I asked DH yesterday if there is anything about his FOO that he misses, anything at all. He thought, and he thought, and he thought some more, and after a few minutes he said, "Well, when we were at [our niece's] birthday party today and I saw [my brother's wife aka my best friend] with her sister and family all there, I thought that it would have been nice if I could have had that too...a family like that." I replied, "That's not so much evidence that you 'miss' them, so much as it is a longing for what never was." He agreed and we got to talking about how it's kind of ironic how I've been painted as the bad guy, the one who has "destroyed" his FOO and "changed him" and "taken him away from them," when that was never even remotely what I anticipated, wanted, or dreamed-up.
I told DH that, during all the times I fantasized about having a husband and kids, what his extended family would be like or how they'd treat me never really crossed my mind. Maybe I just sort of assumed that the man I would marry would come from a normal, loving family. (I mean, most people probably don't assume that they'll be marrying into the family from hell, right?) And then I met DH and, shortly thereafter, realized that his family was neither of those things. But I think the irony lies in the fact that I envisioned our married life being blessed with happy relationships on both sides: mine and his. I had (for a very short time) imagined up holidays we'd spend together with extended family members; birthday parties for our children and our nieces and nephews; events planned with our kid's in mind...all of them, not just ours. In that dreamscape, we'd have had lunch dates with DH's step-siblings and their toddlers; we'd have celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with ALL the families; we'd have created new traditions that included everyone.
But I walked into a family that lives in a jar and thinks the lid's the sky. They didn't want me in their damn jar, and after a short while, I realized I didn't want to be in their damn jar either. Who the hell wants to live in a jar, anyway? I sure as hell don't. I much prefer my freedom.
It's all so god-damn funny to me because, all the while they are blaming me for their ultimate demise, it was they who set out to destroy everything. While I sat there dreaming up happy family-get-togethers and envisioning everyone's happiness, they plotted their little emotional death-threats. While DH and I got ready to start our lives together and welcome our first child into the world, they imagined up ways to hurt us. They were moderately good at feigning happiness for our good-fortune, but in reality they were secretly plotting the best method to put a halt to it.
I'm glad I'm not trapped in that jar with them. They can have their delusions. I'll keep my reality, thank you.