I just feel awful for my mother-in-law. She was a WWII refugee. The poor gal lost aunts and uncles...possibly her dad, but she and her mother don't talk about it. She decided to have four children to help replace the numbers.
Then, along comes me. I observe holidays with the family, being her adorable son's girlfriend. I asked him if I needed to convert. It's a little awkward for me because I am not a religious person. I see religion as kindness in an unkind world, not as THE TRUTH. He said that I needn't concern myself with official conversion.
Then, we got married. The wedding was a disaster. His mother kept crying and throwing drinks. She rearranged the seating. She kept asking people, "doesn't the bride look awful?" His family trashed our house on our honeymoon.
Since then, she has told my husband that he cannot have children with me. Worse yet, he stopped sleeping with me and forbade me to talk to her about her reluctance to accept me.
I know that it must have been a shock to her, seeing my german-american relatives at the wedding. I know the fact that we've been in the states for the last 150 years doesn't unrattle her nerves. After all, war is the worst thing that people can do, and to be a vulnerable child in the middle of it must be terrifying. So I know that I can't approach this from a logical point of view.
I just know that I can't have my future children hearing their grandmother calling their mother a schicksa. She and her mom use it with an inflection that suggests the nastier translation of the word. I have spoken to his sister about conversion and the fact that my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother was Jewish. She claims that is rubs off if it gets too diluted and that even if I converted, I'd still be a fake.
My husband feels that his family will abandon him if he stays with me. I have to think that he has issues as a replacement child. He refuses to discuss it. I feel like he has chosen his mother over me. He is talking divorce. I'm like the left-over wedding cake that nobody wants.
It's not like I won't convert, their issue is with my ancestry. I'd really like to help them heal, but I don't know how. It's like they are using/abusing religion as an excuse for racism. I don't blame judiasm, I blame war.
I am quite depressed because we were previously very happy. How can I help this poor woman and save my marriage? Is this just hopeless?