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I Married a Soap Opera

I Married a Soap Opera

One never knows what to expect when marying into another family. It can be fun.

I have been married for 42 years. I discovered after getting married that you never really know your in-laws until then. My wife and I went to school together, grammar school and high school. I got pulled from the normal junior high school and put in an accelerated program for gifted students. Little did they know what gifted was. We met when I was sent to high school in a gifted program there too.

Through high school I dated my wife’s best friend. We would walk to and from school together every day. I never paid my future wife any attention about dating. I graduated high school went to college and quit to join the Navy. I served my time in the Navy and went back home to go to college. Massachusetts had this plan that returning veterans could attend any state college for free. I took advantage of that and started college to get a degree in Computer Science and Business Administration. Half way through the courses, I met my future father-in-law and asked about my future wife. He told me she was still single, not dating and would be happy to see me. I called her and we went on our first date. It was wonderful. Less than a year later we were married and living as husband and wife.

If you read my earlier story “The Story behind My Little Angel,” you know what the early years were like. We had our second child and were getting used to being parents when the “Soap Opera” started.

My wife had three siblings younger than she was, two sisters and a brother. They still lived at home or in the same house as their mother. Their mother’s house was what in Massachusetts is called a Three Decker. It was a three story house where each floor was a self contained apartment. My wife’s mother rented the two other floors to the brother and the youngest sister.

The age difference between my father-in-law and mother-in-law was about 25 years. She was a nurse who worked nights and he was a machinist who worked days. They came to this country as displaced persons after World War II. My wife was born in a concentration camp in Germany along with her next sister. They came to this country as political refugees. They became citizens and got into American life. The children had grown up and left the home but not the house except my wife.

It was at this time my mother-in-law took a trip to Germany to visit her sister and the rest of her family. They had not seen each other for over 20 years. While in Germany my mother-in-law fell in love with a man her own age. She kept it a secret, but wrote long letters back a forth to him. To most people this is a normal thing that can happen every day. There was a sad twist here. The man she fell in love with was currently married. He had five children and was supposedly happy.

My mother-in-law came back from Germany and started being hostile to her husband. She was known to have a temper and was verbally abusive to him. Her marriage was falling apart and she started to blame it on my wife and me. She would call us anytime and make my wife cry and be very sad. Now my marriage was being hurt too. One day when she called my wife was not home. We got to talking and she started to lay the guilt trip on me. I would not have any part of it and told her that if she could not be civil and supportive of our marriage because hers was failing, I did not want her meddling in our marriage. From that day on we were the best of friends and she really treated us well. She knew we were not going to play her game.

In Massachusetts they have what is called a no-fault divorce. It is an agreement where both parties want a divorce and there is no contest for assets or children. My in-laws got that type of divorce.

Everything was fine except that instead of moving out of the house my mother-in-law and father-in-law switched bedrooms. He took the vacant room and she kept the existing room. No big deal except, they were still living together. She did the housework, cooking and cleaning and he did what he did as he was retired now.

My mother-in-law went back to Germany to meet her new lover and get him divorced and bring him home. It turns out that her new lover was the husband of her sister. She was stealing her sister’s husband away from her. He got his divorce and joined my mother-in-law in her bed in Massachusetts under the same roof as her ex-husband.

My wife and I had our third child and moved closer to our original homes. We were about two miles away now instead of twenty miles. We saw our parents every day. My kids loved their grandparents and still do even though they died many years ago. The relationship between my father-in-law and mother-in-law remained cordial up until he died. Shortly after we moved back to the city, my mother-in-law and her lover got married in my living room by the same minister that married my wife and me. It was a very private ceremony and everyone was happy.

My wife’s youngest sister got involved with weed and had three children with a man who was terrible to her. She loved him in spite of what he did to her. Her boys are good men but the oldest is just like his father. Her sister is remarried and the boys are all married with children of their own.

My wife and I introduced her sister to her new husband when we met at a bowling alley. He and I were on the same bowling team. They met and started dating. A year later they were living together and five years later they were married. They have been happy ever since. They love their grandchildren and live in a big house of their own.

My other sister-in-law is a registered nurse who is disabled and can’t work as a nurse due to contracting Tuberculosis on the job in a hospital. She works for an insurance company as a medical administrator. It pays well for her and she seems happy. She likes her weed and her alcohol. She would never give that up.

My brother-in-law was a jock through school and played all sports. He was good and became a coach for a school team. He enjoyed the job but had trouble keeping out of the lives of his players. He lost his job and went to work as a machinist like his father. He was married and got a divorce leaving three children behind.

His oldest son had several problems growing up. He lost a kidney and had to have each of his ears rebuilt. He almost got killed by his father when he announced to the family that he was gay. My brother-in-law and his ex-wife were both angry and got violent. My wife and I took care of our nephew when no one else would.

There is more to this story but it is unimportant and would drag this out for many more pages. My whole point in presenting this was to illustrate that you never get to know the family you marry into until it is too late.

There are days when I used to think I messed up and no one deserved what I got. I sat back as this all happened and shook my head in disbelief.

Today I look back and laugh. How many people, who get married, get to live with a never ending Soap Opera in their family? Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this true story.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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