I (m41) am married to my wife (f37). I have two kids from my previous marriage, (b15) (g13). I am Jewish, as was my first wife before she passed. My current wife is not. We have no kids together. My kids have always got along with their stepmom and her family fairly well, until recently.
Thanksgiving with my wife’s family is a huge affair, and it’s the only chance a lot of the family has to see each other during the year. My kids and I do not eat pork, but there are always options for us or we bring something we specifically can eat, like vegetarian lasagna.
Wednesday night I had dinner with my wife’s parents at their place. I should mention that my wife is not very personally religious although she attends services with her parents monthly. My PIL are very, very conservative-style Evangelicals. We mostly don’t talk about our religious differences although I once had to stop my MIL from encouraging my daughter to be baptized.
Everything was fine until the end of the meal when my MIL crossed her arms and said “See, we told you nothing bad would happen.” I asked her what she meant. My MIL said she had mixed bacon into one of the dishes (a casserole) to prove a point to us.
I tried to ask very calmly why she would do something like that. My MIL said it was to show that there was no point in following ‘the Old Testament law’ anymore. I asked my FIL if he knew what she had done and he said yes. He seemed more uncomfortable but he talked a bit about how Christ came to free us from the Jewish law and that they wanted to show us how we could be freed from the law as well. (He has worked as a pastor in the past).
By this time my daughter was crying and left the room. My wife got up and followed her. My son has been growing more observant as he gets older (he is more observant than me or my daughter). He flipped out. He screamed at my PIL that they were terrible people, called my MIL some very nasty names, and said he never wanted to come back. My FIL started shouting back and my MIL started crying. I told my kids to get in the car and then told my wife we were leaving. She told me she would stay with her parents so she could help with Thanksgiving prep the next morning.
I was texting with my wife on TG and she told me my son is not welcome to come until he apologizes for the things he called my MIL. I told her that’s ridiculous but she is siding with her parents. I told my kids we would not be attending Thanksgiving. Instead we ordered Chinese and watched movies. My son was fine with it but I could tell my daughter was down. She missed out on seeing a lot of friends she has in my wife’s family. My wife is still with her parents as of now.
I should mention that I too am very angry at what happened and what I feel is the disrespect shown to me and especially my kids. I am torn on whether to encourage my son to apologize contingent on a mutual apology to us.
What Should Be DONE In Such A Situation? Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: