~Our first year~
We are three days away from celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary. Your 1st anniversary is traditionally celebrated with a paper gift. We have lived through a crazy storm orchestrated by his mother, ex and daughters all year. So one of his gift is a roll of toilet paper that has Happy 1st Anniversary printed all over it! You know...to wipe away all the negative crap and focus on the good and love that is our future. lol! I got him another gift too, but couldn't help myself from buying the $15 toilet paper roll. Sometimes it just doesn't matter how much something costs, its just too perfect.
I'm married to my best friend and love of my life. He is a wonderful Christian man with a horrifically dysfunctional family especially my manipulator in law (his mother). I believe the only thing that saved him from being like his family is that he was raised by his Grandparents who were wonderful loving people. We got engaged after dating for a year. This is a second marriage for both of us. I was married previously for 21yrs and him for 15. I had been single for 5yrs when we met and him for 11yrs.
I knew of some of the manipulation and guilt put on him by his Mother but it came into full focus the night we got engaged and this past year. The co-dependent relationship his Mom and Ex have together is off the charts uncalled for. You see the ex lived with his family during their last years of high school having no family of her own. They married right out of high school and had a rocky relationship the whole 15yrs. The were separated more time than they were ever together. His Mother was an alcoholic narcissist who married his Step Dad when he was only 3. He was beaten by his Step Dad until he was big enough to stand up for himself and put it to an end. Fast forward to after his marriage and his Mother works with his ex wife, have for years and years. The whole time he was single his family invited his ex to everything. Some things I understand, they have kids together after all. But to every picking thing ever? He was never able to move forward in his life and everyone he ever dated was treated poorly and run off. After all who would want to put up with all of that the rest of their life? (Insert raised hand) I would, I love him so completely that I will not allow their drama and hate to hurt us. Biggest lesson learned this year is that he needs to stand his ground. Everyone deserves respect and should not allow anything less in their life. Even if family disrespects you, don't let that be ok and turn into the norm in your life.
The whole 1st year we were dating when we were around my MIL you could literally count down the seconds until she mentioned his ex to he and I. His adult daughters do the same. He obviously divorced her, but his Mother sure hadn't. The night we got engaged we rushed back to my families house to tell them the news & called his Mom on speaker phone. After he finished telling her our happy news the next words out of her mouth were "do you really love my son?" You could have heard a pin drop along with everyone's jaw at her rudeness. She contacted me shortly after and asked to meet for lunch "to get to know me better". We met but instead of getting to know one another I sat through almost three hours of why I shouldn't marry him and how his ex was the love of his life. Um...not according to him. Just saying...
At our wedding rehearsal she was adamant in front of everyone to switch sides with my Mother so she could see her son's face and not mine. That makes a new bride feel all kinds of special, lemme tell ya. My Mother refused bless her heart, loudly proclaiming this is the brides side and I'm not moving an inch. She did offer to pay for my dress and even though I didn't feel comfortable with it my hubby insisted. She did end up paying but drug her feet until I had to scramble days before for alterations. It was a mess and I'm sure intentional. Oh, and of course she added in it was only right because she had also paid for his 1st wife's dress. But of course I wasn't allowed to spend as much as she had given her. Don't you worry, I got the dress I wanted.
This past year of our marriage she's done whatever she could, whenever she could, to disrupt our happiness. The 1st holiday we decided to invite both families to our home was Christmas Eve and she and the whole family refused to come. They insisted that we go to his Sisters house and my family wasn't welcome. Let me add in the past we have gone to his Sisters and if so had only 20min tops to spend as he in law enforcement and was in full uniform just before having to log on each year. It makes for a very stressful rushed holiday. This past year he had to work also but if it was at our house he would have had two and a half hours to spend enjoying family before he had to get into his uniform and leave. They still wouldn't hear of it. We stood our ground and had it at our home with my family and his daughters. She followed that up two weeks later by throwing a fit because we went away for the weekend for our birthdays and didn't have a family dinner. Our birthdays are around Christmas and New Years. After the Christmas Eve fiasco there was no way we were agreeing to dinner.
My MIL also has done everything possible to come between he and I and his adult daughters. That's another long story but she should respect his parenting and not undermine him at every chance she gets. Most recently she sent him a slanderous, evil email against him and targeting me and trying to destroy our marriage. All of what she said was not true, out of context, manipulative and guilt poured out on him all for her to have a better relationship with his daughters and ex. That's the moment I realized how truly hateful and co-dependent she is. I know now she will never change, we can never trust her or expect anything but the bile and evil that spins in her head and heart.
I've come to the conclusion that non of her or his families non-sense matter. The only thing that does matter is our love for each other. They aren't in our daily lives and we can pull off being cordial no problem. We've set our boundaries and will plan a wonderful future and happy peaceful holidays. Some they might be invited to but it's up to them if they walk through the door or not. We limit the time we have to be around her and thankfully so. No one needs that toxicity in their life.