I have married the absolute love of my life only to find myself at odds with his mother. It all started a couple years ago just as my husband and I started dating. His mom threw a pool party and I had my mom there. I was joking around with his mom and made a comment in jest, something like, “Oh, you know you love me.” Her deadpan reaction: “What are you talking about? I will NEVER love you.” I was horrified. And so was my mother who was sitting right next to her.
Things only escalated from there. At one point, every time I saw her, I would bawl my eyes out on the way home afterwards. She made it painfully clear she did not like me and that I was never going to be good enough for her son–or for her family. At one point we did have a come-to-Jesus. She blamed me for things like not going to a baby shower for a mutual friend after she knew I had a horrendous miscarriage and things like “keeping her son from seeing her,” even though he continued to tell her he was busy with work.
After we got married, things settled down for a little bit. As long as we made an effort to try for a weekly dinner with her, I just shut my feelings up and bawled my eyes out on the way home, after whatever nasty venom she hurled at me. I had even held my tongue when she previously asked me to borrow my bed so that her other son and two daughters could use it for Christmas. Then when she literally moved my bed, damaging it, put my mattress on a different bed, put my sheets on another bed, and ruined my mattress pad, her response was, “You begged me to store it. I just wanted to make one nice bed.” My husband had to tell her that it was she who wanted it and asked, no begging from me, to store it. It felt so surreal; I now know what revisionist history is. She ruined my very nice, very expensive bed, mattress, sheets, the whole works.
At one point she asked to use my car. I wouldn’t have minded except they were going to use it to move the boat and it was in a very precarious position, and my car was brand new. I told them I wasn’t comfortable with that. Her response: “Well, you’re just gonna have to decide if you’re a part of the family or not.” As if my decision to not loan my car meant I didn’t support my family. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I made the decision last year to cut off all contact with her. I felt good about my position. I finally felt free and like the dark cloud that had hung over me had finally gone away. Unfortunately, I’m now the Jezebel of the family. Recently, my husband’s family threw a huge pool party. I declined to go because I heard it would make my MIL uncomfortable and it was at her house, which I would have felt uncomfortable about myself. I was thinking about going to the party just to see my SIL who lives very far away, but, after hearing how my MIL felt, I didn’t. So I let it be, only to find that everyone commented on my absence. My husband even got texts afterwards from family asking about it. Apparently, he got quite a bit of advice about it.
I feel outcast from my SO’s family, that my MIL still has intolerable behavior, and that no one has changed except me. Am I still doing the right thing? I worry I’m ostracizing us from the family and I’m already ostracized from gatherings. I fear this is a big strain on our marriage and I feel like my husband isn’t in my corner. What do I do? Do I make amends with my MIL or be happy that I’m away from her?
I should also mention that because of the way my husband was probably treated growing up (as I’ve seen), he doesn’t have the right tools, I feel, to handle this. He wants his mom and his wife in his life — rightfully so — but I can’t help but feel that his not sticking up for our marriage and not choosing a side is just as bad as a nail in the coffin for us.
Thanks for listening to me rant. A fresh perspective is just what I need. — The Jezebel Housewife