I am nothing if not honest. I tell all of you things I'd rather not admit, even to myself sometimes.
I have always been the sweet "girl next door" kind of girl. The one whose boyfriends mothers ADORED me.
Even after me and my boyfriend of the minute, whomever it was, (and there had been MANY), (shut up! don't judge! you have a past too!) had broken up, their mothers still called me, still asked after me, still sent me birthday cards. The mothers called me the "one who got away." And the fathers always liked me too. All of them.
I'm not telling you all of this because I wanted to toot my own horn. Even though I like to do that, I mean, who DOESN'T? But this is a family blog so I'll keep it clean.
(OK, that was funny. When am I ever "clean" on here?)
I look for the good in people all the time. I am polite and kind and NICE. I don't back stab people. I don't pass judgment. I am the girl who is friends with everyone. Anyways, I believe this is because I try to get along with everyone. I try to work things out with people when there's a misunderstanding. Or, if the misunderstanding is with someone who I have a strained relationship with, I have learned to hold my tongue when things bother me for months or years at a time.
Yes, it makes me crazy inside. Yes, it makes those around me crazy as well. I would rather say "nothing" when Mr. Man asks what's wrong with me then to talk it all out and try to "fix" it. Which makes him postal. Seriously. And when he feels postal, I feel like smothering him. With a pillow. During the night.
The reason for the long drawn out story of me and my ex boyfriends is because of what I needed to blog about tonight.
I heard stories of mother in laws and problems my friends have run in to with their mother in laws when they got married. I've read horror stories over and over of the mother in laws trying to sabotage the daughter in laws life or marriage. For hells sake! There's even a movie about it! Which btw is HILARIOUS and if you've never seen it, you need to watch it.
Go on. I'll wait.
Hearing all those stories, I knew that would never be me. Never! I get along with everyone. I try my damnedest to keep the peace in my family and friendships. ALWAYS. I could never understand why they couldn't just get along! Seriously, how hard could it be?!?! Me and my mother in law would have a fabulous relationship. She would become my second mother. We would be very close and go shopping and get our hair done together. All while sipping a yummy flavored coffee. Like in the commercials.
Those were my visions of the future.
So I guess it is only appropriate that since I have had such great, wonderful relationships with people and with other boyfriends parents, that when I would find the man I believe to be my soul mate, the man I wanted to spend my life with and make babies with and wake up Saturday mornings to, that his mother would dislike me. Immensely!
We didn't agree on anything. Our relationship started out rocky and then got worse. We had a few big blow outs where there would be no talking on either end. I quickly learned how to get along with her. How to please her. I learned how to keep my mouth shut. I learned how to just get along for the sake of getting along. Even when that meant biting my tongue when my feelings were bruised.
And it worked. For awhile. We had moved across the street from them to be closer so they could spend more time with their grandson. Which we've all loved. When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October, I felt like she finally let me get close to her like she never had before. We finally had the relationship I'd always thought I would have with my mother in law. Long talks on the phone, being there for her and vice versa. No snarky comments, no innuendos, no pot shots between us about my parenting, housekeeping, or budgeting skills like on Everybody Loves Raymond.
Life is too short to fight and hold grudges. Especially when someone is dying of cancer. And lets face it, life isn't as funny as a sitcom. If it were, at the end of every half hour, life would be perfect once again. And I'd have the body of Patricia Heaton.
Last weekend I got my feelings hurt. I had a very private conversation with Mr. Man which was supposed to be kept just between the 2 of us. A conversation that took him poking at me for 20 minutes repeatedly asking "what's wrong? what happened" over and over and over until I finally gave in because I started crying. Feelings that I'd been holding in for the last 6 months that bubbled over. Let me stress that again, it was in a PRIVATE conversation with him, with no one else around. I told him what was bothering me, with strict instructions not to repeat to anyone because saying how I feel only makes things worse. It only causes problems. Hurting someone elses feelings because my feelings are hurt don't wipe the slate clean. I don't believe my MIL is actively trying to seek out to hurt me. I don't believe she is being malicious towards me. But nonetheless, I am not a robot. I have feelings and emotions and no matter how hard I have tried to not let things show that they bother me, they do.
A better way of putting it is that she might not realize the things she says or does would make me feel left out. Only addressing my sister in law when both of us are standing there together, and it's only the 3 of us in the room, obviously makes me feel left out. Offering something to only one of us when both of us are right there makes me feel left out. When you only speak to one person when there's another person in the room, obviously makes the excluded person feel they aren't wanted.
According to Mr Man, my MIL thinks that it's "all in my head" and that I "imagine" the exclusion that I definitely feel. So I try to put myself out there. I try to insert myself into conversations and events to make sure that I am not imaging the way I'm being left out. But what happens is that when I try to include myself, I get a very cool reception from her. They could be laughing and joking and carrying on and when I try to include myself, I get a definite cool reception. She could be having this long conversation and when I say something, I get a "yes" or "no" or a shrug from her. That's it.
If it had only happened once or twice, I could live with that. But it seems to happen every time we're all together. Which is why my feelings are hurt. But I don't say a word because it's just not worth it. And I don't want to fight. In my heart I don't think she realizes what she's doing. I think because my brother and sister in law live out of town, and they don't see them as much as they see us, that maybe she's just trying to focus on them and what's been going on in their lives which is why she focuses on them more.
So when Mr Man takes it upon himself to "fix" the situation, even though I've asked him NOT to, and tells his brother his "version" of what I actually said, then his brother tells his "version" of what he said to my mother in law, it's completely different then what I had actually said to Mr Man.
So now she's not speaking to me. She called Mr Man and told him she didn't appreciate us back stabbing her to my brother and sister in law. She wants nothing more to do with me and my family. What my family has to do with anything, especially after all they've tried to do for her since she found out about the cancer, is beyond me. Mr Man is to keep me "away from her" from now on.
All because he opened his mouth and tried to "fix" the situation. And what's sad is this has happened before. And every time, she won't speak to me for months. Last time she didn't speak to me for over a year.
Now is not the time for us to be fighting. Not with how sick she is and will become very soon. Which is why I've kept my mouth shut when I've been hurt.
We live right across the street from her and my father in law but now, we might as well be a million miles away! I haven't called her because according to Mr Man she is really, really, REALLY mad at me and doesn't want to speak to me again. So what do I do?
What would you do in this situation? Let the dust settle then try to clear the air? Should I write her a letter explaining what happened and why I was upset? I'm not interested in pointing fingers or placing blame. Just need to clear the air and stop the fighting. But without her speaking to me, I don't know what else to do.
Anyone have any advice? This is when I really, really, really need my readers to tell me what you would do in this situation, based on what I've told you. I didn't go into details because it's not really what's important. I feel how I feel, and she feels how she feels. We need to meet in the middle somehow. But how?