoughtful and personable woman. She had been telling my brother, my husband and me for several months that she wanted to celebrate her 70th birthday in cape cod, “that’s the goal,” “that’s the plan,” she kept saying. Her birthday is July 1st. We all supported that idea and agreed it would be a lot of fun. Out of the blue this past weekend my brother and I receive a text from her letting us know that she and my dad had reserved a place in cape cod for 7/9-7/27 and that she “hopes we can make it.” I was completely caught off guard and immediately texted back and said “i thought the plan was to be in cape cod for your birthday?” I receive a text back making no acknowledgement of this, instead my mom replies that she actually wanted the first 2 weeks in august but the house wasn’t available. The real deal is my mom cannot speak up to my dad. He controls her and she is submissive. She probably never told him what she wanted to do for her birthday. My dad won’t let my mom drive if he’s in the car. She is always the passenger. They have separate finances. I could go on and on. Right now I’m struggling to trust her and I don’t know how to communicate with her.

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