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I am so sorry to hear that your ex-husband in law and that his mother was doing this, I can understand how distressing this is.
There can be a variety of reasons for this behavior like a personality disorder on part of his mother (e.g. Narcissistic Personality Disorder), but regardless what they did was definitely wrong, selfish, and greedy.
For his mother, does she appear to be very controlling? Someone who likes to praised often for their achievements? And also someone who regularly takes advantage of others?
Yes. extremely controlling! Loves praise
I think she may be narcisstic. She had to surround herself in luxury. Always travelled 1st class (which we had ended up paying for) etc.
Then is sounds like she may have this disorder of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and your ex-husband has a co-dependent relationship with her where she is controlling and manipulating him.
What's co dependent?
I agree, this is a personality disorder where she has no empathy for other at all and is manipulating her son. The co-dependency is where he does not care about himself and only cares about her, so she can manipulate and control him. Basically he has no sense of independence and only does what he thinks will make her happy
I think he may have had a bit of that but he also did care about himself a lot it seemed- he was quite vain. Maybe both narcissists?
It is possible that he had some narcissistic traits, there are strong genetic and learned components to this disorder so it could have been passed down to him and he could have learned it as well from his mother. If that is the case then, he would have also used the money for himself too
The important factor though to know is that they both knew that what they were doing was wrong, but they did not care.
Yes you are right. Thank you