Mother-in-Law with borderline personality disorder?
Gidge Asked: Mother-in-Law with borderline personality disorder?
I'm fairly certain that my soon-to-be mother-in-law has Borderline Personality disorder.(I have studied psychology both as a grad and undergrad student, but can't offer a real diagnosis without the MMPI-2.)I'm studying forensic psychology so I get diagnosing and labeling, but not how to treat.I certainly do not know how to deal with a future mother-in-law who has it.
I could go on for days citing examples.Essentially she always has to be the center of attention, and when she isn't she gets upset.She feels she needs to be included in everything, and if she isn't, she acts out.She has this pervasive fear of losing people closest to her, usually without merit.
Here are most recent arguments.
My godmother/ aunt died 4 days before Christmas.Since I knew my MIL would cause drama if I did not pay her much attention, I said I thought it would be best if she didn't attend the funeral because there were already going to be 100+ at the luncheon alone and we were hosting out of town family at our house.Plus they live an hour away and didn't know her.She got upset and said I hurt her in a way she can never get over.She then, in an argument said, "How would you like it if I had a Christmas party and didn't invite you?".I lost my temper (my Aunt had died that morning), and said "Its not … Christmas, it's a G D funeral."You can fill in the blanks.I let it go until she called Christmas Eve and said she wasn't coming to dinner because I hurt her in a way she can never get over.My fiance said "Well that is your choice".They came anyway.She wanted him to beg, and I'm glad that he did not.
Two weeks later his dad as coming down to help with plumbing in our house.We did not invite her because we had no idea how long the project was going to take and she needed to be somewhere in the afternoon.That morning she told his dad that we called and said we didn't need him, and not to come.We never said that.And if that was the case, we would have called his father directly.His dad came down, late, and we wound up spending the rest of the day fighting.We literally spent 9 hours on the phone back and forth.She felt slighted so she started arguments.She even said he needed to rethink marrying me because he had changed since we have been together.He has, he got a job, bought a house, etc.He is an adult.This was the first week of January.
We used to involve them in a lot of things but her behaviors got too far out of control that my mental health was suffering.I even contemplated anxiety medication to deal with her.My fiance and I don't fight… except about her.He understands when she is "acting out" and tires to deal with her accordingly.However, the minute she starts to "behave" its almost as if he forgets about her bad behavior.He gets upset and says I need to be more forgiving.It's not about forgiving to me, its about being afraid of her flipping out on me for no reason.Another quick example; when she learned that my mom has 9 brothers and sisters, so my family will have more guests at the wedding, she blew a gasket and said that she should be allowed the same number of invitations and started inviting neighbors cousins and the like.
I just don't know what to do moving forward.I know he is "the one".Our premarital test scores show that we are highly comparable and the only issue that comes up (other than worries about money and paying for the wedding) is his mom.How do I move forward with him, without being abused by her?
Sadly, it is normal for mother-in-laws and their son's wives to fight.It is also normal for the mother to feel some sense of loss over losing the attention of her son to a new woman.Hopefully if she realizes that her son is happy with you she will come around.I do know that what won't be helpful in any case is for you to take a confrontational attitude with her- be both polite and firm- do not let her push you around, but do not go out of your way to insult her to her face.That way, it will be more difficult for her to paint you as the bad guy (or rather, gal) when you cannot give her her way.
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