The day after my birthday, R’s mom called him and told him that I needed to call his father and apologize for hurting his feelings.
Let me back up. And by the way, this might be all over the place because I’m stressed and upset and I don’t really care about grammar today.
December 30th, I got a text from R’s dad that said “I had a thought. When can we chat?” I told him my schedule, and he told me he’d call me at 7pm that evening. I wasn’t sure what he wanted, but I had a few ideas rolling around in my head. He recently quit his job, and went in to business for himself, so maybe he wanted some graphic design help. I gave his wife a photo album filled with photos I had taken all year for Christmas – his (other) son’s wedding, his father’s memorial, family portraits, beach week, etc. Maybe he wanted copies to send to the rest of the family? R seemed this to be what he wanted to discuss as well.
I was wrong. I was very, very, VERY wrong.
R’s dad opened the conversation with “I love my sons more than anything. I will destroy anyone who come between us. You are no longer welcome into my family” and proceeded to tell me the reasons why he doesn’t like me. Basically, it came down to Thanksgiving. R’s family was doing a three-day long Thanksgiving celebration (yeah, I don’t know why either), but R & I both decided (key word being BOTH – we both agreed on this) to spend Thursday with my family. And it is apparently tearing the family apart.
The phone call was almost an hour, and to be honest I blocked most of it out – mostly from shock and disbelief, but also because I don’t like being told horrible things about myself (who does?). Especially when he was essentially accusing me of ruining his family, because I have a family of my own. He then asked to speak to his son, and then told R everything he told me.
I feel like I’m the bad girl in school, and I’m getting their son involved in drugs and alcohol so they are putting their foot down. Except, instead of being 16, we’re in our 30s and have been living together for 4 years.
I spoke with several people (including a professional) about this conversation, and everyone’s response is what I’m imaging/hoping your response is while reading this – jaw on the floor, eyes popping out, speechless. What we *think* is going on is twofold:
1. His other son (R’s brother), recently got married. Shortly after the wedding, he quit his job and went to work for his father-in-law. R’s folks were NOT pleased about it, and made their displeasure well-known.
2. R’s father recently quit his job/semi-retired/started his own business, and is spending more time at home with his wife. She’s complaining about me/her daughter-in-law, and R’s dad wants to fix it. Or, maybe they are unhappy with each other and are trying to get their family back to the way it was when their kids were small – before the women moved in.
3. I am not a trophy. R’s brother married a doctor from Yale. Both R and his brother are engineers. I am an artist and a fitness instructor, and that is not good enough for their son.
Let’s be honest, his family has been nothing but rude to me since the day I met them. He can say I’m not welcome all he wants, but I have never been welcome in their family. I was vegetarian for 3 years when I met R, and am still vegetarian, yet I can count on one hand the time I’ve had a vegetarian option other than salad at his parents’ house. His mom one-ups everything I do for her son, and if I tell her I’m thinking about doing something for a birthday/Christmas, she’ll do it for him before I have a chance. R&I have been together 5 (FIVE) years, and I still have to refer to his parents as Mr & Mrs (last name). Sadly, there are others, but I don’t want to waste my time typing them out. I’m sure you get the point.
I do a lot of things for R’s family that he takes credit for. It’s fine, really, because I don’t do these things for credit. I do them because I love R and I want to help his family and create activities for us all to do together. But it is unfair for his parents to tell me I’m not welcome because I don’t do enough for the family, when they’re heaping praise upon their son for the things I’ve done.
R said he’d run interference and talk to them about this. I’m not actually sure that he has.
After his dad called me, I decided to block his number on my phone and any email he sends me goes straight to the trash folder. I had panic attacks every day until mid-April. We’re talking fetal position, crying, shaking, unable to move, hard to breathe panic attacks. Now I get them once or twice a week, but every time I think of his parents, I have another. It’s important (I think) to note that I’ve never had panic attacks until his dad told me he doesn’t want me around.
Fast forward to the day after my birthday. R’s mom called him and told him that I needed to call his father and apologize for hurting his feelings. He sent me a birthday message I didn’t respond to. And his feelings are hurt.
I didn’t respond to the message because I didn’t get it. Because I blocked him. Because he told me I wasn’t welcome in his family. And now his feelings are hurt on my birthday.
I don’t give a shit about his feelings. He clearly didn’t care about mine when he told me that I wasn’t welcome in his family. And yet. I hurt his feelings?
I really don’t feel like I’m in the wrong here. This wouldn’t even be an issue if R had stepped up 8 months ago and dealt with it like he said he would. There have been some other things that have happened between then and now, obviously, but it’s increasingly getting worse. And I’m getting really angry.
R told me to just text his dad and say “I heard I missed a message from you, but it never came through. Can you resend it?” which is a problem because it’s shoving it under the rug and forgetting about it – like he’s been doing since December. Also? I had to unblock his dad to text him and I got caught (by R) for blocking him in the first place.
I’ve sacrificed living in California for him. I’ve given up a job promotion TWICE for him. I’ve stayed in this state that I HATE beyond reason for him. I’ve turned down job offers elsewhere because I wanted to stay here with him. But, to his parents I’m not good enough for him.
I love him to the moon, and when it’s just the two of us, I’m truly happy. But it will never be just the two of us, because his family has a death grip on him. I really feel bad for R, because he just wants to do right by his parents. And it’s not his fault his parents are doucehbags.
Oh, and by the way…turns out this “happy birthday” message his dad sent me was actually an email. I found it in my trash folder. It was a photo of himself that said “The wife says today is all about you” and that’s it. Let me rephrase. He sent me a selfie and didn’t even wish me a happy birthday. And his feelings are hurt I didn’t thank him for it.
Well, I gotta go. R’s folks just invited me over for dinner for my birthday. They’re making steak, and they asked me to bring my own food. R doesn’t understand why I’m upset about this, but I have to go grocery shopping so I have something to eat at my own birthday party.