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Contact with (ex) SiL

(9 Posts)
MsInaraSerra Tue 04-Mar-14 11:16:27

Am regular but have NC for this as combined with other posts it might out me. It's about how to approach contact with my soon to be ex sister in law.

BiL and SiL separated in early December and are going through process agreeing what happens with children and money.

Re the children they are very amicable and have agreed an EOW arrangement and holidays. BiL spent Xmas with SiL and her family and the children Re the money they are attending mediation.

Pre-separation I got along well with SiL. DH and I have been together for three years and married for one. Dsil was great and supportive during our wedding (DNiece and Dnephew were in the bridal party) . She was also amazing when DH and his daughter (she is in her mid twenties) were going through a difficult patch and effectively mediated between them.

I've not spoken directly to SiL since the separation. I sent an email saying how sorry I was and that I hoped we'd stay in touch. To which I got a sweet reply. Since then I've sent a few texts (wishing happy Xmas; DNiece happy birthday etc) and had responses. SiL has not initiated contact though. We are Facebook friends and she sometimes has liked my infrequent posts etc.

There are two complicating factors
1. I am a lawyer. I don't do divorce work but do a closely related area. I have not and would not give any legal advice to BiL. SiL did ask my advice when one of her friends was trying to leave a difficult relationship and I gave general guidance and signposted to support groups. So she may think I am helping BiL.

2. DH is BiL only real support in the separation. FiL though great in many ways is not good discussing emotional issues. BiL does not have many close friends. Dsil has a very close relationship with her mother and sister and a circle of local close friends (I know as she has told me of this in the past).

I would like to stay in touch. I'd like to suggest meeting for coffee. But don't know if that would be awkward for us both. I could keep it to the current level- occasional texts.

So lovely and wise ladies and gents of the relationships board, any thoughts?

Kaluki Tue 04-Mar-14 11:24:13

I'd leave it a while tbh and let her make the first moves.
I love my ex SiL and we were very close but when ex and I split things changed slightly. I think she didn't want to be seen to take sides against her brother and felt disloyal remaining friends with me.
We are still in touch via FB and I have sent gifts and cards when she had her dc but we arent close at all now.
She sees my dc when they are at their dads and always tells them to give me her love which is nice but I am not part of that family anymore.

LoonvanBoon Tue 04-Mar-14 11:24:53

I don't think there's any reason whatsoever why the two of you shouldn't stay in touch if you both want to.

I understand that you want to be sensitive to your BIL & are aware of the importance of your DH's support to him.

But you & SIL have your own relationship now after 3 years & that isn't dependent on her being married to your BIL. I hate the idea that whole families have to cut contact with an IL when a marriage breaks up - it seems to imply that we're defined wholly by our marital relationships & not people in our own right.

In this case you're only talking about going for a coffee - I don't see why you'd even need to tell your BIL. You don't need his approval. I'd go ahead & suggest it.

Ludways Tue 04-Mar-14 11:34:58

Keep conversation general and don't discuss BIL. No reason you shouldn't be friends. It'll be nice for the children to stay in touch and not just at grandmas house, iyswim.

My SIL and BIL have just split up, I'm still friends and chat with my BIL. DH and SIL are brother and sister.

Catsmamma Tue 04-Mar-14 11:43:09

Let her know you value her friendship and would like to carry on your SIL relationship.

I'd also tell her clearly that you are not in any way a legal representative for BIL, but that your dh and his brother are very close, which she should know.

I am sure if they (BIL/SIL) are being amicable and sensible then it shouldn't be a big deal for you two to remain friends....and the children too.

mistlethrush Tue 04-Mar-14 11:58:21

My BiL and SiL have split - but they all came (over) for Christmas - BiL stayed with MiL, SiL and nieces stayed with us. Everyone together for Christmas dinner etc. SiL has been invited to stay if she's over with the nieces without BiL...

elmerelephant Tue 04-Mar-14 19:16:42

When my DH left me after 20 years, I didnt hear anything at all from my ils, and I found this very hurtful as we had been v close when the dcs were little. We are now back together and my Sil said to me how pleased she was about this, but I still feel very hurt and distanced. So if you have a good relationship with your Sil, I would let her know that you want to stay friends.

ForalltheSaints Tue 04-Mar-14 19:34:52

I hope you can have contact and meet. You are not the person who has separated, and her children seem to have affection for you too it seems.

MsInaraSerra Tue 04-Mar-14 19:55:13

Thank you for all the advice. I think I will suggest meeting for a coffee but not until after Easter - that way hopefully progress will have been made in mediation.

Mistlethrush - I'd love that kind of arrangment. As DH has only brothers, his mum has passed away, and I'm the only wife, in law family gatherings are now rather, well, male!

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