Sometimes I wonder why it's so much easier to forgive my parents/family for little things than it is for me to forgive my husband's family for little things. Although, I have to admit that the problems always seem bigger somehow with them.
I know that his parents love us. I do. But I never, ever feel good enough in their eyes. And I know my husband struggles with this as well. Because they're 'just' my inlaws and not my parents I don't think it affects me as much as it does my hubby, but it still affects me negatively. And when they are not supportive of my husband or my children it bothers me much more than when I'm on the receiving end. Maybe it's because I know I have the support from my own family and especially my husband.
My husband is out of town this weekend to see his parents and to attend a surprise birthday party for them. He said that when he walked through the door and they greeted him, the first thing out of his mom's mouth was, "Oh my god!" She was aghast at his beard. He has a beautiful white beard that he keeps neatly trimmed, (although to be honest, it does currently need a bit taken off the ends), and it suits him. Well.
The first several minutes of conversation were about his beard. He was told/asked (by his brothers, their wives and his parents):
1) It made him look 10 years older than he is.
2) They wondered what *I* thought of it, and thankfully, one of his sisters-in-law piped up and said she remembered having heard me say many times that I like it.
3) Doesn't his employer have a problem with it??
4) Doesn't he care what anyone else thinks about it or how he looks?
He hadn't seen his parents in 18 months, and he hadn't seen one brother in 3 years - the other in over 5, and he drove over 600 miles to see them yet this is how they greeted him. Not a single positive word about it except the one SIL saying that she knew I liked it. She also told him that he wouldn't want her trimming it, because she'd cut it off. She's a hairdresser. And I'm sure being as fashion conscious as she is, she couldn't stand the thought of it not being close shaven.
If it hadn't been his beard they picked to shreds, it would have been something else. Over the years they've done things that have hurt to the core. Things that I don't even want to think about, because I don't want to dwell on the feelings that they bring up. Things that would cause friendships to end and people to never speak to one another again.
I often marvel at how he is so different from his parents and wonder how they did such a good job raising him. Honestly, I can't fathom how they did it, because he is so kind-hearted. He would never, ever do the things that they have done over the years. He is mindful of the fact that actions and words can wound the spirit, and he doesn't want to do that to anyone else.
Given my hormones of late I'm glad we didn't go on the trip. I don't know, if I'd have been able to keep my mouth shut and not defended my husband. It's not that he needs defending. He can stick up for himself. But I'd be likely to put my 2 cents in to let them know that they were being rude and hurtful and to let him know I had his back. And yet they wonder why we don't spend much time at their house when we visit.
Today was hard on our middle daughter. She did end up finally having a meltdown, but it only lasted about 5 minutes or so, and she was done. I think things were just building for her, and she needed to let the stress out. Still, 5 minutes meltdowns are a vast improvement over 20 minute or 2 hour meltdowns.
Our youngest chimed in for a minute or so as well. They are very in tune with one another, and if one is upset the other one is as well. It is a rare thing when an aching heart doesn't spread from one to the other.
We are all looking forward to tomorrow. My wonderful husband, the kids' wonderful daddy will be home.
The hours won't pass quickly enough.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.