In Laws – Ugh

I always thought that when I got married it would be an additional wonderful family. Oh boy was I wrong. To put it mildly my mother-in-law hates me and in the past three years has made it no secret that she doesn’t think I should have married her son. She pretty much disowned us right after our marriage. We got invited over to their house for Sunday lunch once… it was a disaster. She and her husband were blatantly rude. I felt no need to go back, not a problem, we weren’t invited. I guess because I just sat there and took it and didn’t stoop to her level she decided it wouldn’t be any fun. I made a deal with my husband… I would go back when we were invited and I would continue to play nice but if she couldn’t shape up by the time we announced we were pregnant all bets were off the table because the last thing I was going to do is be made “acceptable” by having a baby. Well, turns out we didn’t even get to that point. In November when I was in New York she decided to bring a “friend” (I use that term loosely because she’s badmouthed this woman in front of me) over to MY house, unannounced to tell my husband how horrible I am and how I am keeping him from seeing her. Totally not true. Every contact he has had with her since we’ve been married has been at my proding or flat out insisting, “I’m not talking to you anymore until you go over and check on your parents”. Well… for some reason he felt compelled to tell me about his mom coming over shortly after it happened. That was the straw that broke the camels back. I decided that if she could disown us, I could disown her. And I did. I told Jim I would not see her even if invited. I was done being open to the fact that she could possibly change and if we ever did get pregnant under NO circumstance would she be allowed around our child. She plays favorites among her other grandchildren to the point where it is noticeable to the children. Her youngest son’s children are the “golden grandchildren” because they belong to the “golden child”, her daughters children are acceptable but she does play favorites among them. One of my nieces has always struggled with her weight and has a bit of a speech impediment and dear grandma treats her differently. Which is too bad because if you take time to talk to her she has the sweetest spirt and is a pretty deep thinker.

Well, life was going along pretty well. I disowned the in-laws and there really was no change in things until this week. Father in Law is sick. I’m not a big fan of him either. He does some things that I just find abominible… specifically making fun of anyone if they have some sort of religous faith. But he did enlighten me to the fact that Mary wasn’t a virgin, her mother was… uh, huh. Whatever dude. Well, he’s sick and in the hospital now and the family dysfunction is coming out full force. Golden Child was called in from Columbia to make all the deicsions but of course had to leave after four days. However he did manage to call his sister (who he disowned years ago) to tell her she needs to get to town now because Dad is dying. Of course, my husband who lives here has been pretty much ignored through the whole scenario. He was at the hospital Thursday morning when his brother got there and told him he could leave because they were having a team of people come in to discuss his dad’s treatment and he’d just be in the way… some nerve.

I adore Jim’s sister. I wish she lived here. We always have a good time when we get together. The bad thing is she is pretty upset that the family doesn’t get along. She does acknowledge that her mom is pretty good at stirring things up and causing controversy but so wishes that it was different. She came into town today and came over to our house tonight for dinner. The conversation afterwards was pretty deep. She and I had talked for a long time on the phone Tuesday and she knows that we are expecting. Jim’s parents do not. She’s worried that her mom and other brother don’t really tell anyone what goes on. She’s worried that if her dad dies the funeral will be awkward because no one gets along. She asked me specifically what I was going to do about the funeral. I told her I would support my husband however he needed it. I know how to behave in public. I will not make a scene. That’s totally not me.

I was also given the chance to kind of “defend” myself tonight. I explained to her that there are things about JIm and I’s marriage that she doesn’t know, that only he and I know. We have had problems, show me a couple who hasn’t, and we deal with them. That her family doesn’t know everything that has gone on and I’m tired of being judged and considered a bad person by her mother when she doesn’t know all the facts. I know Jim’s first wife had only been gone nine months before we met – he was a widower. I didn’t initiate the relationship – he did. I’m sorry if the fact that I make him happy makes her crazy. I’m sorry that everyone else looks over her rude comments and takes the attitude, that’s just her. I’m the one who has sent Jim to his parent’s house EVERY time he’s gone the past two years.

Jim has constantly asked me this week what he should do. When he got the call his dad was going to the ER and he needed to get over there (from his brother who basically told him to go until HE could get there) had asked me how long he should stay. I had no idea, I told him to stay as long as he thought he needed to. This is all so foreign to me. When my dad was ill I was always at the hopsital. Before work every morning, back every night. Staying as long as needed. I was there when my dad passed and wouldn’t have had it any other way. My Mom and I talk on the phone almost every day. We have for as long as I can remember. Some days it’s really short just sort of checking in. With Jim’s family he and his sister spent time tonight putting together all the pieces they’ve been told by either their mom or their brother about their dad’s condition to try to figure out what is really going on. His sister has been trying to find out what final arrangements have been made and her mother won’t tell her, only that their brother knows everything and that’s good enough.

The next few weeks should be interesting. I don’t need this stress right now. I support my husband. I let him use me as a sounding board, I give my advice as unbiased as possible. I don’t need anyone judging me.

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