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Help with a Narcissist.
Hello Everyone, I have been married to my husband's family for a decade. Brothers-in-law (BIL) is a complete narcissist and married my old flatmate who was very antisocial but she was ok with me then. I introduced her to BIL, they got together but he was engaged at the time, I told her but they continued. They ended up married, he cheated on her several times, she knew but they remain together. She once told the family that she makes alot of money and that she is better than everyone else (and wonders why the majority dislike her)... She was very hot or cold with me for years until my husband's paycheck rose, then she was mostly cold towards me. So, BIL and I have disagreements intermittently ... but the last one, ended up with her cutting ties with me. I, at that point, decided I wasn't going to chase after her anymore because she does this to people all the time, and people either go crawling back to her or stop communicating with her, I chose to leave it be. We all have children now, and I want our kids to see theirs but she makes it hard. She kept her last pregnancy a secret from her husband's family and only wanted her family to know. She even got BIL to not say a word to anyone, and he didn't. We had no clue... during this time, we had tried inviting her to family outings and she was always sick, if we went over to theirs, she was always in her room and told her husband that she didn't want anyone over. We didn't ask BIL if they were trying for another baby because he had said mean things about her to everyone and that they were constantly fighting. We were only told about the new baby 2 wks after it was born. I felt angry and upset but not because of the secrets and betrayal of BIL, but because it was a MASSIVE slap-in-the-face to everyone who would have been supportive to her (she had severe postnatal depression last pregnancy) and this was one way to isolate her kids from their own blood. Why would she do that? One of the ex-SIL's (studying to be a counselor), said that she noticed her being "competitive" with me, even if I wasn't aware of it. She suggested that she may be a Narcissist or have a higher-functioning autism.. but I'm not sure. I need some help to understand this.. and what is it about me that she has this animosity for? Is it because I'm not chasing after the toxic friendship, is it jealousy, feeling threatened, just what?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Its good that you reached out at BB.
Some people are very strange to judge.
However her behaviour or anybody's behaviour isn't in your control. And for the things which aren't in our control we need not over analyse or think too much.
Have you tried to talk with your flatmate? or your BIL ?
Thankyou for reaching out to help me x
I have tried talking to both of them.. and making it all water-under-the-bridge but BIL gets uber defensive and starts attacking me on make-believe scenarios that never happened.. and flatmate acknowledges it but then over time just goes back to being mean, then we talk, then shes mean again, and it becomes this terrible cycle.
I know I cant change them, but at family gatherings (if they do decide to come), there's a lot of tension! I suffer from really bad anxiety and it led to excoriation... I am currently taking medication to lessen it. It makes me just want to stop going to gatherings myself, so I don't have to awkwardly interact with them or do the dance of avoidance. 😞
Should I keep trying?
First of all, you need not harm yourself because of others. I have faced similar events, and now such people or events do not bother me at all as I have grown immune to them.
This is not at all your fault. And we cannot always contr the beahviour of others. You have tried to make amends, and thats good. Taking positive steps is always good.
The answer for the last question may vary from person to person. However, I am a similar person like you. I would also try to make amends to some extent, but wont beg to anybody who is overly-arrogant or adamant in thwir hostility. Thus, if I were in your place, I would have stoped trying after this point. Toxic relationships only wear us down, thus its better to discard them.
However you should keep going to gatherings, and have fun. Dont let some people stop you from doing things you like. There is nothing wrong in having an awkward conversation incase you meet them at gathering. You can also avoid them if you like. Tension is there only when you take it.
You've certainly done your fair share of trying to have an amicable relationship but sometimes it's just not going to happen.You need to take care of yourself now.
As wannabe_alpha said try not to harm yourself. That's number 1. Number 2 is remember someone else's behaviour is not your responsibility. Maybe you've reached a place where you've done your best, you just have to 'move on' - it can be hard but it might be the way to go.