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Leaving people in your life who bring you down but what if it’s family?

Community Member

What do you do when there’s a family member who has pushed you so much for 10 years to be exact to the point of believing the things they say about you

my mother in law ....

since me and my husband have been together she has tried to split us apart by talking about his ex gfs and saying that he could have gone places with footy and other sports but he met me .... and it’s my fault he didn’t have a footy career

she has blamed me for multiple things she has made up lies and always plays the victim but I have had enough

I cut her from my social media life so she can’t turn things around and make something out of nothing

but it effects my husband because wel she’s his mum .. he knows she has hurt me and he just tells me to ignore it

I believe she was the reason for my depression when I had my first baby

always bringing over strangers telling me I’m doing things wrong buying cots and carriers for her house telling me when she has the baby ect ect it made me so anxious and every time I know I have to see her I panic my heart races and I physically feel sick

she told her family I gave my daughter to my parents because I couldn’t cope and that I didn’t love my baby there was no truth to this

that was never the case she pushed me so far I believed I was a terrible mother and a failure

I pushed through my sadness and inner critic and loved my baby daughter and cared for her the best way I knew how

but I feel like I have to explain who I am as a person and explain every god damn time I see his family that I am a good person a kind person but they always stare at me judging me from the stories my mother in law has made up

is this going to be my life forever ? Am I always going to have to fight for myself it’s so exhausting mentally and physically just when I think all is well up pops another story she gets inside my head like no other person she can turn my happiest day upside down just like that

Anyone else have to deal with a toxic family member ? What did you do ? How do you cope ?

2 Replies 2

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey Mellyj,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for your post! I'm sorry that you have to deal with this and it sounds like your MIL has been really making things difficult.

There's probably a lot that I could say right here but I'd run out of words, so instead I'm going to go straight to your questions and see if I can help that way.

You have choices here:

- You can continue with the way things are.

- You can confront your MIL and set really strict boundaries. You have the right to say 'this is not okay' and 'I don't want to be talked to this way'. A lot of books I've read about gaslighting suggest to say something like 'I don't want you to talk to me this way and if you do this again I'm going to walk away'.

- You can set your own boundaries without confrontation. Confrontation was never a strong point for me (because it ended in more abuse), so I had to set these boundaries subtly. For me this looked like not spending long periods of time with them, having someone in the room for moral support and avoiding topics that I felt were really sensitive and making an effort to keep the conversation light.

- You can avoid/escape her. Perhaps this means not talking to her or seeing her at all, or perhaps this means just avoiding her where possible (i.e. talking to others when at a lunch).

So these are the practical options (that I can think of). But the biggest thing that I want to emphasise is that it has to start with you. You are not a terrible mother and not a failure. I don't know you but I know that people who love their babies and want to take care of them the best way they know how are wonderful mothers.

Your mother in law is one person. Not a nice person by the sounds of things, but one person. She doesn't need to have this power over you. From my own experience the more that you can realise and understand this, the less impact it will need to have over your day and your life.

I hope this is helpful,

Hi mellyj, welcome

I cant add much to romantic thiefs good advice. But here are some relevant threads.

Just use google

Topic: wit, the only answer to torment- beyondblue

Topic: inlaws the best approach- beyondblue

Waif hermit queen witch

Tppic: the definition of abuse- beyondblue

Tony WK