by Dan Savage
on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 5:19 PM
I'm newly married to a disgustingly sexy blond, blue-eyed hunk. Every day I wonder how lucky I am—excuse me. How lucky I was. He's absolutely great and I don't wish to trade him for anything in the world. Except for a few faults I believed us to be pretty happy and comfortable with our relationship.
Until this past week.
I found out last minute my husband's family had paid for a week's holiday in Mexico and a lot of my husband's family was going as his step-sister was getting married. Yet my husband was asked to keep the trip a secret from me. I found out and told him he could go, if he wanted to go without me, but he would be returning to divorce papers. My husband then called his mom and said he would not be going unless his wife was sitting next to him. Honestly, I told him I would of rather not go, seeing as I wasn't invited. But once I learned that my ticket had been purchased and that we were leaving a few days later I tried to repress my anger. When I arrived with my husband in Mexico I was told that I had to be on my "best behavour" as any outbursts or verbal disagreements we've had in our relationship of two years had been shared with his immediate family and everyone was scared that I would ruin my step-sister-in-law's wedding! I waited until I was in a closed room with my husband and freaked out. I demanded to know what the hell they were talking about!
The rest of this epic question—and my response—after the jump...
After five minutes listening to a bunch of mumble jumble about my temper I interrupted and stated that when I walk into my home after a long day at work—where I contribute financially to have some personal space—I should be able to do whatever I want in the comfort of my own home! That means if I have a bad day at work, for example, I should be able to stomp my feet, scream, cry, anything—even have "tantrums" like a two-year-old child—and if my husband whom I trust happens to be in the home, he should respect my choices! Another example: If we have a argument we should be able to argue and go to bed and wake up and start another day! But in Mexico I find out that every tantrum and every argument we've ever shared has been being broadcast to his entire family! Which is absolutely none of their business! We didn't need their help when we eloped alone and we didn;t need them holding our hands now! I thought we could trust each other enough to keep certain things private! I mean there's a limit to what in-laws or parents should know! He agreed he broke my trust but that didn't change the fact that I had to tiptoe around the entire vacation!
But wait! This gets better! Day five comes—the wedding—and I get all dolled up and we go witness the ceremony, stand for three hours while each of the family members has to get family pics taken, yet I noticed I wasn't asked to be in any except one. As we walked to the celebration dinner held out on the beach, I'm told the family doesn't respect or believe in our marriage because they weren't there! (We eloped!) So I sit, a strained grin on my face, and share in their dinner with a stomach full of butterflies. I have a couple of sips of wine and then begin to not feel so good. I excused myself from the table and went up to my hotel room and vomited. When I came back down I saw the clock and thought to my self, "It is impossible that I was gone for over an hour!" Still not feeling great I walk in the direction of the table where I am supposed to sit next to my husband when this blonde woman female—don't know who the hell she is—stops me and says do not try and take my husband away from his sisters wedding. I looked at her and laughed in her face. I did not appreciate being threatened! I walked up to my husband where I was scolded for interrupting a social conversation and I was asked to leave and wait for my husband up in our room. I cried all the way up.
Two hours later I was puking, not seeing straight, and felt absolutely messed off of two sips of wine (how is that possible?!?), when suddenly my husband comes walking in the room. He says he had no idea I was up in our room waiting that long and tells me he only came up because he needed to get some photo album for everyone to sign downstairs in the disco. I kicked his ass out and threw that album off the ninth floor balcony. Ten minutes later security and bridesmaids are opening my door begging for a "book." I don't have it, I tell them. I dumped out every suitcase and I was so groggy and that I could barely hold my eyes open when a security officer asked if I was okay. I swore and told them all to get the f##k out of my room and let me sleep. The door finally shuts and it is at that exact moment that I realized that I had been drugged. I didn't know by whom nor did i care. I got up and walked in my bare feet through the hotel, down the elevator, and into the loud lance bar disco where I walked straight up to my husband and hit him as hard as I could with my closed fist. Without a word I walked right back out, found a place to sit down, and asked a random stranger for a smoke. Seconds later my husband goes running right past me crying. He sees me and sits down and claims he was waiting for me the entire time. He says the reason someone told me to leave him alone was because the family feels I take up too much of his time and don't let him socialize enough with them. I got up and walked away and found a private room where I slept alone that night. Not one person tried to checked on me.
I was ill the last two days giving my husband plenty of family time and my illness did not prevent him from enjoying the beach, the pool, and shopping in town with his family. The day we left I told him what happened and that his entire family included themselves in this scheme to drug me.
I am now home two days and can't decide what to do now. And now my husband has decided to take a month off of work because—OF COURSE—both his parents and grandparents are moving from big homes to little condos and they all need his help all day long, every day, for the next month!
I told him I am taking back my maiden name and I asked him to stop all contact with his obsessive family for one week while we decide what our future plans are. But honestly I didn't know I married his frickin' family and I am very astonished that so much went on behind my back and I'm so very hurt.
Please give me some advice!
Suddenly Questioning Everything
One of the known knowns of the advice-column racket (ACR) is that the columnist only has the letter writer's version of events to go on. We get one side of the story. LWs, as they're known in the ACR, typically omit details that make them look bad while including details that make their spouses, lovers, friends, families, and coworkers look monstrous. Another known known: Advice columnists have a natural, reflexive tendency to side with LWs. People who ask us for our advice are paying us a compliment—they're telling us that they value our judgment—and that fact alone leaves advice columnists feeling positively disposed toward our LWs.... and negatively disposed toward anyone who has wronged our LWs.
And on top of those known knowns, there's this: a great many readers believe that the ACR obligates columnists to always side with our LWs. A columnist who slams an LW—even in a case where the LW is quite obviously in the wrong—is inevitably taken to task in the comments thread. Since an advice columnist almost always sides with LWs, and since this particular LW obviously expected the columnist to take their side (otherwise how do you explain the inclusion of so many damning, self-incriminating details?), the columnist is guilty of blindsiding a hapless LW.
All of which brings me to this: today's LW puts me in a tough spot. It's almost impossible to take her side. The details she includes are simply too self-incriminating. Buying into her version of events, to take just one example, requires me to look at these two options...
A. She got food poisoning at a resort in Mexico and was sick for a couple of days.
B. Someone in her husband's family slipped a drug into her drink that induced the symptoms of food poisoning and that dastardly act didn't just result in her behaving precisely the way her husband's family feared she might, it justified and excused her behavior.
...and to go with "B" as the likelier scenario.
But... fuck it. I'm going to go with B. I have a plane to catch and my car is waiting and taking the side of the LW is always easier. So here goes:
You must divorce your husband, SQE. This marriage cannot be saved. Your husband's family is dangerous and unstable and abusive and the only way to get them out of your life—permanently—is to end your marriage. And while ending a marriage is always sad, SQE, you have to ask yourself this: Could you in good conscience remain married to a man who didn't immediately come and find you in the secret hiding place to which you had retreated after you punched him in the face with a closed fist in front of his entire family at a wedding that you promised not to disrupt? I thought not. Call a lawyer, SQE, and file for divorce.
And forward your lawyer's bills to your soon-to-be ex-husband's family. I'm sure they would be only to happy to pay them.