I was having a good day yesterday, up until Ace finally got home from work/prayer night. Then, my in-laws decided to ruin both his and my good mood with a talk.
It started off ominously with "How about visiting with us?" This was sole directed at Ace, as I had already declined "visiting" after I finished dinner for a variety of reasons (mostly because I'd rather not, thanks).
Then came a 2 hour long discussion of: 1. M.A. is lazy because she doesn't automatically know that mother-in-law needs help with stuff (lazy wasn't outright stated, but it was strongly implied), 2. Ace needs to work on his communication skills because in-laws keep saying things that are clearly supportive but he keeps thinking are indicative of disapproval (the in-laws clearly believe they communicate approval without saying anything that sounds remotely approving to anyone outside their heads), 3. have we mentioned that M.A. is lazy because she's not earning an income or helping out around the house? And why doesn't she want to talk to us? (for one, they are reminding me of my mom more and more lately and I don't want to be around that), and 4. In-laws feel they are viewed as servants, despite the fact they ask us (Ace mostly) to jump and expect us/him to know how high.
There was a discussion about how Ace being asked if he wants to do something is really them asking him to do it (He always says he doesn't WANT to but is WILLING to do whatever they are asking. This is apparently the same to the in-laws as saying that he is only doing it because they are asking and would never do any thing around here on his own.). Oh, and part of the reason we've randomly had to fix our own dinner is my father-in-law figures that we're treating them like servants by expecting them to fix dinner (instead of just asking us to fix dinner from time to time or setting up a schedule for when they would like us to cook or even letting us know that they want us to feed ourselves).
Ace, fairly reasonably in my opinion, asked that if they randomly decide to go grocery shopping (since that's their preferred way of doing it) to at least call on their way home to let him know so he can be ready to help bring in groceries when they get here. Somehow I doubt that will happen for long, but we'll see.
This is, apparently, the same basic conversation they had several months ago with Ace when I didn't go to dinner with everyone, but stayed home alone instead. Because, instead of talking to us as things come up, my in-laws decide to just wait until they are fed up and things come out all at once. It's not healthy and I don't think they realize how fed up with this Ace is getting. He's ready for a lengthy time away from his parents now.
And it hurts me to watch, because I feel like they are damaging my wonderful husband. He's worked so hard to grow, and it feels like they are chipping away at that growth. I want to protect him from the damage they could inflict, but there isn't much I can do. It reminds me what I want for my kids and why I feel a need to shelter them from my in-laws already. It pains me to understand why my loving, caring husband could have made some different choices and been someone totally different. It gives me reason to thank God for helping Ace grow into such a great man, despite the lack of support he's gotten for most of his life. And it causes both of us to cling more tightly to each other until we can be back on our own.
The day was going so well. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.