Last Updated on August 15, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester
Pretty much every parent believes that no one is good enough for their daughter. That’s not to say you can’t have a cordial relationship with your son-in-law, but no one is good enough for your baby girl.
But what if he’s not just “not good enough” but is actually terrible for your daughter?
What if he’s a narcissist that is emotionally abusing your daughter and possibly grandkids?
What if he’s slowly destroying your relationship with your daughter? You’d want to do something, right? How to deal with a Narcissistic Son in Law?
Dealing with a narcissist is never easy, but when the narcissist is your son-in-law, the life-long partner of your daughter, things get a whole lot more complicated.
You can’t take any direct action; you can’t make a clean break from him without breaking off contact with your daughter.
There’s always the risk that anything you say or do will backfire, and push your daughter further away.
You’ll have to try a subtler approach that carefully examines the harm he’s doing to your daughter and your relationship with her.
You’ll need to know these things to form a plan for getting you, your daughter, and any grandkids away from your narcissistic son-in-law.
Do you have a Narcissist in the family?
Signs of a Narcissistic son-in-law
We all know what a narcissist looks like, right? Not necessarily. Some narcissists are the attention-seeking life of the party, but others glob on to just one person – your daughter in this case, extracting all of the attention and emotional support that he requires.
What’s important for these subtle narcissists is their control over someone.
They need to manipulate this person’s perception, providing the narcissist with the feelings of power needed to fill their emotional black hole.
There are several techniques that your son-in-law will use to control your daughter and grandkids that are surefire signs of narcissism. Still, the most common ones are triangulation, manipulation, and gaslighting.
Do you feel like your narcissistic son-in-law is pitting you against your daughter?
Maybe he tells you something hurtful that she’s said about you, hoping to get a recreation (that he can then use to hurt her).
This is triangulation in action, where a narcissist sows discord between two people so as to get attention from both of them.
An easy-to-understand example is when a narcissistic parent has two children and the parent treats one of them as if they can do no wrong and the other as if they can never do anything right.
Naturally, this causes the poorly treated child to resent the other, rather than the parent who is causing all of this tension.
Even the well-treated child comes to resent the other as they become uncomfortable with their own positive situation.
In the case of a son-in-law, you might not believe this strategy would work.
You obviously have much greater affection towards your own child than towards the son-in-law, but if he can control how close you and your daughter are, it gives him the same feelings of power through manipulative tactics.
Your narcissistic son-in-law is most likely a master manipulator. He knows just what to say and do to put your daughter off balance.
At least at the beginning of a relationship, many narcissists bombard their victim with love and affection, making the victim believe that the narcissist would never hurt them.
Later on, he might give backhanded compliments or say hurtful things, then when your daughter gets upset, say he was only joking.
The narcissist does these things because he wants to remain in control. When a narcissist is no longer able to manipulate their victim they lose control and panic.
Some fly into a narcissistic rage, saying anything they can to crush their victim.
Others turn to mutual friends and family, starting a smear campaign to turn others against their victim. Some just walk away, hoping it will force their victim to chase after them, groveling for forgiveness.
A narcissistic son-in-law might also try to manipulate you using similar tactics.
Though a more overt narcissist might even take you aside and tell you that they can force your daughter and grandkids to cut off contact with you.
It’s such blatantly cruel behavior that your daughter might not even believe you if you told her about the conversation – remember, he’s been crafting an idealized image of himself with her for a long time.
One of your worst feelings is questioning your perception of reality.
When you’re being gaslit, you don’t trust your senses and recollection and end up relying on others to recall everyday events. This provides a narcissist with immense power.
Narcissists frequently gaslight their victims by distorting the truth, telling people that situations unfolded in ways that make them look like the victim rather than the aggressor.
The narcissist makes these claims with such confidence that the people around them question whether they’re misremembering events.
Your narcissistic son-in-law may even use your age against you, causing you to think that your memory is slipping as time goes on.
Why do Narcissistic Son-in-Laws Keep our Daughter and Child Away from Us?
One of the most important things to understand about narcissists is that their behavior comes from a position of weakness.
They have very little ability to regulate their sense of self worth, needing constant affirmation of their superiority.
Isolated your daughter from other family members lets him control her perceptions. If she never speaks to her friends or family, they can’t tell her what a monster her husband is.
How to Deal with a Narcissistic Son in Law?
Most likely you can’t stand a single minute around your narcissistic son-in-law, but your adult child has chosen him.
If you want to spend any time with your daughter, you’ll need to learn how to spend time around him in a way that isn’t psychologically damaging for you and doesn’t give him ammunition to harm your relationship with your daughter.
Let Him Believe He’s Got the Upper Hand
This next piece of advice is hard to swallow – you need to let the narcissistic son-in-law feel like he’s winning at all times. You must let him feel in control of the situation.
This is incredibly counter-intuitive, you feel like you should do everything in your power to stop him from manipulating your daughter.
Unfortunately, you aren’t in a position to do that. Your daughter needs to see him for who he truly is and be ready to walk away from the relationship.
Until then, any efforts you make to reveal his narcissistic nature will be turned against you. Let him dig his own grave with her – she’ll eventually see his negative behavior for what it is.
Feed His Ego Occasionally
This one feels even worse than the last, but narcissists just want attention and admiration. If you can give that to them every once and a while by stroking their ego, your relationship with him will be better.
That’s not to say you need to fall into the same pattern with him that your daughter has, just give him a compliment every once and a while.
How Can You Support Your Daughter Who is Married to a Narcissist?
The sad fact is that you cannot intervene and separate your daughter from her narcissistic husband.
Unless she has already decided to walk away from this relationship, your intervention will undoubtedly backfire and she’ll probably cut off contact with you.
Instead, you need to take a support role, helping her make the right decisions, but only when she initiates them. These are just a few of the ways you can help your daughter through her journey of walking away from the narcissist.
Let Your Daughter and the Grandkids Initiate Contact
If you’re always calling your daughter or the grandkids, it makes your narcissistic son-in-law feel like he’s not in control. He feels like you’re intruding on his life and turning everyone against them.
He’ll use manipulation and triangulation to turn your daughter and the grandkids against you to regain his power.
A better option is to let your daughter and the grandkids know that they can call you anytime and that you’re always available to talk.
Your narcissistic son-in-law will have a more difficult time turning your daughter and grandkids against you when you’re not the one initiating contact.
Don’t “Enlighten” Her About Her Situation
Telling your daughter that she is with a narcissist and needs to get away is a surefire way to ruin your relationship with her.
If she’s not ready to see who he is and the damage he’s done with his narcissistic abuse, you telling her won’t do any good.
Narcissists do an excellent job at grooming their victims, intermittently showering them with love and making them feel that any negative behavior is the victim’s fault.
Telling her how terrible her partner is will most likely result in defensiveness. She might say things like “you don’t know him like she does” or blame herself for the son-in-law’s bad behavior.
Give Her Space to Share
Instead of telling her that she’s in a bad relationship and needs to get out, wait for her to share. She may be feeling unsure of her feelings, wondering how she got into a relationship with such an abusive person.
Validate her feelings and tell her that you will always be there for her when she wants to talk. Opening up about the abuse should help her come to her own conclusions about her narcissistic partner.
Help Her to Make a Plan
This is a plan for daughters that are thinking about exiting the relationship and are worried about staying safe.
If your narcissistic son-in-law senses that your daughter is leaving him, there’s a good chance he could enter a narcissistic rage. His ego is deeply bruised, and he’ll try to regain his reputation by hurting others.
Let your daughter know that she always has a safe place to stay with you. Explain how you can help her through any legal proceedings and what steps you’ll take to protect your grandkids, if you have any.
Be There for Her After a Discard
Your daughter is married to the narcissist, so there’s a certain level of commitment involved, but most narcissists will make some attempt to discard their partner when they’re no longer receiving the required level of narcissistic supply. Often this takes the form of cheating and emotional distancing, but he could also initiate a divorce.
If that happens, your daughter will either feel relieved or completely crushed. If it’s the former, help her to understand that narcissists frequently return to their discarded partners when they need a boost of supply.
In order to stay strong when he returns, she might need your support.
On the other hand, if she’s shattered by the discard, you’ll have to walk a tightrope in telling her it’s for the best without incurring the problems mentioned earlier of disparaging her narcissistic partner.
Getting the Narcissist Out of Your Life
Extricating your narcissistic son-in-law from your daughter’s life and yours will not be easy. There’s very little that you can do besides recognize his narcissistic tendencies and learn not to aggravate them.
That sounds like giving in to him, but ultimately, this relationship was your daughter’s choice and it’s very unlikely that you can sway her from that choice without incurring her anger and the narcissist’s.
She needs to come to her own conclusions about her husband and you can be supportive of her on that journey without interfering.
27 thoughts on “How to Deal with a Narcissistic Son in Law?”
I need advice on how to make my narsistic son in law leave ny daughter and grand kids I need him out of their life . He is rilly emotionally messing up my grand kids
Hi, I’m in the same boat here. He’s not even a son-in-law he’s convinced her that she doesn’t need to get married. I sent her cards he doesn’t have control over that I am with the one I called for him from time to time.
He hasn’t stopped us from taking mother-daughter trips from time to time I would recommend that to anybody that helps us keep our relationship intact. During that time I try not to speak of him. Believe me she does but I try not to. He has a daughter by previous relation ship and she’s turning out to be the same way they both look for a way to the little rivers around them.
Best of luck to you and everyone that reads these articles some comments for they have a loved one that they are losing to a narcissistic person and is looking for some kind of help to help their loved one.
I said the same thing many times, believing it would never happen and that my daughter would never wake up. She didn’t. He finally did one of his passive-aggressive stunts that made her irate. She did not feed his narcissism after that, so he soon walked out. I thought it was the best thing that could have happened. Maybe it was.
Once she filed for divorce shortly after that and worked out what she thought was a good plan for him to have the 3 boys on weekends, she was not in his line of fire. Sadly, his boys were left to experience his full emotional neglect, with him not even speaking to any of them most weekends. Nothing negative, just nothing at all! Meanwhile, our daughter went into major depression and even threatened to kill her sons, though we didn’t not know this for years when we heard if from the sons.
Shortly after the youngest entered high school, their father dropped dead, leaving them to deal with their mother’s abuse and their father’s neglect. There are no easy answers and no way to predict the outcomes, however things go. As parents, we can only do the best we can and wait for the children, who may begin coming to use eventually, having seen the light. That’s what our two older ones are doing now, at 25 and 22.
I need help my daughter is not seeing what he is she foes say she hates him he keep her away from all family the calls police on sister in law. When she brought a gift for her nieces she has Nat met from march 2020 what and how can I got my daughter to be family again
Its a horrible situation!!!! This goof has my daughter totally fooled…Latched on to her when she was vulnerable from another relationship break up…He love bombed hard and was so pushy…My daughter and i are/were very close….i live 3 hours away…visit every 3 months ,and each time I could see him pushing me away from my daughter…I tried to show her this, but no use 🙁 I tried to ask her friends to stay in touch with her and explained(she only has 2 where she lives) it was useless….He has her isolated…she moved in within 3 months(I told her to keep her rental/just in case) i dont know if she kept it, because hard to rent in area, then she be stuck with this A hole….I have been cut off from all communication…everything! Last thing she said was, “I love you Mom & always will”…Im heart broken…But I will not let that A hole take my power too….Im gonna keep positive…moving forward…Shes a beautiful person..my hope he doesnt destroy her…He comes from a loveless family…enough said ..
This is exactly my story 😥
I’m so very sorry 😢 That is devistating… I don’t have zero contact but I did. Words can’t describe how crippling it is.
I’ve never written on social media so I may go crazy with my words… please bear with me.
I raised my daughter on my own. I was married to a Narc, (he was so into himself he didn’t pay child support and only saw Rachel on an average of 3 days a year) I got away when my daughter Rachel was 2. My daughter and I had an amazing relationship. I remember Rach saying “this is my mom but she’s also my best friend.”
She would tell me.. “mom when I get married we’re going to be neighbors and have a shared pool in our back yards. My husband and I will go on trips and you can be with the kids. You and I will go on trips and my husband will watch them.” – when Rachel was growing up we went on A Lot of trips together.
Come to find out we’re both “people pleasers” which narcs run to. Both being people pleasers we were a great mother daughter team alway pleasing and loving the other. Friends couldn’t get over how close we were, actually we were ecstatic about it too.
Rachel had a lot of learning disabilities, when she was 5 I was told she needed to go into slow learning. I said no we will make it work… and with doing homework about 5 hrs a night every day until the 7th grade we did it! We did jumping jacked every hour to get her refocused. (Some of her learning disabilities were 2 types of dyslexia one was dyslexia of speech, auditory processing disorder, ADD….) Come to find out I have some of these too so it was extra challenging… Rachel never complained, she always had a great attitude. By the 7th grade it was as if she didn’t have the disabilities. (We learned how she learned) At that time I ask if she wanted to stay in Dallas or move and start where no one knew of her disabilities. We moved to Pittsburgh where she started over… no one knew.
She didn’t date much, super busy with friends and sports. Not wanting her to make any of the same mistakes I did, I pushed for waiting till college to date. (A Christian college coach came to her games and talked her into going there. Mind you she had D-1 offers but the coach was convincing.) I’m a Christian but at that school they taught her to be obediant to the men. Rachel had everything going for her… she was loving, caring, smart, friendly with lots of friends, confident, outgoing, beautiful, tall (5’10”), exciting, she laughed so much, she was so happy, adventuresome.. she was wonderful. I felt so blessed.. I say all of this in past content because I pray one day the real Rachel will return. At this point I only know her from what she was like when I knew her. (Since then she has become a shell of what she was)
While in college (2 majors: psychology and Human Services) she dated a guy who love bombed her. They dated for a few months while she was in college. Rachel got a great job, they were going to pay ifff her student loans, pay for her masters and they saw rachel moving up quickly while using her Psycology degree) (Rachel is awesome with children)
They dated after college..Rachel went to break it off with him, (his degree was chemical engineering) he told rachel he needs someone who challenges his mind.)
he talked her into staying with him… that night she got pregnant. (He said the rubber broke) She said she already disappointed God by having sex before marriage, she was going to marry him and make it work. There was no convincing her otherwise.
From the time she became pregnant my daughter and I have not been allowed much contact. They now have 2 girls and one on the way. I barely get to talk to or see my daughter or grandgirls. They (in other words he) have to come up with when I can visit which is only a couple times a year, for 2 days each time. I never get to babysit, be with my daughter or grandgirls alone, pick them up, buy them gifts, take them on outings. He has literally given me a long list of what I can’t do. I’m limited on pictures and videos, only a couple. My daughter said we can’t talk, that “they” tell eachother everything that is discussed. My daughter and I have not actually “talked” since before she became pregnant which has now been 6 years.
In front of Rachel…Her husband “Ben” told me that Rachel wasn’t raised by a family. In God’s eyes a family is a mom, dad and the kids. He was teaching Rachel what a family is.
He said if it’s not his idea they aren’t doing it.
If he doesn’t get his way or if you don’t buy into what he says he gets mad and or pouts and is mean.
He belittles my daughter.
Come to find out my mom, one of my sisters, and one of Rachel’s high school friends are all his flying monkeys. (Be careful narcs have spy’s who report back to them)
About a year into their marriage I tried saying.. “honey I feel like you don’t have a voice”. She said they are working on that. She “had to” repeat that to him so I was not allowed to see or talk with her or any of them for 2 years. After 2 years I got to talk but it was on speaker and he was listening. He made sure I knew. I ask how I could see them. Rachel said they would talk about it and they would get back with me. I got a call a few weeks later and was told I could see them but it would have to be scheduled 3 months in advance. I said ok can we do that then? The date was set. He canceled the day before the visit saying something came up. Months later after a couple more cancelations I got to see them and my grand daughter for a few hours.
Rachel hasn’t worked since she became pregnant.. (rachel absolutely Loved her job and I know would love to be around others and be working) He keeps her home and pregnant. They had 2 girls and I remember rachel saying they were going o have another.
A few years have passed, my daughter and grand daughter who is now 5 both walk on eggshells to make him “happy” the 3 year old isn’t there “yet”.
I act like I’m fine but I’m constantly in a depressed state.
I am extremely concerned for my daughter and grandgirls. From what I read I am to let her husband think he has the upper hand and feed his ego occasionally. Not say anything negative about him, let Rachel and the girls initiate contact.
From my research I have found that Narcisism is like a virus that spreads. Once it’s in your family it spreads. My dads mom was one, she had 4 kids who catered to her. They all married narcs, my mom is one. She had 5 kids 3 are people pleasers and 2 are narcs. The 3 people pleasers (including me) married narcs. My daughter is like me and married a Narc.
We have to wake up and stop this madness.
I’m now reading “the desease to please”. I’m hoping to fix me in order to help my daughter, my grand girls and myself.
I will pray for you.. please pray for us too!
Dear Barbra, I’m not usually one to be affected by reading someone else’s words on the internet, but I’m sitting here with a huge lump in my throat. My daughter and I are/were very much like you described your history with your daughter. We used to happily and proudly compare ourselves to The Gilmore Girls.
She has married someone she dated in high school, then reconnected with about 9 years ago, and I’m trying to figure out what his deal is. I don’t even have a label for it. He is incredibly critical, very intelligent but with the emotional IQ of a shark. She is now 7 months pregnant with my first grandchild (my daughter is an only child and she is 37, so this may be my only grandchild). I’ve heard the phrase “sick with worry”, but I have never fully grasped that concept until now. I am sick with worry, and almost frozen with dread and futility. He is so bizarre and I just can’t wrap my head around why it happens and how to deflect it. When I get around them, for some reason he goes into hypercritical mode against me, and we simply cannot have a normal visit or even a conversation without him finding something to argue with, criticize, belittle or try to humiliate me, and it comes in waves for the duration of my time in his presence. It is EXHAUSTING. He does it to my daughter sometimes, and now she is starting to become like him, as a defense mechanism I guess? His father treated him this way, and he has stated repeatedly how he hated that and how he never wants to be like that. Yet here we are. And the few times anyone has tried to point out to him that he is behaving the same way, he justifies it by explaining how it’s not him, it’s thr fault of whomever it is he is treating that way, because of their faults. Even writing this is exhausting. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to have a healthy, happy relationship with the baby, my daughter, and him if this continues, and I don’t know how to fix it. I’m utterly mystified and incredibly depressed about it. So I know how you feel. My heart aches for you. My heart aches for those who have to try to love through this maddening situation. And my heart aches for me. It feels so hopeless. I wanted so badly to have a grandchild, and now my overwhelming emotion isn’t joy and excitement. It’s worry, fear and anxiety.
This sounds like my son in law accept he is a very attentive father and that is what my dtr loves about him. He has convinced my dtr that I am nasty and back stabbing and limits my visiting to when he is traveling for work.
This is happening to me now. He has isolated our daughter from all her friends and family, moved her half way across the country and is now keeping our first grandson from visiting her father. He has made us out to be the bad guys. We have just hit the 1st year mark. It has been the worst year – so painful and stressful.
it hurts so much. my daughter was just diagnosed with MS. He refuses to see the importance of what is happening to her. he actually told her she was faking it. I’m devastated and nothing I can do.
My son in law verbally attacked me at his sons 4th birthday party. I couldn’t believe what he was doing. I reacted out of a love for my daughter and grand babies based on what she was telling us that he was doing to her and their kids.
And I turned out to be the bad person. She told her dad she needed some time to think. She removed herself from all social media and blocked us from calls and emails. She’s even blocked her own friend to include her best friend from college. And all relatives to include her cousins, aunts and uncles and her own grand parents. My daughter is the kindest and Empathetic soul I’ve ever known. She is a first grade school teacher. I very fearful for her and my grand babies. She has stated in the past that she is afraid of him. God help them he is an unstable Deputy Sheriff. She had a gun for protection but he took it from her and locked in his safe that she can’t get into. I’m very scared for her and my grand.
Thanks to all who shared before me, somehow it is comforting to know we are all in the same boat, as horrible as it is. The SIL has always hated how close my daughter and I are (I raised her by myself). He took a job which had him traveling for work, she is at home with three kids, the 3 year old is autistic and other two have other special ed needs. She has relied on me a lot over the last 7 years, even asked me to sell my house to move closer, which I did. He has been making nasty comments to me for years about her when she is not around and when I tell her she says I make it into something because he is kidding. He does nothing to help with the kids unless it is the every 6 month fight that they have and are getting divorced, he threatens suicide or something ridiculous, she feels sorry for him and they get back together and he helps to get the attention. About 1 year ago he started making a big deal about going to have drinks with his friends after work. They always had an understanding that the would not go to bars without each other. Needless to say two months ago she found the other email address he had and he had been on dating websites, meeting men in hotels, etc. Of course once caught, he said it was only once and would commit suicide and he was just seeing if he was bisexual and would never do it again. So of course since then he is controlling the narrative, pushing me out because he knows i am not stupid and probably knows that she told me. I hadn’t seen the grand babies in 2 months, when I used to take one a weekend just to give her a break. This is breaking my heart and not how I want my grandbabies to think this is normal. His 6 year old son now cant decide to come to my house because he doesn’t want to leave his dad. The 4 year old came over this weekend and told me her dad told her to be mean to me. I am in counseling and thank goodness my daughter is too now but my heart is breaking to watch my only child and grandbabies go through this. This article just verifies what I thought I needed to do. Any advise would be helpful.
Thank you for writing all of you before me. I can’t believe so many are going thru what I am. My daughter and I were always close. It started as soon as they were married. First he stirred the pot so that my daughter’s have not talked in 5 years. I watched as one by one my family was hurt and rejected. I swore to myself I wouldn’t let him push my buttons. I could see what he was doing even if my daughter couldn’t. But 3 months ago I let him snap at me and get under my skin. I have been deleted from my daughter’s and granddaughters lives. I had the sheriff do a well check…the sheriff called me, .. ma’am there is no way to put this nicely, your daughter said she is fine and does not want to see you or your husband. My heart is so broken. I have never been so hurt or sad in my life. I have been blocked, unfriended and dismissed. I wish I had read this article before I let this happen.
Omg I’m going thru the exact same thing. It’s like a knife to the heart!!! I just went thru 3 years of bc treatment and being cut off from
My daughter is sick just sick. Tips on how to deal with it???? Sorry you’re going thru the same thing. I hope it gets better
I’m currently going through this with my brother-in-law. I’ve put up boundaries around my family after starting to see patterns of sabotage with everyone’s relationships and when he is caught out lying or he is getting a concequence he would say it was a joke. My sister is suffering with depression and has been diagnosed with adhd, my nieces and nephews have been diagnosed with autism and adhd so when they react to any abuse they are gaslighted. My family would say “but he’s been through so much” and “he has a good side, he buys the kids loads”. He is a big drinker so he isn’t responsible for any of his abuse “it was the drink” my sister thinks it’s her fault because she has adhd and the only consequence he is getting is from me because my daughter age 8 was mucking him about giving him a bit of his own medicine and he took the nick and was so affended my family took his side and said a child shouldnt talk to an adult like that r u not gona shout at her “omg NO im not when he stops mucking her about then she will stop keep that demon away from my child “he has been so good to her he buys her big presents” you meen grooming. My sister wants me to make up with him so he can call up to my parents house at Christmas gitting drunk making “jokes” at everyone else’s expense including my teenage girls.
She said he’s heart broken and is crying cus he loves me and god knows what manipulation he is pulling on her. He aggressively cornered her and screemed at her because his nose was bent out of shape because my daddy took their son out to play football. he talks about my whole family and everyones saying that they can’t do anything until she decides to leave. I told her I was never making up with him unless he wanted to go to see a psychiatrist which will never happen. She admitted to being in denial cus she’s not strong enough, I told her that I am strong enough and I have become the narcissists narcissist ie he can call on christmas but trust me he is the one walking on eggshells and his hands have been tied. (I’ve had to start playing the game, a game I didn’t even no was being played to protect all the other people that don’t know the game is being played) I will be waiting for her when she does fell strong enough. He has made her believe if she left him he would kill himself.
Im so sorry robin.. I am a 58 year old grandfather of 3 adorable girls. 2 are twins, less than a year ago my daugher married this guy who has now turned her against the whole family. The entire family. He has isolated her and the kids and I am devastated. No one else sees it and Im the bad person. Im praying for you Robin, I understand how painful this is. God bless you and Let the Angels camp around your daughter and grandkids. Sincerely Eddie.
This is EXACTLY what happened to our
family.He called the cops on me for going over just to get a hug and tell my daughter how much I love her! He would not allow that and called the cops on me! And
literally all I wanted was a hug from her (no fighting, yelling!) I did not raise my voice and remained calm! They have stopped all communication with the immediate family (both parents, siblings and their spouses!) The heartbreaking issue is they just had a newborn (which my daughter wanted me in the delivery room with them & I was, but he had several meltdowns during labor and several days later he screamed at me to leave the hospital after my daughter had asked me to bring her clothes). And
since then it has just gone from bad to worse. Our family is a threat to him. We are all very close & even very close with extended family. I know he believes we will influence her!
What is even more heartbreaking is that when our daughter was 11 we almost lost her to a horrific car accident. She was not expected to make it, & I never left her side & we are/were very close! We have not
seen our granddaughter since the day after they came home from hospital! That is killing me ! And I don’t know what to do next !
This is my exact situation. My daughter married who I thought was the perfect son in law. She hasn’t even been married a year and she is 8 months pregnant with my very first grand baby. My daughter had reached out that he was refusing to let her have her baby shower back in October, because it was a Halloween theme. Church has him believing that it would have brought demons into their life. I tried talking to him about it which turned into a screaming fight. I was only there out of concern for my distraught daughter. Since then, he has alienated her away from me, her sister, all of her family. She is due in 6 weeks and she had said she wanted me to be there. He won’t allow her to have any gifts from me due to me disrespecting him. Only way this can be resolved is if I agree to sit down with his 2 church Pastors, him and my daughter and apologize for my behavior. I’m not doing that. My heart is shattered and I don’t know what to do anymore. We’re were extremely close. Haven’t heard from her in 9 days.
My son in law told my hubby that we need to butt out of their business or he will move the family to Texas. We have always been just a call away . We live 5 minutes away . I’ve always had a close relationship with my daughter , but sil told my hubby that my daughter tells him EVERYTHING that we talk about. We are in the process of talking and getting to see the grandkids more, but it hurts that I’ve lost my best friend . I’m so afraid of telling her the wrong thing . It’s weird knowing that my SIL seems to prefer grandparents to be uninvolved. Now that the honeymoon period is over , he’s a different guy . I used to have the kids once per week , he won’t allow it saying that he doesn’t know if I’d say negative things to my grandkids about him . Dude! Do you realize I raised my dysfunctional sisters kid? I’ve dealt with this before . Never played with a child’s mind and I never will .
Your daughters will see the light, trust me. There is actually a very good chance that they already do see the light but it’s easier to block you out of their life at the present time for several reasons. They aren’t ready to leave him/get a divorce yet and it’s easier to go along with him than fight him on this. The old “I have to live with him, you don’t.”. The most important thing you can do right now as a parent is to simply tell your daughter that if she ever needs you, you are there for her, and that you will always love her. And do just that. Love her unconditionally. On the rare occasions that you see her, try to build her up somehow because her self esteem and self worth are nonexistent because of how she is being treated. The day will come when you get the phone call that she wants a divorce. But don’t think the problems will end there. My daughter, who lives 1200 miles away from me, has finally filed and this time I know she will never go back. However, he refuses to leave the house, even though he could easily stay at least temporarily with his mother in her huge luxurious home. And my daughter has no family there and no place to go. Her lawyer tells her not to leave the house and she wouldn’t leave her preteen daughter and 14 year old son anyway. So after 15 years of mental and emotional abuse, the abuse continues, only it’s worse due to his parental alienation jobs he is doing on the children. You have to be a very brave person to divorce a malignant narcissist. She is. But this whole process is killing her. Good luck to all of you.
Thank you for your advice. Ive been alienated from my daughter and grand children for 2 years now. They went as far as getting a restraining order against me and moved 4 hours away. I was holding her accountable for the abuse that her and the children were getting from the boyfriend. Between her boyfriend being a narcissist and her dad, my ex, she doesnt have a chance to see or live a normal life. Im heart broken and dont know what to do, The restraining order expired 2 days ago. Her dad who is a huge part of all of this reached out to me and told me to write her a letter…can you believe this after he is the one that pushed her away from me. She looks up to her dad and doesnt see what he does. Im going to write her and tell her I love her and Im always here for her as you said above. Ill leave it at that and pray for the best.
I stumbled across this site and then saw your post. Even though it doesnt make my heart feel any better I feel its the best advice I could get. Again thank you for sharing your story and advice.
I cannot believe how many of you are experiencing the destruction of a narcissistic s-i-l. My beautiful youngest daughter and her husband lived with me for several months due to covid,cost of housing,etc. I work,my daughter works,he does nothing although he has a professional degree from another country and is supposedly studying for boards. I have seen first hand his emotional abuse,his lies,his laziness but also her total devotion to him. I finally set boundaries and he completely attacked ME verbally,after living in my home and him contributing nothing for months. I asked them to leave,gave them a month to find a place. They did and I’ve heard nothing from my daughter in 6 months. She told me I would never see her again, I told her “I love you and I will always be here if you need me.” I am broken hearted but have not contacted her as she made it clear she didn’t want that.
I thank God for my other children, my friends and all of you sharing your stories. I never thought this would happen. It feels as if my daughter has died,but I have to go on with my life,even when the grief feels too much to bear.
hi l so relate.
My SIL has taken my daughter and 3 grandchildren to another state.
it has been 10 years and l have slowly learnt that he is a violent narcissist.
l am slowly getting somewhere with my daughter. But l have to stand back and let her make the choice.
Over the years there has been police. He absolutely hates me and l don’t think l am allowed at there home.
I doubt that l will ever see him again.
l just pray 🙏
Now l realise that my younger daughter who seemed happily married is in trouble.
I am treding carefully. l don’t want to make the same mistakes.
Why we are good people 🧚
Wooooowwwwww!! Ty all of for sharing your stories. I relate 100%! I’m in a similar situation.
My situation is so very similar to those related in this comment section with one added bonus. At the end of the 1st year of covid I moved into a house with my daughter, her boyfriend and his teenaged daughter. My job had been eliminated by the shutdown & I lived on my savings, sold my extra vehicle & cut all possible corners to be able to stay in my apartment on my own. Because how long can this go on, right? Surely things will get back to normal & I’ll go back to work & not have to make any drastic changes. As we know, this never happened. I was making a good living in the oil & gas field, a single woman in my fifties but there were no easy decisions, none of the usual guard rails to show the way. So one day when they came to visit & help me pack he made the suggestion that I just move in with them. This should’ve been my BIG RED LIGHT since at the time they were living in a 2 bed room apartment with 2 large dogs. It was an insane idea but it sure made him look magnanimous. I said no, that’s no good y’all would be hating me by the end of the 1st week. (I have a small dog & 2 cats so you can see what I mean by an insane idea) So my daughter came up with the idea of finding a rental house that would be large enough for all of us. And she did. And it was weird from the very beginning. They rented the house in Feb but didn’t make any comments about when I was to move in. I was out of savings & looking to avoid as much credit damage as possible (unable to pay Feb rent) so I asked her if I could go ahead & move in. It was as if I was inconveniencing her with this possibility, her excuse was that they had agreed w/ landlord to refinish wood floors & do other repairs/maintenance. But she agreed & I moved in with no help from anyone except his teenaged daughter who was on the phone most of the time as teenagers do. When moving my things into the house I was no allowed to unload them into the empty garage & move things into the house in an organized manner. All of my boxes (from a 2BR apartment) had to be either in my BR or the den which would serve as my living room or into the 2 storage buildings in the backyard. She made it clear that she didn’t want to use any of my furniture (many are antiques) in the house even though 80% of the furniture in her possession was given to her by me when I sold a vacation home after a divorce. I know this sounds like me whining about me but the picture needs to be made clear as a foundation for the events that occurred after moving in. So boxes are stacked in the rooms, my Q mattresses on the floor in my bedroom & no help with any of it. As a result of lifting & carrying & stacking back in places where they should be I ended up injuring my hip badly. I could barely walk, not a step without pain. Now, at the time I moved in my vehicle was not in good shape, check engine light is on, power steering fluid leaking so that I had to refill reservoir before driving every time. He was involved in car racing when my daughter met him & he made comments about helping fix my car but this never happened. I was out of money & needed to get my car fixed so that I could have reliable transportation & get a job. I decided that a garage sale, or several weekends of sales would be the most immediate way to get the funds. I also had a store online at 2 sites where I sold personal items & art & jewelry that I had made. (this also helped me through the pandemic without having to borrow from anyone) So I went through the boxes & pulled out anything I thought might sell. I also had a washer/dryer set that I loved (red, front loading with pedestals) but I decided I needed money more than a washer/dryer…what I’m getting at is that I realized that I had to let go of things I loved so that I could move forward. I love gardening & had tons of pots, tools etc & many household/kitchen items that I could sell because this was another area where my things were off limits & so wouldn’t be used. The 1st garage sale weekend was a money maker but my body suffered greatly. The 1st morning they all 3 helped me get things moved from the backyard where I had been separating items from the boxes in the sheds. By the end of the day my hip & back hurt badly & I was exhausted by the end of the day. Even though they were home I had no help with gathering up things & tarping the tables to prevent dew damage. I was so tired I slept in my dirty, sweaty clothes & my daughter met me at my bedroom door next morning at 7 saying people are looking already. So another long day limping through the sale. That afternoon there was some sort of argument between them & the daughter & they all disappeared (I later found out that my daughter was sick & upstairs in bed but no one told me until I asked him where she was & if she was ok). But he wasn’t sick & he saw me limping around in pain & still made no offer to help me put things away on Sunday evening. I make a point of this because in my life experience NO MAN that I have ever had a relationship with would’ve seen my mother in distress & not overtly moved in to help with the situation whatever it was. His actions (or non-actions I guess) were foreign to my experience with men. Moreover, no matter how sick I was I would not allow my mother to struggle obviously in pain. Just wouldn’t happen. This should’ve been my 2nd BIG RED LIGHT but I marked it off as unawareness & his reported ADHD. Mistake. Next weekend garage sale not so successful but I move remaining things into (still empty) garage along 1 wall & tightly packed together. Not good enough, he told me he wanted my shit out of the garage. I asked him if he knew why I was having garage sales (car repair…job) & he said he didn’t care. My daughter overheard our discussion/argument & she totally took his side, saying it was HIS garage & he likes to have a clear garage. I was so disheartened. Hip & back injury persisting & not likely to get better with constant lifting & carrying & re-stacking boxes in the sheds I was feeling alone & on the outside for sure. So I continued weekend sales for 2 more weekends until on the last one I had to scramble & move everything into his garage due to a summer rain storm. I had spread things out to dry which was unacceptable & another argument ensued. So I gave up on the garage sales…& concentrated on the online stores. To move up the timeline there were a few passive-aggressive events that got my attention…the 1st was when I put a foot into my left garden boot & into a “liquid” which was yellow in color when I poured it out. Now, these boots were inside an empty garbage can in the garage, this can the type that you have to depress an area in the front to allow the top to open. This liquid was in only 1 boot, the lid was closed, the can in a corner of garage out of the way & no leaking from roof, etc seen in garage since moving in. I’ll let you guess what it was. By now I knew better than to accuse him of anything so I never mentioned it to anyone. I love gardening. I had offered to help with lawn mowing & my daughter said “you shouldn’t have to mow the lawn”. So I began pulling weeds & raking flower beds…this yard had/has been allowed to overgrow for a long time so there was much to be done. One Saturday when my daughter & he were out on the 3 wheeler I discovered that there were walking stones, a path that lead to the sheds that was overgrown & invisible to I took to clearing the overgrowth of grass & weeds to expose the stones. When the got home I was scolded & humiliated, accused of trying to “take over” everything. She took his side, saying it was his house, his yard etc and while she is stripping me down he is standing behind her nodding his head in an exaggerated manner as if to say “See old woman, she is on MY side” I have never before been ashamed of my daughter. I felt like I was in bizarro world. Again, if my husband & I had come home to find my mother on her knees pulling weeds we both (but especially my husband) would have been singing her praises & digging in to help (no pun intended). So bewildering. It was not until I was visiting a friend & telling her of the recent incidents that I learned of Narcissism as a part of family interaction. I always thought of narcissist as just being stuck-up, overly confident. My education began. She flatly said after my relating the situation “He is a narcissist”. Thank God for her. My eyes were opened. So the situation persists, he is so very passive-aggressive…any opportunity he has to take revenge against me he takes…but not overtly, he will treat my belongings recklessly, for instance once after my daughter accused me of being indifferent to her paralyzed boxer he started removing my few remaining things from the common areas into the sheds or off into the corner they gave me to keep my plants for instance I have a TV that I was trying to sell at garage sale & it had been on a shelf in the garage…after this fight with my daughter he took it upon himself to take the TV out the the shed…he placed it upside down on the floor of the shed. He has told me that he can’t wait until I have somewhere to move to & yet he has no care to preserve items that I could sell & get him closer to his goal. As for the accusation of abuse of the boxer (he has lost control of bowels & I was accused of walking past him with a poop on his bottom & saying to him that I couldn’t help him or something to that effect). In my life I have picked up dogs from the side of the road & found homes for them, rescued kitten who fell into the water in a boat slip across from our vacation home & 3 other kittens in my apartment complex when I found them with their nose & eyes covered over with matter & pus, 2 I kept & 1 found a new home…rescued a 10 foot python from the side of the road in the country where someone had released it…AND YET she accused me of neglecting a paralyzed dog – a dog that I know my daughter loves dearly. I later found out that HE told her that he saw me do this on the pet camera (they have cameras all over the place)…I have never been accused of lying in my life…I asked her mid argument about this if she had ever known me to have a history of lying…I could see that this penetrated her thinking if only momentarily…when I asked if he had told her this she said no that she had seen it on the camera. I later found out that this particular camera doesn’t record, it only provides real-time data…so in order to acknowledge this negligence to be fact we must accept that he or she just so happened to be logged into the camera at the exact moment that I walked past a poop-smeared dog & made a sarcastic comment about not being able to help…said I assume to get back at them for something. OK.
The situation persists & I have retreated to my room. If he ever catches me alone he makes ugly remarks, calls me stupid or a “f*cking leech or makes exaggerated motions toward my chihuahua if she gets in his way…I know he would hurt her if given the chance. I feel like he would like to treat me the way he treats my things and she sees none of this. He tells her that I am the one that makes rude remarks to him & creates hateful situations with my actions. There is so much more, so many more covert aggressions that I could relate but you all see the picture I am sure. I don’t know what to do next or how to extract myself from this situation. I love my daughter above all else and it it so hurtful to be discarded as if I were just another person in her life and not her mother. What kind of a man takes delight in the discord between mother & daughter…?