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Dear Chump Lady, I have a back-stabbing mother-in-law

MILDear Chump Lady,

I’m 3 weeks a chump and my cheater is your usual no-remorse, gaslighting passive-aggressive joy who is now playing at being the perfect father on email (he’s also an over-entitled peacock, spending secret money on posh clothes, fancy haircuts and hours lazing in the sun to get a peacock-beautiful suntan, while I toiled indoors in a sleep-deprived haze looking after our baby and toddler). Yet how is it that most of my brain energy is being spent on his mother?

She knows about the affair (started mere weeks after I gave birth, if not before), the historic domestic violence, him hiding money while the children and I went without. Yet she’s never once condemned what he’s done to me.

Sure she sends me messages saying she’s thinking of all of us and sending us all love. Yet…

Two days after I became a chump (numb stage), she rang me and the first thing she said was to say her son was very upset and could I feel sorry for him. What??? Then, she went straight in to saying its not about couples therapy anymore, it’s about mediation. She proceeded to bang on about how we needed mediation now and she’d found some info on the Internet, which she’d email to Cheater Son and I. Two days in, I was still wondering what my Cheater was going to make for dinner, such was my lack of comprehension, and here she was, pushing me into mediation!

Then it was “it’s all about the children now.” As if I don’t exist! Everything he did to me, all the pain, suffering, neglect, all of that doesn’t matter now, two days after D-Day, in her eyes?

The final straw was when I saw her and she offered me a hug. It was a weak, pathetic hug and as she was hugging me, she took the opportunity to whisper in my ear to remind me that it is all about the children (again). Not, I’m so sorry. Not, you’ll get through this; not, we’ll always be here for you and the children. No, she steamrolled over me once again under the guise of a hug. Shall I just call her Brutus and be done with it?!

What I want to know is, is this common? This lack of condemning what the Cheater Son has done and steamrolling over the Chump? Both her and her husband have cheated on each other, so do they have some kind of “cheating is normal, get over it, loser” attitude? It seems like both my Cheater and my MIL are behaving as if this is a normal break-up, like I haven’t been wronged. I can’t stop writing her emails in my head telling her how much she’s hurt me. Do I tell her how she’s made me feel? We have to have contact because of the children. But I can’t take any more “my poor son is so upset he’s had an affair, poor poppet”. Help!!!

Off the Crazy Train

Dear OTCT,

Is it common for narcissistic, cheating men-children to have enabling, toxic parents? Show of hands chumps!

Unfortunately, if my mail is anything to go by, YES this crappy dynamic is very common. You gotta ask yourself, total fuckwits — nature or nurture? But it’s hard to know. Your cheater inherited DNA from both parents, plus he had the crazy We Cheat On Each Other “values” modeled to him. So, can we be surprised that your shattered heart is a big whatever to these people?

What did you think would make you immune from their narcissism? Your many years of investment in them? Your vulnerability as a young mother with an infant and a toddler? Your devastation at learning of your husband’s cheating?

Hey, you’ve ceased to be kibbles. There’s the exit! Make way for the replacement!

You’re still reeling, and your mother-in-law is guilting you into mediation “for the children“?

Yeah, this isn’t her first mindfuck rodeo. Welcome to the Discard. It’s hard enough to wrap your mind around your husband cheating — it’s even harder to comprehend the Conspiracy of it. That you’d already been plotted against, your place in the family usurped, and a thinly disguised Your Services Are No Longer Needed. Do we lamely hug the meter reader? Why would we? It’s awkward, and inappropriate. Who’s the meter reader to us? Okay, if you insist on this mawkish display of “affection”, whatever…

do they have some kind of “cheating is normal, get over it, loser” attitude?

Yes, Loser — get over it. Your services are no longer needed. You were a good baby vessel and now that you’ve bred (thank you for the grandchildren), please sign away your child support (it’s mediation… for the children! don’t be bitter!) and make a hasty retreat. Or we’ll call security.

It seems like both my Cheater and my MIL are behaving as if this is a normal break-up, 

To narcissists, this IS a normal break up. No shame. No self-reflection. No fair settlement. Your services are no longer needed. It’s all about THEM. (Who are you again? Didn’t you already read the meter? It’s there… behind those thorny bushes, and the wasps’ nest… bill me later… or preferably not at all.)

I can’t stop writing her emails in my head telling her how much she’s hurt me. Do I tell her how she’s made me feel?

NO. Why don’t you tell that lamppost how you feel instead. The lamppost has more depth of feeling and the lamppost won’t use your innermost thoughts and vulnerabilities against you in a custody trial.

Absolutely do NOT reach out to your MIL or show her ANY weakness. You must go total no contact on these people to protect your sanity now. Maybe on some distant Tuesday, when you’re truly meh (it will happen, I promise), you can stand to see her face (in the nursing home, or hooked up to a ventilator, or wandering in the rose garden at the dementia ward). Until then, do not engage. Your STBXH can handle the visits and drop-offs.

I can’t take any more “My poor son is so upset he’s had an affair, poor poppet.”

Poor Poppet should go live on Mumsy’s sofa for awhile. She can bring him warm milk and graham crackers and comfort him from the affliction of his stupidity.

Not Your Problem anymore. They’ve shown you who they are, now you must BELIEVE IT.

The upside of losing a family of toxic freaks, is it frees your life up for better people. Big ((hugs)) to you. It gets better.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • ETA — Didn’t mean to skip over history of domestic violence? Don’t you DARE mediate! Get that shit in front of an attorney PRONTO.

    • Yes, OTCT, many chumps here can tell you that mediation is a waste of time and emotion with these narcissistic cheater types. Retain a good attorney and do this right from the beginning. I’m sorry she’s behaving as though this is not the betrayal that it is. Go as no contact with her as possible.

      • My stbx mil was on the blower to me day and night – same thing – awwwww, the children. Not, what sort of fucktard did I raise(?). I found out soon enough the phone calls were just information gathering sessions for her and her inbred, halfwit son. DON’T talk to her (more mindfuckery). Get your ducks in a row, get a great lawyer and NO MEDIATION. Mediation = manipulation. They will try and manipulate you while you are in this state of mind. You can do it!

        • You’re so right. It does make me wonder why she came down so hard on me about mediation at D-Day+2. Almost like, “she’s a rabbit in the headlights – quick, let’s manipulate her now before she regains her senses!” It took me a few more days ’till I realized how out of order she’d been. Even asking me to feel sorry for him. Abnormal.

          I think you’re right about information gathering – when I (stupidly) told her about how I’d discovered the financial infidelity and that I knew that his excuses were still lies, she asked me what proof I had. She also took the opportunity to remind me that it was half his house too, that I’m living in…

          And then she sends me a nice card ‘sending love to a wonderful mother’…. She’s asked to meet up with me and the children on Saturday. My instinct, which I’ve always ignored until now is saying “nooooooo!” so I’m going to let them spend some time with the toddler, but I’m not going to stick around. I feel so anxious that there’ll be more “oh poor diddums is sleeping on a sofa, he’s so upset”.

          • Trust your instincts, OTCT. She’s fact finding under the guise of concerned MIL. Fuck her.

    • Even in many no-fault states there are certain areas of divorce where fault is actually a factor. A domestic violence conviction or history is one of those. It can effects spousal support and custody issues.

      Most mediators would not knowingly take on a case where there is domestic violence– Imbalance of power.

      Also I hope you are connecting the dots to see if any of your martial finances are being ‘held for safekeeping’ by Mummy Dearest.

      Def see a lawyer and start searching for financial documents

      • I’m in a no-fault state (TX) and my protective order for domestic violence got me sole managing conservatorship, the house and a 55/45 split on our community property. It did not get me a shred of sympathy from Old Battleaxe, who housed, fed and funded Asshole X after I got a kickout order. The price she paid? Our three children have been no contact with her since that terrible night.

        • But anyone thinking of filing in TX should know you can also file for Cause (e.g., adultery)–the state is one of few that has both options. Not sure how much evidence would be necessary for the With Cause filing (I, like Eve, filed No-Fault because my X’s infidelity being made public could have cost him his job, which would affect child support, etc.).

          • Well, I originally filed for a No Fault divorce because I just wanted out. He found the papers in my bag and flew into an uncontrollable narcissistic rage. That violence caused my lawyer to file an amended petition for cause, with the decree saying, “the marriage is dissolved on the ground of insupportability.” My X is going to file a motion to seal, as he wants all evidence of his behavior hidden. People might or might not understand infidelity but the Protective Order shows up on criminal background checks. Bad for employment opportunities!

            • I call bullshit on the Protective Order being bad for employment opportunities. I did the research, unless a job requires you to carry a gun employers do not give two shits about a PO. Even the federal government doesn’t give a damn about a PO when you have a security clearance. They do care about a DUI. Do not let your stbx rope you into dismissing your order with the bullshit about hurting his job chances, it is another lie.

              • Hmmm, interesting line of thought, Dat. He is underemployed now at a suck job that pays nothing. He says it’s due to the PO (so my fault, like always) but maybe a ploy to get out of child support? 20% of nothing is still nothing.

            • Trust me Eve, it is bullshit. Why do you think I researched it? My ex lost his job long before the PO, he told everyone it was my fault he couldn’t find one due to the PO while he didn’t bother to even look for a job. You dismiss the PO he still won’t get a good job because he doesn’t want to, meanwhile you are no longer safe from him. I’m lucky me ex is afraid to go to jail, sounds like yours is too. They want the PO gone so they can fuck with us, not because it interferes in finding a job.

              • The PO doesn’t come off of his record. It will always be there – it just shows “dismissed”. My brother is a detective. My X filed one against me and advised me that I’m now in some criminal database. Doesn’t matter that I was never served the order – it’s attached to my name. (By the way, he filed it because I told his family about his shenanigans with the whore, there was no DV by me). Dismissed or not, it shows on a criminal background check.

    • That mother in law is trying to ‘manage’ the ending of the marriage. By saying its all about the children, she will make you lose your desire to get a lawyer – and stand up for yourself. DON’T LISTEN to them/her. Yes, its all about the children! for YOU! you stand up there girl – get your ducks in a row, do not back down. This is YOUR future after this even though you were dealt the blow.

      • Yes, Wendy, yes! My ex-Mother-In-Law definitely tried to manage the end of my marriage. I have to give her credit, too. She was good! Had I not seen her texts and emails when I saw her idiotic twat of a son’s cell phone records, I would have never had a clue what she was up to.

        And, boy, what she was up to….

        First, I learned that she knew Idiotic Twat was going to leave at least a month before I came home to a house with no husband and no note–just his tooth brush and some clothes missing.

        In texts I read 4 months later, it was her who encouraged him to leave his big meany of a wife who had the nerve to hold her pwecious wittle baby responsible for his actions and impose consequences.

        She encouraged him to get a separate bank account the minute he left and change his direct deposit to the new account. Sure, I was a stay at home mom with no income of my own, but her angel needed money to get established on his own. And, since I had the NERVE to yell at her darling baby boy, I could just figure out on my own how to pay for diapers and food for our toddlers, utilities, and the house note. I guess she thought I had unfettered access to a magic bean crop. Or perhaps knew the secret to spinning straw into gold. Or had taken up animal husbandry with a gaggle of geese who laid golden eggs. You know, as a hobby…

        Next came my favorite part: After I knew we were separating, and the end was near, I started having anxiety that (I now realize) every chump feels in the beginning. I couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t eat. I was taken to the emergency room for severe abdominal pain. Idiotic Twat was gaslighting me so hard, I really did think I was going crazy, and Mommy Dearest was right there to catalogue everything. She even gave Idiotic Twat the money to have his attorney (which she paid for) file to have a hearing to have me involuntarily committed for inpatient psychiatric treatment.

        All while pretending to be my BFF.

        After I discovered everything, I called her out, saying in a text message that I was so disappointed in her for what she had done. I told her I had no idea a person could be so cruel. I told her that when she told me she wanted us to continue to have a relationship, she basically shot that to hell in a hand basket the minute I discovered she wanted to have me committed, and had been lying to me and manipulating me to get text records that could be interpreted as negatively should they be used out of context in court (for example, “I can’t take this sh*t anymore. I am done” was taken out of context to be used against me as a suicide threat instead of what it actually was, which was a threat to file for divorce). And that I would be DAMNED if she ever kept my children on my watch in the future.

        It did precisely zero good. I didn’t even get a response.

        What I did get was video taped by her on her iPhone each time I dropped of the kids at the kid swap each week. And blocked on Facebook. Burn….

        It’s been two years, and I now have sole custody of our two girls, now ages 3 and 4. I have done nothing more than politely say hello when it would be rude not to. And, she has known better than to ask to see the girls over and above her son’s 20 hours of supervised visitation each month.

        So, my advice? Run, do not walk, to an attorney, and LAWYER UP. Because she has told you that their side has lawyered up and divorce is imminent.

        And yes, in custody wars with these whack-a-doos, there is your side and their side. And, absolutely, YES, IT IS A WAR!

        Also? Go no contact with everyone on his side. Request that your lawyer draw up temporary visitation including pick ups, drop offs, holidays, times, etc. And, most importantly, who will pay which expenses. That way, everything you need to communicate about the children is already decided by a legal document, and you can go no contact with the ex too.

        My policy was only to communicate with Idiotic Twat via text, and then, I would only engage if the answer was either a yes or a no. Then, later, just to screw with him, I started using the thumbs up and thumbs down emoticons for yes and no, because nothing says you are beneath my effort and notice than getting an emoticon response to your serious question.

        Super Big Hugs! YOU CAN DO THIS! We are all here for you!

        • YES. Thank God that they ALWAYS push the envelope a little too far. They have no morality so they don’t even realize they are doing it! GOOD FOR YOU that you saw it, and got strong 🙂

        • Bravo! for dealing with what sounds like a VERY dangerous family, in such a decisive way. Loons. I’m sure she wanted your daughters, too bad she couldn’t be civil about it. 20 hours a month? And supervised? You rock!
          Where do these people come from, who hate their son’s life partner? I wonder what their definition of family ties is, if it’s not the mother of your grandkids?

          • These people come from the East Texas/Northwest Louisiana Bible Belt, but they really did make it easy for me to trust that they suck. On D-Day, when I discovered the cheating and pregnant girlfriend after looking at texts on his phone, he beat the crap out of me and was arrested for domestic abuse and child endangerment. I filed a restraining order and filed for divorce within 10 days of learning of the affairs. Once I did that, I was officially Undesirable Number One.

            Since then, he is the one who lost his children. I didn’t have to do anything more than sit back and watch him hang himself. He fought custody, but only because he didn’t want to pay child support. He wanted a custody study done. He insisted I was crazy, like “needs to be hospitalized” crazy, but yet repeatedly said I was a good mother and that he wanted 50/50 custody. In the end, the narcissism got him. He insisted on psychological testing for both of us, thinking I would fail and he could beat the test (or simply in denial about who he really is). We went to a doctor he chose, and he failed his psych tests. I passed with a glowing report from the psychologist.

            His attorney didn’t even protest when we asked for sole custody. It was slam dunk. What’s even better is that in my state, there was a state Supreme Court ruling called the Bergeron Rule that states that if a judge makes the decision in a custody case, called a “considered decree,” the other party has a ridiculously high burden of proof for getting the decree altered in court in the future. He has to prove that whatever abusive thing I am doing to the kids would be less harmful than snatching them out of their home, school, and away from the life they know. So, in essence, I would have to turn into a drug-addicted prostitute before he could take me back to court. It’s a huge relief. My biggest fear was spending the next 15 years in an endless custody battle.

          • My cheater’s parents had already passed on by the time we were married and I have no children with him so I have no idea how they would have dealt with his infidelities.
            However 65 years later, my 87 year old mother will occasionally mention how she found out that my father’s mother would often facilitate hook-ups for my NPD father with an old girlfriend(s?) while my mother stayed home minding the very children who were named after these grandparents!

            Truly soul-less and cruel.

        • Bloody hell Kelli! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Urgh, it makes me feel sick how she’s behaved. Pretending to be your friend while plotting against you! It does seem like the disordered mother makes the disordered son… So sorry for everything you’ve been through. I hope you’re ok now?

        • Kelli….. Ooooooooooooo !!!! I am soooo gonna use thenthumbs up thumbs down emojis… That will drive him bat shit crazy. Thank u.

    • Thank you for all your advice. You’ve no idea how much it helps me!

      I’ve been in two minds whether to attempt shuttle mediation or not (I could never attempt normal, in the same room mediation, the very thought makes me feel tense), but reading all your comments and feedback, you’ve helped me make my mind up.

      STBX keeps putting pressure on me to mediate with email after email, saying that sleeping on a sofa is intolerable, as is having to get someone else to let him into his friend’s flat. If you can believe the gall of this man! No doubt I’m the evil wife because I kicked him out – I bet that’s what he’s spinning to his friends and family. He even withheld his salary to the point we went overdrawn (I’m on maternity leave so have no income) to try and force me to mediate. Bear in mind it’s been only weeks since D-Day. I’m still in a spin with two children taking up all my time.

      He and his mother are making me so anxious, I think you’re right. I think it’s finally time to take a bit of power and control back and start the legal ball rolling. I’m actually a bit terrified of how he’ll react! Passive aggressive narcs are scary – I’m scared of what he might plan in revenge because I’ve side-stepped mediation.

      As an aside, I didn’t realize that STBX stood for ‘soon-to-be-ex’ – I thought it stood for ‘ShitBox’. Clearly you’re all much more polite than I am. I still read STBX / STBXH as ShitBox / ShitBox Husband. It brings some cheer.

      • Don’t let them bully you! GET A LAWYER or call a domestic abuse HOTLINE.

        He cannot stop paying for things — that’s financial abuse. You need a lawyer to get a temporary support order IMMEDIATELY.

        If you fear him, you need to talk to professionals. Please call a domestic abuse hot line. We’re not overreacting, OTCT — we’ve been there.

        Yes, take your power back TODAY. Do it for your kids — but do it CAREFULLY.

        Mediation only works with honest brokers — you’re in an abusive, co-ercive situation.

        • CL is absolutely right OTCT. I was married to a Covert Narc – very passive-aggressive. I secretly moved out one day while he was at work because I couldn’t predict his reaction. Please don’t underestimate him, call the hotline. I would suggest looking at getting a restraining order. I know some people think it compares to pouring gasoline on a fire, but it could also be a leverage tool. With narcs, impression management is paramount. If you can, get the RO (which would piss him off royally, as it tarnishes his reputation because it will be on his record), and get a hard-as-nails Attorney who will champion for you and your children. The Lawyer could work a deal in your favor: if he agrees to your terms of divorce (include a no-contact clause in the settlement), you will lift the restraining order. I have actually seen this work.

          • The last ‘incident’ was 3 years ago – when he threw a games console controller at my pregnant belly. I guess I’ve been conditioned to minimize the past, but I actually feel more frightened and intimidated by his emotional and mental abuse. His ability to gaslight me to the point my head hurt. I don’t think he’d try to physically hurt me ever again (although I’m getting a bolt fitted on the door, just in case!)

            Even when we were together in a ‘good’ period, I had considered going to the police to tell them about all the things that had happened. Not to press charges, not so he would ever know, but just in case anything ever happened again. My mum talked me out of it – she thought it would stop him getting a new job! But the very fact that I was even thinking like that, in a supposed ‘good’ time speaks volumes. There were so many red flags, I just ignored them.

            I think one of my lessons from all of this is to listen to your gut instinct. I never did, and I don’t know why.

            • No disrespect to your mother, but she is not an expert. In fact, she gave you bad advice. Like everyone else here is saying, get a tough lawyer on your side ASAP who will tell you exactly what to do…and what not to do. Get smart and STOP talking and responding to everyone, from now on the lawyer does the talking. Meanwhile, you can start a notebook of observations and anything negative that happens – jot down the date with each entry. This can possibly be used as evidence if needed at trial. Do not keep that notebook where prying eyes can find it. Ideally not at your home or in your car and not with your mother either. Consider a bank safety box.

              • Deborah Regen says

                November 4, 2015 at 5:37 pm

                No disrespect to your mother, but she is not an expert. In fact, she gave you bad advice. Like everyone else here is saying, get a tough lawyer on your side ASAP who will tell you exactly what to do…and what not to do. Get smart and STOP talking and responding to everyone, from now on the lawyer does the talking. Meanwhile, you can start a notebook of observations and anything negative that happens – jot down the date with each entry. This can possibly be used as evidence if needed at trial. Do not keep that notebook where prying eyes can find it. Ideally not at your home or in your car and not with your mother either. Consider a bank safety box.

      • Please know that I am here with you, OTCT! I just went through 2 years of this with my ex. The worst has been the financial abuse. Please, please, please consider just filing and letting the chips fall as they may. I beg you not to mediate. He will only try to manipulate you. Been there, done that.

        Unfortunately, the financial abuse does get worse. Because I proved to be quite strong (or MIGHTY as we say here), he knew that the physical abuse was not getting him anywhere. He attacked me after I found his secret stash of text messages on his phone. He demanded I give him back the phone. I laughed, and told him hell no, he wasn’t getting the phone back. I was taking that phone straight to my attorney first thing Monday morning. He chased me down a hallway leading out to our garage, tackled me, and began banging my head into the concrete. My only conscious thought, other than I hope he doesn’t break my glasses because we can’t afford new ones, was that I had to hold onto that phone. I did, somehow got him off of me, and called the police. With his phone. The police came, saw my bleeding head, called the ambulance, and he was carted off to jail.

        As an aside, my mother in law and all of his family took the position that the photos I had of my injuries that my friend took and presented in court were Photoshopped. I work in marketing/PR, and while, yes, I do use photoshop on occasion, photoshopping black eyes, bruises, scrapes, and gouges in my scalp would be a real pain in the ass. They thought, I guess, that photoshopping a picture and adding in all of these “fake” injuries was a quick and easy process. So. Not. True.

        Anyway, at the time, I was a stay at home mom. I had not been employed for a year. He moved out in January of 2014, and stopped paying any bills, the house note, the car notes, and utilities. I had to call his boss and beg her to have him pay the electricity bill so it didn’t get cut off the next day. Same with the water, gas, and cable. I made the same pleas to my in-laws, and I later read that they advised him against paying the cable, because my girls watched entirely too much Disney Princess shows on television, and they were starting to get “attitudes.” My then one and two year olds were having behavior problems because they were watching too much Cinderella. This is how these crazy people think.

        When I filed for divorce on May 6, 2014, I was unemployed. I found out that my ex paid the last mortgage payment in March, so my house was going to go into foreclosure on June 1, 2014. He had not made a car payment on my car since February, so if I did not make a payment by May 26th, my car as going to be repossessed. I had no money. My bank account was overdrawn. My only salvation was the Bank of Mom and the Bank of Dad. That, and the fact that my step mom is an attorney.

        I have a MS and now an MBA, so I did get a job fairly quickly, thank God! My first paycheck came on June 30, 2014. Our first court date for the divorce and custody was canceled on June 12, 2014, and rescheduled for July 28, 2014. Suffice it to say, he learned that if he didn’t pay his attorney, she would cancel court, saying she had a conflict. No court meant no child support order. I didn’t get his sorry ass into court until January, 2015. That was when he insisted on a custody study.

        In January, the judge ordered him to pay back expenses and a small amount of child support going forward. He has paid precisely NOTHING. In May, 2015, I filed for contempt of court. In August, he was held in contempt, and I was awarded sole custody of the children. He, in turn, quit his job, and took a job working for his mother’s boyfriend, who owns several car lots. He’s working for cash under the table.

        Since he had no record of employment or paystubs, etc., no child support could be set in August. The judge told him in August that we were coming back to court in November (on the 12th next week), and the judge told him that he would be making an order for child support at the November court date come hell or high water. It would also be retroactive to August. In the mean time, the ex was supposed to keep paying his monthly child support that was ordered back in January. He has yet to pay me anything, save $1400 to keep from going to jail. I have filed for contempt on the amount he was ordered to pay me when he was held in contempt the first time. He has literally not paid me a damn dime in two years.

        In the mean time, he only gets the children about 20 hours a month. He is supposed to get the girls on every other weekend, from morning until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. No overnights, as recommended by the psychologist, who referenced the ex’s psych test results as his reasoning for not recommending any overnight visitation. The ex, in turn, writes a letter to my attorney/step mom saying that he took a job working on Saturdays, and gave up his visitation on those days. So, now, he sees the girls from about 9am until 6pm every-other Sunday.

        My 4 year old was a preemie, so we have a ton of medical bills. She has physical therapy every Friday. The physical therapist recommended ballet to help strengthen her balance. Not only do I have the responsibility to pay for all of the girls’ expenses, but the ex has never even taken the girls to the doctor, let alone paid for it. He couldn’t even tell you the name of our pediatrician or my daughter’s PT that she has been seeing for a year every week. I would bet money he would not be able to name her diagnosis which landed her in PT (cerebral palsy).

        So, OTCT, it can get so much worse. Please do not negotiate with this man. He has shown you who he is. These freaks are not like normal people. They don’t feel. They don’t care. You’re bleeding in the street from a head wound they inflicted? Meh, who cares, pass the hot pockets.

        Please, please, please protect yourself and your children. Yes it will take a while, and the courts can only do so much, but do it. Whatever your line in the sand is (mine was sole custody and child support), stick to your guns. Protect your children. Protect yourself. Been there, done that.

        Find your inner bad ass. Decide that you are not going to be a chump anymore. Kick some cheater ass (metaphorically), and take your life back. Don’t let these freaks win. You got this.

        • Kelli — you are amazing. And congrats on the MBA. 🙂 Hope you nail his ass in court next week.

        • Kelli – this is an incredible display of ‘might’. Atta girl! I hope you prevail in court.

          • Kelli, your story blew me away. I am so impressed with how you handled things and continue to handle things. How do you do it? I too am fighting for child support but my struggles pale in comparison to yours. Your girls are so young and one with physical issues and that ass ass asshole has literally not stepped up whatsoever. I am truly impressed with the level headed manner that you are coping and my heart absolutely breaks for you and the difficulties you have endured because of a disordered individual. So very sad and so very hard for you. Please know that you are amazing and I am truly sorry for what you have endured. Please consider some supportive therapy or some kind of help that focuses on your healing (I’m thinking about the traumatic events of the domestic violence). You are so worthy of healing and growing and it is so evident that you are already on that path. My greatest feelings of support are being sent your way and I am truly in awe of your strength and determination. You are a great example to me.

        • Kelli – keep it up, girl, it WILL get better!

          OTCT – Do NOT mediate with the Narc. I wasted $5000 on 4 hours of mediation the day before Thanksgiving 2014. It was shuttle mediation, I saw the mediator for 4 min, Cheater had her for 3 hours, 56 min where he flirted, charmed and manipulated her that I was so evil, because I was mean to his Schmoopie. It was the biggest waste of money EVER and I lost a vacation day at work, too.

          Do NOT serve the Narc or tell him you’re seeing a lawyer. I told this group here about a month ago, a former coworker of mine told her husband she wanted a divorce, he pulled out a shotgun and killed her. These people are not killers until they are. We all think, “oh, I don’t think he’ll physically harm me”. Don’t take that chance. My coworker’s kids are teens and have no mother and father in jail. Seek counsel from a lawyer so you’re protected!

  • My mother in law was shocked when she learnt that he son cheated. She called me to provide comfort. This was a year ago, and she did it again several times.
    Yesterday I received an email from her, saying that she and her man were hoping for a miracle, that her son and I would get back together.
    Miracle indeed, because I don’t view it as a possibility after such a huge betrayal.
    I had a nasty boyfriend but a great mother in law.

    • My GMIL also told me she was praying for a miracle that we would get back together. I said not happening ever, your bitch granddaughter deserves to rot in hell

    • My SIL said, from the very beginning, that she loved me more than her brother… that he was a dick and didn’t deserve me and that WHEN we got divorced, she’ll still have to tolerate him but she’d always be more in my life than his, if I would let her. “We’re related and I love him but he’s an asshole and he’s just behaving right now. I’m happy you’re getting married because I love you so much and this makes you happy… and I’m happy for my brother because he’s DAMN LUCKY to have you and at least I know we’ll keep in touch because of you… but he’s an asshole and it’s only a matter of time before he messes up so badly that you won’t be able to get over it.” She was right. I knew it then, too. Really, I did. My own FOO issues/childhood trauma due to the consequences of their actions made that decision, not my heart. I did know it, then. I told her of them, then.

      She has re-iterated this literally EVERY time I see her (twice a year, at least.) “I hope you know that I will always want to be YOUR family… by choice. You’re my sister. I have no choice with Cheater but I hope you never forget that I LOVE YOU. Divorcing my brother would never change that. He’ll just forget about us anyway.”

      MIL (betrayed wife, by her best friend and her pastor of a husband!) was estranged by Cheater for 20 years (I never was… I met her at the start and kept seeing her/bringing the children to visit), until this betrayal all came out last year. Cheater is “amenable” to seeing her at family functions now. Cheating FIL died 3 years ago. MIL is still unspeakably hurt by her son abandoning her too but at least now, I don’t care if he’s pissed that I invite her to fucking EVERYTHING. She adores me and our children and has said that if I ever want to move there (almost two states away), we can have their current rental house for costs… taxes and insurance.

      If EVER in-laws were supportive of the Betrayed Wife, it’s them. I’m lucky, that way.

      • Sometimes the ties to the family you choose are much stronger that the ties to those who share your blood. I’m happy that you get to have a strong relationship with them :). I guess cheaters can also come from good families.

        I sometimes think about losing my beautiful nieces in the divorce and it truly breaks my heart. But I’m staying in touch with Idiot’s family, so I would at least continue to get pictures from the girls as they grow up. I’m pretty sure I will get my own copy of their portrays this year.

        • They were abandoned too… Cheater’s father left them. Cheater moved away and ignored contact except when it benefited him to appear as a Good Person. They know how I feel.

          His father, maternal grandfather, paternal grandfather, and all great grandfathers either committed suicide or did exactly the things they were expressly told would kill them. ALL of them. The older generations of men died young (family lore is suicide for almost all – 30s and 40s) and the women live forever (90s and 100s.)

          Cheater SAID he wanted to kill himself a year ago… took out a hunting rifle while I was sobbing – and in the midst of a miscarriage – and said he was a piece of shit for hurting me so much and leaving me to suffer alone the entire time. He just re-purposed the pain I told him about for his own use. UBT would call it self-pity… he was glad I wasn’t having another baby to increase future child support and needed it to SEEM like he was distraught. He wasn’t. He wanted to see if I cared. If he killed himself, surely Other People would think he felt remorse (“OMg – he KILLED himself!”) over being such a shit the ENTIRE time.

          I didn’t stop him. I left the room, then got angry. I stormed back in and told him that he would be the most vile, reprehensible PIECE OF SHIT if he DARED to kill himself like the fucking selfish prick he always had been, in our home with the children present in the next room… forcing us to remember a scene with the sound and sight of his blood splattered across a hole in the wall or ceiling… forEVER etched into our minds. That if he was going to kill himself, to at least THINK of how I would blame him – to everyone – for scarring our children for LIFE and giving them massive FOO issues like he’d had… having to remember his murder of himself… and do it somewhere else.

          Cheater likes to pretend that didn’t happen.

          I married into a long, LONG line of selfish, pieces-of-shit men. My primary focus, with my son, is to bring him up with consequences, compassion, and kindness. Wrongs are exposed, apologized for, and corrected. Self-pity is met with concern but with planning toward alleviating the causes of it… and a lot of, “Well, you’re angry because you did the wrong thing and so… this happened. And this is why. If you do these things instead, it won’t happen again. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t MEAN it; you DID it. This happened… now, how can you fix it?” The wrong thing happens less and less. He catches himself BEFORE being selfish.

          Our son is, thankfully, much more empathetic. He stills gets mad but… it’s only with himself. He knows that there are consequences… and that I’ll let him bear the brunt of them. Shame is something I WANT him to feel, naturally. I want him to feel it from consequences of his actions, as a child, so that he knows how bad it is as an adult… and avoid it. Cheater’s family of women only ever gave them a soft spot to fall afterward, to keep them alive by assuring them that they were okay, with that sort of history as an underlying threat. Not a single one of them ever thought they were bad… IF they left a note, it was to blame others for their choice. To make them feel bad for causing them to commit suicide. (Yes, they’re despicable!)

          But that isn’t our responsibility. It never was. It hasn’t mattered if they were on meds, in therapy, etc. In or out, they all made the choice to kill themselves. I am VERY above-board about that family history. Our family tree is extensively documented, in neat binders, on both sides. I don’t beat about the bush… things ARE as they ARE. No pretty masking in it at all. Stories are included. Sidelines about mistresses, abuse, abandonment, and illegitimacy are included, along with the good stories. All the things that don’t ring true are highlighted and given all possible scenarios. It’s REAL. After all of this deception, I’m DONE with anything that even remotely seems false.

          If Cheater ever decides to kill himself again, I won’t stop him. As long as our kids aren’t anywhere near him, it’s not my business. Knowing the family backstories about their suicides, it may very well have been the one thing each of them ever did that was of ANY benefit to their families. AWFUL. Nonetheless, it was their CHOICE… the blameshifting is DONE. I will NOT take it. They thought they shouldn’t be alive anymore and that was THEIR choice. DONE. It’s no one else’s fault. The choices you make are ones you have to live with… don’t make choices you can’t live with, if you want to live. And if you don’t? The end. And it’s no one’s decision except yours.

        • I never met my former MIL (she’d passed years earlier). My former FIL was The World’s Most Difficult Man, but he knew his son was an arrogant POS, and was always kind to me, in his sexist “no sense waiting to wash those dishes” and “no woman’s job requires those kind of hours” way. The extended family (step-siblings, their spouses and kids) were wonderful, and supportive when the shit hit the fan. Sadly, they were also sources of abundant information about me, so I had to go NC with the lot of them (as well as mutual friends) to escape the stalking fucktard ex.

          After hearing that the ex had had the good sense to die a slow and painful death, I reached out to a couple of my Outlaws. They’d been looking for me, but could not find me while I was in stealth mode. They’d also witnessed the discard of my replacement and the arrogant POS’s fall from grace in his profession, both of which I’d told them to expect when I rode off into the sunset. They were sorry about what the POS put me through. I lost a lot of years I’d have enjoyed with those nice people, but we’re back in touch now. Better late than never.

    • My mother-in-law is also a wonderful person and great support to me. My ex’s AP/girlfriend, years later, is still not welcome at any get-together they host, but I’m invited. My ex often chooses not to attend either and never takes the kids to visit them himself. Instead of introducing me as ‘daughter-in-law’ she now simply introduces me to people in her life as ‘daughter.’

      I do wonder if that will change someday, maybe if ex and AP get legally married, but I’ll deal with that if/when it happens.

      But if you don’t have that sort of person, don’t bother hoping they’ll change. This MIL is circling the wagons around her son, and you’re on the outside.

  • My MIL prides herself in being “Switzerland”, i.e., not taking taking sides, trying to support us both. But of course she really is biased toward her son, and anyhow, even if she was unbiased Switzerland SUCKS. I need someone who actually has my back and says NO to emotional abuse.

    • I also have a MIL that is ‘Switzerland’ as well. And it’s unbelievably hurtful since she was like a second mom to me. She has completely enabled his behavior and also tells me, ‘The children are the most important concern right now’ – WHAT THE FUCK DOES SHE THINK I’M DOING? Of course the kids are – why doesn’t she tell her son that since he only stays with her one night a week to have the kids so he can spend the rest of the week with his girlfriend?

      She’s not the narc though – his father is – and she’s enabled and put up with the emotional abuse and cheating from him for 40 years. So, while I was hoping that she would have at least attempted to console me or give her son some shit for doing this to the woman who has taken care of his ass for the past 12 years and birthed her grandchildren – but as CL said, my purpose has been served and her loyalty is to her son. Complete bullshit. This actually hurts more than what he’s done at times. I miss his sister and his mom more than I miss him.

      • WJH – I felt that way, too. Absolutely devastated by the loss of my in-laws. MIL was like a 2nd mother to me and SILs were sisters to me. That all came to a screeching halt with the divorce… I expected as much would happen, but it tore me apart nonetheless. It has taken me years to get past that pain.

        • It’s so weird how in-laws just disappear. I was in that family for 25 years and not one word has been uttered to me about anything not once. Upon finding out about the cheating however, I called MIL to disclose and the first thing out of her mouth was, “How did you find out?” These people aren’t worth one more ounce of my thoughts but I still feel hurt to be so abandoned as I was a good DIL, always included them, thanked them, helped them.

    • Yes, “Switzerland” can hurt when your in-laws were so important to you. I’m not really surprised in my ex-wife’s case, because as good as they always were to me, they enabled the narcissistic behavior in the first place. My ex is their daughter after all, and I am sure they have already accepted her new mate… who was the affair partner. He is not divorced yet, three years after I discovered the thing and kicked her out.

      I initially stayed tight with her family, but as outwardly polite as they are to me, there is no way I am hanging out in their living room with my ex and her affair partner. In my in-laws eyes, they’d just like everyone to get along so they don’t have to do the hard work of identifying their daughter being dead inside.

      • “…they’d just like everyone to get along so they don’t have to do the hard work of identifying their daughter being dead inside.”

        Chumpion, I think that’s at the root of why any in-laws who aren’t narcs become Switzerland or, in my case, cut off the betrayed former in-law. I don’t think that my ex in-laws are narcs, but I do think that my XMIL just wants everyone to play nice. Last Christmas, it was clear that my POS ex told her a bunch of lies about me because after several years of an amicable relationship post-separation and divorce, my XMIL suddenly didn’t think we should give gifts anymore because of my “hostile relationship” with her darling son and how it was “affecting the children.”

        No, I think it’s because she doesn’t want to look too closely at who her son is; it’s much easier to assign the blame to me and write me off. What she doesn’t realize is that I was the human side of him for all those years, and all she has left now are the reptilian remnants. She’ll find that out soon enough as she gets older; he will probably stick her in a nursing home and enjoy her money, decisions I never would have supported, but his Owife certainly will.

        • What I suspect will be the natural consequence of separating myself gently from said Switzerland situation is that I will eventually get demonized for it and so be it. I realized I was putting effort in making nice with the ex-inlaws because I truly love them, but I can’t ignore the elephant in the room, and in the end it is plain cruel of them to play dumb and wonder why I can’t get along.

          The Chump situation is endlessly fascinating, the insult to injury extra shit sandwich eating even after the trauma is really something. We need to draw the line and take care of ourselves, even if the 2nd tier level of passive players in the situation get disappointed.

          “What she doesn’t realize is that I was the human side of him for all those years, and all she has left now are the reptilian remnants. ” Ha! Know what you mean MovingOn.

    • OMG the “switzerland” shit. 21 years of my marriage my ex pulled that on me. NEVER ONE TIME did my ex-husband stand up for me verbally or physically – even one time when we were in a market where an altercation took place beside where we were standing. My ex ran out the door – as I stood there. My family of origin, my ex-husband and now my grown children treat me in this shitty way “I don’t take sides”. Well, maybe then if your dad gets exposed for being a pedophile you will take sides? probably not. I have made my line in the sand. I will not EVER AGAIN be around ‘switzerland’ people. For years and years and years in my life I was made to feel like a FOOL because I stood up for people, animals and yes even my children who are now treating me like “switzerland”. I have been surrounded by narcissists and Apaths. NEVER AGAIN. OMG – sorry…. now i’m ranting…. this brought it all up again. ARRGHH!!! lol.

    • There’s no such thing as Switzerland – they are supporting the fucktard by passive resistance. Therefore, they need to fuck off.

  • Not common in my case. My MIL has been on my side from get-go. She and her son are really close, but she is appalled that he cheated. She informed him that if you play you had better be prepared to pay. She also told him that if he ever grew up enough to realize that his brain is on his shoulders and not behind his zipper he would again be welcome in their home .She tore his ass a new one and it was a beautiful sight to see.

    • This is the way it should be! It’s possible to love your cheating son/daughter but hate what they’ve done! And more importantly – let them know about it! Bravo to your MIL.

    • Same thing happened with my MIL. The last time she spoke to her son she tore him a new one. My in- laws haven been nothing but loving and supportive. I speak and see them frequently. On the other hand they haven’t seen or spoken to cheater in over 16 months.

  • When I kicked my h out, he went to mil house, he’d called her to let her know he was coming and why and her response was “great! There’s a new duvet in the guest room!”

    When he told her he’d fucked up terribly and wanted to fix what he had done, she told him, “you realize that you’ve just given her back all the power, right?”

    I always thought she was a friend to the family & marriage, but she whispered in my ear “now I have him back” and I realized nc was in order.

    She’s a couples therapist and social worker.

    • nic,

      You former mil said, “now I have him back”???? Wow. That woman is totally nuts.

      • Yes, she thinks he’s her life partner and she’s in charge of the mental health of very vulnerable people. His shrink told him he was raised with covert incest. She wanted the marriage to end, made a bed for him and asked him to stay. This after almost 30 yrs of her telling me how much she adored me. And me being guilt ridden because her behaviour so often made me queasy. It was effective – she behaved hatefully and told everyone how hateful I was. But really, I was hateful because she was so insincere.

        She also has not reached out to the kids – just moans to her son how she doesn’t see them. They’re just like shiny baubles to accessorize her grooviness. To his credit, he sees her toxicity and supports my nc.

        • I had the same kind of MIL. 18 years of putting up with her passive aggressive comments and overstepping her boundaries. She’d always say she loved me, I was her “daughter” and that sort of shit. She was constantly in our finances – who earns what and spends what – never mind that I out-earned her son and we were well off (we are in our 40s). She has counted the number of suitcases her dumb ass son would carry vs. me. Always interested if her poor boy had to have more of the burden. XH never saw this behavior in her and I always felt that I was just being bitchy for feeling like she kept score and was overstepping. My therapist said that his mom was in an emotionally incestuous relationship with my XH.

          When XH told her we were divorcing, she felt so bad for him to go through this alone (he left me (the sociopath that just abandons) and moved in with Schmoopie. He told his mother that I said she drove a wedge into our marriage. Never told her about the whore he had been banging. She then told his family that she called my home and a man had answered my phone. Of course, that never happened, but the audacity! (BTW, her H left and divorced her probably for another woman – she used the “I called his number and a woman answered the phone” bit when talking about their divorce – anyway, they remarried each other within a year or two when my X was about 7).

          Our divorce took 70 days. He brought the whore home to meet his parents less than 3 weeks following the divorce for Thanksgiving. XILs let her stay in their disgusting home. My XBIL asked his mother how she could let my XH bring his whore home – her response was: “She’s just a friend, and is therefore welcome”. XBIL said, are you going to let her sleep in the same bed as him, she replied: “He’s a grown man and can do what he wants.” Well, XH has now married the whore. The thought that XMIL now has a whore as a “daughter” puts a smile on my face.

          • “The thought that XMIL now has a whore as a “daughter” puts a smile on my face.”

            I will have to remember this!!! My STBX brought his Schmoopie home to re-meet MIL & FIL (they were in college together 35 years ago) and she slept in his bed etc. My kids hadn’t even been told we were divorcing and here momma lets golden boy do just what he wants although it seemed to go against everything they always preached!

            Now my kids know it all and Schmoopie is living with him and called his “fiancée”. My girls want to know how their grandparents allowed this to go on and on and on.

            Thanks to Cindy I can laugh thinking MIL will have a whore as a DIL! LOVE IT!!!!!

            • The mow kissed my mil’s ass for years. (They knew each other long before my h met her) I did not. Therefore I was hateful and serial cheating whore was “lovely. Helpful. Selfless.” Of course there’s nothing hateful about your son and pet employee risking the family business on an affair. The mow could have sunk the company, my h risked that for a 6 mo worship of his dick, but the one at fault is me. I can laugh about it now.

              • One of my cheating ex’s was described by his mother as ‘lovely’ too. If obese red headed hags are what you consider ‘lovely’, I guess?
                Even funnier was the fact that she described me as ‘a decent, intelligent, kind young woman’ when I was with her son, but when he cheated on me, I was ‘a cold heartless bitch’. So, which one is it?

    • Okay nic, her behavior just buried the needle on the Creep-O-Meter IMO. Absolutely chilling.

      • Yes. I have to say that for all her posturing and creepiness, she’s miserable. She has nothing of substance in her life. She’s just a chocolate Easter bunny with nothing inside. I’m not sad for her, it’s all her doing, but her handling, as the matriarch, of the infidelity basically blew up a lot of her family relationships. Because they were so shallow. She walks into a room and thinks she lights it up – always a grand enthusiastic (enthusiasm makes it real! Like the gung Ho of an affair!) entrance. But what she does is suck the air out of the room so no one can possibly ask her a question and find out how stupid she is. She is so obsessed with how she’s perceived, which is how I was just erased from her life. I remind her of icky stuff under the candy coating. And due to a horrific unrelated ordeal after the infidelity came to light, I’m still married to and living with her son. In her world, there’s always a winner and a loser. so she’s renegotiating her tactics right now because she thinks I stole him. I do not engage. She was crazy about the mow btw.

        She’s disordered and toxic, but trust me she’s not happy.

    • It’s all about the children = It’s all about MY GRANDCHILDREN, to whom I want unlimited access.

      • Yes exactly. Stepping over the mom treated as a human incubator that can’t make decisions about her children. Then get sued for access for not giving unlimited access.

  • DO NOT TALK TO HIS MOTHER. But definitely save all of her e-mails and nasty texts, as they might come in handy as evidence during the divorce or custody proceedings, as I have no doubt in my mind that she isn’t above smearing your character or engaging in custodial interference.

    Kick aside all the history you have with her and the fact that she’s your kids’ grandmother… THIS WOMAN IS YOUR ENEMY. She’s is not entitled to a response or anything that might give her insight into your thoughts or state of mind… she’s trying to demoralize you and collect ammo to be used against you.

    LISTEN TO CHUMP LADY! If your husband has a history of violence and financial impropriety, DON’T GO INTO MEDIATION. Get yourself a lion lawyer with long fangs who is going to defend you and your children’s interests with ferocity.

  • I could have written this post a million times over. Poisonous mothers raise poisonous children. I think I have more anger for exMIL than I have ever had for EX and OW. I don’t know how many times I heard, “you have to think of the kids now.” And just like OTCT, I was getting these types of messages from exMIL while we were in a brief recon phase. It was Mumsy’s time to shine. After all, she abandoned her son and went on to live her life and now that she’s old and a bit used up it was time to attach herself as a permanent fixture in his life to “help”. Adios, toxic freak!

    “Yeah, this isn’t her first mindfuck rodeo” – Brilliant and so, so true! I’ll be using that when venting to my friends and family.

    • “Think of the children” is also such an INSULT, because OTCT HAS been thinking of the children! She’s raising them! She’s the only parent on the watch thinking of the children. The other one, and his dick, have checked out.

      • It really is.

        I think what that translates to is – “please don’t tell the children their daddy is a lying, cheating sack of poo because somehow that will be a reflection of dear ol Mumsy”

  • Oh – I can relate. “The typical cheater is your usual no-remorse, gaslighting passive-aggressive joy who is now playing at being the perfect father on email.”
    I went no contact with my in-laws, it wasn’t very hard because I really couldn’t stand my M-I-L anyway (and neither can my daughter!)
    My stbx accused me of an affair YEARS ago (that never happened), but of course those are the rumors HIS parents are spreading. Whatever.

    My stbx and I purchased some land from his parents back in 1999. We needed the land markers adjusted so in 2000 we went in and re-drew the property lines. BUT – someone dropped the ball (probably the attorney) and the lines never got re-drawn. So – 15 years later – and we are divorcing, we are finding out that some of our out buildings are technically on his parents land – because the property lines have not yet been fixed. Of course asswipe is trying to use that to his advantage saying that we actually don’t own these buildings because they are on his parents land. So I call the county and find out that in 2013 the attorney realized his ‘typo’ mistake and sent forms to my in-laws to sign to get these property lines fixed. They are refusing to sign those forms…. They have had 2 years to sign and how ironic that they got these forms to sign back about the time I found out about the cheating asshole. So – stbx and his parents (I can guarantee it is his mother, not his dad) are in cahoots to screw me over on the property I too purchased from them back in 1999. Such fun

    • LS – you may already know this, but if they do not have proof of your imaginary affair, and you have proof that they are spreading that narrative, you can almost certainly bring a defamation suit against them.

      • Right….nobody seems to give any weight to the shit asshole or his parents/friends are pulling… 🙁

  • One of the best things about divorcing my emotionally abusive, cheating husband was the fact that I no longer had to deal with his mother. That woman had been making my life miserable for 25 years. What’s more, in my state grandparents have NO rights. Visitation had to be on ex’s time and he didn’t bother to take it most of the time. That old bat hadn’t bothered to build a relationship with our kids, and still doesn’t have one now that they’re all adults.

    • Can relate…even when I wasn’t quite at the place of happily divorced….I was glad to no longer have the overly involved, spiritually abusive in-laws in my life anymore. Funny how they became silent and exited the scene around the time I found out their daughter had been and was continuing to bang another dude.

      • Ditto for me! My in-laws were nasty, critical and cold, but both were dead by dday. My disordered SIL, however, harassed me for weeks about taking back her even more disordered brother.

        “I can tell he’s never going to do it again!” (The serial cheater who humped a dozen women in our 20+ years together? Of course he’s not!)

        “I’ve forgiven him. Why won’t you?” (Um, because he didn’t cheat on you?)

        “I forgave all [4] of my ex-husbands for cheating on me.” (And look how well that worked out for you!)

        Most recently, she began a text campaign to have me organize a surprise party for stbx’s 50th bday. Despite knowing we are separated. Despite knowing why. Despite the fact that I have not answered a single text. She thinks I’m going to CELEBRATE his BIRTHDAY!!

        One of the silver linings to this whole shitstorm is that I never have to deal with her again.

  • My mother in law is actually a very sweet lady. Except that she is totally afraid of standing up to her son. He would have temper tantrums at the tender age of 27 and she would just find a way to accumulate him. They also enable his irresponsible spending by lending him money every time he needed it for something “essential” (like a 1500 gaming computer interactive of a 400 dollar regular one). They do this because Idiot is “competent” and once he finished his Masters he will have no trouble paying them back. Although I think he will just keep borrowing money for more things like a down-payment on a house or to buy a jetski before actually paying back his current debt. I’m hoping one days Idiot’s parents will wake up and realize they are being played by a narcissist because they are decent people and deserve better.

    Idiot had the balls to tell me that he knows he is a tyrant to his family, but that that only happens when I’m around. Like he is supposed to be a nice a dócil angel without me and his tyranny is somehow my fault. Fuck that Noise.

    OTCT, please realize that you don’t have to have a relationship with these people for the children. After your divorce you will have legal responsibilities to fulfil and you should find a way to do that via text or email and go No Contact the rest of the time. This means no joint christmas with you your MIL, STBXH and his new sweet pea. Please protect yourself and your emotional wellbeing. Your children need you to model self respect more than anything else.

    Stay strung. big jedi hugs.

  • My stbxw’s mother is just like the rest of her family: nice to my face, and blame shifting every terrible aspect of stbxw’s cheating, lying, and disrespecting onto me in private. I know, because I’ve read the emails.

    Luckily, I was able to contest their awful behavior with that of my family, who were willing to give the stbxw’s side the benefit of the doubt until they had enough evidence to prove that the stbxw’s side is pretty messed up. My family also was very candid about what they would’ve told me if I had been the one who had cheated; in summary, it would’ve been ripping me a new one, not enabling the dysfunction and abuse (or helping me move out and raiding the martial home and property, as my xmil did).

    OTCT, your life will be far more peaceful once you go NC on these disordered a-holes. Trust me on this one.

  • This is so much my story but my kids are grown and MIL has been in hiding ever since she was told. Not once did she contact me (after a 30 year marriage). She raised a narcissist and he was her golden boy — forget his sister, she married while in college to get away from her mother and brother. In any case, my MIL has never ever said one word to me about our divorce and my girls (ages 23&24) are so angry with their only grandmother, that they want nothing to do with her. My FIL early on, apologized for his son’s behavior and he’s been lovely to me. However, MIL has always made me feel like a maid, cook and cleaning person all rolled into one. Her son had a lovely home and beautiful well-mannered daughters and I was just the afterthought in her eyes. Actually I think she was a little intimidated by me and that’s why she kept her distance.

    Last week I ran across an email from MIL’s cousin announcing their family reunion that weekend. It was sent to our old joint email address. I read down the news and it mentioned that J&B and STBX and Schmoopie would be there. I quickly deleted the email, but then got a touch of wicked and wrote back to inform everyone included on the email (MIL & STBX included) that they had STBX old email address. I gave them the new address and then proceeded to inform them all that STBX and I were not yet divorced and the fact that Schmoopie had now usurped my position in the family was extremely hurtful to me and the kids. I didn’t hear from a soul but would have loved to watch the ripple effect. I’m sure MIL had told the holy-roller cousins that STBX was already divorced.

    I felt wonderful after blowing their cover!

  • Two years before my own D-Day, my sister-in-law was caught dead-to-rights cheating on her husband. We’re talking Craigslist ads (with disgusting photos of her advertising her assets!) posted by her and the AP, wherein they were trolling for group sex…because one AP wasn’t enough. Turns out she has cheated on her husband from the dating stage right through marriage and two kids.

    My MIL did nothing but make excuses for her daughter’s despicable behavior throughout the whole thing. My MIL and FIL started their own relationship while my FIL was still married to his ex-wife.

    Color me UNsurprised when she also circled the wagons around her son after my own D-Day. Suddenly everything was about what *I* had to do for the “sake of the children.” I had to be the “bigger person,” I had to forgive and “rise above,” I had to “find a way to be friends with A—-” and the Whore….etc. Oh, and lest I neglected to properly notice, the Cheating Dickhead was “hurting so much, too,” she reminded me daily.

    Yes, the narcissism, entitlement issues, lack of empathy and disregard for normal boundaries often comes from FOO. Not always, but often enough. And no, you cannot get through to any of them. Don’t try to speak truth to stupid. Don’t put your hand in that blender.

    No Contact with all of them is the only way to go.

    • Wow LMM! Your SIL was/is a female version of my XH. Almost the same exact situation, but without children.

    • “And no, you cannot get through to any of them. Don’t try to speak truth to stupid. Don’t put your hand in that blender.”

      ^^^THIS ^^^ EXACTLY!!

  • My MIL texted me on my birtday, which was 6 days after Dday. To say she was sorry and that she still loved me. Bullshit! Their whole family dynamic is fucked, both parents cheated on each other. Bbbhore’ 2 younger sisters are obviously half sisters. MIL texted me awhile ago asking me not to tell people what had happened so her shitty daughter’s life wouldn’t be hell when she moved back. They all knew about the affair before I did, they knew who it was and that they were still together before I did. And as much as they all “love” me no one could say a fucking word to me?!?! Hate isn’t a strong enough emotion for how to feel for them. They are all toxic, and I will do anything and everything in my power to keep that poison from infecting my children. Don’t trust a single thing any of a cheaters family say, the old saying “If your not for me your against me” is very accurate. They will all be against you even if they say otherwise. DON’T TALK TO YOUR MIL!!! Fuck mediation, take this fucker to the cleaners! To them you are less than nothing so don’t even treat them as human, because they’re not.

    • Yep. Your MIL says “I love you” = “so please don’t negate our BS cover story for what really happened.”

  • My in-laws of over 20 years? Never once showed up to comfort me. No phone call. Never saw my niece or nephews again. They simply walked out of my life. It was very painful to me as I believed they loved me. I was wrong about that.

    Looking back they were an entitled family. They didn’t like anybody who disagreed with their beliefs. They had poor relationships with other family members and no friends to speak of. They fronted like the ‘perfect’ family but in fact, they were very controlling people.

    As much as it hurt me, I’m glad they are gone now. I realize they probably didn’t think that I was worthy of their precious smart boy and they couldn’t deal with the fact he was a cheater. It’s easier to blame me. So yes I agree that the entitlement, lack of empathy and lousy boundaries are a part of a cheaters history to some extent. The apple doesn’t fall far….

    • Yup. No one called and asked if I needed help with the kids, can we do anything for you. Crickets. It hurt as much as the betrayal, it genuinely did. My h said “they care, they just don’t know what to do.” Interestingly, the one in law who was the pitied stupid pathetic one by her own family sent me a note that said,”I love you I don’t know what to do to help but I want you to know that I love you and always will.” It meant the world to me. So I said to h, “it’s not that they don’t know what to do, they. Do. Not. Care.” The one family member without an MSW treated me with kindness, and my relationship with her hasn’t changed. These idiots cannot stand being empathetic or compassionate because they don’t see the win for themselves. So why bother?

    • Yup. Over 20 years with the bunch and CRICKETS. especially shocking, but I guess not really, with MIL. She was the chump in BOTH of her marriages. Her reaction when I made asshat tell her of his fab double life, “does this have anything to do with me?”.

      Believe me , if any of those clowns come after me to “think of the children” I will shove my fist up their asses. THIS coming from a troop of cheating narcs and co dependents.

  • My mother in law upon learning what happened assured me “Lenny would never cheat on you, he loves you and the girls.”…..3 weeks later she was having dinner with him and his whore. I did bump into her at the grocery store produce isle….my husband had me in jail for 30 days…. yes….30 days due to my confronting him and his whore in my church. He hadn’t gone to church for 5 years….now he shows up with his whore while I am there. Now….confronting isn’t illegal….but he out a restraining order on me. So he has his pansy ass protected….. my mother in law was selecting broccoli when I approached her. She said “it is over between you two….they came to me and explained they know what they are doing is wrong but they are in love and you can’t stop it”….. I replied with at the top of my lungs….”Your son is fucking a woman in my house in my bed and you are okay with this?”….. she told me to shoosh.
    I yelled it even louder.
    She is a deacon in her church….she does vacation bible school for the children.
    Trust and Believe my children want nothing to do with her.

    • “They are in love and can’t stop it”? What garbage!!!! More like they are entitled assholes and want what they want at the expense of their spouses/children/families. I am glad you yelled at her.

      • It’s all about image management. Glass houses mean you pretend everything is pretty and hide your terribleness in the sub basement, criminal minds style.

    • My XH filed a restraining order against me. It was done 10 days after his whore had filed an Injunction Against Harassment. Mind you, I confronted them by text and there were no threats. They lied and the judge wrote the orders. Disordered people don’t care about being fair – it’s all about them. They will be ruthless if you get in their way.

      • Cindy, they were working the system. My ex got physical with me and stalked off. I locked the bedroom door and called my sister. He called the police and said I’d abused him, then pounded on the door until I opened it and rushed me. I held up my hands to defend myself, and the impact tore off a fingernail. When the cops arrived, he pointed at the blood on his arm (mine) and demanded my arrest. They wouldn’t do that, so he made a “citizen’s arrest.” I went to jail for the night. My Dad slept on the bench in the lobby, but he didn’t have the money to get me out. My sister flew in from 500 miles away to bail me out. While they were both waiting there, the ex waltzed in and demanded to drop the charges because he figured I’d learned my lesson and would now respect his authority. You can’t make this shit up.

        I wasn’t prosecuted and the arrest was expunged. I was taken to visit the prosecutor and a roomful of women’s advocates. I was encouraged to file charges for that false report and arrest. I didn’t. But I should have. I was given a packet of information to read about how often that scenario results in serious injury or death when the victim remains compliant with the abuser. And I was told that claims of abuse by perpetrators of abuse are rampant. Discredit the victim. Call it mutual combat. Whatever makes the victim less credible or less sympathetic. It happens every day.

        • Oh, how horrible! I’m so sorry! There is no decency in these people. I think it takes Chumps a while to catch on. Never in a million years did I think my X would cheat, let alone file a restraining order against me. I never raised a hand to him nor threaten him in the 18 years I knew him. It was such a shock.

          I think you did the right thing by not engaging with him any further. It may have just escalated as I think people that do this shit love to keep the drama going. After he pulled the restraining order bit (I’m sure on whore’s sage advice), I hired an attorney to communicate with him on the sale of our house(post divorce). I was never actually served with the order, service was attempted, I just didn’t answer the door and saw that it was filed on line. I will no longer fuel X’s drama. I go out of my way to avoid him and his whore. I’ve stepped out of the triangle.

        • Exactly, Survivor–kowtowing to these Cluster Bs makes them escalate, not get better. Abused spouses need to file reports, complaints, document, and control the narrative, or the risk of serious harm increases.

  • I knew my mother-in-law before I knew my husband. She was my first boss (principal) out of college. She hired me as a sixth grade teacher. She introduced me to her son and felt like we would be a good match. I thought we were a good match for a long time. . We were very good friends, we both had a love for education and children. We went to lunch, shopping and took a trip to NYC together just the two of us. She told me I was the daughter she never had and that she loved me like her own kids. Now, 21 years later she has shown me her true colors. After D-Day she became a mean monster just like her son. She cut me off of everything, wouldn’t talk to me and enabled her son in every way possible including giving him use of a rent free condo. I did email her and told her my feelings and I don’t regret it but it hasn’t come back to hurt me. She did this with another daughter in law and so I shouldn’t be surprised but I genuinely thought we had a strong relationship that couldn’t be broken. I believe she is a covert narcissist. She knows how to say the right thing, do the right thing and she has tons of friends but if you cross her or stand up to her she becomes a cruel sub-human. She has been married 3 times and I just recently found out she was the other woman with her current husband. The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. This has been pretty hard because they were my family since I live 600 miles away from my family but I do know it is best that I am away from them so I can live my life with people who have the same values. My sons are appalled by her behavior and want nothing to do with her so, of course, that is all my fault.

    I feel I can honestly say that if either of my sons ever cheats on their wives, I will never enable their behavior. I will love my kids unconditionally always and I don’t think it is loving to enable your child in destructive behavior and to encourage them to be selfish, cruel jerks but some moms don’t get this.

    • Enabling isn’t loving. When you knowingly look the other way when your adult child destroys their own life and say nothing that is not love.

      X-holes mother has watched him destroy himself financially for years, even before I entered the picture, and says nothing, pretends “all is well”.

      I have a daughter that is 26 and I love her with my whole heart, she has a drinking problem. I do not shame her but I also do not coddle her, I tell her the truth…even when I know it will piss her off. She gets over it, she knows I’m being honest and she knows above all else that I love her. I tell her what she needs to hear, the truth.

      • Good for you NC! That’s real love and sometimes it’s not easy. I’ve told my two boys that if they ever pull the stuff their father has that I will kick their butts. (Figuratively, of course.)

  • OTCT, how do you think your cheater got to be the biggest asshat on earth? He learned it at his mother’s knee! Scratch a cheater and I guarantee you will come up with a psycho mother all over your hands. Wish I had know that 20-some years ago. His mother was bat-shit crazy, personality disorders coming out of her ears, so I gave him a little leeway on his “quirks”. Quirks quickly turned into full-blown narcissism. I’ve already cautioned my son – I’ve told him I don’t care how in love you are with someone – TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THE MOTHER – if she has a little crazy around the eyes – RUN!

    • EXCELLENT advice! Before Dday, I had always hoped that the two weren’t the same, but I was wrong. I will definitely share this with my kids as well!

    • yep, always look at the mother. And look at that person you are dating and watch the interaction with the mother.

    • Fathers too. My Stbxh is a exact match to his father’s philandering, narcissistic ways.

      • I agree with all of you. Ex FIL was an abandoner and ex MIL a narcissistic, selfish, sneaky, back stabbing hypocrite.

      • Yes, they want to emulate their father, or gain his stamp of approval. Why, Oh why did I not pay attention, when I was dating him, to the way his Dad treated his Mom? Disdain, mocking her job and contributions, and going absolutely everywhere with her own SISTER (who lived with them), while she stayed at home! Fastforward 12 years, and he’s doing it all to me. Not with my sisters, but taking his secretary, his co-worker, and whoever, all over while I stayed home wondering where the hell he was, and took care of my darling sons. And on, and on for years. It took me too long to figure out- he wanted to be like dear old Dad!
        I wish I would have checked out his family more! They were, shall we say, interesting….

        • Yes, listen closely to childhood family stories… My ex got away with a LOT of stuff as a child and teenager that normally would have warranted some kind of consequences. His family was status oriented and used connections to keep their son’s bad behavior under wraps. Spoiled and adored by all… just too darn cute to be punished for anything.

  • First.. don’t even THINK about mediating a divorce with this fuckwit. Domestic Violence? History of hiding money? Running around on you while you are knee deep in baby and toddler? Uh, NO. Hire yourself the meanest lawyer you can find. And make sure you document document document!!!

    Second, is this common… well, Yes. Narcissistic cheaters, and narcissistic assholes in general almost always have enabling people in their lives. Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Friends.. and yes, at times Chump spouses. They are used to being catered too and validated. So it’s obvious when things go wrong in the marriage that the enablers come out in spades to support the poor dears.


    Agree with CL don’t talk to this woman ever again. “It’s about the children”.. well Yeah lady it is, and I don’t want to raise them married to this fuckwit. And I want to make sure said fuckwit pays me ever dime I am entitled to… now and into the future. Sick the lawyer on them.

  • Ex became more physically abusive as the discovery of affair went on and he moved out of the house. When dropping off the kids after a visitation I did not have to allow happen, but did, he put his hands on me. That was the last time. I called the cops. Mumsy came and while the cops put him in the cop car she was yelling, “You are RUINING my son’s life!!!” That was allllll the confirmation I needed to not ever spit on that bitch if she were on fire in my presence.

    The cops telling her she better go back to her car because she was close to being cuffed and taken to jail as well – that was fucking priceless.

  • I’ll also bet that her problem with all of this is she doesn’t want Sonny-Boy to look like the bad guy because of how it will reflect on her. She wouldn’t want anyone to know that she raised a self-serving asshole. That would make her look like a bad mommy. Tell her to keep her advice to herself.

    • This is so true. My own mother frequently covers to one of my brothers, who is a narc and never-do-well. She does this at the expense of her relationship with my other brother. She wants to play happy families but doesn’t see how enabling the narc brother to make herself look good just doesn’t work

  • MIL was the most self centered person I have ever known. She never did anything for her son or the grandchildren, unless it was a “photo – opportunity” where she could appear to be a concerned parent/grandparent, when she needed pictures to show to “other” people — outside the family — who were much more important to impress than anyone in the family. She didn’t ever remember the children’s birthdays, and couldn’t even spell their names correctly. She never invited them over, and only barely tolerated them at family events. It wasn’t just my children — all the grandchildren were treated that way.

    I forgave my spouse many things because I was horrified by what life must be like with such a horrific mother. He hated her, but would always act respectful to her “in public”. I guess he had been taught early that the way things appear to others is much more important than the way things really are. My personal opinion is that his hatred of her is what started a deep misogynistic bent in him — and watching her manipulate his father also convinced me why he thought women were only useful for sex. Anytime she wanted any material thing from his father, she sashayed around like a vixen in heat — and she always got whatever she wanted. If his father dared to do something she disapproved of — I am sure he paid a dear price, and probably thought parts of him would drop off from frostbite exposure, until he could buy himself back into her good graces.

    I know that having an influence like that is hard to overcome. I had FOO issues In my family, too — but they were from my father, and he was a different variety of Narcissist. But the difference was I recognized at an early age that something was seriously wrong, and I never bought in to the “pretend everything is fine” scenario. I struggled through my childhood and teen years, got away from home as soon as I could, and continued to search for answers to the questions I had. “What is wrong with this picture?” I went down some false paths, and went to therapy, and finally as an adult all the pieces fell in place one day. I understand that one of the reasons I was attracted to a N was because living with one seemed “normal” to me (shudder!).

    Don’t expect support from a person like this. Don’t expect support or even a warning from anyone else in the family either. They have all been trained to present a false front to the world, to hide their dark twisted parts, and to appear to be “fabulous” to the people in the outside world. You have to be present to learn the truth — sooner or later the veneer will peel away, the mask will slip, and you will see what long term FOO damage can do to an entire family, and unfortunately for you, to your spouse in particular. If you think about it, it is logical that they have no feelings for anyone other than themselves. Somewhere long ago they decided they would never be vulnerable to anyone else — that they would be the user, not the used. Maybe sociopaths and psychopaths are born, maybe they have a nature that is bent that way. It doesn’t really matter to you how they got that way. What matters is that you recognize the truth, and the danger, and you get away from it. Do not expect compassion, remorse, compensation, or anything that will ever make up for the damage they have done. They will forever make selfish choices that only benefit themselves in the moment. They have no concept of building a future, they have no redeeming character values. They live in the NOW, and they prey on others. You are useful to them, or you are not. Once they regard you as not useful, you will only be safe when you get away from them.

  • Off the Crazy Train–you need to call a domestic abuse shelter right now and get recommendations for legal help with someone who specializes in domestic abuse & divorcing the disordered. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200–do it today. And I know this may take a while, but healing starts when you stop giving a shit about what your X or his screwed-up mother think.

  • Hi, I have a really important issue I need help with from experienced chumps, but first—toxic MIL over here also! My husband cheats on me and leaves me for a narcissistic married ho-worker with four kids, and she also wanted me to do mediation or not hire a lawyer and sign divorce papers over coffee at the kitchen table “because lawyers can be expensive… And that’s what she did when her husband (effwit’s father) left her for an OW.” Um, no thank you!

    Anyway, I have a meeting with my lawyer and stbx tomorrow to try to settle the case—stbx has not hired an attorney and according to some recent emails I found out his girlfriend is advising him every step of the way in this divorce and coming up with new ways to eff me over— “Separate the bank accounts now!” (this has left my kids and I in dire straights and my stbx originally agreed to at least leave the accounts joint until the divorce). “Tell her you’ll pay for half of kindergarten supplies but make sure she knows she can’t buy the kids a toy everytime she goes to Target!” WTF? Who are you, lady? She also has been composing emails to my attorney in my husband’s name breaking down why I’m not entitled to this or that. Without her, my husband would just hand over everything, but she’s making sure HE’s protected from his mean old soon to be ex-wife who was really bitchy to him when he left her alone with small children to go have an affair with her!.

    Sorry this is wordy, but I’ve his such a wall with this situation that I can’t even focus anymore. My attorney has asked me to email him everything that is important to me in the divorce and how much things cost (little frustrated with him too because I thought that’s what the lengthy disclosure statement was for). My question is, what do I need to tell my attorney to make sure he gets what I need from my narc husband and how do I handle the behind the scenes puppet master girlfriend who’s determined to make sure they live happily ever after with piles of money while I get nothing. I gave my attorney emails in which the girlfriend broke down their earnings starting in 2016 (when she’s hoping he’ll be free for them to run off together) and estimated their income GOING INTO RETIREMENT–2 million she expects them to have by 62 (he’s 41)–and my attorney just sort of shrugged. Maybe because it’s laughable that this idiotic woman expects them to still be together in 20 years? I want to stay in bed and cry most days and I feel so overwhelmed having the kids most of the time on my own, taking care of the home he left behind, doing homework, baths, bedtime (he doesn’t call or even check on them during the week) while he gets to be the fun dad on the weekends and play fake family with ho-worker and her kids and mine. I just want to know what I need going into this meeting and how to negotiate settlements in a way that it appeals to narcs, while I’m the one getting at lest some sort of OK deal so my kids and I don’t go broke.

    • Your Attorney shouldn’t need coaching on what to do. My best advice is to find a lawyer you feel SUPER comfortable with. If you don’t feel like your Lawyer get it, move to another one.

      Your Lawyer should know EXACTLY what to do to ensure this fuckwit isn’t hiding assets and will know EXACTLY how to handle fuckwit and his schmoopie. There are all sorts of ways. I hope you’ve turned over ALL the evidence of their love tryst to your lawyer.. at fault state or not, might come in handy at some point, especially with custody.

      The laws cannot be manipulated, it is what it is. Your H will likely have to turn over half is assets to you.. and you will have to turn over half of yours to him. If he’s the earner, he’s going to owe you alimony and child support.. period. That’s how it works. There are some exceptions like non commingled inheritances and such.. but for the most part, it’s 50-50. This Hobag can’t change the rules. You COULD do a kitchen table divorce and screw yourself over.. but you are smarter than that and were wise to put a kabosh on that immediately. Follow your lawyer’s advice. Do as he/she says. Listen to them. That’s why we pay them the big bucks. If you have concerns, tell him.

      I know it’s tough.. know exactly how you feel but it gets better. Rest assured I am more likely to start as a quarterback for the New England Patriots than this relationship between hobag and fuckwit is likely to last. The changes are nearly zero. They are in fantasy land. But that’s not your problem. Make sure he PAYS what is owed. Hang in there.

      • Mystique, I agree with newchumpatl wholeheartedly. If your Attorney is the one who needs hand-holding, get a new one who REALLY knows how to play hardball with your STBX and his gold-digging, remorseless whore. Is there a way to stop the proceedings so you don’t have to meet tomorrow so that you can re-group? Maybe someone in CN can provide that answer.

    • I’m not here yet- but I’m telling you so I remember. I’m trying to make this all muscle memory so that I can execute well. Leave your feelings aside- don’t cry to lawyer you just pay for it. Friends or therapists are cheaper. Make sure all the assets are listed, it’s really nice she told everyone they will have 2 mil in 20 years, wonder if she did that math before or after he gives half the fund to you? It is ok to ask your lawyer what your take will be- with the info you have. Every single expense you and STBX used to share- or he was paying when you were together should be considered- vet bills, kids normal and extraneous costs, life insurance, insurance on house (if not selling) whatever you had to live on… That’s not just fact (because lots of people live under what they make and save, or beyond their means and live in debt) so your lawyer may be trying to find the right “number” based on your regular life bills. It sounds like you don’t really know his plan. Write down your lawyer questions and ask him, all in one go, and get real answers and write them down too, so that you wrap your head around what the plan is.

    • How to negotiate a settlement that appeals to a narc? In my experience the only thing that ever works is pointing out how this will LOOK to other people.
      They don’t care about doing the right thing, or the honorable thing, or what’s fair. They care about how they appear to the outside world. Remember, they have no character, they just have the illusion of how they are perceived.
      The only reason I ever see a nickel from my STBX isn’t because he gives a shit about doing the honorable thing, or even because it’s legal. It’s because he cares about how he looks to the outside world. He has an image to maintain and an impoverished wife and kids would just look so gnarly.
      As a side note, if you don’t have faith in your lawyer find another one. You need to feel confident right now that someone is legally on your side and has your back.
      I’m so sorry you are dealing with this right now. Remember you are mighty and have support from people here who understand exactly how it feels.

    • Your attorney needs to grow a pair. He is not a mediator, he is your ADVOCATE. Who gives a fuck what a notebook costs? That kind of niggling detail should not be in a divorce decree.

      Have you filed yet? NOTHING, repeat NOTHING financial can be changed until the divorce is final–not bank accounts, not life insurance beneficiaries, NOTHING. The OWhore can advocate all she wants; if your lawyer isn’t sending back responses similar to what I’ve said, he/she sucks.

      My elderly neighbor (74 years old and divorced her cheater!!) tried to save money by hiring a divorce lawyer who thought he was a mediator. She ended up worse off than she should have been, and with stress-related health problems from the lawyer’s ineptitude. This is exactly the time when you should not serve as your own lawyer.

      Mystique–get an account for the Forums and post questions there on a thread for more specific advice.

  • Hooooo boy do I have a MIL story for you all. Sit back and hold on chumps.

    My MIL and I were quite close, we got along smashingly for the first 8 years or so, then a few things happened: her own divorce, excessive drinking, etc and I stepped back from her because I started seeing her as an untrustworthy person. We still got along but not as close as we used to be and I really tried to enforce boundaries with her. I suspected she was a narcissist (in the clinical sense) because of her inability to respect the boundaries of myself and others.

    On D-Day I was devastated of course and I went to my friend’s house to just sit and cry for hours. My ex had called his mother during that time, I have no idea how he worded it, but she called me. I picked up expecting she’d be sad and supportive of me. Instead she was very matter of fact, distant, cold, and said things like “Well, I knew this was going to happen. Anytime I see you T seems so unhappy with you. You are so sarcastic and T is such a sweet sensitive man and he needs somebody who is going to be more gentle with him.” My jaw was on the floor. “He’s so worried he’s going to lose *daughter* and I told him that isn’t going to happen. I will spend all my money to make sure he doesn’t lose her so don’t even bother to try to fight him for custody since I will spend all your money and he’ll end up with full custody in the end.”


    Needless to say I went no contact that day. She kept reaching out, saying she was thinking about me. I never responded save for one “do not contact me again” e-mail after a month. She contacted everybody in my family telling them how worried she was about me. At first they responded a bit saying that she should be more worried about her jackass son and how he was treating me. Pretty quickly they all stopped responding. She started bad mouthing me to everybody who would listen. Thankfully most people could see through the crap and didn’t put any stock in it. She made a special trip out to our town to help my husband/her son move back into our house after I moved out into my own apartment. She invited OW to her out of state wedding with my ex and daughter only a few months after D-Day. The whole extended family rented a bunch of cottages on a lack and spent a week together and she welcomed OW with open arms even though it made everybody else uncomfortable. If anybody objected she defended her son saying that this was who he selected and they needed to support him.

    After a while she sent me an email telling me that she “forgave me” for telling her not to contact her again.

    She started sending checks to my daughter’s daycare to pay for her daycare. She never said anything to me about it, but she emailed my entire family saying she loved me and wanted to help me so she was doing this until my daughter started Kindergarten in 2016. Never told me, but told everybody else. Then one day I heard from ex that she was no longer going to pay for her daycare. I didn’t say anything, just started making payments myself. Then a few months later I got an email from her saying “I’ll start paying again if you want me to.” I wish I could have said “no thanks.” but I just said “Yes please, it’s been helpful and appreciated.”

    I heard through the grapevine that OW and MIL hate each other now, I think MIL is realizing that she has met her match in OW. I’ve been advised by his family to open up communication with MIL again because it will pretty much ruin OW who absolutely HATES me. I think it’s jumping out of the pot and into the fire, but I did send her some photographs of me and my daughter for the first time in almost 2 years. We’ll see if it’s a mistake or not. I can always go back to No Contact if I need to.

    • I wouldn’t get involved with any of that shit. Why are these idiots trying to use you to rankle the OW? Fuck all of them. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

    • Whackadoodle MIL. Oh well, if she’s going to pay for day care, go have yourself a day at the spa with the extra money.

      • That’s my thought. Hey, the money helps for sure, but if it comes with strings attached no thanks.

  • I learned later that my ex MIL actually fucked my exes first husband right before they were married… After 24 years together my ex fucked and moved in with our daughters boyfriends dad. So I am a firm believer in cheater DNA. My ex always complained her mother “always has to make it all about her”…truth is they are two peas in a pod. When my wife cheated and left I became a “nothing” to my ex MIL and still am, even though my daughter lives with me. Blood is thicker than water, and with narcissists it’s more like concrete.

      • How ironic, our son told his mom what she pulled belongs on Jerry Springer. That was the last time he has spoken to her, over a year ago.

  • Remember, LW, you don’t have any needs. No emotions. No rights. No reason to be upset. Just stuff them down down down under a layer of smiles so no one has to be uncomfortable. K?

    Oh, wait, no, you’re a human being and you did nothing to deserve this. And you have every right to be upset that you have been treated badly. You don’t have to worry about Cheater Ass anymore. His feelings don’t matter. Rugsweeping MIL’s feelings don’t matter. And don’t for one second let them tell you that if you were a better, bigger, sweeter person, you would just forgive and forget and focus on making nice for your kids.

    You don’t have an anger problem. You don’t have a bitterness problem. You have a “surrounded by assholes” problem. First step: Remove the assholes from your immediate vicinity.

      • There SHOULD be a spray. Asshole Be Gone, sort of like mace or pepper spray with a fresh clean scent that repels assholes for fifty yards. Extreme caution should be used in public places.

          • We still need to do the R & D, but I think it should be marketed as the perfect Wedding or Anniversary gift. Great for Grads heading out to the workplace. Need to find a way to keep it stable so the shelf life will be up to 30 years, with reorder instructions on the label.

            • That’s awesome! Million dollar idea….can I get in on it because I know many people would want to buy it! I myself would buy a few cans.

              • I wonder if it could come as a solid air freshener so I could put it in the corner of my home’s entry?

      • I think a diffuser with cedar sticks would also be nice. Or perhaps like that gel you squirt in a blob on the side of the toilet bowl.

  • I’m a firm believer that children learn whatever morals they have from their parents. Unfortunately, cheaters’ parents were usually too wrapped up in their own shit to teach their own kids any thing, except how to be fucked up.

    The passive aggressive hag I had the pleasure of calling my ex mil was a divorcé who used her own son as a husband surrogate. I don’t mean sexually, but in every other way. He could do no wrong. If he wanted to date a whore while married to me, no prob. I had proof, and showed her. She said ” I’ve been accused of stuff I didn’t do too. “. What the fuck? I’m glad that happened cause I finally knew where his shit morals came from.

  • This is my xMIL to a TEE. I cut her out of my life after realizing she really never knew me all, never appreciated that I was a good wife and mother to her grandchildren. I do blame her son for that–he fed her all sorts of sad sausage bullshit about me, and I guess she believed him. I guess it made her feel better about her sad lot in life to believe that I was flawed in major ways. Small people try to tear others down to their level. Her opinion of me does not hold me back–I know that she is a miserable person.

    After I discovered the affair, she barely mustered sympathy. I think she knew before I did what was going on. And then she sheltered stbxh (at the time) and furnished his new love nest so that walking out on his family would be more comfortable for him. She implored me not to “put the kids in the middle,” because her own divorce had been so ugly. She instructed me not to speak badly of her son in front of my kids. I don’t know what sort of mother she believed me to be, but I shot back (via e-mail) that I was plenty aware of the damage her son had caused my children, that I was charged with cleaning up yet another of his messes. I assured her that unlike her son, I LOVE my children, and had and would continue to do everything to keep them well and happy. My judgement, unlike her son’s, remained fully intact. And it had never been my intention to say disparaging things about her son–his actions spoke loudly and clearly for themselves.

    Well, then she pretended that I was keeping my children from seeing her when she visited town. In public, practically dramatically in tears, she asked me if it would be ok for my children to have lunch with her–as if I was the mean, vindictive ex-wife who bitterly withheld my children from her and their father. (I’m certain it served stbxh to tell his mother that I was the reason our children were luke-warm toward him of late, and awfully busy.) As they were older teens, and as I had no interest in keeping them from seeing her, I simply noted that they could make arrangements if they weren’t busy–they had mobile phones.

    The Costco card that she shared with me was cut off without notice–at bit of a kick in the gut in at the check stand. I stridently bought my own membership. She would send Christmas cards to my children–addressed to them only, and not me–to my home, knowing full well that there was a good reason I had full custody of the kids. I realized that she is a sad, passive-aggressive old woman–no wonder where her son got his temperament and morals.

    I have learned what I will NOT be like if, God forbid, one of my children ever does to his family what their father did. I will immediately embrace and support the mother of my grandchildren–as it should be. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you win by learning a valuable lesson.

  • It’s amazing…the bubble that these people live in. Reading this post makes my chest hurt, literally. It reminds me of the effect my own MIL has had on me during this time. Here’s what my gem of a MIL did:

    It was just days after Dday, and I discovered that Dirty Dick had deleted emails before I could get to read them. This was after he promised complete transparency. At this point, I had already thrown DD and everything out of the house….except for a few boxes of his action figure collectibles downstairs. After discovering the empty inbox, I went on autopilot and started lunging that shit out of the house and into the lawn and the street!! DD brought his sister with him to pick the scattered boxes. In the midst of my “clean-out”, he charged me on the lawn—in true linebacker style—and knocked my head into the ground twice. His sister saw this and started screaming at him to stop. I made a dash into the house to get to safety.

    Fast forward several minutes later, my MIL and her two grown daughters are standing knocking at the door with their pitchforks and torches. Keep in mind, my husband had already told them about the affair. Well, my dear MIL starting yelling and crying about how “you’re going to lose everything!!”. Me? Yes, me. Not her reckless son who had risked his job having sex with The Hole in a public school building twice a day with children on the premises. Not her disgusting son who risked my health after never, ever using a condom with The Hole. Not her careless son who risked an unwanted pregnancy because he preferred not to use any protection or birth control with The Hole. Not her cowardly son who lied to his wife and children on a daily basis. Not her poor son who was cowering in her basement. Nope… I was going to “lose everything”. I was standing in front of her, dirt on the side of my face and in my hair from the knockdown, and I was the one who was going to lose everything. I should also add that the daughter who witnessed the knockdown proceeded to yell profanities at ME during this confrontation. Yep.

    • He tackled you over what, his BATMAN figurine?!

      Apparently, you weren’t paying the proper amount of respect to his Comix collectibles. Shit all over your wife? Fine. Man-handle the action figures? You’ve gone TOO FAR, woman!!!

      Yes, you’re going to “lose everything.”

      I don’t know how you manage without a man-child and his plastic play-friends.

      • OHHHHH, this resonates with me … And when I read the comment earlier about the poor woman who had a Playstation gadget thrown at her pregnant belly – same thing. It’s like the most terrible form of mime. Or the Universe telling you the truth about the relationship in the most obvious way, so that you get the message.

        There are no accidents. And no coincidences.

  • I do have sympathy for my MIL because she wanted so much to stay in contact with me. After 31 years I was attached to her as well, and often thought of her as my “second mom.” It was shocking to hear her say “I hope you can move on” about a week after her son abandoned me. I remember thinking “could you give me more than a week to get over it?”

    I told my MIL we would always be family, but I didn’t continue corresponding with her on a regular basis. I knew her son needed her and didn’t want to put her in an awkward position. In the beginning I did tell her that my husband was in love with his married coworker. She apparently called him to ask if this was true, and he explained it away as “we’re just friends,” etc. Of course my MIL bought his story and I don’t really blame her. He’s a very convincing liar. He fooled me for years.

    I did make sure my DILs saw the evidence of the affair in my ex’s own handwriting, though. They’ve probably spread the word. It doesn’t matter, though, blood is thicker than water. I’m sure the narrative in his family is that I’m crazy and over emotional and didn’t keep my husband satisfied. That’s the same story they’ve spun for their other son’s divorces. It doesn’t matter that he’s a serious alcoholic and has gambling issues.

    I’ve seen many divorces in my own extended family. No matter how much you want to stay in touch, you gradually drift apart. It’s just the way life works. I expected it, so I accepted it.

    • What’s really amazing to me is one of my husband’s uncles still calls me every year on my birthday and tells me “we love you.” It’s such a kind thing to do.

  • Stay strong! My MIL was a huge poor son, mistakes, but poor son kind of gal. She babied him all her life now look what she has…a total loser.

    Do as the CL says…no contact, get a lawyer, get mad and fight….fight, fight, fight (fist in air)!!!!!

    Sending hugs!

  • I have so much worry over this part of things. His family is a “thick as thieves” group, who are nasty to each other but even nastier to people who attack one of their own. I’m certain I will be the terrible girl who ripped it all apart and left their poor son so destitute and confused. I’m so career oriented that it’s my fault the marriage fell apart, what was he supposed to do? (Finish school so he could finally make more than 15 bucks an hour so I didn’t have to work so damn hard. For fucks sake)

  • Dear OTCT,
    Yep. This shit is really common. I got the same response from my X’s family.

    A few months before I found out about his affair, I had who l like to call “the Hyena’s” at my home for a summer visit. There is MIL, with her husband, who she acquired by cheating on her husband. We had my SIL there who also cheated, even while pregnant with her husband’s child. And also, my BIL, who I’m pretty sure was actively cheating on his wife who was home patiently watching the kids in another state while he was visiting us.

    None of them looked at infidelity or cheating as a big deal. To them, it’s just the natural progression of a relationship. Needless to say, these people gave me the creeps. My X explained Mom’s behavior to me this way, that “yes it was pretty shitty what Mom did to Dad, but hell he cheated on her too so fair is fair.” All of it was gross. I can remember them in my home, eating my food, hugging me and telling me they loved me, and each and every one of them KNEW my husband was cheating on me.

    After D-day, not a fucking peep.

    It’s bizarre to call a tribe your “family” for damn near 12 years, and suddenly, it’s like it never happened. But that’s OK. Truthfully, I knew they were people without morals and values. All of them selfish, racist, back-stabbing idiots who got their jollies talking shit about each other when the other one wasn’t within ear-shot.

    You like me, have lost NOTHING now that you’ve been “replaced”. All that space they took up in my life is now filled with some wonderful people. People who actually have the same values I do. I guess I should have known better really, thinking that I would be able to overlook the vile behavior of these people, but I learned a lot from that. And I’d never do it again.

    You don’t have to have a lick of contact with her and the rest of the in-laws. And like CL says, don’t waste you’re breath telling her how she made you feel. She doesn’t care how you feel. No contact is a fucking life/sanity saver. And Mediation? Hell to the no.

  • The Best Thing about Divorce: Saying Goodbye Forever to dysfunctional, nutjob in-laws.

    The whole spackling industry takes a hit 😉

  • I would definitely send flowers and chocolates to the OW and MIL.

    I know the pain of losing your false life with this a-hole is very difficult to go through at this time, but with no contact, the further out you go the more you will realize they all did you a BIG, BIG favor.

    You are young and it’s not 5, 10, 20 years down the road finding out that smell was sewer water coming from your MIL’s house and you and your beautiful babies were being constantly exposed to the toxic waste.

    Sonny boy is still on the tit. I would say breast, but she’s a bitch.

  • “Poor Poppet should go live on Mumsy’s sofa for awhile. She can bring him warm milk and graham crackers and comfort him from the affliction of his stupidity.”

    The night my ex left, he went to his mother’s. Apparently he left her place the next day to hole up at a vacant apartment we owned. I received the following email from MIL which reinforces CL’s point, verbatim:

    “I tried to talk him into staying here, but he outright refused. He said it wasn’t fair to you for him to be having a nice vacation at my house with me spoiling him with bacon for breakfast etc (what moms do even when their children are bad). …I bet it’s dirty. But if he wants to stay [at the apartment] I’ll furnish him with blankets etc.”

    I suspect the real reason he didn’t stay with her was not so much that he felt it was unfair to me (which sounds good/remorseful), but rather he wanted to drink himself into oblivion and wallow in self-pity without his mother hovering over him.

    MIL was notorious for coddling her golden boy. She made excuses for his bad behavior over the years. He was never to blame – it was always the result of extenuating circumstances. He worked so hard, was so stressed, needed an outlet, that’s what men do, etc. So, yes, MIL also trained me to be submissive and accepting of his BS because he was so special…

    I feel as though I was living in the Twilight Zone back then.

    • He said it wasn’t fair to YOU that he get a ‘vacation’ at mommy’s house? OMG…pathetic! The best part is…. she’s telling you this shit. Ya I’m sure it had nothing to do with YOUR concern (feeling bad he gets a vacation and you don’t – if you call it a ‘vacation.’) I’m sure it was the pity party he was throwing himself that he didn’t want mommy to see or be a part of….Geesh!

      • The best was that she said that’s what moms do even when their children are bad… Yes, she so worried about him and emailed me frequently to report how distraught he was. I had both him and her trying to wear me down to take him back.

  • I had this mother in law too. My friend,your mother in law is a NARC and most likely malignant (Malignant Narcissist). This woman raised that lovely ex-husband of yours. Scary shit right there. In reading your story, I saw my story….21 years of THAT woman.I left my ex-husband more than one time – but I remember the time I left my ex because of actual physical abuse, I left with 3 children under the age of 4. My mother in law told me it was because I was not “submissive” enough as a Christian woman. Both my in-laws blamed ME for our marital problems, not their son. They regularly told me how their son “is just on another spiritual plane than the majority of people”. And on and on…. I now know that my ex-husband’s mother was a Narc and his father was an Apath. I did not know at the time, and I spent way too many years in that abyss.

    I totally feel for you. I get it. The biggest thing that you will have to deal with is stopping the “oh, she (read “they”) have changed now! and you thoughts will try to tell you that “now they get it”. Remember – they do what they do and say for what they WANT. Always know that. Unfortunately you have small ones and will have to learn this. PLEASE learn it. These types do not change… this is their M.O.

    I cannot say this strongly enough: GET A GOOD LAWYER. Go NO CONTACT with the mother in law. period. And work out with a LAWYER how you will deal with the ex-husband re the kids. As LITTLE involvement as possible is vital – while yourself getting REAL help (like ChumpLady) from people who totally get it. DON’T go to ‘general’ family therapy! You yourself have said you are numb – and you will be for some time and then you will get Angry. Get the RIGHT help.

  • My now XH’s parents were deceased when I met him, and he was estranged from his only sibling (his older brother), so I didn’t have in-law issues.

    However, can someone please provide an answer as to why family members choose to close ranks on their cheating son/daughter/brother/sister? I’ve seen it too many times – the cheater’s family knows and definitely doesn’t approve, but goes ahead and enables them, even if it means that the faithful partner/spouse is struggling tremendously. And I’m talking about in-laws that seem pretty average, with no behavioral red flags.

    • I think it’s just a blood is thicker than water thing. The family still interacts with cheater at family gatherings, etc, and it’s just easier to sweep dirt under the rug and maintain the peace amongst themselves. Loyalties remain within the family… ex spouse becomes an inconsequential detail.

    • Acknowledging that it’s horrible might bring to light their own misdeeds, or their part in bringing the disordered person up- they helped mold that mind into the cluster duck it became. And they don’t want to deal with being partially responsible, so instead they will just love the sinner hate the sin, and hope this ‘go round’ is different

    • It is sad. Some people have very lax moral boundaries, I guess.

      When my brother cheated & married his OW, my sisters and I supported (and 20 years later, still keep in contact with) his first wife. My SIL and BIL stay in contact with my X, but morally support me (and SIL ignored X’s command not to have any contact with me). But my X is openly an arrogant jackass; perhaps other families are swayed by the “poor me” or sparkly characteristics of the cheaters.

      • At the very beginning my MIL and SILs were sympathetic to my plight and felt sorry for me, BUT there was deep concern for my ex’s well-being because he was despondent…broken…crying and not sleeping… They feared he would kill himself. MIL pleaded me to take him back. There was an undertone that I was being unreasonable… with all his begging, pleading and promises to change and I still wouldn’t give him another chance???…Clearly I had snapped and gone off the deep end. As ex switched gears from “poor me” to “destroy her” his family, especially his mother, bought into the smear campaign. I know it was because I stood my ground and pushed for divorce. MIL then said that even though she loved me like a daughter that she would stand by her son. She enabled him and joined in on the crazy behaviors. They planted seeds of doubt about me in my kids’ heads claiming not to understand why I wanted a divorce. Suddenly I was blind-siding him, etc. It was sick. She later told me that I was being so cruel to her poor son. Excuse me?!!! Her son was Lord and Master of Cruel!!!

        • Over and Out–it’s one shade of cruelty to close ranks and support the cheater; quite another to participate in the attempted destruction of someone who has already been victimized. Thank goodness you’re out of that.

          • She was good at gas-lighting and the subtle art of saying one thing and meaning another… I am SO glad to be done with them.

  • Count me as lucky in the Inlaw department. All my inlaws and neices and nephews want to stay in contact with me and it has been a year and they still are not ready to deal with the AP/bf. As time goes by I know this will change since they will have to accept their daughters choice whether they agree with it or not. After knowing then for 35 years they are not willing to throw me away. And they have not been Switzerland at all. They are on my side as much as they can be.

    I don’t attend family functions anymore but when my son is in town we make a point of visiting his grandparents and my former sister-in law etc. Always a nice visit. We just never mention the ex. Which works for us. Now and then my mother-in-law will corner me and ask me why I didn’t try to get her back and pursue her after the affair. this is what her daughter told her. But I can nip that conversation in the bud and we go back to having a nice visit.

    I am sure this will diminish with time but I do appreciate them treating me as fairly as they can. They have handled the situation as best as it can be handled in my opinion.

  • I thought that I was one of the luckiest women alive. I had NO drama with my in-laws and a husband who loved me.

    Sure there were problems in the marriage (he stopped having sex with me as soon as we got married. Literally. Nothing on our wedding night or honeymoon). However, he was “under stress, had performance anxiety, felt fat, was embarrassed because he wasn’t big down there, his back hurt, I had gained weight, the neighbours might hear, he was sick, his blood sugar was high/low, he felt sad, he had no sex drive….insert excuse here ……….>)

    We lived in an apartment upstairs of his parents (in hind sight this was an error) and we all got along well. Until STBXH found his Magical Soulmate. Suddenly I was no good. I was a slut, whore, bi-polar and an unfit mother. Apparently, what ever their Golden Only Child & Boy says is true and fact. After being with Magical Soulmate for 4 months, he told me and our children to leave his house. No pick me dancing from me. I left. He promptly moved in his Magical Soulmate and HER two children. He is Super Dad now.

    As for his mother, my MIL? She welcomed this decision. I know this from the emails that I saw and the conversations that I heard. But most of all, through her actions. Her son Must Be Happy at All Cost! This cost includes:
    * Removing the children from their home
    * Replacing me and the children with Magical Soulmate and her two children
    * Shuttling the children up and down between two homes until the courts reach a decision.
    * Sad/upset/confused children. (But hey, kids are resilient!)

    The worst part though, was when her son attacked me. She joined in and started hitting and choking me. His father, my FIL joined in too. I do not speak to them at all. As for the STBX, I am no contact and I speak only about matters concerning the children. I know that my MIL has been saying dirty things about me, no doubt fed to her by her son. It hurts that the family that I loved could be like this. That I was replaced by a woman who is a known home wrecker (she dumped her married lover for my STBX)

    OTCT, you’re not alone. It may take a while to sink in what has happened but it DID happen. Have NOTHING to do with them. Do NOT reach out to her. She is NOT on your side at all. Hugs to you.
    Upward and onward to a meh Tuesday!


    • Woah, Cynamon, these people sound dangerous. They all attacked you? What is wrong with these people?! As if all the emotional distress is not enough, they do something so heinous?! They actually sound psychopathic, to flip a switch like that, so suddenly, so dramatically. Thank god you and your children are out of there. xxx

  • Some thing to consider:

    1) Cheating, lying, blame-shifting, and gaslighting are NOT normal behaviors.
    2) Justifying or assisting #1 above is NOT normal behavior.

    If a cheater’s family is doing #2, then by definition they are not normal, well-adjusted people.

    Act accordingly.

  • My STBX told his mother we were getting a divorce and she asked him if it was because of another woman (she knew about one of his affairs) and he wouldn’t answer her. She asked me if he had been having an affair and was leaving for another woman and I told her yes. I told her it wasn’t the first time he had fallen madly in love with someone else and wanted to leave me for them, only this time I had actually moved out and started divorce proceedings. She was very upset and asked if there was any chance of saving the marriage and I told her no. She called me a few days later to tell me that she had told her son how disappointed she was in him and she couldn’t believe he would throw away his family. He told her he really tried to make the marriage work and the whole problem was me because I couldn’t change enough to make him happy and the girlfriend was the only one who understood him and could truly make him happy. She told him that was BS, that he was selfish, that a relationship wouldn’t make him happy if he wasn’t happy with himself. She told him he made the choice to pursue her and dump his family, it wasn’t something he couldn’t help, it was something he chose. She also told him she didn’t want to see him for awhile, that it would take her awhile to forgive him and that he better not ever bring the slut girlfriend to her house. Needless to say my STBX stopped communicating with his family, I am the one to take the kids to see his parents (I have always had a good relationship with his family). Thankfully I have had a better experience with my in-laws than most Chumps have, I love them like family.

  • Wow, this is a first. A MIL who recommends going straight to divorce — bi-passing reconciliation. Listen to this morsel of wisdom only.

    Since you are a newbie and likely in shock – my advice is to IGNORE every well meaning person who offers advice. This includes your and his family. Only accept counsel from experts like your lawyer and your therapist.

    Recently I started to understand the term ‘triangulation’. I was always curious why people acted so oddly around me before and after DD#2. My EX went to almost everyone in our lives “in confidence” to seek their advice about “our problems” but he never talked to me. My EX told them his version of ‘the truth’. I have no idea what he said because most of them avoided me like the plague. No one reached out to say ‘he sucks’ or ‘how are you doing’. Believe me, your EX has also told your MIL his version of ‘the truth’ so he can be justified in his actions.

    The bottom line is – regardless of the truth – your MIL will always support her son over you.

    It sucks but be the strong mama bear you need to be for your kids.


  • When cheater told his mother and sister about the affair they call me.

    MIL – you need to go back to work. I retired due to Multiple Sclerosis. Disease comes with incredible unrelenting fatigue. That’s why I retired.

    SIL – This is no time to feel sorry for yourself.

    Guess where my Ass hat got his interpersonal skills?

    Stay strong and realize these people need to exit you and your precious little ones lives. They are toxic. Keep track of all the things they say to you so you can limit their exposure to you kids.

    Once you are further along you will set clear and strong boundaries about what they can say and do around your kids. Don’t let your kids be tug of war bait for these psychopaths.

    Remember you have honor and you are Mighty. Stay strong. Remember you have value they do not and cannot appreciate. its as if they are blind. Others will not be blind. Get yourself a good counselor and go. Regularily. Build a support network.

    Hugs and Prayers for you.

  • A subject near and dear to my heart! My narc MIL is a classic its all about me! Well it turns out, not only was she encouraging adultery, she was assisting in the process. Letting her home be a place for POS ex BF hook up with daughter. Constant encouragement to have affairs as a way to make herself happy….. Now it has worked really well for MIL who is on marriage number 5!!!!! And barely hanging on to that one. The bitch really wanted me gone and has accomplished her number one task in life….. hope they are happy together!

  • After my 20-year marriage ended, the only time I ever heard from my former MIL again was one phone conversation where she told me I should get a job so ex didn’t have to pay support.

  • OTCT + Mystique –

    Fuck mediation, mediation with a cheater is often an excuse of them to abuse you further, both financially and emotionally.

    Get a GOOD lawyer, who is familiar with domestic/emotional abuse.

    First, if he has a higher income than yours, negotiate first support pendenti lite (while the divorce process is ongoing – The higher your support pendenti lite, the more you can keep your ex’s feet to the fire to finish the divorce process.

    Second, do not negotiate nor sign, nor accept ANY proposed settlement before a good discovery process. The pressure your STBX and his skank (as well as his family) are putting on you stinks of “dissipation of marital assets.” If you can afford it, get a forensic accountant and get a complete financial picture from the start of the affair or earlier. Only when you have a complete picture of his finances can you negotiate your settlement.

    Three, be sure to gather as much evidence as possible about their affair. If you can afford it, hired a private investigator, and have your STBX and his skank followed, so that you can gather evidence about the cheating that can, if needed, be received as evidence in court. In many state, ongoing cheating before the divorce is final is still considered adultery and can give you an advantage in negotiating the financial and custody settlement.

    Put yourself, and during the divorce process, go NO CONTACT with anyone from your STBX family! Even if they are “on your side.” Those loyal to you will respect your choice, and will be there for you once the divorce is finalized.

    Forge on!

  • “[H]istoric domestic violence”? “It’s all about the children”?

    Hell, yes! The best thing for that baby and toddler is to be raised outside of an environment where there’s “historic domestic violence.” Screwed up family dynamics lead to screwed up family dynamics. You know in the Bible, when it says that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons unto the third and fourth generation? Instead of thinking that God is cruel, think of this as what the Buddhists call “working through the parent’s karma.” Parent abuses child. Unless the child can work through that abuse, the odds are that the child will also be an abuser. It takes generations before that dynamic is worked out.

    Document, document, document!

    At 3 weeks out, you’re still pretty numb, but you need to go into Mamma Tiger mode to protect your babies!

    As much as possible, go No Contact. If your Abusive Cheater contacts you, try not to react toward him. He’s going to poke you with whatever stick he has in order to show the world that YOU are the crazy one.

    Lawyer up and make sure your lawyer has experience with high conflict divorce that involves domestic abuse. See if you can get therapists on board. Do NOT tell your Cheater what you’re doing. Do not threaten. Be Gray Rock. The less he knows, the better. Communication can go through lawyers.

    Your goal is to appear very stable, very reasonable. He’ll try to get you to engage in drama. In the meantime, collect absolutely every email, voicemail–all of it–from him and his mother. They can’t keep the lid on the crazy

    With respect to his mother, well, go as No Contact as you can, and remember that you can go Gray Rock with her, too.

    Gray Rock really works. Over time, you recognize their manipulative tactics and have to stifle your laughter, as it’s all too predictable.

    You can do this. You are MIGHTY!

  • **Raise my hand** Can I tell you a few monster in law stories… they are doozies:
    So my brother-in-law dies cuz he is an addict (much like my stbx and another brother, anyway) and leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter. My M-I-L pretty much took it upon herself to take over this childs life – from the mother (they weren’t married). So there is a TREMENDOUS amount of favoritism going on and it is so obvious. In fact, I will just tell you that my kids and another nephew do not like thier grandma because of the obvious favoritism. Anyway – my other Brother-in-law gets married about a year after brother’s death. M-I-L was still distressed that her favorite son had died (and of course it was the hospital that killed him – not the fact he was a heroin addict…). So she doesn’t want ‘family’ pictures at her son’s wedding cuz it is ‘too soon.’ (Who’s wedding is it?) Well they do pictures and M-I-L insists on having a picture done of her 3 boys and the granddaughter – the daughter of the dead brother. SHE SENT THAT OUT AS A XMAS CARD! She sent a xmas card out of her children + 1 grandchild…..SHE HAS 4 GRANDKIDS! How do you think the rest of the grandkids felt about that? Not to mention the bride! Funny thing is – she sent a xmas card to my parents with a picture of her dog. Huh.
    Shitty M-I-L story #2
    So my M-I-L has a sister that was mentally challenged. Her mother (stbx’s grandma) told me one day that they had to put the sister in a home because M-I-L was embarrased to have friends at the house because of the sister. They did put her in a home and she died at age 14 I think. Anyway..
    So – My M-I-L’s brother dies and we are sitting at the table putting together the obituary for the paper. They do the “Preceded in death by…” and my M-I-L is rattling off people but NOT HER OWN SISTER. I remember her looking at everyone and saying “Did I miss anybody?” As I am sitting there thinking – “What about your sister?”
    That is just 2 shitty mother-in-law stories I have. Trust me – no loss to get away from that horrible bitch.

  • My experience with his family is a little different. Not one of his family, and he has a mother and six siblings has bothered to contact me in the 19 months since D-Day! And these are people I have known for 26 years! I mentioned this to him and asked him why. His reply ” That’s what they are like” says he. What did you tell them? “I’m leaving you!” Yep, embellished with lies and bullshit as to why, my character dragged through the mud to justify him “leaving” me.

    He took his OW to meet them last Christmas and returned with a photo of the OW and his mother, with the OW leering like she cracked the jackpot! Well she can have his dysfunctional family, father was a cheater and so were three of his sisters. Honestly if I never see or speak to anyone of them again, I won’t lose sleep over it!

  • My lunatic MIL, when I finally told her via email about her son’s activities (which I had warned him I would do the next time she unloaded on me, which she did, and I did…he still doesn’t get that I will always do what I say I will),,went off on a long tagent to me about her father’s abuse to her mother and his running around, and tons of fake sympathy shit all piled up. In a separate email to my spouse, she proceeded to tell him I was unbalanced and in danger of hurting the children because of my anger over his adventures. She told him he should get all the guns out of the house, because he and the children were in danger. What she failed to realize was that I was reading all his email (attempted openess in the beginning). It gave me the opportunity to enforce a boundary of, I am done with you, never have to talk to or see you again, Wicked Witch of the Midwest. It has been the greatest gift in this whole shit bag of awful.

  • Hey OTCT – I admire that you’re able to see the dysfunction in your MIL for what it is. It’s got to be disorienting to have to pick apart every interaction with the ex as well as the in-laws. I hope you protect yourself from all input from that family for the time being. Get comfortable with using phrases such as “This is a hard time for me, please give me some space.” You can always reconnect later with the few members of the in-laws who prove over time (with thoughtful and caring actions) that they earned a right to remain in your life.

    As ‘nice’ as my MIL could be, in my situation her true character came out over time. She was as frightened of her son’s rages as I was. She raised him to be the entitled prick that he was, although I think some of it was also genetic. As they say, if you raise a prince, you’ll serve a king.

    I finally recognized she was so conditioned to serve the king, she could never support someone who no longer bought his shit. I’ve only salvaged one relationship from that family – a SIL who joined the family by marriage.

    Big hugs for you and your children!

  • I have been no contact with my now ex-MIL since D-day in May.
    She has always been self centered and miserable. (Narkles the Clown would ask why I didn’t talk when we went to her house. oh, I don’t know, maybe because all she does is complain. She’s happy being miserable) Not only am I happy to never talk to her again, my family are delighted not to have to invite her over for Thanksgiving ever again to listen to her complain.

    No contact with MIL has been absolutely wonderful!!!
    TRY IT!!!!!!! You’ll like it!!!!!!!

    Do not reach out to this woman who is trying to do you harm. Steer Clear!
    If she wants to see the grand kids let her do it on the time of your STBX, when he has the kids.
    Never Ever Ever…. seriously EVER, waste a moment you have with your kids by taking them to her when they are supposed to be with you. This is the kind of person who will turn that against you in the custody case by saying you weren’t there for them so you dropped them at her house.

  • Here’s an interesting aspect to the narc mil, pointed out to me by my therapist: mil is a hippy wanna be, ashram loving, it’s all about love type. Very big on social work, women’s issues and toots on and on about her contributions to the cause of equality and education for women. But at the end of the day, she always puts men first and hates women. Men are better, smarter, full of impish shenanigans, more successful, so special and loving and lovable – and women are bitches. She’s a male chauvinist pig in flowy clothes, cargo pants, fleece and tevas, who collects women friends and carves them all behind their backs while she hands them daisies and says, with smiling big eyes, “oh! I’m so sorry you misunderstood what I said, but I never said it. I loooove you.” And everyone walks away confused and feeling guilty – I mean she gave out flowers, right? And she’s a therapist, right?

    • Wow, genuine 1960s feminism, right there.

      Makes you welcome the lesbian separatists.

      • Yup. Let the sun shine in. And unfortunately mil’s groovy accepting evolved lesbian sister is actually the biggest bitch manipulator asshole – and quite frankly sluttiest – of the whole family. She has shoved more lovers than I can count into family pictures – a new great love moved in w children at least once a year for 50 yrs. you can’t look at a photo album without 5 people saying ‘who the fuck is she? And where’d she go? Are those kids our cousins? Wha?’ Lol. Great Grandma did a number on her children and she lived forever so she kept it up like a fucking boss. Dignitaries sent letters she lived so long.

        I got the hell away from the family earlier this year and can say with certainty that I’ll never see a lot of them ever again. It makes the chump in me a bit sad to know that, because I’ve had them in my life for 30 years, but they made their choices to make life easier for themselves, I need to do the same. And they don’t miss me.

  • I am one month post D-Day and we (perhaps very stupidly on my part) are trying to work through it. We have an infant as well and the affair started shortly after she was born. We just told my mother-in-law last week and to my surprise she has essentially taken my side in the situation.

    Granted, to my knowledge she nor her husband have cheated on one other and my MIL is very religious. Also, I believe she sees me as the gatekeeper to her only grandchild. I’m not naive enough to think that if it came down to mediation she wouldn’t fight me every step of the way to make sure I didn’t move too far away or limit her son’s custody in anyway – but for now she’s actually my best ally.

    Perhaps clouding my judgement she’s also the reason I’m still around. She’s convinced me to give him another chance and “has faith he will do the right thing.”

    • Chump in Austin – I am so sorry you have to go through this with a newborn, and I am even more sorry to have to tell you that your mil is mindfucking you – You already “had faith he will do the right thing” and look where that got you. Your mil is trying to have you eat your shit sandwich silently, and smile all the way, FUCK THAT!

      Please read CL’s post on real vs naugahyde remorse

      Read Lundy Bancroft’s “Why does he do that?” If you find yourself reading your life in these pages, GTFO.

      Get copies of all your financials and his and put them in a safe place, along with your social security card, passports, and all documents related to your baby.

      When you go shopping, take out gift cards of an amount that would not look suspicious.

      At the same time, as a condition to stay, do/request the following:
      * Go see a lawyer and ask you husband to have a postnup written up
      * Identify a good therapist and get individual treatment
      * Have your husband make an appointment with reputable therapist that offers a range of services including divorce/separation services in addition to couples therapy. This will allow you to explore whether your husband is really willing to do the work.

      He has already shown that he is a POS that cannot be trusted. He is not on your team, and from what you are writing, neither is your MIL. Stay strong and protect yourself!

      (((Chump in Austin)))

  • My ex MIL was very supportive at the start, first told me to divorce him. However, Saddam always told me he could “get his mother to do anything he wanted” despite the fact they were not close. She actually helped me get him int rehab and later when he pulled the gun on me whe helped me get him temporarily committed. But after that he worked on her and pretty soon she was trying to get me to rescind the PO and talkin about how we were both to blame for his cheating and his violence, except of course he had her convinced by then I was the one with “anger management” issues (beware the therepitized abuser’ they learn better manipulation tactics). The last time I talked to her she was insisting the gun wasn’t loaded, it was…the most ridiculous of all was when she descended into why he cheated. I have to say, by that point the cheating was completely over shadowed by fear of his killing or maiming me. I don’t remember every thing she said I did to “drive him to cheat”, but I know what made me hang up on her. She said; well, he told me you stopped shaving your legs. And the sad thing is I actually answered that saying I saw no reason to do so since he’d cut me off from sex years ago. I can’t believe I actually defended myself bout such a stupid thing. Anyhow, she started telling me how it was a matter of self respect to shave….I hung up and I have never spoken to her again.

    PS to Chump in Austin, please don’t let his mother convince you to do anything. You need to decide yourself and own it. Make sure what you do is respectful to yourself. Jedi hugs!

  • My STBX is staying with mommy dearest. She never calls, texts or asks about me. Oh well. I do wonder, if my sons did something like good ole dad did to me (howorker) how would I react? It scares me to death to think my sons got the same cheating gene at stbx. I love my sons more then life but what if they did the same thing? I know I have no control over what they do to future wife (one is getting married in May and has cheated on her already, which broke my heart) but what happens if they did half of the things that some of these crazy cheaters have done to their families. I don’t think I could ever stop loving them, and I am sure STBX would slap them on the back and say good job! I could not hate my future DIL because she took action against them or do anything like some of these MIL did, I would know exactly how they feel and knowing my sons did this, would crush my soul.

  • Dear Chump Lady, you have got narcissism, narcissistic abuse and narcisstic discard nailed.

    This is the hardest, hardest thing for Chumps to get their heads round, so thank you so much for explaining it so clearly. It took me 7 years to truly understand that he isn’t quite human, he will never ever meet half way, he doesn’t care and that is his hole, this was never really about me.

    That I had no control and I had to work on my letting go, my boundaries, my acceptance, my co dependence, my obsessing about him instead of focussing on my own life, my futile attempts to control and my less-than-admirable shrieking angry sarcastic etc etc ways of attempting to get him to ‘see’ me. What a complete waste of my time, energy and precious life.
    All the time I did those things, I was his slave.
    So grateful for your writings. Monkey love was the start of me ‘getting it’. Thanks.

    • “He isn’t quite human”. I love this! Next time someone asks me about the narc I’ll tell them I divorced him because he isn’t quite human. Just parasites, Patsy.

  • Yep, X-hole’s mother is a selfish narc and master enabler. His fuckedupness is a direct result of HER being a shitty parent and person and therefore she can not acknowledge it, she looks the other way. It is definitely a conspiracy. Not ONE word from her until I “upset” him by refusing to allow him to introduce the cheating whore to my son….. she says “my concern is for my grandson”. I said “right, funny how your concern ONLY applies to sticking your nose in when HIS feathers are ruffled… you don’t care that he cheated…walked out….stopped paying the bills…..ZERO support…….where is your concern again??”

    One month before D-DayI spent my birthday caring for her after another surgery (3rd surgery, 3rd time being the one to care for her), after he walked out after cheating in my face for 3 months…..I was a stranger to her. I didn’t exist.

    She told me I needed to rid myself of my evil anger…. I told her my anger was justified and deserved and that she should mind her own business and stay the fuck out of mine. Haven’t heard from her again. Good riddance. Assholes…all of them.

  • I’m so sorry you are going through this! My XMIL knew about my XH affair and her advice was to NOT tell me. Not to mention that we were living in Singapore and about to move to New York (home of MIL). I planned my future thinking our marriage was fine. Picked a town to move to, bought a house, etc. All the while the MIL knew he was fooling around. When I found out she bought me “Divorce Busters.” I ate that kibble for too long. Also, XMIL is a therapist and she really thought she knew everything. Shithead, gaslighting bastard! Hang in there and get a FANTASTIC lawyer! Get immediate emergency support. Big hugs!

  • My hand is up. They always told me I was the son they never had (4 girls). I was with her and in their lives for 30 years. After she told them we were getting divorced, I talked to them once and never again. They dropped me like I never existed. I saw an email from MIL to ex ho saying I couldn’t have been more surprised if she had come to the door with a bazooka. She knew about it before hand. One of my ex’s favorite saying is “the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Huge triggers in this post, for lots of us it seems.

    As hurtful and confusing as it was at the time, I now consider myself lucky that batshit crazy MIL devalued and discarded me years ago (because I asked her to spray her cigarette-smoke infused suitcases with febreeze before unpacking them in my son’s room during a visit), way before the shitstorm with the disordered fuckwit started. She’s a doozy.

    Tempest had a comment in a thread a couple of days ago about badly licked rats that rang sooooo true for me. Disordered fuckwit was a badly licked rat, and then was abandoned by mama rat in early childhood to the “care” of a barbed wire monkey and a violent drunk.

    One of the things that really motivated me to end the marriage was realizing that I was simply not qualified to deal with disorder of that magnitude.

  • My mother in law knows about stbx’s affairs but is gloriously skilled in avoiding to admit that it was very wrong on her sons part and I know is blaming me for it. She babies him and enables him, he is the golden child and she is not going to hold him accountable for anything, never has and never will. She shovels so much money up his ass that it is not even funny anymore and she is oblivious to the damage he has created in his own family with his selfish and narcissistic entitled cheating. Poor baby is so unhappy in his marriage, of course he is looking for LOVE somewhere else and he deserves to be happy. PUKE. I could go on and on about her and the fucked up manipulative stunts she has pulled over the years. She wrote a note (luckily we are thousands of miles away or i don’t know what I would have done)asking to be mindful of the children and not to engage in any blame games and to please keep the lawyers out since it would financially ruin us. (What do you know, she is married to a Judge and was married to an attorney before he past away.) Stbx has already taken care of the financial ruin and I don’t think she has a clue how much damage he has already created to our finances. It makes me so angry that he gets away with this so easy and that there are hardly any consequence for him while i am struggling to keep my head over water. I am from Germany and so far away from family and friends, It feels like I was a very easy target for all the emotional abuse since meeting my H. Since stbx has announced that we will be divorcing, she is avoiding any contact with me and has dropped me like a hot potato. When she sends letters (with money) she sends exactly three separated envelopes, each addressed to the kids and the other one for him. How more apparent can she be to let me know that i deserve nothing? It still bothers me so much and it hurts me that I am left out and have to eat their shit sandwich. I don’t care much for her or her power games and rather not be around her but it still sucks to be put in such a position. I want MEH now, but I guess it is Wednesday.

    • Schmetterling: You will start to heal when you stop caring what she thinks; disorders run in families. It goes without saying that you should take NONE of her advice. At this point, you and your children are all you need to concern yourself with. I hope you have legal advice for yourself; do not let STBX be the only one with a lawyer.

  • Both my ex-inlaws died well before D-Day, so I’ve got no experience on this one. But I realize in reading from an “outsider’s” view that it’s sort of hilarious, all the (ex) MIL’s begging the betrayed spouses to “be nice….for the children.” Ummm, yes, because your deranged children were really thinking of our children’s best interests when fucking schmoopie, using marital assets on affairs/sex/prostitutes, stealing college funds, dissipating our savings, gaslighting us into depression and anxiety attacks, letting our houses go into foreclosure, blowing up our families, introducing skanks into the kids’ lives, destroying our kids’ trust and childhoods, abandoning the children and spouses, blah blah blah yada yada yada, you know, those little chestnuts.

    But now these MILs decide the overriding concern for the betrayed spouses only, has obviously got to be “the children.” For their darling cheating sons/daughters, not so much. And of course these MILs’ idea of what is best for the children is to allow them to be with the cheaters as much as the cheaters now deign beneficial to their finances and image, and so as to allow the cheaters to refuse to live up to their financial responsibilities to these same children and families. If these MIL’s cared about their grandchildren at all, they would’ve stepped in long ago to kick their sons/daughters’ cheating lying asses instead.

  • Mediating with the degenerate described in today’s letter? I can’t imagine any good coming from that.

    ‘What about the children?’ and its variants are used and abused by cheaters and cheater apologists, who are often chumps’ in-laws. I thought of my parents-in-law as my second set of parents. Even after my MIL heard about the full extent of my STBX’s abuse of me (of various sorts, doled out generously over a decade, and included financially cleaning out her grandchildren and me) she told me that I should go back to STBX because I had no financial options! That day, I realized that my parents-in-law never truly fully supported me. The realization was devastating but one of the best things that could have happened to me (and my children (with STBX)). I have stopped communicating with my in-laws. Unfortunately, STBX has moved back into his parents’ house, and because he has some physical custody of our children, I may have to go over to the in-laws’ house to pick up our children. If I have to pick them up there, I will try to arrange for curbside pick up–I don’t care if people say I am unfriendly and unforgiving. The people who say those things don’t know the truth or don’t want to know the truth. Being friendly and forgiving just cemented my image as a doormat to my abuser and his supporters.

  • I sent my ex- boyfriends mother (dated for 4 years before the cheating), an email after D-day explaining everything in a straightforward non resentful way. She sent me a very kind email back saying that her heart has been absolutely crushed and that her son broke the trust of many. She said she will never look at him the same way again. She said she always loved me like much of her own etc. The ex’s parents always treated me very well and often said, “he sure is lucky to have you, we’re not sure if your as lucky to have him” (if only I had listened). But then I then received an email 6 months after the blow up and initial correspondence. She explained that she is still very hurt and and when she gets sad she thinks of an attitude of gratitude that I even entered her life. And that she hopes I will come to her if I ever need anything and to hopefully come visit one day when I feel comfortable (never happening). I didn’t even know what to make about the email. Part of me was offended that she re opened a wound that was finally healing. But I also could tell that she is still struggling with the whole thing. She said “not a week goes by that I don’t think of you”. God I feel so bad for her. I couldn’t even imagine being the mother of such a horrid person. It would be such a hard place to be in– knowing that you raised such a terrible person. So for my case, his mother took his cheating very badly. Even 6 months after she sounds very miserable. Such a shame these cheaters hurt so many people. He probably never thought in a million years his parents would find out. Well, he for sure didn’t think I would find out. Thankful for that (luckily curable) std that opened up a world of lies.

  • To the original OP, I wouldn’t doubt that your MIL’s main motivation for trying to soften you up to gain an advantage for her son in negotiating custody/financial arrangements. She is concerned about HER OWN access to her kibble-producing grandkids.

    Keep up the necessary level of toughness. The folks are united against you no matter what they say. Don’t even bother answering back.

    Just focus on what your and your kids’ life will be like going forward and don’t do any favours for the enemy.

  • My ex-MIL was the one who succeeded in talking the 23-yr-old me into marrying a fiance (her golden son) even though she knew full well he had cheated on me during our engagement. She did it by promising a mortgage (she picked out the house which we could. It afford without her financial assistance). That house was one block from her home,

    I lived with her countrol for almost thirty years until she died, then I left. However, in the meantime, she stole my nuclear family from ne by dictating everything…holidays, car choices, summer camps for the kids…it was always her choice that prevailed, and ex-cheater of course never crossed her, or the Xmas bonus cheque would not materialise.

    There are people in this world who will try to buy you…they are adept at seeing your weaknesses, they control their own offspring with the promise of inheritance.

    I was the gene pool. Once I left, I never heard from any of them again, except for a couple of random and ridiculous emails where their paranoia was evident. Fortunately, I’d already developed enough of a tough hide to detach and invoke no contact. Ever.

  • OTCT, my hand is raised too. I once phoned the MIL at 1am after Asshat threw 3 laptops at me, pulled a ceiling fan out of the ceiling, crushed my eye glasses and hid them in the bottom of the trash, took my keys, then demanded that I leave the house or he would ‘take me out.’ As in The Sopranos take me out. I had no way to leave. Family & friends thousands of miles away, it was the only time I called her to calm him down. Her first words, “well, what happened? Why is he so mad?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was 2014, and I wasn’t in an after-school-special. The next day I took pictures of his destruction. I got documentation of infidelity and wrote other incidents down with dates. My state IS a fault state, thank the sweet baby Jesus.

    Months later, Asshat told me he’d been giving chunks of money every week to his mom for safekeeping. She knew he was leaving, probably before the slut did. He skipped town, with my car and her credit card, all with her blessing. But, she showed up with $ when the gas was being shut off, and many other times. My son loves her and she loves him, I’m sure that’s why, but what a mindfuck. I had to take it, I had no money, no job. The X left our house and mail keys with her. She got to the mail and in my house. I set traps, I knew she was snooping. I had to change the locks and the box.

    When it was time to move she helped. She also helped herself to things he’d left behind (meaning everything – except his laptop, desktop,screens, and SD cards). I saw her do it, but she’d rented a Uhaul and I’d been moving for 3 days in a Honda sedan (I couldn’t afford a fucking Uhaul) and I just didn’t give a flying fuck anymore. Comments like, “Isn’t that Asshat’s?” and “Where is his camera?” infuriated me, but I used it as fuel. It took my son and I 10 days to move.

    I know this is long. The MIL grandma stuff is insane. It’s not so hard to understand when you hurt the mother, you hurt the children,. Period. Save yourself! Short, pointed conversations to arrange kids’ visits if you must and get off the phone. Hang in there. I wish you well.

  • Yes, no meditation! Get Atty, ask about fault based divorce. You may wish to hire PI for proof of affair, depends on your state. I know if you are a guy, cheating is a real breaker for alimony in my state. There may or may not be that option. Generally speaking, infidelity is still technically a crime in some states, although it is never prosecuted. It may give you significant advantage in divorce (in addition to usual advantages all women get).

  • I have not had anything to do with my MIL (AKA “The Viper”) for the past 4 years because she blamed me for WH’s A, enabled him to continue contact with OW, & told him that he was entitled.
    BTW, she is an unremorseful WW/OW herself who broke up 2 families.

    She made the following comments to me on Dday & in the months that followed:

    1.” Honey, what do you expect him to do, grovel?”
    2. “Honey, I blame you –you drove him to it”
    3.” Honey, your children will never forgive you for betraying them if you don’t take him back” (how have I betrayed them? I am not the one who was unfaithful—WH admits this one is wrong)
    4.” Well honey, if you had kept the house cleaner & worn makeup more, this wouldn’t have happened.”
    (I have 4 children & work outside of the home, & had no help from her, her son, or any family member, because my family lives far away—-not that that matters, even if I were a lady of leisure without kids, how dare she try to blame me for the atrocious thing her son did!)
    5. “Honey, if you don’t take him back, there will be 20 women lined up at the door for him”
    6. “Honey, it was just 1 little mistake.”
    7. “Get over it honey”
    8. (During the first few months after D day, during which he would not stop contact with OW) “Honey, he HAS to go out for lunch with OW alone, they work together” (WH has never gone out for lunch alone with any other woman he has ever worked with)

    I also heard crickets from WH’s entire family, after I kicked him out on Dday ( & he went to live with the Viper around the corner from our house)—- while I was trying to manage the house alone & our 4 kids, & work.
    Not ONE : “Do you need any help with the kids?’, etc.

    I had been a devoted DIL to the Viper for 21 years, & I guess WH’s whole family thought that I would be the one who would take care of the Viper when she got older, since I am a nurse—–but when WH started fucking a Slunt who was 20 years younger than us, I found out that I was disposable.

    OTCT, lawyer up with a Saber-toothed lawyer, & get these toxic people out of your life. Don’t waste one more moment of your energy on them.

    • Ugh, Matilda–what a piece of work your xMIL is. Good riddance; her “Honey, ….[advice]” are all straight out of the cheater handbook.

      • That’s for sure. CL hit the nail on the head—–I was no longer useful. I had served my purpose as a vessel & given her 4 wonderful grandchildren. How dare I kick her darling son out for fucking a Slunt.

  • Um…how do you think he became an “over-entitled peacock”?? His mother.

    And, no she is not going to condemn his actions – to do so would be to admit to having raised him poorly. I am sorry but someone who is raised right does not behave this way. Only those with crappy parents act like jerks. Which is why the parents will always excuse and defend their actions…otherwise they will have to admit fault.


  • I am old enough & I don’t take sh&$t. At the beginning I was afraid of being disrespecful with MIL & FIL. Once I noticed that they are toxic I got away
    mentally, physically. I already got too much drama with my Narc. It will take
    a while for me to go to happy land and Meh but the more I read CL the more I know it could be done. My MIL was cheated. I always thought he would never do that and I got a clon of my FIL. POS MF!

  • My mother in law is a malignant overt narcissist with a drinking problem. She got knocked up with my husband when she was 17 and had a series of husbands and children with a total of four husbands by the time HE was 17 (except the fourth one thought he was only the third for the first 15 years of that marriage, and yes, my husband covered for his mother with this. What choice does a kid have in this regard?) I guess for a long time I understood and was adept at spackling this shit and untangling this skein. Whatever.
    The woman cried throughout our wedding about losing her son and made everything hell. There was definitely emotional incest going on in that relationship by the time my cheater was 15 he was the emotional spouse in their relationship until she reconnected with husband number 4 at a 15 year high school reunion. We were expected to care for her aging parents so Monster In Law could play house 400 miles away with her new husband and new children. When we made her a grandmother before she was ready, she rejected my children. Then when they were diagnosed with autism, in one of her drunken fits, she called my children defective and blamed me. She never remembered birthdays of my kids. Ever. For reasons I don’t understand, two months after D-Day and the morning after I called the police to get him out of the house for raging at me, he decides to “make good” on a long forgotten promise to confront his parents about the longstanding abuse of me and the children. So he calls his parents, and gets my father in law on the phone. After scolding him for missing my son’s birthday, it turned all sad sausage and husband tells father in law he cheated on me and he was going to most likely wind up alone. Over the phone I then heard my father in law ask and imply several times that HE MUST HAVE DONE IT IN RESPONSE TO ME CHEATING FIRST. SURELY THAT MUST HAVE BEEN IT! Husband was adamant in defending my faithfulness. It was just so fucking FOREIGN to them that anybody in their fucked up family might have misbehaved first. It’s really no surprise how well husband lies and blameshifts. He was fed it early on with his bottles and Pablum. Raised on it.
    This was really the last meaningful conversation he had with them. This was more than two years ago. The only commentary monster in law has had directly with him was liking a “sad sausage” picture he posted on facebook of his hand in a handcuff, and even his therapist said, upon seeing it, that there was no point in him trying to have a relationship with his mother. My attorney has a screen cap of that nonsense. Thanks for making it possible for me to now have reasonable proof that she can never have visitation with my children. Not that she wants it. Their aspergers makes my children poor kibble dispensers – they are very honest boys and have said things to her in their no nonsense fashion that doesn’t flatter her. Their hurt feelings and their ability to express it IS NOT ABOUT THE YEARS of behavior and speech therapy I secured for them while her son was fucking around on us. Noooo. They are feelingless idiots, so I must have TOLD THEM TO SAY THINGS TO HER. I can’t plum the depths of her disordered mind. It makes my head spin.
    Don’t mistake any of this. They are NOT ON MY SIDE. Nooooo. When cheating husband took responsibility in that moment… this was a tremendous narcissistic injury to my inlaws. All of her offspring are whorish, cheating assholes who are all divorced. I really expected that they would have their noses in our business, I utterly expected to have a story like the rest of these. I knew before any of the cheating happened that just like every other ex spouse, these people would erase me completely if we ever divorced for some reason. It’s what they do. I expected the whole bag of tricks, I saw what she did when my sisters in law divorced. I really did. But knowing what I do know now about NPD, I realize that by not putting me up for triangulation, he really offended my mother in law. He denied HER KIBBLES by not throwing me under the bus. So he’s cut off until he wakes up and grovels back to Mommy Dearest.
    I had been no-contact with my inlaws before, and I am exceptionally relieved that they haven’t tried to contact me AT ALL. Again, of this whole big clusterfuck, this is the only saving grace. Even If The Unicorn comes here (I’m still trying to put down the hopium pipe and spending time working on WHY THE FUCK I am so damaged as to not let this hope go when my rational brain knows there is no way to recover from what he did) forever NO CONTACT with these people is an iron clad non-negotiable boundary.

  • I had the same experience – I was very close to my mother-in-law for 15 years. We spoke several times a week – although in hindsight, it was always me calling her. She was kind to me to though and I always felt thankful for our relationship. The summer my STBX was acting very strangely, she and I would talk everyday worrying what was wrong with him and how we could help him. Finally the mystery was solved – he had been having an affair with our employee for several months. The day my MIL found out, she spoke to me in a terrible way using the same line as above – all she was concerned about was the kids. No empathy at all for the life shattering experience I am going through. Also, if your only concern is for the children, shouldn’t you show some concern for the primary parent they need to be strong? In our first and only conversation after DDay#1, she even went on to say to say how she had been fortunate to have a husband that loved her more than my STBX obviously loved me. She advised that I should respond the way Hilary Clinton did to Bill Clinton’s affair and just tolerate it quietly. She then went and complained to my STBX that I was crying and hysterical on the phone and she did not like me putting him down. It was months before anyone from his family bothered to check in on me. Not a single email, call or anything for months even though the STBX and I were trying to work things out. I never trusted her again but two years later, the sister of my STBX was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. I reached out to his family then and spent many weekends babysitting my SIL’s very young children and helping my MIL in any way I could. At the same time, STBX started up another affair with the married mother of our son’s friend. Once the SIL was out of the hospital and STBX moved out to pursue AP leaving me as a single parent to three young children, again they cut me off. As CL says, my services were no longer needed. Unbelievable.

  • Interestingly enough, my ex’s father actually sent me a card telling me to hang in there. He was divorced by my mother-in-law who got remarried. My mother-in-law was a different story altogether. I decided to transfer half our money into my own savings and I wrote a letter to my extended family and friends telling them that he cheated and we were getting divorced. They were going to notice something was up and I had already held the infidelity inside myself for several years. My mother-in-law sent me a nasty email about being vindictive for taking half the savings and telling people he cheated. She said not that it justifies an affair but unhappy people do not so nice things. Unfortunately, as an “unhappy person” I am somehow excluded from doing things she perceives to be not so nice even if I’m really just doing those things to protect myself.

    Later on, I was informed that just because she was entitled to more from the divorce settlement didn’t mean she took it and I don’t have to take what I’m legally entitled to either. She also called my mom and wrote a letter to my parent’s house to talk out her feelings. The way I understand it she said some crappy things, but I did NOT read them and I did NOT talk on the phone to hear any more. I also blocked her from my email, deciding it was best to not engage. After seeing the difference in the way his father and mother reacted, I think it’s clear to see where my ex learned his behavior from.

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