Yes, you read that correctly.
Without so much as a phone call, email, or discussion, my in-laws were extremely upset and offended by a post I wrote about Thanksgiving. Even though I wrote it about my anxieties going into the holiday, they read it as an autobiographical account of the actual event. To my dismay, I discovered that to even question the perfection of a family event on my husband’s side is cause for divorce.
I had no idea they were so upset. They chose not to discuss it with me and instead talked to other family members, digging for dirt and gossiping about me in an attempt to build a case that I am a person who is not “honest, truthful, or loving.” Those are their exact words as written in a nine-page rant that is the most hateful letter I have ever read (since high school). The letter arrived after my birthday trip to Vegas. What a welcome home! While I was away, my in-laws cornered my husband and laid out their argument against me. They offered their home for him and our son to escape to and threw themselves behind him if he should want to divorce me.
Divorce!? Over a blog post!?
My husband admits that he participated in a hypothetical discussion about divorce, and he deeply regrets it. It is no secret that my husband and I have been bickering since we got to Austin. We’ve been dealing with unemployment, infertility, finances, family issues, going into business together, and adjusting to a new city. Each of these alone would introduce stress into a marriage, and we’ve been facing them simultaneously. When his parents confronted him on the first night they saw him, he had been caring for a sick child all day, hadn’t slept well in a week, was battling a nasty sinus infection, and was trying to placate parents that he trusted and idolized. I love my husband dearly and I forgive him for being indiscreet.
We knew going into this marriage that there would be some tough times. We are in one of those times now but we are in it together and are learning to love and accept each other more every day. I don’t understand how anyone can suggest divorce before all other alternatives have been exhausted — therapy, marriage counseling, or even taking medication. But my in-laws were upset about a blog post, so they decided to try to break apart a family.
Needless to say, this doesn’t sit so well with me. I thought we were mutually fond of each other and that our relationship was continuing to grow. I welcomed them into my home and into my heart, and I treated them with generosity and respect. I even defended and supported them in another family spat that left us alienated from another part of the family (I am regretting that so much right now). My husband and I feel violated by their deception and devastated that we cannot allow them back into our lives. They have betrayed us in such a way that I can’t imagine how they could ever make amends. But then again, they haven’t tried and don’t intend to. They are right, and we are wrong. I hope that being right sends presents on their birthdays and takes care of them when they get older.
After crying for two days, and finally taking some anti-anxiety meds that I had stashed away, we went out and adopted a puppy. A puppy will never betray us and will love us unconditionally. A puppy will bring smiles and laughter to my son’s life and mask the loss of his grandparents. So yeah, we replaced our in-laws with a puppy.