Saturday, December 27, 2008


This time of year is a time when people are spending it with their family. Maybe members they haven't seen all year long. It's fun and exciting, but not all the time. Sometimes they are just annoying and frustrating.

As a child I always thought it was great to see family. I never had to plan those get togethers though. Planning is difficult. Lets take my parents for instance. Usually we see them on Christmas Eve and then go to my Aunt and Uncle's on Christmas day. This year that was changed up a bit and we went to my Aunt and Uncle's on Christmas Eve. My parents were there as well. So we saw them, but my father was very sarcastic and my mother very distant. I tried to have a conversation with her, but she barely said two words to me.

Now why all the tension with my own parents you may ask? Well, if you haven't read about the issues I've had, then perhaps you should do that now. Aside from those past things they are mad at me now because I did not want to spend Christmas day with them. Now, it's not that I didn't want to exactly, but given the year that we've had and the extremely emotional and stressful past two weeks I wanted Christmas to be just the five of us this year. My parents had a hard time accepting that. They wanted to come to our house Christmas day. Instead I offered them the day after Christmas, but my mom had to work. So then I offered the Saturday after Christmas. That seemed to work just fine. I just needed to call with the details. But time slipped away from me and I didn't get around to calling. Tuesday I had e-mailed my mother, but she claims she did not get the e-mail and they went and made other plans. Okay, fine whatever. Don't complain to me that you don't get to see your grandchildren though. Because really how long did they give me to get in touch with them about these plans? Not very long.

But that's not the real reason of this post. The real reason is actually Joe's family. Well, Joe's brother to be exact. An interesting family dynamic there. Let me give you a little history. Joe's brother is just a year and a half older than Joe. So they were close growing up. I met Joe when we both worked at Dunkin Donuts and his brother even worked there too. So before Joe and I even started dating the three of us from time to time would even do things together. I like Joe's brother. He likes to exaggerate stories a bit and every time you hear them they always get bigger and grander, but I have no problems with the man. He's a good guy. So good in fact that we made him Kaitlyn's godfather. He was Joe's best man at our wedding. The kids adore him.

Over the years though we have seen him less and less. Actually the less part usually coincided with the times he was dating his now wife. Now there's another very interesting situation there. His wife years ago before Joe and I even met cheated on Joe's brother with Joe. Caused a huge rift between brothers. Joe continued to date her. He was even planning on marrying her until he started to suspect some unfaithfulness on her part. As things began to get serious between the two of them she went back to Joe's brother behind his back and broke Joe's heart. Things had mended in the relationship between brothers, but Joe's brother was addicted to this woman. They have been on again off again for years. Every time they are on again Joe's brother sort of disappears from everyone's life. And then during an off again time this girl began dating and even became engaged to their nephew. She even had a child with him 4 1/2 years ago. As if things weren't complicated enough. All this time I've been scratching my head trying to figure out why this woman is so desperate to be a part of this family. But we can't control people.

So now a year and a half ago Joe's brother finally ended up marrying this woman. He has also joined the army reserves. Last January he was leaving to be stationed in North Carolina. We got together with some ummmm prodding on Joe's part so we could say our goodbyes. His wife and her kids have remained here though. They were supposed to go down there once the house sold, but the house is not selling. Despite the fact that in North Carolina the five of them were going to have a very nice five bedroom house provided by the army they have remained up here. Joe's brother has been home on leave now a few times. Most recently at the time of CJ's 1st birthday when the ENTIRE family was here. We did not find this out until after he left because he called no one to say he was home. We would have had him to the party. He was home for a surgery that his wife had though so he says he wouldn't had left her. If it were me I probably would have really loved a day of peace to actually sleep after surgery without any children, but hey that's just me. She does have family which easily could have come to help her for an hour or two.

So now it's Christmas day. Joe has called all of his siblings to wish them a merry Christmas. His oldest brother who lives in CA told Joe that according to their other brother the reason he doesn't associate with the family is because no one accepts his wife. What? Okay, putting aside the fact that she has been sleeping her way through the men in the family. Putting aside the fact that she has a child with their nephew. What more do they expect from us? Time and time again we have invited them up or to do something. Now if it's the sisters that maybe he has a problem with, then he really needs to get over that. Or she does. I can tell you after almost 9 years of marriage to Joe and over 10 years of living with him his sisters haven't exactly been the closest sister in laws ever. And I didn't break the heart of two of their brothers over and over again to then move on to their nephew either. So I don't know what they expect there. And I really don't know what more Joe and I can do to be accepting of them. And just coming from my point of view he is married to an ex of my husband. Generally speaking your husband's exes don't become your sister in law.

But again Joe is trying to salvage some sort of relationship with his brother. So he called him up Christmas day and apologized if he wasn't accepting enough of his wife. And wonder of wonders it turns out that his brother is in town again. So Joe told him we should get together Saturday. Nothing was set in stone. Joe called him last night and told him Saturday or Sunday whichever works for them. They can come here or we can go down there. He said he needed to talk to her and would call back and never called back. So now we wait to find out if we are worthy enough to spend time with him or not. He goes back on the 31st so we don't have much opportunity with him.

And now Joe has called him yet again to find out once and for all what the verdict is. He got no answer. No voice mail or anything. Just six rings before the phone picked up and gave a recorded message saying, "The wireless customer you are trying to reach is not available." And now Joe says he's done. If he calls him back, then fine, but he's not bothering anymore. I feel so helpless in this. I feel like I've done my part and encouraged this relationship inspite of the fact that I can't stand his brother's wife. I just feel so insecure around her and out of the loop. She always purposely pushes me out of conversations when she's around and have I mentioned flirts with my husband. And yet I still try to make something work here. I guess it's all just for the best. No use in torturing myself anyways though, right?

But here's what I think about the real reason why Joe's brother doesn't associate with us at least. I don't think it has anything to do with no one accepting his wife. Nope, I think it has more to do with him not trusting his wife. I don't think he trusts her to be around Joe. He wants to keep them as far away as possible. He has been pushing his nephew away too. Harder to do with him since he has a child with her. But he definitely doesn't want him to be around his wife.

I do not understand families sometimes. I hope that Joe and I and my kids can all learn from all of this stuff though. I hope and pray everyday that when my children are grown that I can be accepting of the lives that they choose and be supportive of them. Not try to manipulate them into doing whatever it is that I want like my parents do to me. I hope that I can be involved in every aspect of their lives and just be grateful to have them and have every minute I can spend with them. Instead of spending the time I do have with them fighting and being angry and bitter I hope it can be spent laughing and enjoying their company.

And I hope my children always find a way to spend time with each other. Especially my girls. I hope they never let a boyfriend or a husband come between them and prevent them from seeing each other for whatever reason. I hope they can always have a close relationship even though their father and I don't exactly have that close relationship with our siblings. I want them to learn from our mistakes if they can and just find a way to always be an important part of each others lives.