To My In-Laws
Originally when I told my husband I was going to pen an open letter to my in-laws, I had the intention of really expressing how I feel and how disappointed I am at how they have treated their son/brother. But as time has progressed, rather than feel angry, I feel sorry for them. Sorry because they are missing out on the opportunity to build a relationship with an amazing new daughter and sister-in-law. Because they are missing out on another wonderful, intelligent and caring nephew and grandson. But more importantly, they are missing out on the growth and progression their own son/brother has made, all because they would rather believe lies instead of the truth and hard cold facts.
I realize some of you may be lost and confused as to what I am referring to. So, let me back up and start from the beginning.
Aaron and I have known each other for YEARS. Many think I’ve just popped up over the past 2 years or so, but that is so far from the truth. I have known Aaron since we were 15 year old tenth graders. We have always been close and we have always shared a special relationship. I don’t have to go into minute details about the feelings I’ve had for him since high school because I have already chronicled that in previous posts. After high school, our lives went separate ways. I had a child, he got married. We lost touch and life went on. Fast forward to 2016 when we reconnected. The wonderful world of social media reconnected us and it was great being able to catch up with an old friend. Unbeknownst to me, Aaron was dealing with personal issues that put a strain on his marriage. The one person he loved more than anything in this world had done the most heinous thing you could do in a relationship and tore him to pieces. I don’t think I need to mention what that thing is as we are all adults and know what the worse thing is that can sever a relationship. People on the outside automatically assumed his friendship with me is what caused his separation. BUT I had come into the picture much, much later; after the damage had already been done. Coincidentally, I had come along when Aaron was trying to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next. Someone was playing the victim and making it seem as if I was the one who ruined their family. Truth is, she had already done that on her own. And you believed every word she said, placing the blame on me, which was extremely misdirected. Not how you thought it played out, huh? You see, when people don’t have all the answers or pieces to the puzzle and make assumptions or jump to conclusions, they never have the whole story.
Now that you are up to speed…
When Aaron and I became closer and our relationship became stronger and we were ready to take that next step, our support was one-sided. When you know you are about to marry someone and spend the rest of your life with them, you are ecstatic that not only will you have a life partner, you will be gaining another mother and father, more sisters and brothers and tons of nieces and nephews! However, I wasn’t that lucky. While Aaron was being welcomed with open arms to an entirely new herd of folks (my family), I was frowned upon by his family and not accepted because they listened to misguided information from the one person who singlehandedly shattered their son/brother’s soul. You would think in the midst of a separation/divorce they would have his side….he’s their blood. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. Even going as far as jeopardizing our beginning, trying to cut me deep, while hurting him in the process.
To my in-laws, what you don’t see is the hurt and pain Aaron has gone through because everyone he has ever known has slowly exited his life one-by-one based on falsified information. You all should know Aaron’s heart and his values. If you did you would know that Aaron would have never ended his marriage, unless under extremely trying circumstances. What Aaron didn’t tell you was the reason the marriage ended. And the reason he didn’t do that was because he didn’t want to smear anyone’s name in the mud; all the while his name was being dragged through the mud by everyone he knew, through local circles and social media. So, what I want to say to you now is that while I was angry for him by your actions, especially after seeing the hurt it caused him, at the end of the day it is YOUR loss and not OURS. Whether you acknowledge me or not, whether you like me or not, whatever your thoughts are about it…one thing remains true: I am still your daughter-in-law. I am still married to your son/brother. And whether you choose to accept that or not is completely up to you. But you aren’t hurting anyone but yourself. He has family and people who care about him because they know his heart. Family who you will never know, engage with or get to know because you don’t accept me. And this family rolls much deeper than any family he has ever known before.
So, while you don’t like me because you think I am this or that, the truth of the matter is you don’t know me at all. You’ve never had a conversation with me. You’ve never given me a chance. You think I’m not like you because we don’t practice the same beliefs or you think I ruined your family. Neither statement is true. But what is true is that I will always stand up for my husband, I will always have his back and we will always know OUR truth…THE TRUTH.