Allow me to tell you a story. I only wish that it wasn’t true…more-so I wish that it wasn’t ours. I have wrestled with airing our dirty laundry, but I feel that people need to hear our side of the stories rather than simply the lies being spread about us. We’ve remained silent for 7 years, but now that my children are being dragged into this and my family turned against us, I can’t stay silent any longer.
I’ve never understood why, but Ryan’s birth father did not want him to marry me. He went from being my biggest fan to hating me seemingly overnight. No matter how much we worked to get him to like me nothing worked. He told everyone that I was “stealing his best friend” and they began spreading lies about me, Ryan and our relationship. There were some things that I found “off” about them. They would walk around half dressed (and some not dressed at all), and his father/stepmom made inappropriate comments about their daughters. They’d curl up in his lap in just a thong and bra on and He even took pictures of them for them to send to their boyfriends at the time. Then his wife would make comments making fun of my family saying I’d never do that with my father…umm no, I wouldn’t. He didn’t see a problem with half naked models being pinned all over their garage around their teenage daughters and young adult sons. He and my oldest sister make jokes about having an affair together…in front of their spouses. Things became progressively worse up and through our wedding. Our engagement weekend his father sent him a series of inappropriate texts and pictures for anyone, much less their newly engaged SON. He and his wife (Ryan’s stepmom) refused to participate in anything for our engagement/wedding unless Ryan begged them or it was something to make themselves look good. At our Rehearsal Dinner his father gave a speech about “come what may” in our marriage and his family always being there for them “after” our marriage would be over. They did not speak to me at our wedding. Never brought us a wedding present or even so much as a card. They spread lies about my parents hating me and “apologizing for their son having to be married to me” and even deeply upset my mom. Why would someone make that comment about their own daughter on her wedding day? He sent his newly married son an email telling him he was a horrible son who was being controlled by his wife. He repeatedly told him that his family of origin should have come first over his wife and future kids. (Yes, we still have the emails.)
We did not speak to them for almost 2 years after our wedding. They continued to spread lies about our family, what type of mother Ryan’s mom was (who raised him) my father, his company and trying to hurt his business, my marriage, Ryan and what type of man he was, lies about our finances and convincing people we weren’t paying our bills. They even lied to the government and tried to claim Ryan on their taxes through 2013 when we were married. (Illegal considering he hadn’t lived at home or been supported by them since 2010 and was in the Army!). They ended up filing bankruptcy shortly after. Ryan cried to my father and had many conversations with him about how to heal this relationship.
One day they finally “apologized” to us for how they were treating us and we thought it was the answer to our prayers. My sister told me she had informed them that we were trying to get pregnant. Whatever the reason we were so hopeful to have our family whole again. They came to visit and his father even started to be almost nice to me. There were still problems and comments made, but we were desperately trying to have them in our lives since we were going through infertility and wanted our kids to have grandparents. Apparently, my parents and family took this as everything was okay. My Dad hired Ryan’s stepmother to run his HR department (after she quit before being fired several years prior). I didn’t find this out until the following morning and was never given a heads up. Ryan and I were deeply hurt by this, but we were told it was none of our business. Things progressively became worse. I caught his stepmom lying to my father, committing illegal actions on behalf of the company, and trying to get myself and another member of my family fired (even though I was originally a consultant). I reported all of this to my father and my boss did as well…including email evidence to back us up. Emotionally I couldn’t take it anymore. Shortly after, I was pushed out of my father’s company and a replacement hired for me. They and other members of RYan’s family made fun of our kids being test tube babies and us needing IVF to get pregnant. They told people I was a horrible mother and couldn’t even take care of my own children. Of course they say just the opposite around my family so that we look like the crazy ones.
The last time we saw them was the week of Ryan’s graduation from WOCS in November. I suggested Ryan have his Dad help me hold the kids to “pin” him to help heal their relationship. We asked them to come but told them all we had for them to sleep on was an air mattress since we’d just PCS’d and didn’t have a bedroom set up. his stepmom laughed and said they didn’t want to stay there anyway because our babies might wake them up and they wanted to stay with a friend of theirs and his girlfriend. Imagine my surprise when my sisters started texting me one day and my parents informed me that we “didn’t make Ryan’s parents comfortable” and were so mean to them when they were driving all the way down here. His father avoided us the entire time they were here unless my parents were around to keep face. It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Again, he made a few inappropriate comments about my kids while we were changing their diapers so we started refraining from changing them in the same room.
For 7 years they had bad mouthed my family and said there was a reason all of us from Maine are called “Damn Yankees”. They hated northerners and we were a bunch of “racists” and making up stories about his one trip up there with the Golden Knights. He stated he’d never step foot up there again and wouldn’t feel comfortable. We got into a fight about it when I was pregnant and they had me in tears. During the WOCS trip, When Emma brought them books to read about New England, he made hateful comments about the North, our sports teams and downright refused to read the books to my one year old daughter. (Later, they would say he was just “joking”). Imagine our surprise when they brought up the subject of Maine and my parents inviting them to our annual 4th of July picnic with my entire family. They promised us they would not attend without us because it would be inappropriate and we told them we wouldn’t be able to go this year since Ryan was in flight school. We told my parents how hurt we were and were told it was none of our business because they were “friends” and they didn’t have to have our permission to invite MY in-laws to our one escape place with my family without us when all they’ve done is be hateful about the North and my family. We assumed the situation was resolved. My parents came to visit a few weeks ago and we tried to let them know that we weren’t speaking to Ryan’s parents and that we were still having issues. They just kept changing the subject and weren’t listening.
Other than an occasional “Have a nice flight” text from Ryan’s father to him and when I worked for my Dad and with his stepmom, we have not had any communication with them since Christmas. It’s repeatedly gotten back to us that they were still spreading lies about us. After much prayer and many tears we decided that we couldn’t have them in our lives anymore and we didn’t want our children exposed to any of this.
On Monday, Ryan received a text from his father stating that they were going to Maine next week with my family after promising us they wouldn’t. I confronted my family about this and told them how hurt we were. They proceeded to tell us how excited they were and how they were taking them to a Red Sox game and everything (Mind you, none of them have yet to attend a game with us while we’re home…even for our children’s first time). I felt like I was having a panic attack and was so betrayed. How could they turn their backs on us and do something that they knew would hurt us so much.
I finally urged them to see how important this was to us by telling them that they could be friends with these people or they could be in ours and our kids lives. They confirmed twice that they didn’t care if we chose to walk away from them because they couldn’t please us and they had a right to their friends…even if it hurts us or our children.
We’ve been left with no other choice but to walk away. We don’t want our kids exposed to all of this toxicity and abuse. And anyone who picks random in laws who aren’t even in our lives over their own family? I don’t even have the words to process all of this. My heart hurts…mostly for my babies that they’ve lost most of their family. Now that I’m a mom NOTHING is more important than my husband and children. I would NEVER choose anyone over them. I know the lies will continue and I’m trying to make my peace with the fact that some will hear and believe false accusations about us. However, we have to do what’s best for our family. This isn’t even the half of it, but I thought people should know at least part of our side of the story to make up their own minds.