When my first father-in-law announced shortly after his wife passed away his intentions to remarry, his four children were furious.
They wanted nothing to do with his fiancee, expected all spouses to reject her (I remained impartial) and they boycotted the wedding.
I’d only met the lady in question once, but he was in his fifties so I thought he was lucky to find someone to take him on, though I admitted his timing sucked and he could have been more discreet.
After my divorce, we kept in touch for a while, and on the two occasions I visited when in the area, I was made most welcome with offers of tea and biscuits. Conversation, although plentiful, was never about ‘the family’ and as far as I know, the rift never healed.
I found that sad.
I am now older than he was at the time and realise that fifty something is not old, nor is it ‘disgusting’ to have a loving and physical relationship with someone you care for.
In later years maybe the passion wanes a little, but the collective ‘We’ all still have ‘our moments’ regardless of age and are entitled to happiness.
However, some families don’t see it that way, my Ex’s siblings being a good example.
This is a fictional letter, related in part to an earlier post.
It is my perception and opinion of a situation and imaginary scenario.
“I can’t believe you could do this to me, didn’t imagine you would betray me, that you could hurt me so deeply.
I remember you all those years ago, a rebellious teenager, pregnant and defiant.
We put up with the attitude, supported you physically and financially, but you moved out to do your own thing, married the baby’s father and joined his harem of teenagers, all pregnant, some already with toddlers in tow, some even younger than you.
When he was arrested for assault amongst other things, were we not there to pick up the pieces even though you didn’t want to return to the parental home? We got you through divorce and arranged for you to be rehoused in safety, paying the necessary deposits, advance rent and relocation expenses.
Two years later and under threat of eviction, did you not ask us to bring you ‘home’ amid promises to repay us?
How much did you find? Thirty, forty pounds out of thousands? But you always had enough for your ciggies, the latest phone technology and having your nails done every week.
We didn’t comment on the multiple relationships that followed or after you humiliated and embarrassed us in public.
You said our home (read house rules) was too restrictive, so again we set you up in rented accommodation, where you lost us the deposit by burning a hole in the carpet with a careless cigarette.
We bailed you out when you wrote off your car, not once, but twice as you needed transport. With no money for food or diapers, you always turned to us and we did what we could to help.
More comings and goings of gentleman friends, nothing permanent, not even your marriages, some moving in only to move out after a week or two.
What kind of impression or example was that to give to your kids?
But it was your life, your choices. You didn’t want our input, wouldn’t listen to our concerns, shouting it was none of our business and for us to ‘butt out’.
Finally, you got a job, a council flat and now have an even larger circle of male friends.
You are constantly having parties and stayovers, or nights out having ‘fun’ to return in the early hours, if at all, to nurse a hangover the following morning .
Your eldest, who you rarely see, has turned into a replica of your teenage self.
What a mess, this you call your life.
It’s been years since your Dad died.
I have been alone, lonely and never thought I could love again.
Never wanted or expected to.
You don’t like it, didn’t want to share me with someone else, and sowed the seeds of doubt with your spite, malice, disrespect and fear………. fear that I won’t bail you out anymore. You’d only come visit when you needed or wanted something anyway.
That’s all about to change, as my bank and purse are now closed to you.
When the latest man in your life lets you down, you can turn to your own kids for support and comfort, and hope they will be as tolerant of your demands as I have been over the past twenty years.
You can try and find a sympathetic friend who will listen to your troubles and understand, one who will not feel used and abused by your selfishness, who will turn a blind eye to the shallow vindictive person you are, as I did, because I loved you.
You threatened me with emotional blackmail and gave me an ultimatum.
He chose for me and my heart, like my life, is now empty and hollow.
He’s gone, and I hope you’re happy.
But you haven’t won.
There is no place for you here now.
I’d rather have One of Him than a thousand like you, even if you are my daughter.”