Friday, September 25, 2009

Understanding Outlaws

For the past 8 years, I have racked my brains, trying to understand R's family. Not that they aren't good people, but they are too cliquish - they stick to each other like Super Adhesive. True, admirable trait for some, but sometimes, a little too (what's the word?...) secret society for my taste.

SKELETONS
Like any other family, they have skeletons in their closet. Family secrets they hide from non-blood relations, inlaws included. The first time I met my inlaws, I thought it was odd that they kept to themselves. R's younger sis, L was the one closest to me in age, so she was the only one I got to bond with. They're really nice folks, except for the fact that they treat others like well... "others". Don't get me wrong, I love my inlaws. They are after all, R's parents and sibs, and my kids' blood relatives. Sometimes though, I wonder if they, in return, love me. It has been a long-standing Q for me and the other outlaws in the family. The ex of one of R's brothers once confided that my FIL once told her this: "In our family, we love our kids, and our kids' kids, but you girls (referring to the ones married to his children), psssh! We don't care about you." Well, something to that effect. I didn't really take it to heart because at first, my inlaws were really nice to me. R once said his father was proud of the fact that I was his daughter-in-law because I was smart and I come from a good family. But then, I noticed that they started keeping things from me - facts about R's whereabouts, his plans, his schedule, his visits to their place, etc. Once, when R and I were hanging out at his folks', his older brother told us not to tell his then-girlfriend (now ex) that he was in town. Later that afternoon, when the girlfriend came to pick my MIL up, my MIL lied to her straight-faced. Like it was nothing out of the ordinary, like it was matter-of-fact. That opened my eyes big time. Sure, I can tell a fib, but that episode started a string of hurts, especially for my BIL's ex. But then, that's another story.

But yes, everyone in that family is super secretive. And it is like they think of you as dumb to not figure things out. When R was in the US two years ago, he became incommunicado two months before he flew back, and when I had asked one of his older sisters M if she ever got to talk to him, she fibbed by telling me that she last spoke with him that day he left for the US! I mean, what a crock of poop! Why they keep things like that from me, I do not know. It isn't like I will fly off to look for him. I just care for my hubby and worry about his well-being.

ILL ADVICE
It reached a point when once, upon having caught R with someone, I sought my MIL's comfort. And instead of reprimanding R, she advised him (in front of me!) to leave town!!! I mean, what mother tells her son to leave his wife? Once, over the phone, while I cried out to her on R's womanizing, she exclaims, "Matagal ko na kasi sinasabi diyan kay R na maghiwalay na kayo. Ba't ba kasi hindi nalang kayo maghiwalay? Pinipilit niyo pa sarili niyo na magsama! Sus!" I mean, what parent wishes for their son or daughter to have a broken marriage? Sigh.

My friend A once told me that when her brother was cheating on his wife, their mom felt it was her duty to defend her son no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. After all, he is her son and moms love their sons regardless. So maybe it isn't my MIL's fault she was too defensive of her sons? Maybe it is second nature, like a lioness protecting her cubs? I look at my parents and they never, NEVER tolerated sin. Even the smallest, smallest lie didn't go unpunished. We were taught right from wrong, and that sin can never, ever be justified to be right.

Nevertheless, I love my MIL. I guess she realized that she cannot direct our lives and has resorted to telling me to "Keep Praying" each time she hears of marital woes between R and me. She is after all, religious. If there is one thing I admire about her, it is her unconditional love for her son.

APPRECIATING MY FIL
I once had a tussle with my FIL. There was one time when I sent R away, after one of our many heated arguments about his "past time". My FIL, upon finding out what happened told me off by saying "Walang pwedeng magpalayas sa mga anak ko. Aba, kung may nagpalayas sa kanila, PI sya!" And of course, I knew he meant me. But that incident has long been resolved between us.

One Saturday, around 2 years ago, my FIL had a long talk with me. During our hour-long conversation, he told me how he appreciated that I stayed with R all these years. He knew I was praying for R and that in some way, He knew I was a martyr for staying and he told me so. He also told me he was aware of his sons misdeeds, and that if it had been any other girl by his side, she would have left R a long time ago. It was a talk much appreciated. It was acknowledgment for all the years I served without wanting anything in return. In a way, he is right. I am a martyr. This, after all, is no longer for me. If this is the only way R can be a better person, then I will wait for that day.

Today, I look back at that day and realize how foolish it was to stay. But I guess God has His way and timing. I am stronger today. If what had happened recently, happened then, I'd be lost and a mess. Thank God for perfect timing!

THOUGHTS
My thoughts bring me to them today, because last night, as I sat pondering about all that has happened, I realize that they haven't (no, not once!) checked up on me or the kids. My mom says to just let it go as it is no big deal, I have all the support I can get at home and from my friends. But it does matter! They are after all, blood relatives of my kids - family who are supposed to care. A few months ago, when I asked R why his parents haven't even visited the baby and if they care at all to check up on their new grandkid, he said they do but are probably busy. Who'd be too busy for grandkids?! Your guess is as good as mine.

Two years ago, when chatting over YM with my SIL L, I wondered why their mom never even bothered to tell me that she was in contact with R, who was then in the US. Because I posed a lot of questions, I was told I was investigating and trying to catch them in a lie! But why hide the fact from me when they knew I was waiting for any information on my hubby's well-being?! That ended whatever relationship I had with L. Our communication was soon limited to Hi and Hello over once-in-a-blue-moon emails that went unanswered for months. She even went as far as deleting me from any network group we were previously contacts in. Secrets abound! That can only be my conclusion and it pains me that they treat me and their other inlaws this way. Weird doesn't even describe their attitude towards us. It is not in any way normal.

Or maybe it IS normal. I have many girlfriends who have similar problems with their inlaws. My cousin's wife H is in an even worse situation with her inlaws (my uncle and aunt!). They have gone as far as spreading stories about her - texting friends, pastors and church leaders to malign the poor girl. They've spread rumors about her baby not being my cousin's and have insinuated that my cousin should get a DNA test to see if he is indeed the father of their baby! Sad, isn't it? That parents, who are supposed to be more mature and lead by example, are the ones who instigate trouble in the lives of their children. Sigh.

I am not saying, however, that I am the perfect inlaw. I am nowhere near perfect. I have mistakenly involved my inlaws in my cause to save my marriage, when I know I shouldn't have. But I had no one to turn to during the first few years of marital woes. I didn't want to let my family know I was having problems with R. So I did what I thought was right, I talked to his mom. In my valentine's day letter to my inlaws last year, I told them that I admired the way they stick to each other through thick and thin. In fact, I still admire their determination to stay intact. It is what family is all about, after all. To stand by each other, to hold your hand in the midst of trouble, to be there when the whole world turns against you.

With the turn of events in my own family life, I have lost whatever anger I have against all that R has done. A friend once told me that if she sees me back with R in the future, she will slap me across the face. I wonder now if R and I will ever find peace in our situation. We were once best of friends. Partners who vowed to be with each other for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer... and yet, as death tiptoed close to R's door, I was nowhere near him, far from beside him. And I think to myself, why did it happen this way? Why did we take this road? Right now, I have no answers. All I know is that once, I had a dream to have the perfect family. Now that dream remains a dream, far from realization. I do, however, still have that chance to correct the situation with my inlaws. They are still family, and no matter how much pain and disappointment they've caused me, I still love them. Maybe one day, they will stand by me the way they stand by their kids. Maybe one day, I will be lucky enough to be treated like family. Yes, even if it does not work out with R.

Why do I even bother? Well, life is short, and bottomline is, the world will be a better place if we all got along. Ironically, I always got along with the moms of my exes. Fancy none of them became my actual inlaw. In the end, all I really want is a family for my kids. It will be a waste of time to bicker and hold grudges. Bottomline is, they love their son. In a weird way. But they love their son. That is all I need to know in order to understand.

14 comments:

  1. hi k! this is the first time i've actually sat down and read your blogs - well, not all of them, just the most recent ones since this whole situation got out of proportion.

    i praise our GOOD LORD for the strength He has given you each day. i praise HIM even more for the love HE is showing you, because HE is using you, R, and this situation for HIS GLORY. its HIS story, after all. i am very excited to see how HE will end all this. praise HIM for the trials HE sends your way, as HE is pruning you for greater things.

    "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

    you are in my prayers, k. and although i may seem distant at times, because of my own trials, i am here for you. more importantly, GOD is always there. think back on how HE's worked in your life. He will remain faithful even when we're not.

    "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

    stand firm for JESUS, k. love you!

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  2. Dear K,

    On your MIL and FIL tales - been there, done that. Same as you, I don't get the blind loyalty at all. Sin is sin, and we as parents need to correct and rectify, not molly-cuddle the SOBs....but there you go. My folks said just leave it to God, He'll make sure that the accounts will be balanced someday.

    You can be sure that I will be the first to whack my sons when I hear these kind of sob stories from my future daughter-in-laws. Sheesh, why immerse your kids in deeper shit by defending their wrongs, right?

    God Bless!

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  3. hello there.
    my bff sent this blog to me.
    i really don't know what's really happening in your life. all i can say, it pains me to know what you must be going through. somehow, i can relate a little to your story. my father left us when we were still very young for another woman. my grandmother, consented my fathers relationship with his other woman. i have forgiven both my father and grandmother , but i will never ever forget. the pain that my mom had to go through on her own, raising 3 kids all by herself. she didn't let her mom or her siblings know what she had gone through.
    stay strong, God is with you.

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  4. Hello Kaye, You sounded like you have ill feelings toward your in-laws & you said you love them.But why you have to exposed their way of loving their son which obviously contradicts your belief..They are right..it's your choice to still take R so, don't complain..don't push anyone to be good or change as to your like..Let them be & let God do the miracle to them..who are you to say their way of loving R is weird.. What if I tell you...your way of loving R is weirder.. don't judge..the bottomline is we have different way of loving people..

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  5. ^You know, you are right. I write with bitterness and pain as I am disappointed with how they handled and cuddled their son. But I DO NOT blame them. You missed the whole point of this post (and the point of my Tracker post, but it's ok, I understand), however. My inlaws aren't perfect but I never tried to change them or anybody for that matter, not even R. I have come to understand (and credit for this goes to my MIL) that loving unconditionally means to look past faults, FORGIVE and love, regardless.

    You are mistaken, however, in thinking that I contradict myself in saying I love them. Because I do love them and care for them.

    And yes, it was my choice to stick to R. How much weirder can that get? R could have left as well, but didn't. Sigh.

    But yep, it is time to pick up the pieces and move forward.

    P.S. This post wasn't intended to be an expose, you know. But I am sorry you are quite affected and I apologize. I wish you well in your marriage. Not everyone can be as fortunate to have doting inlaws.

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  6. For ms anonymous 2 ( Sept 27, 1:34am).

    Please don't say that. Ms. Kaye had gone through a lot. Yes, when a person write about it.. pains will show esp when the person was hurt big time. But that doesn't mean that she STILL have ill feelings towards her inlaws. Thus saying that she is contradicting herself by saying that she loves them is NOT ok. It is ONLY Ms. Kaye who can say what she REALLY feels. Not you or anyone else. If she says she LOVES them despite of. Who are you to say otherwise!? Are you Kaye? Do you live with her? DO YOU REALLY know what's going on? Have you been IN HER SHOES?

    NO right?
    So hush my little darling.


    Qoute:" don't push anyone to be good or change as to your like"

    - Ms. Kaye is praying for them. Not making them change herself. Not for her liking - but for their own good!

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  7. I kinda smell fishy about Ms. Anonymous. I wonder if she is related to your In laws Kaye. Anyways am anonymous too but thats not me lol!

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  8. me too... I think Ms. Anonymous is one of them..."THE IN-LAWS", with that kind of reaction. Let's put it this way, why don't she try to be in Ms. Kaye's shoes, lets see if she can still say those words.

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  9. Even if blood is thicker than H2O, we must not ignore the wrong deeds and ways of whoever is related to us. Instead, help him find the right path to humble himself, repent and make up for his mistakes... I think that's the real love and concern for one's brother or relative...

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  10. Men who are psychologically incapacitated in marriage suffer from some disorder that is rooted in family. Most psychiatrists handling nullity of marriage cases will write that in their case studies.

    Wives who choose to stay on for the sake of family, love and commitment probably see hope in spite of the ugly situation they are in... or they probably just need to get therapy. LOL...

    You are doing just fine.
    Writing about your feelings in your private blog is within your freedom to do.

    He/She who does not like what you say here is also free NOT to follow your blog posts.

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  11. I definitely agree!!!

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  12. HUH! outburst! o' come all ya..look! who are talking..??? see? you even reacted on my views...I just commented on ms k's assesment regarding the in laws..And..believe me I don't know anyone of them LOL..am very far out from knowing one of them..hmmmnnnn..listen to you all, you already had/have your own conclusions even if you don't know who was I..don't you get the point? we are all one & the same, we react to something that we don't agree of..But, I respect all your opinions..as I respect very highly the reply of ms.k..I just thought that the in laws should spared from the pic here,,Yes, it is private but the popularity that this blog has become is somehow turned into a frenzy..I am just an ordinary blog surfer..I come across K's on tv..got curious & looked for it..I even cried almost every time I read her entry..except this one..Don't get me wrong..I sympathized with K.In fact, I highly admire the brave heart that she has.She is exceptional to be still SANE in her predicament..She is JOAN OF ARC in her own way..Kaye, I am just an ordinary avid fan of your blog since the scandal of R & C broke.I even then did intensify my search if I can have a glimpse of how you look like..I did, on your multiply account you have a video there..And you have no idea how my heart broke when I saw you..I thought R is such an A E to have hurt you & your children this much.I want to say HE deserves what he got into now but who am I to say it? It's only GOD knows what we deserve..But,I really think he deserves the humiliation..K, my heart goes to you..I just thought to spare the in laws, that's all..I am very protective of my parents from my in laws..I am single, & remain to be ..because I don't know if how would I react to in laws.. hostility..LOL..PEACE TO ALL..let's pour our energy how to help ONDOY's victims..more power to you ms K..you deserve better..best in fact..

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  13. Your cousin's wife, HMarch 3, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    LOve it, i'm included! :p Yea, wonder how parents can be the ones to cause problems nga! haha :) see you soon. Can I borrow BUMBO in June? I'm sorry about the helper, we just DON'T want to RISK it IF anything negative ever comes about from it...but i'll contact u instantly once i have someone for you again :)
    Your cousin's wife, H :p

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  14. hi, I've read through your blog once or twice before. You're such a strong and kind person. :)

    Me naman, my problem with my in-laws is that they are too in my face. Well, mostly my MIL. I would love to have in laws who let me do my own thing and raise my kids in my own way without putting me down or ignoring my authority as the mom. She is always trying to take my kids from me, always bribing them with (cheap, possibly lead-paint tainted) toys in her house. Me kasi, I don't like leaving my kids anywhere. (I was actually fine with it before, but my MIL spent so much time and energy making me feel like such a terrible mother because SHE NEVER left her kids ever ever ever)

    Anyway na-rant na ako. I just wanted to say that sometimes it might be better to have in laws who just let you be. I wish I did. I don't like kasi being pressured or bullied into doing things especially concerning my family. I'm so bad noh. Sorry I am ranting here, I'm just so lonely about this cos I can't tell anyone how I really feel. I know it sounds so bad. :(

    But I think you are awesome, that you can still love and care for them in spite of the hurt they have caused you. You really are a good person, and God sees that, as do we, the readers of your blog.:) May God bless youand your kids more!!!

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