F A I T H F U L
Sometimes, we need to be fearless in standing up for our marriages and for what we believe in, and fearless in protecting what God has given us. Below is a letter I wrote to hubby’s mother. When I re-read what I had written, even I could see the anger and hurt flowing across the typed words. I don’t know if I will send it to her. This is hubby’s story and the decision lies with him.
For a long time now I haven’t said anything or commented on anything, because I have never thought it my place to. But, the events of the last couple of days have now brought me to a point where something needs to be said.
I have withdrawn completely from the family. My reasons are numerous and I will give you example after example to explain to you why and so you can understand what I am talking about. I have not felt at all accepted in the family, and there is very little interest in my family. No-one ever phones my husband unless there is a crisis of some sort. He stopped phoning and it took a month – a whole month – for anyone to even notice that he had stopped phoning.
As for Baby Girl, well, she just doesn’t feature. There is very little interest in her or how she is doing unless we specifically make a point of letting you know how things are going. There are no phone calls to her, no letters, no contact – no interest. Unless we initiate it first. For her birthday, I understand that you can’t send a gift from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It’s just too expensive, but is it too much to ask to pick up the phone and chat to her and say, “Baby Girl, you’re turning 8 on Monday, what would you like us to get you for your birthday?” She just doesn’t feature. Do you have any idea what that does to me as her mother? She has no close relationships with her grandparents because neither is interested. My heart breaks for her, she is such a loving, beautiful little girl – and no-one in either of our families (bar my younger brother and his wife) show any interest in or concern for her at all. We shouldn’t have to keep phoning you to tell you about your grandchild – she’s your granddaughter. You should WANT to know what is going on in her life.
As for Ballot’s Bay – I swore after that weekend that I would never, ever put myself through that again. Your daughter treated my husband and I like dirt the entire weekend and everybody looked away and pretended like nothing was happening. Going to the elephant park and leaving us behind was rude, mean and selfish. Are you honestly trying to tell me that the family couldn’t wait 20 minutes for me to get ready so we could all go together? Really? And then after about 10 calls not one person answered their phone. And yet, when my husband and I decide to have a child after being married for 8 years, everyone comes down on us like a ton of bricks. But, your daughter can specifically be as mean to me as she likes, while everyone just looks away and pretends nothing is happening. And you want to know WHY I have withdrawn from the family? I will not be treated like that – that weekend will never happen again.
I could give you numerous other examples – like being told that us spending every holiday with you is cheap. Or that I’m so fat and white that your daughter is glad that she doesn’t look like me. Or being told that she doesn’t need to look at a pile of bricks when we were having our house built. Or me making an observation by saying that her youngest daughter is as tall as Baby Girl and you telling me it’s not a competition – do you know that comment killed all conversation that day? Or being told, “I only have one child, I wouldn’t understand.” Really – how is it that both you and my mom had three, and seemed to cope? I may only have one child, but we have absolutely no support or interest from any parties at all, so that pretty much leaves us completely on our own. And everyone is missing out on knowing such a precious little soul.
So, there are many other reasons why I have withdrawn – but I wanted to just lay the background to my actual point of my email: this whole issue with K.
The thing that has made me the angriest is that no one in this family stood up for your son. He is probably the least male chauvinistic person you can get. That was the irony of the joke (that everyone we know just laughed at). Everyone was more concerned about K being offended – not one person even asked if she had the right to be offended, and what this has done to your son (my husband).
Every time, and I mean every time, something great has happened for us, something has happened to counteract that. Getting married was all wrapped up in your daughter causing an issue because your youngest son was still overseas (even though we had already made contact with him and made sure he would be here – my husband would never, ever get married without his family being there. But once again it seems the family just doesn’t know this). Or building our new house and having your daughter commenting on how “she doesn’t need to see a pile of bricks”. Really??? How about showing support or enthusiasm for someone you’re supposed to love and care for achieving something really great? And we won’t even mention the birth of our daughter – the daughter who still doesn’t feature… And now this.
You mentioned your concern about losing your youngest son – have you ever wondered about losing your oldest? This is an amazing person, with so much love and kindness in his heart, and adores his family, but all we hear when we go to Cape Town is: “Your husband is such an idiot”, or “It’s just your husband”, or “Typical so-and-so”… Since when is it okay to talk about someone like that? And when my husband has mentioned before that it bothers him, he gets teased for being too sensitive. Once again, really? It’s so bad that for some time now we’ve heard that same talk coming from your daughter’s husband, and your youngest son’s new wife, K. Two people who hardly know him at all have picked up that way of talking and now also view him as “Just him” or “His an idiot” and they don’t even know him – do you honestly think that is fair or true? Because I certainly don’t.
And that is why I have withdrawn. My husband, our daughter and I deserve to be treated as equal members of the family, and to be treated with dignity and respect. And if we’re not going to get that, then we will withdraw and just quietly go on with our own lives – as we have been doing up till now.
Can you see the hurt and anger in this? I will stand up for my family, but like I say – this is my husband’s story so the decision to send this or not, lies with him. I realise that not all the world will see him as I see him. I get that. But surely love and support from our own family is NOT too much to ask for?
The Baby Mama