"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Friday, September 19, 2008

I have a confession to make...

For the past year and a half, I let my anger over things said to my husband stand in the way of my kids seeing their grandparents as much as they should.

To understand the situation, I have to give you a little background. The house we live in right now belongs to my MIL. We are renting to own from her. The house will be ours one day. We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to buy this house at such a wonderful price...and my in-laws are wonderful to have offered it to us. However, this has made my MIL feel like she can give us advice or be privy to knowledge about things that truly are not her business (mostly money issues). Some things happened about a year and a half ago and my MIL had my FIL lecture my hubby about work ethics, financial responsibility, and general nonsense for 2 hrs. My husband has one of the strongest work ethics of anyone I know. At one point in our marriage, he was working almost 7 days a week to make ends meet. My wonderful, responsible, hardworking hubby was treated like a child and it PISSED ME OFF. My hubby was also deeply hurt by this. Because of my anger at this situation and because of the way my hubby felt, we didn't visit my in-laws nearly as often as we should have. Over all, my in-laws were and are wonderful people but this issue was a sticking point for me. There were many times during that year and a half when I mention to my hubby that maybe we should visit them...but I never pushed it or followed through.

And, now its too late. My FIL is gone and my children missed out on a lot of time they could have had with him. I'm not sure I can ever forgive myself for that.

9 comments:

Chris said...

{{{HUGS}}} Coulda, woulda, shoulda....don't beat yourself up over it.

Dora said...

Kristen, what Chris said. Guilt won't make anything better. I'm glad you wrote about it instead of letting it fester in your mind. We all do things we're not proud of. What your in-laws did was wrong. Families are like that. Forgiveness all around will be healing. Anger and guilt will only create more pain.

Give yourself a break.

Beautiful Mess said...

I'm with Chris and Dora. We all have moments of regrets in our lives. Sadly, we can't change the past. I'm sorry your feeling heartsick over this, but everything is fine. Hang in there, things will be OK. Hugs,
-D

Jen said...

live and learn I guess, just remember your MIL is still here and I'm sure she'll love spending time with them ((hugs))

Mrs Woggie said...

We've all done things like that and can look back and say "I wish" I guess now you can just tell your children how wonderful he was and keep his memory alive that way. I'm sorry that you lost your FIL.

Here from ICLW.

Silver said...

You can't go back, so go forward instead. As some of the others don't beat yourself up.

Hugs

Cassandra said...

Sorry to hear about your FIL.

I agree with the others that you shouldn't beat yourself up. Keeping your distance wasn't about depriving your children of their grandparents. It was about punishing your in-laws for their truly inappropriate behavior, perhaps, but it was also about protecting your family. Protecting your husband from other potentially hurtful incidents, protecting yourself from re-experiencing the anger, maybe protecting your in-laws from things you might have blurted out in anger, and also maybe protecting your boys from hurts that their grandparents could have caused them -- such as belittling their father's work ethic in front of them.

After some time has passed, expressing your honest feelings to your MIL (both the hurt over their behavior and your regret over yours) may help you come to a place of forgiveness. Best wishes to all of you.

Stephanie, Phil, Kayla, Logan & Alex said...

Don't beat yourself up. The guilt won't make it better. All you can do is change what you do in the future. I agree with others - tell your kids about how he was a good man.

(ICLW)

Irish Diplomacy said...

I completely agree with your post- I recently had a run-in with my MIL for the guilt trips they lay on my husband.. there was no way I could stand by and listen to this further. He deserved better and it needed to happen.

All that to say- you made the best decision that you could at the time. While you cannot change the past, you can affect the future.