Question: Dear Luise – My fiancé and I are having real issues with his mother. She’s a classic Passive Aggressive, she’s very spiteful and manipulative, and tried to guilt her son into doing whatever she wants, even though most of the time it interferes with our plans, rules for our home, or boundaries we have set for our relationship through counseling. He simply lays down and lets her walk all over him. She blames all of the decisions we make together on me when they don’t suit her, and has even said downright nasty things about me to her son and others, but won’t tell me the same things. I am so fed up with her manipulation and emotional blackmail that I no longer want her in our home or around me or my child, but my fiance can’t seem to stand up to her. He’s terrified of her tantrums and that if he says anything to her she will blow up like she’s always done. Can you offer any advice? F.
Answer: Dear F.: Well, you can’t give him backbone if he doesn’t have it. The woman has him cowed and that is so sad. My thought would be that you have to excise her from you life. She can’t be allowed to control it the way she does. I think she needs to know she has burned her bridges. Your husband has to back you up on that, though. No email exchange, no phone calls…let her know the door is closed and then stick to it, both of you. If she has a key…change the locks. Get a new cell phone and, if you have to… move…I would advise you to take your lives back. A counselor can help you set things up but if your guy caves, the plan is a bust. It’s an either/or, isn’t it?
In addition, I would suggest you come over to my Web-forum: www.WiseWomenUnite.com. It was designed to deal with problems like yours, i.e: people who are bent on the destruction of other people’s relationships. I think it would help for you to brainstorm with other DILS who have faced and are facing the same thing or something very similar. Blessings, Luise