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Ask Rev.Dr. August Abbott Your Own Question

Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7342
Experience:  Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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How do I deal with a narcissistic dauther-n-law No matter

Resolved Question:

How do I deal with a narcissistic dauther-n-law? No matter what I do or say, she finds something petty to run to my son about. She constantly keeps drama going and will not let
our grands stay over anymore. It's breaking my heart.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rev.Dr. August Abbott replied 2 years ago.
-- I can understand from any mother's point of view it's the DIL (daughter in law). I have one of those too and also not too fond of my son's taste in women.

However, all of the blame is being sent her way while absolving your son from having any free will or part to play in the drama? Why?

"He came to us with a notebook" and "He said they wrote them down to prove that she isn't crazy".

This sounds like it's not just the DIL, but the both of them acting in concert as a couple standing against you.

You need to address this as the both of them and not just the one. Unless your son is that easily manipulated and fooled? Of course not. He is of legal age and has free will. If he didn't want to be a part of this, he wouldn't have come to you with a notebook and he certainly wouldn't have been writing things down to prove his wife is fine.

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What you are ALL doing is pushing each others' buttons. You say this, they say that and you always end up in the same spot, 'on the outs' or worse, with intense animosity.

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So you can either keep watching the same movie over and over, expecting a different ending each time, or you can start a new one; one with an ending yet to be written.

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This whole thing has gone on long enough to prove that not a single one of you is going to be listened to by everyone else. Not a single one of you has the solution because no one else is listening. They're too busy offering their own solutions and everyone firmly believes they're right.

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What to do? Haul everyone to an independent party for family counseling, also known as getting a referee Wink

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You all need new tools for communicating and bigger, better tools for listening, accepting and compromising.

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The problem right now isn't what's in the notebook, it's that each party staunchly feels they're "right" and that means those who aren't "right" are "crazy".

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Wars have been fought for less.

You have children involved though. Children who truly need to see adults act like adults and learn that love is "unconditional". For them, if for no one else, make the appointment with a counselor.

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It's easy to say we'll do anything for our children/grandchildren, but here's where it gets put to the test.
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I know you agree because by being here you've already taken that first step.

Let your common sense work its way into this dynamic and feel free to share this with them.

What you all need to admit is that going on like this just can't work and can't be continued. Right?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am seeing a therapist already. Just wanted another opinion. Seems as if my DIL has a narcassistic personality and my sister pointed out that my son may share that disorder. We have tried talking with my son and DIL. My son suggested that if his wife farted, I'm supposed to say it smells like roses.. his words. His Dad told him that it's all about forgiveness. No one is perfect and with family you overlook the petty stuff. My son replied that it had nothing to do with forgiveness. He told his dad that I made everyone think his wife is mean. His wife did that all by herself. She has had problems with several different family members. I agree that it can't keep going on like it is. It makes everyone miserable. My son is finally talking to his dad. My therapist says I can't change how they are but I can change how I deal with them. I'm just not sure how. I've been walking on egg shells for years and I don't know the "how" I'm supposed to be now.

Expert:  Rev.Dr. August Abbott replied 2 years ago.
-- From the notebook incident it sounds like your son and/or his wife are also seeing someone, or at least were.
--
I have to agree that you did not "make" anyone anything. No one can be "made" to seem anything that they're not. The flaws in this reasoning (and feel free to share this with your son) is that we expect those we're dealing with, talking to and have in our lives are persons of intellect and free will.

If someone is going to take anyone's word for how another person is, it's not very smart or mature of them.

We are all individuals with individual quirks and personalities. It's as unreasonable as it gets for anyone to expect us to all LIKE each other. That would be like establishing a universal "favorite color" we should all adhere to.

So even if DIL actually IS "mean" in your opinion and you have a God-given and constitutional right to express that opinion, unless you're "Ruler of the Cosmos" or some sort of hypnotist, you cannot "make" anyone else believe that your opinion is their 'fact'.
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Your son gives you far too much power if he thinks that.
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Forgiveness, from my clerical point of view, can happen inside of ourselves, by ourselves; however, it's much more likely to happen when it's asked for.

I don't hear that anyone has asked for forgiveness here so throwing that word out there is more alone the line of feeling self-entitled to do wrong and have it overlooked.

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The real point here is that ONE of you can go see a therapist and that will help the individual going. That's it. You can't take what you've learned in that therapy and force it on anyone else. How do they what is truly the therapists suggestion and what is your own spin on it?

ALL of you need to sit down with an independent counselor, preferably one who knows none of you (so the others aren't convinced the counselor has been swayed by previous information). Even if you do this just twice a month - it's better and more hopeful than how things are right now.

I know you see that. Now you need to stay calm and convince the others.
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7342
Experience: Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
Rev.Dr. August Abbott and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Funny thing is I'm a peacemaker and a "fixer". This is something I've not been able to fix. I became a robot when my son and his family were in. Keeping a smile on my face, doing what they wanted or not doing what they wanted. All to keep peace.. I've tried so hard to not give my DIL anything to pick apart. She can find it no matter what. She has made my son choose us or herself more than once. My son has always been close to his family. Until now. I never thought we would ever be in this mess. They live 6 hrs away and only come in every couple of months for a nite or two. They stay with my husbands dad. I love my son and DIL. In fact I had my daughter introduce them! I don't think getting us all together for group counciling will happen. My son loves to argue and will try and wear you down until you see it his way. He "goes ballistic" when you don't agree. I know we all need to have different tools to communicate.Would love to have a good conversation without all the drama. I hate drama. The therapist I'm seeing says it seems to her no matter what I do, either now or three mo. from now, my DIL looks for things to pick apart. Thank you for your input. I still need to know what I can do... My son said until I "make things right" he will not come over. I am accepting your answer but I still feel like I'm back where I was.

Expert:  Rev.Dr. August Abbott replied 2 years ago.
-- Your therapist is right, but the only info to base this on is what you've told her (or him) . Imagine that your DIL has told her therapist her view on things. That therapist is reassuring her that it sounds like you are the problem.

This is why a new guy (or gal) with a license and education in counseling needs to be employed to have all of you there.

I can see that you don't like drama. I can see that you are trying very hard to mend things and bring peace, but I also see that no one else is really cooperating. You're a tadpole trying to swim upstream with the salmons. While 'anything is possible', some things are more likely and other things are on the level of winning a worldwide lottery.

Let me put it this way: A brain surgeon is a well educated, qualified doctor who can perform meticulous, seemingly 'miracles' , yet few parents would bring their children to this medical genius to set a broken leg, right? Nor would they expect an internist to perform brain surgery.

We all have our fields and while yours is peacemaker and mender in just about every other situation, this is one that you simply can't do. So defer to someone who can.


I really do understand and I wish I could give you something magic to fix things, but you know better, right?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have been honest with my therapist. No one is perfect. But isn't that what we are asked to do? State what is happening the best we can? I can't say how or why anyone else feels or does what they do. I can only represent myself. I'm not asking to be absolved from any mistakes I've made. I'm looking to try and make things better. My husband even went with me on my last vist to the therapist. He's tired of the way things are also. But unlike me, he has no trouble telling it like it is. Either you like him or not. He doesn't walk on eggshells. What do you do when you can't get everyone in for counceling? You sure you don't have a magic wand somewhere up your sleeve??? LOL I pray every nite for God to help heal our family. I appreciate your input. Thank you.

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