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    What To Do When Your Parents Still Love Your Ex-Husband!

    By Kristen Houghton     

    We assume that once a marriage is over it is over for all adults concerned; husband, wife, in-laws. Unless there are children involved, most divorcees feel that there is no earthly reason to still see their ex on a continuing basis. Outside of running into each other occasionally, you basically never have to see each other again. Even if a divorce has been friendly and without any unpleasantness, the now divorced couple wants to move on with their lives.

    So what can possibly stop a woman from beginning a new life after divorce? Maybe her own parents.

    Despite the problems between a married couple that causes them to get a divorce, the in-laws may still see the ex son-in-law as someone they really and truly care for. Many times he may be a good man who is just not good for their daughter. They still consider him a vital part of their family and will see nothing wrong with inviting him to family events or giving him birthday and holiday presents. As one divorced woman put it:

    “My parents see my ex as a great guy and, to be honest, he is. Our differences were simply that we didn’t have the same goals in life so we had an amicable divorce. He is still a very welcome guest in their home. The problem is that it has been two years since we divorced and I am now dating someone else. It is a little awkward to have my ex-husband and my current boyfriend, meet at a family parties. My parents however see nothing wrong with it. They love their ex son-in-law.”

    Unless there has been physical abuse or painful infidelity in a marriage, a wonderful son-in-law is considered part of the family. This is especially true if your parents have always had a good relationship with him. It’s hard to let go of someone you care for and were used to having in your life. Even if your parents readily acknowledge that you and your ex have no chance of getting back together, they want his presence in their lives.

    Problems arise when you are in a serious relationship with a new man. He may not be okay with seeing your ex at family gatherings or hearing his praises sung by your parents. He feels as if he is second place, and possibly second best, in the eyes of your parents.

    What can you do to ease a situation so no one feels slighted? You are going to have to brush up on Diplomacy 101 and do some serious talking with everyone involved.

    Talk to your parents first. Ask them if it is at all possible not to have your ex-husband over to every family affair. Remind them that you’ve begun a new life and a new relationship. Be prepared for them to tell you how much they care for your ex, but tell them they have to “move on” as well.” Next, politely speak with your ex. If he’s as great a guy as your parents think he is, he’ll understand the awkwardness of the situation for you and your new man. You may be surprised-he may genuinely care about your parents and not want to hurt their feelings by turning down invitations. See if some compromise can be reached about him attending all family get-togethers. Sweeten the deal by telling him he is entitled to bring a date to any family gathering if he chooses. Fair is fair, after all.

    Talk to the new man in your life last. First, let him understand that your ex and you are definitely not getting back together.

    Let him know that your parents and your ex were family and still feel family ties. If your new man is also a great guy, he will understand how your parents feel even if he doesn’t agree with them.

    Family dynamics, and that includes those with in-laws, are complicated and intertwined. Having a sense of humor and being polite will get you through many potentially awkward situations.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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