*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*
Chad is one of my best friends in the world. We have known each other since we were little kids and grew up together, always staying friends, never even considering entering the dating territory.
I love Chad like a brother, and that’s why it was so hard for me to see him date one bad woman after another. No matter who he dated, I always thought to myself, ‘They don’t deserve him.’ He’s sweet, kind, generous, honest, and loyal to a fault. Not to mention good looking, and at the time this article is being written, quite wealthy.
It was to my horror that he finally married this woman Rebecca, someone he dated for only a year before she sunk her hooks into him. Back then, he was still in college, double majoring in business and engineering, and as he was very smart, he was doing very well. However, since he was still in school he could only work part time, and Rebecca resented having to work at all to help support them even though they were married and should have been working and contributing as equal partners.
Chad’s mother was an angel. She even gave him a downpayment for his first house - something that he was pressured to get to make Rebecca happy. Rebecca’s mother, on the other hand, was not so nice - especially to her new son-in-law.
For some reason I will never understand, Chad could never live up to his mother-in-law’s standards. Nothing he did, like graduating with a double major and bringing in all A’s, or getting a great job at big construction firm right out of said college, was enough for her. Or rather, she didn’t think it was good enough for her precious daughter, Rebecca.
One year, Chad wanted a low-key cookout at his house for his birthday. Only close family and best friends were invited and Chad provided all the food while his brother provided kegs of beer and other libations. Well, after a few drinks on that hot afternoon, Rebecca’s mother told Chad what she really thought of him.
“I don’t know what you plan on doing with your life, but it must be better than working for some construction company,” she told him.
“I plan on opening my own business in a few years,” he said, trying to keep his cool.
“We’ll see about that,” I remember her saying.
Years later, another party of the same kind was had, and once again Rebecca’s mother tore into Chad.
“How’s business going?” She asked him of his new, successful contracting firm that he’d started with his brother.
“Booming,” he said proudly, smiling at her, but she just sneered at him and said:
“Rebecca should have married a doctor.”
I was sitting within earshot of this conversation, and I watched Chad as he held his breath and then quietly got up and walked away from his mother-in-law without saying a word. That’s the kind of guy Chad was. It wasn’t that he would walk away from all conflict, but he certainly knew not to inflate it with his mother-in-law.
How would you have reacted to her comment if you were in Chad’s position?
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