October 31, 2005
|The Perfect Gift|
I have been married almost four years, and it is the second marriage for both of us. My husband's family lives in another town, and we travel there once a year for a huge Christmas celebration.
Our first Christmas as a married couple his mother gave all the females a bottle of Bath & Body Works lotion, except for me. I decided it was no big deal. I could buy my own! Then for our gift she gave us a photo album. In the album were several pages of my husband's wedding to his first wife, but none of our wedding.
I was so upset that we left and flew home. His parents never said anything about it. Last December his mother had a new genealogy book, and in the book was information about his first wife, where she was born, when they married, and information about their two children. There was nothing about my son or me.
I was hurt and have no plans to see his family again. I feel they don't approve of me or our marriage. They are old-fashioned Catholic, if that has anything to do with it.
My problem is my husband plans to go there without me. He says he doesn't approve what his parents have done, but they are old, his parents, and he should visit. My husband is non-confrontational. He hasn't said anything to his parents about their actions, and a family member told us the word is that I am "too sensitive."
It hurts me terribly that my husband is going there without me. How can I get over my hurt and anger toward my husband and his parents?
Petra, your husband is an adult, and you are not going to change how he feels about his parents. How his parents are is the norm for him. They are the only parents he has ever known. There is no point in being angry with him.
How your in-laws treat you is more wrapped up in their religious belief than in anything which relates to you. Their son believes in divorce and remarriage. They do not. By their beliefs, he is still married to his first wife, and your child has no blood connection to them. They may even feel it is their duty to get him back to his first wife.
By social convention people avoid public discussion of religion because it typically devolves into "your belief is wrong, come to mine."
Your mother-in-law gave you a family album which expresses her beliefs. Give her an album which expresses yours. Include baby pictures of your son, pictures of you growing up, and pictures of you, your husband, and your son as a family together. A picture of your family, beautifully framed and matted, would also make an excellent Christmas gift.
Absolutely go to this annual gathering and go with this attitude. My husband loves me. I love him. We love my son. As a family unit we are going for Christmas to my in-laws. Go, enjoy, and be happy together as a family.
Wayne & Tamara
I met and fell in love with him when I was 14. I am now 24. He is only romantic and sweet when he is in jail. When he is home, he is the exact opposite.
Melana, for years "The New Yorker" magazine ran a short space filler called "Letters We Never Finished Reading." Each piece contained the opening of a letter, and the brief opening explained why the editor never finished reading.
Actually, we read all of your letter, though there was no need. He's romantic and sweet when he is in jail because he's lost his freedom and depends totally on you. When he is home, he is free to be who he is. Stay with him and you will continue to be imprisoned.
Wayne & Tamara
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
Posted on Oct 24, 2005 by Site Admin
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