Trouble with the Ex

Hi, I am divorced but my family still include my ex husband in all family occasions because he is a “good friend” of my sister’s husband. I find myself isolating myself from family as I have no desire to share any of my life with him and his new partner. I divorced him to be separate from him! We have an older teenage daughter with whom he has a not so good relationship and my family have always blamed me for that. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and they never took my side over the years. There is a family wedding coming up soon and I have a big difficulty with attending as he will be there with his partner and I wasn’t even afforded the option of a guest invitation. My daughter is uncomfortable with it as well.

Just for one moment, I am going to be Devils Advocate. You say he and his partner have been invited but further down your mail you say your family didn’t offer you a plus one invitation, are you on your own and is that what’s really bothering you? This is a wedding, a member of your families ‘big day’ and therefore they are perfectly entitled to invite whomever they like to celebrate with them. On the other hand, I can’t believe how insensitive they are to you and your daughter’s feelings considering you have made it quite clear to them how you feel. As you say, you want to move on and you feel uncomfortable in his company but they seem hell bent on continuing to make him (and now his new partner) a part of all your lives. This is a family event – you and your daughter are close ‘family’ and he is not anymore so, with that in mind, I would point out to your relations just how uncomfortable you and your daughter feel about it and before you do, please make sure your daughter really does feel the same as you and is not merely going along with you so as not to hurt your feelings. If you really can’t stand being in the same room with him for this one day and your family won’t budge, then you are perfectly entitled to stand your ground, deliver your present and card wishing them all the very best for their future together but explain that under the circumstances you and your daughter won’t be attending. You may find that if you put your foot down this time, they may think twice about inviting him to close family events again. Of course, it may backfire completely and you find they don’t invite you to family do’s again but at least you will know for sure exactly where you stand in the families eyes and I’m afraid you will have to accept that…

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