Dealing with ex in-laws


Grandfather and grandsonYou've divorced your husband, but not necessarily his family. And why would you want to divorce your in-laws? After all, they're part of the support network around your child - they're your child's grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

Grandparents can have a very special place in the growing-up years of a child's life. They're the other people - apart from you, the parents - who love your child unconditionally, and who want the very best for them.

But, unlike you, they're able to hand your kids back, and they're also emotionally in a place where they can support your children without seeming too involved, so their advice is very often hugely valued by kids, especially in the teenage years.

So tricky though dealing with ex in-laws can be, this relationship is well worth hanging on to, if it exists or has the potential to exist. Even if you can't stand your former mother-in-law, don't cut her out of your child's life.

On the Relationships Talk board, Mumsnetters say you should expect a few rocky moments in the early months after a marriage split - after all, your ex in-laws are more likely to take his part in the split than they are to take yours. But if you avoid getting drawn into rows with them, the chances are that they'll realise that just as it takes two to make a marriage, so it takes two to end one as well.

"I have a great relationship with my outlaws. There were wobbles during me and ex-husband breaking up, but it's all very cordial now, and has been for years. It really can work!" BitOfFun

Your ex in-laws are unlikely to blame you in the long term - and remember, you're not aiming for a close friendship with them yourself, you're just trying to keep their relationship with your children going.

Last updated: over 5 years ago