Sunday, June 29, 2008


I have to go visit them tomorrow. One can only beg out of visits just so many times before one's spouse begins to grow suspicious.

I don't think the my mother was run over by a bus/I think I have the black plague/Ed Mcmahon said he might call/I wannntoobeealooone excuse is going to work this time.

Wish me luck.

I'm sure it will yield lots of blogging fodder.

Which is a lot less expensive than therapy.


Debby said...

Oh, Mary - Tim went to his mother's 80th birthday yesterday. Without me. He's got two sisters who are pretty vicious and divisive. They do not like me. They spent the first years of our marriage calling Tim's children to 'sympathize with them' about me. We were trying to build a family and there will be rough spots, but neither of us are unreasonable people. This really did damage to Tim and his daughter's relationship that is finally, after 10 years, beginning to heal. The final straw was the Christmas party during the gift opening, I received feminine hygiene products. His father is a preacher and he's just MEAN. Really likes to belittle. I just stay away. Tim knows why. He doesn't make me go, and rarely goes there himself. We're happy in that choice. Tim will visit his parents, or we will invite them here. We are cordial with his two brothers, and one of his sisters (although we have little contact) but the rest of them we avoid. Intentionally.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that those who should be a source of support and strength sometimes turn into a source of resistance and opposition?

You're a good person Mary for trying to do the right thing.

I wish i'd had the sense to keep the distance in order to keep the peace. I didn't come from a strong family and was so eager to be a part of my husband's clan ~ to the point of being more concerned about being a good daughter-in-law/sister-in-law vs being a good wife. No man, or woman, can have two masters.....we haven't had any contact with them in 12 years. We don't go to weddings, funerals, reunions, baby is very, very sad.

So Mary, good job for the balance you've been able to achieve!


Scotty said...

Brings to mind an Aussie saying....

In-laws are like fish; they start to go off after only a few days...


Good luck with that one, Mary.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Thanks everybody.

Debby, I confess, that makes my visits look pretty pleasant by comparison! That is some serious nastiness there.

My mother-in-law, though she veils most of it, she disapproves of most of what we're doing. She makes sure Gary feels bad about the fact that he's not financially successful like his siblings. And I've never been good enough for him as far as she's concerned. She strongly disapproves of homeschooling and doesn't even try to relate to the boys where they are. Her loss.

But then she goes on and on about how unspoiled our kids are and admires our marriage (she's been married and divorced twice). Then she talks about Gary's divorced rich brother's kids and how spoiled and rude they are and how they have no morals.

Umm . . . Duh?

She's only half the inlaws on that side, frighteningly enough. His stepmother is a whole other headache and that visit's next. At least Gary's mother is upfront about her feelings. Phoniness is a lot harder to combat.

Hi Eileen,

That has to be hard for you both.

And thank you for the compliment.

So when are you going to get a blog. :)

I am far more concerned with being a good wife and mother and don't much care what anyone else expects me to be. For as friendly and transparent as I am by nature, I'm apparently (so I'm told) prone to keep extended family--Gary's and mine--at arm's length with respect to the kids. There are some justifiable reasons for this and some that are probably unjustified. I'm learning that I'm prone to hold a grudge. If someone hurts my feelings, I forgive pretty easily, but I'm prone to keep my distance after that (I'm working on that). Hurt my kids or my husband and the response is a lot more powerful (I'm working on that too). Seeing Gary hurt by his family, rejected and treated as second fiddle, makes me angry. But Gary's family is as important to him as mine is to me, so I try respect it.

We have that saying too Scotty! And it is very true. In fact, sometimes I think it's true after just a few hours. :)

Hal Johnson said...

"Which is a lot less expensive than therapy."

And much more fun for your readers!