Dealing with the In-Laws when going through Divorce

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If Divorce was only between you and your ex, it would be simple, right? Unfortunately, the ripples of Divorce affect many people surrounding you, especially yours and your ex’s parents.

When you got married, you became part of their family and your husband/wife became part of yours. So, when you get Divorced, the in-law family that grew to love you will also need to grieve over the ending of that ‘relationship’ with you. It is often described as feeling like losing a son or daughter. However, Divorce doesn’t always mean the ending of an in-law relationship, it just means a change in the relationship. Do you really want your mother-in-law continuing to let herself in the back door whilst you are getting fruity with your new partner? Should you still be going around for Sunday dinner when your ex has a new partner? No, well this is reason that you need to establish new boundaries to prevent awkward situations and people getting hurt.

You may feel that once your marriage is over, you no longer need to deal with the in laws or if your ex has been an arse, you may feel compelled to strengthen your relationship with them. Often this is to hold on to your ex if they were the instigator of the Divorce or to make life difficult for them as a form of revenge. After all, it would be rather awkward if he brings home his new beau and there you are with his mum and dad, party hats on eating roast beef and drinking fine wine. Or maybe you think that his Mum and Dad could convince them to stay with you. Would you want your child to stay in a relationship if they were not happy? If you find yourself doing this, you are only delaying moving on and eventually you will become a nuisance.

Your in-laws may themselves try to prevent the Divorce and rescue the situation, especially if their child wants the marriage to continue. This may be infuriating if you have no interest in reigniting the marriage. Whilst it may be tempting to list to them some home truths of their child’s stinking attitude, laziness and horrendous treatment of you, the best thing would be to smile politely and remind them that the Divorce is private. One of the biggest things people find is the need to justify why they want a Divorce. Your ex may have told your in-laws a version of events which is a million miles from your truth and you may hear the in laws repeating that untruth to everyone who wants to listen. You may want to punch them all in the throat and put an advert on the local radio setting the record straight but this will not achieve anything. In the long run, you will need to accept that they are no longer going to be a big part of your life and neither are their network of friends so what does it matter what they all think. You will find that through the Divorce process, you will lose people and gain people so just remember that your future will be filled with people who understand your truth of the situation and can support you accordingly.

For any parent, it is difficult to hear that their child is at fault because they ultimately feel responsible, so you telling them that their child is an arse is only going to cause pain. What will that actually achieve? It could complicate your Divorce even further, especially if you have children. As your children’s grandparents, you will still need to have some sort of relationship with them and trying to do that on the foundations of hurt is difficult. The ultimate losers in that will be your children. If you want to move on quickly, try and avoid the blame game because there will be a future when fault will no longer matter.

So if you don’t want to have to deal with the wrath, endless questions, judgements of your in laws then make sure that your ex is not having to do the same with your parents. Bringing too many people into the Divorce will just cause more hurt and pain. You may even have done things in the marriage that you are not proud of and things that you probably don’t want your parents to know about. So maybe, just maybe, you can understand your ex telling a version of events that leaves them blame free

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