Posted by: Suze | 2013/09/18

Is it normal for my family to continue a relationship with my Ex?

I got divorced two years ago. My family took it really badly, and were at times very unkind to me. And they maintained they would retain a relationship with my ex husband. I said as long as they did not expect me to attend functions where he was invited to as well. My Ex has also gladly maintained the relationship with them, and in fact when we were separated he stated that of the things he would miss most from our relationship was my family (BTW he didn't mention me as one of the aspects he would miss). My brother is now getting engaged, and my Ex and I have both been invited to the party. I do not want to socialize with him, I am still angry with him, and he with me I guess, and its just very uncomfortable being around him. I really do not know what to do. Am I being unreasonable about being hurt by family's relationship with my Ex, and about not wanting to socialize with him. The strange thing is when we were married my sister and her husband had many issues with my Ex and I was always the buffer between them, and now they have completely embraced them. Look the reason I left my husband is because I fell in love with another man, because I didn't love my husband any longer. I have never been happier and more in love, but maybe my family were shocked by this. But I always thought blood was thicker than water....

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2013/09/18

It happens. Unless the person you divorce is a monster, a foul abuser and dangerous to be near,  it is wise, wherever possible,  to part if not as friends, at least in as friendly a way as you can.  By the divorce, you made it very clear that you had clear and convincing reasons not to want to live with him any more. OK. 
If you insist on making the parting very bitter, and on continuing the feud between you, that is not only unfair to him and others, but unfair to yourself --- you will waste a great deal of energy and happiness maintaining the anger and bitterness, with no benefit at all to yourself.  If you refuse forever more, to go to events where he will be present, it is YOUR life you are restricting, and yourself you will be upsetting, not him.
Then you admit that the divorce occurred because YOU decided you didn't love him any more, and you, while married,  "fell in love " with another man and perhaps had an affair ?  Those are very understandable reasons for Him to feel angry with you, but isn't it more than a bit cheeky for you to be angry with him, because you hurt him ?  Is it surprising that the family, you probably consider that You behaved badly, and that he was the innocent party in the divorce,  don't want to follow your bad example and take out your anger on him bu punishing him ?  Apparently he has  done nothing to hurt of annoy them.
"Blood is thicker than water" is a dreadful belief.  It implies that simply because someone is a blood relative,  you must automatically forgive and excuse them for whatever they do, nomatter how bad, and that you must always condemn even their victims, who they hurt ?
If you are genuinely happy now with the new man, why do you continue to feel so fiercely that you and everyone you know must munish the guy you walked out on ? 

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/06/22

What a lot of horse.... Family should support family no matter what the circumstances are. Whether you had an affair or woke up one morning realising your are not happy is of no importance. They should always support your choices, your happiness and respect it too. Ex Should spend his energy with his OWN family. Any normal person with a little sense of his moral compass would know where the boundaries are. It seems he is holding on and using your family as human shields. What an idiot.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/09/20

Divorce is wrong .... but the Bible clearly states that if the other partner is promiscuous then they can divorce ... but I know of a lovely couple who made the conscious decision to try resolve their issues at any costs ... it worked because God was the cement used to bind their broken relationship. Just because you ... the female ... was callous enuff to dump the man you swore to be with for richer or poorer for better or worse in sickness and health till death parts you .. does not mean your family has to part with him ... grow a set of methorphorical balls phone your ex and apologise for what you did and ask his forgiveness then stop being a .............. and get over all the crap you are causing make up with your family and start socialising with your family again ... oh and maybe a visit to church to repent there too might be needed ... signed the divorced guy getting married again but this time with God at the head of the relationship!!!!!

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Me...Again! | 2013/09/20

Hi, not sure if my comments have appeared harsh, but I've been there, done that. Today I have the most wonderful friend - my Ex-Wife. I'm re-married and she's never ever been a threat. She is my friend and the mother of my children! We never sat down and chose to do things this way, it happened when both of us put our feelings aside and worked to find a middle ground to continue raising our kids together. We somehow managed to attend school functions and other activities together - NOT at opposite ends of the playing field either. It was very stressful at times (in the beginning), however come check what I have today..... two absolutely normal grown up kids who appreciate our efforts and love and a wonderful friend who has worked through all of this with me, instead of against me!!!! As mentioned by Wise Words.... marriage is a lifelong obligation, even if you split up. Broken homes do irrepairable damage to the kids...never mind the constant stress and bickering. I also have never once been asked for money in nearly 15 years. I always knew what was needed and went shopping long before even being asked for financial assistance! This is your life, however I would advise investing in some Therapy. You won't regret it...but don't bother if you're not going there with an open mind. Good Luck!

Reply to Me...Again!
Posted by: Wer | 2013/09/20

Reply to Wise words, the word “Sorry” simply do not exist in some peoples vocabulary. As said before, I have been apologizing for the past six years. This was mentally abusive. I was so messed up that I have not allowed anyone to get close to me, and I don’t know if I ever will. I wish I could put the whole story in words, but it’s not possible. Her family warned her many times not to treat me the way she does, and that she is lucky to have a husband like me, yet, blood is proven to be thicker than water after the divorce. Her family treats me like dirt. We were married for 20 years.

Reply to Wer
Posted by: Wise Words | 2013/09/20

RG. As people it is in our human nature never to be satisfied, and we do all sorts of things to satisfy that which we are unhappy with, even if we hurt others in that process sometimes, and we don't even realize it. See how things go after a few times........sometimes we have to loose things to appreciate them more ......even through divorce couples sometimes find each other again, as it sometimes forces you to start seeing the good in the other person, sounds strange but imagine being the outsider, is like being a family friend, she might just fall back in love with you again, or you might just end up being good friends, and sometimes your road is led away completely. But I say don't give up man! Perhaps your wife will realize what she had? I have a friend who'm pretty much was board in the relationship.....did all sorts of things to try be happy, even got divorced, they then ended up divorced on paper.....but today they have an extrodanary strong relationship between the two of them, and have never loved each other more!

Reply to Wise Words
Posted by: RG | 2013/09/20

Very interesting subject ... I am currently going through a divorce now. It is not my choice by far and am being "forced" down this road. However, I have an excellent relationship with my in-laws entire family and have basically grown up with them for the last 17 years. They have said that I am still part of the family etc. cos the situation is a tricky one! And I would love to remain part of them as well, but reality is a B!TCH unfortunately and it's much harder than it seems. Not sure whether to keep my distance or not. My "ex-wife" says its left to me but it is just soo complicated if we had to be there together etc. .... very confused and conflicted!!!! not sure what to do ............

Reply to RG
Posted by: Wise Words | 2013/09/20

in response to Me......again, and further comment to you Suze, You owe it to yourself to find true peace and healing, with you truly going into this situation accepting their acceptance of keeping him in the family will not only be an "out of the ordinary" choice you make, but it will feel like a ten ton weight has fallen off your shoulders. Marriage at the end of the day, (even if you are now divorced) is really a "lifelong" obligation, and more so when there are kids, Think how fantastic it would be if you two become best friends!!. Now that would be fantastic! Just give it a go, It can not make things worse.

Reply to Wise Words
Posted by: Lady man | 2013/09/20

I think todays woman wants to have everything before they give anything. This woman cannot cry. What she did not mentioned is what the husband did for her to fall in love with another man. A story always have two sides. This is a one sided story. Men lets treat our woman the way they wants to be treated and we as men will be surprise to see what woman will then be willing to do for us.

Reply to Lady man
Posted by: Me...again! | 2013/09/20

Lots of comments.... and food for thought! The bottom line: If you continue to harbour such feelings (towards your Ex, your family AND yourself), nothing will ever change! Why would you expect your Ex (and family) to appologise...huh???? For what???? For you leaving and being unfaithfull ...I think NOT!!! I also suspect that although you claim otherwise, your behaviour IS rubbing off on your child! Stop this right now!! Rather spend some of your energy on extended councilling and talk this all through untill you've learn't to 'make peace' with yourself (and everyone else around you). I can assure you this will be the best investment you'll ever make in yourself!! If no one else ever thanks you, I'm sure your son will!

Reply to Me...again!
Posted by: Wise Words | 2013/09/20

Response to Anonymous. I hear you, and it is surely extremely difficult. That is what makes doing what is right so difficult it's part of the narrow road that few people are able to follow, doing the things that are "out of the ordinary", and when you think about it, what would most people do? exactly the oposite. It will hurt you at times, it will make you angry at times, but remember you everyone of us has the inner strength of God within us, which is only good! we have become so dependent on "us" and how "we" can overcome things, however, there are some situations and things that no matter what you do, the true healing can only come from God himself. Give it over to Him, no matter how small or huge you think, or even how stupid! He will come through for you just at the right time...... You just keep pressing forward and never give up to do the right thing.

Reply to Wise Words
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/09/20

I am closer to my ex-mother-in-law than I am to my current mother-in-law. It drives the current mother-in-law crazy. But there is a child involved and when said child turned 21 in June, her gran made the effort to travel from Durban for her party. Current mother-in-law chose to rather go away with her boyfriend and his family so that makes you think.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/09/20

Wait a minute - you cheated on your husband and now you're angry that he's still friendly with your family? He was their son-in-law until you decided to ditch him for someone else. Get over yourself!

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Bernice | 2013/09/19

Blood should be thicker then water, I cannot understand your family's attitude towards your choices. Irrespective of who is wrong and who is right, you are blood and he is not.

Reply to Bernice
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/09/19

To Wise Words I agree with everything you said. But, I have to ask you this. For how long should any person be the one to always forgive, to be the first to apologize, to always be the least, the one to make the situation better? You end up making everyone happy but yourself. I know, I did exactly that for at least 6 years.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Wise Words | 2013/09/19

So often when someone reaches out everyone wants to "comment" jump on the bandwagon, however we far to often judge and we do it all the time, especially people and what they have done - What you speak is what is in your heart, and to have an opinion you feel strong about so too often is more judgement than anything else, however, we never see it that way. it is important to ensure that you promote peace and harmony no matter how difficult the situation or background, It is important that we treat people in a good humanistic way, not just in action but in the words we speak and say, No matter what they did, or do, or don't do. As no person is without sin, judging others is just as bad as murder. All we do in this world today is to hurt each other, or tell it as it is! or by saying but "it's the truth" not realizing how we hurt one another by our words. To do the things in the right way is'nt always easy, but Scripture tells us it's our duty to be good to one another. You have not forgiven him for his part in your marriage that you keep him accountable for or his side that he did not keep up. You have to forgive him for that. You have unforgiveness towards him about that and everything he has ever done that made you fall in love with another man. (that is in your head). You have to forgive him for each and every occurance......(not just overall). You have to forgive the family (as you are cross with them too), but mostly you have unforgiveness towards yourself. Unforgiveness causes this rebellion within ourselves and towards others when things in our lives happen that is unpleasant. To promote goodness, kindness, peace, joy will only benefit all. To say I'm sorry when it's not your fault or even your argument is the right thing to do. It's always about "me" I. what I want, what I need, what you did and what u did'nt do...... instead try and see the positive in every situation, and try and turn it around to say ok STOP. What decision can i make now from my side to better this situaion. how can i be the better person. It's still a choice, to do what's good towards others (even if you have to sacrafice). It will make you the stronger and better person, amongst the storm.

Reply to Wise Words
Posted by: GH | 2013/09/19

Well it looks like all fingers point to you. I don't think you get it. You are the one who had an affair yet you still want to be angry at your husband. The way I see it, you probably drove your husband to drink. I also think that your family are very fair in allowing your ex to visit and socialise. Looks like you just a bitter person who needs a lot of advice and education. Best advice, learn to treat your ex with respect and then only will you be respected. Right now you sound very cheap

Reply to GH
Posted by: Anon | 2013/09/19

Hi I understand you feel hurt but to be honest yes I think it is perfectly normal given you have a child with him. Why should they not be on good terms with him, if you are over the marriage as you claim you are why would it bother you, you have someone else in your life and regardless of whether or not you feel he should take more responsibilty for the ending of your marriage, it is over and quite frankly I think they are doing the mature thing by inviting him to things for your child's sake. My aunt got divorced and had 2 children with him prior to the divorce, his parents still welcomed the whole family including me with open arms in spite of the fact that they were divorced before I was even born. For their children it was a wonderful thing that everyone could be together and get along, their cousins could visit along with their mom and dad and aunts and uncles without issue. You say you work together in all areas for your son, maybe you need to see this as one of them. Would you rather they badmouth your ex in front of your son? Truth is if you have moved on and he moved on as he claims, you are only making you own life more difficult and as CS says restricting yourself. In the end only you control your happiness and why are you letting this make you unhappy...

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Do some introspection | 2013/09/19

Maybe everyone has an issue with you because you clearly messed your husband around! You need to take stock of yourself and your behaviour and stop blaming people around you. Now you are 'hurt' because they keep a relationship with him, after you divorced him for another man - who you were clearly already having a romantic relationship with already? Let me tell you, you need a serious wake-up call. So by the way, I wonder if your currently husband knows that you are going to leave him soon for another man - again. Leopards do not change their spots - as they say.

Reply to Do some introspection
Posted by: Jenette | 2013/09/19

Your excuses for falling for another guy are just a means of appeasing yourself. You could have used other avenues to work things out between yourselves instead of opting for the selfish way out of trying to just look after yourself when a marriage involves two. There are no excuses for that behaviour. Take responsibility for your own actions instead playing the blame game as this is the biggest problem today inthat it is always someone elses fault when "I" made a mistake!! If he has a good relationship now with your family it has nothing to do with you anymore, it is between him and them.

Reply to Jenette
Posted by: Me | 2013/09/18

Sorry, but CS is VERY right with all of this. I walked out on my wife, but ensured that my kids had a normal parent relationship and also never lost contact with their extended family - it was hard work to rebuild what had been damaged, but we did it together. This sort of arrangement ONLY comes with extremely hard work on your part...which clearly you have chosen not to do. I also don't belive for a minute that you were not awarded child support! If he doesn't pay, take him to court....simple! I see this sooooo often - Why do so many women cry wolf after THEY walked out on their husband...??????

Reply to Me
Posted by: Jenna | 2013/09/18

My mom still maintains a very good relationship with my fathers parents. It has been 15 years since they divorced. In fact we had them over for dinner a week ago. If they never liked him before then it is a little strange, but I mean people form bonds and friendships in odd situations. If they are friends with him you can't exactly dictate that they can't be just because he is your ex.

Reply to Jenna
Posted by: Anonymous1 | 2013/09/18

In African culture, when one marries it is generally accepted that you not only marry the partner but his/her family. I can see the logic in its truest sense in your particular situation. You will have to look beyond your differences and bite the bullet despite what happened in the past because as we know it there is always his side of the story, hers and the truth. It will be difficult to completely rid yourself of him from your side of the family especially since there's a child involved unless he personally distances himself of his own accord. Until then, adapt or die.

Reply to Anonymous1
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/09/18

Thanks Cybershrink However, the context is not that simple. Would I have fallen in love with someone else if I was happily married, and fulfilled by my husband? Is it really only me who should carry the burden of a failed marriage. In addition this "affair" you refer to lasted 2 weeks before I confessed my feelings to my husband... But I guess in this world their is no grey .... You talk about me hurting him. Yes I did - in a very conventional and tabooed manner. But he hurt me many times (not physically) in our marriage because he drank too much. My family was witness to this on many occasions.... I have apologized to him profusely for what I have done, and he says he has forgiven me. But at no point has he acknowledged that he did not live up to his part in the marriage. In addition, are you saying that I should be grateful for any positive interaction from my family from here on out.... That I deserve the reaction I am getting? Note too that I carry the full financial responsibility for our son. My Ex pays nothing, yet he is able to. It is just the kind of individual he is. He just has never taken responsibility for anything. Him and I have a decent relationship, and for the sake of our son we work together in all areas related to him. In fact his school teacher said she would never have known our son comes from a divorced home - he is happy and confident. But we got divorced, to be separate from each other...

Reply to Anonymous

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