- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
Hi, wonderful bees! I’m not looking for advice or anything, just sharing my story and updating on my issues that I’ve mentioned in the past. I haven’t posted about them in a while, because I’m truly starting to reach a place of acceptance. Just thought I’d put my thoughts out here (even if just for my own records) of how I’m feeling right now. For the many bees on here who are struggling with in-law issues, IT GETS BETTER. I’m not saying that everyone makes up and suddenly has a great relationship and braids each other’s hair, holds hands, and sings kumbaya. My relationship with my in-laws is still absolutely terrible, if not worse than when this all started, but I’ve found a place in my heart to set aside the grief and injustice and move on with my life with a FI (soon to be DH!) who has been incredibly supportive every step of the way.
Since last December, we’ve had limited contact with FI’s parents. No phone calls at all (I’m still adjusting to how weird it is to not talk to your parents on the phone for 11 months…my mom calls almost every day!). Only emails and texts and the occasional weird Facebook comment. We’ve seen them 4 times since FI’s big blowout with them in December: twice were accidental, once was for a cousin’s wedding (sitting through these family weddings is the worst!!), and once was a final conflict resolution attempt last month. From May to September, we didn’t see them at all, the emails were very minimal, and it changed our world! FI and I have never had so much time to just be HAPPY. We’re also in our final year of college, and because of the stress FI’s parents have always put on him during school, his grades have been pretty terrible since middle school. When I say they DOUBLED this year and have put him at dean’s list level even while he’s taking more advanced classes, that’s not an exaggeration. We’ve had so much more time to connect with my family, and they have really gotten to know FI on a personal level and have accepted his as their own son (my dad is thrilled that he finally has a golf buddy!!).
I truly understand why FI’s parents felt the way they did about their son getting engaged while still in college, but the hardest part is getting over the fact that they chose to make everything personal. It’s one thing if they just addressed the topic generally and then tried to find ways to help, but they insulted our relationship, their son, and my family instead…all while claiming we were being ridiculous for not just moving on and accepting that they will say these things about us because it’s their opinion. And worst of all, they blame me for everything, so I’m trying to accept that I will never be seen favorably in their eyes. The emotional abuse of FI started when he was very young, but he put up with it, ignored it, and just quietly pushed his mom out of his life. It wasn’t until he got engaged to me that he started standing up to them and pushing back, so of course they are going to think that I am behind it. Despite every attempt to have him handle all the issues with his family and stay out of things, they still blame me.
I’m learning to accept that the in-laws will always value their money and their jobs over their children. I know that my mom would be homeless and destitute before allowing me to suffer, but if FMIL and FFIL’s children interfere with their ability to go on multiple vacations, buy new cars, and make home renos each year, they will drop the relationship and blame the children for being unreasonable, ungrateful, and dramatic. There will always be something more important than their children’s needs or feelings. I’m also learning to accept that while FSIL was very supportive of us when FMIL first started causing issues, she is very involved in her own life now and doesn’t have time to text or call her brother more than once a year on his birthday. She won’t risk losing the favoritism and free rent from her parents by showing outward support for us. I expected us to become wonderful friends and get much closer, and maybe in time we will, but I’m learning to be okay with us not really being involved in each other’s lives.
I’m so incredibly exhausted by all of it, and it’s nice to know that FI and I are finally getting some closure and moving on. I’m exhausted from having to carefully word every single sentence I say or write to his parents. It’s exhausting to keep going on this roller coaster of forgiving them, having issues flair up again, and then starting all over. We’ll also never be able to show any relationship weakness in front of them….we wouldn’t even even be able to bicker about the color of a tablecloth without his parents taking it as a sign that they were right about our relationship being inferior. If we were to be having marriage problems 10 years down the road, it is sad to know that we could never lean on his parents for support. They would just say, “We told you so! You shouldn’t have married that girl! We always knew this would happen because you didn’t date a lot of people. Here’s all of our research on divorce lawyers! Also, now that she’s out of the picture, how much money do you have in your bank account? I think it’s time for you to send us on a cruise!”
I wanted to cancel the wedding for a long time. I hated (and sometimes still hate) planning it. It brings up horrible memories and my mom keeps telling me over and over and over again not to let FMIL steal my joy, but that’s soooo much easier said than done. Over the past two months, I’ve come back around again and made a lot of wedding decision changes to help bring happiness back into the day. New super bright colors, beautiful engagement photos, pinwheels and flowers everywhere….I’d have kittens running around the venue if I could! I gave up the “elegant” theme because I’m tired of trying to please FI’s family or impress them. I just want the day to be happy and cheerful and reflective of US.
Needless to say, I think our relationship with FI’s parents will always have its issues. When we attempted that final conflict resolution meeting, we finally felt like we were able to have our feelings heard, but they also made it clear that they don’t see anything wrong with the things they said to us or how they tried to turn my family against us during my mom’s cancer treaments and follow-up surgeries (luckily my parents saw right through this and now just think FI’s parents are both completely insane). FMIL and FFIL think their emotionally abusive tactics WORK, but I guess they don’t realize that they really know nothing about their son’s life or interests anymore. We have jobs lined up after graduation, we have plans to move to a different city, we’ve picked out good apartment options, and they know NOTHING about any of it.
It’s sad to not feel like we want to share things about our lives (when we do, we have to hear their opinions about the mistakes we will likely make), but we have my family standing behind us every step of the way, and I’ve become SOOO incredibly grateful over the past year. I was always thankful for everything my parents and grandparents have done for me, but I’ve never broken down crying on the phone to my mom to thank her for everything she gave up for me (and now for FI as well). I know that after the wedding in June, FI and I will probably speak to his parents only once or twice a year. I know FI is looking forward to it (he’s been wanting to cut ties forever, and I’ve been the one pushing us to talk things out with them and come to agreements), and I’m really looking forward to a clean slate.
Just wanted to share….thanks for reading this crazy long post if you got all the way down here haha, and thanks for being an incredibly supportive community!!