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User Topic: Holidays
bummedhusband
Member
Member # 22558
Default  Posted: 2:18 AM, November 18th (Monday)

I have been divorced now for a few years, and both me and my ex thought about giving it another shot a couple of times, but nobody ever made that next step, which is fine. We are both ok in that now, and I think are comfortable with the whole situation.

My question is does anybody ever spend any time at the holidays with their ex in-laws? I have always gone there for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. It's a huge gathering, and my kids (grown) go, and since we were married for so long I am very close to everybody especially since both of my parents passed away and I'm an only child.

The issue is that this is kind of a deal-breaker for my girlfriend, and I'm in a total quandry over it. The holidays are not a very fun time for me, and this is just a way to get through it, not to mention I enjoy seeing everybody. She thinks it is a them vs her, and by doing this, I am trying to get back together with my ex. This is probably the only time, other than a couple of random things with a granddaughter event I even see her. And it's just dinner- It's a two hour drive from where I live. I eat, hang out for awhile, and then leave. I could invite her, but to tell the truth, I think that may add more stress to an already depressing time for me.

Does anyone else have good relations with their ex in-laws? Am I way off base here? I really like this person, and we have been dating awhile, but I just don't see the big deal here. I think if the tables were turned I would not have an issue with that at all.

I would love an objective opinion, as it has me really stressed.


Me: BH 49yo, Married 20+years
DD: April 2008
Divorce was final in February 2009

Posts: 268 | Registered: Jan 2009
cmego
Member
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:06 AM, November 18th (Monday)

My gut reaction is that you should go do what you want to do, but plan to meet your girlfriend that evening? Go out of your way to show her that you want to spend time with her too.

I don't have a relationship with my ex-inlaws. They are horrible people. But, my ex has hung out with my family for holidays/birthdays. He stays at my house Christmas Eve too (we have youngish kids).

Ex was invited to my Mom's for Thanksgiving (again, we do it for the kids….) but since he knows most of my family can't stand ex, he has declined this year. I'm trying to see if I can find a way to get the kids home early so he can see them that evening. *IF* my family was OK with ex, I think he would hang out more. But, everything he did to me, and not showing that he is a pretty selfish Dad, no one has any respect for him.

Just some thoughts….
You mention several times that the holidays are hard for you, and I'm guessing that is what has your girlfriend anxious. If you are sooooo sad and the only "fix" is for you to go hang out with your ex and her family…I'd probably have a bit of concern too. You said, "It's just dinner…." in a minimizing way. You also haven't shown any understanding (from this message) that you see why your girlfriend might be uncomfortable. Did your girlfriend invite you to do something and you turned her down? Was she trying to make "new memories"?

If it were me, I'd appreciate my SO making accommodations to see me during a time that he knew is stressful for me.


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4144 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
cayc
Member
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 7:10 AM, November 18th (Monday)

Ok, not to be harsh, but ... if I had been dating a man "awhile" who still spent big holidays with his ex-in-laws and junkie ex-wife whom he clearly still has feelings for, professed not to like going but just did it to get through the holidays, didn''t invite me, didn''t give any indication that this state of affairs would ever change, and when I voiced my concern said "meh, I don''t get why you''re making a big deal about it" ... my feelings would be invalidated, I would assume my feelings didn''t matter to you, I would assume you weren''t over your ex-wife and weren''t ready to move on to a new relationship, and that if I stick with you, this is what it''s going to be like when I state my preferences.

Expressed like that, can you see your girlfriend''s POV? Did you invite her to come with you? Both holidays? There''s no changing it up and inviting the grown children to your house to have dinner with girlfriend?

Technically no, there''s nothing wrong with you still socializing with the ex-in-laws. But it does give the whiff of not moving on, it does give the whiff of an unwillingness to include the girlfriend and even you profess not to like going. Maybe this is the year to change it up a little and see what happens.


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3089 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, November 18th (Monday)

I still have a good relationship with my inlaws and a standing invitation to all holiday celebrations. However, if my ex is there, then I do not attend and make arrangements to see them another time.

My inlaws were very accepting people, so there were always ex's who were visiting. I can remember my brother-in-laws' current wife, baby mama and former gf all being at one holiday dinner This would not be acceptable for me though.

Ok, not to be harsh, but ... if I had been dating a man "awhile" who still spent big holidays with his ex-in-laws and junkie ex-wife whom he clearly still has feelings for, professed not to like going but just did it to get through the holidays, didn''t invite me, didn''t give any indication that this state of affairs would ever change, and when I voiced my concern said "meh, I don''t get why you''re making a big deal about it" ... my feelings would be invalidated, I would assume my feelings didn''t matter to you, I would assume you weren''t over your ex-wife and weren''t ready to move on to a new relationship, and that if I stick with you, this is what it''s going to be like when I state my preferences.

^^^This....I have to agree with Cayc. I would feel this way if I were your SO.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13753 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
hummingbird8
Member
Member # 25086
Default  Posted: 10:00 AM, November 18th (Monday)

Yes you are way off base. We talk about boundaries here all the time, this is crossing a big boundary. If you would be too stressed to invite your girlfriend and this is too important for you to give up, let your girlfriend go so she can find a man who will appreciate her and treat her like she deserves.

Posts: 504 | Registered: Aug 2009
GabyBaby
Member
Member # 26928
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, November 18th (Monday)

I also agree with Cayc. I would not long be in a relationship with a man who would not include me on these "family that's not really family" dinners- especially when he admits that he and his ex were trying to get back together "for a while".

However with regard to your question bout whether anyone else has good relations with their ex in-laws, I'll say this:
I would rather crawl naked through razor blades and broken glass, then take a swim in a pool full of rubbing alcohol than spend any time with my former MIL.


Me - 40s
SorryInSac - WH#2 - 40s. DDay 7/12/14
Married 4, together 7yrs total
Status - ??

DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids - 4 dogs, 2 cats

WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs

I edit often for clarity.


Posts: 6443 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: California
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 10:54 AM, November 18th (Monday)

I have a wonderful relationship with my ex-inlaw, they are good people. However, I generally do not attend events. I visit and bring DS to see them as much as I can, but on holidays I just send DS to the suppers. I don't want it to be awkward for anyone, even if they treat me wonderfully.

EXH has a girlfriend (not the OW) and I don't her to be uncomfortable, she did nothing wrong and I don't want my BF to be uncomfortable either. So I just err on the side of caution.


BS (me) 40
WH - 48
Married 12 years
DS - 12
D-day 06/21/09
Separated....hopefully divorcing soon.

Posts: 630 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Canada
EvenKeel
Member
Member # 24210
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, November 18th (Monday)

I grew up with this:

My Mom remained close to her X-ILs. She did not attend the holiday dinners but always made a point to visit some other time during the holidays.


ON THE OTHER SIDE:
My uncle and aunt D'd. My aunt would still come to my grandparents (her X-ILs) for all holidays regardless if her ex was attending or not.
In hindsight, this had to be as ackward as it could be since my uncle brought along this MOW to the holidays.

Vision my uncle in the middle, Ex-aunt on one side and MOW on the other.

Good thing I was a kid then - I was clueless of how awful this had to be for the adults.

Back to your question - I see nothing wrong with having a relationship with your X-ILs. However, if you are serious about your GF, I would expect you to be making new traditions with her.

You could always visit your X-ILs another day (outside of the family dinners) and include your GF if she is interested.

My mom took her new husband to see my grandparents all the time.....he was accepted and never made to feel out of place.


Eyes are useless if the mind is blind.


Posts: 2100 | Registered: May 2009 | From: Pa
lynnm1947
Member
Member # 15300
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, November 18th (Monday)

My former husband and I separated amicably in 1985. Until they died, I was invited to events at my XIL's and I went, too, with my kids and without my SO. I'd been part of that family for many years and my H's cousins were friends. My H brought along girlfriends to these events. When my XH and I divorced many years later and he remarried, his wife found this arrangement quite distasteful. Never mind that it had worked for us for more than a decade. She felt that my MIL should not invite me; my MIL paid her no attention. HOWEVER, these events were NOT major holidays like Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Days. Those were always spent with my SO and my children, when they weren't with their dad.


Age: 64..ummmmmmm, no...............65....no...oh, hell born in 1947. You figure it out!

"I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance." Garth Brooks


Posts: 7213 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Toronto, Canada
StillLivin
Member
Member # 40229
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, November 18th (Monday)

I adore ALL of my ILs. It's the STBXH that I cannot stomach.
If you are serious with this woman, than it is a respect thing. If it bothers her, then it is wrong. Period.
If you are not that serious, then you don't really owe her that much respect, but then, why be with her.
If it were me, I would make time to see my ILs on a different day, say Christmas Eve, or a day after Christmas.
Special holidays are for special people. Is she special enough to spend the holidays with, or just someone to date until someone else catches your fancy?
I would feel funny if a SO didn't want to spend a holiday with me. Matter of fact, I would probably dump him because that would show me he doesn't treasure me and respect how I feel.
I think you may need to dig deeper and find out why this season is so depressing for you. Maybe find ways to cope better for the holidays. Don't you have any other relatives, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.? That is family too.


I don't need further confirmation of what a fuckwit he is. I already have plenty, thanks very much. -SBB
D: 7/2/2014

Posts: 2237 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: AZ
bummedhusband
Member
Member # 22558
Default  Posted: 4:33 PM, November 18th (Monday)

Thanks for this reality check... Obviously I needed it.


Me: BH 49yo, Married 20+years
DD: April 2008
Divorce was final in February 2009

Posts: 268 | Registered: Jan 2009
ladies_first
Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 4:52 PM, November 18th (Monday)

How is your self-awareness?

Take a look at your other visible posts, and see if you can identify a pattern or theme.

To R or not to R
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=467830&HL=22558

Thinking about reconciliation... but ?
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=481950&HL=22558


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
ChoosingHope
Member
Member # 33606
Default  Posted: 7:50 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)

Ok, not to be harsh, but ... if I had been dating a man "awhile" who still spent big holidays with his ex-in-laws and junkie ex-wife whom he clearly still has feelings for, professed not to like going but just did it to get through the holidays, didn't invite me, didn't give any indication that this state of affairs would ever change, and when I voiced my concern said "meh, I don't get why you're making a big deal about it" ... my feelings would be invalidated, I would assume my feelings didn't matter to you, I would assume you weren't over your ex-wife and weren't ready to move on to a new relationship, and that if I stick with you, this is what it's going to be like when I state my preferences.

THIS^^^

More than that, I think I would start trying to figure out why the holidays depressed me so much and start working on THAT instead of hanging on to my ex's family.

Things change. You have to adjust your sails and move in another direction if you want to be happy.


Posts: 1697 | Registered: Oct 2011
Pentup
Member
Member # 20563
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)

How about inviting your kids and their families to your house a different evening. Start a new tradition!

I see what everyone is saying, but in my family, if you married them, then you do not get to choose to not have them at a gathering. It is awkward at times and sometimes certain people do not show. That is always their choice. But once you are family, you are always family (if you want to be and are civil and respectful, that goes for married or blood). New SO of the married in??... That would not be encouraged,, we would kind of expect them to be doing their own thing at that point.


Me- BS
Him- FWS (I hope- F)

Posts: 6583 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Not Oz
Topic Posts: 14