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Posted by: Mother's Day woes ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 11:24PM

When I left the cult, I promised myself that I wouldn't allow anyone to abuse me, ever again. I guess this is a promise that no one can keep, and live in any kind of family or social group.

We are all ex-Mormons. My ex-Mormon DIL is nasty, by disposition, and has a huge chip on her shoulder. She has a bad track record of 5 marriages, having lived with several men out of wedlock, and having an estranged relationship with her gangster daughter (by another marriage). She especially hates me and my family. She has been married to my son for 4 years (no kids), and she has spent him into debt. She has a gambling problem.

It hurts me to see this horrible woman abuse my son, her husband. he complains to me about her, but won't end the relationship, because he's stubborn and refuses to get divorced like his father did. She calls the shots in their marriage, and my son hosts her family and friends every weekend, at their house, feeding them food and alcohol, until they pass out. Yet, she never comes to any of our family parties. She came with my son at Christmas, and pointed to her watch and scowled at my son, until they left early. The thing is, we had cleared this time with everyone in advance, to be sure it was convenient for them. I have given her and my son furniture and money for their house, and have treated all my children equally. My sweet family members have gone out of their way to ignore this DIL's past, and to be friendly and welcoming to her, but she treats us like dirt. She is so critical and nasty that she hurts their feelings and ruins their fun.

How can I uphold my policy of no more abuse for me or my family? Should we continue to be nice and PRETEND that my son is happy with her, and let everything slide? Or, should we call her on her crap, and tell her that her abuse, drama, tantrums, and silent-treatments are unacceptable?

I need advice!

She ignores me on Mother's Day, in a very in-your-face way. Should I give her a gift on her birthday next week, as I always do? Or, should I take a stand. I feel that how I handle this person might set a precedent on how my family handles abusers in the future. I've been luck that my children and grandchildren are all good souls. I have no experience.

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Posted by: carameldreams ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 11:43PM

I'm so sorry. My kids aren't old enough for romantic relationships and I just cannot even imagine what it is like to raise a child and watch as they CHOOSE someone who treats them like crap.

It must hurt like hell.

I don't care about the marriages or 'out of wedlock' or drinking.

These issues are really tough because you have a 3rd party situation (her) but you are also the 3rd party as you listen to your son's complaints. You are causing discord (I know, it's unbelievable but try to see it) and who knows what peace could come about if you bowed out of your part as a troublemaker?

Not sure about clearing your schedule for an abuser and someone who treats you and your own like dirt? Why do that?

Genuinely, why do that? There's nothing to let 'slide' if you don't set it up to fail in the first place.

If you tell her that her 'abuse, drama, tantrums, and silent-treatments are unacceptable' - what do you really hope to accomplish? Those terms put ANY HUMAN on the defense.

What does 'unacceptable' even mean? That you will give her 'silent-treatment'?

These games are stupid. Sorry, but you label some as 'good souls' and others are 'abusers'.

Why do you engage with 'abusers'? Have you asked yourself that?

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Posted by: Anon 3 ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 12:49AM

Your son is divorcing. You probably went thru parental coursework.
Its really good if youcan get a restraining order on her. Pictures of house in delapidTes housing.

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Posted by: nevermojohn ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 11:50PM

What you put up with you encourage.

Quit walking on eggshells. You would not put up with this behavior if she was someone other than your daughter in law. So why are you putting up with it now? You complain that she doesn't come to your family events. I personally would be thankful. I also would not waste my time being abused in her presence.

Call her on her behavior. Do not let her abuse you or others in your presence. Empower other family members to stand up to her. She will stop the behavior or avoid you. Bullies are cowards.

Your son will have to make his own decisions. Perhaps by modeling that you will not accept abuse, he might learn by example.

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Posted by: Mother's Day Woes ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 12:01AM

Thanks for some good advice!

The only reason I mentioned her past, is 1) to demonstrate that this DIL is not likely to change her lifetime habits, and 2) that my son knew what he was getting into.

Seriously--it's a completely new concept that I am not bound by any law to include ALL of my family in our get-togethers.

One daughter admitted she was relieved the DIL did not show up on Mother's Day, because the DIL always gives my daughter a hard time about her children (who are great, normal, active kids.)

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Posted by: nevermojohn ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 12:25AM

You do not need to accept abuse in person or online.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 06:26AM

Ditto this.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 06:37AM


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2018 06:38AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: OP ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 12:44AM

Right. Thanks, I don't have space to explain myself, or go into detail about my DIL. It's OK, because I know I remain neutral with my son, and just listen. My poor son has to vent.

I'm considering not being so neutral and passive; hence, this questioning post.

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Posted by: Elyse ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 01:20AM

Avoid her and distance yourself from their problems.

Life is too short to deal with such negativity.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 05:40AM

I would stop including her in family events. You don't want to see her and she doesn't want to see you. Make arrangements with your son separately. Try to maintain a good relationship with him, but don't let him talk about his problems with his marriage. Tell him, "That's for you to work out. I will support you in whatever you decide but I don't want to hear about it." Then change the subject.

Just send her a token card on her birthday. She's your DIL, not your kid. Given her track record, she will likely move on when she has bled your son dry.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 06:38AM

You've been given some sound advice already. Would like to add if you son is hosting dinner parties with enough alcohol to go around on a continuing basis so they and their guests drink until they pass out ... is a strong indicator of a drinking problem, possibly alcoholism. Your son's and DIL's behavior is enabling each other. They are in a co-dependent existence, that you are caught up in by default. You might want to check out a 12-step program for family members of alcoholics, to help you to detach with love. So you don't get further drawn into their toxic and unhealthy cycle. Your son has to come to terms with his own bad behavior and hers, before he can start to take responsibility for it. Gambling addictions can be as bad and destructive as alcoholism. Your son is her enabler for this bad behavior too.

It's painful being where you are as his mother, and unable to help except from a distance. You need to self-care so you can be healthy yourself. As someone else pointed out, he may be more influenced by your being a positive role model than anything else you can do right now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2018 06:51AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 06:48AM

I would add: since she goes out of her way to ignore you on Mother's Day ... does she honor her own mother? Does your son go out of his way to remember you? And does she ignore your birthday as well? If she is so tactless then no, you do not owe her a thing other than to be civil when in her company. And let it go at that. Your relationship is clearly more grounded with your son. She is very controlling of him, to the degree he tolerates it.

I have a hunch if/when he decides to sober up he may see her for what she really is: a controlling manipulative woman. But she knows how to draw men into her lair, which explains her track record. She burns through men.

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Posted by: Still Anon Lurker ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 08:31AM

The book 'Transform Your Boundaries' by Sarri Gilman has helped me in dealing with such relationships.

She also has a Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sarri+gilman+boundaries

I'm sorry for your pain. There are options and there is healing for those that are willing. It's a journey. Good wishes to you and your family.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 12:19PM

Don’t give her a birthday gift. If you do, you’re setting yourself up to be shat upon.

I have one stepdaughter— an ingrate who wouldn’t say *thank you* if you gave her Bradley Cooper.

I’ve learned to mind my own damn business.

Oh, and you may want to wonder if your darling boy complains about YOU to HER.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 04:42PM

OMG. I have almost the identical problem with one of my daughters-in-law. I know how you feel! All of my children and grandchildren are "people-pleasers", and this one DIL bullies everyone. She had us all walking on egg shells, for a couple of years. My DIL married my son for his money, and she and my son have even talked to me about my Will!

You can probably find my RFM post and the answers in a search under my name here. Look it up. The advice is really good!

I took some of the good advice, and we have learned how to cope! First, the one thing that will never change is your DIL. All the changes will come from you and your family.

First of all, I told my son and DIL that if they ever mentioned my Will again, that I would dis-inherit them, and leave everything to animal rescue. My finances are none of their business. My DIL is bleeding my son dry, and has no concept about managing money, so I have left my son's inheritance to him in Trust, for his own protection, when she moves on to her next "cash cow", and he has to retire.

Also, like some posters say here, a lot of the problem was my son's whining to me about how abusive his wife is. I had to separate myself from that. All I ever did was listen, but it was making me ill. I told him that if he got divorced or became bankrupt, his family and I would be there for him--but, in the meantime we didn't want to hear about or be involved in his sick marriage, in any way. Yeah, I was that blunt. I anticipate being blamed for everything, anyway, and I don't care.

That's another change I made. I stopped caring what this horrible, judgmental DIL says about us, and I advised my other family members to do the same. My DIL is one of those amateurs who go online and criticize restaurants and hotels, just for the pleasure of ripping on others.

I proudly stood up for one of my grandchildren, when DIL started ripping her apart, and I think that set a good example! No one should have to accept abuse! My DIL did not speak to me after that, and I did not see her for five months. But, that was actually a good thing. We all have a better time, without her drama and her pouting. She was so nasty the next time she came over, that we have stopped inviting her. We communicate our invitations by text, and we text my son separately, to simply inform him/them of the party, date, and time. We don't say, "We are hoping you and DIL will please come", or anything like that. My son usually drops by, alone, and we are relieved.

Let your DIL go.

My family gives DIL birthday/Christmas cards and/or token impersonal gifts, such as a gift card, because they are nice people. We have learned to not expect anything from DIL, so we aren't disappointed. I make a point to not talk about her, the same way that I don't like to talk about negative, unhappy things at a party. It's such a downer.

I'll bet your DIL is just as mean to her own parents and siblings, as she is to your family. Find out if she is (without gossiping). It would help you to know that it's nothing personal that YOU and your family has done.

Your DIL resents the power of your love and happiness, and your high standing in your family, and your son's devotion to you. She resents that your son talks to you. Regardless of what he talks about, he is communicating with you, and she doesn't like that.

Do not alter any of your good times or your happiness to suit her. My DIL used to text, "No, we're busy" to most invitations, and often my son would say she was "not feeling well." She would say we didn't give them enough advance notice, then she would say they "forgot," because it was so long ago. These were obvious, proven lies. All of us feel better when we refuse to be lied to. Like on poster suggests, don't set yourself up.

(A couple of months ago, we did discover that DIL was drunk on most weekends! Posters here on RFM suggested that, and I looked into it, and they were right!)

There's nothing I can do--short of dying and leaving her all of our money--that would please my DIL. I doubt you can please your DIL, either. So live, love, and be happy! Think of your other family members.

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Posted by: susieq ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 06:53PM

To stop abuse: cut off contact, set boundaries, stand firm.
Now find other things to do.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 02:57PM

I'm so sorry. I really felt your pain as I was reading this because it could have been my daughter you were talking about. And people like that just can't see that they have some pretty serious mental health issues. It's everyone else, everyone else is bad or crazy. They don't see that they're the common denominator in all family drama and where it all starts. They have a revolving door of men moving in and out but, of course, all the men are the ones with the problem. (yes, the problem that they can't live with her in-your-face personality and insatiable need to be up in everyone else's business).

I know that cutting ties is hard. But if you have dropped your belief in the "families are forever" crap and having to be families in an afterlife, etc., really think about what it means. To me is it really freeing to know, or at least believe stronger than I ever believed mormon nonsense, that there is no consciousness after death. Eternal life is what we leave behind that goes on. It makes me want to take much more advantage of and taste of all the good stuff. This is it. If we waste our whole lives trying to please someone who can't be pleased and trying to have someone in your life who doesn't want to be there, you are spending a lot of your time overlooking the good parts of life.

If there are no grandchildren involved in that relationship, it's even better. Maybe your son needs to see that he can't have a happiness in both arenas. He'd either need to pick where he wants to live out his life or confront her and tell her to pick. It should be him, not you. And your cutting ties and letting him know you're no longer setting yourself up to get kicked in the face can bring a lot of peace to you and maybe even peace to him.

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 09:47PM

Take a stand. I know i have to make indefinite stand against both my parents eventually, just have been afraid of a bad financial situation where i might need them.

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Posted by: Paintingnotloggedin ( )
Date: May 17, 2018 04:17AM

Do you think that the mormon church training has made your son vulberable?
How might youth priesthood or seminary have confused his approach regarding identifying or protecting his best interests or establishing some boundaries that protect him?
In what way is the mormon woman sets the standards in the home via l d s culture, pressure to keep temple recommend, etc taught in youth priesthood classes or socially be possibly impacting how you identify he is allowing himself to be constrained by his partners culture or choices now at this time <as you see it>?
Btw I don't know if this is typical or normal among all men on earth I really dont understand mens decsusions about householders and sexual relationships and food and drink or how they come to their decisions around the world, or how much it costs or what that looks like. I dont know what they want but I do know well they have something about essential human needs in common. And cultural expectations taught them roles responses within their respective life. Some people feel that young mormon men are or aren't taught to put the their mb needs first <there is huge disagreement on that>

However deferred personal needs to following standards young pr being exposed to a social culture where the male sacrifices personal needs deferred to social postures of religious dogmatic demands constraints socially in youth programs--- may have an impact on how they accept or continue to accept sacrifices suffering as side effects or expecting a social culture to be imposed by their "relief so iety" or extended family groupings *much like l d s did/does. (Again I dont know if this is typical amongst people world wide and only as ex mo we are sensitive and sickened by some family socially imposed financial sacrifices ? Or is a mormon man made dumb numbed down beaten down by commanded life roles until he accepts or expects some "tithe" in life. ?

Did he want to "join her family" or explore being in a tribe/clique or something now hes not in the l d s tribe or couwue or extended family & think this is what life costs?

How can you Express yourself yet maintain your closeness?

When Lds culture sloughs off some shared vocabulary remain, is politics, or sports team, or community service, or a race car team you're on, or ? What can it he? What shared vocabulary or core concepts do you share ? It sounded like you felt more conservative fiscally or in relationship sequencing right now than it appears your son or his wife (& him in selecting her initially, tho he may not have seen any kind of issue with 5 earlier dates or live ins or roommates or friends with benefits or polyamorous group sharing or temporary commitments sequentially, but you do. So there's a different valuing of sexuality or sequences of sexual engagement in relationship I hear in your post, and I do not know if it reflects different views, circumstantial generational views, mormon background experiences but there might be a difference in the way you guys value it establish value for sexual encountering...it might establish different vocabulary connotations when you communicate in conversations utilizing the same words or phrases, where you are wired with one idea feeling response (from your point of view/reference) and they have another one! You're response is skeptical /for instance, about potential partners experience- yet younger relatives respond is "great!"

How do you make this not about different wants a mind needs leading to choices/ can you think of a way to "devalue " "secularize" your input so it would have financial impact?

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Posted by: csuprovograd ( )
Date: May 17, 2018 08:50PM

Does poor DIL suffer from migraines by any chance?

There is a couple we are friends with who have had a relationship that sounds similar to your predicament.

She suffered regular bouts of migraine headaches. A year or so ago, she had an episode of seizures and blurred vision. She ended up in the hospital. An MRI revealed an apricot sized cyst in her brain.

They operated on her and relieved the pressure by draining the cyst.

Ever since the surgery, the meanness and lack of caring and contempt for others has diminished significantly, not to mention the migraines have disappeared as well.

She is a much more mellow and far less angry person.

I know it’s a huge long shot, but I figured I’d at least share this...something to suggest to your son perhaps.

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