Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Aftermath

I was going to vent. I have had all these posts partially written about different degrees of emotions and feelings and thoughts about the on-going situation with my in-laws. I was going to tell the whole world about it.

Then I talked to my husband. After having a few days to digest some advice from my husband's favorite aunts, as well as a cousin, my feelings about the situation have changed. Considerably.

Do I still believe that his family is in the wrong? Absolutely. Would I love to sit down with them and explain and talk things out? Absolutely.  Am I willing to admit that I screwed up and in a round about way agreed with someone else's thoughts and opinions to get them to shut up? You bet.

I'm sad that they think that they are hurting us, or whatever it is that they think that they are doing, when in fact, we have found our peace with the situation. Instead of being mad, or upset, or any of the other emotions that you would expect. We have relief.

Relief that we no longer have to walk on eggshells and leave out details of our lives in order to keep the peace and to please other people. Relief that we are no longer "the evil ones". While they still see us as evil, we just see us as trying to hard to please them. I'm really proud that my husband has learned that, even though they are family, that he doesn't have to take their abuse any longer. That he has an opinion and that he is free to express that, whether it's what any of them want to hear or not.

After talking with other married family members, we realize that our marriage is "normal". That married people do spend time together, and the only ones who have ever had a problem with my presence are John's brother, sister, and parents. Everyone else loves me or at least has enough respect for Brad to be decent to me. They respect me for who I am. Because I've never had to put on an act with them. I've never had to be anyone else, but me. I tried that with John's family when we were engaged and newlyweds, and it didn't work.

I wanted to be able to have a decent relationship with my in-laws. I wanted to be included, and I did everything that I could to please them. Forgetting about myself. I still feel like there is no turning back from the words that were exchanged and the actions that have ensued since then. Not so much on our part, but on theirs. I think that no matter what they do, our relationship will never be the same.

I'm sad that John ended up being put into a position where he had to choose the family he was born with over the one he has made for himself. I'm sad that parents play favorites and instead of alienating John like they are, that his parents aren't trying to reach out to him. I'm sad that they only want to hear one side of the story and not both. I'm sad that they think that he is just lost without them and doesn't realize that he is a perfectly capable adult. I'm sad that when there is a situation or circumstance that they don't want to deal with that they still manage to let Brad and I deal with it. Even when I'm "not family". I'm sad that they don't realize that the lives that they are hurting are their own.

I'm thankful that I've forgiven them. And no, I'm not lying. This was just the nail in the coffin for them, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not hurt or angry anymore. Just disappointed that this is the path that they have chosen.

I'm thankful that John and I have found peace. I'm thankful that we both know that there are going to be moments of doubt and moments of sadness at how this is all going to play out. John and I feel that by giving them their space that the ball is in their court. We are willing to talk and work things out. But no matter what happens, the relationships between John, his brother, his sister and his parents will never be the same. They showed their true colors. We are responding with ours.

I have one request - please pray for them. Pray for his parents, for his brother and his family, and for his sister and her family. Pray that they find peace. Pray that whatever hate and anger that they are harboring towards us, that they can let go of.

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