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Soon tbxDIL [sad]

(18 Posts)
Millionsmom Sat 23-Jan-16 11:46:01

I'm posting this here, because I couldn't work out where is the best place.

My DS and his really lovely wife have split up. There are no children, no marital assets, no OM/OW. At present they have simply moved into separate bedrooms.
I'm gutted, I love DIL like a daughter, I always have. What's the 'norm' if they end up divorced? Is it weird to still want to be part of her life? She says she is still part of the family, but is that just DIL trying to not upset me? What's the norm if they find other partners? Will she just move on and that's it? I hope not. What's the best way to help her? I don't want her to feel she 'has' to be part of the family and I don't want her to feel we've abandoned her? I don't want her to feel I'm stalking her either. At birthdays, Christmas, family events, will she feel awkward if we invite? Will she feel over powered by us or that we are trying to force them to stay together? Is it best for her to keep inviting her even?
I really do love her, but I don't want her to feel bullied into a relationship she doesn't want. She is a really quiet and thoughtful lady, I would ask her, but surely that could come over as confrontational?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Melonaire Sat 23-Jan-16 11:51:20

You sound lovely too.

It's such early days that it's impossible to say how things will pan out. For the time being maybe see her without your son and invite her out for coffee or round for a meal. If you want to invite them to the same thing make sure they know they're both invited.

Morganly Sat 23-Jan-16 11:54:23

I think it is unlikely she'll want to attend family events when your son is present but that doesn't mean you can't see her separately. What is most likely to happen is that you will maintain contact for a while, then it will dwindle to Christmas and birthday cards and eventually it will dwindle away altogether, particularly when either or both of the pair have new partners and families. Good for you for wanting to keep contact and not cutting her out of your lives.

Cabrinha Sat 23-Jan-16 11:57:17

Your post is all about your DIL and what you should say to her.

How about you talk to your own child first?

My parents believe my split to be amicable. It wasn't - he was shagging prostitutes.

My view is that there's no reason you shouldn't remain friends with her on an individual basis, but I'd say she isn't family any more. So inviting her to family occasions isn't necessarily appropriate.

GiddyGiddyGoat Sat 23-Jan-16 11:59:45

It's lovely that you are thinking of her like this and of course feel very sad at the thought of losing an important relationship with someone you value, like and love - what seems missing is any thought of what your ds might want, like or need to happen. I do think you should be having some discussion with him too - not because his views are the end of the matter, but surely are relevant?

cailindana Sat 23-Jan-16 12:01:17

I agree with the others. It's lovely that you care so much about your DIL but your own son is going through a separation at the moment, surely he comes first? How would he feel about you inviting his ex wife to family events?

BoboChic Sat 23-Jan-16 12:03:17

Your loyalty is to your son. Follow his lead.

Arfarfanarf Sat 23-Jan-16 12:08:48

What happens when your son has a new partner and you have made his ex part of the family? How will she feel?

Purplecan4 Sat 23-Jan-16 12:29:48

Exactly this happened to my MIL 20 years ago op. It happened a year before I met DH but my MIL was so devastated by it, she's talked to me about it many times and I do actually know everything about it, despite never having met BiL's ex. It's very hard.

When my BIL dumped the ex he'd been with for 10 years (he cheated on her and then dumped her sad), my MIL was heartbroken, was physically ill for a week, like a bereavement. She was in bed in an absolutely terrible state. Again, no children. (But a house, which BiL kept having bought ex out). My mil did keep in contact for 15 years, over which time, both of them let it dwindle to nothing very gently. My mil has 2 sons, no daughters so BiL's ex was essentially her daughter, they did everything together. My mil said she was afraid to get close to another dil (me or BiL's new GFs) because of what happened. Many years later, me and dh had been married for 10 years, had 2 little dc, and mil had come to terms with everything. Then my dh cheated and walked out. Mil was in a heap on the kitchen floor crying. She was utterly ashamed of both her sons and blamed herself for everything, thinking she had not brought them up correctly.

Loyalty is a difficult thing here. Since there are no kids, I suppose you can only keep in contact with dil if your ds is ok with it. He's your son and speaking as a parent, unfortunately you have to suck this up.

chelle792 Sat 23-Jan-16 12:32:51

Be open with her. Express your concerns. I am still in touch with my ex's sister and kids. I introduced my husband to them when we were dating/getting serious as it was the proviso of getting access to my niece and nephews.

I went round last weekend on my own and they said 'wheres dh...'

I won't say it's been easy though. I live in constant fear of losing access to the kids

Millionsmom Sat 23-Jan-16 12:40:14

Thanks for your perspectives.

I'm seeing DS in a couple of weeks - we live in different countries - I'll ask DIL if she's free to meet up then too.
DS is blaming himself, too busy doing his own thing instead of things together.

WhispersOfWickedness Sat 23-Jan-16 12:40:20

I would agree with a pp that you can maintain a personal relationship with her, but it's probably not appropriate to invite her to family events.
I had a boyfriend when I was in my late teens, we were together for two years and I stayed in contact with his mum as we got on so well. It's been fine, I wouldn't go to anything family related, but we call each other for a good chat and catch up occasionally. It's nearly 14 years since we split up, we are both married and have DC's now (to other people grin) it's never been a problem (afaik) smile

florentina1 Sat 23-Jan-16 12:44:24

Sad as it is you cannot 'be friends' in the same way as before.

An occasional phone call to ask how she is to begin with, but then you really have to step back. The main problem will be when they get new partners. The spectre of the ex-family hovering will make things uncomfortable.

I missed my SiL terribly when she and my brother split. I was closer to her than I was to my brother. Unfortunately the nature of their break up, meant that I could not really keep in contact.

honeyroar Sat 23-Jan-16 12:51:11

I stayed friends with my ex's mum. He cheated on me and dumped me just weeks before our wedding. I was in shock and floored. She was amazing, stood by me, picked me up, took me to the Drs etc. I will never forget how wonderful she was. Of course she also stood by her son, but she told him she was disgusted. I never went to family events, I didn't want to see him (he married the girl that he cheated on me with a year later), but I met her for lunch etc regularly. She came to my wedding to my husband. Some people think it's strange, but I only see her as a friend, not to hear about my ex (I have no interest and he rarely comes up in conversation, never has). The only issue its caused is with his wife. He introduced her as his girlfriend weeks after it all happened, about the time our wedding would have been, and his mum was still upset. She told them both that she would get used to their relationship in time, but for the moment she was disgusted at how they'd started the relationship. Not an ideal thing to say, I know, but at the time the whole family had been rocked and found it hard to just move and play happy families so quickly. Anyway, as I've said, this girl soon became her DIL and, along with her mother, has spent the last 12yrs taking every opportunity to make her feel bad/second etc. Twelve years on and we're now at the card sending stage. I'd love to see her more, but distance and family life have made it rare. I will always think of her as wonderful though.

Cabrinha Sat 23-Jan-16 12:51:22

So you don't even live in the same country? If that's a long term situation, I expect this will dwindle away.

Still better to speak to your son before you see him, about meeting up with her, surely?

It sounds like the split was her choice, so in that case she may already be somewhat resigned to a shift in her relationship with his family.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 23-Jan-16 12:57:29

My MIL assured me that I was still part of their family when I split with XH. I have been to the odd family event (big birthdays etc) when XH has also been there as we get on ok. He has a gf now and I wouldn't want to tread on her toes so I would only go now if she was ok with it.

From the other side, my DP is still very close to his ex's family and it does make things a bit uncomfortable for me as they aren't quite as considerate of my feelings!

I think as long as it is handled sensitively for all involved it can work ok, but it's a tricky balance.

OnceAMeerNotAlwaysAMeer Sat 23-Jan-16 13:43:26

Agreed it will be difficult ot invite her to family events, but it woudl be good otherwise to keep up contact.

About talking to her, it doesn't have to be confrontational. I think saying that you know this is a difficult time for her but that you think she is lovely and that you want to stay in touch would be ok? Suggest meeting up when you're in the same country and drop her an email sometimes.

You sound absolutely lovely yourself. Hope that it's possible that this goes okay smile

Joysmum Sat 23-Jan-16 19:18:50

There's no 'norm' as far as breakups go.

My mum was still was closer to my dads family than her own after the breakup. His brothers tried to do the 'she's a bitch thing' because that seemed to be what they thought was normal. My dad slapped everyone down, and I was rather expressive too grin

My mum and dad are best mates, step mum and my mum are very close too and often go out without dad. All significant occasions we are all together as family. It's not usual for anyone else, but it is for us.

However, if my dad wasn't ok with the breakup then of course his family would not continue to include mum as one of the fold as dad would obviously be first priority.

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