Dear Mother In Law. I Mean Ex Mother In Law.

One of my biggest flaws, or at least to me it’s a flaw, is that somehow I always manage to feel bad even when it wasn’t me that did something wrong.
I could have caused it, I could have deserved it, I could have had it coming for a long time.
Maybe they didn’t mean it the way I took it.
Maybe the 10 other people that see an issue with it are just as crazy as I am and we are ALL wrong…

Well, everyone gets to their breaking point.
Some people take longer than others but eventually we all get there.

I’m there.

I’m actually really happy about being there too.
It means a lot more to me than you might actually think.
To me it means that I am growing, I’m finally learning my true value and realizing that my presence in this world is not to please people that continue to tick me off and hurt my feelings.

Go me!

I had this picture in my mind of how I would meet the man I was going to marry and then I would meet his family and they would love me and accept me and treat me as their own.
I would go shopping with my Mother in Law and we would get our nails done and maybe have a girls night every once in awhile.
We would be family.
I would feel comfortable and my kids would just adore her.
It would be beautiful.

I have most definitely learned that life doesn’t play out in reality like it does in our heads.
Not even close.
That’s one of the biggest disappointments I think we can cause ourselves to have.
We have to be ready to accept that not everything will be exactly as we planned.
We have to be able to roll with it.
Bend and flex and adjust and relearn things in new ways.

There was always a gap with my Mother in Law.
I guess we can call it a gap.
Something just never meshed, never really fit.
I don’t know if it was because he was her only baby boy and no one would ever be good enough.
I don’t know if the one before me or the one he has now feels that way.
Maybe it was because I had a daughter already and she didn’t really care for that?
If that was the case you would never have known it back then because she adored her.
There was never a gap there.
They ushered her right in and let her join in on all the fun things they did.
Maybe it was because he lived at home and I was already out on my own, buying a house, paying my own car payment, doing big girl things that she hadn’t taught him to do yet.
Whatever the case, we didn’t mesh.

Over the years I tried to talk to her, she never seemed interested in what I had to say but I kept trying.
He would complain to me about her all the time and since I was already a mom, I knew how it felt to be one and I told him how much she loved him.
I forced him to go to her house for dinner.
Begged him to call her on her birthday or Mothers Day.
Reminded him when it was her birthday.
Nag, nag, nag.
I always asked if she would like to come over, did you ask your mom, is your mom coming?
Nag some more.
I spent so much energy trying to have a good relationship with her and trying to make sure they had a good relationship as well.
Never once did I stop and think to myself, you should really stop doing all of this because you’re not getting anything in return.
I never did.
That wasn’t me.
It still isn’t.

Fast forward to my first pregnancy.
Every week I would ask if his mom was coming over, did you tell her about the doctors appointment?
Does she want to go to the sonogram?
Does she know it’s a boy yet?
Why hasn’t she been by?
Is she mad?
Every week he reassured me that he had talked to her and that she told him if I needed anything to call.
He knew that wasn’t something I did.
Ever.
She was thinking of us and would see us soon.
He would hang up the phone and say “she hopes you’re feeling good“…
At 7 months when the baby shower planning started my Mom asked if it was OK to call her and see if she wanted to help plan.
Of course I was fine with that.
Why wouldn’t I be?
She seemed to be happy with everything and according to him if we needed anything all we had to do was call.
So go ahead and call Mom
Mom called.
Mom in law didn’t know I was pregnant.
Didn’t have a clue.
Couldn’t believe she hadn’t been told…

Now I don’t know if that can really somehow be my fault.
Because it was.
I don’t know if because I had a daughter already it was just assumed that this hussy would make her baby boy a Daddy before marriage.
I don’t know if she ever accepted the fact that he didn’t tell her because he didn’t like telling her anything and quite frankly would rather lie for months on end than share something like that with her.
To me it was ridiculous.
I told my parents as a teenager that I was pregnant.
They weren’t anymore thrilled than his parents would have been, but sometimes we have to suck it up and just do it.

Obviously that whole ordeal didn’t help close our gap in at all.

Our marriage and wedding and everything that it involved was the next big issue.
She felt we should get married because I was expecting.
We didn’t agree.
We didn’t want to get married just for that reason.
We ended up getting married when our boy was 10 months old.
At my bridal shower everyone wrote poems; I don’t remember the specifics of the game but it was a poem to me about marriage or something like that.
Hers read ( I will never forget it as long as I live)
Roses are red, violets are blue, S are you sure he is the one for you?”
I blew it off.
That was how she was with me, it might seem rude but she couldn’t really be like that with me…
Right?
After my shower a few of us were cleaning up and the poems became the topic of conversation.
Everyone agreed, she hated me.
She and her friend were the only family members from his huge family that even attended my shower.
At the wedding, during our first dance, she cut in.
I cannot make these things up
It really happened.
It happened in the middle of me answering questions about why she wasn’t speaking to anyone in my family.
Well, her husband just left her and she isn’t in a good place.
Neither is he.

I should be a professional excuse maker, peace keeper, something along those lines because we are only at our wedding and I still had 10 more years of practice ahead of me!
I was getting so good at it.
Excuse after excuse, justification after justification.

I spent years of inviting them all to things I planned, parties, holidays, barbeques; no one ever came.
I sent cards and pictures and thank you notes for everything any of us ever received.
I kept on reminding him of her birthday and telling him he needed to call for each holiday.
Forcing him to attend the family get togethers.
I was unknowingly putting a huge strain on my marriage in hopes of keeping the peace with his family.
I didn’t do those things for my own family.
I was always trying to show her that I was making an effort, that I was including her.
She planned a trip to Europe on the first birthday of one of the boys.
How did I handle it?
I changed the party of course.
Mind you she knew his birthday before planning the trip.
I was constantly accommodating her.
I wanted everyone to be happy.
Except apparently I forgot that my marriage needed to be happy too.
I had forgotten that I needed to be happy and that there were other people in our lives that never were given that same courtesy.
Those other people saw what I was doing for her though, those other people had their feelings hurt as well.

Now I am no longer with her son.
There is obviously no more reason for her to “tolerate” me.
Except maybe there are 3 reasons.
Or I would think there would be.
3 reasons that live with me.
3 reasons that I schedule visits for, make plans for and that I have more often than her son does.
3 reasons that whether we like it or not keep us still somewhat attached.

It has been over 2 years since we split up.
In that time she has shown how she really feels about me.
As if I didn’t already really know.
She doesn’t call and ask how we are.
She doesn’t ask if we need anything.
My answer would probably be that we didn’t need anything anyway but that isn’t the point.
By not showing a concern for me and what I need, you are directly showing me that you don’t care what the kids need.
You know, since they are with me all the time and everything.
She talks to the kids when they are with him.
Which isn’t that often and it’s never for one of them now.

Last Christmas I gave up some of my time so she could see them a little more while in town.
I tried to do what would be perceived as the “right thing” to do.
Why?
I still ask myself why I feel the need to do things like that.
Your son didn’t provide a dollar during the month of December, not one dollar.
Christmas for 3 children with no help wasn’t easy.
Would it have been hard to ask if we needed anything while you were in town?
Even if you choose to believe the story that he has told you, who knows what that is; don’t you think maybe calling the kids and asking how they are would be a good idea?
When the kids tell you they haven’t seen your son in over a month wouldn’t you find it appropriate to discuss that with him and then maybe call me to see if things were OK?
No, it’s much more important to fund his attorney; to help him get out of helping anymore than absolutely necessary.
Because it’s only your grandchildren that will suffer
Thank you for the boxes that come once every 3 months.
It’s thoughtful, however, the kids would probably prefer things that they need and should have been getting from your son.
I wonder why his instinct was to avoid a conversation with you when your grandson was expected.
Probably the same reason you choose to avoid having a conversation with the mother of your grandchildren.

I have been through a lot in my life.
A lot.
There are people that are back in my life now that you might think I was crazy for allowing in again.
I have always believed in second chances and forgiveness.
I never thought there would be a day where I could completely write someone off and not feel even a tiny bit of sadness or remorse over.

I will always be cordial and kind.
I will always talk respectfully about and to everyone that is a part of my children’s lives.
However, I will no longer allow myself to be walked over.
I no longer will bend over backwards to accommodate anyone that has shown zero concern for us over the past few years.
It doesn’t take much to send a text or make a short phone call, even a message on Facebook.
Instead I see posts to him and her about fun backyard ideas for the kids.
What kids?
Her kids?
Not your grandchildren because they aren’t there.

After everything that I put up with and disregarded because of respect or loyalty to “family” or whatever my stupid justification was at the time, I still continued to try and appease you.
You are now blocked.
Literally.
My time won’t be taken away for you.
My schedule will not be changed for you.
My family will not be inconvenienced to fit your schedule or your needs.
And I will not feel bad about it either.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
My world will no longer revolve around you

-S

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