Want to hear something totally bizarre and unbelieveable????
Today, in a hot pink envelope, Erick and I received a letter from my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. It was a typed letter. Addressed "Dear Family and Friends". Telling us that she (K) and M (Erick's brother) are getting divorced. It goes on and on about what a difficult decision it has been and how they have been struggling to make their marriage work for years, are saddened that they can't be what the other person needs, but are letting one another go, and stopping holding each other back. A paragraph about how love is still being friends after the divorce, and that they hope and expect to be friends forever. Signed "Love, M and K". Well, not signed, typed.
First of all, who the heck sends a form letter announcing to their brother, and (we found out when Erick called them) his sister and MOTHER, announcing their divorce? Other brother is a long-haul trucker, so of course he didn't get his letter yet.
Now, you need to know that they got married a couple years after we did, so they would be coming up on their 18 year anniversary in July. M always wanted kids, and it became clear after they married that she really did not, despite the fact that she told him she did before they got married, and she kept setting artificial deadlines, like "we want to be married for 3 or 4 years, first" and then "we are thinking that 2000 is when we will start trying". To no more talk about it at all. They have (together with my father-in-law, whom, by Erick's choice, I have not seen since M and K 's wedding) purchased three houses. FIL lives in a garage apartment on one of the properties and they rent the house. Their first house also has renters in it. They tried to sell it a few years back, but it needs a bunch of work to be up code so someone could get a loan on it. Their newest property (where they both, we thought, were living) is, from what I have heard, a couple steps from being featured on Hoarders. Erick's dad was emotionally/verbally abusive and neglectful, and my MIL finally divorced him shortly after Erick and I got married, but before M and K got married. MIL did not attend the wedding. FIL is not stable, and M and K took on the burden of keeping an eye on him, along with talking him into helping them purchase all three houses. Their financial affairs are deeply entangled, and who knows what kind of shape they are in. I know that they were deep, deep in credit card debt at one point. Not sure if they ever dug out.
Erick's dad is not stable, and I would not have been able to cope with being the one to deal with him, so Erick and the other kids do not begrudge the financial benefits they may have gained from being his keeper - they more than earned it in our eyes.
Thing is? Erick's sister has seen K out at a restaurant with another man - like a couple years ago - and K was clearly trying to pretend that she didn't see her. And K cheated on M before they were married. It is pretty clear that did not necessarily stop. Erick and I are theorizing that she has met someone she wants to hang on to, this time, and this precipitated their split.
Sadly, the family was (jokingly) taking bets on how long their marriage would last from the beginning, and when they made it past 15, we just figured that there was something deep and abiding that we just couldn't see, and if so, good for them. However, M was forever saying insulting things about her to the family - making fun of her (shallow, hypocritical and all-for-show) Bible-thumper stages, etc, and while K was never anything but polite and considerate to our faces, Erick's sister (who came out a couple years ago) told us she would always talk behind our backs. Really, K was much more personable the last couple years - she used to do stuff like bring her checkbook to our house on Christmas and sit in a corner paying bills. Recently she was much more social, seemed to be making an effort to connect. After reading the divorce letter, I wonder if that wasn't the result of the counseling they were going through. Guess she was making an effort.
Erick is not sure how to go about talking to his brother. What do you say to your brother after you learn he is getting divorced via form letter? Erick called his sister, assuming that she must already know (she talks to M a lot more often than Erick does), and said "so, I got a letter today" And when she didn't seem to know what he was talking about, he told her to go check the mailbox. She just laughed, because it is so a K kind of thing to do, but my MIL was PISSED (they share an apartment, so they found out together while Erick was on the phone). Then MIL got on the phone with trucker brother, so they were having a four way conversation, with the boys on two different phones and MIL and SIL in the room together. I am guessing it was a little chaotic.
I guess I don't really have a point, here. I am just trying to process the whole thing. If you made it this far, and understood my rambling, what do you think? I understand this being very hard news to break to your family and friends, but a FORM LETTER, for your MOTHER and your SIBLINGS? WTH?
I am just gobsmacked!