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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband's Mother Targets Daughter-in-Law With Vitriol

DEAR ABBY: I am suffering from postpartum depression while trying to reconcile with my husband, "Derek." He had several emotional affairs during my recent pregnancy, as well as after I gave birth.

His parents attacked me about the postpartum. I was hospitalized for a week because of it, but they said it was an act. Recently, his mom texted him saying he should use my mental illness as grounds to divorce me. I texted her, asking her to stop attacking me that way. She responded, calling me a devil, saying she's always hated me. Now she's turning his entire family against me, spreading vicious lies. She even accused me of trying to sleep with my father-in-law, which Derek knows is ridiculous.

I have asked Derek to address the situation, but what else can I do? I'm no longer comfortable around his parents or sending my children to be around them. I don't want Derek to be in an awkward position, but it's not fair for me to be attacked with malicious lies because of her jealousy -- especially 12 years in. Please help. -- DISRESPECTED IN ILLINOIS

DEAR DISRESPECTED: You may be suffering from postpartum, but your mother-in-law appears to have more problems than you do. I don't envy you for being her target, or your husband for having to buffer you.

It might be helpful if the two of you consult a licensed mental health provider to figure out how to deal with her, if that's possible. And Derek should waste no time letting the rest of the family know that none of what his mother is saying is true.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Mental Health | Family & Parenting