I haven’t always gotten along with my in-laws. There was a period of time right before we got married where James had to convince me not to kill his mother; but after I got custody of the kids, the two of us developed a friendly if not staggered relationship, only speaking when absolutely necessary, but always in an amiable manner.
I didn’t want to kill her because she was rude, mind you. I know not every mother is like mine – bless her heart, if she has one today – but I hated her because she was so kind. She was deceptively kind. I spent the first two months of my relationship with James absolutely paranoid that she was being friendly with me just so she could gain my trust and then shank me in an alley.
Yes, I see the irony in my fear, I’m still not wrong.
I brought my fears to James and he laughed at me before reminding me that not everyone has an ulterior motive. Some people are just nice. During the entire wedding process, she remained an absolute peach, so excited that her son was happy. I remember going with her to pick out my wedding dress – because, god-forbid I take my mother, I’d end up killing the attendant before I picked out a dress.
As it was, I ended up slashing the poor girl’s throat later that day to vent my frustration.
So there I was, with James’ mother, face lit up like a Christmas tree because every dress was “oh my goodness, so beautiful”, and I blew up at her. I yelled at her for being so fucking nice, and asked her how she managed to raise her son when he couldn’t even stand up for herself. She stopped smiling. I swear that was the first time she had stopped smiling since I met her. And she just walked out the door.
I went to James that night, expecting to get an earful about respecting his mother, only to discover that she hadn’t said a word to him. She didn’t whine or complain, she kept her son safe.
I called her the next day and we met for coffee so I could apologize. When I got there, she was already sitting there with a bouquet of flowers. I lost it. I just remember being so angry that she had somehow gained the upper hand in our relationship that I acted like a child. I threw the flowers out and walked away.
Two weeks later – and after one very long lecture from my finance – I worked up the courage to apologize and have a frank discussion about my stress over the wedding. After that, things were strained to say the least but we leveled out into a tolerable companionship. It wasn’t until the week after I got the kids that we actually developed a sort of kinship.
Sandra was absolutely intolerable after she lost her mother. She wouldn’t talk to me, or eat anything I put in front of her. She skipped school more often than she went during that first month. Jason, following his sister’s lead as always, learned a lot of new swear words in a very short amount of time and used any possible excuse to use them on James and I. When he knew what he meant, his words stung.
On a really bad day, for whatever reason, I found myself calling my mother-in-law – in tears – asking her to come over. James was at work and the kids had both left so it was just me alone with a bottle of wine. I just vented to her about all the problems I’d been having, raising two preteen children, and she listened. She just listened and poured wine while I cried into my glass. And then she smiled and said “I know.” After that night we definitely established some common ground and that was the beginning of our friendly working relationship.
Last week, she called me and told me to meet her for coffee so last Wednesday I showed up after an exhausting day at work and there she was, smiling as usual. She’s definitely aged well, which I’m glad to know. Maybe James will get that gene and we’ll be that 70-year old couple who could pass for 40.
I’m determined to be immortal – or at least look like it – so hopefully we can not-grow old together.
We got our overly-expensive coffee and sat down at a table in the corner, and then I listened.
She told me that she didn’t want to know what was going on between the two of us – “your problems are your own”, she said – but she told me to have patience. James is stubborn and emotional but he loves me and whatever happens, I make him happy. But simultaneously, I have to be attentive. We both did something wrong, whatever it was, and we need to find a solution together.
It’s not something new to me. I’ve heard all of this before. But coming from her, it seemed to strike a chord.
After I left her, I called James and he agreed to stop by the house the next night.
He’d stopped shaving; that was the first thing that came to mind when I opened the door. He was all scraggly and muscle-y and
We had sex.
It was really good.
I have missed having sex with my husband.
But that also means we didn’t talk. In face we haven’t spoken since that night. I’m nervous. I think I screwed up. I hate asking the internet for marriage advice but:
Readers, what do I do?
As always,Stay Safe