Immediately, Clark’s sister came promptly to his defense and ripped on me like never before. I have since appologized to her and told her she was right to defend her brother; I would/have done so, too. In her ripping me apart, she stated how I am constantly doing this, which is untrue. This is the first time I have ever posted something negative about my husband. She never comments on any of the positive posts I have put on social media about how grateful/lucky I am to have the spouse that I do. This is the only thing she has chosen to comment on — the one negative post.
Side note: Clark’s family has made it more than clear during our whole relationship — 18 years — that they do not like me; I am not who/what they wanted for him, and they even went so far as to try to set him up with someone else after we had been together for about nine years. They have always invited me to gatherings and events and are civil, but they make it known that they are only just tolerating my being there. His mother has been to our place once in 18 years, and while constantly saying that they are “just toooo busy,” can set the same time/date for us to visit them. His sister, despite many invites, has never come.
In just over a month, Clark’s nephew — the son of said sister — is getting married. We were invited before all this happened. I know that if I go, it will make things awkward and tense and that I will be asked something along the lines of, “How dare you show your face after what you did?” If I don’t go, I know it will be something along the lines of, “Well, now she’s just being petty and childish, just like we knew she has always been.” Not sure what to do. — Damned if I Go, Damned if I Don’t
Clearly, there’s a history of drama and over-reacting here, and while it’s impossible for me to tell from your letter where and how it originated, I can at least offer a suggestion for how to end it: stop giving a fuck. It’s been 18 years; if you were going to be close with your in-laws, it would have happened by now. At best, you merely tolerate each other. It seems like this has been ok though, right? You don’t mention your husband and how he feels about this at all, so presumably, this hasn’t been a huge deal in your marriage. You both go to family gatherings that you’re invited to, and you make do without visits from your in-laws.
It seems the biggest problem is that you feel you are just tolerated at said gatherings. But if you stopped giving a fuck what your in-laws think of you, you’d be free of even that burden. You could choose to not go to family gatherings — including your husband’s nephew’s wedding — or you could go and shrug off whatever weird vibes you get from the in-laws. It’s really up to you, and it seems like the only reason to go to the wedding is if your husband would really like you to go and if, for some reason, you actually want to go (maybe there’s a sweet open bar? A big dance floor and a great DJ? Some amazing chicken cordon bleu to look forward to?).
So, talk to your husband and find out what he thinks. If he wants you to go to the wedding, go. If his sister actually says “How dare you show your face after what you did?” SHE is the one who is going to look like such an asshole at her son’s wedding, not you. All you have to say is, “I was invited and wanted to celebrate this union and show my support.” If your husband genuinely doesn’t care if you go to the wedding and you dread going, skip it. If your in-laws bad-mouth you in your absence, remember my advice and: don’t give them any fucks.
I’d also suggest limiting their access to you on social media, and don’t ever vent about your husband on Facebook again. It’s a super-juvenile, passive move. If you want your husband to do more housework, ask him to. If he continues to slack on that front, consider outsourcing some housework to a regular cleaner if that’s in the budget. House cleaners are cheaper than divorce and so much more efficient that passive vents on social media.
If you living in another state and raising other kids who aren’t your own – one of whom is the same age as your daughter – isn’t traumatic enough for her, then your skipping her high school graduation so you can attend your step-daughter’s instead would be a nail in the coffin. Barring a medical or weather emergency, there simply would be no excuse to miss the big milestone in your daughter’s life. Your step-daughter will get over your choosing to attend your own daughter’s graduation over hers. I’m not so sure the same can be said in reverse. If this is something your wife would divorce you over, I imagine your marriage was already on life support and one or both of you will probably be relieved to have an excuse to pull the plug.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.