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    Old 11-27-2004, 03:47 PM   #1
    Misindale
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    Ex-wife at dinner

    Hello,
    I'm newly married and I have a bit of a problem. My husbands ex-wife is
    invited to all the family functions. I've talked with her a few times and she
    seems to be a nice lady but isn't this a little wierd? She is friends with my
    husbands family and they seem to just love her so what can I do? If I make a stink about it then they will resent me. During thanksgiving dinner she sat at the table eating dessert with his family, and I, the wife, sat in the living room in the recliner. I've said something to my husband and he says what do you want me to do, she's friends with my family. Am I overeacting? I'm not jealous, I'm annoyed. But at the same time the woman doesn't really have any
    family so I guess these people are her family and I'm trying to be compassionate toward her. I genuinely like her and I don't feel threatened by her so I'm trying to figure out why I'm so ****** over this. suggestions anyone?

    Dale

     
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    Old 11-27-2004, 04:24 PM   #2
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Hi Dale,

    I wouldn't say that you were over-reacting at all, I think it would be a normal response to feel a little awkward. And it is very noble of you to have shown so much compassion so far... a lesser person may not have. May I ask why you did not join the family at the table to eat dessert? This family most likely feel sorry for her having no family, and seeing that she was previously married to their son, feel that in some way she is part of the family (which speaks volumes about the nice kind of family they are). Do they have children? And how long have they been divorced? Maybe over time you will notice that they will stop inviting her to ALL the family functions, especially when/if she re-marries or finds another partner. I guess you could always try to play matchmaker to try and speed this up and get rid of her!!!! (only joking).

    I don't really know what advice to give you except that you will probably have to accept that she is there, or kicking up a fuss will indeed make you look like the bad person. Try and think of her as just like a family friend that is always going to be there, and make the best effort possible to get along with the family as much as possible and let them see that you are willing to make an effort to get along with her as well, and I am sure that they will appreciate that. But mainly make a big effort with his family to help them realise that YOU are their daughter-in-law now, and are really part of their family for life now. It's probably just something that time will take care of, as you are after all a new addition to their family and it may take a while for everyone to adjust to this.

    In saying all of this though, I do think that it is a huge strain to be taking on so early when you are trying to get a new marriage off the ground. Could you maybe ask your husband to speak to his parents in private about the fact that this situation makes you feel a little uncomfortable? Or are you close enough to be able to do it yourself? I think that this would be a sort of last resort if the marriage was suffering because of it... and it would need a lot of thought put into it because you do not want to come out appearing petty (which of course you are not, I would be a little p*ssed too I must say).

    Hope you get this resolved soon though, and I must say you are a very noble person, I think I would have hit the roof by now!!! Hopefully someone on this site with perhaps a similar experience will be able to give more insightful advice!!
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    Old 11-27-2004, 05:51 PM   #3
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    I think this is an uncommon situation, but I don't think it is weird.

    When she was married to your husband, more than one bond was created over time. The bond between the daughter in law and the rest of the family. This bond is not always broken or forgotten by other family members just because the marriage in question didn't survive. Just think of how hypocritical it would be for the rest of the family members to turn on and turn off their emotions and relationship with the ex wife based on the couple's decision to end their marriage.

    In many cases, this is not a problem because the divorce proceedings takes on a very hostile nature. The in-laws get involved and they go on and take sides with husband or wife and so the separation among all families is natural and this does not become the problem you are having.

    I think this problem really is between you and your husband, not the rest of the family, nor the ex who was invited by his family. You and your husband always have a choice not to accept the invitation. That's just the way it is. You can accept the fact that your husband is no longer married to her and try to be her friend.

    Put yourself in her situation. How do you think she feels about you? Does it look like she is having a problem with you at these functions? How is the current relationship between your husband and his ex at these functions? Do they still speak to each other or do they seem uncomfortable and try to avoid each other? Was their divorce hostile? Did they have any children together?

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 07:37 PM   #4
    eightball61
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    She probably bonded with the family well. Even though they have broken up/divorce she is still considered a dear friend to the family. My family has been known to stay friends with past ex's of cousins ex. My aunts ex husband (both remarried) is still envited to the family gathers because he is accepted. I knew uncle felt wierd about it at first but within time he adjusted to it.

    I am not saying that its right and most people would feel wierded out by it too. Your feelings are natural. You did say though that you have talk to her and she seems ok. If you can except that then I see know problem. Eventually though it will die off because she will get on with her life and so wont the family.

    If this annoys you to the point where you need to ask you husband to ask them to stop asking her to all things then do so. They may not be able to do it right off but start little by not asking her to all things. They may have broken up but she loves the connection with the family. From what you explain I dont see her as a threat and this is just a friendship but keep you eye out just in case.

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 08:00 PM   #5
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    As ackward as this may be you should take this as a good sign as to the type of people you married into. They do not turn their backs on people. That is rarely seen. Your husband was the one to divorce her, she has done you no wrong. Give her a chance, an honest chance. Invite her for a coffee. You may be surprised how quickly people can bond over a good pot of coffee. If it doesnt work you can say you tried and your husband will see this when you talk to him about it. Good luck

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 08:23 PM   #6
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    I'm going to be in the minority here and disagree but in my opinion, it is not appropriate for her to attend family functions, especially the ones you are also attending. Although it is natural for her to have formed strong bonds with your husband's family and should maintain them if both parties desire it, it should be done outside of big family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think you are very nice to allow this to go one. I would personally throw a fit.. lol.. Well, maybe not but I would make it known to my husband that I am not comfortable with this. Although it is his family's business who they invite to family events, I think it is disrespectful and inconsiderate of them to invite her. Did anyone, ie. his mother, ever pulled you aside and ask you if you are ok with this? If they haven't, then it speaks volumes about how much they care about your comfort. Do they approve of your marriage with your husband? When you mentioned that you sat on the recliner while they were having desert at the table, it gave me the impression that you are feeling like a bit of an outsider. Do you get along well with everyone? Have you been accepted into their family? Do your husband and his ex have any children together? If they do then I would somewhat understand her presence. If they don't, I'm sorry I think it's strange.
    I guess what you do about this depends on how strongly you feel about it. Try speaking to someone like his mom or dad and find out what the reason is for them inviting her. Maybe they are complitely clueless about how you feel. They probably think it's ok because your husband hasn't mentioned anything to them.

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 08:32 PM   #7
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ana_27
    \it should be done outside of big family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. .

    I agree to this 100%.....I do see your view to this whole thing but if they have the family bond then I see no wrong as long as they can talk and somewhat get along. Anyone would feel out of place on this whole but its the husbands position to make sure that his wife feels comfortable. They have to work together to make this work. If she feels out of place then the man of the house needs to speak up to his family and be a man but if they can work sround this and she only goes to like gatherings then there is no wrong. The poster has spoken to her and says that she is ok. They have talked and seems to respect but as I advise I would still keep a close eye on her.

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 05:38 AM   #8
    Misindale
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Thank you all for the quick replys!
    I'll try to answer all questions...

    No, they do not have any children. They have been divorced for quite a few years.

    I get along with his family very well. They all seem to like me.

    I would never say anything to his parents. They seem to be very fond of her.

    I sat in the living room during dessert because I was ****** and I had a feeling of not belonging. My husband noticed I was being extremely quiet and a bit antisocial. I have a way of being a b***h without having to say a word. Hopefully someone noticed I wasn't doing much socializing.

    Husband and the ex do get along. They say things to each other using the "babytalk voice" which really pisses me off.

    She did tell him about 4 years ago that she is still in love with him, so yes I have my eyes WIDE OPEN. Husband says she is like a sister to him.

    Last year his mother asked him if I minded that she was invited to things. My husband knows I'm annoyed but I told him not to dare say anything to his parents because they seem to like her so much and I don't want them to resent me.

    Something I forgot to mention... she even came to my wedding reception. I heard his mother on the phone with him one day after we announced our engagement ( I had the volume turned up loud, that's how I heard) and she said to him "oh, what about Linda? " Should we tell her you are getting married? His parents are just so worried about her. Husband told her we were getting married and then asked me if we could invite her to the reception. Yes, I was ****** but most gracious to her. She did not bring a date. It would be nice if she found a man but I don't see that happening. She is a bit of a loner and kind of strange. Nice, but strange.

    My husbands brother had a party last year only 8 months after I met my husband and they invited her even though they knew I was going to be there. And it wasn't a holiday so there was no reason to invite her.

    So, I don't really see this situation resolving itself. But I have decided that I'm going to be sick during some of the holidays and won't be showing up
    for everything. When they start asking John, hey where's Lisa? then maybe someone can use their common sense and figure out why I haven't come to dinner.

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 05:43 AM   #9
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    The divorce must have been an extremely friendly one if the ex doesn't mind being around your husband and he doesn't seem to mind her being there very much.

    What is the story on their divorce? Did you know him when he was married? And like everyone else asking, are there children??

    Regardless, if they are nice enough to invite her to a traditional holiday family meal, I would have thought they would have been nice enough to consider your feelings...

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 06:51 AM   #10
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    The first question that comes to my mind is if there are children by the first wife? In that case it seems to me that it wouldn't be so unusual that she would have a bond with the family. In that case I would be happy that everyone got along so well. It is better for the kids. However, I would be upset to see her there if there were no kids. And it would take me time to get used to her. I would be praying for her to find a new man for her future and for her to start to bond to a new family.

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 08:06 AM   #11
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Now that you've explained that there aren't any children from the previous marriage, and then added the fact that your husband and his EX talk to each other in "baby-talk" (huh?? how weird is that?), and she's invited practically to everything, from big holidays to house parties--yes, I will say it is more than a little strange. It's very strange. Why did they even get divorced then, if they seem to be getting along so well and his family adores her? Do you know the reason for their divorce? I would feel very uncomfortable with this situation, I must say. Especially knowing that the ex might still have feelings for my husband. And she would definitely NOT be invited to my engagement party. Come on now, you are too nice. This was supposed to be YOUR day; and you agreed to have your fiancee's ex-wife there, just to avoid ******* off his family?? I think a little selfishness is in order. I think your husband and his family are putting his ex wife and her feelings before you. Nobody's saying that they should just cut her out of their lives, but it is disrespectful to you when you have to have her in your face constantly. Don't these people have any common sense? I think that you feel like husband's family favors the ex wife and is closer to her than to you. And it's probably true. I think you should mention to your husband that her presence at every single event is starting to bother you, and I would also tell him to cut out the "baby-talk" with her. What's up with that? That's just inappropriate.

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 08:11 AM   #12
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Another question is why would SHE, the ex want to come to your engagement party? I just don't get it. Isn't it uncomfortable for her too? Was she present at the wedding? Maybe she's really the passive-aggressive type and she knows exactly that her constant and lasting presence alone is sure to put a wedge between you and your husband at some point. I wonder if this woman is really calculated. I mean, I cannot imagine wanting to witness my ex-husband's engagement or wedding and see him happy with his new wife. Even if I had no feelings for him, it would still seem awkward.

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 08:55 AM   #13
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Unless your husband puts his foot down, or you decide to speak up and be honest about your feelings, I really don't see anything ever changing...

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 03:35 PM   #14
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Ruth once again I feel you are right because nothing will change unless something is said. This this kept under and if her husband doesn't do anything then she will still go to these things. Eventually though I feel it will die down but for the time being she knows what needs to be done and its either that or nothing.

     
    Old 11-28-2004, 06:26 PM   #15
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    Re: Ex-wife at dinner

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Misindale
    Thank you all for the quick replys!

    So, I don't really see this situation resolving itself. But I have decided that I'm going to be sick during some of the holidays and won't be showing up
    for everything. When they start asking John, hey where's Lisa? then maybe someone can use their common sense and figure out why I haven't come to dinner.
    The first thing you have to do is stop waiting for other people to read your mind. You've had plenty of opportunities to tell your in-laws or allow your husband to tell them flat-out that yes, it bothers you to have this woman hovering around all the live-long day. I think the writing is on the wall. She has told your husband flat out that she STILL LOVES HIM. How is she ever going to find a new man or a new life when she hasn't made any attempt at all to let go of her old man or old in laws or old life? This woman is waiting, plain and simple. She's calmly, patiently waiting for things to go wrong with you and your husband, she's waiting for him to "come to his senses" and realize their divorce was a mistake, dump you, and come back to her. I really would NOT bypass the holidays for the sake of this woman. For one thing, you'll be giving her exactly what she wants. Second, it's a bit underhanded and passive-aggresive. I think a kind, non-threatening, non-accusing but firm stand would be better. You may even want to just call your in-laws and ask them which events she has been invited to, as you have become rather uncomfortable with how much she is still involved in your husband's life and you would rather skip those events if she's going to be there baby-talking with your man. I also must say, with all due respect, your husband must be either incredibly thick in the head or is just incredibly insensitive to your feelings and doesnt' really care if you stay or go.

     
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