Women who marry the man they love who has a narcissistic mother need to be prepared. They have run right into the sites of the Matriarch from Hell. When you first met your husband's mother you could not have known that this woman was determined to run your life and make you miserable. Many of these narcissistic mothers are psychologically fused with their sons. This started when the child was very young. In some cases the mother substitutes her son for her husband who becomes a footnote in her life. When her darling son decides to get married the alarm goes off. The narcissistic matriarch is willful, ruthless and determined that she will forever possess her son and he cannot be shared with anyone, including his own wife.
The narcissistic mother-in-law sabotages her daughter-in-law, talking about her in highly negative tones. "This is not the right woman for my son. She seems to be superficial. I suspect that she is ultimately after our money. She has her hooks into him and won't let go." These statements are shared with other members of the family in a convincing way that turns them against the newly married daughter-in-law. The NM-in-law throws the full force of her ruthlessness and treachery into her goal---the destroy this marriage. In some cases this works. The wife gives up. She has been isolated, demeaned, lied about, dragged through every texture of mud possible. I have heard of narcissistic mother-in-laws who had the nerve to contact their daughter-in-law's work to tell outrageous lies about her daughter-in-law. It is remarkable what these dangerous, highly disturbed narcissistic mothers are capable of doing and pulling off.
Many daughter-in-laws take the showers, the oncoming mortars of abuse continuously. They become weary, exhausted, depressed, anxious. Some of them develop PTSD as a result of this severe level of abuse.
My advice to daughter-in-laws who have tried everything to keep peace and to compromise but have been chronically attacked as a result, should consider the possibility of severing the relationship with her husband. The spouse needs to choose between his disturbed fused relationship with his mother and his wife. If the son cannot individuate from the mother, then there are no alternatives than to make the separation. In some cases the husband wakes up and realizes that his love for his wife and his become a separate individual from his pathologically possessive mother takes precedence. The daughter-in-law should not blame herself if she has made repeated efforts to make peace and comes to the realization that she is dealing with a classic narcissistic mother-in-law. You are not to blame. Honor and respect yourself. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life