- Gender and Relationships
Til Death do Us Part
I got married at a relatively young age. I remember being one of the first of my friends to get married and still five years later, many of my friends aren't even in a serious relationship much less married. I'm sitting over here with a marriage and two kids while others are still pursuing a lot of their passions, but that is fine with me. I love my marriage and I love my kids and everything that has to do with them.
I got married at 21 though. I met him at 18, we started dating at 19, engaged at 20 and married at 21. This streak continued on for a few more years just so you know with baby #1 (a bouncing baby boy who hasn't sat still since he was born) at 22, baby #2 (a girl with an attitude that says my way or the highway) at 23 and our first house at 24.
Through our marriage we have had some difficulties, just like anyone does. But at some point in our young marriage, I had to make a decision that would affect my relationships with others. Namely, it would affect the relationship I have with my own family.
My family never liked my husband. Nothing he could do was right. They didn't like that we moved to Minnesota right after I finished school. I get that one, it was a distance from them and it did end up being a big mistake for us, but we were young and my husband had a job available there at the time. We thought we fixed that mistake by moving less than a mile from my parents so they could see my kids grow up. We were wrong.
Nothing was ever right. My husband got me an engagement ring from his grandparents. When he asked, he thought he was getting something nice, an heirloom to pass down. Instead, his grandmother gave him a costume jewelry ring and then tried to pass it off as he had asked for that. That started a big fight until I went with him and got our own rings, something inexpensive but which I'm still in love with.
There were fights about everything. We fought about where to have the wedding and my parents kept changing their minds about where we should have the wedding. We were in trouble for not showing up to every family thing even though I was pregnant, broke, and lived 8 hours away. We were expected to come down every other week to visit with a newborn in winter. I even drove from Minnesota to Texas in July just to make them happy.
During that time we had it out. I was tired of getting texts about how my husband was so horrible, even though he hadn't done anything except maybe been a bit boisterous. He had ADHD and my parents sit around and watch TV attitude didn't go along well together. I went six months without seeing them when they said my husband wasn't allowed in their house. It was the first stand I had taken against these people, my parents and family, and it was ugly. But there was no way I was driving that far with an infant to fulfill their wishes.
After some time, things did seem to get better. They conceded a bit, agreed to let my husband come back in, and we started out with a trip to the zoo, some middle ground. The trip was a bit tense, maybe it just felt that way since I was pregnant again but wasn't telling anyone. But after that we did start to visit a bit more. When winter came around again and we were about three months from having our second child, we decided it may be good to move closer.
Perhaps I just wanted to see the good in everything. I wanted my kids to grow up with good grandparents and while my husbands parents weren't bad, it was kind of a surprise they had ever had kids. Things went well for a bit when we first moved down. My parents were happy to have the chance to see both kids and they even said how good my husband had been for a bit.
But a few months after my daughter was born, it went downhill again. They were mad because I didn't want to go to everything. It was early spring, just two months after I had given birth and I was still fighting with the breastfeeding and the challenges of two kids under two and it seemed everyone in my family had something big and important going on. I went to a few of the things, but just didn't have the energy to go to it all. And it caused a lot of problems.
The next few years continued on like this. My parents would send something mean about how I wasn't going somewhere or that my husband had done something wrong even though he quit going over there and even seeing them. They didn't like that I stayed home with both my kids and started my own successful writing business. They didn't like that we were involved in church. They didn't like that I wanted to homeschool my son who was exhibiting signs of ADHD at an early age as well. They didn't like that we were involved and had friends outside of them. Although we were always busy and doing something, I was considered isolated and controlled.
Things went to a head over Mothers' Day. We had let my children stay with their grandparents at the campground for a night. We came back and found out they had let my two year old up until midnight, stating that I always say how I keep her up until 3 am! My daughter is a horrible sleeper and needs to go to bed at the same time every day. I understand she was with grandparents and that means bending the rules a bit, but midnight for a two year old is ridiculous!
After being a bit upset about that, I started getting nasty texts, on Mothers' Day, from my own mother, about how she knows how to take care of kids and how horrible we were. It kind of ruined my Mothers' Day. Of course, just a few days later she wanted to take the kids for a week at a family reunion, never thinking to invite me and my husband because "we hate family things" and got upset when I said no. I ended up going to the reunion, despite thinking it was a bad idea, and it ended up blowing up in my face.
All of this I was able to forgive, just writing it off as them being bored or not seeing things clearly. They were my parents and I didn't want to believe that they would try to purposely hurt their daughter. But then, the final straw happened.
My husband and I had wanted to do something to help out the church. There was a youth group thing they needed help with and both priests as well as other families had recommended us to help out. We were excited about getting to do it. When my mother found out, she decided we shouldn't do it. Instead of talking to us like rational adults, she went and talked to the coordinator of the program and made sure we were never able to participate in that program again.
I was heartbroken that someone could do something that mean, someone who was supposed to love and care about me. We had discussed moving just to get away, but with a new house and lots of friends we enjoy here, it just didn't seem like a good idea. Instead, I have ghosted my parents. Yes, there have been a lot of mean texts in the process, texts about how horrible I am, reading too much into Facebook posts after blocking me as a friend anyway, and so on. I haven't even read most of them.
At this point, I'm conflicted. I'm still hurt that someone close to me would be this way, trying to ruin my marriage and my family life. But on the other hand, I feel like I should be guilty about cutting them out of our lives and the lives of our children. I don't feel guilty, but feel like a should.
My parents have spent a lot of time trying to break up a relationship that I love, a family I put my all into, and a life I enjoy. Til Death do Us Part was the vows I took, in a Catholic Church and in front of God, and unfortunately I had to make a choice. I don't know what the end goal was; did they think I'd come running back and be able to do everything they wanted if I got divorced? I have two young children, that would never happen because now I'd have to work rather than being a stay at home mom. In fact, if it did end in divorce, I'd probably run away and never talk to them again.
Luckily, I have a loving and supportive husband. I know he is hurt by many of the things that my parents have said, but he has never thought of running or leaving. He doesn't understand what he did to make them hate him, and I don't know how to comfort him because I just don't know why they'd be this way. But together, I think we can weather the storm. Am I doing the right thing by ghosting my parents and moving on? I don't know. But I know that I have to stick by my vows and my marriage and this seems to be the best way to do it.