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Author Topic: Visit from witch bpd MIL  (Read 789 times)
pulauti

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« on: November 20, 2022, 09:04:55 PM »

Long story short, my MIL is a total witch . My wife can’t stand her but loves her father, who is still married to this abusive woman.

Thankfully for me they live 5 hours away.

A few months ago we did something that offended my MIL. She reacted by going to my sisters house (they coincidentally  happen to be neighbors) and telling my sister how horrible my wife and I are. She also told my sister how she is suicidal . My sisters husband was concerned upon hearing this and told my MIL’s husband. MIL said my sister is a liar and made this up. Keep in mind my sister has absolutely nothing to do with anything, she dragged her into her something that doesn’t involve her. For the next week or two MIL harassed my sister and her husband with completely sick, vile emails. Really disgusting stuff. I get the emails too but block them so I don’t see them.

MIL crossed a line and I’m just completely done with her at this point. I have no space  in my life for this type of thing.

Her husband pretends like nothing happens. He doesn’t apologize to me. After 40 years in an abusive relationship that he is too scared to leave, he seems dead inside. Like an abused dog.

MIL, FIL and my wife’s sister came to visit this weekend. I told my wife leading up to it I can’t bear to be near them. It’s like being near someone who murdered a loved one.

The visit thankfully featured no drama. But an incredible amount of fighting between my wife and I. She says I don’t support her and I say she doesn’t care about me. The whole time weekend I need to basically do my own thing, to limit contact.

The whole thing is so uncomfortable. And it’s awful for our marriage.

Both my wife and I feel very badly to see her father so empty. He didn’t care to go my son’s basketball game. It’s a very twisted, toxic situation. He just planted himself on the couch the whole weekend.

This post ended up being more of a rant. I’m upset at the toll  this took on our marriage. I think ultimately we need to speak to a couples therapist to repair things and know how to support each other.

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Couscous
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2022, 05:07:21 PM »

It is not at all unreasonable for you to limit your exposure to your in-laws and to no longer be willing to host them in your home. It would be quite reasonable for you to ask them to stay elsewhere during their visits, and perhaps you and your wife would host them for a few dinners for the duration of their stay. Your wife can choose to spend more time with them at their hotel or doing outside activities with them, if she wishes.

This will likely be extremely difficult for wife to hear and you will need to be prepared to encounter a LOT of resistance on her part, but don’t let that deter you. I agree that counseling is a good course of action and I recommend that you find someone who is familiar with family enmeshment/fusion who can help your wife begin to develop some boundaries. In the meantime you might find the books Toxic In-Laws by Susan Forward to be helpful. All the best to you!
« Last Edit: November 22, 2022, 05:17:57 PM by Couscous » Logged
Notwendy
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2022, 05:02:15 AM »

My mother has BPD and my father was similar in his behavior. I also wanted to continue to have a relationship with him, and this included BPD mother. He is deceased now.

I think it would help for you to read up on the Karmpan triangle as I think this is what is going on with your MIL. My BPD mother also has poor boundaries and would enlist other family members as "rescuers" which is what your MIL did with your sister, and painted you and your wife as villains.

In defense of your wife, this is difficult for her. This is what went on with me and so it may be what she's dealing with. If she upsets her BPD mother, her father is part of that deal. She wants a relationship with him and this is contingent on keeping BPD mother happy. While this appears outrageous to you, this is the "normal" she grew up with. It didn't have to be spoken as a rule but it's the dynamics in the family. If BPD mother is upset with her, BPD mother will take victim perspective and enlist her father as rescuer against your wife.

If this is the "normal" we grew up with, we may not see it as clearly. You can see the disorder better than your wife can. She may see it, but it's emotionally familiar to her. She may also perceive her father as the "normal" one, compared to her mother and hold on to that relationship. I know I did. I eventually did have to have boundaries with BPD mother and this angered both parents.

You are now in another "triangle" with your wife. Do you see the dynamics here? MIL created drama with you and your sister. Now, you have conflict with your wife, MIL, and you. Your wife feels unsupported by you, because, she feels obligated (FOG- fear, obligation, guilt) to her parents and you are trying to have boundaries with them. It's important to understand that while your wife may see the disorder with her mother cognitively, emotionally - having boundaries breaks a family rule. As a child, doing this is very scary. It may make no sense that a grown woman is afraid of her mother, but the child she was is afraid of her mother, and also her father.

You do have the right to boundaries and peace in your family. I think it would help to understand that this isn't easy for your wife to do. It's a process to learn to have boundaries with a disordered parent and their enabling parent and manage their reaction. Your wife likely needs support with this- counseling. I understand you feel she doesn't care about you, but she does. It seems logical to you to dismiss this witch of a MIL, but these are the only parents she knows and going against the family pattern is scary- especially when a parent is abusive. It's hard for my H to understand my perspective as he doesn't have an abusive mother.

In my situation, I am the one who took the initiative to have boundaries, so my H didn't get into the triangle. When you do it, you are right on it, as persecutor to BPD mother and your wife feels obligated to be the rescuer/caretaker. Now, you feel like a victim "she doesn't care about me" and so does she. That's a pattern that exists in disordered families. Your wife isn't doing this on purpose and she's not doing it to you. It's all she knows to do in her family. It's the only thing she's allowed to do.

My suggestion for both of you is marriage counseling. Not because your marriage is the main issue, but to be a support to both of you as you navigate this because you don't want conflict between the two of you over this. A counselor who understands these dynamics and the experience of someone growing up with this can help the two of you work together on this.
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pursuingJoy
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2022, 08:30:57 AM »

pulauti, my MIL also has BPD and created serious havoc on our marriage for 3 years. My H is her only surviving child and her husband passed away many years ago, so he is her person. She lives two hours away, thank goodness.

Dealing with my BPD MIL's behavior was like being exposed to a really strong, offensive smell, and feeling shock when my husband insisted he couldn't smell anything. In part, he can't. It's not only normal behavior, he's adapted to survive. I finally came to accept that he couldn't/wouldn't see it through my eyes, and that all I could do was take care of myself.

Ideally, you and your wife can set boundaries that work for both of you.

If your wife refuses, you can still set boundaries. Think about what you value and set a boundary to protect it. I value feeling peaceful and safe in my home. MIL can visit for the day, but overnights (with downtime) are a solid no. My H was not happy, I was accused of being cold and uncaring, told that I didn't care about family, that I just didn't like her, blah blah. I didn't get mad, I just stayed steady, continued to restate the boundary, and reiterated that this is what I needed for future interactions to be as positive as possible. That last part really helped him swallow a tough pill.

Took him almost a year but he is also calm about it now. I strongly believe that part of him is fine with, even needed, the separation.  He didn't know how to make it happen.

Counseling was THE only thing that helped us get over the hump because were stuck in circular, ineffective fights. Highly, highly recommend it. My H was able to hear things from a counselor that he couldn't hear from me, and I was able to receive tips and guidance that helped me navigate BPD effectively.  

Things that changed our dynamic: counseling, firm and reasonable boundaries, compromise, staying calm, and reassuring H that I wanted a relationship but it had to work for me.

Vent away anytime. We get it here.

pj
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pulauti

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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2022, 08:45:52 PM »

Thank you all so much for the thoughtful, generous replies.

Some additional background is that my wife despises her mother. Just the sound of her voice on the phone can cause her great distress. She tolerates her mother at great pain so she can also see her father. If not for her father, she would likely have extremely limited contact with her mother.

Her father is a nice man, but easily dominated. After 40 years of domination and emotional abuse, he has very little life in him left. This upsets my wife a great deal. He is like an old, abused dog. Even if the cage were to be opened, I think he would just lie there , not knowing how to live freely.

She has encouraged him to leave his wife, but he is far too scared to ever realistically contemplate that. He is resigned to his fate and accepts what is evolving into a rapid decline in physical and emotional well-being. This will sound very cold, but I find it hard to respect and like this man, as his inaction has enabled his wife to abuse everyone around her. He has qualities that are an example for my kids (love of nature, etc) but serves as a terrible role model.

If I set a boundary that respects my values (they sleep in a hotel and visit a few hours a day when they are in town), they would simply not visit at all. Then it would be my fault that my wife doesn’t get to see her father. It’s an awful catch-22.

The compromise is I suck it up for the few days they visit a couple times a year so my can see her father.

I suggested to my wife some things she can do to have more access to him, like getting him his own cell phone. But she hasn’t done them, which is frustrating.

It’s helpful to know that other people deal with similar problems.

 I completely agree that marriage counselling would be beneficial for me and my wife.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2022, 04:19:53 AM »

I did the same thing. I have not had a secure relationship with my BPD mother. I was more bonded to my father. He is deceased now. I also, like your wife, encouraged him to act more independently, but that was before I understood the dynamics in a BPD relationship. Her father may not be happy in his marriage, but he is enmeshed with his wife. If your wife pushes too hard for him to act separately, or tries to rescue him (Karpan triangle)- he will align with her mother against her.

There are threads about our relationships with our fathers too on this board. Like your wife, I perceived my father as the good parent and a victim of my mother. Yet, he wasn't a victim, he was her enabler, and he had choices too. They were enmeshed and functioned as a unit.

Like your wife too though, I didn't want to give up my relationship with my father. I am glad he was able to get to know my children and they were fond of him. Yes, the requirement for that relationship was to "suck it up" and tolerate my mother. I also have a reaction when I hear her voice on the phone. I am guarded and stressed around her. The best way to cope is that I don't live near them and the visits were not too frequent.

Would your wife be willing to join this board? I think she'd see she isn't alone in this. We  share similar situations and also share how we cope. I understand you wish to be supportive- my H is supportive too, but he doesn't relate in the same way. He didn't grow up with these dynamics. The suggestions, like getting his own cell phone, are good ones, and they should work. But they are logical ones and the relationship between your in laws is emotional. We kids have stepped in to try to "rescue" our father and it backfired, every time, because of these dynamics.

Your wife has grown up with the expectation that all family members enable BPD mother. Break this "rule" and you risk her anger. I did choose to have boundaries with my mother, and while I think it was an essential choice, the result is that, BPD mother got angry, my father aligned with her. The cost of that was the relationship with my father. I didn't expect that to happen. I assumed he cared more about me than that. He did care but my mother's feelings were his priority.

We tend to cling to the parent who we see as the good one. Your wife loves her father and doesn't want to lose that. When you "push" for boundaries, you jump into the Karpman triangle but the risk with her parents is hers. There's a lot at stake for her here.

She loves you and would choose you over her parents if she had to, but she'd rather not have to choose. I agree that counseling is helpful to both of you as a couple but also I think it's important that she have counseling to help her with these dynamics. It's helped me and I think others here as well but it's important to keep in mind that we aren't the ones who have the problem. It's a sensitive idea because we have been blamed for our mother's behavior but that behavior isn't about us. It never was. It's support and tools for us to make the best choices we can for ourselves.


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Couscous
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2022, 11:54:50 AM »

Excerpt
She has encouraged him to leave his wife, but he is far too scared to ever realistically contemplate that.

This suggests that your wife might have been a victim of emotional incest: https://www.bpdfamily.com/content/was-part-your-childhood-deprived-emotional-incest

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gvMuiXnm7oo&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: December 01, 2022, 12:00:14 PM by Couscous » Logged
pulauti

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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2022, 02:01:17 PM »

thanks for the wonderful replies. @notwendy, sounds like you've had a very similar experience

my wife has been to a lot of therapy over the years about her mother. I think she continues to feel guilt over not being able to be closer with her father. i think she must understand that this is not her fault though, and must come to terms, however painful it is, that his loyalty is to his wife first.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2022, 03:16:50 PM »

Yes, unfortunately, but the shock that Dad would discard his relationship with me, due to upsetting BPD mother also was a time of emotional growth, and questioning the dynamics I was raised with.

I am my mother's scapegoat child and she has not really shown any affection for me. When there's only one parent that seems to care, that means a lot. They may have their own issues, but it's all we know at the time. However, there's an exploitative aspect to that relationship- if we want their approval, we have to also tolerate BPD mother's behaviors. 

I see him as having done a lot of good for us- and I attribute all the good in our family to him. My BPD mother is severely mentally ill and her moods and dysregulation were not positive situations. Although it appeared my mother was the "problem"- I know now that he played a part in the dynamics. Yet I know it had an impact on him too. Like your wife, I had therapy with the focus on my mother but then, I also had to look at my father. I had to work on my own co-dependent traits that I learned in the family dynamics. It helped me to understand his as well.
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Couscous
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2022, 05:44:00 PM »

My prior therapist seemed convinced that my mother was "the problem" and that all my issues were her fault. Then I read the book Silently Seduced and discovered, that no, that almost all of my issues were due to the enmeshed relationship with my father, and also discovered, to my shock, that my T had almost no understanding of the dynamics of enmeshment. Needless to say, I am now looking for a therapist who does understand this issue...

I also should add that even though I was enmeshed with my father he is very emotionally avoidant, and paradoxically, our relationship has always felt "distant". In spite of my inner child's desire to have a close relationship with him, I have realized that this is unhealthy for me and bad for my marriage, and I have had to let go of that yearning, and as a side-effect of that decision, I have noticed that I have found myself liking my husband a whole lot more!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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Notwendy
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2022, 07:37:57 AM »

For me, I think I was influenced by both. I knew to not behave like her. I didn't know about co-dependent behaviors. Since I thought my father was the "normal" one, I thought these were normal behaviors until I decided to work on these.

I did have some "daddy's girl" behaviors- but I don't think they were much out of the ordinary. I think Dads are heroes to their daughters and it's normal that we look up to them. As kids, we don't see our parents the way adults do- eventually as adults we begin to see them as humans with strengths and flaws too, as all humans are.

I think the bigger influence was the co-dependent behaviors, and the conditional approval based on if I complied with BPD mother. There wasn't any question that Dad's priority was BPD mother, it was just more than I expected.
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pulauti

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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2023, 08:56:12 PM »

Since I posted this, MIL has been in a “better” mood of late. I don’t speak to MIL or FIL, but my wife does and they often call my kids. They haven’t visited since, but I understand it’s important for the kids to see their grandparents . I’ve told my wife they can visit , but FIL says he’s not physically up for the 5 hour drive.

MIL tends to do strange things, and the other day went to a bank branch and deposited a couple hundred bucks in my account. For no reason. My wife wants me to play along and thank her for the money, just so there is no drama. But I don’t want to. I don’t want the money, and to me it’s “blood money “. My wife understands my position,  but at the same time thinks I’m being selfish
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Methuen
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2023, 07:37:45 AM »

You are right to not accept that money.  If you do, this pattern will continue.  

I am not surprised she deposited money into your account “for no reason “.  

Could you go to your bank, and request a stop to this in the future?

About 30 years ago, my mother gave us a cheque for $10000 to help with a deposit on a house.  My H and I were aligned and said thanks but no thanks.  

This created intense drama as refusing this gift equated to rejecting her personally.  It was a difficult time.  The difference for you is that your wife is wanting to keep the gift.  These gifts always have strings attached.

Guaranteed that if you accept this gift, it will be used against you in the future in some way.

Counseling is a great idea.  Be sure to vet your counselor.  They need to have experience with BPD.

Since she couldn’t give us money, she got into the pattern of wanting to give our kids money.  We couldn’t change her, so we worked with our kids from the time they were small, to do things for their grandma because they wanted to, and not for the money. 

Money =love for a pwBPD. It also becomes a point of control. 

Over my married life, whenever my mom was ready to “make up” after one of her episodes, she would arrive at the door with a bag of home baked buns.  You don’t want these bank deposits to your account to become like those “buns”.  They somehow think everything is forgiven and forgotten after these gifts.  Mutual agreement isn’t in their repertoire as they have to be in control.  It’s all about them.

But it doesn’t sound like your wife is in a place where she can see this.  

It’s definitely ok for you to have your boundaries.  Hopefully there is something your bank can do to prevent this from happening again.

I don’t know how old your in-laws are.  You mentioned they live 5 hrs away.  This is a good thing.  My advice is to keep it that way as they age.  If your wife ever wants to move her parents closer to her, I would recommend doing all you can to avoid that.  Just my experience- with my BPD mother living in my small community.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 08:07:09 AM by Methuen » Logged
Notwendy
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2023, 09:20:14 AM »

Although my BPD mother doesn't offer me money in general, on the few times she's "offered to pay" for something, I don't accept any money from her. I suspect there's another reason for her offering money to anyone and don't feel comfortable accepting it.

How does your MIL even know your accounts?

I think boundaries are important when establishing a relationship with grown kids and one of them is with money. There is a transitional stage - where they are in school and starting out where parental access to a child's bank account is a convenience but this also requires boundaries. An adult child may voluntarily keep a joint account with a parent but this requires boundaries on both their parts. Apparently your MIL doesn't see these boundaries. So you may have to establish this by having an account that you keep private. You are now on your own with your own family so there's no need for your MIL to have information about your bank accounts.







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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2023, 10:54:08 AM »

Write a check or get a money order for the amount MIL deposited and send back with a "thanks but not needed" note. The strings that come with BPD "gifts" are very real.

My stepdaughter no longer accepts gifts from her uBPD/NPD mother (my husband's ex). For 20 years, the ex played A game of giving or lending money or a car or some item, only to demand it back or claim that it wasn't a gift but a loan in the first place. It was infuriating. So the solution had to be -- accept no gifts, ever, under any circumstances.
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2023, 12:12:13 PM »

I have to go with the group here : your instinct of refusing the money is there for a reason, listen to it.

My BPD mother keeps an Excel workbook of all the things she ever gave to people.

One year ago, I went to live with her for a few weeks with my children. She was very happy to be able to play grandma with them, and to have us at her house for a while. I hadn't realized she was BPD back then, and I was going there because I needed help with school. My instinct, right away, was to give her money, to make it clear I wasn't using her, and would pay her for her help. I was basically covering heat, food and electricity cost for the time we had planned we would be there. She fought it a bit, but ended up accepting the money. To me, it was a way to prevent any sense of entitlement from her.

When things started to go south, the first thing she did was ask more money from me. To which I remember answering : we just bought a house and will be moving back here, so I will not be staying here as long as I thought, maybe you could deduce it from what I already gave you. She was unnerved.

And there she opened an actual excel workbook with all the information !!! I was completely amazed and appalled at the same time.

When things went well at the start : she would go the extra mile and try to beat me to do the children's laundry and stuff. When things started going wrong: she stopped doing anything and tried to guilttrip me for everything she was doing for us and how ungrateful I was.

I was very happy I had paid her, and cleaned up, and made diner for everyone, because she had NOTHING to use to guiltrip me, in the end. Except spending time with her grandchildren, which she knew she couldn't use, because she had asked for it for a very long time.

When I left, she ended up wiring me one third of what I had paid, with a note saying : "Your due." I have no idea how she came to calculate what two weeks at her house was worth, it was an emotional call, certainly wasn't what the excel spreadsheet was saying, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post), but a way for her to free herself too from any shame or guilt, and cutting ties. I remember it was followed by a text message saying I wasn't her daughter anymore, that she would be grandmother to my kids but a stranger to me, something like that. It was strange. I had told her she could keep the money, but to her, everything is a way to send signals and tools to dump emotions and steer drama and guilt. In my offer to keep the money, she might have seen an attempt to apologize or something for leaving abruptly, while for me I just didn't want any fight with her regarding money, I wanted out as soon as possible. I do think she wired it back because I didn't want it. And that if I had told her I wanted part of it back, she'd have kept it, or called me out as being an egoist or money oriented person. All she wanted was the last word, and money is just another tool for it. Like a two years old who will say red when you say blue !

My mother doesn't help freely and out of the kindness of her heart. Ever. It always comes with strings attached and with possible guiltrip down the road.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 12:25:35 PM by Riv3rW0lf » Logged
kells76
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2023, 12:03:45 AM »

Good feedback from the group that it's probably not "just a gift, no strings attached".

Maybe, though, your W doesn't want to make waves by returning it?

If so, I wonder if a middle ground could be -- you start a college savings fund for the kids and transfer it there. Could help your W not have to go through the "why did you return it" conflict, and help you know that you won't be using it.

And of course, you don't have to tell the inlaws what you did with it.

Certainly there could be downsides to this approach, so maybe the group could brainstorm what those might be.

Just some food for thought;

kells76
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2023, 07:49:04 AM »


Certainly there could be downsides to this approach, so maybe the group could brainstorm what those might be.


I mean... The thing is, I am now looking at it through the lenses of someone who now has boundaries in place. I used to accept the money, to accept the breach of boundaries from my mother... And H always supported me. He would tell me : "You look stressed, why are you so stressed every time you speak with her?" But he would show only support, and he let me manage the relationship as I saw fit. In the end, HE couldn't put any boundaries in place. I would defend my mother. I would justify her behavior. I would take the blame. And don't get me wrong, he did argue with me. He did tell me she was intense, and he would point to the troublesome behaviors, but he still let me manage the relationship.

Now that we both know the extent of her illness, he wouldn't let her in again. But prior to it, he couldn't do anything about it... But he certainly would never have let me give our family account information so that she can direct deposit in it without our approval? That seems like an overreach for ANY parent, not just a parent with BPD. My inlaws are not BPD, they don't have a PD: and I still wouldn't give them those kind of information, nor let them drop in unannounced. Those are reasonable boundaries born from a normal need to be independent from our parents and are things that can be reasonably expected from your wife to get and put in place with her mother as well.

I guess what I am trying to say is, because she is not your mother, I think you should be cautious also not to alienate your wife from you. But, there ARE some boundaries that shouldn't be breached, like having direct access to your bank account is a bit much. So maybe, you "accept the money", because this is your wife's decision as to how to manage her relationship with her mother... BUT, you discuss with your wife and make sure that this cannot be repeated and that your MIL lose access completely to your bank account.

There are some protective boundaries that should definitely be upheld and that you have the power to uphold. But you also have to act as a friend and partner to your wife, and support her through the waves of her relationship with her BPD parent. There should come a point where she also realizes the extent of the illness and affirm her boundaries. It sounds like she isn't there just yet... And supporting her would likely getting you more, in the long run, than confronting her for her to set boundaries in place she isn't ready to set... if that makes sense.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2023, 08:38:30 AM »

Yes, be careful to avoid the Karman triangle dynamics by defending against your MIL. Your wife has been in a relationship with her mother for many years before she met you and the family dynamics are very practiced and learned by now. They can appear "normal" to children who grow up with them, as it's all they know. You may see issues that your wife doesn't notice. This is primarily her relationship to work out. You can be her support system, but this is really between her and her mother and it's her emotional journey in a way.

My mother has tried to "triangulate" with my H- get on his good side- and he just doesn't respond to it, he's polite to her but keeps an emotional distance. She does not do this with money. She has been overly generous with my kids, for similar motives, she want to have a connection with them - with similar motives I think.

My kids responded as Kell suggested- used the money for college expenses. They rationalized that it was money my father earned and feel that he would have agreed this is a good use for it. Now that we know my mother probably has financial issues, I have told her to not send any more checks, and the kids won't cash them if she does. She doesn't do that now. But the person who has to say this to her is me, not my H.

Your MIL can give her daughter money if she wants and she can give you gifts if she wants and to your kids. I recall that my in laws have sent me modest birthday checks when the kids were little. They knew money was tight, we were just starting out and the check would come with a note saying "buy something for yourself". I imagine doing the same thing for a son in law or daughter in law and it not being strange.

What makes this inappropriate is that it is directly into your bank account. More than what you do with the money is that I think there needs to be a boundary on your family money and your MIL. If your wife wants to have a joint account with her mother with her own spending money, then that is fine. It may be a continued college bank account that she just left like that. ( my kids still have theirs but they have their own accounts with just them on the account- we just haven't felt a need to close them yet- but I would not have one with them and a spouse and I do not do anything with the accounts).

If your wife thinks it's too much drama to change the account and close this one, I suggest she keep a small amount of money in this one and have it just with your mother in law. If MIL is not on this account but knows the information for it, then this is the only one she will know about.

If this is your account, you close this, open one that is just for you ( and your wife if you wish). You and your wife need your own joint account that is not accessible to your MIL nor does she even have to know where it is.

So without even notifying MIL this account she deposited money into becomes a matter between you and your wife. Keep just enough cash in it to avoid bank fees.

You and your wife have your own accounts that MIL has nothing to do with.

If MIL puts money into your wife's account, that's between the two of them. Let her decide to return it, keep it, or put it in a college savings for the kids.

You are now out of the triangle and MIL does not have access to your accounts as a couple.

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Mommydoc
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2023, 10:45:39 AM »

 I agree. 

My MIL (who doesn't have BPD) gifted my husband and me in the past, and if I had it to do over again, I would have rejected it or put all towards our kids education.   Fast forward, she has rejected my husbands financial advice and is looking like she will run out of money. MIL and SIL ( who  made many of the “bad”financial decisions for MIL), now asking us to cover her expenses as a “pay back”.

It is almost a guarantee that a MILwBPD will use this financial gift, to demand something from you in the future.  I love the middle ground of converting that account to a college fund or an account for your wife, and cleaning up your accounts to be inaccessible to your MIL.

I love the many posts supporting couples therapy. A skilled therapist, will help you understand your wife and vice versa. It will be a separate journey for both of you, but seeking to understand each other’s journey will allow you to be supportive to each other in that path. 

I support your boundary of not having them stay at your house.  My husband has set that boundary for my sister.

 Perhaps, instead of them coming to see you and your wife in your home, now that FIL doesn’t want to drive, your wife brings your kids to see them.  I have started letting my husband visit his family without me sometimes…. It initially started because of work conflicts, but I think it works better for both of us.  He can focus fully on them and not worry about me, and I get some time alone. 

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