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In Laws Inviting The Ex....

Posted by jdw89 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 17, 08 at 23:22

My DH and I have been married almost 7 years. We have a "yours - mine - ours" situation with children. Over the years, I've had to endure my husband's family continuing to treat his ex wife as though she is part of the family. They have taken her and his kids on vacation without telling us. They have thrown birthday parties for the skids at their house--parties to which we were not invited (the ex wife and her entire family attended these). They have separate Christmas celebrations so she can attend. DH does his best to confront his parents about this, but to no avail. While it hurts my feelings, I have tried to ignore it. Recently, my MIL invited us to a family function. I found out later that she also invited the ex-wife. When DH asked her about this, she said she didn't think it was a big deal, so DH called the ex and asked her why she would think about attending. She said she was just going to "stop by for a minute" since MIL invited her. I cannot stand this woman, and while I can maintain a cordial demeanor in passing when I have to, there is no way I want to attend a family gathering with her. I told DH I would not be going and thought he was with me on this. I'm now getting the impression that he's just going to suck it up and go--and says that I should just show up after the ex leaves.

Am I being unreasonable here? I will be the first to admit that I don't have a fabulous relationship with his kids...but that doesn't mean I want to go and watch her "shuck and jive" with his family. For the record, my family would never in a million years invite my ex to a family function (or anything else for that matter). And if they ever did, I would not attend and would not expect DH to attend either. I feel like after all these years, it's time to take a stand, here. And since DH apparently isn't going to tell MIL he's not going, I'm thinking of telling MIL that while who she invites to her house is totally her decision, I don't feel comfortable attending.

Thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I have to say you are being a bit unreasonable. Apparently it doesn't bother your DH as much as it bothers you. He's willing to suck it up and if he has a huge problem with it, he needs to take it up with his parents. However, they are entitled to continue to treat her like family, that's up to them. If you said they treat her like family but shun you, I might think that's unreasonable. But it sounds as if they are trying not to step on too many toes by having separate celebrations. If they want to have a party for her kids with her, I don't see why that would be a problem... as long as they don't skip a party you and DH throw the skids. I might think it's strange for them to celebrate with BM but not with their own son.

When my sister divorced her husband, she didn't want him anywhere near our family gatherings. We respected her wishes but that didn't mean we no longer think of him as family. He is my brother in law and the father of my nephew. I give him gifts during the holidays and it would be nice if he were welcome at gatherings... maybe someday she will not mind. We have never considered having a separate Christmas to celebrate with him, nor would we take him on vacation, but then we never had that kind of relationship when he was married to my sister. I really think you need to suck it up and go with your husband. If it were me, I'd rather watch her Shuck & Jive than look like an immature baby that is throwing a fit... or taking a stand as you say.

That's just my two cents. (and yes, my husband's & his ex threw a joint birthday party a few days after they got into a bitter custody battle and she spent the entire day being extra chummy with his entire family... parents & his brother. It was uncomfortable for me but I chose to act like a grown up. If I had refused to go, I would have looked like I was being immature and probably the one that is the problem)


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I don't know if I could do it either. The ex is what the term implies EX. The situation is more complicated though because the inlaws still consider her part of the family. Although I usually think it's appropriate to make a complete split, (less confusing for children always hoping parents will re-unite) it is obvious that unless you try and maitain status quo, you will be the outlaw...


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I understand you feeling uncomfortable. And I think you do have a right to tell mil in a nice way how the situation makes you feel. But you can not expect them to change.

How long were dh and his ex together?

I was with my ex many years, and we became good friends when I was about 14. So from that age on he was always at my home around my parents and siblings. They all grew very attached to him. We almost grew up together. So as adults when we split it was hard for everyone to just end their relationship with him. And it was very similar with his family and me. After our split his sister and mom were inviting me to "girls days out" and visiting me. My family would still have him over and my siblings would still hang out with him. Many holidays his family invited me over and I would attend with our son. I wouldn't stay the whole time, but I would stay a bit and then leave our son there with my ex. Since they invited me I felt it was common courtesy to attend, and I enjoyed their company.

I think it is hard to expect everyone in a family to just stop a relationship with someone because of a divorce. Especially when the relationship was a close one and/or a long one.

I know it may be uncomfortable for you but it is one of those situations where you either grin and bear it, or your going to exclude yourself. If it were me I would not want to exclude myself from my dh's family functions. And DH can not control what his family does. So do you expect him to not see his family on holidays?


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

Oh, girl...can I relate! My inlaws (or outlaws, as I prefer to call them!), pull this crap on a regular basis. And here's the kicker, my FIL wasn't even married to his current wife when my DH and ex were married. But really, you'd think that MIL and ex are best buddies. One one level, it annoys the living snot out of me. But, on another, I don't really care to spend much time with them anyways, so...

Here are just a couple of examples:

1. When Mom, stepdad and kids were in FL for Thanksgiving, inlaws drove 4 hours to have dinner w/them, then drove 4 hours back home that night. When we were in FL for Spring Break (6 mos. later), staying 1 hour away from them, they decided "not to bother us, since the kids had friends w/them anyways". Fact is, they hadn't seen the "baby" in over a year. We were there for a week.

2. When SD still lived w/Mom, her dance recital was in May. We drove down to see it, and inlaws were driving up from FL. After the recital, they (inlaws) went to dinner w/ex-wife, her parents and stepdad & his parents.

I still think WTF? Does FIL not remember that it was ex-wifes affair(s) that led to the ultimate failure of their marriage? Does he not recall that she is the one who has caused his grandchildren so much pain (by moving them away from their dad-his son)? I just can't quite understand why his loyalties lie with her. He even went so far as to approach my DH (his son) at SS's graduation party to "discuss the situation w/SD". He told my DH that he "should really rethink this custody issue" and "if you could only see how happy she is when she's up on stage dancing, you wouldn't want to make her move away from that". I kid you not! He really said that to his own son! To which my DH replied, "Dad, you are entitled to your opinion. However, it would be completely inappropriate for you to share you feelings w/SD...so don't. It is very clear that you have not spoken to your grand-daughter about what SHE wants, or you would not be saying these things". And they haven't talked much since then...just superficial stuff. Again, it was obvious to me that he certainly had talked plenty w/ex, but definitely didn't know that the only reason we went through legal route to get SD here, was at SD's request.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

Nicksmom --

1. I see a bit of a double standard here -- when moms like me complain about men having affairs, we get replies that no one in a happy marriage has an affiar, you cant tell who as at fault, blah blah blah.

2. It seems that In-laws apparently like X. It happens.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

kkny-

No way!
You see a double standard?
Now, that's hard to beleive!
(sarcasm intended)

1. I never said their marriage was happy...clearl, it was not. But it's easy to tell who's at fault when they are caught in the act. And BTW, I really hope nobody here ever suggested that your husband's affair was o.k. I certainly don't. I think affairs are inexcusable, personally (regardless of who is having one!).

2. And the in-laws can like her. As a matter of fact, they all deserve each other. They actually all have much more in common than we do with either of them (what with affairs, alcoholism, addictions, denial, parenting by guilt).

Personally, I hope the inlaws stay busy enough with ex & her family that they don't have time to bug us! I just find it confusing, is all.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

For a while my inlaws were the same way.. particularly my Dh's sister. She and ex wife worked at the same restuarant and were buds for a long time. Dh's parents were buddy buddy and even DH's dad (who apparently never liked ex wife while DH and she were married) was always chummy with her whenever we were in co mingle situations. It annoyed the crap out of me. I couldnt understand why they werent backing up their son and brother more. And, besides she was not the sig other any more I was. But, I was gracious and kind and did not insert myself anymore than I was invited. I was there for one reason my DH and the kids. Everyone else didnt matter to me. It worked out in the long run because the inlaws (sister included) saw Bm's true colors one their own. She showed all by herself how selfish she was and how she repeatedly crapped on her kids...to the point that MIL ended up chewing her out for dropping the kids off late with their homework not done for the upteenth time dirty and not having been fed. Now a days we still have an occasional event where everyone is involved and she is treated kindly and with respect but there is no friendship. I (I think) in some way proved I was not just some young chick that DH got with ... but rather someone who cared and took care of DH and the kids... and therefore earned their respect and appreciation. Now inlaws and I joke and intermingle like those days never existed.

Anyways my point is that you cant MAKE people decide to dislike or not invite or whatever people. You can't control what they do. You can only control your actions. It annoyed me and it made me feel like an outsider... but I conducted myself with grace, kindness and dignity and reaped the benefits of it in the long run. But, even if I didnt and it never worked... my goal was to go and smile and be gracious because it was important to DH and to my kids... no one else. And, what is important to DH and the kids is important to me.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

YUCK!

What a cruddy situation. I asked J how he would feel if we showed up for Thanksgiving dinner and my parents were already sitting at the table with my Ex husband chatting it up like old buddies. His response:

"I'd say, Ok I'm leaving ya'll with it. Have a good one." and then he'd leave. He said it would be too gross and unconfortable. I would feel the same way if his father did the same thing to me. I wouldn't hang around either.

Why can't they spend time with the Ex when their son and new spouse isn't around? Seems like most normal people could understand how uncomfortable that situation would be for most and not intentionally plan all parties together in one room during family gatherings. I think hubby should talk to them about it and make it clear that while he doesn't mind them being friendly with the Ex he has no desire to be around her especially with you present at HIS family's functions.

That doesn't seem too much to ask of ones own parents.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I agree. Not at all unreasonable to request that current spouse not have to share the same visit with in-laws as ex-spouse, as much as this can be forseen and avoided. It's reasonable to expect that "run-ins" will be consciously prevented as much as possible, especially if current spouse expresses his/her feelings to in-laws honestly and nicely. If it occasionally can't be avoided and it's a spontaneous "run-in", oh well, s**t sometimes happens.

But also agree that current spouse has no right to dictate who in-laws can/can't have relationships with. And that it also makes no sense and is unnecessarily divisive to punish spouse-in-common for what others in his/her family choose to do or who they invite to what. You can make your feelings known, make polite requests that your feelings be considered, and you can make independent choices as to your own reactions and behavior. But because others always have the same rights/options, inevitably you will have to deal with an uncomfortable too-close-for-comfort situation or two in life.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I asked my DH last night what he thinks. He agreed he would not want his ex at holidays with him, but if his parents wanted to see her on their own time, that is up to them. I agree. But, I stand by going, even if she is there. If they insist on inviting her, and your DH isn't willing to leave or not go, then you should go with him. After all, the ex is going to be more comfortable if you are not there. I do think that if your in laws care about you, they would consider your feelings. But, I still think it's not your place (or even your husbands) to dictate who they can socialize with and if they want to treat her like family, there isn't anything you can do about that. He (and you) have a right to go or not go when she's there, but I do think you should stick together whatever you do.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I've been in some awkward situations with friends and sports, but not inlaws or even my own family. BUT, I had a painful first year of divorce that taught me a valuable lesson: They can't talk about you if you're right there.

I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself at t-ball functions while X made friends with people I was supposed to be friends with and talked about me. I was generally alone and X would bring his GF.

Then, one day I decided to sit right down in the middle of them and start making small talk. IT WORKED! They could no longer talk about me because I was there.

My suggestion is that you go and throw yourself into different conversations and support your hubby.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I agree with serenity...it shouldn't be considered an unreasonable request for them to spend time with the EX when the two of you are not present but don't tell them who they can and can not be friendly with.

I agree with IMA when she says if hubby won't stay home you should go. Stick together no matter what. I would make it very clear that I was uncomfortable with the situation though.

I also agree with Ashley when she said that you can't be talked about if you are present. A similar incident to her T-ball example happened to me during the girls 4th B-Day party. Bio Mom "hosted" the party even though we bought most of the presents and the cake. It was mostly HER friends since she was hosting it and even worse she made it clear to J that she wanted HIM there but not ME. (P.S. I was the one who bought the damn cake) He told her if doodle doesn't go I won't either and we will just throw a seperate party for the girls and invite OUR friends. She finally relented and I went. Of course every chance her and her friends got they snuck away so they could talk smack about me. I would look up to see all faces turned towards me across the room while BM whispered amongst them. She was very cold towards me during the entire party.

I finally got fed up and walked right up in the middle of the group and started introducing myself to her friends. I was super friendly and charming and was cracking jokes and making everyone laugh. I even thanked BM for "inviting" me in front of them all. In the end most of them realized I was not a bad person. In fact since we have gotten the girls a few of those same friends have came up to J and told him they are better off with us! They have even told him what a nice girl I seem to be.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

My ex in-laws are big fans of mine, i love them too. We maintain good relationship. we live too far from each other to be in each other face all the time. But i do travel to home town and i spend a lot of time with them when i am there. I was invited to couple of events at X in-laws house this summer. I was there, so was my DD but so was X and his wife. when i visit home town i go out wiht X MIl, just me and her and I come to their house just me, or just me and DD or X is there too or whoever else.

I and X were divorced for 16 years, married for 5. Or something like that. i still spend time with X parents in law.

Why not?


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more

if my brother would get divorced, both i and my parents are going to invite her to family events and spend time with her. I don't care if he remarries, SIl would remain my family. I doubt he will ever get divorced, but it is just an example.


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one more

I have to agree with those who said that sharing time with X and his parents might be too much. i can only tolerate it very once in a while. Every time I need to be around X for too long, I clearly remember why we got divorced. lol But visiting X in laws on their own time is entirelly OK. I don't mind X in laws when he si not there. hahahah


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

I deal with the same thing with my sisters-in-law and the ex. My issue with it is that my husband's ex cheated on him, stole his daughter away, tried to steal his son away, but it didn't work, and tried everything to scare me away in the beginning. So my take is -- how can you even still WANT to be friends with a woman who treated your brother and your nephew and niece so poorly? She is an evil woman and yet they validate her by saying that she is the mother of his kids. I'm thinking "but she was abusive to the kids and to their brother, doesn't that make you lose respect for her and NOT want to be near her?" Apparently not. But, I'm with you -- it's really makes me mad because I'm the one who had to come in and clean up her mess, pick up for her poor parenting..........but she is "the mom."


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

This is very difficult indeed! My husband's family are the same way. My husband has repeatedly tried to let his family know how uncomfortable it is for us. However, they tell us we are attacking them and trying to control who they can or cannot see. I think it is hard for everyone involved. The in-laws don't want to exclude anybody so they invite the ex. Or they don't want to "take sides" and invite the ex. Whatever their reasoning, it does not take away from the uncomfortableness of the situation. Together, my husband and I have chosen not to attend family functions where the ex will be attending. We feel it is confusing for the children and it is unnecessary stress on our marriage. In our situation, the ex uses every chance she gets to talk and wish ill will for my husband and I. She also "trashes" us in front of her and my husband's daughter. The hardest part though is ex "fishes" for anything and everything she can use to drag us through court to try to limit my husband's time with their daughter. MIL has told my husband we need to get over it and attend family functions with his ex. My husband's cousin has two children the same age as his daughter and tells us they invite the ex because it's the only way the cousins can spend time together. At first, we made an effort to take his daughter over there on my husband's weekends, but it didn't change anything and we feel it is more important to spend time as a family (without in-laws) instead of playing their games.

The most important thing for you and your husband is to talk. My husband and I have together made the decision not to attend family functions where ex is present whenever possible. It wasn't an easy decision, but as others have said, you can't control other people and who they choose to socialize with. Likewise, you also have that same right to choose who you socialize with, nobody can fault you for not wanting to socialize with your husband's ex! Just remember when children are involved there will be some times (child's sports events, school concerts, etc.) where you will inevitably be at the same place as ex. But the nice thing about these situations, is you don't have to sit with ex or watch her chummy chummy with the in-laws. However there might be times, where you need to stand by your husband and "suck it up" so to say at important events where it would be detrimental to your marriage or your children to not attend. During those times, remember: He's with you and you will be the better person for putting your marriage above everything else.

It really comes down to talking to each other (you and your husband) and coming to the same decision and respecting each other. When it comes down to it, your marriage is what matters, don't let ex, in-laws or anybody control your emotions and your marriage.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

This post is almost 2 years old.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

Here is my problem. I have been with my live in boyfriend for 24 years. He had an ex girlfriend, not wife and they had a child. She moved away when the child was 2 and got remarried and had another child. They were together for 8 years. She refused to let my bf know where she was and I have to admit my bf should have taken her to court to see his daughter but he never did. She had NO contact with bfs family until about 3 years ago. This daughter they share is now 25 years old and has a newborn. She has had no contact with my bf since she was 2 years old. This ex is now going out of state to see my bfs family and gets invites to all family parties and even my bfs parents 50th wedding anniversay. I must say that even when this ex was remarried she would come over and still sleep with my bf...I WAS NOT WITH HIM THEN....She tells everyone in his family that she is still in love with my bf and is just unable to move forward. This is TWENTY FOUR years ago that they were together. I have always gotten along very well with his family. Another party is coming up. His ex got an invite and my bf got an invite but I DID NOT get one. The ex is telling everyone on facebook how she can't wait to go. I told my bf I will NOT go if she is there. One reason is she gets very drunk and throws herself on my bf. Even when she once years and years ago came with her husband when I first started going out with my bf she hugged all over him right in front of her husband. She even hugged me. I also told my bf that he needs to tell his family that he will not be there if his ex is there. She caused him so much grief with his child years ago. He also does NOT want to see his ex. But he does not want to miss the family party. He says if she is going he will not go. Am I being unresonable here? I am hurt that I did not get an invitation. I am about ready to chuck his whole family. They really have no class. Its my bfs nieces who are doing the invite. His mother never has liked the ex but the ex threatenes that her grown adult daughter will not go to the parties unless she herself is invited. So to make a long story short, my bf just does NOT go to his family functions....and this one is his mothers 80th birthday party in another state. I told my bf to call his ex and tell her she is not welcome to go to any of the functions that involve his mother. If his other family members wish to invite her to other events we have no control over this. Am I right here in thinking this??? If he does call his ex...she will NOT go and then he can go and enjoy his mothers party...I by the way will never go again since I was not even invited. I will write his family off...he agrees with me on this.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

Castymiss, your posting may get more viewing if you started a new thread.

Since you're in this one now, I'll ask. How do you know this lady is still a clingy drunken fool if you have not seen her in 24 years? Twenty-four yrs is a long long time and even sometimes the silliest behaving people actually finally 'grow-up' and learn to behave in social settings.

While I can see the family inviting the daughter, why are they inviting the bio-mom? I'd think yes, they would want o get to know and include the daughter and also to be 'civil' to the bio-mom, but inviting Mom to family parties/get togethers seems a bit extreme.

It's been 24 yrs. Certainly your BF is a big boy now and can attend a party and have no problems telling ex to keep her hands off him. Why were you not invited? Are you sure you were really excluded? Did the invite literally state 'Castymiss is not to attend'? I'd think after 24 yrs of being with your BF your presence would be an expected. So how do you get along with Bf's family? Are you usually invited? Are you all normally on friendly terms with his family?

As far as the bio-mom stating BF and his family can have no contact with daughter unless bio-mom is included...daughter is an adult. Twenty-five years old. Old enough to tell her mother to keep out of her adult life and behave herself. Seriously, does your mother still tell you who you can see, talk to, socialize with? Bet not.

I guess I don't 'get' why you feel so threatened by this lady. The guy has been with you for 24 yrs. Do you not feel secure and loved in your relationship with this guy?

I'll assume the event is large enough that one could go and socialize and enjoy themselves without having to make a big scene over one other guest. Tell BF to politely call his niece, inquire if you really were meant to be excluded and let him discuss with niece as to if he will be attending or not. Seems so silly to toss your family out the window because of one guest...if they deliberately meant to not invite you, I'd say there are more issues between you, BF, daughter and family than you have told us about.


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RE: In Laws Inviting The Ex....

To JUSTMETOO...Ok..lots to answer..haha. This ex of my bfs is posting on facebook NOW...how she can't wait to go to this party. I have no problem if she wishes to see the family when we are not there. When she does go see this family which she has done a few times in the past 3 years she puts my bf down, cursing and talking trash about him to his own elderly mother. This mother also has told her to "please stop talking badly about my son in my home". She keeps it up. My ml is afraid that her granddaughter who is an adult will not come if her mother is not invited. YES this grown daughter will NOT show up if her mother does not come with her. I do NOT know why she is like this. I would NOT come with my own daughter. My daughter would make her own mind up and tell me to not go...This daughter will not. The family says they invite the mom ONLY to see the granddaughter and their cousin. If I go, and she starts talking badly about my bf and what a crummy dad he was and how awful he is when she is drunk...I will get myself in trouble and sock her...Thus I choose to remain home. My bf says he does NOT want to go if she is there. That is his choice. I have told him to go and enjoy himself. He says he is NOT going. Thus I have told him to tell his family to not let the ex come..Why should he not go to his mothers birthday..I know the mom would rather see her son than his ex. It has nothing to do with me feeling insecure. Its been 24 years I have been with him. Yes, I have ALWAYS gotten along with his family and always go to the family functions. They call me up all the time his neices...as does his mom. I think it has to do with a respect issue. I am not invited, but his ex is? I don't think so.....My bf did call and say, whats up with my woman not getting an invite...OH..usually the invitations ALWAYS have both our names on it..This time only his name was on it.....They told him that his ex did NOT want me there and she would be uncomfortable. She again told them her grown daughter would NOT go if she could not attend. Family says she suffers from Schizophrenia. Not sure if this is true. My bf just says this is too much drama and he does not want to go. So YES, I was NOT invited. He says if I am not invited, he is not going either. I do have to say that his ex NEVER brings her husband when she knows my bf will be there. ONLY when he is not there. Her husband was invited to come with her to this party but she says she is not bringing him so she can feel more comfortable around my bf...WTF??? She tells his family she is in a bad LONG marriage over 24 years and that she is still in love with my bf...I have to say that my bf has ALWAYS been very passive and does NOT like any type of confrontation. NONE....When she flings herself on him YEARS ago he would push her off and tell her to stop it. If she was drinking, she will not stop. The first time I saw her years ago she said she had to get drunk to meet me. She also said she had planned to SLAP my face...And I had NEVER even met her before..This was YEARS ago but still, she is a nut job and why would I put myself into that situation of beating her down...haha. Sorry but that is what I might do..I think if the family wishes to see her they can by all means do that...Invite her anytime they wish..but NOT to his own mothers party...when he would be there. This is a nightmare and I really will throw this family out with the wash. I have my own HUGE family. I have an ex as well...and I am VERY close to my ex inlaws and the entire HUGE family. I have 2 kids with my ex and have NEVER brought my bf around my ex at my ex families functions. My ex has a long term girlfriend and when there is a big family party...I DO NOT GO...why would I..I can see them anytime I wish on another day...I am also GREAT friends with my ex....but would NEVER think of flinging myself on him especially in front of his gf...That is rude and disrespectful. This ex of my bfs has no boundaries and no self control. Don't know what else to say. My bf has NOT seen this grown daughter since she was a baby. But HE is choosing to not go...I told him to GO even if his ex is there...I just choose NOT to be there...He wants me to go and says if I don't go, he is not going either....I am NOT going...bottom line end of story..hahaha...


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