Few years ago, my husband’s sister and her husband, who do not live in our state, came to visit us. It was obvious to me at that time that my husband wanted to leave me out of that visit. He wanted to be with them alone and did not want to include me in his plans for their trip. I have the type of personality, unlike my husband’s, that I do leave people alone, especially the ones who do not want me included in their plans. Even if that person is my husband. This is not a good personality trade for a wife, but I have not been able to correct it.
When the sister and her husband showed up, I did everything in my power to make them feel at home; I cooked every meal for them, I prepared picnic baskets for when they went hiking, I bought them Tshirts of our town to wear while they’re enjoying our city, and whenever I saw a window of inclusion, or better yet, a window of non exclusions, I jumped in and did what I can to be as hospitable as possible.
After they went back home, my then 12 years old son told me that his aunt and my husband told him that I smoked. I was shocked to hear that I asked him if her heard them correctly, and he said yes he heard them and he did not believe it so he kept asking them if it was true and they kept insisting that it is true. When my son told me this, I too was shocked. Why would they say this lie to my son? What would it benefit them other than to have my son distrust me? Why would a father do that to his son? Even if he wants to hurt me, what he’s doing hurts my son more than me. I kept telling my son that I do not smoke and if I did, he would smell it on me and my clothes just as he does of that same aunt who is spreading this lie. My son agreed with me and believed me.
Few months later, we traveled out of town to visit his mother who was sick in the hospital. When we did, the other sister of my husband was there too and she also smokes like the one who visited us few months earlier. On one of her smoke breaks, she asked if I wanted to go out with her while she smokes so we can just chat. I said yes and we asked the other sister in law who also does not smoke to join us.
While we were outside the hospital sitting at one of the benches talking about general things, my son came to sit with us. I was happy to see him come join me, and soon after his cousin, the sister’s son came too. So there were 3 women, and 2 children visiting, talking and having fun outdoors with one of the women, the sister, smoking. After few minutes, we all told ourselves, let go back inside, so we started walking back when my son told me quietly that his dad sent him out to catch me smoking. My husband, with whom at that time I had good relations, sent our son out to catch me smoking when he knew I did not smoke.
I kept thinking afterwards, and still, why would he do that? Lets say for the sake of argument, that I did smoke, why would he wants to break the bond I had with my son? Not for my sake, but for our son’s sake? And if my son caught me smoking, isn’t that going to hurt our son? This is how my husband operates, the highest priority in life is to hurt me, even if in the process he hurts our son, or himself, that means less to him than to hurt me. How can go through life when one proof after another is showing me how much he hates me?