Help, please

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2010
Help, please
Fri, 09-30-2011 - 9:18am


I need help. I'm sure that's nothing new to this board, most people post here for that purpose.

Let me try to make the background story short: my MIL and I actually got along pretty well while my husband and I were dating. She's friendly enough, and nice. Kind of a generic mother in law, really, it's pretty bizarre how textbook it seems to me. She wears dated clothes, always has on makeup, truly enjoys cleaning her house, wants to make sure I keep up her sweet baby boy, wants to go out and get her nails done, very active in her Lutheran Church, keeps a crucifix on the wall, paints little wooden country things. (Think like those cows and chicks and cookie jar lid type stuff). See? Nice lady. Cute.

I used to be a Christian, I'm not anymore. I don't mind if others are. I saw a sign once that explained it well for me: "Religion is like male genitalia. It's fine to have one (or not to have one). It's fine to be proud of it. It is not okay to whip it out in public and start browbeating others to accept it. And don't you dare shove it down my children's throats!" Anyway, my preference to not talk about biblical doctrine or pray before meals in public put a small bump between us, but surprisingly, nothing unovercomable.

While DH and I were dating, I got pregnant. We were already planning a wedding and an engagement, both just got moved up. We did want the baby, we even considered getting pregnant before marriage because of work considerations (we were both in the navy and at the same command). This did not cause much family stress.

DH's brother & wife have been trying to get pregnant going on 7 years now. Our surprise pregnancy kind of smarted a bit for them, which I totally understand. They never outwardly expressed anything specific about it, like direct animosity, but their reaction was "I can't believe you beat us". Understandable.

DH's brother is also a Lutheran Pastor, and a very very close minded one. He's been formally asked to leave two churches because he's so doctrinally extreme. He's hateful towards people who disagree with his opinions. He uses racial slurs in the presence of family, which everyone's always laughed off but I put my foot down about. I didn't want him using those around me, and he got upset about being ordained by God and knowing better than me what was appropriate, and I don't have a sense of humor, whatever. We took a small turn for bad here.

Then he wanted me to baptize my baby. I was still a Xian, but I was not a baptize-babies believer. So we fought doctrinally about that. DH had asked him to perform our wedding because he knew his brother would be hurt if not asked. So long story short, that was a nightmare. I wasn't raised Lutheran, and didn't realize exactly how precise he'd want the wedding to be. He even dictated that the groomsmen wear certain types of clothes because he didn't find our original choice suitable. I thought it was overboard, but he'd complain to his mom and swear he was taking the "Sound, Lutheran approach" and she'd side with him in order to be a good Lutheran (her older son can be such a bully!). So the wedding went terribly. In the sermon, he said that I was possessable, and that if DH ever found me annoying "Just stand up and renounce satan, and everything will be fine!" DH has been an athiest since he was 13 and never could bring himself to tell his family, but he did smirk at this during the service. Those brothers haven't really been on speaking terms since then.

Then after we're married, I stop believing. Then we find out the kicker: my FIL has two daughters by a previous marraige that my MIL and FIL kept from their sons. I ask their names for baby-naming considerations. Then those daughters find me. See how that looks like I probably got their names to find them? That coincidence really kicked me in the butt. They got very angry with me (though I think they realize now I couldn't have found them, one of them spells her name differently now and they've both married, so they don't have their maiden names anymore.) My FIL called and yelled at me, told me never to call him Dad again, my MIL lost in the background. Huge 180. She had said "oh it's such a shame (FIL) doesn't talk to those girls, I really try to get him to come around..." when I asked about them, now she was screaming in the background "TELL HER THEY LIE! BECAUSE THEIR MOTHER!" and just swearing that I was lying to them. I calmly explained I knew what it looked like, but they were wrong. I presented them with the facts, no use.

DH didn't talk to his parents for two months, when our DD was born.

We've resolved to have relationships with my DD's half-aunts, whom I love to pieces. We also are trying our best to repair things with my MIL and FIL, though we

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Fri, 09-30-2011 - 5:22pm

I remember you!