In-laws from hell (except my mother-in-law)

I have needed to get this off my chest for quite some time.  You can only complain about in-laws to your spouse for so long without it becoming obnoxious.  Yes.  I can become obnoxious.   I am normally a likable person and I’m well respected in my profession and our community, or so I’ve been told, but this has gotten to me and I am frustrated.

My husband’s brother and sister are horrible people.  They were cordial enough, early on, but now that I haven’t gone away they are just plain rude and won’t even speak to me when we are in the same room.  I am southern enough that I would never be rude, although this rant could be considered rude and even inappropriate.  Maybe so, but if I don’t get this off my chest I am going to explode.  The thing is, I don’t even know where this came from.  I appreciate the fact that my husband was married to his ex for 20 years or something, but they had been divorced five years when I met him.  I did not break up his marriage.  I’ve done a lot for his children, including buying a house for his daughter.  Do I even get a modicum of respect?  No.  And now, neither does he.

We’ll start with his sister, who turns her back when I even say hello.  Who does that?  Why would someone do that?  Marilyn tolerated me until, one day about 6 years ago, my husband suggested to her that occasionally she invite me to a family function.  She stated, “Suzanne is not part of the family.  Kate is.”  Kate is the ex-wife.  Since that day she has refused to even acknowledge my existence.  When she writes to my husband, she signs it with some kind of religious platitude, which just seems hypocritical given her horrible attitude.  At Bob’s daughter’s wedding, she walked up and said hello to Bob but when I said hello to her, she made a grunting sound and turned her back.  Who does that?  Who is that hateful to anyone?

Bob’s brother has now moved to the Atlanta area – not too far away.  Bob (forget me!) was not invited to the family Thanksgiving nor Christmas celebration, and they did not respond to our invitation to our Christmas dinner.  I am married to the kindest, sweetest man in the world and he deserves better.  If they can’t tolerate me for family celebrations, at least invite my husband!  Bob has sent them very nice “how are you” emails but they don’t even bother to respond.  A few months after we moved into our new home they stopped by to check out it out.  Their only comment was, “I don’t see anything wrong with where you were living before.”  That was the last time we saw them, almost two years ago, and it was the last time we spoke to them.  They’ve moved and haven’t given Bob their new telephone number.

Bob has had four surgeries in the past three years.  Have they called or emailed to check on him?  No.  The brother writes to talk about how much money his neighbors have, and his sister writes about my mother-in-law, who is 99, but never an inquiry as to his health.  When he’s had surgery, my children have been at the hospital.  We treasure family.  We take care of our own.  Family first.  Families are forever.  This we believe.

We both look back at our 14 years together and they have been idyllic.  We’ve created a wonderful, very full life for ourselves.  If there is one thing I could change, it would be that we would all get along.  Bob has two children and I have three.  No one is uncomfortable when we are all together with my ex.  The past is in the past.  I’m happy my ex is happy and I think my ex is happy that I am happy.  All of this hatefulness just isn’t necessary.  And what kind of example are they setting for Bob’s children?  Or their own children, for that matter?

I can’t change anything so I decided to write.   Doesn’t that make everything feel better?

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