Welcome To the Team

I do my best writing when the moment is fresh. It also helps if I’m angry. I think some of my best blog posts have been the ones where I mock cheaters and infidelity. I know I’ve been getting away from that lately. My blog has been more like a journal. Anyway, I have a whole long list of things that I’ve long thought would make a good blog post and I’m going to try to write about them.

It’s been almost 9 months since my niece got married. She and her boyfriend were high school sweethearts. Started dating as sophomores when she moved in with my brother and transferred high schools. They dated all throughout high school. They dated all throughout college, despite being several hours apart. He played basketball for a school in Kentucky and she went to my alma mater in Indiana. There was a very brief breakup which lasted less than 2 or 3 months but my niece, not having much experience with dating or breaking up, continued to go to his games and basically act as though they were still a couple. It paid off though because after she graduated from nursing school she moved to Ohio and in with him. After 9 years of dating they finally married last September.

It was a beautiful wedding and they are a gorgeous couple.

Several times the groom’s father gave a toast and each time he would end with, “Welcome to the team, Florence Nightingale!”

How easy it is to say those welcoming words, “Welcome to the team!” What’s more difficult is managing those sentiments when things go wrong. I don’t know what the statistics are but it seems there are definitely more people who find out the hard way that blood is thicker than water. Story after story is told about how you were tight with the in-laws until the divorce and then they no longer knew your name. In some cases they even abandoned the grandchildren. You go from, “Welcome to the team!” to “I have no idea who you are or why you think you matter to me.” Suddenly you are no longer a part of that team, that family. So many people are absolutely shocked by this revelation when it happens to them.

I was very close to my in-laws until Jerry Lee’s first affair. In the beginning I would call his mom, or she would call me, and we would talk for an hour or two. I drove anywhere from 7 to 25 hours to go visit them by myself and bring the grandkids to them. I celebrated holidays with them with no Jerry Lee in sight. I bought birthday and Christmas gifts for his sister and his mom, his entire family actually, and I always managed to do an exceptional job. I spent every Thanksgiving with these people until we moved to Utah and it was too difficult to get back there. Tammy Faye told me on more than one occasion that she couldn’t have picked a better daughter-in-law.

Then Jerry Lee cheated. His sister, the one I went to King’s Island with, the one I went to the movies with, the one for whom I bought birthday and Christmas gifts, the one with whom I had shared countless memories, meals, and holidays, told him he owed it to himself to be happy and that she would support him in whatever he chose to do. His mom and stepdad continued contact with Harley because “she was family!” They both fawned over her profile pictures, telling her how pretty she was.

His mother, if the Saint is to be believed, encouraged her to call him after he had moved me and the kids 2000 miles across the country, because he was sad. Hey- if dumping your wife of 20 years might cheer up your perfect little golden boy then dump that bitch! She accompanied them to the funeral of a cousin, knowing full well that I had no idea I was being replaced with that cuntface cum dumpster. She embraced Harley’s kids as her own grandkids and shouted out her happiness at the fact that he was “going to make Harley her family, too!”

Oh, she reached out to Rock Star via Facebook. Would tell her how much she loved her and how she was her blood. She never did anything substantial, like say, “I’m sorry your dad did this to you,” or, “I’m sorry you’re going through all of this. I’m sorry your life was pulled apart once again.” No, much easier to simply write words on Facebook where everyone can sympathize with you and you look like a loving, kind grandmother instead of the orchestrator of this giant mess.

Jezebel, of course, was over the moon ecstatic about her “new sister”. Yeah, good luck with that. She’s a lot more cunning and devious than I ever was. You’re both a lot alike so you’re probably going to clash a lot.

She also talks a good game about how much she misses her niece and nephew while at the same time doing absolutely nothing to stay in their lives. Of course her whole mantra throughout her life has been, “You come to me. Make things easy for me.”

Maybe I have become hardened and cynical. Are many people lucky enough to have a relationship with the in-laws that isn’t based solely upon your marriage? Do they ever see us as stand alone people or are we always destined to be a prop for their family member? Does anything you do over the years count at all, or will they always circle the wagons and make excuses while distancing themselves from you?

Even with everything that has happened I love weddings. I cry at weddings. I love seeing the eager couple so happy and full of promise on that day. I think it’s a beautiful thing when two people pledge to love one another for the rest of their lives. I also think it’s a lot easier said than done. Hello, Exhibit A!

I hope my niece and her husband have a long, happy marriage filled with everything they want. I hope they are both good to each other even twenty years from now. I hope they remember how they felt on their wedding day every day of their marriage because it is so true what they say. A wedding is about one day. A marriage is about a lifetime. And I hope that his family really does mean it. I hope she is a part of the team no matter what happens, and especially if they divorce because of his actions.

It’s so easy to say, isn’t it? Welcome to the team. Welcome to the family. So easy to mean it when things are new and fresh and everything is good. It’s a lot more difficult to continue to treat the person, your flesh and blood has discarded, like a real person no matter how heartily you welcomed them in the beginning or how much your relationship with them has grown over the years.

I hope she never has to find out if they truly mean it or not.

6 thoughts on “Welcome To the Team

  1. I think turning 50 changes perspective, or it did for me. I always got along with my mil but I also had a sense that something just wasn’t genuine about her. I was vilified for suggesting she was phony. Spoiler alert – she’s a heartless phony. She’s really young, and when I started dating her son I was 18 and she was 38. she loved that everyone thought she was her son’s sister. So Ive known her a long time. Its all about image with her. I do believe something is wrong with her on an emotional/mental level, my therapist agrees. Everyone’s job was to make her happy. throw lemon drop under the bus to make her happy. If I balked, I was a bitch and I got piled on. I was so young when we met that I really didn’t have the tools to understand or stand up for myself, plus my own mother situation was so strained due to mental illness that I basically ran into his family looking for something different. He cheated with her mini me, a woman who worshipped my mil and was easily manipulated. Cue Dr. Freud. When everything blew up, mil – she’s a therapist social worker btw – never spoke to me again. I emailed her for help, since she never shut up about her degree in helping everyone. Crickets. She banked on the marriage being over and him moving back in with her. Like me and the kids didn’t exist. disposable. replaceable. trinkets you can use to look nice. When reconciliation happened, she was livid. Told him he no longer had any control (project much?). So it’s been 6 years of no contact with her. I wish I’d done it sooner. Such a huge weight of guilt and shame lifted off of me that I’d carried for not worshipping her like everyone did. Husband’s therapist told him that his upbringing was covert or emotional incest. She viewed him as her life partner. I have clarity now. And that affair wasn’t a fuck you to me, it was a fuck you to his mother. I’m out of the picture and their relationship is not good. I was never the problem – she just always needs a triangle. thank you for allowing the emotional typing puke on your blog lol.

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  2. My sister in law and I are still very good friends. Her brothers behaviour truly distressed her. I think it took her longer to accept the truth of it than it took me. She wrote him out of her will.
    I know she has been worried more than once that I would blame her. She is a lovely woman, never married and in her early 50s, and is a good aunt to my kids.

    She lives in the same city as me and is my only family anywhere nearby.

    I know she often feels trapped as my ex had a baby and now she has another nephew. More complicated relationships. My kids have no contact with their dad or this baby, as they live 800 km away.

    I’m glad we have stayed friends. The kids see their grandma on that side whenever we travel to see my parents, as I feel it’s important.

    From all this what is apparent is that I am the one continuity. Much of the relationship my kids have with my ex’s family is because I maintained it. Last summer I wondered if this was healthy for me, but I have decided it is….at least for now.

    Life is never boring.
    Anne

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    1. I always think it’s lovely when the former in-laws continue to treat you like a member of the family. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be case for the majority. I’m glad it’s working out for you and your kids.

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      1. I think my mother and sister in law always looked at me as the rational one, knowing Craig was not…
        They are generally kind, low conflict people. I met them this weekend for a visit, along with my parents. Craig and I were together 24 years…and the parents are in their 80s…
        I agree with you. Few divorces are as low conflict as mine…sometimes it distresses me that Craig just conceded everything and walked away.
        But mostly I am thankful he did.

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