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to think that maintaining family life with ex in-laws is not normal?

(86 Posts)
duffybeatmetoit Thu 11-Oct-12 00:00:45

XH's family expect me to continue to attend all family events despite him leaving me (and having minimal contact with DD). They also think that I should see them separately from my ex?

I can't see there is scope for an ongoing relationship over and above handover meetings. For a start I think it would be confusing for DD, giving her false hope of a reconciliation. Then I think it isn't realistic for XH's new partner to be excluded from events if I am there, and I don't want to be there if he is with his new partner. I would feel like a glorified au pair attending with DD.

I don't know of anyone who has this kind of relationship with their ex in-laws - are they BU to expect me to continue as if nothing has happened?

PinkleWickers Thu 11-Oct-12 09:19:54

There is no normal or not normal, only what is personally acceptable.

I am still treated as family by ex inlaws as he is by my family. It works for us and most importantly works very well for ds.

If you dont want it then thats fine for you but i really get irritated by attitudes that paint my kind of situation as weird, lke it would be more socially acceptable for ds to live a fractured, double life. And thats not a dig at anyone who is in that kind of set-up but make your own decisions based on your own feelings of whts appropriate, not what you think constitutes 'normal'.

amillionyears Thu 11-Oct-12 09:24:41

Could you split this up in some way.
Yes to they having regular contact with DD.
Yes to you seeing them together with DD.
No to exs family's social events where your ex is going to be too, but your DD can still go.
Up to you re going to ex's family's social events,where ex may not be there,but still send DD if appropriate.

And when you have decided how you want to proceed,to be consistent,make sure they know your decisions,written down if necessary and give to them,so they cant dispute it.

duffybeatmetoit Thu 11-Oct-12 10:07:03

I'm so sorry that people seem to think that I am labelling them as weirdos for maintaining a relationship with ex ILs. I didn't mean that at all, I should have phrased the AIBU as "to think that maintaining family life with ex in-laws is not usual?"


digerd Thu 11-Oct-12 10:42:58

My friend and I were appalled that after her divorce, he had moved in with a woman just down the road and her 2 children, that his side of the family had no more contact with her 2 children. 12 and 14. So, I think it is lovely that his parents want to keep up contact with your child. Also the family gatherings are lovely for your DC too, even if very painful for you. The answer to your question is that it may not be usual , but that does not make it right for the children.

KellyElly Thu 11-Oct-12 10:47:27

Completely weird I agree - my ex's family are like this too. They shouldn't be arranging meet ups with me to see my DD, they should be arranging it when her dad has he. He actually goes over to have family days with his mum, sister, brother, their respective partners and kids and doesn't take his own. I think everyone should be given the chance to move on and get on with their lives afer the break up of a relationship and unless you have a particular bons with ex's family I think the only time you should see them is at your child's birthday partys and maybe if they drop off an Xmas present. All other contact should be pick up and drop off or through the dad imo.

scaevola Thu 11-Oct-12 10:55:33

I think amillionyears is right.

This family is and will remain your DD's relations. The default, absent abuse, is that she should remain in contact with them. The list above of types of event and how far both of you, together or separately, gives a start point of how you might choose to handle different gatherings. Routinely, she can see them with her father. But not everything is going to fall tidily into the diary and it's the right, but difficult, thing to do to facilitate DD being there for key gatherings and until she can go independently, this may involve you too.

digerd Thu 11-Oct-12 11:01:03

To Pinklewickers. There was no implication of the word wierdo, you inferred that, as is so often the case with words, written or spoken. Yours is an ideal situation and well done to all of you concerned, if only all families could be like yours, but they are not, I,m afraid.

Tryharder Thu 11-Oct-12 11:05:27

I think they sound nice and you should keep up the contact. I would tell them that you do not wish to attend events that your XH and his new DP will also be at, I can't imagine for a minute that they would really expect you to. Yes, in the normal scheme of things, your XH should maintain the contact, not you, but they are probably well aware that their son is a twunt!

digerd Thu 11-Oct-12 11:20:03

Please do not feel like an au pair - you are the proud mother who gave birth to his DD, infact, his DP could be feeling inferior to you, knowing this, and your close relationship to his parents also due to your DD. Hope this helps

TheDreadedFoosa Thu 11-Oct-12 11:31:11

Yes, sorry the word 'weirdo' was mine. Touchy subject atm blush

Stand your ground op, there is no point in going along with a situation thst just doesnt sit right with you.

CremeEggThief Thu 11-Oct-12 11:48:40

I don't think this is a YABU or YANBU, as every family is different and what's normal for one family would be weird for another.

It sounds as if they're trying to show you they still consider you and your DD as part of their family, but if this feels a bit too much for you, find a way of letting them down gently.

digerd Thu 11-Oct-12 12:15:32

To DINOSAURS - oh shame you lost the thread - I do that all the time when talking- as found your post most intriguing and was trying so hard to take it all in and work it all out Brain is now bogged down so will try again later !!

TheDreadedFoosa Thu 11-Oct-12 12:26:34

^^ PinkleWickers, btw.

Paradisefound Thu 11-Oct-12 12:33:56

My parents divorced when I was 20. My mum and dad have always been civil with one another. My mum has always had a wonderful relationship with my dads mum. I think it's really important that kids know and love their grandparents. You never know what the future holds, the contact will probably prove beneficial for children.

charlottehere Thu 11-Oct-12 12:38:16

personally, I wouldn't continue any sort of realtionship with my inlaws. I can't stand them. I wold expect DH to enable the realtionship between them and our DCs. Infact I hope I would never see or be in any sort of contact them again.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 11-Oct-12 12:53:42

I think it is lovely if you can all remain on friendly terms or even as friends. If you can all be mature about it then that is great. Its setting a really good example to the children.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 11-Oct-12 13:07:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

duffybeatmetoit Thu 11-Oct-12 13:52:12

I make sure DD sends cards and presents to the inlaws. send copies of her artwork, photos and so on. They are invited to her birthday and she goes with them to weddings etc.

MIL has always thought that I was a poor mother and that my housekeeping failed to meet her standards. They have never been interested in me as an individual. MIL told me that XH left because I was too old and boring for him. If you have had a good relationship with your in-laws I can understand that you would be inclined to carry out and work something out, especially if the split had been amicable.

I do my best to make sure that DD maintains contact with her family but it seems that I am not doing enough and should be forced into attending events with XH. I appreciate that for the big events in DD's life that will have to be the case and I have to just suck it up for her, but I am surprised that so many people think that I should be attending parties, weddings etc even though I wouldn't stop DD from going.

Looks like pain and humilation is here to stay.

katiecubs Thu 11-Oct-12 13:58:30

Gosh i don't! In no way should you be expected to go to such events if you don't even get on with them that well.

It sounds like you are already doing more than would be expected - stick to your guns and tell MIL you have your own life to get on with!

duffybeatmetoit Thu 11-Oct-12 14:18:42

My previous "glorified au pair" reference was due to the fact that at the last party my MIL had planned to seat DD with ILs and put me on my own on a separate table with people I don't really know. I was then expected to take DD home once she was tired. I did succeed in refusing to attend and my DD was the only one who really missed me.

MoomieAndFreddie Thu 11-Oct-12 15:42:23

My exMIL is one of my closest friends

When I split with exH we stayed in contact so she could still see DS, in fact I brought DS round to see her far more than his own dad did. And five years on, I now have a DD from my new marriage. She sees both the DC as her grandchildren, and adores them both and treats them the same, she is a lovely woman. unlike present mil who ignores DS and carries on like she only has one grandchild

But I wouldn't attend actual family events, tbh that would be weird.

gettingeasier Thu 11-Oct-12 15:48:06

I have nothing to do with my ex ILs and xh has nothing to do with my parents

Our DC see both sets GPs exactly as they did before the split

JustSpiro Thu 11-Oct-12 15:54:52

They sound charming hmm.

I would say to them that at the moment (I presume it's still fairly early days since you and ex split?) you don't feel entirely comfortable as things are a bit raw, but of course you're happy for them to maintain a good relationship with DD.

Hopefully things will move on and they'll get over it, but I can't see any reason why you would need or want to keep that level of contact with them, and if necessary it sounds like you may have to be quite firm.

Hope you get it sorted.

rollmeover Thu 11-Oct-12 16:06:31

Wow, no way should you have to attend if your ex is there. I think it sounds like you are being perfectly reasonable by staying in touch the way you are. At the next gathering say that you are off shopping/to the movies and will pick her up afterwards.
Good luck!

alarkaspree Thu 11-Oct-12 16:15:38

It's not that unusual, probably, to maintain a relationship with an xh's family. I probably would because I am fond of all dh's family. But it's certainly not an obligation if they are not nice to you. Just continue to help facilitate their relationship with dd and you're fine.

It sounds like you are used to being controlled a bit by your ex and his family. You don't have to feel the way they want you to feel, or do what they want you to do. They don't have to agree to you not attending an event, you just have to not go.

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