Toxic In-laws
Smear Campaigning, This Just In, Toxic Parents

When In-laws Smear Campaigning negatively impacts a marriage

Are you the victim of a smear campaign against you or your mate being run by an In-law? If yes, we are so immensly sorry to hear that you are, but we do want you to know that you are not alone if you feel overwhelmed by grief and feelings of toxic shame about the issue and tragic social situation.

There are few things more painful socially or emotionally than being disliked in general by someone you love like a child or a parent. Except, that is, when you are targeted for social and emotional abuse by your wife’s, husband’s, or long term romantic life partner’s family.

If your In-laws hate you, expect smear campaigning galore. When In-laws smear campaigns against you or your spouse they are acting like toxic adults.

When you find yourself in the uncomfortable situation of being treated like a Pinata for their idle sport or amusement, take a deep breath and detach for a minute of self-reflection before you ever take in something they say or do as in any way related to you.

Here’s the example issue — thank you Bustle for sharing the emotionally and socially intelligent example.

They write, “You’ve heard through the grapevine that your in-laws are badmouthing you to anyone who will listen — they’re gossiping about you to other family members, friends, neighbors, and even their mailman. Not only is it mean and frustrating, it’s downright childish…” and recommend the following way to cope with the horror of knowing.

Bustle suggests, “First things first, you need to let your in-laws know that you’re aware of the things they’ve said about you.”

Then they add, “Explain that you don’t believe you’ve done anything to deserve that disrespect, and go ahead and ask if you’ve indeed done something to upset them. End the conversation by requesting that they come directly to you the next time they have an issue — rather than blanketing the world with gossip and rumors.”

We suggest the same with a massive Narcissistic Abuse recovery codicil…

If you disclose to anyone Cluster B something that hurts you or that causes something like your own childhood or domestic life-related PTSD issues to trigger, that is exactly what they will use as a blueprint to do harm to you further.

If someone is simply misguided or comes from a culture with different levels of EQ or something like a different IQ bracket, the person might not realize there is a different way to approach you or your partner with regard to conversation more appropriately.

For instance, if you tell a Cluster B family member of your romantic partner in confidence (so they could get to know you better) that you were raised in (say) an abusive environment with a drinker, expect every meal to be offered liquor yourself. But expect them to pour extra refills in your mate’s glass while they hope to provoke you to melt.

Connect the Dots
What to expect when leaving a Narcissist

And if you are told something awful to taunt, mock, exclude, provoke, upset, or to mislead you with regard to your spouse… and you tell your spouse — who then claims that they cannot imagine their relative saying or doing anything like that to you when their back is turned…

The damage to your marriage has already been done. It’s your mate’s personal problem now, having revealed that they are socially competing you against their entire toxic family unit.

If your mate strives to forsake you and betrays your marriage vow to honor and cherish you as their partner because they don’t want to lose the social affection of their family unit, that has to do only with the mate’s character.

A mate who sells their partner out to win the affection of an abusive, neglectful, or social and emotional support withholding parent or family member is a very specific type of transactional person. Nothing you ever do as their mate will make you the person who they think of pleasing or protecting first on any given day or in an emergency situation.

Children who are the victims of parents who groom them to believe the world is a socially competitive place and that in order to win their favor they must perform or jump through hoops to demonstrate the Abuser is their preferred Owner who has a slave mentality.

They are never likely to be socially collaborative or to do the right moral thing socially by natural impulse. Rewards-based thinking their parents or primary caregivers taught them is likely to dominate their bio-neuropsychology.

Until your mate understands that their family members are mobbing, taunting, engaging in anti-social behavior towards them covertly and that they are overtly abusing their partner for no other reason than it’s being allowed, they are likely to continue enabling their family members to enact the abuse in order to keep themselves in good stead at the expense of the person they swore an oath to protect from this exact type of situation.

If your mate has abandonment issues, expect them to feel as if they are losing either you or their entire family support network and sense of social and emotional “home” no matter which way they lean if they are trying to straddle a fence in the middle.

Most who try to have a long term relationship with a family unit who hates their partner end up being divorced by that person specifically because they (the child of the Abuser or of the abusive peer group) refused to set or enforce any kind of social boundary with their family.

Connect the Dots
Seasonal Depression, Narcissistic Abuse, and Seasonal Affective Disorder

When they fail to protect a mate and call the mate’s sanity or moral nature in question, the Enabler ends up enabling the Abuser to harm the Scapegoat even further. That’s the betrayal of social trust and affection that causes the collapse of romance and a mate knowing they cannot trust their wife or husband to advocate for them if the marriage or they are socially threatened.

For people who are injured by that type of social withholding of support and protection, getting feelings of love and tenderness back for a mate might resurface but the level of knowledge that you have an emotional support ground is forever destroyed after the first “by impulse” mistake is made to defend the abuser.

Pack predatory behavior is common in toxic family units. If your mate is part of a Cluster B family unit — even if they are the black sheep — unless they are incredibly awake and aware they are likely to proceed in life as if it’s okay if one of their family members abuses or socially neglects a stranger or them as part of their trauma bonding ritual.

It’s up to you as their mate and the technical “interloper” to decide if sticking around the proverbial family watering hole with meat-eating savages if you are an herbivore is something medically or psychologically advisable for you to do in order to have a “normal-looking from the outside” relationship with your In-laws or with your partner in marriage.

You are an outsider. They will never let you forget that fact if they are Cluster B people striving to win social and emotional control of your husband or wife.

Knowing they are striving to meddle and to sabotage your relationship will make you feel like screaming or that you are about to go crazy. If your mate minimalizes the impact of their family’s behavior on your emotions, dehumanizes you, or encourages you to enable your own social marginalization, it’s time to start making plans to leave the relationship.


Because it will never be worth it to stay, no matter how much you otherwise love, like, and adore your mate. They will never show up for you socially or emotionally in life, in a crisis, or when it matters if they are emotionally juvenile and solely interested in ensuring their family members get to treat you abusively or socially with the intent to neglect.

No one is likely to love everything about their In-laws. We all have grief, personality drama, and issues.

But an In-law who does something like trying to break up your relationship or to create a medical crisis in your partner using things like words to hurt for sport… that’s a person who is of a very Machiavellian, profoundly narcissistic, malignant, and arguably sociopathic sort.

Connect the Dots
A letter to every Narcissistic Abuse victim seeking to join support groups

Such family units and people are to be avoided as a matter of course.

This creates the problem for a good person born into the world into a family who does not have their best interest at heart.

If you try to love and to include your family members who you spent time with in early childhood in your adult life when they are not adulting in a pro-social manner, they tend to act like feces in the gene pool with regard to the way they pollute all your relationships.

While they get off on neurochemical addiction to things like mobbing, bloodlusting, gaslighting, and Duper’s Delight, your health and social wellness declines.

When your health is impacted and so is your mate’s, it’s because they were allowed access to do harm to your spouse that the relationship and your personal life will be indelibly harmed. Worse, the longer it’s allowed to go on — with more than a day or two of unresolved issues related to the social treatment of your partner being allowed — it does likely permanent genetic damage to your spouse while the Enabler gets to play both sides for affection against the middle.

If someone is the baby in the family, they are likely to seek to keep parents who abused and or neglected them happy at the expense of their mate.

If they are a Golden Child they may like the “I want you” attention. Pretending the rivalry is trivial or does not benefit them to win their parent’s affection when they throw you under the bus is that type of person’s conscious or unconscious choice ZERO SUM game.

Be careful not to get caught in that kind of trap. If your mate is always touting the wonderful qualities of their toxic family that you are expected to value and use as a reason to overlook how they choose to treat you…

You are your mate’s social and emotionally Stockholm Syndrome groomed hostage.

It’s crucial in life for an adult to set limits with early childhood caregivers and people who socially influenced them when they were growing up. If a man, for instance, cannot do something like tell his family member to stop contacting or to stop bad-mouthing their mate, expect them to be a time suck of a lifemate.

And if Daddy’s Little Girl is mad because you are not living up to the expectations she has for a father…

Lordy. Send her right back home to live with her personal romantic idol.

Plato's Stunt Double

DISCLOSURE: The author of this post is in no way offering professional advice or psychiatric counseling services. Please contact your local authorities IMMEDIATELY if you feel you are in danger. If you suspect your partner, a loved one, co-worker, or family member has a Cluster B personality disorder, contact your local victim's advocate or domestic violence shelter for more information about how to protect your rights legally and to discuss the potential benefits or dangers of electing to go "no contact" with your abuser(s). Due to the nature of this website's content, we prefer to keep our writer's names ANONYMOUS. Please contact directly to discuss content posted on this website, make special requests, or share your confidential story about Narcissistic Abuse with our staff writers. All correspondence will be kept strictly confidential.

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