Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only the views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.
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Kris Godinez 01:02
Okay, so last week, okay, ground Okay, last week, we were dealing with toxic narcissistic parents. So this week we’re going to be talking about in laws and X laws, in laws and X laws that is what we are going to be dealing with so um, so in laws, narcissistic or borderline in laws, I’m talking well down into the dark triad part and malignant part not just the traits of, so those cause a lot of problems and narcissistic father in laws act very similar to narcissistic mother in laws, but narcissistic mother in laws do a lot of the really nasty guilt, tripping, covert, you know, that kind of stuff. So, we’re going to talk about all of that, because I pulled up two really good articles that I really enjoyed reading, because I thought they were very helpful. So um, just to kind of cover a little bit about what we’re going to be talking about. So, in laws are a problem when you’re married to them because they interfere in the relationship, they interfere in the marital relationship, they interfere in parenting, ex laws, when you divorce are a problem, because they still want to control from outside the marriage. So, what I have seen ex laws do is try to pull the grandparent rights and we’re going to talk about that. But right now, let’s go into what to do if you have narcissistic in laws and why it’s so
Kris Godinez 02:35
it is so hard on the marriage, it really is because you’re dealing with an adult child of a narcissist, and one of two things is going on. Either they understand that their parents are messed up and they’re willing to work on themselves and they’re willing to separate from the crazy parents and start paying attention to themselves paying attention to the relationship or you’re with a spouse who’s in denial. “There’s nothing wrong, my parents are great, you know!”, and they refuse to stand up for the healthy spouse and they side with the abuser which remember, we’ve talked about this in the past kids will the inner child will side with the abuser in a misguided attempt to not get punished. What they don’t understand is that they’re gonna lose a relationship, they’re gonna lose their kids, they’re gonna lose, you know everything because with a narcissistic in law with a narcissistic parent, generally the competition starts immediately. So, one of two things happens either the narcissistic mother in law does one of two things, either they buddy buddy up to the new spouse, and loll them into this false sense of security. Like, oh, I’m your best friend and oh, you know, we can hang out and oh, you know, this, that the other thing. Meanwhile, they’re mining for information, mining for information, mining for information behind your back, they’re smearing like nobody’s business, you know, and, or from the get go, they’re just like, “I don’t like this person. I don’t want you marrying this person” because it’s a competition. It’s a competition. It’s a competition. It’s a competition dance. It’s the narcissistic dance, it’s competition, it’s competition, it’s competition. So, either they are antagonistic from the get go, or they do the covert thing and pretend to not be the bad guy. And they try to lull you into this false sense of security and “Oh I’m your friend and we can go shopping and we can talk and you can tell me everything you need to!” No and of course the second you do, it’s filed away under “How can I screw you over at a later date?” So literally, there’s a file that says that! So anyway, um, so let’s let’s talk about what to do if you have Okay, your spouse is an adult child of a narcissist and I got this off of narcissistic abuse support. Um, it’s a website. It’s pretty cool. And it says the title of it is “What to do if you have a narcissistic mother or father in law You are not Crazy, your in laws are!” A narcissistic mother in law, or father in law can and will destroy your life or your family. So okay, so when we get involved with somebody whose parents are narcissists, I need to put my reading glasses on because I’m going to be squinting the whole time if I don’t, oh, somewhat better, okay? Um, okay, they are either simply used to the crazy and learn to deal with it in their own way. So when we have been, I mean, all of us, well, not all of us. Some of us are children of narcissists and abusers raise your hand Hello. Um, and we do we learn to deal with it in our own way. And we just kind of get used to the crazy and we kind of think that “Well, everybody acts like that.” And that’s not true, thank God, there are normal families or more normal families out there. So they have a maladaptive way of dealing with it. So, one of the ways that an adult child of a narcissist deals with it is to appease people, pleasing people, pleasing people pleasing, so they’ll bend themselves over backwards and into pretzels to make the abusive Mom, Dad whoever, happy meanwhile, sacrificing the spouse. Why? Inner child guys, I swear to God and all that’s holy, it really does boil down to inner child and self esteem, which then leads into boundaries. So if the adult child of a narcissist does not have good self esteem, does not have good boundaries, which they’re not going to because what do abusers hate more than anything, it’s self esteem and boundaries, because they don’t want you to stand up for yourself. And they sure as heck don’t want you to stand up for anybody else, because they enjoy abusing. So um, they basically also they tell the child to tell them everything. So the spouse ends up sharing, overshare, overshare, overshare. Does this sound familiar to anybody? So, oversharing, oversharing, oversharing. So, they’re used to the crazy and they’ve learned how to deal with it in their own way. I’m trying to decide whether it’s better with the glasses or without the I think just screw the glasses. Okay, they see the abuse, but sets boundary and use distance. So that’s a healthier person, that spouse is healthy because they see the abuse. And they set boundaries and they don’t allow the narcissistic parent into the marriage or harm the other spouse, they have good boundaries, that’s your best case scenario. Okay, um, they’re willing to see the behaviors that the parents are doing.
Kris Godinez 07:33
They are willing to get help. They go to a therapist, they’re working on boundaries, you know. Um, so there is that. However, they if they have not gotten help, they will be stuck in that whole, “Well, but mom and dad have my best interests at heart. Oh, Mom and Dad have my best interest.” it’s incredibly I mean, think about it, guys, for those of us who came from abusive families, right? How hard was it for us, our inner child to be able to go “Dayum! mom and dad do not have my back. Mom and Dad do not have my best interests at heart. They have their best interests at heart!” That’s really hard to do. I remember when I realized it, it was heart breaking. It really truly was it was like, “You’re supposed to have my best. No, you’ve got your own best interest at heart What the…” You know, so it’s, it’s, it was hard for us, it’s gonna be hard for them. Which means if you recognize that you are in a relationship where you’re with an adult child of a narcissist, and the mom and dad are narcissistic or narcissistic and borderline or disordered in any way, shape or form, then what you’re going to want to do is get into therapy unless caveat, you’re with a an adult child of a narcissist who is a narcissist themselves, in which case, good luck, God bless your best choice is to get out. So, and I’m going to talk about why in just a second. Hang on, okay. So, they see the abuse, if they’re not willing to get the help, then they do the whole, you know, excuse making, excuse making, excuse making just play nice and it’ll be fine. They deny the behaviors and they don’t and they don’t protect you from the abusive parents. Okay. The second kind is, sees the abuse, but they are totally under the control of the parents. Another possible scenario is that they see the behaviors, but they are disempowered to break free or to speak up. They feel trapped and helpless. Many adult children of narcissists become codependent people pleasers. That’s what I was talking about, simply because their way of coping was to placate the abusive parent to keep the peace. This may make it difficult for them to stand up to their narcissistic parent to protect you, your kids or themselves. boundaries and distancing are always the right answer in this scenario, now. Okay, so let me give you some examples because I know you guys said that it was helpful to get examples. The control that a narcissistic parent has on an adult child is I think the breast word, the best the best word. The best word is breath taking. My Freudian slip is showing breast word, mommy oooh narcissist narcissistic mommy in law? Oh, there you go. So it’s breath taking, like literally it takes your breath away when you realize what the narcissistic control is, from that particular parent. Father in laws do it too. But so what mother in law’s do specifically, and especially if they are covert, they use guilt. They use fear, they use obligation Does this sound familiar to anybody fear, obligation, guilt, fog, so they put the adult child literally into a fog. So what narcissistic parents will do mothers and mothers and fathers and laws, they will, if they see that the spouse is good for the kid, and is not allowing any manipulation, not allowing any control games, not allowed. Because remember, it’s all about power and control. All of this is about power control. That’s really all it is for them, they do not see us. as people, they see us as somebody that can be manipulated, we have no more meaning to them than this pin. So, they see it as a game, they see it as a way to gain power and control over the adult child. So when the adult child separates and marries, okay. Like I said, either they’ll try to be buddy, buddy with a new spouse and then turn on them or from the get go, they are antagonistic from the get go because they recognize the adult spouse is a threat. Because the spouse is is exerting some influence with the adult child. So, what they will then start doing is the smear campaign and start whispering to the spouse. “Well, you know, we really don’t like your husband. Well, you know, we really don’t like your wife, we really you know”, and they start if they can’t find anything real to damn the person with, they will make doo doo up. Listen to me now, believe me later. Some of the craziest things I have seen is the abusive narcissistic mother losing control over an adult son then decides that they’re going to go on a smear campaign against the healthy spouse starts making stuff up, “Oh, well, they’re spending your money. They’re doing this. They’re they’re they’re draining your bank account.” Right? Then the spouse is getting all of this poured into their ear like poison, like like poison from you remember how Hamlet’s how the father was killed with poison in the ear? That’s kind of the same thing. So, they start spewing this poison dripping this poison. And they don’t have any proof of it. Okay, it’s different. When if they had proof, like if the person you know, the the healthier spouse or the spouse was really doing all these shady dealings, and they could go look at these bank statements, right? But they don’t they don’t have proof that so they do this whole, you know, smear campaign was they’re spending your money, they’re spending your money, they’re spending your money. So, then the healthy spouse gets this spewed back at them. And it sounds word for word like the abuser, right? And so, the healthy spouse, thankfully, in therapy, goes back to the other spouse and goes, let’s look at the bank accounts. People let’s Where’s where am I stealing this money from? And please tell me where is it going? What am I supposedly spending it on? You want to see my bank accounts? Here they are. There’s no extra money in there. You know, but because the fear of confronting the mother in law or the father in law is so dark and so deep and so frightening. They would rather believe that the mother in law father in law have their best interests at heart and they’ll start getting angry at a safer target. How many times have I said that? When kids are dealing with a narcissist they have to go over and do 5050 custody right? They come back from being with a narcissist they don’t they don’t act out with the narcissist is not safe. Who do they act out with? The saner parent? It’s the same thing. When you are dealing with a kid and adult child of a narcissist who’s married or in a relationship, they’re going to act out with the safe retarget they’re going to take it out on the saner partner, they’re not going to take it out on mom and dad. So Okay, hang on. Let’s let’s go back to this. Okay. So, the other kind is they’re completely blinded by the behaviors of their parents totally blinded to it won’t even accept that it’s that the parent could possibly be lying, won’t even accept that the parent could possibly be smearing or you know, have an issue or any of this. This scenario is that your spouse does not in any way shape or form see the behaviors of their parent for what they are. And there are two possible reasons why this is your most dangerous type of child of a narcissist. If they don’t see the behaviors as wrong, they could also be a narcissist themselves using learned behaviors in their own lives. Or another scenario is that they are so under the control and so obedient that they never felt the need to stand up, or the ability to stand up the role of golden child make this scenario possible if they were idolized by their parents. “Oh, you are the center of my universe, my little darling Yes.” Which I have often seen them do female you know, narcissistic mothers to male children. Um, they will have shield them from shielded them from seeing the abuse, although the abuse is there, if you’re looking, you know, and you could you’re stepping outside of the family, you can see it, they will not have the tools to protect you or themselves, they will not be able to stand up for you, the family, the kids or themselves. An important thing to remember is if they were the golden child, you do not automatically get that shared status. They may be the golden child. You’re the traitor. You’re You’re the interloper. You’re the extra person, you’re the you’re the threat, you’re the threat.
Kris Godinez 16:19
Okay, and so. So yeah, so the golden child, the emotional incest, let’s talk about that. So oftentimes, what I see narcissistic mother in law’s doing is they have emotional incest with their son, or fathers and narcissistic father will have emotional incest with the daughter and they overshare and they rely on that kid, to make them happy to give them support to, you know, that kind of thing. It’s it’s they overshare, tell too much. They share all of their problems, they talk about their sexual problems, they talk about their emotional problems. And so, the adult child of the narcissist, you know, feels like the second spouse, I think we’ve talked about this. So, if you’re dealing with a situation where you’re, your spouse is the second spouse to the narcissist. And this gets worse with death. Let me let me explain. So, if the mother in law’s main narcissistic supply dies, she’s going to transfer it onto her child, whether it’s the daughter or the son doesn’t matter, because she needs that narcissistic supply, like the rest of us need oxygen to breathe. So, it gets transferred. So, it may not have started off as the second spouse, but it will twist into the second spouse. I’ve seen it happen, I have seen it happen. Okay, hold on. Um, okay. And, and they view the healthy spouse as a threat as a total threat. And they will, I’ve seen more narcissistic moms and dads in laws, weave their way in mesh their way into their kids life. So they’ll do the, “Oh, I’m so old, and it’s so cold where I live, I can’t stay there. So I need to come live with you for six months of the year.” Don’t do it, Frenchie, you won’t enjoy it, it will be a disaster of epic proportions, that’s their way in, that’s their way to get to your spouse to start doing the smear campaign. So um, hang on, and then we’re going to get to how to how to handle that in just a second hang on the inheritance gamer. motivated by money, this whole type of adult child tolerates the parents behaviors to secure their inheritance. So, let’s be clear, the inheritance is a honey trap it is. So, they go “If you just do this, you know set or unsaid implicit or non implicit, you know, if you just do this, you’re going to get all this money, you’re going to get this great inheritance I’ll give you the house” you know, that kind of thing. “You’ll get this car you’ll…” you know, whatever. And it never, listened to me now believe me later, it never works out because they keep raising the bar for what you have to do in order to get that inheritance and eventually at some point, you’re going to be like it’s not worth my soul. Thank you. So, hang on a second. Hmm. So they do the inheritance thing. “Do this and I’ll give you the inheritance placate me and you’ll get the inheritance or oh, you know, your father and I have this huge nest egg.” Okay, well that’s your money you do with it as you want. I’m not playing the game. So, but that’s what they’re gaming. That’s what their goal is, is to manipulate the child into giving you up, right, to get the inheritance and there are some people that fall for it. It happens. Doo doo happens what can I say? So okay, so that you got the inheritance thing They go along with the behavior, tolerating the behaviors, just the price you have to pay to stay in the good favor to secure that to get that money. It’s almost like they drank the blood money Kool Aid. I love that they drank the blood money Kool Aid. This type of adult child is so dangerous because often they are working both ends talking badly about their parents to you, and talking badly to you about them. Like a double agent, they walk a fine line always needing to remain close in close alliance with the pocketbook of the parents. And you risk being used as a pawn in case you are wondering, the battle between you and the parents purse usually does not end well for the healthy spouse. The emotional maturity and financial entitlement of your spouse and the size of the purse can be determining factors. So there that is, that’s, you know, that is something that my dad did a lot was dangling the purse, but I was just kind of like
Kris Godinez 20:56
I’m sorry, mother Clucker. I don’t care. I got my own money. Okay, thank you. You know, it just really breathtaking, breathtaking, the kinds of manipulations that they will do. So, the other thing that the covert narcissist in law will do is they play sick, they play weak, they play, “oh, you need to take care of me, I need to come live with you forever in a day,” don’t do it. Don’t do it. It’s a lot harder to get them out than it is to get them in. So if they are that sick, then they can go into a care facility. Seriously, it’s taking care of somebody with physical issues is difficult enough. Taking care of somebody with mental health issues is next to impossible, because with narcissists, especially, remember Colin Robinson that I talked about the the the, the psychic vampire, the one who would just the energy vampire, that’s what they do, they drain all your energy out. Here’s something else they do. Because narcissists are jealous, like like a two year old, jealous. If you and your spouse have an anniversary, they’ll want to come to the dinner. If you and your spouse have a birthday, they’ll want to go and if you go off on your own, when you come back, you will have hell to pay. They will be pouty, they will be angry, they will be vindictive, they will be passive aggressive, and they will make you feel guilty for going off and having a holiday. They do not want you to be alone with their child in any way, shape, or form. I have even heard of narcissistic parents wanting to go along on the honeymoon. WTF. I just can’t even like I can’t even so yeah, so that’s the huge red flags there. You know, if they don’t allow the kid to go off on a romantic escape weekend with their wife or their husband, Houston, there’s a huge problem. And if they get punishing when you get back Houston, there’s a huge problem. The other thing they can’t stand is if things are nice, things are quiet, things are good. They’ll stir the pot they are constant drama makers, constant drama makers all the time. And unfortunately you and your spouse are the greatest show on earth and they love to poke the bear because so far in the past they’ve been able to do it and they’ve been able to get the response they’ve been looking for which is why you’ve got to understand if the in laws are acting this way, if there is any sort of disorder get into therapy get your spouse into therapy get everybody into therapy start reading the disease to please by Harriet Braiker boundaries. Object of my affection is in my reflection coping with a narcissist by Rokelle Lerner. That’s a real eye opener. You get your spouse to read that they’re going to be like mind blown. So yeah, okay. Types of narcissistic in laws, the child is used as an appendage of the parent. If they make the parent look good. The child is in good graces. Well, yeah, that’s for sure. Control of the adult child has always been and always will be the toxic in laws top priority. Yeah, that’s why they do everything that they do. Jealous of any new partner of their adult child, they want to keep them to themselves and they get angry if the child is happy, they get angry if the child spends time with the new partner goes off on romantic weekends goes and has dinner, etc, etc, etc. How are we doing on time? Good? I’m running out of time! Damn it. There Okay. Of the other kind can be all of these. These are just like different types, but they can be all of them all at once. The interfering type cannot mind their own business. They are constantly meddling enmeshing, that kind of thing gossiping, whispering that kind of thing. Boundary breaker in laws, nothing stops them especially silly rules. So, for example, how many times have I dealt with couples where the in laws just show up? Don’t call they just start knocking on the door. And unfortunately because that compulsion to appease the abuser is so strong and so many adult children of narcissists, the answer and it’s like, oh my God, no, you are under no obligation to answer the door. It doesn’t matter if it’s your parents, if it’s an emergency, let them call you and tell you. what’s an emergency, nine times out of 10 It’s not an emergency, they just want to show up. You know, some of the sicker ones like to try to show up in the middle of sex like they have a sneaking suspicion you’re might be having sex, so they go over. Yeah, this is why I advocate for living at least, you know, 1000 miles away from in laws or parents or anything like that a little bit more privacy, it’s nice. Anyway, there’s that um, okay. gaslighting experts, they deny your reality and use gaslighting to make you think you are losing your mind or make your spouse think that this the healthier spouse is line. So when the healthy spouse goes and confronts the adult child of the narcissist and says, I’m not stealing your money, now they’ve got cognitive dissonance going on. Okay, so their mind is like scrambled eggs because mommy or daddy has said, You’re stealing but you come back with the proof that you’re not. And it’s hard for them to wrap their head around again, that mommy or daddy does not have their best interests at heart and in fact, lied to them in an effort to break up the relationship. Yep, absolutely. Okay, um, you’re not good enough put downs, they believe you are unsuitable, and they will make your life a living hell with private jokes about you. They will fabricate lies and stories to smear you to your spouse. Yes, yes, they will. Drama in laws, they stage drama to suck you back in to get your attention or to rescue them. So it’s amazing how often they will suddenly have an emergency when it’s right around your anniversary, or right around your birthday or right around your kids stuff, you know. So again, like typical narcissists, in the beginning, they may love bomb. Sometimes they just go straight for competition, it just depends. They manufacture a false relationship with you to make you feel safe and loved. If they’re the type that love bombs. They only validate you if it makes them look good. They talk about you behind your spouse’s back smear campaigns trying to poke a hole in the weakness or struggles that you are having as a couple. Once the weakness or differences are discovered, they build an entire smear campaign to have the spouse leave you because of these weaknesses. So if this spouse had a parent, that was a money hoarder, and money issues were always their issue. They will know intrinsically that you guys are probably having money issues because your spouse learned their relationship with money from them. So that’s why they go for the whole Oh, your spouse is stealing. Oh, your spouse is spending all your money. Oh, because that’s their biggest fear. I know. Projection. It’s breathtaking. I think that’s my new word. Now for dysfunction. Instead of saying, you know dysfunction, I’m just gonna be breathtaking. That’s breathtaking. That’s really breath. Because it is it takes your breath away. You’re just like, what? Really? Oh my god. Yeah, that’s what they do. So they’re projecting and the spouse is going right along with it because they’re in a fog, fear, obligation, guilt. They’ve got cognitive dissonance going on, you’re telling them the truth. They’re lying to them. They’re not able to process the fact that they’re lying to them and you’re telling them the truth? Yeah, you’re the safer target because you won’t punish them the way the spouse will. Okay? Isolation, they try to isolate you. They try to turn family and friends against you. So let me just say this. Anyone
Kris Godinez 28:57
Anyone who is willing to believe the worst of you does not deserve you in their lives? Hmm. Let me say that again. Anyone who is willing to believe the worst of you does not deserve you in their lives? Yeah, the smear campaign may work on some people. Obviously, they don’t know you very well. And if they’re willing to believe the worst of you. Kick them to the curb. Hasta LaVista. Bye bye, go pound sand seriously. And that includes the that includes the spouse if the spouse is unwilling to take a look at what mommy and daddy are doing. And unwilling to go get help and unwilling to stand up for you and unwilling to believe the best of you. They don’t deserve you. They don’t deserve you. Yeah, if they’re willing to work on all that frickin Huzzah! and it may take a lot to get them there because again, you’re going against years and years and years of programming years and years and years of gaslighting years and years and years of lying years and years of manipulation guilting, fabrication? Yeah, they make stuff up out of whole cloth. It’s amazing to me, and they’d put in just enough of the truth to make it sound plausible. Well, I saw your spouse coming home with takeout boxes. So clearly, they’re spending your money on frivolous things. Yeah, that was that was that was the grain of truth that was used to turn the spouse against the other spouse. And it worked. Because there was just enough truth in there. Well, yeah, the spouse was bringing home takeout boxes, because they bought it Sorry, get a little angry at that. So yeah, they’ll use that little bit of truth to turn the spouse against the healthy spouse. And if you’ve got the cognitive dissonance in how old is that person at that time? So in a lot of these articles that I’ve been reading, I’m sorry, I’m going over. I know, I’m so sorry. There’s just so much because they do so much damage. Um, and a lot of the articles I was reading, they were like, oh, you can’t confront the spouse, blah, blah, blah, Bs? Absolutely. You confront the spouse, if you don’t confront them, it’s never going to change. So what ends up happening is you need to be clear, you got a choice, dude, or dudette. Either you go get help and figure it the bleep out that your Mommy or your daddy is lying to you? Or I’m out of here. I am not putting up with this absofreakinglutely not, you know, and sometimes they’ll snap out of it, and they’ll stop you before you leave the house. Other times, they’re so terrified of their parents, they won’t and here’s the deal. They’ll never change. If they’re not willing to stand up to their mommy and daddy and get clear and protect you from them. It’s never going to change. You are better off without them. Sad. Totally. Absolutely. Because you’re watching somebody be a lost soul. You’re watching somebody who is choosing a harder path, a darker path than what initially looks like a hard path to confront the abusers. So yeah, in the beginning, it’s terrifying. So frequently, how many of us were terrified when we started confronting our abuse? Hello, I think we all were. But you’ve got to get to that point where you’re willing to confront the abuse because then it gets so much easier, so much easier than having to play double agent so much easier than having to believe the worst of your own spouse so much easier than playing all these head games. How can I please mommy, how can I please daddy? How can I stay in their good graces? You can’t not even golden children are able to stay in the good graces forever because narcissists need drama. They need to stir the pot. They need to be the victim. They need to have hurt and chaos and all of the horrible things that a marriage should not be
Kris Godinez 33:01
little passionate about that Okay, hang on. Okay. They become critical of you behind your back they kissy kissy nicey nicey in front of you. And then they flip around and tell all these horrible lies the in laws are seeking control of your relationship. They want to be the operator they want everything to go through them they want to go on vacations and holidays with you and if you do not let them they will punish you talked about that. They use denial as a tactic, gaslighting that never happened. I never said that. That never. That’s what I’m saying. You cannot confront the narcissist. So one of the articles I was reading was like, confront the narcissist. I’m like, Do you have a degree in psychology? Clearly not. So no, you don’t confront the narcissist, you do confront the spouse and just lay it out. It’s like, look, either you go get help, or this is not going to work because I am not going to be a punching bag for your freaked up mother or father or whatever. Does that make sense? Okay, hang on, hang on, hang on, I swear to God, I’m going to get to the questions in just a second. Your loyalty to them is always tested so and your spouse’s loyalty to them is always tested. So what the narcissist will do is they will tell the spouse that they’re being disloyal to the family, if they side with the healthy spouse, what inner child is going to be able to stand up to that it would take a really healthy person who’s in therapy, who’s got a therapist that they can go back and go wow, mom and or dad said this, how do I deal with it? And then you cope with it. So it’s kind of like no, this has nothing to do with loyalty to this family. It has to do with loyalty to my marriage, because I am now married, or I’m living with somebody or I’m in a committed relationship or whatever. So a healthy family rejoices when their child gets together with somebody healthy and has appropriate boundaries and does not get enmeshed and celebrates their victories and cries with them for their losses and is a good healthy, supportive family. Okay, they don’t do this ultimatum me or your wants, me or your husband, but abusers do. So, if there’s any of that going on, get the two of you to a trauma therapist get the to a trauma therapist like yesterday, seriously, because that spouse is going to need all the support they can get, and it’s not going to happen overnight. So once you are able to get the spouse to a therapist, oftentimes what will happen is they’ll resist it because they’re terrified. Well, let’s wait until they go home. Oh, well, let’s wait until now you’re gonna have to have a deadline. This needs to get done. I’m not putting up with this, this needs to get done. And like I said, they may not be able to do it, and if not, peace out, bye. Have fun with your mom, you know, so or your dad or whatever. So, um, they’ll have to get into therapy, they’ll have to start working on it. You probably also going to have to do couples counseling and you’re going to need to get with a couples counselor that understands narcissistic abuse, okay? Adult Children of narcissists, and understands the game playing that these frickin A holes do to the to the healthy spouse, male or female doesn’t matter. Okay, um, alright. So they’ll become competitive with you, they try to vie they try to be the spouse they do, and they make the spouse feel guilty for spending time with you. lies will be thrown at you all the time, they’ll try to beat you. They’ll try to make you say things that will get you into trouble. They’ll try to have these private conversations and then run back and said You said this, that or the other thing. They invade your privacy, they’ll undermine your relationship. They isolate the second set of in laws, your parents to try to keep them away from the grandchildren. I’ve seen that happen, you will eventually be left out of conversations and family gatherings. A common tactic is called triangulation so and so said such and such about so and so on. Don’t participate. The second somebody says that you go great. Get them on the phone. Let’s clear this up right now. And you watch them backpeddle seriously, seriously, don’t put up with so you’re not gonna put up with the Drama Triangle hero villain victim step out because you can’t win. The best way to win is to not play. You also cannot win if they’re triangulating. Well, so and so said such and such great. Let’s get them on the phone. Let’s clear this that bleep up right now.
Kris Godinez 37:28
Mm hmm. Absolutely. Okay, so there’s that. Um, in extreme cases, they will try to turn your own children against you. I have seen that happen. And this is why I’m saying kids do not need both sets of grandparents. If one set of grandparents is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. They don’t need that they don’t need if you would not trust them with your spouse. What the hell makes you think they’re your kids are safe with them? No, no, you are under obligation to have anybody in your children’s lives that you think is abusive period. This is where I’ve seen them try to do the grandparents rights. And they will because they’re crazy. And they think they’re right. And they think that the law is on their side. And it’s not. So yeah, it’s Oh, God. Anyway, there is that. All right, hang on. I swear to God, I will get to the questions. I just want to finish this one article up and I had another article but I don’t have time. They feel entitled to your money and your property. So I have also seen in laws do the whole we don’t have any money, you need to pay our rent you need I gave birth to you, you need to pay for us. Seriously, and yet, they’re off gambling, every weekend, you know gambling the money you gave them. You are under no obligation to financially care for these people. If you were not related to them, would you have anything to do with them? If the answer is no, act accordingly, but they use the guilt, the fear and the obligation on the adult child that you’re with. That’s why I’m saying get with a good therapist get with a good trauma therapist get with a good counselor, a good couples counselor. Now if however, your spouse is a narcissist themselves, couples counseling is not going to do any good. And therapy’s not going to do any good and you can tell because they’ll go one maybe two times and then they’ll peace out because they don’t want to deal so yeah, or they’ll use things that you have said in therapy against you. So there is that Okay, hang on. Um, expect them to turn others against you. Um, and and if they cannot when the other thing that they do is they erase you and your children as if they don’t even exist. So anyway. And loss narcissistic in laws make it hard they do. Because not only are you dealing with whatever abuse you went through with your past your family of origin, now you’re dealing with whatever your spouse has been through who may or may not recognize it, you know, I’m saying don’t give up on them immediately. But if after it becomes obvious and you’re like, okay, dude, or do that you need therapy. And I want to see you in therapy once a week. And I want to see us in couples counseling to handle this issue. If they start pushing back on that, and if they keep coming up with excuses why they cannot go that is when you wash your hands, it’s not going to get better on itself. It’s not if they’re not willing to do the work. Don’t stick around and do it for them. Because trust me, it’ll backfire on you. Okay, now, let’s get to the questions. Hang on. Now, I do need my glasses, jeese. All right. Uh, my mother in law died a few years ago, she was a very nasty one. And very self absorbed. After her death, her sister started to display similar traits, which she didn’t have before my mother in law died. Why would this happen? Oftentimes, when an abuser dies, it’s almost as if the living take over the role to keep them alive. In a weird way. So, sister, you know, Sister in law, let me see if it was sister in law glasses. Um, her sister, so it was okay. So the aunt starting to display similar traits that she didn’t have? Well, so either she’s trying to keep her alive in a weird way. Or she’s always been this way. And you just didn’t notice. You know, they can be minor narcissists go into major narcissism. So yeah, absolutely. Okay. Is it 100 times worse to pull back a boundary if you didn’t have boundaries?
Kris Godinez 41:35
Wait, pull back a boundary or put back a boundary. So here’s the deal, guys, boundaries are never a bad thing. Boundaries are never a bad thing. But what is going to happen is is that the in laws are going to resent the hell out of the boundary. So how many times have I worked with individuals and couples who they finally put boundaries in place with the abusive parent, whoever that is? Either side or both sometimes. And boy, howdy, there’s blowback there is there you’ve always got to expect blowback, when you are putting up a boundary with a disordered person, because they don’t like boundaries, because now they can’t, they don’t have control. They don’t have power. And that’s what they love. And it pisses them off. It makes them frightened. And it makes them frightened of you. So they will come unglued, punish you, cut you off, do the cold shoulder, which in which case, you should be like celebrating because that’s the best case scenario. The other thing that they’ll do is they’ll start the flying monkey campaign. You know, you’ll suddenly get phone calls from Aunt June in Ottawa that you haven’t heard from in 10 years. Why aren’t you talking to Bill and Cindy, I didn’t follow what, you know, it’s there, they pull in the flying monkey. So yes, it will be worse in some ways. But honestly, in the long run, it’s better to put those boundaries up and be firm, gentle, but firm. And in some cases, you can’t be gentle. In some cases, it is like, here’s the line don’t effing cross it. So you know, it’s it’s always better to put boundaries up, is there going to be blowback? You betcha. They don’t like boundaries. They just do not like boundaries, because they don’t like not being in control, and they don’t like not having power. Can someone have no empathy? But not be a narcissist? No, that is one of the major things that a narcissist does not have is no empathy. No empathy. That’s, that’s kind of a normal, common cog that we all have. So if somebody has no empathy, they’re probably a narcissist. Absolutely. I suppose there could be instances on the autism scale where it seems like they have no empathy. But in truth, most autistic children and adults have empathy. They just don’t often recognize emotions when they’re being expressed. So they have a hard time understanding what emotion is going on and what the appropriate responses. But if they truly have no empathy, like they laugh at a dog getting hit, or they laugh and a child being abused, or you know, then yeah, they’re no, you’re dealing with somebody who is either a narcissist or psychopath. Absolutely. Okay, let’s see. What’s the next question? Oh, how are we doing on time? Oh, good. Okay, ah, is there any way to make my best friend who married my ex exes? Brother understand about narcissists? Oh, Lord. Okay, I’ve talked about this in other videos, how to help somebody who’s in an abusive relationship. Unless they see it themselves. It’s like an alcoholic. Unless they hit rock bottom unless they see it themselves. They’re going to the narcissit, they’re going to run back to the narcissist. Tell them everything you’ve said. And now you’re the Bad Guy and congratulations, you are now in the Drama Triangle. You are the villain. The narcissist is the victim, you know, or the friend is the victim and the narcissist is the hero for enlightening them to how horrible and awful and terrible you are, because you’re lying about them.
Kris Godinez 45:18
So I mean, you can point out behavior that you don’t think is healthy, or gee, you didn’t deserve that, you know, or things like that. But be prepared for anything and everything you say, to run back to the abuser because abusers train their targets Hello, raise your hand we’ve all been there, train the target is to run back to the abuser and tell them everything in a misguided attempt to get on the abusers. Good side. That’s what they do. And so now he they’ve got their Drama Triangle. Now you’re the villain. Somebody is the hero in somebody the victim, so and you’ll always be the villain. No matter what, you’ll always be the villain, even if it turns out 20 years from now they divorce and they see it you’ll always be the villain. So, you know, like I said, you can point out behavior that you think is abusive, you can point out behavior, that’s not normal. You can say that’s not nice. That’s not normal. You didn’t deserve that. You know, that kind of thing. But don’t expect them to have an epiphany a lot of times, not a lot of times, but sometimes abusive. children that have been abused, do one of two things, they either read everything they can and make sure that it never happens again, or that inner child because the damage happened at such a young age is so desperate to find that substitute mom or dad that reminds them of the abuser, that they will cling to the abuser, even though they’re getting abused, even though they’re being mistreated. And in their mind. It’s like, but but but sometimes they’re nice to me. So that’s the intermittent positive rewards. It’s a very powerful thing that Stockholm Syndrome, that’s trauma bonding. So, you know, unfortunately, there’s probably not much you can do. I mean, you could say, Hey, this is a great book, have you read this, you know, but if the abuser finds the book, they’ll either destroy it, I’ve seen that happen. Or they’ll hide it. I’ve seen them that that happen. Or they’ll demand that the person not read it, because they don’t want them to get educated. So yeah, okay. Mmm, hmm. Okay. Oh, do Where did it go? Okay, why would my mother in law go to my husband’s ex and tell her my husband and I are doing that? We aren’t though. We were just setting boundaries with her because she’s hoping the ex is going to run back to the husband. And try to start something with them. Yeah, that’s mothers in laws that do that are so desperate to stir the pot, they want a big drama, they do. So how you handle it is you keep those boundaries up. And you don’t say anything about her running to the ex because that’s what she wants. She wants a big drama, or she wants the ex to go, Oh, you’re not doing good. Maybe I can come back. You know, that kind of thing. Yep.
Kris Godinez 48:10
They love drama. They love drama. So just don’t play. Best way to win is not to play and keep those boundaries up. So yeah, she’s gonna run to whoever she thinks she can to cause problems with you guys. She wants you guys to have problems. Clearly, she just said it. So this is the thing about Narcissists is that they are so stupid. And they are so arrogant that they basically tell you what their deepest darkest desires are or what they’re going to do, or what they’re doing bad. Well, she wants you to do that. And she’s telling me x because she wants there to be some sort of jealousy thing going on, or some sort of infidelity thing going on or something like that drama, drama, drama, drama, don’t play what happens to the narc or borderline at the end of their life, it is not pretty. So well. One or two things again. borderlines tend to either get better, because they recognize nobody wants to be around them and they’re lonely and they don’t like it. And so they finally, finally go get help. That’s rare, but it happens. Or they just keep getting worse as it goes on. And as a borderline gets worse. All of the personality disorders start over lapping. So the paranoia gets worse. The obsessive compulsion gets worse the narcissism gets worse the you know, and they’re just a hot mess and they’re not nice to be around. So nursing homes are filled with collapsed narcissist and filled with collapsed borderlines unfortunately, so like I said, Why don’t you think well, the narcissist will never go get help. Narcissists usually end up miserable either not alone or alone. You know, it depends because if they’ve got money, they won’t be alone. If they don’t got money, they’ll be alone. So um, and the borderline usually if they can If they have the capability to go get help, will go get help and start working on themselves may or may not ever really get truly 100% better, but they’ll start getting better. Or they just collapse and they continue down that dark path, that dark triad path. And like I said, with the borderlines, all of the personality disorders start overlapping and start expressing all over the place, paranoia, OCD, avoidant, you know, narcissistic, etc, etc, etc, it just gets worse. And they tend not to have a whole lot of family around them. So when my mom was at the care facility that she was at, there was a narcissist down at the end of the hall, hateful, hateful human being, she would yell at the staff, she would spit at the staff and know she was not Alzheimer’s, she knew exactly what she was doing. She had been very powerful in her younger years and had a lot of money and was used to people jumping and asking how high and now she was not in a position that she had money and she was not in a position where she had power. And so she was going to lord it over whoever she could. And she hated my mother because my mother was like, the house mom. So all of the staff would come to her to tell her their problems, you know, tell her their problems, and she would just give them a nice little ear and nod and pat them on the back and you’ll be fine. Everything will be great, you know, if she learned that my mom loved that, so and so in this woman was always like, well, everybody likes you and I’m like, Well, yeah, cuz you’re an old Biddy. It’s not the word I used. It was begin with B and with ch so anyway, um, so yeah, that’s that’s they didn’t they usually don’t end well. They usually don’t end well it usually in middle age is when borderlines start figuring out that they’re alone and they don’t like it and that’s when they’ll go get help if they’re going to go get help. But a lot of times they don’t and they just end up alone because nobody can stand being around them because they’re so mean. Which is sad, but their choice. Um, okay. Does it seem like narc parents have big families for more supply? Yes, they absolutely can. I mean, I’ve seen narc parents have a single child and then that poor single child has to be the scapegoat the golden child the ignored middle child everything depending on what’s going on with the narcissist but yes, I have seen narcissists have extremely large families because it’s more drama more drama, more people to control more people to manipulate more people to have drama with absolutely Okay, what does this say?
Kris Godinez 52:33
Is it possible to stop being codependent? Yes. Yeah, yes, guys. It is. I get this question almost every week. Yes, it is possible to stop being codependent so codependent is a learned behavior. This is not something we wake up and pop out of the womb with this is a learned behavior. So if it can be learned, it can be unlearned and it can be replaced with healthy behavior so the books to work on codependency the self esteem workbook by Glenn Schiraldi, when I say boils down to self esteem I’m not kidding you. And the disease to please by Harriet breaker, great book, codependent no more beyond codependent no more both books by Melanie BD. So any book pm melody did one on codependency. Basically codependency is either this, you’re leaning on somebody or you’re propping somebody up, or it’s this. And if that person goes away, you know, everybody falls. So codependency is weak. When we go over and above the call of duty to help somebody and our own cost. We’re hurting ourselves helping, it’s normal to want to help. It’s normal to want to see people do well what’s not normal is keeling over, giving, giving, giving, giving, giving, giving, giving and never giving back to yourself. So codependents never put themselves on the front burner. They always put themselves on the back burner, everybody else comes before them. You cannot pour from an empty pot. You have to replenish that pot periodically to make sure that you can keep yourself filled up and that you can help pour in other people’s cups. So yeah, codependency can absolutely be unlearned and replaced with healthy behavior 110% And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Okay, my loves I am losing my voice. I can feel it. So okay, so I hope that that answered the questions on the codependent or the codependent, the narcissistic in laws. So let’s just review it’s the same thing we went through if we have narcissistic families that your spouse is going through the narcissistic in law, whether it’s father in law, mother in law, their whole goal is power and control. They want to manipulate that child, they don’t want that child to be with you. It’s a competition. It always has been it always will be. They do do the smear campaign, they will call on friends and family to do the flying monkey stuff. Um, so the best thing that you can do is you call out the game to your spouse, your blonde lady on strong boundaries, don’t allow the game to continue. You insist on therapy, you insist on couples counseling, if they don’t go, or if they keep coming up with excuses why they can’t go be done. They’ve just showed you what their priority is. painful as that is, when you realize you’re not the priority. But the inner child keeping that relationship with that abusive parent is the priority. You can’t fix that if they’re not willing to go work on it. You can’t fix that, because you did not break them. You cannot fix them, because you did not break them. Let me just say that again. You cannot fix them because you did not break them if they’re willing to fix themselves and go to therapy. Great. You got a shot? Absolutely. And I’ve seen it work I have. So you know, but then. So then the other thing really quickly, and I sorted out, I’ll shut up because I’m losing my voice. Um, the other thing that ends up happening is once the therapy begins, and the spouse starts seeing all of this stuff and the cognitive dissonance, and they start laying out boundaries for the inlaws. Yes, there is going to be blowback. And there is going to be fear on the part of the healthy spouse of oh my god, you’re going to go spend time with them. Because the fear is that they’re going to go spend time with the abusers and the abusers are going to do the smear campaign and you’re going to come back to a spouse, that’s all messed up again. So this is why you have to limit contact with them. The healthy spouse does not need to see them. But you’d never want to tell the kid the adult child, no, you can’t see your parent, you never want to do that. Because that’s, that’s again an ultimatum. So what I suggest is okay, if you go visit the family, you have to have your guard up, you have to have your boundaries in place. And you have to be aware of the cognitive dissonance, you have to be aware of the gaslighting and don’t bring it back to your spouse you know, and you have to be transparent so you have to let your spouse know what happened during this because the spouse is over here going Geez Louise, and I’m going to be coming home to a spouse that’s like you know, spewing all this BS say about me what’s going to happen? So communication open open, open communication is the key boundaries, rock solid, shields up phasers on stun, you know what I’m saying? So that’s what you want to do. So in therapy therapy for everybody. Seriously, swear to God, have a great great week. Be good yourselves Drink plenty of water. I know at least here in Arizona, it’s super dry.
Kris Godinez 57:22
I know California is getting inundated. So I hope everybody in California is okay. family lives there. So anyway, in my friends, so Be safe, be good. And I will talk to you next week.
Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. You can always listen live on YouTube every week Sunday at noon, Arizona Mountain Standard Time. And if you want to find out more or listen to other episodes, you can go to Krisgodinez.com and if you have a chance, subscribe to this show on whatever podcast app you use and let other people know about. I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.
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