?? for divorced people

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you had a child with someone and then got divorced would you still have "family night" where you made dinner for your ex and played games with her and your child? On a regular basis?

    My husband's dad and mom are divorced. For a number of years mother in law was invited to father in law and step mother in law's for holidays if we were all going to be there. But it was only on big holidays. If it was a birthday for one of the kids, they were very nice to each other.

    But there were no attempts to do movie night or game night or whatever on at least a weekly basis.

    Bro and his ex are doing this a LOT. Ex sister in law is at ALL family dinners at my parents. As I cannot stand the woman it is not fun for me or my family. My kids cannot stand her either.

    I am just wondering if this is some new trend, because I have not ever heard of a divorced couple acting like this. Sort of like they are married in two houses with separate finances. It seems very odd.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No, I wouldn't. However, if it can be done without causing further turmoil and drama, I can see where it would be a good thing for the child. I think what they try to teach kids of divorced parents is that they are a child of two households when it's possible to do so without causing further pain to the child. in my humble opinion, I'd leave that one alone and let them work this issue out. If she's a big thorn in everyone's side it will probably be a temporary thing that just needs to run it's course and in that case, you nor anyone else should set themselves up to be the bad guy. This is just my opinion though- I'm divorced but we didn't have any kids between us.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I think it sounds a little weird too. Who is inviting the former sister in law to the family dinners? If they get along well enough, I can see it maybe for the big holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving to make it nice for the kids, but a regular little family dinner, seems a little odd. I am assuming that your brother doesn't have a new wife or girl friend yet? Because when he does, then it will get really awkward and I would imagine that she wouldn't be too crazy about the arrangement either. But to just tag along like they were still married, I don't think so.
  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I think it might depend on what kind of divorce you had.

    I definitely got along better with ex after we were divorced and I did my darndnest to never say anything bad about him in front of the kids. We didn't have family night but we did do some things together for the kids; even took them on vacation a couple of times. I think it would be important to keep the anger and bad feelings out of the mix. If you can do that and still be together, it might be good for the kids but if you can't, then probably not.

    I think it is one of those things where people have to feel their own way and what works for some won't work for others.
  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I think it would depend on the relationship between x sister in law and your parents. If she is good friends after a divorce with your brother in law and always had a close relationship with your parents and neither one has anything else going on I see nothing strange about it - why should all of that and herself be in exile just because they are divorced? There is usually so much hatred and bad feelings that go round when a divorce happens and its never good for the kids. My X is definately a better friend than a husband - he has lived here twice with SO and I between his moving to his new apartments. No one was uncomfortable about it.

  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Like everyone else, I agree that it depends on the couple.

    When I was initially divorced from exh, family gatherings were awkward but we muddled through. Then they became intolerable when I came out of the closet with my now H, then boyfriend and exh's best friend (not as sordid as it sounds) lol.

    After a couple of years we were able to be at joint gatherings with-o anything weird. In fact, I think it was, weirder for the families than it was for all of us. But it's not about anyone else, just as this situation is not about you. In time, once new romances enter the picture, the dust will settle and it just won't be so weird or they won't be together at all gatherings, only important ones like graduations and weddings, etc.

    Incidentally, we all get along fine now and I actually enjoy just chatting with exh-hecould always make me laugh. I think we did a pretty good job remaining civil for the kids during the worst of times.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My mom thought it was strange when bonehead and first separated and we threw her a 15th birthday together at this condo. But I will tell you that bonehead and I get along better now that all the false expectations are gone. His family is still my family. I still go over there for holidays, my mother in law visits us almost every Sunday after church, I work with my sister in law...... Folks think it's so strange that bonehead and I still work together. You know, life is what it is and we separated before we hated each other. We never allowed it to get to the point where we yelled or used the kids as pawns. It was a deliberate choice on our part. Mostly because deep down we still care for each other as a fixture in our lives.

    Bonehead and I spent many, many years together - 1979 through 2004 - his mother will tell you that I am her daughter and one of bonehead's sisters and I are very, very close - we are sisters. You don't just disconnect and loose the family because you divorce the person.

    So I think it really depends.

    Bonehead and I are friends on some level. I can tell you that after basically becoming adults together, growing so much together, struggling for years and then coming into our own, there is a lot of history. If you asked us both while we were standing next to each other you would find us both say that we will always be a part of each other's lives and do care. Do we always get along? No. Is he a bonehead? Surely. Could I every live with the man or thing of him romantically? Never, never, never!

    The fact that you and your kids can't stand her is mute if your parents still want a relationship with her. Are there children?

  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    They do have a child. The main reason that it bothers me is that bro and xsil make husband,all three kids and I very uncomfortable. My younger two cannot have a three sentence chat with either of my parents before my niece is sent to show/tell something to my parents. If I say more than "Oh, that's nice" my bro or xsil will either verbally attack me in a very aggressive way or they will physically put themselves between us so that I cannot speak.

    At first I thought I was dreaming it. Finding mountains where there aren't even molehills. Then I was seated at dinner (buffet style) and my chair was moved, with me in it, first so that xsil could sit between my father and I (and we were talking), then I was moved again so I was not sitting next to my mom. Even the very oblivious thank you has noticed it. He is sick of having to keep niece from jumping on him or getting with-in three inches of his face or ear and shrieking. husband and I are the only ones who tell her to stop. Her parents ignore it, saying it doesn't bother thank you (IF they notice it at all). Gpa would stop it if he saw it, but niece doesn't do that in front of him.

    My dad is annoyed but won't say anything because my mom would hit the roof. My mom, well, bro cannot really do wrong and I cannot really do right. At least in regards to my side of the family.

    If bro and xsil were not purposely acting to make us highly uncomfortable their lives would not bug me. I see all the damage xsil has done to the family and to my husband and kids. I see no changes in her behavior and nothing trustworthy about her. If my mom and/or bro think I am less than happy to have her around then they say all manner of ugly things to me and to husband. I really resent that. xsil is an amazing manipulator. I doubt any of our difficult children are better.

    Thanks. I know I am venting a lot. Trying to sort some feelings out and figure out how to handle things.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just FYI, a large part of my question was simply to know if what bro is doing is now considered "normal" or expected. I have very very little experience with divorce. Bro and my dad's little bro are the only people with divorces I have ever really known. Well, and the aunt who is on her 9th marriage but she doesn't really count because she kept most of that away from me.

    So I am not 100% sure what to expect/think/do.

    I can see if there was a really good relationship before or even just during the marriage, that the couple and/or extended families would stay close. That is FAR from the case with bro. Way far.

    So thanks for the info/advice/opinions. All are appreciated.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm weird, but that's not news to any of you.
    I think this is the way it should be. (the divorced situation, not the situation bro and ex put you in). As long as there is not some big ugly reason for the divorce, the parents should realize they loved each other enuf once upon a time to get naked together, and now there's a life as a result, and that life deserves a chance to love both of its parents equally.
    It doesn't mean that life deserves 2 or 3 of everything, so if the parents can be man/woman enuf to suck it up for the kid, they should be. Christmas is a family celebration - have the family there. Etc.
    Now, what bro and ex do to you crosses some lines, in my humble opinion, but I guess I don't think its because the ex is around. I'm guessing he'd be that way if she wasn't. Its just an extra body treating you that way with her there.
    husband's ex isn't even allowed to talk to us by her new husband. Her new husband is so adamantly against "the ex'es". Makes it very difficult to parent a child together, and I think everyone in the circle of doing so will tell you she's the one paying, and she's very spoiled and knows how to work the system. But because communication lines are so limited, there's not much we can do.
    I, on the other hand, would be devastated if my DEX's family tossed me. Christmas this past year was hard, because its the first year I've not spent the day with them when they celebrated (because of whack job girlfriend). We all got together (including DEX and whack job girlfriend) a few days later, but it was still hard. The early years were weird, but we muddled thru and now its just as normal as the sun going down at night.
    ExBIL and I shot together this past weekend, and had a great time. He just introduces me as his sister, and it just makes my heart sing, because I truly love those people. I acquired an antique McClellan saddle yesterday that I could probably sell for a couple hundred bucks, but I'm giving it to exBIL, because he's into that stuff and loves them, and he and the rest of the family do so much for me.
  11. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I see both sides. Good for the kids to see parents at get togethers, getting along, etc, all that fuzzy good stuff. If they can handle it and get along, fantastic! I do however see the "extended family" side of things. They may have worked out whatever caused their divorce, and found a new way of spending family time for the kids sakes. But maybe they've forgotten or don't care, about how extended family feel toward the person. Personal issues between others and former sister in law, or vice versa. And the reasons that the divorce happened could have caused family to have negative feelings for ex sister in law as well, protective feelings. Not to mention, if she was unpleasant before the divorce, the family was putting up with her as a part of the active family. Now though, she is not part of the family except to be the kids mom and your bro's ex (in my opinion). I know that sometimes the family is so close, that post divorce, the person is still like family. Great. Not so great for those that don't have gushy feelings for something or can't stand tolerating them.
    My cousin, she is like my sister. We have such a pathetically small family and she and I should have been sisters. She has one child, he's awesome. My cousins ex, her childs father? A complete loser and obnoxious etc. They seperated a few times, each time I"d play nice and be family-like anyhow, of course knowing chances were there they would reconcile. Then the permenant break, and eventually they found their way to being in attendance at events etc and are good with it. I'm truly happy for them and for my cousins son. HOWEVER, once that split was final? I was NOT going to put up with myself and my kids being miserable at family events because he was there. Exceptions of course for their sons birthday or band performances, grad etc. Of course his father should be there, and I wouldn't miss out just because I loathe the man. But Christmas? Sunday dinners? Games days? Easter? etc??? No way, no how. I just finally privatly spoke with other family and got a reading on how they felt. None like him much, many felt like I do, keep him away. A few thought they'd be able to tolerate although admitted it did change the enjoyment of get togethers and they resented that. I ended up speaking to my cousin and hoped for the best while expecting and preparing for the worst. Thankfully, she understoood completely. We all do get togethers with class and respect when it involves milestones for their son. And I never feel a ounce disturbed by him at those times. He has a rightful place and if it was bad/awful, it should and would be ME exempted if I couldn't handle myself appropriatly. But now, our general family functions? He is not invited , period.
    Any chance you could speak to bro and say something like " YOu know, I see how well you and ex sister in law have managed to remain coparents and be around each other and its really refreshing to see, that's fantastic! I'm truly hoping that since you two have managed to put the problems you had that led to divorce, behind you and forge a new dynamic that is healthy, perhaps we can ALL do that. You see, I can see how good it is for (insert childs name) to have you both there for things etc. And I of course also wants what is best for my nephew. There is a problem and it is on my mind, in that I often feel very (Insert description) at functions with her because of things such as (Insert a few examples). I'm hoping there's a chance that you can speak to ex sister in law about this, given your new obviously healthy ability to get along and work through things, and see if you can help her realize that we all respect her role in (childs) life, and she is welcome to attend our family functions of course when you invite her. However it is becoming hurtful and damaging to have her XYZ behaviours interfere with my and my childrens enjoyment of functions that include us all, even my own parents and my kids grandparents. If we can work this through, I won't have to make a decision to see (parents, siblings, whoever) seperately at holidays etc to ensure we can ALL enjoy those special times. I would hate to see that happen and I am certain there's a way that we can ensure we are ALL on a better communication path and have a healthy dynamic with ex sister in law. Unconventional can work, but it has to work for everyone and right now, XYZ are creating a atmosphere where it isn't working and that isn't fair to this entire family. We can make this better, what do you think you and ex sister in law can do to ensure that it happens?"
    I'm all for respecting others, but I'm also all for being honest if things like holidays are being ruined, especially when this is a divorce situation etc. It's awkward. If she can knock of the realllly hurtful stuff, it will be easier to just go with the flow when she attends things and overlook the "not worth stressing" things that annoy. Its the biggies.
  12. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Oh, I should say, easy child (11) spoke on this to me the other day. She said she likes how her dad and I get along, how my S/O and her dads now wife and all of us, can be together for her plays, hockey games, choir performances, etc and that we can discuss her with each other and get along. She says other kids parents at school fight so badly and she's grateful we don't and makes a world of difference to her. She said that she's glad we do her holidays and birthdays seperate though, so that my side of family can celebrate with her, and then another one with her fathers side. When her dad and I were together, we'd do say for a birthday: a dinner/party with family from both of our sides. However Christmas etc was not celebrated with both of her families. We'd all do stuff with my family and a different day do stuff with my ex's family. She says that it is no different now than it was, except that its only one parent at those functions. She thought it would be weird now that she's "over" the whole birthday party thing (with classmates etc) to have a joint birthday with me and S/O, along with her dad and her new step mom. I happen to agree. Even if her dad and I were both single, now that its not a matter of one parent missing a big party (not cool), it would be weird for HER to have a sit down dinner with he and I and her. Wrong setting = strange (for easy child). I wonder if people who do it ALL together are just afraid to let go. They divorce but can't move on or accept that they won't be there for every memory, but can alternatly make their own special ones? easy child is a wise girl. She said that if we'd been overboard with sharing every thing together, she'd never have accepted that her dad and I weren't getting back together and she'd still be waiting for it to happen. I sometimes wonder if best intentions can be the idea but in practice are a bit off the mark. It may seem like a healthy plan of attack for your bro and sister in law right now, it might work out htat way, but there's always the flip side, and it could be making this more difficult in terms of dreams/fantasies for their child too.
    I'm a believer, protect the kids, be good parents, but kids do adapt if parents help them in a healthy manner. I wonder if perhaps post divorce, Bro and sister in law aren't perhaps getting nostalgic and I have to wonder if they are still looking for a new chance together. Funny how those who can't stand being married, end up divorced, and some of them end up entwined so deeply afterwards you wonder where THAT communicaiton and effort was in the marriage. Some forget quickly it wasn't healthy, thus divorce. I'm babbling a bit, but it's kind of struck something in me with my cousins history with her ex and my situaiton with easy child's dad. Sounds to me like maybe your bro and sister in law aren't ready to move on at all. Thus their child is also stuck in limbo, kinda must feel like the worlds longest divorce in some ways, are they or aren't they? That's what I'd think as a child, I could be oversensitive though.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    One of the women DEX cheated on me with was difficult child 1's bio mom. I know of twice. The second time the big road block to their reunion was difficult child 1 - DEX wanted to leave him with me; bio mom wanted to take "their" son back now that they'd be a happy family.

    Working together post-divorce isn't for everyone....
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Once Useless Boy and I divorced, I maintained a relationship with his folks because of Miss KT, and they were informed of her school performances, sports events, etc., and they always attended. Useless Boy rarely showed up, though he was also invited. Since I didn't have to see UB, there was no major problem.

    But sitting down to dinner once a week with UB and his parents? Not a chance. I think that's a bit on the strange side.
  15. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I purposely moved 1/4 mile away from my ex when I divorced.

    It doesn't mean I'm around him more than I have to be.

    We would go to the kids events - sometimes even in the same car. Since they are now both grown, we are only together as a "family" for the major things - graduations, weddings, etc.

    I don't get along with the ex's parents, that's fine, I didn't get along all that well with them when we were married. I still get along with some of his extended family and at recent gatherings (such as when my son came home from the Navy) we're all comfortable around each other.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Part of what has always bothered me is that gfgbro didn't like her much when they married. It was for the baby. He still bad mouths her any time she is not there. My mom regularly makes him leave when he does it around his daughter. He pumps his daughter for info on mommy's drinking. It is one reason it really bugs me to have to be near her. The whole this is hypocritical on his part, but if I make any mention then I am the scapegoat for everything he can think of.

    He actually told me that he "deserved" to be able to speak to my family any way he wanted any time he wanted and I have no right to hang up or object. I think, more and more, that this goes WAY beyond adhd and alcoholism. in my opinion he has some sort of personality disorder. I just want to figure out how to keep him out of my life with-o cutting my parents totally out.

    thank you had a nightmare last night that gfgbro was yelling at us and we couldn't get away. Makes me sad.
  17. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I'm sorry he is so horribly toxic. I don't think there is any simple way to cut him out with-o cutting off your parents unless you only visit with them at your home and exclude him. If your parents are amenable to such a scenario.

    I think protecting thank you is most important if he's having nightmares about him! Hugs, family is not easy.
  18. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    That hasn't happened in my family. And I can't imagine getting together with my x! She still is pretty much the same old person, not willing to get any help for herself ...
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie, I dont think your situation has a thing in the world to do with how people handle things when divorced. It is how your brother does things.

    Not even in the same ballpark. It would be the same if he was still married to her, if they hadnt married or if he had adopted a baby from mars. He just chooses to use her being there to abuse you.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Your brother is a putz.

    As for me personally? Family night? Sure if we could play Running Man, and my family and 10 of my friends here got to carry the laser.