It’s an incredibly awkward day.
We’re at her parents house for Thanksgiving festivities.
There are a few problems associated with this:
1. I don’t exactly get along well with my father-in-law. Our relationship has been strained for awhile now.
2. I don’t socialize with the family very well. That has been going on for several years.
3. She told me, earlier this week, that it would mean so much if I could get along with her family again.
My father-in-law and I had a very strong relationship until March of this year. We used to play golf, fish and straight up talk. I had modeled my fatherhood after what I had observed in him. My father didn’t exactly provide a good example to follow. And then he found out that I had converted to Islam.
We went from buddies to ‘I can’t stand you, don’t talk to me and you’d better not show up at my home’ in the span of 10 minutes.
He told me what I believed in. He was wrong, but he told me my beliefs. “I’ll have to reserve my judgement on this” was fired off at me.
Who is he to judge me?
This was a devastating event. My wife and I had been enjoying unbelievable closeness. The phone calls we had gone through with her father that day was a turning point. It marked a downward slide that we are, incredibly, coming out of now.
That was something I had contended for quite some time. It’s not true (father-in-law interaction ruining good times). It was totally a fabrication of my mind.
It was about a month later that I ended up in the mental hospital. I was a suicide risk. That had to be corrected. While in the hospital I swore that I would do everything I could to repair my relationship with her father. I decided that I would apologize for any and all ill will I had created.
The day for the talk arrived. He came over and I said my peace standing in my front yard.
He was less than receptive.
I was crushed.
I had put my heart out there and was rejected.
4th of July came around. I tried to be chatty with him. We ended up saying the bare minimum. Just what was needed for the situation to not become terribly awkward.
Fast forward to now.
It would mean so much to me if you could get right with my family. she had given me a challenge. I accepted. I will do anything to make her happy. Add to that I really do want our relationship fixed.
I really do miss it.
As a number of the crew went to play dominoes, I watched football. A few conversations were struck up around me; I wasn’t involved. I just watched.
During this time my wife and her grandfather went for a chat.
Immediately after, she went into her parents room with her sisters.
What the hell is going on.
I became incredibly uncomfortable.
I got up and went to another room.
I was eventually joined by my bride. We started to talk but were immediately interrupted. We tried again. Interrupted. “We’ll have to do this later” was her response to the interruptions.
That makes perfect sense.
Most of the attendees left.
I remained in my chair. She sat next to me. In walked her parents.
Here we sit. I’m blogging and she’s talking with her patents. I truly don’t want to be here right now. I want to crawl in a hole and hide.
Did she tell her sisters about me?
Almost assuredly not.
Here I am, being selfish again. I’m making every situation about me. This is one of the specific things I must avoid. It causes severe problems in my mind and with my marriage vibe. Psychology calls it the Personal Fable. It is generally found in adolescents. “Everything going on is about me.” Guess where I am emotionally.
I don’t want any of this to be about me.
I will do anything to make this work.