- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2012
A little background before I make my point. FIL values work over family. He works 12 hour days, shoes horses for clients for another 5 hours after work, eats, sleeps, and starts the whole thing over again. He use to be verbally abusive towards MIL, and my DH would only be able to escape downstairs to his room to avoid it. DH is the exact opposite becuase he knew he didn’t want to live like that. FIL seems to think that showing affection is a sign of weakness, and that work makes you money and when you can have what you want you’re happier. Kisses, hugs, none of that exist in FIL’s world. It’s “pointless.”
Throughout the wedding planning he didn’t care and never said anything nice. Well, the wedding happened and MIL told DH, “I’ve never seen your father cry that hard in my life.” We were shocked that he got so emotional because he hid it well and because he doesn’t show emotion over anything. That day he even, without anyone forcing him, danced the last dance with my MIL. On Monday, he put his arm around her at a concert. He has been in such a better mood and even told MIL, “It’s crazy that it takes a wedding to take a second look at your life.”
My aunt came over day after the wedding and gave me some advice: My grandpa never showed affection, so one day my aunt decided that she’d kiss and hug him goodbye every time. At first he was cold and stiff, but eventually he’d puff out his cheek so she could kiss him. She said, “He never kissed me, but to this day I don’t regret any of the kisses I gave him. So my wedding advice to you is every time you leave, kiss your FIL.”
So I did…yesterday instead of leaving because FIL was busy, I waited 45 minutes (my stomach was a complete nauseous mess, thought I was going to puke from anxiety) until he was done shoeing a horse to give him a hug and kiss his dir-streaked, sweaty cheek. He gave me the one armed hug back. DH said his dad gave a hint of a smile after I kissed him.
It was the toughest thing I have ever had to do because of fear of rejection, but I didn’t have a horse shoe fly at my face so I am ok. We all seem to have problems with our MIL and FIL’s throughout the wedding planning, but maybe if we be the bigger person we can quickly mend a relationship. My fear and ego got in the way for 2 1/2 years, and now because of someone’s advice, I took a step and can make my FIL smile when not many others can. He may never kiss me back, but maybe he will get to the point that he will be comfortable to kiss his grandchildren one day.
Just thought I’d share. If YOU have mended a relationship with one of your in-laws, I’d like to hear it!