Every year for Mother’s day, for the past five or six years my husband has wanted to take myself, our son, and his mother for breakfast or brunch on Mother’s day. Two years ago I convinced him to take his mother out alone, for some mother and son time, as when we’re all together he tends to be quiet and put me in a position of having to carry the conversation with his mom.
Last year he insisted on a local restaurant we’d never tried, suggesting he would drive the twenty minutes to pick up his mom, while my son and I walked, rolled, respectively, to the restaurant to meet them. This particular Mother’s day it was 85°, humidity in the 80% range and sunny. It was brutal on the paved bike path to the restaurant and home after.
He had insisted, as he did this year, that my son buy my meal and he would buy his mother’s.
He knows that going out to eat is emotionally and physically uncomfortable for me, but always insists.
This year was overwhelmingly difficult. It started out with my husband being impatient with me when I first woke up and was having trouble getting ready. I explained that I had hardly slept last night because I’ve been having a great deal of joint pain the past two weeks as a result of nearly daily cold rain storms we’ve been experiencing. He snapped at me that if I didn’t want to go he’d just take her and I should stay home. I told him that wasn’t fair, seeing as how our son had spent around $100 buying new slacks, new shoes, etc. I was overwhelmed with the pain, feeling guilty for causing an issue and being effectively thrown under the bus so quickly. I pulled myself together and we were on our way.
His mother starts gossiping about her neighbors in the senior complex the moment she’s in the car. These are people we don’t know, but people we now know have criminal records, are drug addicts, are doing jail time, or are just all around obnoxious people, aside from the two or three people she actually likes.
Breakfast was uneventful, the meal was good, we ran into a friend at the restaurant, it was nice. On the way home we stopped to pick up something we’d gotten for her. My son decided to stay home, rather than make the forty minute round trip to take her home. When the guys got out of the car she said she forgot a box of jars she had sitting in the living room, jars we’d given her filled with homemade pickles and onions the latest two Summers.
When we arrived at the complex she told my husband about the jars and asked him to come in to get them. I waited in the car. He soon returned with the box, and we started home. About a third of the way home he tells me she told him his sister misses him and loves him.
That really upset me, as she’s told us she doesn’t want in the middle between them, but she was willing to pass a message for his sister, effectively putting herself in the middle. It also upset me that she didn’t bring it up in front of me, but rather deceptively.
He goes on to tell me that his sister said she missed me too, but apparently “rubs me the wrong way.”
He continued, saying that he told his mother he was sorry but this is how it is, he’s not interested in trying to have a relationship with her because it always ends the same way and that it has nothing to do with her rubbing me the wrong way, but everything to do with her lying.
He explained to me that he would be civil to his sister when the time came to take care of their mother’s final affairs, but plans to tell her at that time that they are through, she’s dead to him.
I became very emotional, as he explained how according to his sister, according to the only version of events his mother has, I’m at fault for the rift in the family.
This triggered the same conversation we have every time this comes up. He said his mother was really stressed about them not speaking, so I suggested (as I have many times in the past) that he should sit down with his mother and explain our side of this situation. That way she wouldn’t have to be so stressed, as she’d have a better understanding of how things got this way.
He argued that he doesn’t think it will help, though I pointed out that not fully understanding that this isn’t about a single instance, but a cumulative effect that started the first year we were married, and giving her something other than the one-sided version she’s been getting to consider, she might be able to better accept the situation and perhaps stop fretting over it, if she is indeed fretting over it, rather than just passing along unwanted messages.
He argued that it would do no good. I fell to pieces. This brought up all the previous hurt, the horrible confrontations and the undeniable reality that I have never been, nor will I ever be accepted as part of their family. I’ve become his sister’s scapegoat.
It also brought to the forefront, once again, that it is more important to my husband not to rock the family boat, than to protect me from their abuse.
As I cried, I expressed to my husband that I’d never done a thing to hurt any of them, that all I ever wanted was to be accepted, treated like family, and to that end, went out of my way to be there for them whenever I was needed, to be supportive and loving. He acknowledged that I was right and that his sister knew that, was painting a very different picture of me to avoid taking any responsibility.
I begged him to sit down with her, to pleases explain his side, but he claimed we’d already tried, which I have no memory of. We’ve defended ourselves during an attack, but never tried to lay out a full picture of what we’ve endured having tried to have a relationship with her.
I cried the whole way home and for about an hour after being home.
I’m so tired of being disrespected by his mother and sister. I don’t know what more I could do to try to be accepted. At this point I don’t want to try any longer.
I’m never going to get through to them, nor apparently to him.
I’ve decided that I’m not participating any longer in taking her out or in taking her shopping later in the year when we stock her freezers and pantry. He can do it himself. In the past when I suggested him taking her out on his own, when I wasn’t feeling up to it, he got upset saying he wanted me with him, but after this morning, that’s no longer a viable argument.
I had to nap later in the day, as the result of a headache. It really turned out to be a rotten and emotional day.