Family divorce – who to keep contact with?

posted 2 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
4235 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

That is a tough call!

For what it’s worth: when my aunt and uncle got divorced years ago things were a little ‘sticky’ for a while. My aunt is my Dad’s sister, and her and my ex-uncle have a son together. They got divorced when he was 9 or 10. We all ADORED my ex-uncle but didn’t want to ‘rock the boat’ with my aunt! He had nowhere to go, and my Dad’s brother went ‘against the grain’ and let him move into his basement…which DID make some waves. But I can say the waters DID calm, and it actually worked out well for my cousin (their son) in regards to visitation and maintaining some sort of family dynamic. It also worked out to be quite ‘healing’ for both my aunt and ex-uncle over time.

Fast forward to about two years ago when my uncle (the one who opened his home) passed away suddenly. We had a private funeral for just immediate family…but said ex-uncle was welcome there and held his son and (now single again) ex-wife in his arms like nothing ever happened.

People can be ‘funny that way’ when they share a child.

Post # 3
14899 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

She cannot dictate who you have a relationship or with or not.  She brought him into the family and just because she wants to dismiss him, doesnt mean that everyone else feels the same way.  Like you said, their relationship is between them and all the other relationships that formed between him and the family such as yourself is between you and him as well.   It’s too bad that she doesnt want anythign to do with him, not that it’s possible with a child, but she cant dictate everyone elses relationship either.  I wouldn’t try to continue as I normally would and just see what happens.  I woudn’t’ actively dismiss him on purpose just cause she wants me to.  But if the relationship starts to fade, which is quite possible since the main connection, assuming it the marriage and not the child, is gone, I wouldn’t fight too hard to hold on either.

Post # 5
1450 posts
Bumble bee

LaPetiote :  I agree a sticky situation.  We are going through the same thing with my Father-In-Law and his second wife (not my MIL).  I’ve taken the attitude since it’s my husband’s family I’ll let him decide what kind of relationship he wants to have and I’ll stand behind it since it’s his family.  Because of the circumstances surrounding the divorce he’s decided he doesn’t want to have a relationship anymore with his dad and although the demise of the relationship was not directly caused by his step mom he doesn’t really want a relationship with her either.  To be fair the relationship with him and his dad has been passable at best and since his divorce was started his dad has spiraled on a deep downward path.

Post # 6
26 posts
  • Wedding: April 2018

LaPetiote :  I have a similar situation going on in my family that is affecting my “niece” (she’s not technically my niece but I call her that). It sounds like this divorce is still pretty fresh? In my family situation, once the shock wore off and things settled a bit, the irrational parent started acting a bit better. 

At the end of the day, I think SIL needs to come to the realization that Brother-In-Law will always be a part of the family in some way because he’s the father of your niece. She might feel ganged up on because every one else realizes that Brother-In-Law has to be around to help raise his kid and are still talking to him? Maybe she thinks you guys are “taking his side” when you’re just trying to do what’s best for your niece? There’s probably a lot of hurt and resentment related to the divorce going on behind the scenes and it’s possible she thinks that people are siding against her.  Just playing devil’s advocate here.

Are Darling Husband and SIL close? Maybe he could talk to her and explain that he knows this is a tough time, and no one is trying to side with Brother-In-Law, but that Brother-In-Law is going to be around for awhile, and it’s best to keep things cordial. Maybe explain to her that you guys want to see him for the sake of your niece,  cutting off all communication isn’t productive, and ask her if there are boundaries that will make her comfortable? 

Post # 7
7732 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

My ex husband left 10 years ago and this past weekend his sister happened to be in town and we got together. Our kids are cousins and so we will always be family. Luckily, my ex-inlaws made it clear that we would always be in eachothers lives regardless of the divorce.

Post # 8
4235 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

LaPetiote :  DAMN! Ok, now you’ve got me curious…what did he DO for your SIL to be THIS bent out of shape?

Post # 10
3794 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

IMO, once there is a kid involved they are both your family for good regardless of marital status. She needs to chill. You are totally allowed to have a relationship with whomever you damn well want to. 

Post # 11
4235 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

LaPetiote :  That is a totally fair response. I’m sorry for prying into their business! Curiosity got the best of me for a moment.

Post # 12
1107 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

What does your husband plan to do? Are he and the Brother-In-Law close?

Post # 14
1190 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I agree with you, OP. 

My ex husbands family was my family, as far as I was concerned. I was SO close to them. When we split, it was unbelievably painful some of the things his father and brothers said about me and the advice they gave my ex. And we have a child together! I now have zero contact with his family, but wish that some members of his family were still in touch. 

Do what you feel is right and salvage the relationships that matter to you. Yes, blood is blood, but sometimes you don’t like them. If your SIL throws a fit, that’s her issue to deal with. Divorce sucks. For everyone. 


Post # 15
11858 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

LaPetiote :  unless he abused her or their child, I don’t see this dictate as reasonable or healthy.

You shouldn’t go out of your way to hang out with her ex right now, and even though you don’t like her much it wouldn’t be at all cool to “side ” with him, but he is also your relative and your children will know their child as a cousin. 

She’s being immature and controlling, traits that no doubt contributed to the demise of the relationship. 

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