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I know I am. And I need to let go. EX's family.

(36 Posts)
TheNewWitchOfSWL Thu 25-Dec-14 22:50:56

My relationship broke down and my ex moved out in November.
Ex's parents offered 'support' and told me that nothing would change between us for the sake of dd (7). We used to get on well and always spent holidays together as I have no family of my own here.
I have been very easy going with regarding visits and her staying over at her dad's and so far there has been no drama at all over visitation/money or anything else.
They are crazy about Christmas whilst I am more chilled so I let Dd go and stay with them (PIL's home with her dad and his siblings) from the 23rd until around 30th or 31st (not sure yet) whilst I will stay on my own all this time. Not a big deal.
Come today, I have received only 1 txt message from EX and no messages from PIL or EX's siblings…I know I should't be disappointed as I am no longer part of the family but they knew well that I am alone (and I am complete fine with it)….but I was expecting at least a txt?
I didn't txt them either, so shouldn't complain anyway.
Also I was expecting cards but no cards came. Since DD was born we all spent Christmas together and I always bought lots of very nice gifts for everyone…but I was never a card giver so never gave cards really. They always bought gift and cards for me, so I now realise I have been crossed out their card list. Oh well.
BTW I initiated the separation due to Ex's disrespectful behaviour and excessive drinking which they know very well and have witnessed a ton of times. In fact they always commented on how 'lucky' ex was for having me putting up with him and how I must being a saint.
But yes, blood is thicker then water, I get it.
Just wanted to rent and get over it.
Just appalled on how fake MIL was being when she said she would 'support' me and our 'relationship' wouldn't change.

BlinkAndMiss Thu 25-Dec-14 23:08:35

I don't think it's as simple as MIl being fake or the ex's family not caring. I wonder if it's more to do with allowing you to let go, after all, if you're no longer with your ex then you can't be in his family. It's difficult, particularly if they made you feel like one of the family, but I think they are doing what they think you want and what they think is best. It doesn't mean they're not interested in maintaining a relationship, or even a friendship, with you.

Try to consider this more long term - if you had a new partner, how comfortable would they be if you were in such close contact with your ex's family?

The dynamics of your relationship with them has changed - you need to help them to create the relationship you want now. That means sending cards and doing all of the things that you would do with and for friends, so that they know that you appreciate the sentiment back rather than their fear of you feeling trapped by them. If they know you don't really send cards or celebrate Xmas then they don't want to be disrespectful to that. If you're 'part of the family' it's more acceptable for them to adopt the 'this is what we do' approach.

You could have maybe text them, just to ask about your DD and to see how they are all enjoying Christmas. This is a relationship which needs work and it won't just stay the same, I'm sorry you feel abandoned by them but I honestly don't think that you have it quite right. Once they realise that you see them as friends rather than the ex's family then things will improve. I hope you feel a bit better soon.

TheNewWitchOfSWL Thu 25-Dec-14 23:22:41

Thanks blink I guess I understand what you are trying to say I juts don't see things the way you do unfortunately for me. I need to grow up really.
I know DD is having a great time, being spoilt with presents, chocolate and TV so no need to ask how she is doing really and TBH I don't really care one bit if they are having a good Christmas because Christmas for them has a very different meaning of what Christmas is for me and that is what makes me feel even more unreasonable.
I don't really care about them right now, so why do I expect they to care about me and wish me a Happy Christmas?
I must be bonkers.
The reason why I didn't txt is because I want to give them peace. Ex didn't take the separation well and relied on their support a lot. I just wanted to be totally out of the picture and give them space. But they know how shit ex could be to me and I suspect they think I ought to stay in the relationship unhappy for ex's sake.
No waaay.

AmyElliotDunne Fri 26-Dec-14 00:28:00

Blinking don't agree at all that TheNewWitch has opted out of the entire family. My SIL also said that I will always be part of their family, after I spilt from XH due to his unreasonable behaviour.

She has still sent me money and cards, comes to spend time with me, XH and the DCs, I am still invited to family parties with them and she phoned yesterday to wish me happy Christmas. She has been very supportive of me recently and has stated many times that I will always be part of their family.

Fwiw I spent today with my dp, his ex-GF and her family. My XH was also invited, along with his new gf - my dp even invited his ex-GF's recent ex! What a fucking muddle, but it shows that family can still be family if they choose to be. Just because you end a relationship with one person it doesn't mean you want nothing to do with the people you've been close to for several years.

I think its cruel to cut ties with someone completely, and while a more inclusive set-up can cause it's own problems, I much prefer it to having everyone at each other's throats.

Perhaps next time there's a birthday you could suggest meeting up, make sure you send cards, even if you didn't before, just show that you still consider them family.

AmyElliotDunne Fri 26-Dec-14 00:28:36

*Blink I don't agree...

AmyElliotDunne Fri 26-Dec-14 00:31:21

And also, i should add that I forgot to call/text my own family today, so busy was I with the DCs and all the exes! Don't take it to heart, they were probably all just excited to have dd there and got carried away with all the festivities.

CheeseBuster Fri 26-Dec-14 00:34:17

Did dd call you? I always spent Xmas with dad's family after my DPs split but we called mum and phone got passed around everyone to speak to her and wish her nice day. Tbh if you have never sent cards then I don't think you can moan about not receiving any or presents tbh esp the first year apart. My mum still receives gifts 20yrs after split but I think the first year was a bit dodgy-everyone learning the new rules.

Also they may have been waiting for you to text/call. Following your lead, if you like, as the split- from DH but also from their family- was your decision. I understand why you are miffed about no Xmas messages but I'm not sure they are being terrible.

CheeseBuster Fri 26-Dec-14 00:37:43

Also flowers. Sorry you didn't enjoy christmas. Me and my mum always had second Xmas day- around NYE as lots of celebration food around- did gifts/pretended shops were shut etc. Could you and dd do something like this?

TheNewWitchOfSWL Fri 26-Dec-14 00:56:53

Oh I enjoyed Christmas on my own and was perfect. Exactly what I needed.
No, DD didin't call but if she wanted to I am sure someone would lend her a phone.
They haven't defriended me on FB yet so I could see some photos although I am never on FB and never like or comment on anything so they couldn't know if I saw it or not.
People from my family liked and commented on their FB photos though and wished them Merry Christmas and they acknowledged back so I don't think they forgot or run out of time to txt me. Ex did though and I replied.
I am planning a special day with DD when she is back so she can open my presents and we will be together for New Year too.
I was definitely not expecting gifts. I thought there might be cards or txts but I know I can't complain as I didn't send them either. The only thing I did was to take DD gift shopping for her dad.
I think the basis for the 'relationship' are set now and that us how it will be. Civil and cold. For daughter's sake.

TheNewWitchOfSWL Fri 26-Dec-14 01:05:28

Oh and I forgot to mention that my LL just served me notice a week before Christmas and I am pretty sure that Ex and DD mentioned this to them. Where is the support?? Maybe they are hiding afraid I will ask for help or favours....
Yeah I know I sound bitter, I just eant to get over it really.
Just make me realise that separation was the best decision really...no wonder ex was such a shitty husband.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 26-Dec-14 01:05:44

I know how you feel. Ex dp treats his family like crap. Only gets in touch when he's got birthday / christmas coming up, they lavish him with expensive presents. Not do much a text the other way in the 10 years before I came in the scene.

Welcomed me with open arms, as they did the thoughtful gifts and beautiful homemade cards that started appearing.

Now me and ex have spilt up and dd is very young. Every birthday a dd made card and present appears, christmas 6 gift bags (one for each family unit) get sent off when her grand parents visit.
This year I bought fabric paint and got dd to hand paint and stencil fucking tea towels which I them ironed. Plus hand made cards and play sets for the kids

If ex bothered to see dd at all or if she was old enough to do it herself I wouldn't but i don't really have any family so I really want to keep bridges open for dd.

But it feels like pouring my energy into a void. I want to feel fulfilled by it. I feel like I fufilled my perceived duty but i also feel hollow and used.

before I left their increasingly psychotic family member because he be able too dangerous to be around dd and I was at risk of ss involvement if I didn't, there was always a gift for me in the bags for ex and dd, there was the possibility of building relations, being aunty to the cousins.

As it is I've never met the kids in buying presents for, I'll never see them open them or know if they liked them. I will probably never meet them unless dd invites them to her wedding.

God I've gone on and on. Sorry op, feeling quite morose, gah. To bed to bed

Coyoacan Fri 26-Dec-14 04:52:44

These are very awkward relationships to keep up, OP. I am eternally grateful to my exPIL for having been such a support to myself and dd, but everyone has to feel their way through this. I think you should maybe reach out a bit more to them before you give up on them. And if there is no chance of maintaining a friendship, still don't take it personally. My heart gets broken when my dd breaks up with a boyfriend because I get very attached to them and feel like they are a member of the family but she has strictly forbidden me from keeping up friendships with her exes.

BathshebaDarkstone Fri 26-Dec-14 05:04:25

It sucks. Both you and your ex's family need to work out how much contact you want. If it was my DD I'd text every day to say hi, also I'd expect a text from them every day to tell me that she's okay. fsmile

Purplepoodle Fri 26-Dec-14 06:45:44

if I was the pil it would seem to me that you have chosen not to celebrate Christmas by letting dc spend all her christmas there so I wouldn't have sent a card or text either - unless you had sent me a card first. Plus as a parent I would find it odd you havnt arranged a time each day to call to speak to dc to find out how her days going - it might seem to them you don't want contact

I think they might have thought you had "opted out" of Christmas this year and they didn't want to rub your nose in it. Maybe.

Or maybe they just felt it was too awkward. Either way, you haven't done anything yourself for them either, so perhaps they've just stopped trying because you're no longer really attached to the family? But if you're really not happy about it, you might have to say that you were sad to have no cards, you didn't realise how much you'd miss them (or similar) - because if you say nothing, then nothing will change.

But that's up to you of course.

confused79 Fri 26-Dec-14 07:35:28

I would like to think that when my kids are older I'll be the sort of inlaw that carries on treating exes as part of the family, but doesn't always pan out that way.
My partners parents still pop round to his exes house, the mother to his eldest children. They buy gifts for all the kids, including the ones that aren't partners, but don't know whether thats more because it's awkward handing out presents to some kids and leaving some out. They also do the same to BIL's ex and her children. I think that's because no matter how strained things got between their sons and their exes they didn't get involved (of course they would've done if it was something major!). Also, partner and his brother are very mature so never played the "she's not family" card.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 26-Dec-14 10:00:10

Ok - going forward, agree some access arrangements so that you can spend some of the day with your daughter. For example She wakes with you and then goes to her dads after lunch, and comes back after 2-3 days there.

I can't believe that nobody get her to call you yesterday.

TheNewWitchOfSWL Fri 26-Dec-14 11:29:51

Yes that is the point.

I "opted out" for DD's own enjoyment, she is having much more fun there then alone with me, I am vey low key for Christmas. But this is for their enjoyment too, she is the only child in the family (the other two kids from MIL's brother rarely visit them) and their Christmas would be pretty dull without DD. In fact before DD they didn't use to get together for Christmas AT ALL, each of them would be spending on their own or with friends…
I let DD stay there for such a long time because they live 1,5 hours away driving and it is not so easy for them to see DD so often (a part from her dad who lives close by) and I live with her, so I thought they had lots of time with her over the holiday would be fair.
She doesn't have her own phone, I do believe if he wanted to call someone would produce a phone to her but apparently no one suggested it to her either, or they did and she didn't want to, who knows?

saoirse31 Fri 26-Dec-14 12:01:51

I really don't understand you not appearing to want to talk to your dd during the days she's away. I think maybe pil may be wondering about your willingness to let her spend so long away over Christmas without u initiating contact. seems v strange to me but different strokes I guess.

TheNewWitchOfSWL Fri 26-Dec-14 12:12:23

I see your point saoirse
I didn't want to call to give them all space really.
I am planning to call today at some point or txt EX to ask Dd to give me a call but as I said, we split just in November and we are all adjusting, I am "detaching" and letting go and letting her be and enjoy herself without me iykwim.
And as I said Christmas for me is pretty much a normal day albeit a reflective one where I slow down and do a lot of thinking, yes I like to eat special food and have lights and few decorations, but I do not go all over the top like they do. I wished her Merry Christmas with a cuddle and a kiss when she went so I didn't see the need to call and wish it again or check how she was doing…I would like to think if she wasn't doing ok, they would contact me.
But this is just me. And I must be weird. Even this thread and my feelings don't make much sense. But is good to have a place to vent!

CelesteToTheDance Fri 26-Dec-14 12:19:44

They probably wonder why you haven't called her. You seem to have opted out of Christmas, perhaps they're trying to respect that.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 26-Dec-14 12:31:46

Just fucking call her! Good grief. You are her mother!

TheNewWitchOfSWL Fri 26-Dec-14 12:34:24

Well, just txt exH and told him to ask DD to give me a call when she has time. They are all always glued to the TV so I don't want to interrupt their DVD watching.
exH replied Ok but not a call yet.
Then I txt and ask if it is possible for her to be back on the 30th as I am off work and will be able to have a special day with her. He txts back saying he will be back to his with her on the 30th but SHE wants to come back to mine on the 31st….well I know he works very early on the 1st…so of course he doesn't want her there on the 31st. I told him I am working on the 31st (from home) so I will tell him what is the best time for her to come.
See? They all have no regard or seem to care.

christmaspies Fri 26-Dec-14 12:35:58

I'm surprised the op didn't call her dd to wish her merry christmas. I thought it's what parents would normally do if they're apart on the day.

christmaspies Fri 26-Dec-14 12:37:26

It all sounds like pass the parcel to me

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