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Could it be NPD? Mother-in-law

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Could it be NPD? Mother-in-law

Postby HyKitty » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:16 pm

Sorry if this is long. We're trying to figure out what is wrong with my mother-in-law. After doing some basic online research we've ruled out bipolar disorder and are starting to lean towards NPD. Looking for guidance on how to deal with it, if it is even possible. She refuses to seek help because she thinks she is fine.

Here's the background info:
We live in Southern California. My partner of 13 years, "Mike", moved here from Russia 15 years ago with his mother and step-father. They already had family here (his grandfather and a handful of aunts, uncles, and US-born cousins). He is currently 38 and she's in her late 60s.

Mike's mother has refused to make friends since arriving into the US. She claims she doesn't need them or want them. She's "completely fine" on her own. Her only emotional/intellectual connection is Mike and her (now-ex) husband. She no longer communicates with whoever is left of their extended family because she finds fault in all of them. Her father passed away a few years ago; he told Mike that she's always been controlling and difficult. She doesn't interact with anyone else, including former coworkers. She is either at Mike's house or home alone. She refused to learn English. Mike enrolled her in multiple classes but she always found fault with the instructor.

When Mike first moved here he lived with his mother and stepfather. When he was around 27 or 28 his mom and stepfather got divorced. They were always fighting and she was always accusing him of cheating without any proof. Once they got divorced she told Mike that she divorced her husband to make him happy. I thought that was alarming.

She always finds fault with Mike. Nothing he says or does is good enough. She is constantly criticizing his looks from telling him he's too fat, to skinny, face looks to sunken in, his hair looks stupid, his outfit looks stupid and because of that his boss will fire him, etc. She takes every opportunity to criticize him. She criticizes his job even though he makes good money, etc. She has to pick out or give an opinion on his shoes, clothing, interior design, car, etc., prior to purchase in order for her to approve of it. If he buys his own clothing, shoes, etc., without her input she finds fault with it.
He's done absolutely everything correctly with his life but it's not good enough. He keeps trying to get her approval, though.

She compares him to her coworker's kids and tells him he's a failure compared to them. I swear if she can find something to tear him down about she will. She will point out how he makes her look bad. He should be a doctor or lawyer, etc., instead of what he is. She always goes for the things he's sensitive about. However, in public, she's very sweet and kind to everyone else. She's very sweet to me but for all I know she's calling me a whore to my face in Russian.

She's very controlling. When we go on vacation she'll spend a lot of time calling or texting to tell him when to wake up, what to eat, when to nap, when to stay indoors, when to go outdoors, etc. If he pushes back at all she starts to throw a fit and tell him he's a horrible son for being disrespectful. Mind you we're in another country and she's trying to control him from the US! When we're home she'll text and call him all day long. If we're busy on the weekend she will interfere. She will tell him to take a nap, go out for a walk, what to eat., just like when we're on vacation. He puts his foot down all the time but it turns into WW 3. It's exhausting! If he ignores her or is too busy to respond she'll drive to his house to check on him.

She has a key to the house and will show up whenever she wants regardless of what he says. She'll spend hundreds of dollars that she doesn't have on groceries for him. She buys way more food than can be consumed. He tells her not to shop but she tells him she has to support him financially because he's too stupid to support himself. He makes 6 figures...she makes around $15 an hour. I don't know where she gets her logic! She will also come over and cook meals for the entire week even though it's not wanted and she's been told not to do it. She will throw a crying fit if he tells her no. She tells him he's a horrible son and then will continue to berate him until he gives in to her. She goes as far as to threaten to fly back to Russia so she "can die on the streets like a dog" to show what a horrible son he is. The next weekend she will show up and see all the food he has to throw out because it was too much which leads to her getting angry again. She always turns the arguments so that it's his fault, too! Sadly, he believes her half the time which breaks my heart because there's nothing wrong with him!

She never listens to his wishes while she's at the house alone. She goes through his things. She'll tell him what clothes he should throw out. He tells her not to feed the dog any table scraps or raw meat while she's there and she does it anyway. The dog gets very sick each time but she claims that the dog should be able to handle it since that's how they fed their dogs in Russia and she will continue to feed him things he has a hard time digesting. She just doesn't listen! I've told him to change the locks but that would actually make things worse with her. He's afraid if he does she'll jump from her balcony.

She's also not trusting of anyone or anything. When he took her car to the mechanic because it wasn't working she starting screaming and yelling because she was convinced they'd take out the good car parts and replace them with bad parts. The car WASN'T working but she still didn't want him to take it in. She also didn't believe surgeons at UCLA who said Mike needed appendix surgery. Instead she told him his stomach problems were caused by not eating enough.

She's still friends with her ex husband who I affectionately call the punching bag because he keeps taking it from her. She's still the same to him even though they're not married - she's controlling, she thinks he's cheating even though they're not together at all, but he gives Mike a reprieve of which we're very thankful.

I don't know what is wrong with her. I don't know how to handle her. She's officially retired as of last month which means she has no social interaction with anyone but Mike or the ex-husband. She's becoming harder to deal with every day. She shows up at the house while we're at work more often than before because she has all the time in the world. While at the house she calls or texts him to tell him how horrible he is. She's affecting our relationship because emotionally Mike cannot take much more. I have to walk on eggshells to keep the peace because she has him on edge. He gets anxiety attacks at night because of her. He feels horrible and guilty all the time because she really is his last living relative and she doesn't have any friends and above all else she's his mother! He doesn't remember what she was like when he was younger. He only remembers the happy times thankfully. He does recall that his father cut her out of all the family photos after their divorce which I think that could be fairly normal with divorced couples. :lol:

I'm not sure what is wrong with her. Could she have NPD? She's checked off so many boxes! And if so, what resources do we have, if any? I'm trying to convince Mike to see a therapist to learn how to deal with the negative emotions she's created but he's resisting. I know she won't and can't change at this stage in life so I'm hoping he starts to see someone to discuss the issues but he says he'll feel like he's betraying her by speaking about her negatively.

Thank you!
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Re: Could it be NPD? Mother-in-law

Postby shock_the_monkey » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:32 pm

something knocked me out' the trees
now i'm on my knees
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

there is one thing you must be sure of
i can't take any more
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

don't like it but i guess i'm learning

... shock the monkey to life
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