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Nov 27, 2008


Well, hi all!

After having a brief moment of happiness and being excited about finally being pain free, I have hit a brick wall...a big brick wall...

I found out recently that my Granpa is coming up in January for a trip to Brisbane for the first time in a number of years...and that this trip will in all probability be his last, because he has been recently diagnosed with cancer: severe, far spread cancer. So I had this brilliant idea to get married in the registry office in Brisbane when he was up (after all, we were going to get married at the end of 2009 anyway), just so I could make doubly sure that he saw me get married to the love of my life.

Everything was flying along well: Justin got time off work, there were plenty of free time spaces on the day we wanted, etc. And then time came to tell his parents...And wham! The happy train stopped. The gist of it was, they didn't want us getting married, and would not come to wedding if we went ahead with it. And then, there were their reasons which revolved around:

1. We are too young, self centred, have too much baggage and are immature
2. We are not financially stable enough, I don't work and Justin has a crappy job
3. Our relationship is 'terrible': eg. we separate the chores into his/hers, we yell too much
4. I don't show enough affection publicly towards Justin: when we are out, apparently we don't look "together"
5. They had gone behind my back and talked to a family member of mine (and then proceeded to twist what they had said)
6. (and this is the knockout) They have always had reservations about our relationship, just never said anything.

This whole conversation both simultaneously pissed me off and upset me, particularly point number 6. I had given them plenty of opportunities throughout the relationship to express any reservations they had. I remember when we had announced our engagement back in 2007 that I had said: tell me if you don't feel comfortable, because I would hate if another family (that I was involved in) was to be destroyed. I also said I would rather leave Justin than to either experience that pain again and/or have somebody I love experience it.

Throughout the whole conversation, I just felt like screaming: why aren't you listening to me?!?! I tried explaining that for me, the whole public physical contact with your partner thing, makes me really, really uncomfortable: sick uncomfortable (unless I have known the people surrounding me since I was a little girl). They ignored my reply. I tried to explain that for us, the whole strict chore thing is so that things actually get done, and so that it's not me doing more than him. I tried to explain that I think it is healthy to be able to have a good yell in a relationship and to trust that person will only yell back.

And then that whole immature comment: ummm well! We have chosen not to tell them about the whole infertility and miscarriage thing (because we knew their reaction would be rather the same as above): in fact it is something we don't publicize at all: particularly the miscarriage part: in fact it is the first time I have mentioned it on here at all: and several other very close family members still don't know either. As far as I am concerned, it takes a lot of maturity to deal with those factors as well as all the crap with Guy (my ex-father), and the Crohn's disease etc. I think we have dealt with all those things very maturely. We have our moments when it is all too hard, but then who doesn't?!?

And then money comment...okay, neither one of us are good budgeters or savers. Yes, I don't work, but that's because I have been genuinely sick with Crohn's Disease and before that, I was at uni full time. And Justin is good at, and loves his job. Sure, the pay is crap, but least he comes home every afternoon chilled and relatively happy. I have seen him work in other jobs his parents got him and I hate to say it, but he came home every afternoon tired, stressed out and frustrated.

And the going to family members and stirring up crap, only to manipulate what they had said!?! I am sorry, but you don't do that: not to my family. Yes I understand that this person is not thrilled, but they do support me, and realise that this is my decision to make. And they are not going to cut me off if I marry Justin. They simply love me and care about me. And in our conversation Justin's parents neglected to tell us that. They made it sound like this person was completely against us etc.

I realise that Justin is their only son, and that they care...but...

There will never be anyone perfect enough for their son. Sure it is alright for Justin and I to play house, but not get married. They kept saying (throughout the convo)that we should get married in 3 years...when THEY think we are ready. But that's the thing: I doubt we will be ever ready enough for them. At the end of those 3 years there will be yet another reason as to why it is not the right time.

And now they have done the very thing that they were scared of: they have pushed their son away: and revealed their true colours, so to speak. They spoke of love, but were only full of bitterness and hurt.

To be honest, something else that bugged me was that they didn't trust their 27 going on 28 year old son to know his own mind. And I think that is truly a sad reflection of of them and everything else that has gone on.

And where do I stand in all this? It has made me realise how much I want to get married: after 3 years of living together! I think I have worked for it: that indeed we both deserve official recognition of our crazy life together and of the love we share for one another. I love Justin, but I am marrying him, not his family. As much as I care for them, and I can see their positive attributes, and that they will always be welcome in our home, I cannot understand why they would shut their son off in such a controlling and obsessive way. Particularly when they have seen the effects of such behaviours in my own family! And my family still has not recovered fully from it (which pains me something awful: and Justin's parents know that!).

Where to go from here? I don't know to be honest: I have left the ball in Justin's court. It's his decision to make. And if he decides to choose his parents? Well, then, because I love him I will let him go. If he chooses to go ahead with the wedding? Well then I will be excited as any bride should be, but it will be with a tinge of sadness because his parents probably won't be there, even though the invitation will still stand. Our door will never be closed. There are far more important things than bitterness and hate. I have always said that family is so important: that indeed, FAMILY IS EVERYTHING... my motto for many years. My father's abuse didn't get me down, infertilty and a miscarriage didn't get me down. Crohn's Disease didn't/ hasn't won. I won't let this destroy everything I have worked for: my sanity, my independence, my ability to trust. I just wish other people could get it, too... :(

Love to all,


Finbarpurpleton said...

Hi Jo,

Sorry to hear about your woes. I hope everything works out. I don't know if this helps or not, but I couldn't really imagine Jo with out Justin. Justin and Joan, Joan and Justin sounds like the names and he people were always suppose to be together,despite the arguements and such. I was there at the begining of the relationship and I knew that you liked each other from the very start, thats why when you asked me that fateful night if it is OK if you and Justin date. I said it was OK because it was obvious that you liked each other and you'd end up together whether I said yes or not.

Best of luck!

Melissa :)

Doctor Dark said...

Hiiiiiiii Jo,

This is a long post. Containing much bad news regarding the future in-laws. What they're saying sucks, but they've been saying stuff along those lines for pretty much the duration of yours and Justin's relationship and their arguments sound like they haven't changed -- it's just that at least the first 5 reasons they gave, they've never given to you all at once.

I think you're right, they're always going to have some sort of issue with Justin's life partner and the fact that they're still acting like they expect their almost 30 year old son to just blindly change his plans because they said to is a bit ugh. But I think if you and Justin tie the knot would be the best solution to this problem -- 1: you both want to and 2: (you probably already know this) it will indicate that you and Justin don't have to live according to their views.

Admittedly, I found point 3 a little amusing with the yelling part. That's an interesting point you make about a good relationship having much yelling. I should give that a try, maybe even contact Dr. Jankov. :-P (doctor who gave Mr. and Mrs. John Lennon Primal Scream Therapy).

Anyways, I will be seeing you in under a month! I shall now go and make plans for my next entry!


bethkyle said...

This post sounded incredibly mature to me. Sorry they are being obstinate.


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