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Holy Moly question about EX in-laws And funerals

NancyHines79's picture

Ok I just found out my EX Mother-in-law passed away from old age today. I was friendly with her when I was married to my first husband and would Is it regularly. After my divorce we no longer kelp in touch. I was very close to my ex sister in laws.  Now I still see Occasionally see my EX sister in laws who I really liked. One lives in the same Neighborhood as me and we will bump into each other walking the dogs and the other one belongs the same hiking club that I do. If my divorce had been Civil I would most Likely attend at least the wake if not both the wake and funeral. The problem is BOTH my EX and his Wife HATE me. There is a good chance my EX could tell me to leave or at the very least glare at me the whole time I’m there. With all the other bullshit going on in my life I just can’t deal with this so there is no way I’m going to either. (History My EX remarried the woman he cheated on me with and SHE yes SHE not me HATES the very sight of my name. Why? Because she is jealous that his family liked/likes me and really can’t stand her. )

So My questions are number one. Would it even be Appropriate or expected that I would attend either of the wake or the funeral being an ex? I’m only Concerned that my EX sister in laws May be offended if I don’t attend And I really do like them. Plus since I have to see them both Occasionally it will be awkward if they are offended so I want to avoid this at all cost.

Both sisters know I know as one already stopped me when I was walking my dog to tell me PLUS I’m friends with both of them on Facebook and they posted the Obituary. So I can’t pretend I did not know. 

How should I handle this? Send a card after?Avoidance and Stay out of sight till after the wake/Funeral? 

Jcksjj's picture

Please don't go to the funeral. Let your ex grieve without having to see someone he doesnt want to see there. Send a card to the SILs if you feel compelled to. I've never lost anyone that close to me, but honestly I doubt I'd be looking around at a funeral of a close family member that is full of people to see specifically if my brothers ex wife was there or not.

NancyHines79's picture

by any means as it will be as Unpleasant for me as my EX husband. I was only Concerned that my EX sister in laws who I have to see Occasionally could be put off if I don’t come to show my Respects since we were very close once. I’m basically here looking for Excuses if one of them makes a comment about if I’m planning on coming. 

Jcksjj's picture

Ohhh gotcha. Well I mean, couldn't you tell the truth that you didnt know if it would upset your ex? Maybe send some kind of in memory gift to them to show your thinking of them still.

NancyHines79's picture

They have a love hate relationship with each other. Hard to Explain. Basically if I told my sister in laws the truth they would be like screw him and his wife come anyway without thinking how Uncomfortable it would be for me also. Plus my sister in law has a big mouth and it would get back to my EX and his wife that I did not want to come due to him and his wife. They would love to think they Scared me off and I’m not giving them the Satisfaction. 

hereiam's picture

This is a funeral, not a party that you've been invited to. This is not the time, nor the place, to prove to your ex and his wife that they cannot "scare" you off.

strugglingSM's picture

I wouldn't go to either. It's your ex's space, not yours and you need to respect that. 

The ex sister-in-laws will not likely be taking attendance and based on the relationship you describe they likely won't even notice if you are not there. 

You should consider your own motives for even wanting to be involved or noticed during this time. 


ndc's picture

I wouldn't go.  I would send a card, perhaps flowers, and reach out to the former sisters-in-law and let them know that you would have liked to pay your respects but didn't want to cause any drama with ex and his wife.

Just J's picture

I'm in the don't go camp. My DH's ex came to his mom's funeral a few years back and I just don't think she belonged there. They were married for less than 10 years and had been divorced for about 12 or 13 years by then. It wasn't even under the guise of being there for the stepkids because 1) they were already adults and 2) they sat with us anyway. It just felt intrusive and then was even worse when afterwards she was handing out business cards like the networking whore she is. I hated seeing her there, it was a family time and she isn't family anymore, I don't care who she has kids with. 

I don't know if DH would go to BM's parents' funerals. Her mom was always nice to both of us but her dad stopped being nice to DH when they got divorced. I don't think (when the time comes) that he should go. They're not even people he really thinks about anymore and he definitely has more tact than his ex. 

Lollybobs's picture

You are no longer part of this family and you weren't in touch with ex-MIL after the divorce. Therefore it's really not your place to attend this funeral. Your ex-husband should be free to grieve his mother without your presence.

Probably a good idea to send a card to your SILs  so that they know you're thinking about them, just like you would send a card fo a friend who had lost a parent. You don't need to give an explanation why you're not going, you just say you can't attend. If they press for an explanation, you says you have a medical appointment which you need to attend and don't give any further details.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

to the funeral. I agree if you want to do something to send a floral arrangement and let the ex sils know separately if you feel so inclined to why you are not coming.

My great grandmom passed away two months after my cousin committed suicide and her BM came to my great gmom's funeral. Everyone thought it was inappropriate except my uncle who after everything with their daughter did not want to tell her not to come. Granted also BM cheated on my uncle etc. so not a soul in my family thinks positively of her. Afterwards I stayed on the other side of the room from BM because I did not want to interact with her, but she purposely came over to me. No matter my distaste for her, out of respect from my great gmom and my uncle I was polite, but said nothing other than thank you when she gave her condolences.

It is not your family it is your ex's family so it really is not a place for you to be. I understand that you want to let especially your ex sils you are thinking of them, but a floral arrangement or card will definitely suffice. 

ESMOD's picture

You do not attend that funeral.  You know there are people that would not want to see you.  You have not managed to maintain a relationship with the other people anyway correct?  I mean, if they are so important that you would want to go to their funeral.. wouldn't it have been better to spend time with them when they were alive?

I would spend some time writing your EX SIL's a nice note/letter.. telling them how sorry you are for their loss and how you have fond memories of their mother etc...   That's it.  You could send a flower arrangement.. but isn't that really a virtual stand in for YOU? and won't that be a reminder to your EX of your presence? 

Keep it simple.. send a heart felt condolence to the SIL's.  They likely do not expect you... someone they haven't seen for a while to attend.

This is not complicated.  The funeral is for the living.. and certainly the EX SIL's have sufficient support around without your presence.


beebeel's picture

Unless you attend the funeral for every family member of neighbors you are "friendly" with, it's inappropriate for you to go to this one. 

Thisisnotus's picture

Do NOT go! This is your exes need to bring drama to a funeral. I’m sure sister in laws will be just fine.


SM12's picture

I was very friendly with both my XMIL and CFIL.   Mil used to call me her daughter still and I would take her and BS to lunch after church on Sunday’s. XH never went to church.  

Fil became ill suddenly and I was able to sit with him a we days before he passed.  I went to the service and was invited to the family dinner afterward.  Despite being welcomed it was the most uncomfortable time ever.  I didn’t feel like I belonged and couldn’t wait to leave.  No one did anything to make me feel that way.  But I could tell XHs hf was not comfortable despite us always being very friendly.  

When my XMIL passed my XH and I were not on good terms and he was very hostile toward me.  No way was I going to the service or viewing.  And I am still friends with my sil and everyone else in his family.   I know my xsil understands why I wasn’t there and has no issue with it. 

Just send a lovely plant or flowers to the service and maybe a card to the sisters explaining how sorry you are for their loss but you will not be able to attend the funeral.  

The last thing they need at this time is drama from their brother.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Don't do something that would start a scene at a funeral.

It's not about you. It's about the family, and you aren't a part of that family. I have personal experience with people trying to crash funerals. If you show up, it's selfish on your part. Visit the gravestone afterwards if you want to pay your respects.

fedupinwa's picture

My SOs dad passed recently and his BM planned to attend the service.   SO sent her an email telling her he did not want her to come.   His family really didn't like her and truley hated her after she left him for another man.  She created so much drama about being uninvited with SD21 and SS17 that they refused to sit with their dad at the service and instead sat with BMs mom who made it a point to try and tell anyone who would listed how wrong it was the BM was asked not to come.  It would have been so much easier if BM would have just respected the grieving process of SO and told her kids it would be inappropriate to come instead of making it about herself.  Trust me, the family just needs to greive, this is not about you.

Thumper's picture

Send a card to the sil you believe will be 'put off' if you dont show.. Geeze your sil sounds like an ass.




Siemprematahari's picture

without thinking how uncomfortable it would be for me.

I agree with everyone else. Don't be that ExW that shows up knowing it can possibly cause problems. You already stated that it would be uncomfortable for you. Why do you care so much about how your X sister in laws will feel or think of you? What they feel about you should be of no concern. Do yourself a favor and do not attend, you'll thank yourself later.

NancyHines79's picture

I had NEVER had plans or would I even want to attend. My concern was how to deal with my Ex sister in laws WHO could be offended if I did not show up to pay my respects since I had to deal with them still from time to time. Some of you made comments of "why" they would even think I would attend. Well they are Fing weird that way. Let me explain...When I was married to my EX husband and his nieces were young there would be Kid birthday parties at my sister-in-laws house. My Ex had a young son who would of course be invited to the birthday parties also. One would think it would be my ex husband who would bring his young son right??? WRONG! If nieces birthday party fell on BM's parenting weekend SHE came and STAYED the whole time to the party. Talk about awkward. My Ex told BOTH sister's how uncomfortable it made him to have his exwife hanging out at his sister's house with his whole family and him and they BOTH told him "to bad grow up or don't come".  There was a NUMBER of years we missed the nieces birthday parties because the sister-in-laws openly welcomed this nutcase into their home rather than asking politely if SS could just be dropped off or switched weekends so their brother could attend the party in piece.  


juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

You don't. You don't deal with them. You left that family, or that family left you. 

Trying to foster relationships with that family will only lead to problems and malice. It's a side effect of leave your ex, or your ex leaving you. They aren't your business anymore. I'm sure he would be more comfortable without you, and his sister will get over it.

You're enabling dysfunction, and a part of me thinks you like it, since you're so adamant about expressing your feelings on the matter.

hereiam's picture

If they get offended when you do not attend, just tell them that you didn't think it was appropriate.

ESMOD's picture

You send her the letter.. condolences.  I'm sorry I won't be able to attend... for the sake of the family and whatnot.  

If she is offended.. you just won't be able to help that.  

Siemprematahari's picture

My concern was how to deal with my Ex sister in laws WHO could be offended if I did not show up to pay my respects

I see what you're saying......In all honesty I wouldn't concern myself about them being "offended" or not, that's just me but should this come up, just be real. I'd say something like " your brother and I don't get along and I dont want to cause any tension during this difficult time". You really don't owe them an explanation but if you feel the need to that's good enough. Now will they like it or not....who knows but it's not your problem.....

Just keep it movin''s not that serious for you to even be burdened by my humbled opinion of course.

momjeans's picture

I agree with the above: don’t attend, send a card, maybe flowers, and reach out to ex SIL.

My ex DH refused to abide by my wishes of NOT going to see my mother when she was on her deathbed and in hospice. It was utterly disrespectful to me and my family and I was incredibly upset by it. Plus, my mom didn’t care much for him, so it felt rather icky.

Sandybeaches's picture

I just don't get the snarkyness??????

OP came here to the forum to ask what she should do in a situation that she was feeling a bit obligated to.  She never said she wanted to go. She was feeling a bit obligated and was looking for validation to NOT attend and a possible solution if someone became offended for her absence.  Keep in mind her Ex cheated on her and left her and she has not kept up with the family so it doesn't sound like she is looking for a way in to the family and using the funeral to do that.  She doesn't deserve the snarky comments but I guess that is some posters first reaction.

With that said I agree best for all if you do not attend.  My suggestion would be to contact your former sister-in-laws that you are close to either by card, letter or a call at some point.  I would not even explain why I was not there I would just send condolences.  If you really are close enough and want to tell them that would be fine too.  If I sent flowers at all it would be to the sister-in-laws house not the funeral home.  I am not sure how many years have passed or if you have children with your ex but this is enough for an ex that you have not had contact with the MIL for years.

I also do agree that we should evaluate all relationships before we attend wakes and funerals.  Be it friends or ex's.  If  relationship has been strained it is never the time to fix it or make someone who has lost someone uncomfortable.  I also believe wakes with a quick walk through the line pay your respects and leave when you do go, NEVER funerals for any reason!  No need to spend the day being uncomfortable on both sides.  

I am sorry for what you are going through.  Very difficult choice and you don't deserve the snarkyness... I get where you are coming from!!


Rags's picture

I would contact one or all of your XSILs and get their input. If one of them invites you, then go of you wish.  If XH or his whore say a word, say you are an invited friend of the family and list who invited you. 

Sit towards the back and do not make a specticle of yourself.  Bring flowers and place them appropriately.

When the time seems appropriate, say your goodbyes to your XSILs and if he is not all wrapped around the axle, express your condolences to your XH as well. Ignore his whore.

I have thought about whether or not to attend the funeral(s) of my XFIL/XMIL and likely would.  They were good to me and I liked them, before the embezzlement crap came to light 19 years after the divorce from their cavern crotched adulterous whore of a daughter was final.  I might attend though I would not go out of my way if I am not fairly local to the services when they happen and I am not entirely sure.  Yet.

Be radiant, be classy, go pay your respects to your XMIL and your XSILs.   XH and his whore can FO.

NancyHines79's picture

Wanted to follow up. No like I said I did not Go to either the funeral or the wake. The obituary requested no flowers so I sent a nice fruit/nuts Basket to the mother-in-law’s house with a simple card With my condolences. This was 6 days ago and I have not heard anything from my ex sister in law or anyone but guessing they got it. Someone on here made a comment about is my ex’s first wife Attending and actually she did. (I’m his second exwife and he’s on his third wife now)To both the Wake and funeral. There was Actually pictures of her with “the family” on my ex sister in laws Facebook page at the wake.  I’m sure my ex and his new wife loved that. 

Rags's picture

You and XW#1 could have tag teamed XH if he or future XW #3 pulled any crap.

What fun!

You were very classy in how you dealt with it.  The fruit and nut basket was perfect.