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Mother-in-law intentionally triggered me

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fromaztowa posted 1/1/2014 22:40 PM

My DH is not a WH, he was a WB. He has been an excellent husband, just as he promised after R-day. That being said...I need to give a little background:

We dated for 9 months before his mother decided that she didn't like me. Cue dating on the sly for the next 3 years. Each Summer, after he would tell her that we were back together she would brainwash or threaten him into breaking up with me. Usually, the threats constituted of saying she would sue for visitation/custody of his son (he was a single father) that she babysat and bankrupt him. Nice mother.

In 2002, she created the perfect plan. She took him out of state on a "vacation" and got him a new girlfriend - her best friend's daughter. Before he left, we had a big phone fight about it and how that was her intention, but he swore up and down that his mother hated her too. Well...guess how that turned out. In the moment, it was easier for him to give up and do what his mother wanted.

I broke up with him for good after that. Not going to deal with a guy that will cheat because his mother wanted him to, way too off-balance for me. Fast forward 3 months and I start getting drunken, crying, late night phone calls and sworn oaths of love. I told him he had to attend therapy (with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychoanalyst - not a counselor) for 6 weeks before I would entertain the idea of R...his problems were too big for us to deal with alone and he needed someone 100% outside of the situation. I also thought he needed to do it alone, without any influence or input from me or his mother (she didn't know he was attending sessions). He did, and the professional gave him so much help and so many tools, that he was able to separate from his mother. We began R with the help of his therapist and according to their timeline. I struggled like all BS/BG's do, but he continued to see his therapist and did everything that I needed and more. Just going through that process and committing so totally to it showed me that he was serious and truly desired a life with me.

We married in 2003. True to her word, his mother sued for my step-son. She lost, and wrote us off for good after screaming at him in court. Then she spent the next 10 years spreading stories that the reason she didn't talk to her son was that I would not allow him to speak to her...not at all the truth.

Anyway, she died in Feb. this year of cancer and left 16 large boxes for my step-son. In those boxes were:
1) six picture CDs of OW
2)3 copies of OW's two marriage ceremonies (She had divorced and remarried)
3)Letters OW had written to her
4)One WHOLE photo album of pictures of OW and my DH in cuddling keep in mind they were only physically together for a total of 7 days. So there were many, many duplicate photos.
5)In another photo album, more than half of it documented that trip to FL.

How many pictures were there of me? 3. Yup, 3. Out of a total of 11 photo albums, and 20 photo CD discs.

My DH and I believe it was intentional and carefully thought out. I'm triggering really hard over it. I really hate looking at OW's face...she isn't even that attractive. I'm far better looking that her, but I realize it isn't about looks. Sigh. We're going to have another "Destroy all photos/evidence of OW party" again. Ugh. Again. Sheesh. More than a decade later. Even going through that is it's own trigger.

My MIL was not a good person. Even up until the end.

DH has been perfect and supportive...lots of apologies and hugs, saying that he wished he could have stood up to his mother sooner and never gone on vacation.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I'm struggling a bit and feel like I need some input and perspective from others.

emotionalgirl posted 1/1/2014 22:51 PM

Hi fromaztowa....I too had the MIL from hell. I probably should have run far and wide after I met her. Unfortunately my WH never saw how awful she was, so I live everyday being reminded of the saint who wasn't.

It sounds as if your marriage is generally very strong and your husband has handled things well. Lean on each other for support, do not let your MIL get into your head. She is gone for good and can no longer hurt you. She tried to get one last dig in, don't give her the satisfaction of seeing you suffer. Triumph by saying that you husband chose you, even with everything she did, he stuck by YOU! Throw out the trash and wash your hands of her once and for all. Then sit down with your husband and drink a toast to the fact that her poison is out of your life! (((Hugs)))

sad12008 posted 1/2/2014 09:00 AM


Dang, your MIL sounds like she was one crazy, mean, controlling, manipulative b*tch! WOW!

Your H must've felt like he was born again after doing the work with the therapist that allowed him to cut that cord. It sure is to his credit that he did...both the work and the cord-cutting. Hooray to your H!!

This OW...who is/was she to your stepson? I didn't see anything saying the OW was the kid's mother, so I'm left thinking, "WTF?" Bizarre!

I think having a nice bottle of wine together w/your H in front of a fire whilst dropping various items from the boxes into the flames periodically would be a delightful way to spend a crisp winter evening soon.

Undefinabl3 posted 1/2/2014 10:44 AM

Does anyone have any advice for me? I'm struggling a bit and feel like I need some input and perspective from others.

Burn them all, gather the ashes, and sprinkle them on top of her grave.

Then do the jig to work them in nice and good.

If you must, spit on said grave and walk away with style, knowing that all her hard work to tear you and your DH apart did not work.

Of course she did it on purpose - and she got just what she wanted out of it. Burn it, move on and know that you and DH are good - inspite of all the crap she pulled.

Neverwudaguessed posted 1/2/2014 11:03 AM

Wow; I thought I was the only one with a MIL from hell. The day she told me she wanted to wear a white lace wedding dress to our wedding, I questioned whether or not I should still go through with the marriage, ultimately deciding I loved my fiancé enough to put up with her.
I just found out in September that my husband received a call from his ex-girlfried in the spring which led to a 7 week affair. This ex-girlfriend is a woman who stalked him throughout his 20's (I know first hand because she befriended me for several years when she found out I had a crush on him), and called him or was caught lurking around places she knew him to frequent several times during our marriage, knowing that we were still together and had children. This is a woman who my MIL stayed friends with despite repeated protests by my husband to get her to have some boundaries and cut off all contact. My husband's father is terminally ill and we discovered this just prior to the affair, and I thought that the affair was due to this devastating news and my husband's extremely poor coping skills.
Unfortunately there was tt and he confessed in October that there had been an affair with this same ex-girlfriend twelve years ago when our first born child was about 6 months old. It turns out that she was getting a divorce and my husband's mother gave her his unpublished work phone number, knowing she wanted to get back together with him, which was the source of the initial contact. Of course the rest was on him; he is obviously in charge of his actions from that point on. Once he ended that affair, there were a few months in between and then it was time for our son's first birthday party. My MIL was visiting from out of town for the party and staying in a hotel. She called me and asked to speak to her son because she needed his help due to car trouble she was having. I put him on the phone. He never left the house. It turns out that she had the ex-girfriend there and wanted him to come over to reconcile with her. Of course I had no idea about any of this and have just found out that she not only knew about what her son had done, but encouraged it while I was a new mother of her first grandchild.
I am sorry that even in death that your mil has chosen to make her last gesture be one which would hurt you. Ultimately, hopefully you will be able to take comfort in the fact that you have the complete and total support of your husband and a good life together despite her best efforts.

[This message edited by Neverwudaguessed at 11:17 AM, January 2nd (Thursday)]

sisoon posted 1/2/2014 11:06 AM

I think your best choice is to feel the pain and let it go.

There's so much here - a bad separation for your H from his mom, his mom's antagonism toward you and, by extension, him, the fact that you both have to deal with her failings as mom and as MIL.... I'd say you're wanting help because this IS especially difficult so you've been given an especially difficult burden to carry.

But I really want to say that you are on your way to weathering this storm. You (both) will get through this.

Gottagetthrough posted 1/2/2014 11:07 AM

WOW... That's

Im sorry you had to go through that, please toss out all OW pics!! =)

bionicgal posted 1/2/2014 11:09 AM

OMG - that is a huge box o'crazy!
Take a breath, and realize it is 100% to do with her and her messed-up self. Holy smokes. Imagine living inside her head? What a twisted, sad world.
Smile and be grateful that you, are you.

Skan posted 1/2/2014 19:07 PM

Burn them all, gather the ashes, and sprinkle them on top of her grave.

Then do the jig to work them in nice and good.

If you must, spit on said grave and walk away with style, knowing that all her hard work to tear you and your DH apart did not work.

This. Although I would also sing Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead at the same time. Bless her heart.

fromaztowa posted 1/3/2014 08:47 AM

The OW is nobody at all to my stepson, he doesn't know who she is (he was little at the time) and she's not a part of his family at all. It was weird to "leave" all of that to him. Very weird.

My MIL was definitely obsessed with my husband (likely had a PD) and that obsession transferred to my stepson once we married. She had little shrines to him all over her house, and filled a box with crazy letters to him that she mailed to herself.

She also internet stalked us and printed it out, stole our mail for a few months after we married, and applied for new SS cards and birth certificates for my DH and stepson. All of that crap was in the stuff she left for my stepson, so I think she hoped he would see it as proof of how much she loved him. Really, it just showed the depth of her mental issues.

Neverwudaguessed posted 1/3/2014 09:11 AM

Ugh! So sorry that you have had to expend such emotional energy on her and her very mentally ill driven, maladaptive behaviors. Trying to make sense of any of their actions can just suck the life out of you. Luckily for you, your "ride" with her is now over and you can go back to focusing on what is truly important. So sorry that for your experience with your MIL; they really can be toxic; some more than others….

wanttogoforward posted 1/3/2014 11:23 AM

Mother-in-laws can be extremely difficult.... I had one who constantly butted in where she was not needed.... broke us up several times... when we finally ran off and married she thought he would only marry me because I was pregnant... and asked us if I was pg.... I wasn't .... but in her mind it was the only reason for him to marry me after years of dating

She manipulated as much as she could early on....
and a bit as she grew older, but by then she realized she needed ME to help her so she seemed to accept and not cause so much trouble.

My advice/ thoughts? HELL yeah.... she did this on purpose to hurt you... why? who knows... maybe she was jealous he didn't always put HER first.... NPD!.... all I can say is burn the damn stuff and simply move on with your life. She did not win... you did! She did not get the last laugh... you did. She is no longer there to be a problem for you so go on an live the wonderful life you deserve to have!
PS.... my MIL is now deceased as well... so I understand completely.

BreatheAgain10 posted 4/16/2014 01:48 AM

Wow! And I thought my MIL was crazy... She is but my fWH wrote her off long ago and she lives in another state so she isn't involved in our family except as my FB acquaintance.
I pray you continue to move fwd now that the poisonous woman is no longer able to hurt you and your family. Congrats on your precious new baby on the way! ((Hugs))

tryin2havefaith posted 4/16/2014 06:53 AM

I also can join in this club. The MIL from Hell Club.

I stopped talking to my MIL (and the rest of his family) a year ago. It was the BEST decision I ever made. She went out of her way to say things to trigger me or to just plain out hurt me. Whether intentional or not, I knew I could not deal with that, even after years of being part of the family. I do not for a moment regret my decision (except that I cannot get to really see my niece and nephew). In fact, FWH and I are planning to move FAR FAR away in about a year. Right now, we live about 5 minutes from his MIL and his siblings. He completely supports my choice in not having contact with any of them, and is looking forward to when we can move.

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