Opinion wanted on maintaining relationships with e

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    When husband's sister (sis) and brother in law got divorced, we maintained the relationship with brother in law, partly because we liked him and no one was really at fault in the dicorce, and partly because easy child 2 and brother in law's daughter had been raised as close cousins (and there aren't other cousins).

    How "strange" is it really to keep relationships with ex-in-law's? Is this really so "odd"?
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Shari, I think it is a smart and civilized way to behave.
    My dear baby sis divorced her hubby. She moved near me with her two babies.
    We liked her husband but he was not in the right mindset for married life. He was a good guy and I wouldn't say anything bad about the father of my two nephews. He paid his support and was a good guy in general but a little goofy.
    When his parents came to Dallas to visit they stayed with me since their son didn't have room in his apt nor did baby sis.
    So I have a wonderful relationship with her ex in laws.

    The end of that story is that baby sis remarried him and his parents, sister and nephews all joined us on a family vacation this summer.

    No one divorces without some blame but it's not for me to judge. I love my nephews enough to not be disrespectful to their dad or their grandparents. Now I have a stronger bond than before and they appreciate that we didn't make them feel cut out of the nephews lives.

    Shari, divorce is tough on the whole family but if the kids are close I wouldn't let them have to feel separated from each other.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    I am of the mindset that there is not 'right way' when it comes to this stuff. It really depends on the people involved and should be individual to the particular family and situation.

    As long as nobody is being hurt, anything goes, in my humble opinion.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    I think it's fine. Fran is right, no one is without blame in a divorce. I don't think it's fair to the innocent kids to have to lose cousins, aunts, etc. So I applaud your open minded and loving approach.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks for the input.

    As time has gone on since the divorce, sis has become quite the partier, spending weekends in bars and drinking parties, etc. Nothing wrong with that, we have gone out with here a couple of times when we were "kidless" (which is rare). Its just not condusive to people with kids (aka US and former brother in law). It's not on purpose, but we end up spending more time with brother in law and less time with sis, strictly from the standpoint of shared interests. We have kids; she does not.

    brother in law invited us and the kids to New Year's dinner tonight and we accepted. This morning, sis called and asked if we had plans, turns out she has to work tomorrow and isn't going bar-hopping, like usual, so wanted to get together. Of course, if we tell her what we're really doing, she'll blow a gasket. She knows we maintain contact with brother in law, but never specifics about it.

    A co-worker overheard me call husband and tell him. Then several made several comments about how "strange" this family is. (We also spent Christmas at my ex-husband's parents' home. DEX has nothing to do with the kids, but I think its important they maintain a family relationship with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins on that side. Thankfully, DEX's family does, too, so we are very included. DEX is always invited and sometimes comes, sometimes does not - as was the case at Christmas.) I just feel like its the right thing to do for the kids, to teach them love isn't conditional or tied to family "boundaries".
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-Fran.
    Gone are the days of The Deep Dark Divorce Secret and splitting of families.
    Go for it.
  7. Star*

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

    -I think co-workers that eaves drop on your private calls and then tell YOU that YOUR family is strange - are stranger yet.

    I would make a big sign that says in thick black permanent marker


    in about 5" letters and

    nosey little turd aren't you?

    in about 1/4" letters

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I think you are doing the right thing.

    When my moms brother and his wife divorced (yes..my uncle and my aunt), there was some kind of bad blood in the family and I lost contact with my two cousins. It was even worse when my aunt died and those two cousins ended up living with my aunts family instead of their father. Dont ask me why, I have no clue. I never saw those two cousins again until I was a late teen and my father tracked them down and went and saw them.

    I had a good relationship with them as a small child but even now as an adult I have tried to rekindle any kind of relationship and there is simply a no go. I dont know what has been said but obviously something.
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Folks think my divorce situation is a little strange but I'm all about maintaining family ties and being a decent human being.

    My sister seperated from her husband two years ago and I still maintain communication with my exbil. He has split custody of my neices and he will always be their father - therefore he will always be family of sorts.

    I spent Christmas Eve at my exmil's house with all my ex's family without him even being there. None of us thought it strange because I've been part of their family since I moved here in 1980. My mother in law came here for brunch Christmas morning while her son (a.k.a. bonehead) was on a plane with his honey bound for Nevada and California!

    There are no rules really - it's about what is comfortable, practicle, meaningful, and safe. I think when the family dynamics are not unstable or unsafe, kids from and exposed to divorce maintain much better if family ties are kept in place.

    Just my opinion.

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I can top that. My ex and I are so friendly that he comes to family get togethers that I'm at, which is great for my three kids who are also his kids. My hub and ex get along fine. My dad still loves to talk to ex--they always got along great. We did a grab bag for adult presents this Christmas and my hub drew my ex as who he had to shop for. A few times me and my two younger kids stayed over at his place when my son (who we usually stay with) had to work late unexpectedly. It's all good :wink:
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think it is wonderful. The kids lose contact or hear bad things about half their heritage and it hurts them.

    If things can be worked out so y'all get along and there is no ugliness, that is AWESOME!!!

  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Piglet's best friend's family goes on an annual vacation with her mom & dad, her half-brother, mom's ex-h and his new wife and their son. She calls the ex-h and his wife "aunt and uncle" and her half-brother's half-brother is her 'cousin'. It works great for them.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think it is great when relationships can be maintained. Somehow
    I was not able to finesse that obstacle for the long run. Truly I
    did try and husband was very supportive. My former mother in law/father in law and Ex were always welcomed into our home, as well as Ex's different wives. Over the years, however, after Ex's parents and their siblings passed Ex made it impossible to maintain a friendly sharing relationship. I envy those who had more success. DDD
  14. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I don't find it odd at all. I spend all my time with my s2bx's family. In fact that is who I was with last night for New Years. I spent the night at a party with his two brothers and their wives and a few other friends. We are very very close, in fact my sister in law is one of my best friends. As long as it doesn't cause a huge problem with your sister and you like him, then I wouldn't worry about it. Like my mother in law told me, I'm divorcing her son, not his family. You form friendships over the years with inlaws and to me there is no reason to break a friendship.
  15. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I think your co-workers are jealous. The ability to maintain relationships with exes and exes' families is a good thing.

    I've had three true relationships in my life -- my husband, my soulmate, my friend. While my ex-husband didn't want a child in his life, we still keep in contact and we're there for each other should one of us be in serious need. My soulmate ultimately married another woman. We still talk to each other on the phone on occasion and frequently email each other. My friend was once my lover. He was a friend, then a lover and fiance and then back to my friend. We decided we were better as friends than as a couple. I went to his wedding a few years ago and was a bridesmaid. His wife knows we are close friends, she does not know we were actually engaged and, hopefully, will never know.

    Friends are a special and rare commodity. The fact your friends are exes or just their families is irrelevant. The fact they are your friends is what matters. Even if an exes' family aren't truly friends, they are still related to your children. So, the better the relationship, the better it is for your kids.

    Let the busybodies worry about their lives. This part of your life is good.
  16. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I think it's fine also. Especially when there are kids involved but even without, I don't see a problem. You met these people because of a marriage but you became friends on your own.

    My husband's brother D and his previous wife M divorced a few years ago. D (immediately) remarried to J but I still see M as much as possible. I get along fine with D's current wife J but I also still consider M to be my sister-in-law.

    For me, if you marry into my family and divorce out, my desire for continued contact (or not) simply depends on whether or not I liked you to begin with. Obviously, if there are kids involved, I will be civil and polite but if I didn't like you at the start, I feel no obligation to seek out your company. And of course, there are the times where I would much rather see the ex than my actual family member. (But that's a whole different post! :rofl: