My husband's stepmother destroyed our family....

The title says it all truthfully. My poor husband is absolutely shocked and devastated. He’s absolutely lost as to what to do.

If anyone feels like reading my previous posts from the last 3 years you can get an idea of what we are dealing with.

Anyway. So this is what happened. I gladly welcome any prayers or feedback as to what you feel we should do.

Basically this woman really isn’t mentally stable. She brings so much drama and negativity, bitterness, resentment, and hate toward the family. She’s done many many things and has said things that really should have made my husband and I cut her off a while ago. However we figured since she is my father in law’s wife (his 3rd marriage) we wanted to try and keep peace with her.

A few weeks ago( 3 roughly maybe more) she kept on texting me and messaging me on facebook. I have a 3 month old son who she wanted to see continuously. She would also ask me over and over again, on facebook, through texting, call me on the phone, and in person would ask when my husband and I were going out again so she could come down and watch our son. If she called me and I was out she would grill me about where my son was. She would also offer all kinds of unsolicited advice about what I should and shouldn’t be doing with him.

I explained to her that he has more than one grandparent and that I can’t always go out all the time and that I am trying to spend as much time with him as I can before I go back to work. I really shouldn’t have had to justify myself to her but I just wanted her to shut up. She was really irritating me and making me mad. I felt like she was trying to mother me and I honestly don’t need that. I already have a Mother.

Anyway she got mad at me and said she never gets to see my son and it feels like she’s bothering me; etc etc. I told her that she had said she was coming by the day before and that I waited for her and it was her own problem that she didn’t show up.

A couple of days later my husband had the idea that we should bring our son up to their house so she’d be happy.

Apparently she had got into some sort of fight with my father in law so she was hiding in the room painting. She said some very rude things to my father in law and my husband and barely acknowledged my son at all. So myself and my husband and FIL left the living room and went out to the kitchen. Then she whined and complained about it. We went back out there and she still kept in the empty bedroom painting it and muttering things like “Not allowed to see the baby so I have to keep my distance, etc” Then all of a sudden she changes her mind and then decides that she wants to take my son to a reptile exhibit next year when he’s walking. My husband politely told her that he would rather do that himself because it’s something he’s actually been looking forward to doing. She then stormed off pouting about how she wasn’t allowed to do anything. We tried to continue the visit with my father in law but she kept interrupting every chance we got and went on like an idiot in the bedroom saying rude things and laughing about it after.

On the way home my husband decided that he had enough. He felt that this is a contiuous circle with her and that it’s never going to end. We’ve done everything to show as much love and kindness as we can to her but she always finds a way to burn us. He also decided that she’s too toxic and unstable and that we can’t have someone like that around our son.

The every next day, first thing in the morning, I just fed my son and logged into facebook to check to see if my brother had got a hold of me. I wasn’t even on there 5 minutes and this woman started on me. I posted a picture of a quote that I found which was kind of negative but it was clever. Well this was the 2nd time in a couple of days that she assumed that it was about her. I tried ignoring her and then she started texting my phone. I finally told her that this was getting absolutely ridiculous and my husband and I were getting tired of these games of hers. She then claims she was only asking me a question. I explain again that I’m not dumb and that we knew that she was trying to stir the pot as she usually does. I explained that this doesn’t work it never has and that it never will so we were saying goodbye. So of course she continuously texts me and makes references to me being holy and whatnot and asking me if she can have Jesus’ phone number so we can sort this out. That really set me off. So I went to my cell phone provider and changed my phone number. My husband deleted and blocked her from facebook as did I.

I phoned my father in law at lunch and told him what I had to do and that I really didn’t apprechiate being hounded like that. He asked about my husband and I told him the truth but explained that he should call him and talk to him later that evening. He explained that we got to do what we have to do. He said don’t worry about the baby that he wouldn’t be jealous if he didn’t see him. I explained that he was welcome here anytime just not her. He said that was too difficult.

Later that evening he spoke to my husband. Our son’s baptism was coming up on board the ship where my husband serves. My husband explained that he still wanted him to come and offered to come and pick him up and drop him off. He tells my husband he would rather not attend because it would start a whole new argument that he didn’t want to deal with. He claims he can’t have a 3rd divorce because it will kill him and he’ll be broke and won’t be able to help anyone.

Part of my husband was hoping that he would still show up the day of the baptism, but of course he didn’t. He texted my husband though later and said hoped it went well and that we can still go hunting and gave him a list of dates. WOW was all I could say.


My husband is now starting to question a lot of things. Including his adoption. My husband wonders if this man truly wanted to adopt him or did he just feel sorry for him and his Mother.

Right now my husband is ashamed of this man.He doesn’t want to talk to him see him or hear from him. He’s absolutely devastated that the man he once looked up to and wanted to be like missed his son’s first big milestone, all because he was afraid of getting yelled at. He also feels that because his father didn’t come to something that was important to him why should he go to something that’s important to him?

Prayers are much welcome as is feedback. What do you all think of this? Are we doing the right thing? Please keep in mind that this has really taken a toll on both of our health over the last 3 years trying to keep peace with this woman.

I feel bad for your poor family. Your step-MIL has successfully alienated your FIL from everyone who loves him. It sounds like he is an abuse victim, honestly. He probably gets the abuse ten times worse than what you observe. No wonder he is scared to show up at family functions without her. That is what abusive people do, btw. They isolate their victim so they can continue and escalate their abuse in secrecy. Your FIL might be scared not only about becoming financially destitute if he initiated a divorce, but he may actually also be afraid of what she might do to him and to his loved ones in retaliation. I cannot give any advice on what to do, other than to say proceed with caution and seek counsel from professionals who specialize in helping victims of abuse get free. I think starting with your priest would be a good idea, too, as he can help you gather your strength.

I remember when my grandmother was being abused by her third husband (she was twice-widowed), and it was so hard on the family to watch him disrespect and demean her. I was a little girl then, but I knew his treatment of her was wrong. She later was able to divorce him and move on with her life. I think her children, my aunt and uncle and dad, must have intervened.

I am sorry this has happened. I hope you can forgive your FIL. People who are being abused are not able to think clearly and make free choices.

Thank you very much for your feedback. I greatly apprechiate it and I totally agree with you. My Sister in law who is the same age as me (28) just moved out of that house a month ago. She had lived there since birth, It got to a point where she just couldn’t take it anymore. The reason that she lived at home for so long with my FIL was because she has a pain disorder that result from a previous injury to her foot and leg, and was unable to work. However as soon as she was able to get on with disability and get enough money saved up, she left.

She confessed to my husband and I that she often felt stuck in the middle when they would fight with one another and it was beginning to stress her out. She said that they would fight about the stupidest of things and that is was always her that started it and that she’d always take it to far.

What really gets me is that the house belongs to my father in law and has for 30 years and when she gets mad at him she locks herself in their room and won’t let him in and the poor man goes and sleeps outside in his shed apparently(there’s a couch in there). Since that woman moved in there she changed it around completely and really took it over and that’s kind of what caused the tension between her and my SIL. She started with changing the locks on the doors. Then she had pretty much every room painted. Bought a new bed, new furniture, new applicances, and a new dining set. The stuff my FIL had was in pretty decent shape too. Can’t understand why she made him get rid of it all.

I think I could forgive him eventually but it will take a while. I don’t know about my husband though. I’ve never seen him like this before. It breaks my heart :frowning: It shouldn’t be at the point where he is questioning his adoption and having to seek out therapy. I find that he’s also starting to smoke again and he hasn’t for over 10 years :frowning:

It is not as bad as you think.

  1. Get off facebook. Here is a whole bunch of drama and what is part of it again? Facebook. And while it has a purpose, in this situation the purpose is thwarting grown up behavior and social interaction. It is time to act logically, calmly and maturely. Not through texts and wall messages.

  2. Do not ever ever leave your son alone with this woman. It is completely dangerous., If what you wrote was true and not just embellished to make your side seem better, she is mentally unstable (which you said earlier) her behavior is erratic and she has some sort of fixation on your child and will use your child to manipulate and perhaps even punish your family. Never. Ever. Ever. should your son be alone with her.

I take your post as true. She is dangerous.

I think that he is over-reacting by questioning his father’s love for him. While I understand the importance of your son’s baptism and the disappointment of not having family there, it really isn’t ALL about you.

Your FIL made a calculated decision to try to keep the peace and not have a total feud on his hands. For whatever reason he is unable or unwilling to separate himself from the wife, and he’s trying to make the best of it.

In a perfect world he would be strong enough to leave her. But it’s not a perfect world. Don’t punish him for his failures, he is quite well aware of them and trying to live with them as best he can.

So, I see no reason for your husband to pout and refuse to go hunting or do other one-on-one things with his father in the future. He would only be punishing his father, not the wife.

My husband’s father is very ill and probably won’t be with us much longer. Don’t end up in a situation where your husband is regretting the opportunities he passed up to spend time with his father. those one on one times can also turn in to times when his father can spend time with your son without the wife. When his father is gone, those times are all your husband and son will have of him.

I think there is nothing like the pain that close family causes :frowning: He is deeply hurt and it will take time for him to recover from it all. You have both suffered for several years because of this exhausting situation. You don’t just snap out of it and carry on going hunting like nothing much has happened. You are people, not robots. I think that seeking therapy is probably the best thing for your husband. Support each other and stay away from the crazy household.

I don’t need to get off of facebook. I use it to interact with people and to keep in touch with family that live out of town.I have never ever used it to attack her ever. She gets on there and starts. PERIOD.

I don’t intend on ever leaving my son with her because My husband and I don’t have anything to do with her anymore and never will ever again.

No I didn’t embellish. Everything I said was true. Yes her behavior is erratic. Yes she is unstable. Yes she is dangerous. My husband and I fear for my FIL’s safety everyday. Especially if they day comes that he decides that he wants to split from her. We fear what she may do.

You’re absolutely right. It isn’t all about us. It’s all about her and him and always has been.
There have been many many times where we were supposed to go and visit him or he was supposed to go and do something with my husband or one of his other family members and she screwed it up by not letting him.

Truthfully if something were to happen to my FIL I don’t think she would ever tell us. We’d find out from the newspaper or from one of my husband’s aunts.

You need to cut this woman off, regardless of how it makes your FIL feel. She is in no way a person that a child should be allowed around with you present, let alone by himself. Her behavior is at a minimum, pathological.

Your FIL will have to deal with this in his own way, and I think he could maintain his relationship with your husband, as well as you and your son. He needs to do this independent of his wife. How he manages that is up to him, not you or your husband.

I would not trust this woman as far as I could toss her. In fact I find her behavior and attitude dangerous. ?Is she going to say things to your child against you when he gets older; make nasty comments to your child in an effort to intimidate him? No way should your son ever be with her without your direct supervision.

You have made some good choices as far as cutting her off. Keep doing that if that is what it takes. Keep communications open with your FIL and you and your husband live your life as you see fit otherwise. This woman needs help, and until she gets it, she needs to be distanced from your family.

And don’t give her credit for “destroying your family.” She is destroying herself and needs to be allowed to pout in her corner without you feeling guilty. Your FIL may have to decide between her and his own son. That is his job, not yours.

I think your husband has to have a talk with his father and encourage counseling. A situation like this isn’t going to resolve itself without professional help.

I am sorry, but with all Christian charity in this scenario you are not being fair to your father-in-law. You banished his wife from your home and from this Baptism and yet still expected him to attend, sorry that is not fair.

Your father-in-law’s idea of meeting for hunting or other activities are not a bad idea. Going out for dinner or meeting your father-in-law somewhere neutral, great! However telling him his wife is "banished’ from an event and at the same time demanding that he attend isn’t fair just my two cents.

I know his wife is mean, manipulative and awful. I agree with you 100% that you should distance yourself from her. You can still invite dad, but being upset that he declines invitations to events when his wife is not invited is not nice. I know of NO MARRIED COUPLE where if I invited one spouse and said the other spouse was “not welcome” that the one spouse would show up, that is basic common sense in marriage whether it is a healthy or unhealthy marriage. If your husband wants a relationship with him he is going to have to make the best of what he has. I know you are sad over this, just try not to be mad at your father in law that’s all. Please be assured of my prayers.

Praying for the death, permanent hospitalisation, or internment into the looney bin of this woman. Somehow, I don’t think it would make much difference on the state of her soul.

Of course, that could just be my defeatism talking.

Have you thought about putting the woman in a nursing home? It’s not just for old people. There are homes for the mentally unstable.

I trust you have told your FIL these things.

I can’t know, since I know no one involved firsthand, but it sounds as if you should consider your FIL a spousal abuse victim who feels trapped by his abuser. He is vulnerable to committing all the same mistakes that abused wives go through. It isn’t a matter of “whether” she will abuse him or harm him. The abuse he is enduring is damaging him already. I would go to my local shelter for abused spouses/women, tell them your FIL is suffering from emotional abuse and that you fear for his safety, and ask what you can do to help him get out of the abusive situation he is in.

Your husband and siblings might want to get together with your FIL, to ask him what he would say to a woman who was being beaten by her third husband, whom she was dependent on in order to keep from being homeless. Would he tell her that she had no choice but to stay with her abusive husband? Does he not see that he is in the same situation? His children have witnessed the abuse–they know! Would he allow any of his children to feel trapped in the kind of marriage he is in because they wanted to preserve enough of their finances to take care of him? Maybe when he sees that his children are adults and his family is one where everyone takes care of everyone, he will not feel so trapped. By their support, he might be able to get the courage to make a plan and get away from his abusive home life.


Even if we did say she was welcome, she would say that she’s not going and therefore he’s not either. IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE IN THE PAST!


No but I’m sure that her 2 children have! LOL!

I knew this woman was unstable from the get go. I mean; my husband is 32 and my sister in law is 28. This woman has only been married to my FIL for 3 years and after a year and a half she went and had their names tattooed across her chest!!!

Thanks very much for your feedback. I greatly apprechiated it as it is very wise. My FIL is one of those guys that has an excuse for everything and I mean everything. The things that really complicate this though is that if he were to boot her out of his house because they are still married she could legally go after his house and I wouldn’t be surprised if she got it because judges here seem to favor women. Also she would have absolutely no where to go. Both of her parents are dead. She has no siblings. Both of her children want nothing to do with her either because they’re sick of her drama and abuse.

All the etiquette experts will tell you the same thing: It may not seem fair, but the social convention with married couples, even in secular circles, is that you take the pair or leave the pair. Banish one, and you banish both. Invite both to your social events, or invite neither. Generally speaking, when you are denying an invitation because one is a bad actor, you might let the bad actor know why they are not welcome and you may tell the other one that they are welcome if they are OK with coming alone, but in that case you must also let the good actor know that you fully understand if he or she feels forced to send regrets out of loyalty to the marriage. You do not presume that your social demands on the good actor trumps that.

What is not fair is if your FIL is the victim of spousal abuse, does not have the courage to leave his abuser or even to stand up to her, and yet suffers denigration from his children or is treated like a failure because of his predicament. That is not behavior to support, I do not mean that, but you don’t help someone to leave their abuser by denigrating them for continuing to allow themselves to be abused. It takes encouragement to gain courage, and that seems to be what your FIL needs.

Even women who try to explain away bruises or who give false alibis for men who are philandering or drunk instead of sick are extremely frustrating for everyone who loves them, wants to help them, and are stuck watching their lives become a bigger and bigger train wreck. It is totally understandable that you and all of your FIL’s children are very frustrated with him. He needs help, he has people who want to help him, no one blames him for being abused or thinks he deserves it, but in the end he’s the only one who can end the situation he’s in. It must make you all want to scream.

I’d really consider getting advice from an abuse victim advocacy group. There is only so much you can do, and putting yourself in the line of this woman’s fire is not going to help her husband get away from her. They can give you the real scoop about what is most likely to help him get away, though. Really, if you are afraid she might escalate into physical violence, I’d try to at least get him an escape plan. If she attacks him, he could find himself as the one facing spousal abuse charges because he defended himself. He needs to be able to get away from her if she loses it, because if he fights back, he could wind up in jail. That is unfortunately the way the prejudices run right now.

I apologize it seems I have made you angry by my post. That was not my intention at all. You have a lot on your plate already, my intention was to (hopefully) give some perspective to bring peace, not anger. I was hoping to get you to see that being angry with your father-in-law may not really be fair, because he is trapped and expecting him to break away isn’t necessarily fair but that’s just my opinion I am sorry if you found that hurtful in any way.

I had no idea of your mother-in-law’s past behavior. I read many posts here but don’t have a good memory of what-poster-posts what so if you wrote that she said your father-in-law wasn’t allowed to attend an event a few months ago in a post I am sorry I would not have remembered that. Please be assured of my prayers and kindly forgive that I upset you.

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