I have a brother who has been offended by me and the rest of the family members. He will not talk to us, sends mail back, etc. . It is a great misunderstanding and he will not listen to any explanation. He has stated that we are all bad people. This really hurts my heart. My comfort comes from the knowledge that when we pass to the other side truth will prevail. I have hope that when this knowledge is given to him, he will understand and all will be well. An eternal perspective helps me with this trial. I share this so that others may be comforted as well in similar situations.
It seems to me that if your m.i.l. lied about you to others, THAT was not the ONLY lying she did. Those who chronically lie chronically lie. The one I feel saddest for is her husband who was married to a person of this low character.
I think that friends and relatives might actually be open to you sharing the truth; and that is how sad and pathetic it was that "Mom" lied the way she did.
Great article and excellent advice. The best advice that I ever received in dealing with toxic relatives, is to avoid them if at all possible and not allow them to control you. In the eternal scheme of things, we are going to be judged on how well we loved even our enemies as difficult as that may be.
I had the same thing happen, only we had not moved away, we lived in the same city. I knew my husband's family disliked me, but I just assumed it was because I grew up very different from what my husband's family thought was normal. His family felt the wife should work and pay half the household bills.I was raised in a family that felt the wife should stay home and be a homemaker and full-time mother. It wasn't until my sister-in-law was dying from AIDS in the hospital that I found out what had happened. She wanted to make peace with everyone she had hurt, and I was on the top of the list. She admitted to me that she and my mother-in-law never really liked me, though she couldn't think of a reason why other than they thought I was lazy by not working outside the home. I actually did have various jobs when money was tight, but never felt it was my responsibility to pay half the bills, so I wasn't as lazy as they made other family members think. I forgave her immediately. My mother-in-law was in a nursing home and didn't have long to live, but it did take me longer to get over what she had done and the things she had said. Ultimately I did divorce my husband for many wrongdoings, but in the meantime I found out he was not only not defending me, he was fueling the fire with his own lies. It would be nice to have had a one on one with all those affected by their lies, but that wasn't possible. I moved away and remarried and most of those affected have passes away, including my ex-husband. I have had to learn to forgive all of them in time. As I come to forgive each one, it brings more peace. I've learned in my 60-some years that everyone that has come into my life was there for a reason. Lies and deceptions about me have taught me what kind of a person I want to be, especially when it comes to my children's spouses. The things people say about me are none of my business, so I go on with life enjoying the company of the people that love me. If people allow themselves to be affected by gossip about you, shame on them. You will be better off surrounded only by those who know you and love you for who you are.
It seems to me that this woman's husband should approach his family and share the truth with them. They then would have the opportunity to accept the true character of his wife and repent of their missjudgement, or reject the truth and not change.
The husband's keeping silent implies that he shares his late mother's opinions.
My husband and I were both 35 when we married. Neither of us had been married before. My husband was an only child and his parents were very controlling. Fortunately, my husband was totally dedicated to our relationship. My in-laws did everything to try to break us up. They even hired a private deceive to see if he could find dirt about me. They told lies to all the relatives. It was very hurtful as we could have had so much fun together., but my husband was totally committed. The stake president said that marrying me was the bravest thing my husband could have done. It was their loss.
Unfortunately, Geoff is right. The odds of approaching everyone and getting them to see things differently are slim. You will just have to let your life and example speak for itself and hopefully they'll eventually see that there's incompatibility with what they were told. Also know that your mil is probably really sorry at this point and is aware of the damage she's done. I'm sorry this has happened. You didn't deserve it.
This is a story that happens the world over. I lived in Vienna and my mother in law was a regular visitor to our apartment. I was always nice to her but little did I know that she was not so kind.
One day in the elevator, I was riding with the neighbor who lived below us, the neighbor started to look at my shopping bags and finally she could not hold it in anymore. She told me that "Mom" was telling everybody that her poor son had to cook, go shopping, waash the laundry and do everything at home while being a fulltime student and working as well. She was so surprised to see me with the shopping bags and me then telling her that I did the cooking and all the household chores.
The neighbor was well known among all these friends and she started to tell what she saw and that I was actually very nice and a hard worker.
Mu mother in law, over the years completely changed. From her initial hate, she went as far as to tell my husband on one occasion that she did not come to visit him but me instead. She learned to get to know me and I did not allow myself to retaliate her bad behavior in the beginning and so built a great relationship.
We should keep in mind, sometimes mothers think that their "little boy" needs them more than he needs his wife and children. A great deal of love can change this and if it does not, it is best to allow Jesus Christ to be the final judge. Everything else just brings heartache.
This was most helpful as I have suffered with the same thing, except it also involved a whole LDS ward in another Stake. Everytime I see someone from that ward, and they look at me with raised eyebrows, I know that they heard something incorrect from my own mother ! Hurtful and difficult to deal with is an understatement. It IS hard to let go, but the more I pray and live my life the best I can, the easier it has become. Sure, it still hurts, but I smile at those folks and know what I know--even if they choose to believe someone who was mean spirited and clearly full of her own issues. Thanks.
Thank you for a great article. It is so painful when family members choose to hurt and control rather than support, love and strengthen. I've had a very sad situation where one of my children and his wife have been extremely hurtful, estranged the grandchildren and spread lies about another child and myself. Thankfully I'm growing to more fully understand the power of the atonement and my Saviors love for his children. So sad that things like this happen in LDS families where the gospel is lived and taught and loved.
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