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Relationship break up in family

(12 Posts)
MaverickSnoopy Tue 15-Nov-16 19:55:15

I wasn't too sure where to post this as it's not about me. My Dsis and her fiancé have recently split up. There is no going back; although they parted on fairly good terms. Both of them are sad at loosing the other. He was very much part of our family and was (having been around pre-DC - over 5 years) Uncle to our DC. Following the recent birth of DC2 we were thinking of asking him to be godfather; he was/is incredibly special to us. We haven't told our eldest yet as she will be devastated. We have had a couple of close family bereavements over the last year, including one of her grandparents a couple of months ago. She has also had a lot of change recently and is really struggling.

I wrote Dsis's fiancé a letter to tell him how much he means to us and that we will all miss him. He wrote back saying the same and recounted some lovely stories of DC including a mention of the Christmas tradition that he had with DC and that he thought it would be nice if we continued it.

Up until now I have primarily been thinking about our eldest and how she will feel. It really hit me today how much he has lost; not only his fiancée but his in laws and nieces. We were all very close. He didn't want the relationship to end and I feel devastated for him. I don't know what to do, if anything. I want to support my sister and feel that I should just reply with a final email acknowledging his nice words and then move on because it's none of my business. However the sad part of me wonders if we could continue a friendship with him so that he can still be a part of our children's lives. Then I wonder if this is better or worse for our children as this would surely be confusing in itself.

I would really value some impartial opinions because my judgment is massively clouded because I miss him too and feel as if I am grieving. If there were no children I would just suck it up for my Dsis. I think I have probably answered my own question, I just don't like the answer!

Cricrichan Tue 15-Nov-16 20:00:02

I think acknowledge his words and then that's it. He'll no doubt have a relationship in the future and that'll be that.

Pallisers Tue 15-Nov-16 20:04:18

I want to support my sister and feel that I should just reply with a final email acknowledging his nice words and then move on because it's none of my business.

Do this. It sucks but it is the right thing.

My BIL's first marriage broke up (no kids - her choice) after about 5 years. During that time we had spent christmases and thanksgivings with his in-laws (we had moved to where they lived and had no other family around other than BIL - they included us in their family). They were incredibly kind to us and we really loved them. I liked ex SIL too. When it ended, I helped her find a great job, got a nice letter from the in laws wishing they could stay in touch, said similar and then we really never made contact again.

If they ever needed help we could give, we would give it. If we met them we'd be delighted and stop and chat, but you really can't stay close friends when the relationship breaks up imo without hurting or seeming to judge the one who broke it up.

category12 Tue 15-Nov-16 20:08:21

It's very sad, but I think you should at least give it quite a bit of time - your loyalty has to be to your dsis.

Most probably he's gone from your lives, but when the dust has settled it might be that they will be friendly and on good terms, and he could become a family friend again if he lives in the same area. But while it's so fresh they both need the chance to move on and for you not to muddy the waters. (And I would only go for the family friend bit if they were genuinely comfortable in each other's company in the future).

Toffeelatteplease Tue 15-Nov-16 20:11:40

Have you asked your sister what she thinks?

If they have genuinely parted on good terms she might have no trouble you staying in touch.

Of course you might make her extremely uncomfortable. then the right thing would be to back off.

Hotwaterbottle1 Tue 15-Nov-16 20:12:15

My stbex has been visiting my parents & getting support from them and I am so uncomfortable with it, I'm actually quite hurt and it's made me withdraw from them. I think your loyalty must be with your sister at this time.

category12 Tue 15-Nov-16 20:18:06

I also think it's actually better for him to have space from you all if he didn't want the relationship to end. If he's clinging on to any hopes, it might be that he would use you as wedge in the door, as it were, which could mean their break-up becoming more fraught.

FellOutOfBed2wice Tue 15-Nov-16 20:20:42

Different because there were no kids but I broke up with my fiancé because I met and realised I wanted to be with my now husband. It was obviously a pretty difficult time for everyone- we had been together some years, close with each other's families etc. However we all followed the code of accepting that losing each other's family etc was an inevitable consequence of the breakup... all except for my grandmother who is a bit of a dickhead anyway.

She wrote my ex fiancé this long, lamenting letter about how she and my grandad thought of him as a grandson, that she wanted to keep in touch etc. Way over the top. Ex fiancé lapped it up because he was a drama loving arse too. Years later I have never forgotten it- I don't care how much she loved him, it wasn't her place.

You need to think about your sister, not her former fiancé. It's sad but it's part of life.

MaverickSnoopy Tue 15-Nov-16 20:34:14

Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to hear. It was my initial gut reaction and its only because of the DC that I have been thinking otherwise. I haven't asked my Dsis how she would feel because I wanted to be sure of how I felt first before discussing with her. I can't imagine how she feels but I want to support her and I didn't feel that going to her with confusion or uncertainty was the right thing to do. It seems the general consensus is to say goodbye and I think you're right, even though it does suck and mostly I am just worried about our eldest and how to help her through it.

KarmaNoMore Tue 15-Nov-16 20:34:31

Agree that you have to think about your sister first. If she is ok with you keeping in touch, and you are not hurting the guy further by Doing so (if he would have wanted for things to continue) then that's ok. Otherwise, stay away. Meeting him once a year for the Christmas tradition (if your sister agrees) is more than enough.

My mother really wanted to make sure ex knew that they would always see him as part of the family despite his acting like a proper dick towards me and his son I don't think I will ever forgive her, even if they have not been in touch for years on end.

Funko Tue 15-Nov-16 21:39:31

I understand, my dsis is a lot younger than me and her then boyfriend whom she eventually moved in with was very much a part of our lives and our family. I looked at him as my little brother, my son knew him as an uncle from birth. When they broke up, whilst we all knew it was for the best and supported my sister it felt like a bereavement such a part of all of our lives he was. My son often used to ask about uncle 'Adam' and missed him dreadfully.
Several years on I still think of him. Rarest of occasions might bump into him and feel sad all over again.
Unfortunately it is necessary to cut the ties am afraid. Eventually he will meet someone else and be entwined with their families and forcing a connection to people he isn't actually related to and involved with will ultimately be more painful later in when having to break that connection again.

Wasn't an issue when I split from my ex h after 18 years though lol. Turns out they all thought he was a wet cabbage twat all along and kept quiet 😂

MaverickSnoopy Wed 16-Nov-16 08:23:28

Funko, you are right it does feel like a bereavement. I don't want to say any of this to Dsis though because it was already a hard enough decision for her, I don't want to add to it.

As far as I am aware they are on good terms still. He is a good guy and there is no animosity, it's not like he was an arse to treated her badly, it just didn't work. They have mutual friends and will likely see one another in their social circle occasionally, although possibly not at all if it's too difficult. So I could talk to her about this, but I just don't want to put pressure on her at an already difficult time, it's not about me and I know that, but I can't help but think of our children and his relationship with them and how he must also be feeling about it.

Karma, we would have to carry on the tradition in his absence (which we absolutely can do) because it was something that happened on Christmas Day in relation to part of the day. Our eldest didn't know it was him that was dong it, it was something that added to the magic of xmas for her. It's just that it was his idea and his tradition so again, I can't help but think of him missing out on it and being sad about it.

It might be that I am thinking about this too much from a female sleep deprived perspective though and perhaps he won't feel the loss of his nieces as much as they will feel the loss of him.

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