Narcissistic In-Laws Attempt to Destroy Your Marriage

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.

3 thoughts on “Narcissistic In-Laws Attempt to Destroy Your Marriage”

  1. Hello Linda, I found this blog only yesterday and have done a lot of reading since 🙂 Thank you for expressing the experience with the narcissist/sociopath so well. My narcissistic In-laws experience was horrific but with a different twist. My ex-spouse of 11 years (I’m now separated for almost a year heading for a divorce) is from a very patriarchal and religious culture. I was very naive and really wanted to marry and have children and live the beautiful dream I dreamed up for myself. I came from alcoholic family, lots of narcissism, emotional and physical abuse and not much love. So I know now I was a sitting duck, a prime target for a sociopath. Especially as I recently immigrated into a country, and become a new christian, full of hope and not much knowledge. It went fast. Whirlwind courtship, I could not believe that ‘such nice men even exist’ I had never been treated this way before, and it was like from the movies.. I saw red flags, he had angry outbursts, and even showed profound ‘immaturity’ and selfishness. I thought it will ‘go away’ as he is exposed to mature life, marriage, family…I failed to realize that what I saw was not simply immaturity, it was a profound lack of character and that, that was not going to go away. God knows I tried…His parents disaproved of me from the start as I’m of different race and apparently a threat I did not see it that way. I saw it as a challenge to ‘prove’ to them that I’ll make a wonderful wife to their golden boy..Never mind I was employed, no debt, pursuing education etc…and he was unemployed, school drop out, huge debt (not disclosed until after marriage) not to mention his unhealthy approach to life marked by laziness, irresponsibility and troubled relationships with his family members. I saw a potencial, and a handsome guy who ‘really liked me’ and the possibility of having it all (wife and a mommy). All else will work out, I would be patient and positive. Oh how wrong I was. His family did not want us to divorce, but they wanted to stay central in his life while I was a new possession to control and contribute to ‘their family’. And they abused me relentlessly, especially the FIL. The MIL was the side kick. I almost lost my mind. My husband never worked in any stable reliable job. He put us instantly in welfare situation. I lost ability to continue my education and he ruined, with my consent essentially, my credit.Told me blatantly he will always chose his dealing and wheeling over me. And if I don’t like it I can get lost. I should have done exactly that. But I had two babies under two years. I was scared. The devil I knew still seemed less scary than the unknown. He abused me verbally, economically, emotionally and physically as well on occassion, and his family stayed quiet, or blamed me. Golden boy was always right. Several years later after we had a severely autistic child he hurt me. I finally had him arrested. But let him back after 3 months, scared still to face future with a special needs child and two more on my own, out of work, not much means. Four more years later I pulled the plug. What was the push? My sister in law from their original country, hand selected to marry the younger brother called me crying that she thinks she is being abused. I disclosed to her what has been happening to me over the 10 years and urged her to flee while there is only one baby and she has not been severely hurt yet. Shortly after she was assaulted and called police. The second golden boy is also on probation and she went to a shelter. They hired lawyers to kick her out as they sponsored her and to keep her baby here. Thankfully this is not a developing country where this would easily happen. She went back to him I believe for strategic reasons to get permanent residency and then pass exams to practice as RN. I hope she stays strong. Neither of us is in any contact with the wicked in laws. Our children are, however. I have redone all my lost courses and more, I am half way through my program and healing emotionally. I hope to get through divorce well. He threatened to ‘destroy’ me if I try to ‘take away’ his children from him. Despite the fact that he never truly cared or was involved in their lives, and there are two calls to Child protective services by school counselor and a nurse. Friends, pray for me that I stay strong and make sound decisions to protect myself and my kids and also that my sister in law navigates through her situation well and without harm. Thank you and God bless.

  2. I was in a relationship like this for over 22 years. His family stalked me throughout the relationship. Their gossip and bad behavior reached every part of my life. They’d harass me in college, at work and even when I started my own business. I was house bound in fear for four years due to the stalking.

    We stopped sleeping together four years into the marriage because he was so angry at me for upsetting his mother. I’m not sure what I did. My ex-husband did admit to lying to his mother about me. He had claimed that I would not let him go to college because his mother was hassling him about getting a accounting degree. The sad thing is that we were attendig the same college at the same time! He didn’t tell his mother the truth.

    My ex-husband and I divorced two years ago. He has never left the basement of the home I was awarded in the divorce. He won’t move in with his mother. He refuses to speak to me to find a way out of the relationship or even get counseling. I am in counseling and my therapist wonders if my ex is a narcissist as well.

    I’m feeling stuck with him because he spent the money I was supposed to receive in the divorce (money that could go to a lawyer). He was also recently fired from his high paying job so he has no income at all. I feel guilted into taking care of him.

    I am lucky. I found a boss who has a safety plan in place to deal with the stalking. I don’t make a lot of money but I can get by without his help.

    I’m wondering if there are any resources for someone like me that will help me learn to communicate with my ex or at least plan a way out of this mess I find myself in.

    I’m open to any suggestions. Thank you for the post. It helps.

  3. My Mother in law has made my life complete hell. She is such a cunning person, it is actually unbelievable the lengths that she will go to to get her own way.
    She plays the victim and makes out she is the one trying with me, when it is the other way around. She is contantly gossiping and slandering me, she twists and manipulates the truth and most of the time it is outright lies.
    She tried to emulate my cooking, gifts I buy for others, products that I use for myself etc. She is the kind of person who buys cheap tat, she is a hoader and she regifts this to others.
    I have had to leave and fend for myself, I am in a foreign country, I have no friends or family. She has turned the whole family against me.
    They actually owe me money and deny the fact that they owe me anything, they claim that I am a burden and that their son depends on them. I have worked since I got there, I use public transport yet she was telling everyone that I make her drive me around. They don’t treat their son like Parents would treat a son, anything they do or offer is done in front of others or everyone is told about it, so that they seem like the best parents. They throw everything in my husbands face.
    I used my own savings to help support my husband and I during a rough patch and they claim that they have helped us when actually they have made it so difficult.
    I dont know what to do, it’s one thing after another and I can’t cope any longer.

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