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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife, mother of my 2 small children (2 and 3), absolutely hates my mother especially, but also most of my family and friends, whilst of course she and her family are all perfect.

We live a long way from our families, so they only come to visit for short times, during which she is so awful to them I am totally embarrassed and feel a great deal of anger and hate towards her. I just brush it off and ignore the stupid comments, but as visits goes by each time it is getting worse and worse and more and more blatant.

I know I should tell her it is unacceptable, but I have tried that, and the fact that it bothers me made her see that it was working and she started being even worse. She said we should get a divorce, but I don't want to miss my kids growing up, they are the light of my life. Every little thing that is wrong with the kids is my mothers fault, and every conversation or argument we have ends with a barrage of abuse towards my mother. She is by no means perfect either and gives a lot of ammunition to my wife, but my wife's behavior is just way over the top.

It stresses me out so much that I am writing this. It tears me apart, I hate the stress she causes, and I hate her when she is doing it and for a while afterwards, and whilst I am a very restrained person, one day I feel like I will lose it and shout like a crazy man, but she will enjoy that I'm sure. I can't see a way out of this myself. Any suggestions?
 

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Dave, welcome to the TAM forum. It would be helpful if you would provide additional details. How long have you been married and how far into the marriage did your W's abusive behavior begin? Does she periodically throw temper tantrums around you or verbally abuse you or, rather, is the abuse focused only on your friends and family? Finally, why have you not sought counseling?
 

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Why does she not like your mother, your family or your friends? What is her game?

Is she, in fact, playing a game? Or is she so insanely jealous that she hates anyone with a relationship with you? If the latter, just wait 'til she starts seeing your children as rivals for your attention. Wait 'til she starts hating on your children. As she well might...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for your replies.

We have been married for 10 years this year. She has always had a problem with my family, but it has gradually developed from being a small annoyance and a bit of moaning, to total hatred and abuse directed towards me but not about me, focused mostly on my mother, since we had kids. I think it became even worse last March when her mum (who I got on very well with) passed away.

I've never really thought about counselling until now, but the experience recently, where she openly admits that she is trying her best to cut my side of the family out of our lives altogether, has led me to turn to help forums like this. Any suggestions as to how I can address this would be very welcome.
 

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What your wife is doing is a form of emotional abuse.

By cutting out your entire family and all your friends she isolates you. It gives her tremendous control over you. The more she cuts people out of your life, the more harsh and abusive she will become of you.

If you do divorce you will not lose your children. You can fight for at least 50% custody. This will be good because then your family can be involved in their life as much as you want during your times with your children. Plus you can have influence on your children without your wife's negativity tainting it.
 

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Good comments so far. Also why do you visit a parent that cannot treat YOUR family with respect ? I choose not to socialize with those who treat any member of my family poorly. This is your family now. This is your priority. If your mother cannot treat your wife with respect she no longer has a place in your life. If your mother treats your wife with respect and your wife cannot respect your mother, you seriously need to evaluate your marriage. However this starts with your mother! Law down the law. You are an adult, act like it.
 

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I have a hard time believing we're getting the whole story here. Friction between MIL and DIL is not unusual, and usually takes the form of boundary stomps from the MIL. What does your wife complain about? Has your wife requested boundaries from your family that you don't help her enforce?
 

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Hmm I think two things are going on, your wife has problems and you need to set some good boundaries about how she must deal with your family and you and how she treats people.
Remind her that she will be an inlaw one day.

That said you said your mother provides the ammunition. If that's so you need to stand up for your wife too and let your mother know that her behaviour is unacceptable too.

Is there a chance you guys could go to counseling?
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I need to go to bed, but I wanted to add that your title rubs me the wrong way. I read another board that has a lot of information and stories about inlaw problems. I don't see what you having kids has anything to do with your wife liking your mom...unless your mom became a lot more interested in your family after you had kids. If this is the case, you should be siding with your wife, not your mom. Google "baby rabies". Common signs of baby rabies: telling the parents how to raise the kid, grabbing the kid without consent of the parents, suddenly showing interest in people that were not interesting before they had babies, being annoying during birth, showing up right after the birth to "help" but not actually being helpful, commandeering baby showers, etc etc.
 

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I need to go to bed, but I wanted to add that your title rubs me the wrong way. I read another board that has a lot of information and stories about inlaw problems. I don't see what you having kids has anything to do with your wife liking your mom...unless your mom became a lot more interested in your family after you had kids. If this is the case, you should be siding with your wife, not your mom. Google "baby rabies". Common signs of baby rabies: telling the parents how to raise the kid, grabbing the kid without consent of the parents, suddenly showing interest in people that were not interesting before they had babies, being annoying during birth, showing up right after the birth to "help" but not actually being helpful, commandeering baby showers, etc etc.
One of the major things that I noticed in his OP is that she hates most of his friends and family. And they see the family seldom. So it's not like they are interferring on a regular basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thank you all for your replies, it really does help a lot.

EleGirl I think you are right in both posts. We do see family seldom and they really don't interfere much at all with regards to the kids, they are scared to, and when they do visit my wife makes it very uncomfortable for everyone and demands they leave ASAP. Perhaps separation would help.

Ostmeal - sorry for the poor title, it didn't tell the whole story, perhaps should have read "Re: Difficult situation: Wife hates mother but because we have kids and live a long way from family and friends a divorce doesn't seem to solve anything"

In terms of the MIL, after a bit of googling I've come to the conclusion that they both have heavily narcissistic personalties, but show different traits of that. I guess that is the problem, there can be only 1 'most important person' - my wife uses this phrase a lot when ranting about other people she dislikes.

LittleDeer - I think you are right. I have tried to set boundaries and tell her she is out of order, but she totally ignores any boundaries I set as for her there are no consequences.
 

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She brought up the D word? Hell I would go through with the D unless she has a change of heart once she realises she can't flaunt that word around unless she means it and if she meant it then fk it, not going to waste my time. But that's just me. That's regardless of this issue but that's just me. Certain words are triggers for me, which my wife found out recently.

Personally I would seek legal advise right now so you know where you stand and your future with your kids so you can make more solid decisions.
 

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That's not good, chances are she'll be playing the D card more often now considering she's already gotten her way with it as it seems to make you fold. Instead of folding next time call her bluff and if it's not a bluff at least then you know where you stand.

Sorry... poker player here :p

Regardless when you are threatened with divorce you need to seek legal advise for peace of mind so you can weigh up your decisions better when you have a basic idea of what may/will happen if you do A or B. Right now it seems that you don't have a clue.
 

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Can you give examples of the worst things that you friends and family do that she objects to?
 

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Thank you all for your replies, it really does help a lot.

EleGirl I think you are right in both posts. We do see family seldom and they really don't interfere much at all with regards to the kids, they are scared to, and when they do visit my wife makes it very uncomfortable for everyone and demands they leave ASAP. Perhaps separation would help.

Ostmeal - sorry for the poor title, it didn't tell the whole story, perhaps should have read "Re: Difficult situation: Wife hates mother but because we have kids and live a long way from family and friends a divorce doesn't seem to solve anything"

In terms of the MIL, after a bit of googling I've come to the conclusion that they both have heavily narcissistic personalties, but show different traits of that. I guess that is the problem, there can be only 1 'most important person' - my wife uses this phrase a lot when ranting about other people she dislikes.

LittleDeer - I think you are right. I have tried to set boundaries and tell her she is out of order, but she totally ignores any boundaries I set as for her there are no consequences.
Dude, you didn't answer any of my questions. What is the situation like when your mother visits? Are you doing your due diligence to protect your wife? She clearly doesn't like your Mom, so why are you inviting your Mom to your/DW's house? Does Mom stay with you or in a hotel? Does your wife have boundaries that she has tried to enforce with your Mom, and what are those boundaries?

You are describing a situation where you invite someone to your house that your spouse doesn't like and then enforcing boundaries on your spouse. Need much more information to think that what you're doing is a reasonable thing, because your spouse should be first in your life.
 
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