Charlotte likes pretty things, and she loves the beach, sushi, coffee and seashells.
I'm getting divorced soon. I hate to say this, but it's happening. It's strange - in this divorce, it wasn't another woman who came between us. It was my father-in-law. My mother-in-law was involved too, but that's a different story.
My father-in-law is a racist. I am Hispanic, and according to a DNA test, I am mostly 46% Native American. I could say that my marriage was doomed from the very beginning, for reasons involving my father-in-law.
My husband and I met on OKCupid, which is a dating website with mostly sketchy characters. I admired his profile, and thought this man was handsome. I messaged him, assuming he wouldn't write me back because maybe he was too handsome for me, or maybe I was too 'fat' for him or my bosoms weren't big enough. With the plethora of reasons why someone would be 'undateable', who knows what he would have thought of me. He messaged me, and we talked about music and pizza and exchanged numbers. Of course, I had a fake number under Google Voice, which I used exclusive to give to potential dating partners from the many dating websites I was on.
Our first date was great. We met up for Karaoke and had a few beers. We went to his place, watched a movie, and got to know each other very well. He told me his dad lived with him, and has lived with him for 3 years. I was kind of suspicious of everything, as dating had gone incredibly bad for me, and many men had lied about their past, their single status, and much more. I paid to do a background check on him, for my own purposes, and everything matched up. He didn't have anything crazy on his background (like being a registered offender). He owned his own home. He had a small ticket for driving a motorcycle without a helmet. I didn't see anything that screamed 'ax-murderer', so I felt comfortable continuing with the relationship.
I thought the father was okay at first. He invited my husband (at the time, my boyfriend) and I to go fishing at the lake. I don't think he knew I was Hispanic at that time, he was just happy that his son was dating someone. We did a small barbeque at the lake, and went fishing. I tried doing a bit of small talk with the father, but he mostly ignored me. I chalked it up to a bit of nervousness since I was someone completely new in their lives.
After that, things got completely crazy. My boyfriend insisted that I move in with him. I felt uncomfortable with this, since I had two children and the dad lived there. Well, we ended up moving in together, and that's where things took a horrible downhill. The father smoked like a complete chimney, day and night. The bathroom was yellow with the aftermath of the smoke. When we asked him to smoke outside, he would get extremely angry and act like a five year old.
We found out that he, and my mother-in-law, hired a private detective to follow me around. We found out that he did a background check on me and reported stuff they found on there to my husband. They told him I had been married, they told him about any financial mishaps they came across, they looked up my ex's on Facebook and found out that they were military personnel. My mother-in-law used my father-in-law to obtain information about me and the kids to try to create a case for Child Protective Services to say that my children were too skinny and that I was not fit to be a mother.
None of this has to do with racism so far, you may think.
1 . We went to a restaurant, and there was a mixed couple sitting at a table with adorable children who were a sweet mixture of both parents. The father stood at their table, at Red Lobster, and after a while, exclaimed loudly, "Looks like a kidnapping!"
2. We were outside, again, after eating at another restaurant and there was a large family that seemed to be celebrating an Indian wedding and they had customary attire and were chatting cheerily...again, outside. The father exclaims, loudly, "I'm tired of looking at brown people!"
3. My husband and I went to the city dump to throw away a large amount of things that were completely clogging up the garage. We came back and my father-in-law said: "Hey, did you see any of your family members over there at the dump? Mexicans are always picking up trash."
The terrible part is this: My husband never stood up for me. My husband never told his dad to leave. Was it my right to ask my husband to ask his dad to leave?
The father had four dogs. They were not housebroken. They urinated on the furniture. They urinated on the carpet. The couches were almost completely soaked with it, and the house had a terrible ammonia smell. The father got mad at me when I completely 'lost it' when my husband steam-vacuumed some dog diarrhea and then dumped the contents over the dirty dishes in the sink. Yes, I got mad! That's disgusting! My husband mentioned, "Why does it matter? We're going to put it in the dishwasher anyway." True, but still. Disgusting! And the father-in-law said that I was making a huge deal out of nothing. But it didn't involve him. It involved my husband and myself. I almost felt as if I married the husband and the father, and that I had to deal with both husbands. Imagine that.
Even though the father's best friend was a man who was not Caucasian, he would constantly use the 'N-word' to describe anyone who was a certain shade of 'darker-than-him'. All this was quite unbearable, especially when it extended to the public world.
The last straw was when we went for a walk. It was supposed to be a peaceful afternoon walking along a path that takes you to a lake. It was the dad's idea, but I already knew that it was going to go south because the dad hates walking due to his back issues and his diabetes-related leg issues. I felt responsible for walking with him, as my husband and the kids sped up ahead of us. Even though he hated me, I didn't want the father to fall or anything like that, so I stayed there. The whole time I was with him, walking, he kept insulting my kids.
1 . "Are your kids learning anything at school? How do they not know the difference between an eagle's nest and a hawk's nest?" (The kids are homeschooled, in secret, because if he were to find out that they aren't in a public school, he would try to report it to the police, with the help of my mother-in-law.)
2 . "Your kids walk funny. What's wrong with them. Have you noticed? Both of them walk funny. It's not right." (My son has a neurological disorder, and my daughter has high-functioning autism.)
3. My kids were playing with an empty water bottle. They put sunglasses on it and giggled and talked. The father looked at them and said, "Look at those kids, playing with the water bottle as if it's some kind of video game. They're going to end up in jail just like my other son."
We were sitting on a table and bench at this time, relaxing, because the father was exhausted. I slammed down my hair on the table, turned around (I had my back turned to him) and told him, "NEVER talk about my children, again. Just because YOU failed as a father doesn't mean I will fail as a mother." It was probably harsh, and I didn't really think my words well, but I FINALLY said something. I wasn't supposed to say something, because my husband kept reminding me that fighting aggression with aggression leads to more discord. I get it. However, as a husband, I feel he should be doing more to protect me and the family.
I forgot to mention that the father was completely addicted to opioids. In fact, one of the pharmacists who attended him was non-Caucasian person, and he ended up calling them derogatory names just because they couldn't fill his opioid prescription due to him having reached his monthly limit. (He was taking more, daily, than he was supposed to.
I forgot to mention that his father was an alcoholic. He drank everyday, bourbon, and the son had to hide his own bourbon bottles around the house. The dad was so desperate one day that he went into the son's room to look for alcohol and found a bottle of absinthe and drank an bunch of it and almost died. He had to be hospitalized. If you know anything about absinthe, you know that you don't drink it like bourbon. You just don't.
I forgot to mention that his dad loves guns. That's fine. It's Texas. Guns...yay. Whatever. But my husband discovered a large hole in the wall. He thought he had a rat problem. It turns out that the father in law was high on opioids and had too much alcohol, and was cleaning out his rifle. He didn't know there was a round still in there, and accidently shot a hole in the wall. He tried hiding it with bedsheets, but it was discovered. I told my husband that I wanted to leave, I wanted to take my kids, and move to my mom's house. He scolded me, told me that it was an accident (really?), and told me I was overreacting. Was I? I felt terrified.
A Facebook discussion happened during a chat with the father, the mother-in-law, and myself. I finally wanted to stick up for myself, and my husband told me this: "If you're going to start something, you start it yourself and defend yourself because I don't see why you're all worked up." My mother-in-law invited my husband to the Facebook chat conversation. He read everything they told me. The mother-in-law called me a fat cow. She called me the "C-word" for a females private area. My father-in-law told me that anyone who comes between him and his son shall perish. I still have the chat If you read my other article on my mother-in-law and combine that with my experiences with my father-in-law, you may ask yourself how, or why, I stayed so long. I'm in my third year with my relationship with my husband, and I am done.
My husband thinks that counseling will help me, but I don't think it can undo the amount of damage that his father and step-mother were allowed to do to our marriage. My husband thinks I should 'get over it' and move on, but I can't. I still experience fear when he's around. I feel tightness in my chest and feel that I can't talk at all. I remember how angry he would get when he was watching the Saints play football and I was on my phone. "You know why we're losing? We're losing because she's on the g-d-d-mned phone!" I don't think I'll ever be the same. I can't blame my husband completely. He loves his dad, and he is supportive and loyal to his dad, but he forgot that I needed defending and healing, too. I have mentally and emotionally thrown in the towel. My father-in-law ruined my marriage.
© 2018 Charlotte Doyle