My parents divorced when I was 13. It was messy and acrimonious and turned my life upside down. They have both since remarried. My mum remarried when I was 17 or 18, I can’t exactly remember, I didn’t go to her wedding. My dad married his long term partner last year (eventually – I think she thought he was never going to ask!!)
My husband’s parents however had been happily married for 37 years until the summer of 2010 when my father-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
It was three weeks between my father-in-law being diagnosed and him dying, it all happened so fast. At the time I was eight weeks pregnant with my son, my first pregnancy, and in an even crueller twist, he died on my birthday.
Naturally we were all shell-shocked, my husband coped (and still does cope) extraordinarily well, too well if you ask me, I don’t think he has ever fully grieved for the loss of his dad.
What surprised us all however was how quickly his mum began a new relationship. Don’t get me wrong, she was absolutely devastated when my father-in-law died, she didn’t know which way to turn – but within four months she was dating a guy from work. Within six months he had moved in with her. Within the year they were engaged and next month will see them get married.
It will only be a small affair, my husband has been asked to give his mum away, something which I think he feels more obliged to do than wants to do.
He is going to watch his mum declare her love for another man, another man that has moved into his father’s home and taken it over as his own. A man who is desperate to play dad and grandfather to our children because he’s never had any of his own and who even asked if our children could call him Grandad.
And all this time my husband also has to deal with the fact that his father, who he idealised, will never see his children.
I am happy that my mother-in-law has found happiness and both my husband and I have always said we would hate for her to spend the rest of her life alone, she was only 55 when he died.
However I can’t help but think what a difficult day her wedding day is going to be for my husband and his sister. I was emotional at my dad’s wedding, seeing him take vows of love with somebody who wasn’t my mum was hard enough and my mum is still alive.
I know he will put a brave face on, he will pretend he’s ok, even though he isn’t, and afterwards life will carry on as normal.
I guess the point of this post was to say that the actions of our parents affect us directly, emotionally, no matter what age we are.
I am an extremely emotional & sensitive person, which stems from my own parents’ separation, and the thought of ever upsetting my children by my actions, no matter what age they are is incomprehensible to me but at the same time I appreciate that life doesn’t stand still.
I just hope this is happily ever after for my mother-in-law