Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...) - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

When my ex and I split 2.5 years ago, his grandmother passed away just before we reached a point where he'd have to tell her. I moved out, and he started bringing the GF to family stuff. But didn't really tell his grandpa... other family members told me later that Grandpa just looked very confused at the appearance of this new woman, and the disappearance of me.

I have not seen most of my ex's family since we split, with the exception of his brothers and their wives a few times. Grandpa, my FIL, extended family... it's just been too hard, and emotional, and weird.

Grandpa passed away this morning. He was in his 90's, but still active and healthy, and it was not expected.

I've known this would happen at some point. I just hoped that Grandpa would live to be, oh, I don't know... 103 or so.

I will be at the funeral, but I will be somewhat alone. Yes, my son will be there, and my SIL and various other family members who I know still care about me. But my ex will be there, and so will my estranged stepdaughter. And there is a good chance that I will have to face the GF for the first time as well. But not attending is not an option.

I know there is some routine to this... so I know what to expect, which parts will be awkward no matter what, and when I can make a graceful exit. But it will be hard not to break down. I need to keep it in the forefront of my mind that it's about Grandpa... it's not about me, not about my ex, or the GF, or my SD. But it's going to be so very difficult.

How have some of you handled these events?

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 09:15 PM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

What was the reason for the divorce?
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

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What was the reason for the divorce?
As far as most of the family knows, we simply "drifted apart" during the course of our 21 year marriage. In reality, he had been in a relationship with his girlfriend for at least the last 5 years of the marriage, if not longer. (My guess is up to 10.)

She started going with him to family functions within 6 months or so. I know my SIL figured things out - she said they were very familiar with each other given that fact that the ink was barely dry on my divorce papers when my ex started bringing her around. Aside from his daughter, his family holds no ill will toward me.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:25 PM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

I believe he will just pay his respects and be cordial....that's my guess...
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:39 PM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

I have never had to face such a situation.

What I would suggest, however, is to remember the reason you are attending, which is to pay respect to the passing of a family member.

If anyone asks you about the end of your marriage, which would be in poor taste yet not terribly surprising, tell them, "Not today".

Then go in with your head held high and the focus on those that are grieving.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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I have never had to face such a situation.

What I would suggest, however, is to remember the reason you are attending, which is to pay respect to the passing of a family member.

If anyone asks you about the end of your marriage, which would be in poor taste yet not terribly surprising, tell them, "Not today".

Then go in with your head held high and the focus on those that are grieving.
Thanks for this. I'm not really worried about anyone asking about the divorce... I'm mostly fearful of walking in alone and having to see my ex (and potentially his girlfriend).

You are right-I will need to focus on why I am there. That is what I have been thinking about-ways to do that.

I think it may help me to simply spend some time imagining the day and what it might look like and feel like to be there strong and focused on the family. Might help me deal with the tough moments when they crop up.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:48 PM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

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Thanks for this. I'm not really worried about anyone asking about the divorce... I'm mostly fearful of walking in alone and having to see my ex (and potentially his girlfriend).

You are right-I will need to focus on why I am there. That is what I have been thinking about-ways to do that.

I think it may help me to simply spend some time imagining the day and what it might look like and feel like to be there strong and focused on the family. Might help me deal with the tough moments when they crop up.
Does the thought of seeing your ex scare you?

It shouldn't. You have character and honor.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Does the thought of seeing your ex scare you?

It shouldn't. You have character and honor.
The thought of losing control of my emotions upon seeing him (and his girlfriend and daughter) is scary to me. I still have anger, and I am still sad about losing my family. I know the day is not about me, but I know these feelings will be there. I just need to keep them in check.

And thank you for those kind words.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:25 AM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

It sounds like you had a good relationship with the in-laws and I will say from my own experience they will be happy to see you and appreciative of you showing your condolences to the family. Be poised and reserved but don't for one second feel out of place, you have a right to be there and you will be thankful you attended. I think if you don't attend you would regret it.

I would say the only awkward part may be if you go thru a reception line and your ex is part of the family standing near the coffin greeting mourners. Honestly you could skip the line and just roam around expressing your condolences as you see people, that's how I have handled it.

It sucks to have to see your ex wrapped up in his new life, just stay away from him and focus on others in the family. I'm sorry you will go thru this and for not only the loss of grandpa but the loss of your extended family by divorce also. I always say this....when you have kids the marriage vow of "till death do we part" sticks even after divorce, there will always be some involvement with the ex and the in-laws.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:32 AM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

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Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
When my ex and I split 2.5 years ago, his grandmother passed away just before we reached a point where he'd have to tell her. I moved out, and he started bringing the GF to family stuff. But didn't really tell his grandpa... other family members told me later that Grandpa just looked very confused at the appearance of this new woman, and the disappearance of me.

I have not seen most of my ex's family since we split, with the exception of his brothers and their wives a few times. Grandpa, my FIL, extended family... it's just been too hard, and emotional, and weird.

Grandpa passed away this morning. He was in his 90's, but still active and healthy, and it was not expected.

I've known this would happen at some point. I just hoped that Grandpa would live to be, oh, I don't know... 103 or so.

I will be at the funeral, but I will be somewhat alone. Yes, my son will be there, and my SIL and various other family members who I know still care about me. But my ex will be there, and so will my estranged stepdaughter. And there is a good chance that I will have to face the GF for the first time as well. But not attending is not an option.

I know there is some routine to this... so I know what to expect, which parts will be awkward no matter what, and when I can make a graceful exit. But it will be hard not to break down. I need to keep it in the forefront of my mind that it's about Grandpa... it's not about me, not about my ex, or the GF, or my SD. But it's going to be so very difficult.

How have some of you handled these events?
In your place I would attend the service and then leave. I wouldn't go to any family gathering afterwards.

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:34 AM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

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Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
Thanks for this. I'm not really worried about anyone asking about the divorce... I'm mostly fearful of walking in alone and having to see my ex (and potentially his girlfriend).

You are right-I will need to focus on why I am there. That is what I have been thinking about-ways to do that.

I think it may help me to simply spend some time imagining the day and what it might look like and feel like to be there strong and focused on the family. Might help me deal with the tough moments when they crop up.
Just go in and sit towards the back with your child. You dont need to be anywhere near you ex or his partner, and you can go after the service.Simple.
My husband wasn't even allowed to go to the funerals of his ex wife's parents or sister when they died:-( He was completely rejected by her whole family after having known them for 23 years.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:38 AM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

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Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
It sounds like you had a good relationship with the in-laws and I will say from my own experience they will be happy to see you and appreciative of you showing your condolences to the family. Be poised and reserved but don't for one second feel out of place, you have a right to be there and you will be thankful you attended. I think if you don't attend you would regret it.

I would say the only awkward part may be if you go thru a reception line and your ex is part of the family standing near the coffin greeting mourners. Honestly you could skip the line and just roam around expressing your condolences as you see people, that's how I have handled it.

It sucks to have to see your ex wrapped up in his new life, just stay away from him and focus on others in the family. I'm sorry you will go thru this and for not only the loss of grandpa but the loss of your extended family by divorce also. I always say this....when you have kids the marriage vow of "till death do we part" sticks even after divorce, there will always be some involvement with the ex and the in-laws.
Once the children are adults there is no need for further contact with the ex except for the children's weddings.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:55 AM
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Cool Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

Both of my college grad sons, to a greater or lesser extent, periodically reside over there in the "mansion on the hilltop" with my RSXW and her new beau, with the oldest still filling me in on the inordinate goings-on in her daily life of unrepentant and debacherous skankery!

To wit, I still couldn't find it within my inner core to spit into her lying, cheating guts if she were engulfed in flames! And while I may have made peace in forgiving her skanky a$$, I sure as hell have never forgotten what I was summarily subjected to!

To quote Dallas most infamous and effervescent villain, J. R. Ewing, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!"

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story! http://talkaboutmarriage.com/going-t...andonment.html

Last edited by arbitrator; 03-16-2017 at 06:08 AM. Reason: Edification
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 06:54 AM
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

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Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
The thought of losing control of my emotions upon seeing him (and his girlfriend and daughter) is scary to me. I still have anger, and I am still sad about losing my family. I know the day is not about me, but I know these feelings will be there. I just need to keep them in check.

And thank you for those kind words.
You will be fine, @TooNice.

Stop questioning whether you have the ability, and instead start believing you have the discipline to act as you choose.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Life events in your ex's family (but still yours, too...)

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Originally Posted by Diana7 View Post
In your place I would attend the service and then leave. I wouldn't go to any family gathering afterwards.
Oh, I am definitely not planning to stay for the dinner. I know I will be invited to, and welcome to, but no... I will gracefully exit before that time!
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