Ripples of divorce…

One of the unexpected issues encountered since the divorce relates to the awkward connection to former in-laws, who have been part of my life for over 25 years.  These are not the garish get-in-your-business, fart-on-your-couch, borrow-your-money, eat-all-your-food, stay-too-long-at-your-house kind of in-laws*, but the pleasant and thoughtful ones.  People you genuinely welcome into your life…

This morning, i received word that my former Mother-in-Law died.  A brief instant message from my former Sister-in-Law saying that “We lost Mom this morning.  E** was with her when it happened”.  At 89 years old, after a lifetime of serious heart trouble and a five year tussle with progressive dementia, she cashed in…

It’s too early to know details, but there will likely be a service this week.  i would genuinely like to “pay my respects”, hug these good folks, and wish them peace… it is not a sense of duty or obligation that drives my desire to attend. 

The awkwardness is in regard to E’s new girlfriend… He’s been involved with a woman for over a year but we’ve never crossed paths.  All i’ve got is basic intelligence from the kids, who say she’s very sweet, thoughtful*** and perhaps a little insecure about me – not fully comprehending the concept that divorce need not be messy. 

So i’ll plan to do a brief “hit and run”, sit in the back and all that good stuff.  I will give E advance notice, and let him know that i can bag the idea if it would cause him additional stress.

Maybe there are small, hidden benefits to a bitter and angry divorce?  When it’s done, you can replace the void with a nice dose of “good riddance”.  Instead of being caught off guard a couple years later by a sense of sorrow, failure and loss…


* That would be the kind my ex-husband had to endure…

** E is my ex-husband.  He moved his parents in with him 5 years ago when they couldn’t manage on their own.  They welcomed the move to Ohio since they were pissed off that their votes hadn’t counted in the prior presidential election in Florida.  Oops…  E has his own consulting business, mostly working from home.  Although he has two sisters, he was in the best position to care for his parents – but it has been very difficult… 

*** Initial description was “Martha Stewart-y” – which would be about 180 degrees out of phase with daisyfae. 

15 thoughts on “Ripples of divorce…

  1. i cannot imagine that if his girlfriend is half the woman that the kids seem to think she is she would object one iota to you being there and taking part in everything.. you are after all family and have been for decades.. she knows that and will more than likely wonder where you are and why you are not taking part if you choose not to do so… people are basically good… and something about death usually brings out the best in the living… until they get around to reading the will……

  2. My condolences to you and yours…especially E. And hugs being sent your way psychically…or psychotically…whatever…

  3. paisley – i think it’ll work out. just snuck up on me that it might even be an issue… i also like to believe people are basically good, but have been proven wrong often enough to have become a bit guarded in that optimism!

    wanderer – thanks. psychotic hugs are the best kind!

  4. I can identify with how you’re feeling. was very sad when my mother in law died, even though I’d been divorced a couple of years by then.

    she had lived with us for 5 years so we’d been close for quite a while. to be honest, she was part of the reason I stayed with my husband so long. But it got to the point where I was waiting for her to die before I did anything about leaving and that felt pretty awful too.


  5. kyknoord – maybe for the next person who drops on my side of the clan. i seem to be the chosesn eulogizer… although i thought i might do my next one as interpretive dance…

    nm – it was a small factor in my decision to wait a bit longer – partly due to the difficulty i knew E was having shouldering the responsibility for taking care of his parents. Pretty amazing people, they were still in their mid-80’s when they moved in with him… his Dad (at 89) is still quite active!

  6. I think you are taking a thoughtful and decent approach. She is your kid’s grandmother, and you appear to still have love for the family. I think you are taking the right approach, and hopefully it will all work out.

  7. I’ve done hundreds of divorce cases, and the ones people survive best are those where everyone agrees to disagree, in effect, and they acknowledge the importance each has had in the other’s lives. So kudos for you for your thoughtfulness and humanity. I’m sure it has paid off multiple times for your children.

  8. uncle keith – i like these people. there are 4 particular nieces/nephews who will be in town that i would love to see again. i missed a family wedding this summer – partially in deference to the new girlfriend (wanted to give her a chance to meet the clan). It should be ok…

    awalkabout – it takes two parents to pull that off, and he’s done his part. must be a bit depressing to handle the bad ones…

  9. You are a good person to worry about the girlfriend’s feelings. If she objects, tell the bitch to get over it, you were there first.

  10. “i also like to believe people are basically good, but have been proven wrong often enough to have become a bit guarded in that optimism!”

    You are a better and kinder person than I am, daisy. I tend to expect people to be only as good as they feel like being, which is often ‘not very’ when it requires them to make a bit of effort.

    Caring about other people’s feelings is a good thing, and so even though things turned out differently than what you’d have liked, I know you’ll come through it all with flying colours … and to hell with petty-minded people who can’t see beyond their own emotional crap to consider anybody else’s feelings. *hug*

  11. bc – after an e-discussion with my ex, we agreed that it was better for me to sit this one out. while i’m disappointed, i genuinely understand. one of the grand challenges for us as a couple was always his anxiety at ‘multi-tasking’ in contrast to my need to parallel-process in order to prioritize. He has been overloaded with family issues, and to add any extraneous stress would make things worse.

    az – i sent food, flowers, and will send sympathy notes to the family members. no need to tell them why i wasn’t there. it really has turned into quite a zoo, and the kids were dreading the looming chaos as well. oh, and there will be snow. i’m home with a ‘well-aged Scot’ tonight…

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