Friday, February 22, 2008

2 months later

Today's the 22nd, which means it's two months since we stopped talking to my husband's parents. For pretty good reasons.

My husband hasn't spoken to his parents in 2 months.

We're both the oldest child in our respective families, and we're both fairly independent. I might go a couple of weeks without calling my family, and he has too, but I think this is record for him, too.

So since that time we've had Christmas pass with no acknowledgment. My mother in law turned 63 with no acknowledgment. Our daughter received a Valentine's Day card from her grandparents, simply signed love Grandma and Grandpa. We did not acknowledge it.

My MIL's typical MO when she pulls her little snits is to freeze out the offenders (in this case, us) while raging to everyone else in the family. At a certain unknowable point, she makes a small gesture and everything is swept under the rug and forgiven, never spoken of again.

So, the Valentine's Day card was probably the gesture.

We had been planning to go away next weekend with my husband's brother and family, a simple winter get away. My husband called his brother a couple of days ago and hasn't gotten a return call. It's entirely possible that the brother, who is a bit of a hotheaded idiot himself, is pissed that we didn't have the courtesy to respond to MIL's card and we're now the bad people for prolonging this. It's also possible he's just busy, but this family never lacks for drama, so I'm guessing it's the former.

It's possible to sit and endlessly speculate about the motivations and next steps of this group of crazy people. It's also pointless to do so, since by definition they're crazy and unpredictable.

And yet I fret and worry and speculate and wonder. Our counselors both have advised that no contact, while an extreme reaction they rarely advocate, is probably the best course for right now. But is my husband really ok, as he says he is, with no contact? Does he worry or speculate (he says he doesn't)? What happens if his father or another family member has a health issue?

When things aren't great between us (on a relative scale - obviously they're not great on a macro scale right now, but there are good days and bad days), I think, ok, not only do I have him and his ability to hurt me and his unfaithfulness to deal with the rest of my life, I also have HER, and his entire family and their meanness and hurtfulness. None of it is really really terrible. I mean so what she wore a white dress to our wedding 8 years ago. I am over it, I really am (it's jut such a perfect example, encapsulating the me me me). Only one time during the wedding planning (which led to 4 months of silence) has she yelled at me.

She once left a message on brother in law's answering machine calling his wife a bitch. Oh, right, when I was writing about her I couldn't remember what it was that set her off - her 29 year old daughter, who lives at home, had her tonsils out. And my brother in law and sister in law both work demanding jobs and commute long distances, and they didn't call the day of the surgery to ask how the sister was doing, though they'd planned to come over the next day (a Saturday) to see her. No phone call that exact day led to 3 months of silence, including not coming to their baby shower.

Seriously, I bet that our failure to acknowledge her drugstore card has got her raging in a fit about how terrible WE are. Never mind how badly she behaved 2 months ago. Never mind the things she said about my family coming for Christmas (how selfish of them! to come be with their hurting daughter! after my father had heart surgery!). Garr!!!!!

I really do not know how this will resolve. I know there's a certain amount of sucking up I'll have to do for my daughter and husband's sake. How much, though? How much is reasonable to put up with? I already never talked to them directly (if they called on the phone). It was already our normal practice to have my husband deal with them without me.

Easter's right around the corner. We typically go there for Easter, though last year my family was here so we did not. (how dare we!) I'm guessing that will be a key test of what's going to happen next in this twisted relationship with them. My husband says there's no picking things back up without an apology and acknowledgment of bad behavior and a pledge to not happen again.

I'm anxious about it.


Antigone said...

My mother isn't that bad but I've been amazed by her immaturity and selfcenteredness. I limit my interaction with her as best I can.

You could alway send a drugstore thank you card back to her with just a signature.

Tash said...

I'm over it. We got the passive-aggressive valentine's BS for Bella and you know what? I'm over it. Life moves on. Thankfully we have other relatives and friends, and we'll make do. Is it sad? yes. But like you said, it says a lot more about them than it does you. My MIL, who reportedly pulls out the "You don't know what it's like to have a grandchild die" card when called on the carpet for her boorish behavior? Didn't call during the entire, fucking, week. I'm done. A few less people to worry about negotiating into holidays. If they want to worry about it? Let them. I'm sorry it's happening there, too. I really don't understand people sometimes, I really don't.

niobe said...

I'm amazed at how different people's families are. There are many times that I haven't talked to my parents for more than two months (not 'cause I'm angry at them, but because I just don't feel like it). I doubt they've ever noticed.

CLC said...

Ugh, I am embarassed by their behavior for them. I am so sorry you have to deal with people like that.

Tash said...

Ditch the inlaws, do a mindless meme. See the blog!

meg said...

I would put up with as little as possible, from them. You husband is right about the apology. I'm afraid he may not get it (they seem really difficult). But I am glad he is standing up for his family. That would be hard for him to do. He deserves some props for that one.