When Inlaws Become Outlaws

When your family hears that you are about to divorce, they rally around you offering support; however, that most likely is not the case with your inlaws. What happened? You’ve been married for 20 years and now your Ex’s family has gone radio silent. They don’t answer your calls or text messages. You expected more!

Divorce is, at most times, anger driven with the fights and the separation, the nasty words between you and your Ex, fights over custody and wrangling over financial matters. The Outlaws son or daughter warns them not to contact you because you are evil, nasty, and greedy (take my side). That’s a communications minefield for the soon to be Outlaws.

Give it time. Of course, if they really didn’t like you from the start you can’t expect them to miss you very much.  After all, their opinion of you has  been vindicated. Hey, if you never liked them much either then it’s a “win-win.”

For most of us, it hurts to lose these family connections. What can you do besides waiting for all of the pain and anger to subside? Snail mail them (in case they deleted you from Facebook, etc) pictures of the kids. Let them know about upcoming events (graduation, birthdays, school plays/sports) and invite them. Don’t bad mouth their child – your EX. It may take months, or years, but this is really about your kids and their future family relationships. I still call my ex-mother-in-law my mother-in-law and visit her often along with phone calls. It was bumpy at first because neither of us had any experience in the landmines of divorce.

Now I speak to each Ex asking you to encourage your family to be kind and respectful of your soon-to-be Ex. The Ex is still the parent of your child and deserves respect as “parent.” You may hate them as a husband or wife, but the both of you created this lovely child. Don’t deprive your child of the love and connection to their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

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