It was inevitable.
That first soon-to-be-ex-in-law family gathering that I had to attend.
It was last night. My sister-in-law graduated high school.
(My MIL remarried when Mrs. Joe was 15.)
Except for my MIL, FIL and both their new spouses, not one of Mrs. Joe's family has seen me since Mrs. Joe moved out last March. I planned on only going to the ceremony and to skip the dinner after.
I took my SIL out for dinner Tuesday and explained why. I told her that I didn't want to take anything away from her night and if both her sister and I were there for dinner people may find it uncomfortable. She understood.
Both Mrs. Joe & I attended the ceremony. Afterwards, as I was planning on saying goodbye, Mrs. Joe told me to come for dinner and there wouldn't be any problems. Against better judgement, I agreed.
Once we got to the restaurant it was apparent Mrs. Joe asked me to go because she didn't want to face her family alone. She also obtained a little courage via 3 cosmopolitans.
Although the family made sure to keep clear of asking either of us how we were doing, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Mrs. Joe & I individually said hi to mostly everybody. I apologized to my MIL if anybody was uncomfortable. She, of course, said it was fine.
I had dinner and went to duck out early. I had the kids at home and I told the babysitter I'd be home early. I said goodbye to my SIL and congratulated her again.
Proving that Mrs. Joe wanted me there for her own support, she said her goodbyes as well and asked me to walk her to her car.
I walked her to her car, made sure she was okay to drive, and walked back to my car.
The thought of feeling that uncomfortable in front of my own family is sad. There are times, times like this, that I feel so sorry for her. Can anybody realize what they are doing when they leave their spouse the way she left me?
I think Mrs. Joe realizes it a little better now.