Ex-Mother-In-Law Troubles – Can You Help Me Please?

I was married for over two decades into a family that was much like the one depicted on Everybody Loves Raymond with a mother-in-law who was actually WORSE than Marie Barone,  Can you imagine?  When that TV show aired, it was like watching my life as I could easily related to Debra’s problems with her MIL (mother-in-law) Marie.  And it gave a lot of funny stories to my friends about my MIL as they couldn’t believe her audacity when I regaled them with true stories of the things she did and said.  It became a running joke (even though I didn’t always find her antics funny).  However, because I was raised to respect my elders and especially my husband’s parents, I allowed it.

Now that the divorce has been final for a year, you would think that the relationship between my former in laws and former husband would be settled.  Ever hopeful, I had thought that we would be in a peaceful place.  They live their lives and I go about mine without hassle.  But it was not meant to be since my ex MIL crossed the line over the weekend.  And my anger is to the boiling point.

She manipulated her way into my home through my children who were also taught to respect their elders.  Even though she was told No thank you by my kid who was staying with his dad and grandparents over the weekend, she insisted on driving him back to my home and caught off guard, he didn’t know how to say no without being not nice.

And so she got into my home when I was away.  Uninvited.  Without my permission.  Manipulative move on her part to see my home without me being there, without my knowledge and I am livid.  Because my kid has a car so he could have driven back to our house to get whatever it was that he needed so there was no need for Grandma to drive him.  In fact, he said that he was so caught off guard and even though he said no thank you, she insisted on taking a drive with him over to my home – in order to get in to see it!  And it’s not like she hasn’t seem it before because I did invite her over after we first moved in before I had written the post about cutting the ties that bind me.

And, here’s the topper – my ex husband tried the same with my other kid (and yes, he has a car too) but that kid said no so firmly that my ex didn’t pursue it.  Whew.

But here’s my question – WHY?   Curiosity?  Entitlement?  Narcissistic behavior?  Why do you need to come into my house?  And who the hell do you think you are to get in especially when I’m not home?  As far as I’m concerned she was trespassing.

They don’t invite me over to their home.  I wouldn’t want to go anyway.  But I am so angry.  I want to call her and give her a piece of my mind and tell her off, but I think silence serves me better.  I just wish they’d disappear.

What would you do?

 

 

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There’s No Prize For Being The Biggest Giver

I used to think that being the biggest giver was who I wanted to be.  Unselfishly, I gave more than my share in everything and in every relationship I had.  I gave until it hurt – because it hurt when I continued to give 100% to a relationship and only received a fragment in return.  It was only then when I wised up and realized that There’s no prize for being the biggest giver.

Not only is there no prize, but it’s not healthy.  In fact, it could be really unhealthy because we think we are doing right by giving so much, but in fact, we’re not.  We’re possibly hurting ourselves even more and not allowing others to give their share which doesn’t help them either.

I’m not all about 50/50 in a relationship.  But in the healthier ones I’ve had, they’ve been pretty close to 50/50 or in that vicinity – sometimes more, sometimes less – depending on what each person brings to the relationship.  Sometimes, at least for me, I’ve been more of the teacher and at others, more of the student, until I get on my feet and balanced in my heart.

Does any of this make sense to you????  I am not sure if I am explaining myself too well today.  There’s so much that I want to say, but in a general way, so I’m not sure it’s enough making sense.

Am I making sense?

I guess the bottom line is this:  If you aren’t getting feedback from a relationship, then it’s just not a relationship.  Because by definition a relationship is a give and take between two people and if you’re giving, but not receiving, then it’s unhealthy and may even be toxic.  As much as it hurts me to say this, I think it’s in being truthful with ourselves that we can set ourselves free from misery and unhealthy relationships.

I want you and me to be healthy, so that’s why I am saying this to us both.  You know I write for myself and for my readers who I feel are friends.  Take it from me, I learned the hard way and on the other side of unhealthy is healthy goodness and that’s what we all deserve!

 

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Text Message Received

Yesterday afternoon I received a text and it read:

Happy Mother’s Day.  Enjoy your day with the kids.

It was from my former husband who has not reached out, nor answered beyond a one word response in months.  I was stunned to see it.  I laughed thinking that perhaps he had read my post from the other day, but he doesn’t know I write a blog so that would be a slight chance if he had found my blog or even read it.

I told the kids that their dad had reached out and they were surprised too.  Then the older one said, hey, do you think he’s maybe changing?  As I looked over at him, he began laughing as I did.  Nah, he’s not changing Mama, but that sure was nice.  When was the last time he told you Happy Mother’s Day?  I had to think about it and then said three years ago.

I admit I waited a little while before responding Thank you, but only because we were busy celebrating mother’s day with my brother and his family.  Besides, just because he suddenly decides to be nice, I wasn’t going to jump up and respond right away.  But I did respond and I was grateful to have been wished a Happy Mother’s Day by the man who made me a Mom.

Geez, I just wrote about this the other day.  I’ll admit, I am glad that he wrote to me in a text.  I don’t know why he did it since this hasn’t been his routine at all.  Maybe it’s because I still send a card and a text to his mom.  Maybe because I had the kids send her texts too and we called her (and he didn’t).  Who knows for sure what goes on in his mind.  I certainly don’t.  But it was nice and I did appreciate the effort on his part.

So you see, I’m not a bitter wizened divorced woman in case you were thinking I am.  Nope.  I am just me, wanting peace and respect and giving out what I want in return whenever I can.  Because I think what goes around, comes around, even if it takes years.

I don’t think that just because he sent a text means he’s going to all of a sudden be nicer than he has in the past.  I’m not that naive nor innocent anymore.  But I am grateful for the little things.

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Happy Mother’s Day To All The Single Moms!

Moms without a partner, whether you’re divorced, separated, widowed or never married, my hat is off to you today!  You deserve a medal of honor for what you’ve accomplished by continuing to strive to be the BEST MOMMY AND MUM EVER to your kids!  I know the sacrifices you’ve experienced, the hard times, the worried days and nights that you’ve had to deal with and all the immense blessings that have come from being a Mom.

Being a divorced mom myself, I know the hard times that we’ve had and I remember when I had a husband with whom I shared the responsibilities of parenting.  While it was easier when I was married to parent my kids, now that it’s all my responsibility because of the way life turned out for us, I feel for you, like I feel for myself.

But there’s a blessing in being a Mom, that for me, feels like a priceless treasure that no amount of money can give me.  When my kids and their friends call me Mama or Mommy, my heart fills with gratitude and an outpouring of love that no other love can match.  Knowing that I birthed these amazing beings brings me such joy and makes everything, every sacrifice, every worried moment, every extra nuance of work all worth while for me.  My kids’ love is what sustains me, what keeps me trying my best at every turn, even when I feel lousy.

When I want to throw in the towel and let the grief overtake me, it is to them that I align myself because I never want them to experience more pain in their lives and if I can help it, I vowed the days I had both of them, that I would not have them hurt by me.

Of course, the divorce hurt them irrevocably and for that, I feel shame and  guilt.  But they know that their dad chose to leave and they are old enough to understand that he left me and not them, even though sometimes it feels like they have been left by him as well.  I guess sometimes it’s just the nature of the beast in a divorce.

Recently, one of my kids was really upset and depressed.  Because of the divorce, our dynamic has changed for the better.  We are a trinity of beings here in our home.  We respect each other, take care of each other and look out for each other.  I am blessed to have been able to create this atmosphere in our home.  We’re solidly connected, and at any moment, we all know we are here for each other.  Through thick and through thin, we are a family of three.

It’s not been easy to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, nor to hide my suffering from my divorce from my kids and if you ask them, they would probably tell you that I didn’t hide it well.  But their suffering broke me and it was because they didn’t deserve to suffer from the divorce that I was able to hold on and to overcome my sadness or at least, do my best to hide it away as best I could.

Kids don’t need to suffer from a divorce.  They’re not the reason a divorce occurs between two parents usually.  They are the innocents who suffer from a pair of people who can’t make it work.  That always breaks my heart and I can’t change it.  It is what it is in our lives and after so much time, we have healed from that time in our lives.

So to all the Moms out there, I salute you!  I am inspired by you!  I hold you in the highest regard!  Please accept my admiration for a job that never ends and is probably the hardest job you’ll ever have in this lifetime, as a job well done!  Yay YOU!

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An Open Letter To Divorced Dads Before Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow if you didn’t already know.  Let me remind you that it’s time for you to reach out to your own Moms and to say thank you and perhaps even I love you, if that’s how you feel.  For motherhood is a never-ending job.  No matter how old you are, your Mom is your Mom.  No matter how old she is, acknowledgement on her day is respectful.  Because without your Mom birthing you, you wouldn’t be here.

And if you’re divorced and have kids, then to your Baby Momma, you owe some acknowledgment as well.  I know that in a divorce, relationships are skewed and sometimes things are not good between you and the mother of your children.  I understand, but this is a time to set an example for your children as to how to be respectful and to be a role model for them.

I’m not saying it was all your fault for the divorce.  I have no idea, nor do I care.  As for me, I think that what happens between two people is what makes or breaks any relationship.  And that has little to do with the kids.  But your attitude on Mother’s Day towards their Mom has a lot to do with your kids.

No matter how mad you are or how hurt you are, please set it aside tomorrow.  This is your kid’s Mom’s Day.  In a perfect world, I would love it if you were to get a card for her and have the kids sign it.  It’s important that they remember how to respectfully treat the woman who birthed them.  It’s also important for your sons and daughters to know that divorced men can be respectful towards the mother of their kids.  Does that make sense?

You don’t want your sons to potentially disrespect women and their own Mom, do you?  Or for your daughters to think it’s ok that they don’t respect their own Mom or that it’s right that their Baby Daddy doesn’t respect them potentially in the future, do you?

I know that some of you may read my post and say that I don’t understand.  You’ll complain that your ex-wife did this and that and doesn’t merit the respect.  Ok.  You may be right.  But you’re not doing it for her necessarily, are you?

You’re taking the higher road and being a role model for your kids.  You’re showing them that the woman who gave birth to them with your help (because you’re their Dad) is respected and that you are a man who respects women.

Or maybe you’re not and that’s a whole other issue that I can’t even go into today.  Because it’s not about you or her or what happened between you.  It’s about the kids and showing them how to treat their parents and on Mother’s Day, their Mom.  Your turn will come in another month and I sure hope that she will be as respectful towards you as well.

I’m not respected by my former husband.  Before you ask, I’ll tell you that I used to send him a card from the kids on Father’s Day, but after not having it be acknowledged, I stopped.  But I did role model for the boys to respect their Dad.  I honestly don’t regret it because I didn’t do it for him.  I did it for my kids.  That’s what parenting is all about, isn’t it?  Kids come first.  We teach them by our example.

Well, if you’re still reading this post, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on the subject.  I’m willing to read what you feel about it if you want to share below.  And if you don’t, I just hope that maybe my post made sense to you.  I’m not throwing you under the bus.  I just gave my kids money to buy a card for me and for my former husband’s mother because I know he won’t do that and even though it’s not my family anymore, I believe that respect is respect and I can’t help but be who I am.

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Pacing Myself

Oh my soul love, I want to reach out to you, but lately you aren’t texting.  It’s not that you’re ghosting me after all this time.  We had our time together, reunited after decades and I left as I had to do, after rejoining you in your world  for a little while.

I have that little stubborn me though that still resides inside that says, you haven’t texted in awhile and I’m not going to be the first.  Oh that stubborn part who wants to protect my already besotted heart.

But really, this relationship is not meant to be more than it is, so I have to stop thinking like this.  I have to stop checking my phone to see if he’s written or thought about me at all.  Just because we spent time together which we both felt was glorious, this is reality and it is that we live separately.

Never to have more than a little time combined and I have to find peace with that reality.  Maybe some day, but not in the near future…

But I’m having a hard time.  I let two days go by with silence.  Like a chess game, I didn’t want to be the first to move my queen.  I wanted to see what his next move was.  And, so far,  it’s silence.

So my mind says:

He’s busy.  He’s working.  He knows that you’re back in your own element and reality and now he is too.  So why continue to remind yourself that there is more to the relationship when you can’t share it because reality is, there’s too much distance between you.  There just isn’t now.

Find the peace girlie.  Stop the ruminating and the wondering.  Hell, if you want to know, then ask.  Stop expecting that maybe he’ll reach out, or maybe he’s at that same bar that we went to together the other day, or whatever your mind is saying.

Stop. Stop. Stop.

It’s over I tell myself.  Enjoy the gift he gave you, the return of that soul fragment that he helped you to find again.  Hold tenderly the memories, but stop expecting anything more.  It is what it is and you can’t change the reality.  And neither can he.

Let’s be realistic.  He’s hurting too, but he’s more reality based.  He knows neither of us can change our lives so drastically.  It just isn’t feasible so find your peace.  Janie, find your peace.

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Back To Myself

everythinghaschanged

Friends have been telling me lately that it’s good to see me back to myself.  It’s strange honestly because I don’t think I’ve changed.  Ok, well, maybe I’m a little more outgoing than I was before when I holed up while I was grieving my broken heart and marriage.  But it’s more than that they’ve insisted and when they try to explain, without hurting my feelings, it gets complicated.

Bottom line, consistently said:

You’re getting back to the girl we knew.

What an eye-opener!  I have to say that I visibly gulped after hearing it the first time.  After the second and third times of welcome back to you! my eyes opened wide and I was grateful that these friends had stayed with me through the mess and were here supporting me with love.  Welcoming back the happy me I once was.

But it made me think because I never felt like I was unhappy in my marriage until the end.  I think we really did have some good years together, but after awhile, it wasn’t good.  It just wasn’t and even though I didn’t want to face it and I had ever hopeful dreams that things would get better.  But they never did.  I am grateful that my former husband had the courage to leave because I wouldn’t have ever left him.

But now, years down the road, long, hard tough years of working on myself, I am grateful that he’s out of my life and I have left the forest where I’d lost myself in a marriage that wasn’t healthy.  I am regaining myself again and smiling and laughing again.  Freedom is sweet, even though it’s a little lonely.  But better to be alone and single than lonely in a marriage.

Don’t you agree?

Posted in 50 years old, daily prompt, divorce, finding happiness at 50, inspiration, love, the daily post, women 50 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments