- 7 years ago
- Wedding: February 2010
I think I’m really doing the right thing, even though the right thing is the hardest choice. I’m curious what you bees think.
I have written a lot on WeddingBee about my struggles with my in-laws. In shortest short: we are very different people. My family is very warm-blooded and culturally vibrant and my MIL and her family remind me of a lukewarm plate of Cream of Wheat. Pleasant, non-offensive, but nothing exhilirating! They are W.A.S.P. and I am not if that paints any picture for you.
My husband and I were in a LDR for 6 of our 10 dating years, so except for the few days at the holidays my IL didn’t spend time with me. However, they essentially saw me grow from a teenager so we do have a history. Even though the history is there, though, in reality they are barely starting to get to know me.
When I grew up a great deal and I found my voice, I spoke out about an injustice I saw in their family against my husband. He was being abused in many ways, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I spoke out in strong ways and my SIL cut off all ties with me. My MIL remained civil, later revealed that she had heard what I had said, but did not say very much as perhaps she realized the truth, even though it hurt.
Our relationship has been steadily on the mend for the past two years and since we got married it has been quite civil. I write, I email and she replies in nice ways. Sometimes her replies are less enthusiastic or interested than I’d like, but I need to remember that she is personaly a shy and quiet person PLUS she is on axiety medication so perhaps that dulls her emotional responses. I have always taken her lack of emotion as a lack of interest or approval in me and her son, but what WeddingBee has taught me is that some people really just are that way despite how they feel.
Her faith is her life. Her church is her world. We revealed (SURPRISE!) at our wedding that we didn’t share her faith and in fact, practice a religion that her church considers to be the Devil’s work. We honestly braced ourselves for all hell to break loose.
But, it didn’t. I don’t know what her true feelings were, but she was calm and looked happy at our wedding. She gave us many wonderful gifts and did not say a cruel thing, even though her relatives said some horrible things.
I emailed her recently, after a long stretch of not hearing from her, to ask how her week was, and she wrote a nice email. More importantly, she asked some very nice questions about the upcoming holiday season and our faith and I was honestly thrilled that she was being genuine and kind.
She showed true Christian tolerance and love.
It’s so much easier to demonize her, because of all the abuse that has occured at her hands. She has done SO MUCH WRONG in her life, but I really feel compelled to reward her positive behavior this week. I can’t go too overboard, though, because my husband feels strongly that they don’t deserve it but he can also understand wanting to reduce conflict (he hates conflict.)
So, I am currently taking the high road and sending her a card we are sending all our friends and family who share or respect our faith. It’s hard because it is a roller coaster with her – she’ll do good things and I’ll feel vaidated and then she’ll pull something weird. But, maybe killing someone with kindness will work.
What does my husband think? He has given up all hope with his mother, step-father and family and tells me to expect nothing and ignore them. Ignoring family is impossible for me so I will try the high high road for a while. He is ok with this.
My SIL, however, is another story. Despite several attempts to try to mend the situation with her, she has never stopped holding a grudge against me for what I said. She is getting married soon and I have been taking the super high road, despite the fact that it’s been made clear by her and her fiance that they want nothing to do with me. In this past 2 months, at least her mother has responded to all my kind gestures in a similar manner – not much from her. Never ever a phonecall, never ever an email, didn’t speak to me on my wedding day, never ever a thank you for the gifts or cards I’ve sent.
I don’t think I’ll include her in this journey down the high road unless I see a little more effort on her end. However, it will no doubt get back to her that I didn’t include her since her mother tells everyone everything.
Maybe my SIL is the TRUE test of the high road. Anyways, I’m trying and doing my best -I’ve never been married before, what the hell do I know?!