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My mother in law has been nothing but hateful towards me. At first she would be sneaky about it, but after a while I think she realized my husband, her son, wouldn't do anything, so she started to show it and call me horrible names, mock me at the table, make fun of my family, the list goes on and on. The whole time my husband kept telling me that I was being too sensitive. I finally got TIRED of going along with it and he decided he wasn't happy and wanted therapy. I was asked to go along and the whole session blew up in my husband's face. It turned out his family and his attitude was the problem. SURPRISE. He said he was a narcissist as was his mother. They are exactly the same and he is her favorite child. We went to several sessions and we still haven't resolved anything. I saw a therapist on my own and my therapist suggested I leave him. Our therapist first asked if we wanted to end our relationship. I think she knew his personality is difficult and will always be problematic. My husband refuses to work on making things better even though he says he is making big headway, I'm not seeing it and I'm not satisfied. The therapist suggested I never see his family ever again and I've been sort of cut off, but my mother in law is still sneaky enough to send cards and notes to MY parents so she doesn't look like the monster that she is. My dad isn't fooled, but my mother is fooled by her as was I. I don't know what to do. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I've dedicated my whole adult life to my husband. I trusted him and he's controlled me, right down to what medicines I should take, where I should go, how long I should be gone, even how long I should be in the bathroom! He's lightened up a bit, but I'm so angry and I feel betrayed and I can't believe my husband still supports his mother! He will never be a real husband to me, he will always be his mother's boy. I'm so completely heartbroken, but I'm trying to trust again and not be so angry, but we aren't as loving as we should be or as we were in the past. The worst part is when I got shingles (from mother in law) and I had to take a narcotic to control the pain and she called me a drug addict. My husband heard it and said nothing. He actually defended her saying she didn't realize that it was that painful. The shingles was on my head and I'm having post herptic pain now, probably from stress from mother in law and husband. How do I mend this relationship? I told my husband that I felt completely betrayed, heartbroken and that my therapist told me to leave him. He was shocked, sort of, but when I told him about his personality trait, he understood my feelings, but is still unwilling to do anything about anything because he's stubborn and he doesn't want his family to hate him. That would be the worst thing in the world to happen to him. I don't want to make a mistake by separating or heading to divorce and he doesn't want to divorce. Can this marriage be saved? I feel like not enough is being done... or is enough being done? I'm in limbo, but he seems content. He visits his parents when I see mine because they live fairly close by each other. Luckily, they do not socialize with each other, my parents do not match the social standards or education that my mother in law requires. She's a snob, a crab and wants to be the center of attention. Help, anyone? Thank you, J.J.J.
 

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JJJ --I encourage you to edit your post to break it up into shorter paragraphs. It's hard to read one LONG paragraph.

Also -- please ask one of the mods to move this post to considering divorce or separation. You're not at the point where you are considering reconciliation.

Here's my take on your situation --

First, I do see some positives. You are in therapy, you and your H are in counseling, and your H says that he thinks the therapy is helping. You may not be seeing any difference in your H, but if he thinks it is helping him please be supportive.

What about the negative signs?
Obviously, your H's relationship with MIL is a big issue. There is a guy named John Gottman who does research on what makes marriages work. (One of his books is the Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work.) One of the things that his team has found is that every marriage has some conflicts to which there is not a solution. Based on what you've said it seems like the triangle of H, you and MIL is one of these situations. Your H has a strong relationship with his mom and he has made it clear he will not revoke that link. You feel that your H's relationship with his mom is abnormally strong and that she is a toxic presence in your life. These two viewpoints are deeply held -- and no amount of talk will make your H decide that he should step back from his mom, and no amount of conversation will make you decide that you should spend time with MIL. That doesn't mean that your marriage is necessarily doomed, but it does mean that you need to think about what your boundaries are and then lay them out with your H.
You may decide that you see that your H values his mom and will choose to spend time with her, but also decide that you do not want to spend time with MIL except at major holidays or that while you don't mind if your H is with your MIL, you need him to spend some time with you (date night or whatever) and ask him to promise not to bring up his MIL during those conversations. If you can get your MIL to no longer be a source of conflict (because you and your H work out a set of rules that you'll both follow) then you can work on the other BIG issues in your marriage.

It seems like you've got to work with your therapist about why you are willing to let your H regulate so much of your behavior. Deciding how long you are in the bathroom? Really? And this has been going on for years? You need to talk about these issues with someone who can help you set clear boundaries.
 
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