in10sitty's picture

Dealing with the ex & family functions

My ex's mother did not approve of his divorce or our getting together. Basically because we had an affair. I think if we had met after our divorces were final it would have been very different.

Anyhow, the woman has never spoken to me in the 6 years that we have been together. Several of his brothers and sisters feel the same way that she does. I need to add, that they are strict Catholics.

We were recently at a family party/graduation together, and it went ok. Everyone was respectful, not overly friendly, and we kind of all stayed on our own sides.

This past week, my ex's mother had a massive stroke. She lives in another state, about 8 hours away. So do 4 of my ex's brothers and sisters and their families. I opted to not travel with my ex, because I felt it was too stressful of a time for the whole family to add anymore awkwardness to the situation.

Even worse, is the fact the the Ex will not stay out of ANY of HIS family functions, parties, etc. ...and you betcha, she travelled right down to visit his mother. She took 3 of their 4 chidren with her. My fiance took his oldest son with him a few hours later.

So here I am feeling lonely, sad, jealous, angry etc. I had to watch my fiance packing his camcorder and fireworks, as he was planning on staying through July 4th. All that this did, was make me picture him with everyone having a family picnic, Ex and all.

I do not plan on being absent for all family functions. I will not allow that to happen. They need to "expect" me to be present. I just didn't feel like it was appropriate this time. But now I'm not sure.

I have no idea if I am doing the right thing by not going. I don't know how to cope with all these feelings I have either.

Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions are welcome.

Dawn's picture

A little confused...

Do you mean your fiance's mother didn't approve of his divorce and now had a stroke?


in10sitty's picture

Reply to Dawn

Yes, his mom never approved of his divorce. That was 6 years ago though. Her stroke was a few days ago. Not a result of her being angry with us.

It's just now, that something has happened to her, it makes it very difficult for me to figure out where my place is. I really think I should have travelled with him now. I just don't know.

Terri's picture

I hate to say this but when

I hate to say this but when my husbands mother died, our relationship impoved 10 fold. She was a major instigator and manipulater, sadly she could have chosen to act decently but sometimes what goes around comes back around.

In the future just go with your financee, of course emergencies can't be avoided but many family get togethers can. Hopefully you'll have your own family and kids and perhaps he may see less of them. What happened with my husband, they were such bad influences that he realized they weren't worth it.

Reanna's picture

I understand

I can understand where you are coming from. We all have moms and love them dearly. however my husbands mother is a real jerk and disrespectful and as far as she is concerned the only people that exist are her son and the grandkids, my husband lets her play mind games and will not put her in her place. I hate for something to happen to her and I think that it is unfortunate that people have to vanish for other people to live peacefully and without issue.

Terri's picture

I'm afraid I'm a little

I'm afraid I'm a little confused also. Either way, you need to be with your fiancee period, and those are the only get togethers you should be going to, not either other ex's imo. IMO people create many of their own stresses. Take control.

With my husbands son, we never went to any get togethers. Why would we? Only his highschool one, and we sat so far barely saw anyone and then we promply left. Any celebrations, we had our own. Its that simple, make rules and stick by them. This will make your relationship much better and I would talk to your soon to be husband about all this. The marriage must come first.

emily's picture

I know how you feel

in10sitty -- I know exactly how you feel. My BF's X is very good at playing the poor abandoned mom while dad is off with some new bimbo. Of course this isn't the truth of the situation. So she does the same thing -- shows up at all HIS family events. She's always welcome in his parent's house. She sits with them at the kids' events. I can't take it. Why can't someone draw a hard line and say "I know you loved these people and they loved you, but they're not your family anymore and it's not appropriate for you to act like they are." I don't want them to hate her. But the reality is that it's NOT HER FAMILY.

I am divorced (no kids of my own). Very shortly after my peaceful divorce, my ex husband's grandmother passed. She was an amazing woman and a great influence in my life. However, I understood that family events in her honor (including her death bed to say goodbye) were OFF LIMITS. Even though I had loved her like my own grandmother, I WAS NO LONGER FAMILY and acting like it was inappropriate and selfish.

So how do we deal with women who don't get it and new families who welcome her any time? I've read posts from other women on this site saying we should stand our ground and show her we're not intimidated and that we're here to stay. But every time she's there, even though I know it isn't true, I feel like everyone belongs (including the X) but not me. How are we supposed to feel secure our place or comfortable being part of a new extended family when she's still secure and comfortable?

in10sitty's picture

To Emily:

I too am divorced (no kids of my own). I am glad I found this website. It is helping me alot to talk to people like you.

I was saying to one of my friends on the phone this morning, "Why can't she (the ex) just GET OUT. Get out of our way, leave his family alone, etc. etc. I know it's not right for me to say, I just wish she weren't in the picture. I know that she has known these people for the last 15 years. Her best friend is married to my fiance's 1st cousin. So she has all sorts of ties. My fiances family invites her for Thanksgiving dinner and we never get an invite. sigh

The hardest thing, and if I could take it all back and do it differently I would, is that my fiance and I got together BEFORE our divorces and while we were both still living with our spouses. ....and to make people hate us even more, his ex was pregnant with their last child. OMG! That was just not a good start, and all the more to be judged by. She saw it as a way to keep him and he saw it as an add'l sentence on the verge of being paroled. But it will be going on 7 years soon. So it's time everyone moved on.

All this, coming from me, a girl that went to Catholic school, had sex for the 1st time at the age of 21, with the person that I ended up marrying. Some days I wake up and have no idea how I got to the place I am at now.

I have to learn to deal with my feelings of anger, jealousy, guilt, frustation, etc. better. All of my feelings seem to go to one thing...and that's anger. So then I strike out at people like my mother, my fiance, co-workers. So terribly destructive. I don't know how to cope with my feelings. I feel so negative all the time. I barely had time to get over all the mixed feeings of putting on a graduation party for his oldest son last weekend. The ex was there, her family and friends, etc. It was so overwhelming, but we got through it and actually felt like we conquered something. Then just a few days later this whole think happened with his mom. I didn't have time to recover.

Thanks so much for replying to me. It really helps ALOT!

Sarah's picture

Feeling hopeless

I found this site b/c I've been so discouraged. I have met someone who I adore and feel so good with. He has a young daughter and a baby on the way. The x and him have not been in a real relationship for years. The upcomeing baby was obviously a one night stand accident. They have just starting to deal with custody issues now b/c she won't let him see his daughter. It was when I cam along everything went bad. She feels that now he's been taken that she wants to be with him and they should work things out for the childrens sake. She called me on the phone before and I seriously think she is in a bad state of mind b/c she upset, jealous and will do anything to make life hard for him... and that mean life will be hard for me. Our relationship is in the beginning stages. I feel that I'm a bright young woman who has a good heart and the right to be in a happy relationship. I have a choice to make. Do I go for it and take that difficult road... will it be worth it? The x is crazy and doesn't want me around her kids. They were together for 6yrs. They've never been married. It's like I'm on the outside looking in and they have so much history. How was it when the new baby was born? Do you think you partner is a good father? Do you think your partners x is a good mother? I'm just so scared to sacrafice everything for him? People blog on here about the past so many years dealing with these things? Is that a happy life? I would appreciate some insight from you. Thanks for listening.

in10sitty's picture


I haven't been on this site since last year. I'm so sorry I didn't check sooner.

Are you still with the same guy? Are things any better?

To answer your questions, although I don't know if they still apply:

It was strange when the new baby was born. She didn't even tell him she was in labor. We didn't start visitation until he was 1 going on 2 years old. It was tough. He didn't know us and all he wanted was his mom. I thought that I was going to be able to experience "motherhood" in a way, but that never happened. Fact is, he has a mother. Plain and simple.

My partner is a very good father. Everyone gets along really well. He is a child at heart, so playing with the kids is just as fun for him as it is for them.

I do think my partners ex is a good mother. She could do more in the personal hygene and clothing area, but other then that, I think there is much love between her and the children, and she does the best to bring them up with good morals and manners.

Let me know how you are doing.


evilstepmom2's picture

run while your ahead

I am a step mom to three(one child my husband adopted)and pregnant with one baby. Let me tell you. My husband's ex is a psycho who makes my life hell. Love is strong and many will tell you to hang in there and that it will be better. If I had it to do over again; I would've never married my husband(in spite of the love I feel) his situation is too hard to bare. Were constantly struggling financially, his kids disrespect me, and I have not been able to finish college due to the financial thing. I even lost a home to foreclosure and had to file bankruptcy. Before I was a bright, college student with a future. Now, the only thing I have to look forward to is my baby. It scares me cause I wonder if I will have the funds to support this baby. So, please find someone that is financially secure with no children. If you can't resist, find someone with only one, but no more. It will make your life miserable. I wish I would've thought twice. Best of luck in whatever you choose. Pray about it.

Anonymous's picture

Oh dear GOD finally someone feels the same way I DO!!!

Holy GOD I'm not alone. I had just married my husband after a whirlwind courtship of three weeks and of course nobody really got to know me, however, about...oh...three months ago his grandmother on his father's side died, and of course don't you know his ex wife shows up (well they have two children together, ages 20 and 18; they were together for 15 years...); well EX has remained close with his family (which makes me slightly ill...hello, YOU're not the daughter in law anymore, I AM!!) but of course so someone called HER and here she comes boo-hooing (and I am thinking, okay, when is the last time you saw this woman)...and like she is a member of the family...

GOD I was furious...!!! Just livid and picked a fight with my husband who just couldn't understand (until I MADE him understand) why I was so angry she was there. Now had she brought the girls (like to the funeral)...he says he wouldn't expect his family to turn their backs on them - especially since *apparently* that is the only family SHE HAS, and I guess it's more complicated when you have such a long history and children together ... but to me if it was me, I would send my children but have the respect enough for the NEW wife not to come, since really, once you are divorced, I BELIEVE you divorce the family too.

My ex husband and I (no children) are on delightful speaking terms and email from time to time, and he even told me his mother would be in town and would I like to have lunch (we were divorced almost 10 years ago.)

Now why in the hell would I want to do that.

God bless you, Emily, for having the sense God gave you to stand down in occasions like this. I hate having to see and deal with the ex at "family events." Only recently has she started being pleasant to me (the first time she met me she was just totally rude and bitchy) - but still, it is at occasions such as their daughter's graduation, yes, I understand that, but like things that involve HIS FAMILY ONLY?? NO.

Sorry if I'm rambling but it felt good to vent!

Anonymous's picture

I just wanted to add-

I just wanted to add that she cozied up to HIS family AFTER the divorce because according to what I have heard her own family wasn't very, well, desirable.

And he told me HIS family wouldn't be the people that they are if they just "turned their back on her"...well, I can SORT of understand that - I mean 15 years is a LOT of history, but still...
it's like she's trying to cling to a place that is not rightfully hers. So, okay, I am big enough to understand that. (But I don't have to LIKE IT!)

(Feeling territorial, anyone?? LOL)

I re-read my post and realize I sound like a rabid B**** but truly, is it EVER comfortable when you and the ex are at an event?? At least she's starting to be nice to me...because I stood my ground and hid my fear and basically was like, you're not running ME off, I'm here to stay!

Even his MOTHER is always bringing up the ex when it's just her, my husband and I...SHE thinks the ex and I should be just buddy-buddy because she and his dad's new wife are good, NO THANK YOU!

I'm so glad I found this board...thank you to whoever is listening/reading this.

Thank you guys, again.

Terri's picture

Now this isn't such a big

Now this isn't such a big problem. You really need to talk to your husband, he needs to firmly insists that his family not INVITE his ex or even maintain a relationship with her. period. So imo thats something he should have done right away, and needs to be corrected.

He needs to make it in no uncertain terms and that she is out of the family, and his life. If your husband refuses, you need to tell him if he disrespects you that way again you will also disrepect him. Leave it like that, and for him to wonder....

Worse cast senerio move very far, and start your life away from all these problems. Another thing me and my husband did.

jenny's picture

I have a good one

My husband who was only married for a year and divorced almost 15 years had his ex wife show up at his mothers funeral. Talked about shocked and livid and they have NO kids together. She was married to her own husband but I found out she had been going over to his mothers house over the years, and was still angry over their short marriage and divorce.

Wow talk about,...a grudge; RLOL Well I decided to fix her wagon and afterwards got her husbands number and told him it was becomming a problem that she was still bothering/stalking "our" family!! He didn't have a clue...and boy oh boy did she get in trouble...!! Never heard or saw her again.

With your instance she should not have come and given the kids to you guys. She only made a fool out of herself, but you could have your husband find out who invited her to make sure that never happens again. Who knows maybe she found out and just came?? Most of my inlaws couldn't believe it and thought she was psycho.

Anonymous's picture

well, my husbands parents

well, my husbands parents hated his EX until we decided to move in together - now they havent talked to us in 5 years - and SHE attends all of there special events - and has even lived with them when we were going to court to act helpless!! they even refused to come to our wedding!

latinafresh's picture


When you say they are not her family, I totally agree.

The kids however are mothered by this woman and the grandparents have to respect that.

I agree that she shouldn't be involved in family functions. The kids should come but mum should stay home. This on the other hand may be good for the children to see that you all get on. Have you tried talking to the x?

wisdom, search for it as if searching for gold. ( i buy mine at the jewellery shops, but thats beside the point!)

wisdom, search for it as if searching for gold. ( i buy mine at the jewellery shops, but thats beside the point!)

lovin-life's picture

Depending on when you

Depending on when you declare a marriage over....we did not have an acceptable period of time between old marriage ending and new relationship starting....the marriages were over but we were not moved out from under the same roof. My Bf's parents also very strong Catholic as well...but his X was so horrible to him..everyone was happy she was gone. And we were and are so happy together..everyone was so glad for him!

However, Shortly after..within weeks my X's father died. His siblings were furious with me..(I don't think they were aware just how serious I was when I spoke of divorcing their brother..for 2 yrs.) I was asked by my x to attend the funeral. It was ackward..but I went because he wanted me there..he wanted our kids there..and I helped wrangle them. I sat discretely in the back I cried for my former father-in-law and for the pain everyone in my x's family was going through.

I feel that was my place!! In the back. Not with his family!! I was no longer a part of his family! I didn't sit with my children...I walked them up the isle to where thier dad, aunts & cosusins were ...they were still part of that family..and I returned to the back!

With time things have smoothed over..with X's family ..we can talk & laugh togerher..etc..I rarely see them..but we always speak when we do run into each other. They know now that we are each happier apart and are moving on with our was for the best!

I've come to learn that they had alot of respect for me to show up to support my X, grieve, show respect for my x fther-in law, dispite the hostility...yet give them the distance they needed from that they were so upset!!

If staying away ... is a way of showing respect for thier loss right now and a way of reducing stress for your husband and is in his best this time. Don't sweat it!! Her being you crazy..yep..if you let it!!! Decision is made don't second guess yourself!!

You can work on gaining acceptance with his family at another time...

Take Care
Lovin-life Smiling

in10sitty's picture

Not acceptable time period either

We soooo did not have an acceptable time period. As I wrote to Emily in a previous reply, we were having an affair. His wife was pregnant with their last child. It was all so bad.

Taking the childen and sitting in the back at the funeral was the right thing to do. That's class. That's exactly what I would have done. ...oh my ...did I just come right out and call myself classy? A BIG LOL!!!

I do not have children from my previous marriage. I think, that if I did, I wouldn't feel so lonely and like an outsider when we are at his family functions. I wish that my fiance had invited some of our friends and family to his sons graduation party last week. I had no support group whatsoever. I talked to him about this, and hopefully things will be done differently in the future. We spent our time & money on the party, and deservered to have our friends and family there. Didn't we? Or does it just make it a 3-ring circus?

Your right, the decision to not travel with him has been made and I need to not second guess that. I could sit here and list good reasons for both going and not going. From talking to him on the phone today, all he is doing is spending the day in the hospital with his mom. ...and that's why he is there, to be with her. Not to be with his ex and certainly not because he doesn't want to be with me. I have to focus on that when I feel these awful feelings come creeping in. Especially because I saw him packing his camcorder and fireworks, which means he is planning on having some sort of family picnic with everyone. ugggh

Do you think that people are thinking, "she can't even be here for him when his mother is sick?" I am hoping that they respect me more for knowing my place.

....listen to me thinking that they are even thinking about me at all. Like I am the main focus. LOL It's all about me Smiling

Thanks for writing. I am clearing my head this way and feel so much better. I think I feel my sense of humor returning too.

lovin-life's picture

I just read your response to

I just read your response to Emily. Was your fiance close to his family before? How can they invite his x but never him & his new family..and still stay on good terms with him? How many chances to you have to be around them without the x around. What if you were the one to organize supper, or barbeques, or plan outings...etc...and invited them. That way you can control whether x is there or not. You can build the relationships...get more comfortable around them and The more you relax and be yourself around them the more they can see that your not so bad..and your fiance is happy!!

Isn't this site wonderful!!!!!

Take Care
Lovin-life Smiling

in10sitty's picture

Fiances family is 8 hours away

My fiance's family lives 8 hours away in another state. He was very close to his family before his divorce.

I would not say that he is on great terms with them. Ok terms with some and non-existent terms with others. They are like this little clique.

One of his sisters lives in California, and has also been divorced and pretty much disowned. So we are close to her. LOL We are basically ignored by many of his family members, so we have learned to live without them and rely on our friends and my family.

His father talks to both of us and we meet him out for dinner when he is in town. He is in town alot, because his doctors are here. However, on the few occasions we have invited him to our home, he has declined. He feels that entering our home is acknowledging us as a "couple", and that in the eyes of God we are doing the wrong thing because we are not married. So we don't even ask him anymore.

Last week at his son's graduation party, one of his sisters sons(she has 10 children), came up to us and said to my fiance: "I heard about you. You're bad." This kid was like 4 years old. His older brother was standing there, and he was about 10. He said, "Yeah, we heard you were bad." When my fiance asked who told them that, one of them mentioned their older sister. Obviously, we are used as examples of how not to act.

I'm hoping that it will be different when we get married, but I read something today that said not to count on that. sigh

Yes, in my self help mode here this weekend, I went to Barnes & Noble and purchased: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Steppparenting

LOL, 356 pages ...I've read about 2 chapters so far, and I must say that it is very interesting. Humorous too, and that always helps. There are these little sections on some pages that have a witch in it saying not to be wicked and giving examples on how that could happen in different situations. It's funny.

Terri's picture

Don't worry sounds like you

Don't worry sounds like you live far enough away, to hopefully you can try and avoid them all, or just move even further.

Anonymous's picture

Family Matters

My partner and I have come across this problem as well.

We moved to a new city. Our lives are good. We have my family close by and some really great friends that we rely on.

However, I feel so sad sometimes for my partner as the move away from his family has not made a lot of difference with regard to our relationship with them.

Since we've relocated, we have spent a lot of time and money traveling to see his family as we have tried to develop a closer relationship with these people.

We've invited them to stay with us but some of them are not really interested.

We've helped some members out financially. When they have received our financial assistance we never hear anything further from them. They treat his x with more respect.

My husband's sister that was supposed to come and see us decided that she'd go and visit his x instead.

We are disappointed with the treatment we receive from this family. We have tried everything within our means to get closer to them and I feel now that we have tried too much.

My theory is that family is supposed to love you unconditionally no matter what. There is no reason why you should jump through hoops to make them appreciate or respect you more.

So the good news is that the problem is not you. There are just a whole lot of screwed families out there.

Terri's picture

He should not have gone

He should not have gone without her, period. And he should refuse to have a relationship if they invite his ex. This should be on no uncertain terms. Its really rude, and I wouldn't put up with that.

lovin-life's picture

Her childrens' functions..but I'm a package deal with Dad

I don't like having to deal with family functions that involve BF's x as well. They only time I have to is when its for his children. The last one was a Christening. for grandson..we sat on opposite sides of the church and later the hall.

My BF even went so far as to pose in a picture with his X..along with the other grandparents..godparents..he can't believe he did it!! But it's only a picture it didn't kill him. I, however was not invited in with the group for a picture...I was not even invited for a picuture with BF & myself & baby....just him. That's OK..evil SD's choice. But I did walk into the church with my head held high...! Like I belonged there! Right beside my BF! Because I do belong there! I am his partner in life! That is my rightful place by his side!

I made polite small talk to X's siblings & her mother...not a word to her. I stood directly across from her while everyone was grouping for pictures..and I took my own of the group..(cropped her out later) She could see me in plain sight..and knows I am here to stay!!!!

At the hall afterward...she was the one lurking outside..feeling ackward and uncomfortable..SD had to go out to the car to get her & talk her into coming in.

I took control back that day...I felt comfortable..dispite SD's unfriendlyness towards me...she didn't sit with Dad or his side of the included..but choose to sit with her mother the entire time. Again her choice. Her mother could no longer rattle my composure...I finally felt comfortable with my place there..

Having said new issue is...I dread having to deal with oldest SD other SD's wedding next year. But it's a package deal...if you want your Dad there...I'm there..we're a team..get used to it.

Hold your head up you stand by your partner..everyone else can learn to accept it..or's their choice!!

Take Care
Lovin-life Smiling

in10sitty's picture

Hard to hold head up high

Oh, it's so hard to hold my head up high. I am a person who does not like to be rejected, and I get my feelings hurt really easily.

I am usually the one lurking about, looking uncomfortable, when the X is just as comfortable as can be. It's just that EVERY time I see her, it's on her turf. I wish for once it was on mine.

Just had a call from my fiance, who told me that his mother is doing better. They took the tube out of her throat and she is breathing fine on her own. They allowed her to have coffee and she ate as well. I asked him what his plans were. ...really meaning, "When are you coming home!" I feel bad asking it, but I just want to mentally prepare myself. I am really working at not losing it here alone. It's hard.

Good for you giving the X a taste of her own medicine. I can't believe you were so confident, that she actually became the lurker. LOL Why do you have trouble with the SD? Was it her father who wanted the divorce and left her mother?

lovin-life's picture

I've got a huge speil on "my

I've got a huge speil on "my blog" that'll explain that. (I didn't know how exactly it worked, I though my name would come up automtically but it didn't and I don't know how to change the name)...ultimately he left her..but she was messing around on him/with multiple men for several I guess she's the one who abandoned the marriage.

Take Care
Lovin-life Smiling

in10sitty's picture


LOL I'm trying to figure out that blog name thing too. Mine just says "my name". Or something like that.

Maybe we have to be members for a bit longer??

Anonymous's picture

dealing with the ex

As i am reading your resposes I am thinking I am not crazy or alone. I too feel like an outsider in my own family when we are in the company of his ex. They had a daugther together. We now have a child together and have been happily married for over a year now. It seemed easier to me when everyone was mad at her...she had an affair with her best friends husband. That was four years ago and the anger is mostly gone. We now go to my step daugthers soccer games or other events and my husbands family is there ,the ex and her family are there and my son and I are there. I feel like I don't belong. My husbands ex and my new mother in law and laughing and hugging hello and good bye and my mother in law tells me how wonderful it is that the two families get along. I feel such anxities when I have to attend these functions and i have to see her. She is repectful and civil with me and i am to her but inside I am a mess. I am tired of feeling this way and what to feel like I belong but I don't know how to. Any thoughts?

Terri's picture

I just totally disagree with

I just totally disagree with all of this. Your all putting yourselves in these situations. Sign the child up for activities in your community where just you and your husband go. Don't go to the ones the ex will be at. Create your own time without the ex and motherinlaw. She sounds like a rude witch and your husband shouldn't have you in that situation.

Tell your husband about the changes you want to make, if need be convince him under some pretense that you want to move to another state. I've known women that have done this, and it saved their piece of mind and marriage.

Anonymous's picture

WOW I am not along

All this time I have felt retarded and mad at myself for feeling so much anger towards my fiances ex. First of all they were never even married but she trapped him by having a child. To me that was a very selfish act and I can not respect her as a person. For some reason my ex has put aside his anger towards her and has decided to be friends for his childs sake which is great to me. The only thing that I have issues with is her thinking that it is okay to show up at Holiday functions when she knows that I will be there. Is it so wrong to not want her there? I accept her and will put up with the every other week drop offs and I will be civil towards her but when it comes to Holidays I draw the line. I don't want to share my time with his family with her. Is that wrong? Is anyone tired of hearing how long your ex has been in the picute? I don't care if he has known her 2 minutes to 10 years the ex should still respect the new person in the picture. It is all about being territorial and she rubbing in my face that she can still be a part of the family. Is there anything that I can do? Or do I just have to suck it up?

This is great to get this out with people that understand.