I have lots of pet peeves, and as I get older, they seem to multiply!! My pet peeves run the gamut of silly (apostrophes, open cabinet doors, toilet paper rolls, grocery carts in parking lots, etc) to serious. I have a lot more silly than serious pet peeves, but today I feel compelled to wax eloquently about a serious one.
IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU LIKE YOUR IN-LAWS. IT ONLY MATTERS IF THEY LIKE YOU.
Ok, I said it. Now I feel better.
I remember the trip Divine Hubby and I took to his family's house for Christmas in 1993. I was meeting most of them for the first time (and there are a lot of them...), and I was very nervous. I NEVER EVER wondered if I would like them. I was EXTREMELY concerned that they. like. me. I was hoping to join their family, not the other way around. I was determined to make a good impression. I do not remember ever wondering or contemplating if I liked them. As it happens, I absolutely love all of them, but that was not the goal.
There is a member of Divine Hubby's family who is causing great strife and he or she is an in-law. He or she does not like other members of the DH family. He or she is very young, and I am convinced he or she is not aware of the damage being done because of his or her selfish behavior. It is very painful for all of us, and sadly, I see no change coming soon. The DH family has been through more than our share of heartache and sadness in the past few months, and this silly, petty, selfish behavior on the part of this one in-law is only making everything worse. It is such a sad situation, and relationships are becoming strained to the breaking point because of this ONE PERSON. The family member married to this particular in-law is aware of the situation (it is so nasty, it would be impossible not to be) but says he or she is operating on loyalty to his or her spouse as he or she was brought up to do.
On the off-chance the parties I am discussing actually read this blog, I have a message, a plea and a thought.
1. Family is everything. A large part of your family is gone forever, and any offenses or problems can never be fixed with that person. Don't assume the rest of your family will always be there. Will you be able to live with your and your spouse's recent actions if the rest of your family were gone tomorrow? I wouldn't be able to live with it, were it me.
2. Your family is struggling and suffering. I do not diminish your suffering, but all of us wish you would share that with us. We miss you. We love you. We want you to return to the family. Come to Christmas or Thanksgiving celebrations. Call your grandmother. Call your cousins and aunts and uncles. Check in. Get involved, like you used to be. WE MISS YOU!
3. Just a thought. I love Divine Hubby dearly, but if he demanded I have nothing to do with my family, I'd have told him to change his attitude or take a hike years ago. Learn from your family members: sadly, sometimes, spouses come and go. Moms and Dads are forever. You have a great family. DO NOT LET ANYONE TAKE THEM FROM YOU. You are young, and you will regret it bitterly later in life if you continue on this path.
Sorry to get so personal on this blog, but I have such heartache about this situation, and although we have all tried in various ways, it does not seem to have a solution. The only solution, in my opinion, is a 180 degree change in attitude for this one single solitary person. So you don't like a family member or two.
SO WHAT. Being part of a family means embracing them regardless of personality conflicts or dislike. Breaking up a family (which is what you have done) is a terrible terrible TERRIBLE act.
**I understand that there are situations where inlaws or family must be ex-communicated, due to blatant abuse or poisonous relationships. As far as I know, this situation is simply a case of personality conflict. I am not discounting your situation if it is different.**