Seven Months

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2011
Seven Months
6
Thu, 04-21-2011 - 1:48pm

I'll try not to go on and on, but this is some kind of sordid tale, so bear with me.

I married my husband in 2007. I had been a single mom (never married) for 13 years (was 36) and he was single, four years my junior. I shoulda known something was up during the planning period when the MIL threatened to pull her portion of funding (that she offered, btw, I never asked) if I didn't allow her daughter, who I'd met exactly twice, to be a brides maid. I also should have known when she pulled me aside and said she always knew her son would marry a woman with kids. But I didn't know, and I'm a generally happy person and tried to keep her happy as well. It wasn't until I caught onto her game less than a year into the marriage that things really blew up. She called my husband one day and droned on and on for almost an hour, after which he sank into a mighty depression. I didn't have to know what she said, I just knew that she had worked some sort of family dynamic and crushed his spirit. So when she called the next day, I answered and she asked how my SO was and I told her he was pretty depressed over whatever she had said to him on the phone.

Next thing I know she sends her daughter to deliver a letter saying she didn't really mean to call me white trash, and her husband (my FIL) didn't really mean it when he called me a welfare mom (which is really stupid, considering welfare never came into the equation for me). I was blown away that they would talk about anybody that way, let alone a family member. The MIL is a social worker, for chrissakes!

Fine, I got over that...eventually. But two years later, in her regular cycle of insanity (read: same time of year) she and my FIL decided to wait until I had taken my daughter and her friend on a vacation I had been planning for her since she was two (a women's history tour of New England) to approach my husband "intervention-style" and tell him he should divorce me and they would pay for it. This was three days into a 10-day trip. I ignored it for most of the trip while I tried to communicate with my husband via telephone to assuage his feelings. He was furious, rightly so. Towards the end of the trip she finally got into my head and I didn't sleep for the last two days. I will hate both MIL & FIL forever for ruining my long-planned vacation with my daughter and for their sick and deceitful actions against me while I was away.

It took another six weeks after I got back to convince my husband that the arrangement we had with his grandfather (we were living with him and taking care of him) was not going to work because they would always have an in as they held his power of attorney. And they did. We politely requested time to process what happened; they went from showing up once a week to showing up almost every day. They were physically and mentally harassing me while hubby was at work. We finally left eight months ago. MIL, as was typical, blew up his phone for the first month until I blocked both their cell lines and their home phone (I freakin' LOVE T-Mobile for having this option!). They finally got the message then and stopped harrassing us. It has been seven blessed months of my hubby growing stronger and me reclaiming my mental health, but it is all about to come to an end.Here's why.

Just before we got married, Hubby's grandfather took us both to the Kia lot and bought us brand new cars as a wedding gift. The cars are in grandfather's name until he pays them off. This is really what's burning up MIL inside, as she thinks SHE should be the sole arbiter of doling out family resources, and she would never have allowed it if she had known. I didn't even know she didn't know, but I am the target nonetheless. We are about to move to another city in about five weeks in order to put another layerof protection between us and them, and because there are jobs in the city we're moving to. I lost my job last year (which is another thing that burns MIL up) and haven't found work locally, even though I send out about 10 resumes a week. Anyway, I'm fine with just moving, no contact with them required. Hubby thinks if we move without telling them they will yank the cars. They threatened to do this last year; they were planning to call the cops and tell them we stole the cars that grandfather gave to us.

So I've unblocked FIL's number and the house number (will never, ever unblock the MIL number; she can suck it forever). Hubby and FIL have arranged a coffee date tomorrow wherein hubby will tell him we are moving. I am suddenly full of anxiety. I don't care if they take the cars, and I've worked hard to squeeze our budget to afford another car, which we now have just in case. It isn't the best car, but we can build upon if they decide to go nuclear, yank the cars, and burn the bridge forever. I just worry about hubby, because he is just beginning to figure out what a trip they have played on his head for his entire life, and I don't want him to get sucked back into their madness. We've been going through some coaching excersices all this week wherein we recall all the ways in which they've tried to exploit situations and manipulate people, and go over all the ways they have failed him as parents (the list is practically endless).

I just needed a place to tell the story and express my anxiety, so I thank you so much if you've read this far.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2007
Thu, 04-21-2011 - 4:37pm

If I were you, I'd do everything in my power to find a way to buy yourselves your own cars.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2011
Thu, 04-21-2011 - 6:33pm

Notreally,

Thanks for the comment and the advice. Believe me, I wanted to give the cars back 8 months ago. I knew what power they gave them over us and I didn't want any part of it. If they had been the ones giving us the cars, there is no question they would be returned. But if we were to return them to Grandpa, he would have no use for them (he's too old to even drive), and he would be in a situation where he was paying for cars that were parked indefinitely, or if he returned them, his credit would take a hit. We have been over this with him (grandfather) a hundred times, and it just works out best for him if we keep them for now. He seems to think he can protect us as long as he's alive, but he is 86, so until he puts them in our names. it will always leave that part up in the air. That's another reason I wanted to give them back, but I don't want to hurt him. He's never been a problem for us, and he refuses to be swayed by his daughter's constant toungue-wagging.

Anyway, I will definitely keep you posted on how it goes.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008
Fri, 04-22-2011 - 12:27pm

Hi Seven Months,

Welcome to the board and basically, I'm sad/sorry to hear what these people have put you both through.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2011
Fri, 04-22-2011 - 5:32pm

Thanks so much to those who've responded. I have been checking and checking and it's really helping to know that so much of what we've figured out on our own is the right course of action to take. The meeting will take place here in about 45 minutes, so I am a bundle of nerves and will be until we get to see each other again after the meeting. Luckily I've been distracted all afternoon helping my daughter get ready for her junior prom.

Last night DH told me what he wanted to say to his Dad, and I was thrilled at what he came up. When this all started in 2008 he walked around in a daze for two weeks saying over and over, Now I know you will fight for us." Like it was a marvelous thing, which I guess in hindsight it was. I have not felt like his handling of it since it re-errupted last year has been expressing how he will fight for us, even though I could tell he would chose me by the passive things, like leaving his grandfather's house. But last night DH told me he wanted to tell his dad that his parents didn't get to tell him how to feel, that he would tell them how he felt and they could accept it or not. He also plans to tell him that he loves his wife and his daughter (technically step, but we are solid like that) very much and what they have done to us is a case in point of how they can't have any control over what he feels. I now feel like he will fight for us, and that he is stronger than their attempts at manipulation.

I'll stop by later tonight and let you know how it all went. Fingers crossed until then!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2011
Sun, 04-24-2011 - 12:53pm

Report: DH met with his Dad (FIL) Friday night. It was surprisingly short. FIL was angry and defensive, but he checked his anger. Tried to pull guilt trips, claiming he (we, probably) hurt him and MIL, as if butting into a perfectly happy marriage and offering to pay for a divorce isn't hurtful at all. DH stood his ground on loving me and the kid, and on them not being able to dictate to him how he should feel. DG came away with the validation that he has been right, and they will never change. FIL did request that DH call MIL on Sunday, which DH did.

MIL's cell phone is still blockedm and as I said, it will remain so. Our distrust of her remains high, and she will have to earn back the privilege, if she even can. DH seems to think from the conversation that this has gotten to her and that she is broken, but I'm not convinced that it isn't an attempt at manipulation via false victimhood. He grants that it could be and only time will tell, and certainly wouldn't put it past her. If she is truly broken, it will be the first time in her life and good for her, as it is awfully late in life for her to be learning that she can't always get what she wants by bullying and/or emotional/financial manipulation.

I'm just glad it's over. There were no plans made for contact in the future, and we're inclined to let it alone and proceed with our move. We'll handle whatever comes next as it comes up. We're prepared for whatever happens. Thanks for the support. It's great to have a place to talk about this with people who understand.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008
Mon, 05-02-2011 - 12:26pm

Hi Lovelaloa,