I was raised in the Pentecostal church, which is where I met my eventual husband. We married in 2002 and he passed away in 2014 from brain cancer. We have three kids together. A year later, I remarried a much younger man who happens to be Jewish. I converted shortly before our wedding and we are actively raising all of our children (including the three from my first marriage) orthodox. The oldest three made the decision on their own to convert shortly after I did.
My in laws from my first marriage have given me a hard time from the start of my new relationship. They judged me for remarrying so quickly, for having such a young guy be the ‘father figure’ in the kids lives, for expanding my family with him, and of course for my decision to convert. They have accused me of manipulating the kids but the truth is they have made the decision on their own. I’m sure that the fact that I stopped taking them to church and began attending synagogue with my husband influenced it a bit, but I’ve never pressured any of my children into anything like that. If anything, I was more prone to that before – when I was a practicing christian.
I think it started off as envy over a new relationship but slowly, it’s turned more to the Judaism aspect. They’ve met my husband, he’s the nicest man you’ll ever meet. Once they realized that, they had to start attacking his (our) religion. I do think a lot of their disdain towards Judaism is genuine as they’ve openly said they now believe their grandchildren won’t get into heaven.
They feel as if I’m spitting on my first husbands legacy by “encouraging the kids to follow a path he wouldn’t have approved of”. Keep in mind my husband was very active in the church, we both were. Luckily, I don’t have to deal with them too much. After getting remarried, I moved out of state to be with my husband so that we could expand our family. They had already turned toxic by that point so I had no sympathy in leaving.
Despite the tension, I have made it clear to them that the door will always be open for them to fully re enter our children’s lives, but only if they respect the decisions they’ve made. They are missing crucial years of their grandchildrens lives. The kids are 16, 14, & 10 now. They get lots of love and support from their maternal grandparents (who are also Christian but handling it like adults) and even their stepdads parents, who treat them as one of their own. Despite the bitterness, I’ve invited them to every birthday party, holiday vacations, even the birth of each of the six children I’ve welcomed with my husband. I always make a point not to let them feel left out, but it’s always ignored and goes unappreciated. I’m at the point where I’m doing trying at all.
My apologies if this comes off as too much of a rant but I’m three months pregnant with triplets and my hormones are honestly running a little wild. I’m also just simply over this. One of them called my oldest last week (they do this about once every six months) and like always, she managed to sneak in a subtle jab towards my husband and I. I’m tired of them trying to play mind games with my children who have made their own decision for once and for all on this matter. I’m tired of them using my late husband for sympathy and to try to guilt us.