Many individuals have been married for some time before they discover they have an impossible narcissistic in-law. Most of us take people the way that they present themselves. If your spouse has a sister who has an intolerable personality it can be very difficult to decide how to interact with these individuals. As a couple it is essential that you protect your marital relationship. I have heard many stories of narcissistic in-laws who made the lives of the other families very uncomfortable and awkward. If you are recently married it can be challenging to mention that you husband’s sister is constantly snipping at you, gossiping about you to her friends and family members and treating you coldly when not in public. Many family members will believe the in-law if she is charming and highly convincing. This in-law is often jealous of you. She doesn’t not want you to be a member of the family and lays the groundwork for gossiping about you, telling lies about your family background and using other forms of damaging your character. All of these claims on based on lies and vindictiveness. You and your spouse must join together to resolve this problem. The narcissistic in-law is not going to change. Ask you spouse to read the research you have studied on the narcissistic personality. Work as a team. In the beginning it may be difficult for the sibling of the narcissist to acknowledge that she is highly disturbed and causing psychological pain and deep strains and unhappiness in the family. Make sure your spouse is on your side. If the spouse is on your side and highly involved in helping you, your relationship is solid. There is no point to telling your narcissistic relative that he or she has a serious personality disorder. This will simply get the narcissist’s back up and can bring some sympathy to this person in the role of vicitm.
Minimize all contact with the narcissistic in-law. The less contact you have with this person’s toxic projections, the better Discuss strategies with your spouse. Make sure that this person understands the seriousness of this disorder. Do not be concerned if other family members do not understand. In many cases they will wonder why you are not spending more time with this in-law. keep your own counsel and follow what is best for you and your immediate family. Study the narcissistic personality in-depth. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life