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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is it a Grudge or a Way of Life?

Hi there!

I hope you had a fantastical holiday season. We certainly did here.  We had a pretty chill-lax Christmas and celebrated with a lovely dinner and cheesecake to honor Jesus' birth.  It was a joyous day.

However, part of me was not joyous. Part of me is down right saddened over an event that happened over two years ago between my husband and his mother.

As an adult, when do you say "Enough is enough" and move forward? 

When does it become acceptable to write someone out of your life, who is your family member, but all they end up doing is hurting you?
I mean, it is so much easier to cut down our friends, and rule them out of our lives, regardless... but when it comes to family, why does it become the unspeakable?

This is a very hard topic for me to write about, because I am a very forgiving person, and I have been taught to always find the good in people. But what if there isn't much good to love?


My husband and his sister grew up with their mother and father in rural Iowa.  When my hubs was in high school, his mom and dad went to counseling and while at counseling the mother accused the father of cheating on her with the counselor.  Long story short, she moved the kids and herself out of the farm house and into town and talked bad about her husband... causing a riff between the kids and their father.

When my husband was in his late 20s/early 30s he found out that his mother had been lying about the affair.  My husband spent years being cordial to his father and holding anger against his dad for actions his father didn't even take. And to be honest, now that we are in our 40s my husband and his father are very close and they have a bond that will never be broken. And as he accepted his father into his life and loved him with open arms, my husband still did not deny his mother... he was there for her. My father in law is a sweet sensitive man, who is still married to my mother in law, because my mother in law doesn't want a divorce... They fake it... She lives in a town an hour away from my father in law, and they go to family functions together because my mother in law doesn't want her mother to know they are separated.  YET, my mother in law has a boyfriend on the side.  What makes me sad? The love my father in law has for my mother in law after all these years.  She only loves him when she needs him.

My mother in law says things that are inappropriate at best a lot of the time.  On the way to our wedding (Phillip's and mine) she told me that her brothers hadn't approved of me yet.  I looked at her and offered to send my resume with salary history to them if she provided the addresses.  She then asked to see my ring and asked me if I got it at the local second hand store, a kind of slap in the face. But I moved on and still treated her with love.

A couple of years ago, in the summer my husband's sister called their mother a BITCH for something she did (the mother accused my sister in laws friend from church of being a drug dealer and made a scene and got kicked out of my sister in laws house)... and the mother in law was copied on the text.

NOW, Phillip and I were 5 hours away at that time, watching a musical at a theater and were not even involved in the situation. Maybe it is the codependent nature of the relationship between Phillip's mother and sister or what...but the mother chose to take it out on my husband instead of his sister.  She called him up and said he was disowned from her as a child and her family disowned him.  All over something that he wasn't even involved in.


My mother in law is still friends with his ex-wife and honestly pays more attention to his ex-wife than she does her own flesh and blood.. her son.  She solidifies her love for her son by buying gifts for his ex-wife's baby (which she conceived while still married to my husband and it is another man's baby) for Christmas.  I know what you are thinking, you are thinking... MELISSA it is for the child, not the ex-wife, I agree.  But she was at the hospital when the ex-wife had the baby and all... and because she has crossed motives all the time it is hard to see what to interpret (for example, she bought my niece a toy and told her she couldn't take the gift home, she could only play with it at grandmas as a tactic to get my niece there when my sister in law and my mother in law weren't talking).


So, are these actions all the time a grudge she carries or is it just her way of life?

The people this hurts the most? My stepdaughters.  They go between the two and although we don't talk about Phillip's mother... my stepdaughters still do things with her, and it is hard on everyone.

All my husband wants? An apology for the first time in his life from his mother. He is always the one taking the higher road and forgiving her, and he has forgiven her now, but he won't forget.  This time, she went too far and he wants her apology... and has waited TWO years for it. Well, she did send him a plant last year in April, saying that spring is a time to start over... yet no apology. So is it acceptable for him to not communicate with her and wait? Or is life too short? I am so on the fence here. I forgive her actions, I love her despite them... I forgive her, but I don't have to forget... but what if the line was drawn too many times and scratched out? Too many do overs given...

So how do I convince my husband to approach her? OR do I not convince him. In my opinion, it is beyond a grudge on both sides and it is just now a way of life.  She has stopped all communication with us and clearly treats my biological kids and I as we are second class, which will never change.

I even texted her last week out of courtesy regarding my step-daughter's dentist appointment and well... she didn't even give me the common courtesy to respond and let me know she received my message. We really don't exist to her in her world.


On Saturday the 29th there is a family event for my mother in laws side of the family.  I love Phillip's cousins and his grandma... I would love to go with the kids but my husband will not go because of his mother and how she has treated him his whole life. He wants to be surrounded by love and support and the one person in my opinion who should always provide that, HIS MOTHER, refuses to show any love or compassion to him.

So what do I do? I stand by my husband and stand by his right not to be hurt again by his mother.  I know this is hard for our kids to see, but at the end of the day, the relationship between my mother in law and my husband is very unhealthy.  Why subject anyone to that when we don't have to?

My dream would be that she will eventually come to terms with her actions and for once stand up and say "I am sorry for what I did." She was VERY manipulative, and husband wasn't... my husband is a gentle man with a giving heart, he gets that from his dad.  His mother is also STUBBORN... So is my husband. After all, he is her child... and even though the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, my husband had enough sense to know which apples were good, and which apples were rotten.

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