real life

'My sister-in-law hated me because she was in love with my husband.'

The first six months of our marriage were spent caring for his dying mother. Everything we did was to make her last days comfortable or to prepare for her death.

My ex-husband's inheritance was all spent to house us — me, his mother, his sister and the soon-to-be baby.

We didn't want to buy a house, but we needed a comfortable place for his mother to spend her final days. So we overextended ourselves and purchased our first home together, a small townhouse in a desert town outside of San Diego. An almost-paradise.

His mother spent her days being sick and watching soap operas, while his sister became their mother's sidekick and chauffeur. Due to the seriousness of my mother-in-law's condition, the Marine Corps found it in their hearts to temporarily transfer my ex-husband from his East Coast barracks to the base closest to where his mother lived and was now receiving cancer treatment.

Southern California is unaffordable, so the place we did manage to buy was a commute to everything.

While my sister-in-law spent her days watching TV and enjoying the dry, sunny weather by getting a stellar tan, my ex-husband and I were commuting over an hour one-way each day to the jobs that afforded us the lifestyle my mother-in-law and sister had grown comfortable in.

As I became more pregnant, the commute seemed impossible. And the darker my sister-in-law's tan became, the more resentment I grew. All while she was growing her own resentments.


Watch: How to deal with toxic people. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube/Psych2Go.

She would have to wait for her mother's death for her to come into her inheritance. She grew more jealous with each day she spent in a home owned by her brother with the money their mother had given him.

I think this is where it began. My toxic relationship with my sister-in-law.

I was all-in on every aspect of my ex-husband's life. His career, his friends, his family. I saw them as my own. And so, when I married him, she became my family. I loved her. She was the sister I always wanted.

When I learned she hated me, it made my hurt turn to rage. Eventually, the rage had grown so big, I would do anything to destroy her.

I controlled the one thing she wanted. A family. And so I would lord it over her. Doling out our time in dribs and drabs. In turn, she would spend her energy taking every opportunity to plant her toxic ideas of me into my husband. Pointing out each of my flaws, no matter how minor. They were destined to build me into a deplorable monster.


She and I would spend 20 years fighting over my ex-husband.

It was sick the way we acted like two high schoolers pining over the quarterback. Because, in no lifetime was he a quarterback. And it's unnatural for a sister to pine for their brother.

We were both wrong, putting him on a pedestal.

This was something his sister had done since he joined their family. Following their mother's lead — she'd doted over him and made him the prince from the moment he exited her womb.

He could do no wrong. When he got a DUI as a young Marine, his mother made sure to make it go away. It never affected his career because it didn't even exist.

His sister idolised him, and his mother babied him, making him think he was worthy of worship. And I fell in line, hanging on to his every word and action like they were the most precious gifts I'd been given.

His parents divorced by the time he was six. He and his father had a strained relationship. The stories I heard about how his father handled the divorce should've been a foreshadowing. A script of what would be coming to me.

He hated his father. But he is his father.

Living a life of victimhood and resentment. Always thinking someone is out to get them. Everything happens to them, they bear no responsibility.


His father went to great lengths to torture his mother. And my ex-husband said he hated it. But over forty years later there he was, living a souped-up version of his father's failures.

At least his father's children still talk to him, even if it's only so they can claim their inheritance. Even my ex-husband's money can't convince my children to answer his phone calls.

They have not spoken to him in over three years. They do not take his phone calls. They will not answer his text messages. They know he is not safe. They saw our divorce as an escape and they would not be jailed again.

None of us have a relationship with my sister-in-law. My ex-husband would always be her choice. She'd finally gotten what she wanted. My ex-husband without the encumberment of a wife and kids. Nothing to stand in the way of her relationship with him.

I hope she found what she was looking for.

I hope she's satisfied with the breaking of our family.

I hope he makes her happy.

This article was originally published on Medium and has been republished with full permission. For more from this author, click here.

Feature image: Getty.

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