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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Outside Influence: His Mom

Advice for Outside Influence: His Mom

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and
must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from
your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos, Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 18, 2000

S1

Well- maybe you should stop talking to him about it. It seems to me that he is provoking you. Ignore it completely. If he says anything, tell him " I will talk to you when you are being at least 30 years old." It worked for me. Also, plan a few evenings at a book store, by yourself. Have him watch your daughter, and make some time for yourself. Go to Barnes and Nobles and read that book on boundaries that Dr. Irene suggests. Good Luck Laura

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 19, 2000

S1

I think Mom is afraid of losing her son. I think although she has a new husband who is kind, she can't break the abuse cycle completely from her first marriage and is working through her son. I'm sure she doesn't realize what she is doing. She probably is afraid of losing her son. HOWEVER, I would not tolerate the bad behavior. I would just ignore the things that she does that are wrong and consider the source. As far as your children are concerned I would explain that grandma means well, and she loves their dad, but she does not live here, so she doesn't really know what's going on. Live your life doing what is normal and not what he expects you to do. You have a life too and it is no less important than anyone else. I would make it clear that although you realize your husband loves his mother, his first obligation is to you and the children. I'd tell him to make a choice. Treat her like a mother, not a wife...otherwise it's over. Stand firm. J.B. 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2000

S1

I had the same problem. My mother-in-law was in my house and accusing me of being the cause of my husbands problems. She got verbally abusive. Then I realized, "Hey this is MY house and she can't treat me like this!" I threw her out and told her not to come back! When she wouldn't leave, at first, I threatened to call the police to have her escorted off the property! My husband was horrified! He called his sister's house and spoke to her husband (whom my husband respects). He responded, "Good for her!" I know this sounds drastic, but when her interference continued, we moved 750 miles away! What a bonus for our marriage! You have to protect your kids!!! I have 5 myself and don't want them turning out the way my husband did. Do what you have to in protecting them. You chose to have them and they don't have the choice to stay or leave. Only you can do that! I would basically say that if he won't tell her to back off, then I would take the kids and leave until he is willing! Good luck!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2000

S1

Don't do what I did. I weaseled out and let my b/friend continue to run to mommy all the time. Whether it was problems with his ex-wife, with me, tattling that either of us did something he didn't like, whining that he got a boo-boo or was sick or when something good happened, she always had to be in his schedule 3 days per week. I completely stopped going around her. She's hateful. This is a very small town and she knows a lot of people and does a lot of gossiping. I used to see her weekly with her son, but one day her "best friend" left the table and "mom" shredded her with gossip, I couldn't take it anymore. She lays guilt on my b/friend all the time if he doesn't go to see her, she plays favorites with her grandchildren and my b/friend's kids are the bottom of her list. For years he wouldn't have anything to do with her because of this, but he needed her support with the divorce and has been around her again since he's known me. I went to her with help when I discovered our problems were verbal abuse. She didn't believe it because her son was so wonderful. I went to her to get help with his drinking because she hates it just as much as me....but when I needed her to stop treating him like a baby about it and let him know it's not okay to be drunk all the time, she said it's none of her business. She makes it her business when she wants to, just not when I need her to. He kicked me across his room one night, I called 911 from his house and got one ring in before he unplugged the phone. Her being the busy body she is, has a police scanner at her house and the next day when she saw me, asked why the police were dispatched to his house. I told her and she blamed me for being there when he was drinking! UGH! That was the last time I saw her and will never go back around. Her marriage is the pits. Her husband is on the internet all day and his kids suspect he's had affairs. Those two don't talk to each other much except when they have to and no one else is around. I really think "mom" needs a man in her life, her husband doesn't want her and her oldest son doesn't go around unless he wants something so that leaves my b/friend. The only one who never got a backbone and a life of his own. He is 36 and it's pathetic how he seems to still be trying to get her approval. He was neglected and abused as a child so it's no wonder he's so messed up. She was the root of the problems in my opinion and adds to it weekly telling him everything he wants to hear so he'll still come around her. I stopped going around her and have told him if he goes around her, don't come near me because he comes out hateful. I'm not a biblical scholar, but isn't it in the bible that a man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home (when marrying)? Makes ya wonder if wives have had this problem since way back!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2000

S1

You have a toxic mother-in-law. Your hubby left home physically but never emotionally He and only he can cut the imbilical cord. There are to many people in your marriage...when there should be only two...the hubby and the wiffy. Mama's boys make marriage rough. I'd give him an untilmatum....he either puts you first or I'd send him back to mommie. He's 32 with 5 kids....he's long over due for needing to growing up. Good luck.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 21, 2000

S1

Dear Katje,

I'm sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. After a failed marriage, in large part to the interference of mother-in-law (I could not take it the way you have), I definitely have experience in this area. I agree with Dr. Irene that he has to be the one to tell his mother to butt out, and it doesn't sound hopeful. However, is there any possible way you and your husband can move away. As in, a thousand miles away. I know a lot of times this isn't possible, but in my unprofessional opinion, she is not going to change her ways. I've found enablers to be as sick as their abusers. Good luck, you deserve the best.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 21, 2000

S1

Dear Katje,

Yes, my second mother-in-law was like yours. I set the boundary with my ex and my M-in-law (although I didn't know that at the time). He made his choice, and when I finally left, with two children, he went home to Mom. She shortly threw him out! All of his subsequent relationships (30 years worth) have been disasters too. That should tell you something!

Yes, you can insist that he stop the triangulation. The problem is that before you set a boundary, you must also decide on the consequences of the boundary violation, that is, what you are going to do if he ignores your demand for an end to the triangulation. If there is no consequence that really affects him, he will not be motivated to change. Make a list of all the tactics that you have used to try to get him to comply with your reasonable expectations, like nagging, pleading, threatening, etc., and KNOW that they haven't worked and WON'T work. Then come up with a consequence that WILL get his attention. (PLEASE read (or re-read) a book about boundaries first so that you understand all the principles involved. That ONE thing made all the difference this time around! NO, we haven't saved our marriage yet, but our separation is a total success, and that's not easy!!!

Your boundary statement: "I will no longer tolerate your mother's interference in our marriage." (Your boundaries are about what YOU will tolerate not about what HE must do.) Your request of him: "Since she has proved that she will not stop meddling just because I ask her to, I want you to ask her to stop meddling, too." You may have to explain what you mean by meddling, and he may not see eye to eye with you. But... This puts him in the position of having to state, by his actions, in a very meaningful way, whether he is going to be loyal to you or to his mother. The consequence: "If you can do this, it will give me a reason to hope that our marriage can be saved. If you cannot do this, I will know what your priorities are, and I will take appropriate action. I will not be 'second- best woman' in this marriage." This is not a promise that you are making to him. This is a promise that you are making to yourself and to the children to whom you are responsible.

Quite honestly, your only other course of action is to let it go on just as it is. If you do that, know that your boys will probably learn to be abusers, and your girls will be the next generation of victims, because YOUR choices have consequences too.

Perhaps you would get something out of MY story. http://drirene.com/what.htm Please pay particular attention to the quotation Dr. Irene chose for the top of that page.

Hugs, "Michelle"

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 21, 2000

S1

Dear Katje,

I'm not sure about "insisting" on anything. I value my breath more than that, if you know what I mean. You could start with, "I don't think your mother should be interacting in our lives so much..." but I don't think you will gain much ground.

I have come to find that avoiding people who hurt me is very effective. The longer I go without being verbally abused, the stronger I become. The stronger I become, the more the abuser(s) realize my "unspoken" intolerances.

People will violate you only if you let them. People can only treat you the way you allow them to treat you. And when month after month, year after year goes by, and she (his mother) has not been able to "abuse you", she'll go looking for another victim elsewhere.

Keep your children from her also, Obviously she thinks nothing of abusing your son. And don't use the excuse that you want your son to "know his grandmother". You don't want your child to be exposed to bad kids, and bad adults are no exception. She should NOT be exempt from the list of "no-no's" just because she's your husbands mother.

I think you should put your foot down, like Dr. Irene suggested, but with yourself. You cannot force your husband to stop a relationship with anyone. YOU need to stop the triangulation, by withdrawing from YOUR relationship from HER. This means, no phone calls, no afternoon teas, nothing. Live your life as if she does not exist. You did not marry her, and when it comes to spouses parents, marriage is not a package deal. It would be wonderful if we could all have terrific loving relationships with our in-laws, but that is not always the case. Not with your situation, or with mine.

What is important here is YOU and YOUR DIGNITY. As you regain that, your husband will either get right or get out. Either way, it gets his mother out of your hair, and that's really the ultimate goal(among other things of course). GOD never wanted it that way, anyway, (see Genesis 2:24).

My love to you and your family, Stacey

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 21, 2000

S1

Dear Katje, I am a 43 year old woman that was in a marriage that was not unlike how you describe yours. His mother enabled his drinking, he worked for his mother, we lived two blocks from his mother. Art was verbally abusive and dismissive and emotionally cold and ungiving. Please think carefully about your choices and consider counseling. When I finally had enough he abandoned me and the children. I also was only 15 pounds overweight but have since developed an eating disorder and am over 100 lbs over my weight, as well as severely depressed. I have only now started to deal with the issues and emotional garbage that came from this, please seek help now not later. Kelley

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 21, 2000

S1

Dear Katje, First, I reckon you should call him "Rex"(short for Oedipus). His old bag mother is giving him a mandate to abuse you and she obviously gets some weird pleasure in causing trouble in your marriage.And he has her seal of approval to behaveas he wants toward you. Her son is tied to her apron strings and it looks like he regards what she thinks and directs as more important than what you think.Not to mention how you as a person ,feels.In other words, she is who he listens to.It seems to me that you have 6 children and not 5.You dont need another child masquerading as a husband.My mother-in-law lived with us for 9 months(would NOT move out)and interfered with my marriage,so one day I got her aside and told her in no uncertain terms to butt out and get out.I hope that you find some comfort in the future.remember, you only are here for a short while and it is quality time .Dont take anymore of this immature rubbish from Rex.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2000

S1

there is

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 24, 2000

S1

Dear Katje, my heart truly goes out to you....I too, am married to an abuser and he too runs to his mama for support. I understand exactly how you feel. Last week I finally gave in to his repeated requests for me to leave.....this really caught him off-guard, and he quickly changed his mind. Never-the-less, I held firm to my decision (sort of) I have yet to physically leave, but I have completely seperated myself emotionally. I told him HE really needs help - I cannot be part of his recovery. Tammy

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 24, 2000

S1

PS from Tammy - Katje, isn't it weird how all abusers carry the same traits? If his mom was out of the pix, you can be sure he would find another person to take her place. You know you are in the right here and I strongly recommend your finding a support system of your own. You cannot "change" him, but you can certainly find support and healing for yourself. Be strong and be wise, it's the least you can do for yourself and your off-spring. Best wishes for YOUR success!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 28, 2000

S1

Katje,

Join the club! My mother-in-law thinks that I'm the demon spawn from hell, due to what my husband (her son) tells her. He's he only child, and she thinks that he can do no wrong. She too has a very nasty, abusive temper, so it's obvious where he gets his inappropriate rage from (and that's an understatement). I tried to nicely speak with my mother-in-law a few times, because she told me, prior to our marriage, that if her son ever hurt me, she wanted to know about it. Well, I found out what a bunch of malarkey that was the first time I tried to tell her about the verbal abuse. My advice? Tell this woman nothing about your marriage. Nothing at all. If you do, it will only be like beating your head against a wall. If she makes inappropriate comments to your children, however, make sure that you call her on it immediately, and that both she - and your children - know that what she said is an inaccurate picture of what's going on between you and your husband. If she keeps bringing it up, simply say, very pleasantly, "I don't wish to discuss it, if you don't mind." And if she keeps on, keep repeating, "I don't wish to discuss it," in a polite tone of voice until she gets the hint.

But most importantly, stick to your boundaries! Make rules and live by them. If you falter and slip into engaging with her only once, she will sense that you are weak and will continue to butt in where she does not belong. You must remain consistent, and she'll eventually get the message from you, since your husband is not doing anything about this.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2000

S1

Wow!! That sounds just like what my sister has been going through. Only she has been battling multiple triangulations of enablers. His Boss and his wife and all the staff at the 'Christian' School he teaches at, as well as the Church they were both attending. All have told her repeatedly to; 'be a better, more perfect, wife.' Absolutely none of them will even consider that he is an abuser. Her only relief has been to leave. She has sought Shelter and Counseling consistantly, and is getting better, slowly but surely. He is aboslutely mystified when the Counselor(s) tell him she is right and he is wrong. All he can do is try to figure out why the Counselor is infit. Unfortunately, he will not get help or change, at least until ALL of the above stop supporting him.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

S1

I have a mother-in-law who is pretty bad too. She triangulates too. I tried getting her to help me get my husband help for his alcoholism eating disorder and chasing women. I also talked to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law about it too for help. My mother-in-law only enabled my husband behind my back telling him I don't know what I'm talking about. Meanwhile she talks bad about me to my brother and sister in law, and then talks bad about them to my husband and myself. Finally my sister-in-law had enough of it and shared all the unflattering things she said about me and I did too. All hell broke lose. My mother-in-law came after me for betraying her confidence and turned my "mommas boy" husband against me to protect her. Eventually I left my husband and he "woke up" and quit drinking and chasing women. He sees now he has problems but won't admit his problems to her so she continues to call me a liar. I don't care anymore. They can move in together if he doesn't want to be at my side. I'm prepared to leave if he cannot get his priorities straight and take care of us before his mom's feelings. Sincerely, Lori