I have heard many life stories about the chaos and emotional and psychological destructiveness of narcissistic in-laws. This includes the mother-in-law narcissist, the father-in-law narcissist or the narcissistic couple.
When we get married it can be very difficult to know if our prospective in-laws are narcissists. Yes, they may be self-absorbed or entitled or too entranced with the golden child you married. In the beginning everyone was playing the “good behavior” role. Some spouses get a glimpse of coming psychological attractions before the vows are spoken. Most of us are too distracted with the wedding plans and thinking of the meaning of the upcoming marriage and let these warnings pass through our consciousness.
The cracking of the familial perfect face begins with one of the narcissistic parents demanding tremendous amounts of time and attention from the “beloved son or daughter” and giving you the cold shoulder or the silent treatment or outright cold unwarranted criticism. Eventually this leads to scenarios of my way or the highway. This becomes particularly ugly and the couple starts to argue frequently. The golden boy or golden girl narcissist often responds to the family demands since he or she has been the King or Queen of this feudal kingdom since birth.
The spouse who is out in the cold is further criticized and ostracized by the narcissistic in-law(s). Finally a reckoning comes and a decision often must be made–whether to stay in a marriage where you are being constantly abused and mistreated or to move forward and sever the marital relationship.
Meanwhile the narcissistic relatives are relishing your marriage unraveling, knowing they will get their perfect son or daughter to come back to them alone–where he or she belongs. Narcissistic in-laws think of their children as possessions who belong to them and no one else, including a spouse.
Quite often these circumstances do not have a happy ending for the newly married couple. It is better to cut your losses in most cases if you know that your spouse is more wedded to narcissistic mom or dad than to you. You will never win against this deep level of psychopathology.
After you have made your decision to end the marriage and get a divorce, you begin to heal from the relationship you thought you had with this person you had picked to share your life. Pay close attention to your intuition as you go forward. Remember, you come first. This is essential.