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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?

ScarahStratton Tue 16-Oct-12 00:13:56

Yes, but I also read the question in the title, and answered it. It should be the norm to maintain a family life that includes your XP's family. Unless there are good reasons not to. OP didn't ask what to do in her particular situation, she stated that she felt it was abnormal to do so.

KellyElly Tue 16-Oct-12 11:14:15

ScarahStratton but why should it? Yes maintain a civil freindly relationship and invite them to childs birthday party, come over to drop off xmas presents etc but beyond I don't understand your reasoning. Her father wouldn't be expected to take his DD to events at the mother's parents and extended family so why should the mother be expected to do this.

When a relationship breaks up whether you have children or not you are entitled to have a clean break and move on with your life. Yes, you have to have contact with your child's father and family to a point but you shouldn't be expected to attend family gatherings on their side with your child if you don't get along.

KellyElly Tue 16-Oct-12 11:39:47

TalkinPeace2 they were visiting your mum in her house though. The OP is being asked to attend events with her inlaws where she is on their territory and is made to feel unwelcome. It's a different situation to you mums.

ImaginateMum Tue 16-Oct-12 13:56:21

It might not work for you, but it is certainly not abnormal - and I would say in many cases the ideal, if it can be managed.

I have seen many examples where it has worked, including in my own family. My children had seven grandparents in attendance at my brother's wedding. most of them at the same table, and they LOVED it!!

I was upset when my ex-SIL dropped my kids when she left their uncle. In my mind, she is their aunt and I don't see why that should have changed. I am still the aunt to her children, so it seems slightly odd to me.

We're from a small town, so it is not as though I can avoid her when I go back - we're always tripping over each other at parks, shops, cafes. It would be much easier if she'd allowed us to maintain an infrequent but civil relationship - now it is the awkward nod and smile and hope our kids don't choose the same playground equipment so we're in the same proximity for too long, but of course they do because they are cousins and want to play together!!

duffybeatmetoit Tue 16-Oct-12 19:55:49

Thanks notmyproblem that sums up how I feel. My MIL has always been domineering, one SIL greeted the news of my pregnancy with a demand to know how her inheritance would be affected and another SIL (happily married) will not attend any of her DHs family events.

DD will continue to have a relationship with them, I just don't think I need to be more than civil to them. Their treatment of me is not what I want my DD to see. She is very perceptive and it will probably end up with her not wanting to see them as they are not nice to mummy. That surely can't be good.

ScarahStratton Tue 16-Oct-12 20:22:33

My reasoning is that they are still family. Simple as that.

deleted203 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:42:34

I'm with Scarah on this one. I think it's perfectly 'normal' to maintain family life with the in-laws. After all - it's the exH you fell out with, not all his relatives. My ex MIL has been fabulous to me for the 14 years since my divorce - I couldn't have managed without her. And my SIL (married to ex's DB) is now one of my closest friends. However - I had a good relationship with them before the divorce. I think if you don't get on with them when you are married then it is perfectly ok to simply remain civil and allow them to remain in your dcs lives. Certainly wouldn't advocate cutting all contact - they are still your children's grandparents/aunties, etc.

duffybeatmetoit Tue 16-Oct-12 21:45:20

Scarah - I did say further up the thread that I should have said that it was unusual rather than abnormal. You are very lucky that you have always had such a good relationship with your ILs.

Are there any circumstances in which you would think a relationship between xDIL and ILs shouldn't be maintained? If I read you right even if the ILs are constantly undermining and abusive and are not demonstrating that relationships post divorce can be harmonious, you should continue the relationship because they are family?

I guess that would teach children that not all relationships are great but you just have to suck it up and live with it.

ScarahStratton Tue 16-Oct-12 21:50:02

I missed that duffy, my apologies if I've upset you.

No, I don't think it's right to maintain a relationship when the other party is abusive and/or undermining. I have no relationship with my parents or my sister, precisely because of this. Neither do my children, out of their choice (they are quite a lot older than yours). In your instance, I think you are doing the right thing, I can't see that your children will benefit from your XILs at all. In my instance, they are the only family that my children have, apart from me.

duffybeatmetoit Tue 16-Oct-12 22:02:45

Not upset just thought you were saying that there were no reasons NOT to maintain the relationship and wanted to understand why. It is sad that you don't enjoy the same relationship with your own parents.

ScarahStratton Tue 16-Oct-12 22:28:09

Ah but I do have my lovely XPILs to make up for it. I've had more mothering from my XMIL in the time that I've known her, than I ever had from my real mum.

No, nobody needs human dementors in their lives, people are only worth having a relationship with if it's a good relationship.

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