I have had a rocky relationship with my Mother-in-Law (Lori) from very early into my relationship with my wife (Heather). I think it started because my wife and I started planning our wedding without Lori. She viewed me as stealing her daughter, and, naturally, I was not good enough for her little girl. I can understand overprotective parents, but at some point you really do have to let go and let your kids live their life.
When we met, Heather was 27 years old, just finishing college, and still living with her parents. We started dating, and very quickly, we both just knew that this was it, we had found our “one”. We were talking about marriage and our future within a couple of months, and had even gone so far as to pick our date, and make appointments to view potential wedding venues before we were even engaged. We did not tell anyone that we were making these plans until after we got engaged, so from Lori’s perspective, we got engaged, set the date and picked the venue all within 24 hours. She was overwhelmed, and felt very left out of the planning process. Lori then proceeded to alienate me and push me not only out of the planning process, but certainly tried to push me out of Heather’s life. If I had not been so certain that Heather was “the one”, Lori would have succeeded at driving me away.
The tension level between Lori and I got so large, the Heather forced the two of us to go to therapy together to work out our differences. So two weeks before the wedding, a friend of mine managed to setup a series of appointments with the pastor at her church. Yes, it took a pastor to negotiate a truce between Lori and myself. Lori and I kept an uneasy truce for several years before our relationship collapsed once again.
The deterioration started with my Brother-in-Law Lucas. Lucas was engaged to Sandra. Sandra found out through a friend, that a local tanning salon business was for sale, so Sandra convinced Lucas to borrow the money off of Lori to buy the salon. Lori agreed to loan them the money, she took a line of credit against her house and gave her son $250000. Now I cannot be certain of the amount, because the story changes regularly, but $250000 has been the most commonly referred to amount. All was well. Lori did not listen to Heather’s cautions about what if the business fails? The agreement was that they would pay back what they could, when they could.
Lucas and Sandra started having relationship problems. I will not go into detail, but suffice to say that they are both seriously screwed up people, but at least Sandra is smoking hot. Even Hugh Hefner thought Sandra was beautiful, so she had her picture in Playboy. Lucas, being the lowlife that he is, started cheating on Sandra. When Sandra found out, she left. Unfortunately when she left, she looted the tanning salon bank accounts. I have heard numbers between $50000 and $80000 was taken. It was decided that if she simply walked away at that point, Lucas would get sole ownership of the salon, and their house. Lucas in his infinite brilliance turned to cocaine to soothe his wounded ego. He truly did not view cheating as that big of a deal, and to be dumped by his fiance crushed him. When he found that snorting cocaine irritated his nose, (that is the reason he gave me) he switched from cocaine to smoking crack.
Over the next several years, Lucas was put into rehab twice, paid for by Lori. The salon started to suffer financially, probably because Lucas started stealing more and more money from the till to buy crack. Lucas’ house and truck were repossessed, yet Lori kept pretending that nothing serious was wrong. I would try to coax her into actions, but she ignored my advice. Finally when it was clear that the salon was about to go bankrupt, Lori legally seized control. Again she ignored my advice. I told her that she she talk to a lawyer about how best to go about buying the salons, but Lori felt that would be too expensive. The lawyer bill would probably cost close to $1000, after all. Instead she simply bought the shares in the incorporated company for $1 and had herself named director. Over the next few months she discovered all the debt that the salons had. Close to $50000 in debt was owed to various creditors, and all of them were knocking on the door. When she finally talked to a competent accountant, she was told that had she created her own incorporated company, and bought the assets from Lucas’ incorporated company. She would own all of the assets, and Lucas would have all of the debt. Lucas would then declare bankruptcy and the debt would be gone. During one of our numerous fights, I pointed out to her that the $1000 lawyer bill would have been very small by comparison to the massive debt she now faced.
Over the course of the years since Lucas had first purchased the salon until after Lori took over, Lori contributed another $200000 to Lucas. For which she blames me.
Names changed to shield identities