Written on August 9th, 2012
I am probably a lot older than most of you. In fact, I am a mother-in-law myself, but I think a good one. I have an adorable son-in-law that I love dearly. Of course, I have not been so blessed. My mother-in-law is only 14 years older than me. My husband is 8 and a half years younger than myself. This is my second marriage and I already had 2 wonderful children - a boy and a girl. Both were teenagers when my 2nd husband and I married. He and I now have a daughter together. We have been married for 20 years. In those 20 years, my mother-in-law has had her ups and downs. I have never been invited to join her and my sister-in-law when they go shopping - yadda, yadda. Here's my problem. 5 years ago, my daughter-in-law passed away from ovarian cancer. It was pretty much expected, nonetheless, it was devastating, heart breaking. It was just 1 week before Christmas and my son and his wife lived over a thousand miles away. My daughter-in-law chose cremation, therefore, there was no service at that time. My son and his mother-in-law later scattered C's ashes together in a special spot and a small military ceremony took place because C had spent 4 years in the A.F. My son came home immediately and spent the Holidays with my husband and me. Of course, my husband had to work, so I spent all those long, agonizing, tearful days with my son. He was absolutely torn up, as I was, not only for the loss of C, but seeing what he, my son, was going thru. To this day I still break up just talking about it. But, okay, now on with my MIL horror story. My MIL did call as soon as she got word that C has passed away. She was very kind and sympathetic in her 3 minute conversation. Now comes Christmas, where we are expected to be and I am expected to bring at least half of the food. SIL brings basically, herself and her husband and maybe some storebought rolls or meat because "She doesn't cook!" Even though I had my hands full in dealing with my son in all his despair, and me in my own grief, I was still on the line to bring half the meal. Okay, I did that. At her house on Christmas, she was very kind and consoling towards my son, and even to me. She did tell me to call her if I needed anything. Well, that was the 25th of Dec. My son left and went back home on the 6th of Jan. Never a phone call from MIL. Then comes Feb., Mar., April. In the meantime, she calls her son, my husband at least a couple of times a week to see how my son is doing. My husband kept telling her to call me because I am the one that speaks to him every day and I know better how he's doing. Do you think she ever picked up the phone even one time to call me?? HA!!! It's now a week, maybe 2 , away from Easter. Dear MIL calls my husband, not me, to issue her usual invitation and to tell my husband what I am to prepare as far as food to bring! My husband told her at that point, flat out, that I had no intention on coming because she should be calling me, not him. Well, she totally flipped out. A couple of days later, she finally, after nearly 4 months, calls me. She already had a chip on her shoulder when she called tell me that she was having Easter at her house and that I was invited too. She was angry, cold and rude. I don't even remember what I said, but I was sure not to be as ugly as she was, but one thing led to another and before I knew it we were in a battle. Her more so than me. She was PISSED. I ended up hanging up on her, not only because she started dissing my family, but because I knew we were not going to get anywhere except madder. That is the last time I have ever spoken to her. My husband and all of the kids still go and celebrate Christmas with the MIL and FIL, just on a different day while I sit at home and while she complains that she wishes things were different. They could have been because my husband tried at arrange a "sit down and talk it out meeting" on 2 separate occasions with them, but they never stepped up. I rather feel it was their place to go the next step since my husband made the first proposal. Anyway, it's like I told my husband all those years ago when we would fight about this- (He thinks I should've just kept my mouth shut) that this would end up being the death of our marriage. And I guess I was right because we, just tonight, have decided to go our separate ways. I can't handle his ill-support, her nastiness in what she says to him about me and always being the one who is left out because I have to sit home whenever MIL, FIL, SIL and BIL have a birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Christmas and whatever else they decide to celebrate. And I'm supposed to just suck it up and not feel hurt or angry. Well, I just can't deal with it, or her, any more. I just don't understand how a mother, who professes to love her son, can hurt him and destroy his marriage without feeling any guilt. I just know I could never behave this way, with such animosity or hatred at the expense of my son or daughters happiness. I really am curious as to what others think. If any of you have any advice or words of wisdom, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you. I keep saying I'm going to a therapist so I can get this off of my chest once and for all. Just haven't done it yet!