A narcissistic parent-in-law can destroy your peace and break up your marriage.
When you marry the person you love their family becomes your own. But that would not be a reality if your narcissistic in-laws are hellbent on hampering your life.
According to trauma therapist Shannon Thomas, "Narcissistic in-laws are incredibly cruel. Everybody wants to be a part of a healthy, fun family, but when you are the target, with that sense of belonging and wanting to be one of them, they make it extremely clear that you are not," according to Insider.
Besides, having toxic in-laws can damage the relationship with your partner, especially if they are oblivious to the tricks played by their toxic parents. "I get a lot of folks coming in and they're not sure about the marriage because they don't feel supported, and there's a lot of tension, which is exactly the narcissistic parents' goal," shared Thomas.
Here are a few signs that will help you figure out if your in-laws are narcissistic:
Your in-laws pick and choose favorites in the family. They only like those who are similar to them. "The cruelty is you'll see them be very close to some family members, and they will definitely bring some in-laws into the fold. It's because they like the family members that are most like them," said Thomas.
Being someone who has never tried to change your authentic self for anyone, your in-laws are not accepting of you. They criticize the way you dress, the profession you belong to, and even the food you eat without even making an attempt to understand you. Just because of your differences, you are seen as unworthy of being their child's partner.
Whenever they interact with you, they make sure their actions portray their dislike towards you. You are always the last one invited for family events and the last person they see even if you are standing in front of them. While they act like everything is perfectly normal, their actions often speak the opposite. With everything that they do, you are left to feel targeted and neglected.
They are very possessive and controlling of their child, so it is impossible for them to accept that their child has another important person in their life. Instead of welcoming you to the family, they see you as a threat. They compete with you and try to do everything possible to impress their child. Whether it is throwing a birthday party for your partner, cooking their favorite food, or surprising them, your in-laws are just trying to overtake you. Their actions make you feel insignificant in your partner's life.
They will always put up a show and act like the victim. They guilt-trip you with their words and manipulate you with their lies. Their emotional acts often create issues between you and your partner. If your partner chooses to side with you, they blame it on you. They go around telling people that you have turned their child against them.
While you are happy to have them around, you want them to respect your space. But, your in-laws never seem to understand what boundaries look like. They drop by unannounced and give their opinions on matters pertaining to you alone. Besides, they try to change the way you raise your children and your home. For them, it's either their way or the wrong way.
There was a time when you felt you could open up to them about anything. However, experiences proved you can never trust them. When you told them your concerns, they used it against you. They told your partner that you were complaining and unsupportive. They gossiped about your past to other members of the family and caused you so much pain by changing narratives.