Dealing With Your In-Laws During and After Your Divorce
While in-laws often get a bad rap on television shows and in movies, many of us end up forming close, loving bonds with our spouse’s family. When you are going through a separation and are considering filing for a divorce, these relationships can easily become strained and awkward. During divorce proceedings and after your divorce is finalized, the warmth between you that once existed may dampen, with your ex’s family members acting distant or even downright hostile. The following are some tips on how to deal with these changes, as well as how to forge new relationships that respect the changing roles each of you plays in the other’s life.
Keeping Peace With Your Ex In Laws
The breakup of a marriage affects more than just the divorcing couple. Extended family members become emotionally close and bonded to each other, and the fallout when the marriage fails negatively impacts everyone involved. According to an etiquette expert at Emily Post, if you have grown close to your spouse’s family during the marriage, there is no reason these relationships cannot remain close after the divorce. The following tips can help you maintain loving bonds with those you care about:
- Be respectful of the changed circumstances. Do not bad mouth your ex to their family members or discuss details of the divorce proceedings.
- Realize a period of adjustment is required. Understand that you may not be welcome at regularly scheduled family events, such as birthdays or holidays, until the dust has settled from your divorce.
- Accept permanent changes in the relationship. Family get togethers, shopping trips, and other social activities may be a thing of the past. Your relationship may end up changing to one of the occasional phone call or card. Accept these changes as graciously as you can, and be open to new possibilities.
Being An ‘Outsider’
Not everyone gets along with their in-laws, and some spouse may be perfectly content to have limited or no contact with them after the divorce. In other circumstances, you could find yourself feeling lost and cut off from a family that you have come to know and love. A Huffington Post report on being ‘dumped’ by your in laws acknowledges it can be both puzzling and hurtful to find yourself an outsider. It is important to not take these actions personally, and to realize that there are several reasons your in-laws may have chosen to cut off contact with you:
- They blame you for the divorce;
- They have been instructed not to have contact with you by your ex;
- They are unsure of how to proceed, and it is easier to simply ignore you and the situation.
To smooth over hard feelings, give everyone time to recover emotionally. Be willing to take the first step in building bridges, such as by sending a card on the holidays, or making a point of being polite and pleasant if you run into them at the store or in some other public place.
We Can Help You Today
If you are separated from your spouse and contemplating a divorce, contact the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC today. Our experienced Florida divorce attorney can help guide you through the legal options available, while acting as a strong legal advocate to protect your rights and interests.