- 3 years ago
- Wedding: October 2014
The Background Story:
FI and I have known each other since middle school. We were BF/GF briefly in 7<sup>th</sup> or 8<sup>th</sup> grade and I broke up with him after a few months for some childish, teenage-girl reason. Apparently he was heartbroken over it. We also went to high school together, but never really had any contact because we hung in different circles.
After high school we both got married fairly young to people who were, from the start, completely wrong for us. We both had kids and spent a great deal of our marriages trying to keep our families together, although no one was happy.
Around 2009 we had gotten back in touch through MySpace and Facebook and occasionally liked or commented on each other’s posts, but didn’t have our first one on one conversation until 3/2011.
I was in the process of a really nasty divorce and had been living on my own for about 9 months. He and his wife had been split up for about 5 months at that point, but he allowed her to live with him until she was able to get on her feet, get an apartment and start living on her own.
He asked if I would like to get together the following week for a drink to catch up and commiserate about our failed marriages. And I whole-heartedly accepted.
That whole week I anticipated our meeting, remembering what a really good guy he was, what a great dad he appeared to be (through his Facebook posts) and what his intentions of this meeting could possibly be.
The night we met, we sat at the restaurant talking for 5 hours. We shut the place down. We didn’t eat or drink, had great conversation, and I couldn’t help but wonder who would possibly let a great guy like him go. It was so refreshing to spend time with someone I knew would not try to come back to my house for sex on the first date, who held open doors, pulled out my chair and offered to pay the bill. So NOT my ex-husband or any of the losers I had met since we split up. After that night, we we’ve been together ever since.
She is 38 and has some marked mental illnesses. She was taking psychotropic medications for depression, but has stopped in the last few years. She initiated the divorce, but I don’t believe she really meant it, and I don’t know that she is happy with her choice.
A few weeks after FI and I first met up, his ex-wife overheard him talking to me on the phone through the wall (she slept in their room, he was sleeping on the couch) and ran out into the living room and physically assaulted him. She threw things at him, punched him in the stomach and ribs until they were severely bruised while he just stood there. The next day he insisted she move out. His mother (my FMIL) paid for her first and last month deposit on her apartment, gave her furniture and she and FI helped his ex move. Despite all of the things his ex had done.
(It is important to note that the beginning of the end of FI and his ex’s marriage occurred when FI caught his ex wife in bed with his best friend. After that, things went downhill for them. This information was confirmed to me by the ex and was also relayed to FMIL and FSIL.)
FSIL’s sister hangs out with a crowd that lives in the same neighborhood my ex grew up in and still has many friends in. She heard rumors about me through the grapevine, and when FI told her we were dating she threw a fit. She said all of these nasty things about me and told FI that he didn’t have a right to be dating anyone at all while he was still technically married, let alone the likes of me. (Mind you, she used to date my brother back in 5<sup>th</sup>/6<sup>th</sup> grade, but we hadn’t had any connection since) When he told me this, I sent her a message through Facebook basically telling her that if she wished to believe rumors without getting the facts straight she should STFU and get a life. Big mistake on my part.
Of course this got back to FMIL like wildfire and she actually asked us to meet with her to have a talk. She blamed me for causing a rift between FI and FSIL and told him that he needed to make things right with his family. To do my part I wrote a groveling letter, apologizing profusely, admitting I acted immature and childish and said that I hope one day we can put it past us and be friends. He gave it to her. She never acknowledged it.
She is a very upstanding woman and is adamant about “doing the right thing”. She is the type who believes you should speak in person to deliver good news or break bad news. She has volunteered at the VA and ran the hospice tree of lights for her city for years. She is a widow as FIs father passed away of cancer 13 years ago, at the age of 48. FI says she hasn’t been the same since.
At first, FMIL insisted that it was not appropriate for me to attend any family gatherings, holidays or birthday parties, but included FI’s ex wife for at least a year. after they split up. She even invited her to spend the night on Christmas eve and Easter.
As time went on FMIL was a bit more accepting of me, but still would not speak directly to me and was very awkward whenever I was around. She no longer includes FI (or our kids) in her holiday plans, but has stopped including the ex too.
From the beginning, FMIL was not open to FI dating again. She scolded him to take it slow and not get involved with anyone for fear that it might confuse his kids. She didn’t have much (that I am aware of) when we moved in together in 2/2012. In 10/2013, when FI told her “we were getting married” he reports that she didn’t say much. (He failed to mention that he had proposed, given me a ring and we had set a date). This last Thursday, just about a month after his divorce was official, he finally told her that we would be married in October. Again, he reports that she didn’t say anything and was “accepting” that we were getting married. And before he left, she even offered to take all 4 of our kids to the movies – she has never included my girls in any activities she planned with his boys. So I figured this was a step in the right direction.
However, she showed up on Friday to take the kids and never said a word about the wedding. No “congrats”, no “I’m happy for you”…nothing. This really bothered me.
So I texted her yesterday to wish her a Happy Easter and asked if she had time to meet with me this week to chat. I figured that if I met with her directly we could open the lines of communication and clear the air. She said sure and asked what I had in mind, I said maybe the Starbucks by her house (a neutral setting) and asked if Friday evening worked for her. No response. Ever.
So now FI and I have had a huge fight and I told him that I didn’t want to marry him unless we had the blessing of both families. (My parents LOVE him, the rest of his family – aside from his mother and sister- love me too). He said that FMIL and FSIL may never come around, so who cares what she thinks, and that I was being ridiculous. I tried to give him examples of how a similar situation might apply to him to gauge how he might feel about it, and all he could say was to “stop with all the ‘what ifs’”.
The bottom line is that I’m feeling really unsupported. I don’t understand how a woman who prides herself in “doing the right thing” could be behaving this way. And how FI could think that if he just ignores it, it will go away, OR that it’s acceptable to treat me that way and just go on with life as usual.
FI has never really been one to stand up to her. He relies on her to help with babysitting and asks her to give her input where parenting and disciplining the boys are concerned. So of course he refuses to stand up to her and say that her behavior towards me is unacceptable, and I’m just not sure I can marry him on those terms.
Can anyone offer any wisdom? Am I being childish? Is she being unfair? Is FI being unsupportive?
What would you do?