Unnecessary Stress.

I'm not actually married, but I have serious issues with my partner's mother, so I thought this would be the place to discuss it.
Brief run-down;
My partner had a baby a few weeks ago.
The child is not biologically mine.
I have been with her since she was 11 weeks pregnant. (Friends first kind of thing)
The biological father is, by his own choice, out of the picture.

From the very beginning, I have known that things were going to be difficult.
Child on the way, new relationship.. etc.

What I didn't expect was the sheer stupidity, ignorance, and complete lack of any sort of tact from the Mother of all Dysfunction.
Every chance she gets, she puts my partner down. Belittles her constantly. Never misses an opportunity to drag up the past.
She is an absolute nightmare. A prodigy in the art of manipulation. The woman just oozes dysfunction.
At the flick of a switch, she can turn on you, and you just never know where you stand with her.
The worst part is that she has spent so many years wearing my partner down that she doesn't know how to stand up to her.
She's so co-dependent that she actually feels guilty for her mother's disapproval, and strives to make her proud, which is impossible.
It upsets and disgusts me in equal measure to see her grovel at the feet of this wretched woman.

Up until very recently however, this only affected me and our relationship indirectly.
But things have changed.
As soon as the baby and my partner came to stay with my family, she threw an almighty strop!
Clearly, the thought of someone else, not being a biological relative, taking care of her daughter and grandchild, was too much for her over-inflated ego to bear. She refused to reply to my partner's texts (knowing this upsets her greatly) and when she saw her next, enjoyed a lengthy rant about me and the paternity of the child, about everything she's doing wrong already as a mother, etc. etc.
This is but one small incident in an endless saga.
Encouragement? No. Friendly guidance? No. Loving care? Not likely.
Myself and my partner are both fully-grown, matured adults. We should not have to put up with this. It is completely unnecessary.
This has driven a rift through the otherwise seamless relationship that we have had.

I love my partner very much, and I love the child like my own.
I try my utmost to be supportive of my partner in everything that she does, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to approach this topic with her in a calm manner.

I haven't got the energy, mental or otherwise, to list here, the numerous incidents, snide comments, and harsh words that I have witnessed from her mother, but I hope that I have given a general idea of the situation.
As it stands, I don't know where to go from here. If it were solely up to me, and I was to briefly take my partner's feelings out of the equation, I would have us cut all ties with the woman and never speak to her again.
But, alas, it is of course never so simple.

I am absolutely determined to make things work in my relationship and I am by no means close to giving up on that.
However, I'm worried; first and foremost for my partner, who, after an extremely tough birthing, which ended in a cesarean section, looks set to crumble under this added stress and tension. Secondly, for the baby, reliant as it is upon the well-being of my partner. And lastly, for the relationship I have with them both.
Wheeliebin Wheeliebin
18-21, M
3 Responses May 21, 2012

i think you should get your wife to a counselor. A good one would give her the tools to be able to handle the situation. You might also want to pick up the book toxic inlaws by dr susan forward. Even though it's her own mother, it might help. She has other books about emotional enmeshment. <br />
She also needs to spend as little time as possible around her mom. Her self esteem needs to be built back up and that's not going to be done overnight. good luck

My MIL is also extremely rude and critical of her son. But him being a man, it doesn't effect him emotionally as much as it would a woman. I don't have any recommendations as to how to handle the mother in law...but I will encourage you to continue being strong for your partner. If a person doesn't have emotional support from their mother, it creates and unnatural strain (because it is an unnatural occurrence). She needs you to be strong and be a barrier between her and her mother (even if it's not in front of her mother - as long as she knows you're on her side and you believe it's wrong), WITHOUT feeling like you are creating some battle that she has to mediate. That will only cause her more stress. Let her know when you're angry that you're only angry for her sake. And good luck...I don't envy your situation :( but I respect your attitude.

Don't know quite what to suggest- but wanted you to know that there's someone here who feels for you and hopes it all works out. You are so right to worry about your partner and child...Have a hug and love from me xxx

Thank you, I appreciate it.