This is it, the final installment of my story. This describes how Beatrice was, once and for all, put out of her misery.
Hubs and I had our individual families over the weekend after Christmas of 2014. He had to work Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after. We got up super early and opened presents with the baby, then he went to work. The night before, we had opened our presents to each other together. Hubs didn’t have to work either day the weekend after Christmas, so it worked perfectly to have one family over and then the other.
ILs overstayed their welcome. Like a lot. Like 6 hours or so. It was very uncomfortable. But we gave PILs and GPILs these canvas paintings of a photo of DD. They loved them. It was all my idea, so I felt pretty proud of myself. This was December 28th.
January 2nd, 2015, MIL texts Hubs while he’s at work, away from me, to ask him to order another picture of DD that she’ll pay for so that she can give it as a gift to HER mother for her birthday. Hubby told her no. He found it inappropriate for anyone to gift a picture of OUR child other than ourselves. MIL snapped.
MIL tried to argue with Hubs. He stood firm. She tried to manipulate him with guilt and faaaaaaaamily. Hubs stood firm. MIL texted him that soon he was going to owe HER an apology. Hubs informed her he was not going to apologize for making a parenting decision for HIS daughter. (I saw these texts.)
Then MIL called him. According to Hubs, she called him selfish. She told him that he didn’t spend enough time with her and that just because he had his own family now didn’t mean he replaced his family of origin. She said REAL family comes over for breakfast or coffee or lunch and he never does this. He informed her that he enjoyed having time to spend with just me and DD and didn’t want to never have alone time with us. He said this is what worked best for our family. MIL then told him that he was no longer the son she raised. She said as much as he loved DD, she loved him 26 times more (Hubs had just had his 26th birthday three days prior). She accused him of shutting out his whole family.
MIL then asked Hubs if that meant he didn’t want a relationship with her unless it was on his terms. He said yes, that’s what it meant. She told him not to bother calling her until he wanted her back in his life and was ready to apologize. He said “fine, mom” and they hung up. And we haven’t heard from her since then. Five months. We sent GMIL the picture from us. We weren’t opposed to her having it, Hubby just wanted all pictures of our daughter to come from us.
So, let’s review. Hubs set a boundary regarding pictures of our daughter. MIL didn’t like that and decided that, because Hubby wasn’t serving our daughter up on a silver platter for her third chance at parenthood, he wasn’t being a good son. Asserting his independence made him a bad son. Because he wouldn’t live by her conditions instead of his own, she cut him off. She tried to manipulate him by twisting it around back on him, asking if he only wanted a relationship on his terms. She proved that she only wanted a relationship on HER terms. We were wrong, but she was right?
I know I’ve addressed the issue before, but MIL put it into the perfect wording. She said “you don’t replace your family when you start one of your own.” I’ve side-stepped that by saying “No, you just re-prioritize and put that family first, above the family of origin.” I’m taking that back. I’m going to say fuck yes, you replace your old family. Your nuclear family is now your spouse and child, making your family of origin your extended family. When a new Miss America is chosen, she replaces the old one. When a new president is elected, he (or she!!!) replaces the old one. When a new nuclear family is begun, it replaces the family of origin which was previously the immediate family. What was once immediate is now extended. That’s just how it works.
MIL had always gone to Hubby with her marriage problems, talking so much shit about his dad to him. She went to him to complain about work, about her friends, about anyone she was in disagreement with. She had always been a bit too affectionate (inappropriately so) with him, including pulling him away from his wife so she could cuddle him instead of him cuddling me. She always insisted on sitting next to him while I was on his other side. She made him her surrogate spouse. I think she almost saw us as sisterwives, until I refused to get in line and Hubs pulled that rug out from under her. SIL also saw Hubs as her surrogate spouse. I was supposed to come in third to his mom and sister? My happiness and my husband’s happiness were less important than theirs? No. Fuck no.
DD’s birthday was in March. MIL did not contact us except to send a birthday card. I don’t know if she expected us to keep it. We didn’t. Easter went by with no contact. Mother’s Day went by (and MIL was not acknowledged that day) and we received no contact. I didn’t get even the most begrudging “Happy Mother’s Day” text from her like I did last year. Now, I’ve recently begun a new job. We moved. We didn’t tell ILs anything about it. They probably know because I’m Facebook friends with DD’s godfather’s mother, who goes to church with MIL. I’m sure they talk. We have had absolutely no contact from MIL at all other than that card.
Like I’ve said in previous posts is I just can’t understand how she could care so little after all that effort she put in to keep Hubby in line. After all the baby rabies, all the attempts to control us, all the times she treated me like shit because her son married me. Why go to all that effort if you don’t care? Thinking about it, I realized MIL totally expected Hubs to go crawling back to her and serve DD up to her on a silver platter. She expected the silent treatment to make him lie flat and be her doormat again. Hell, maybe she thought he’d blame me and leave me to go back to her. But none of that has happened and she still hasn’t tried to fix it. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t care anymore, maybe it’s just too much effort for her, maybe it’s her pride, maybe she just really believes she’s right and doesn’t care about us because we won’t give in. Hell, maybe she still believes that Hubs will go crawling back.
I spent months worrying about her throwing a lawn tantrum, threatening Grandparents’ Rights, calling CPS on us, ambushing us, kidnapping DD, all these horrible things. I lived in sincere fear. But we haven’t heard anything. There’s also no such thing as Grandparents’ Rights in our state, so I was kind of hoping she would threaten us with that. I’d have loved to see a judge smack her down. She doesn’t even meet the most liberal criteria for them because she never babysat, DD was 10 months old when she cut us out of her life (so it’s not going to hurt DD to not see her), and she only saw DD about 10 times in her lifetime because Hubs and I didn’t want to be around her more than that. (Or even that much, on my part.)
You know, I understand why MIL hates me. I mean, it’s batshit crazy, why she hates me. But I get it. Jane Fonda played a rich version of my MIL in the movie “Monster-in-Law”, down to the white outfit on my wedding day. Jane Fonda comes around in the end, though. My MIL decided it was more important for us to live by her rules than to be in our lives. She never could have cared less about being in my life. She’d have preferred for me to just fade into the background or die during delivery of my child so that she could raise her newest baby with her surrogate spouse, my husband. And in her mind, they all would have lived happily ever after.
I’ll admit, we were never perfect in our relationship with her. I’m sure there were times when we genuinely hurt her feelings without meaning to, like when we took that trip to California over her birthday, which Hubs had completely forgotten. We totally didn’t mean to do that. And we went on a trip over FIL’s birthday because Hubs forgot about it. But we always tried to make it up to them and we always apologized. MIL never apologized. She never admitted wrongdoing. She always tried to (and sometimes succeeded in) making it OUR fault.
I have absolutely no doubt that we lucked out in her cutting us off. Our daughter, especially, lucked out. This woman cannot see past her own desires to realize that other people have feelings and lives and expectations. She doesn’t realize the world doesn’t revolve around her. She believes she is incapable of wrongdoing. Any time someone feels hurt by her, they just misunderstood her and how could they do that when she is such a saint? I get so frustrated just thinking about it.
Hubs has had to mourn the loss of the mother he thought he had. He had to come to grips with the fact that his mother really did and said all this stuff. He had to mourn the loss of the mother he always deserved. It breaks my heart that she did this to him. I wish he had the mother he deserves. I can’t fix it for him, no one can. I would if I could. He’s the most wonderful man I have ever known, and an amazing father. I wish I could give him everything he deserves and more.
So, that does it for my story. I probably won’t be posting as regularly anymore, but I do want to keep the site alive. I’ll post memes, rants, funny stories I observed, other things related to the subject. If there are any updates, I promise to tell them to you, dear followers. I have appreciated your support and that you took the time to read all these. Thank you.