Author Topic: A divorce etiquette question  (Read 6031 times)

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Knitterly

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2013, 01:48:30 PM »
I agree.  If they would both like to attend family events together so that their children have mommy and daddy there, and they are not disruptive, I think they should both be invited.  I think it is a step in the right direction in trying to maintain a civil relationship for the children.

And in spite of being divorced, I do think that parents can remain civil and attend family events together for their children's sake.

Things might change years after the divorce when one or both move on and remarry.  Or they may reconcile, in which case, following their wishes and not excluding stbx may be good for healing relationships.

Auntie Mame

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2013, 02:09:12 PM »
It sounds to me like the family is creating tension and drama that isn't there.  As long as the divorcing couple are behaving themselves at events I fail to see the problem with inviting them both.  Your friend needs to stop creating drama where there isn't drama.
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Moray

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2013, 02:12:42 PM »
It sounds to me like the family is creating tension and drama that isn't there.  As long as the divorcing couple are behaving themselves at events I fail to see the problem with inviting them both.  Your friend needs to stop creating drama where there isn't drama.

This. Yes, it's uncomfortable, but the only thing the family can, and should, do is deal with inappropriate behavior when or if it arises. As long as everyone behaves, wishes should be respected.
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Jaelle

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2013, 03:59:09 PM »
Okey doke. Will pass that along. I will be diplomatic. :)

I do get the impression the STBX isn't well-liked, which probably makes a big difference.
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
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Sharnita

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2013, 04:02:50 PM »
Well if the mom has shared his dins against her, the things  he has said or done it  might be hard to be friendly.

Lynn2000

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2013, 04:08:45 PM »
Okey doke. Will pass that along. I will be diplomatic. :)

I do get the impression the STBX isn't well-liked, which probably makes a big difference.

Re: the bolded, that may very well be true. But, maybe you could tell your friend that it would probably help her relative a great deal if her relatives could remain generally friendly and polite and "all is well." If they stay together, there won't be any unpleasant memories from this time re: family gatherings. And if they continue to separate, the relatives won't be adding to the tension in the family, which could sour things like child support negotiations, etc.. Not that the relatives would be outright rude, of course, but maybe if they think of it in this light, they'll feel more confident about what to do.
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m2kbug

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2013, 11:44:17 AM »
Personally, that's a no-no.  If someone my family continued to socialize with my ex-husband, I would probably back away from that family member and minimize my own contact with that person.  I would not attend events like Christmas or Easter if chose to invite him.  I don't need my post-divorce life intermixing with the ex.  I just don't know how he would interpret anything I do you what he hears from family.  He has come up with tall tales in the past.  He doesn't need to know my personal life.  I expect family to treat him nicely and I don't care if they talk occasionally, but full friendship is no longer. 

There are occasions where we have to share airspace, and I realize when the kids are older, graduations, weddings, baby's first birthday, there will be more family mixing, but that's the only time I see this as acceptable.  I don't socialize with his family but for the rare occasion.  I lost them in the divorce and that's okay.

If there's any event around the kids where the families blend, that's fine and that's where my comfort zone ends. 

Now because they are still living under the same roof, this brings up another issue of still attending events as a family.  I just don't know if it would be wrong to not invite the ex-husband since they are still living together.  I would prefer not to, but etiquette-wise, just not sure about that one.

snowdragon

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2013, 06:52:26 PM »
OK, back after asking some questions.

They are not disruptive, she says, aside from the occasional snarky comment. But since everyone in the family knows that it's happening (and apparently the STBX has been a real donkey about some things), no one really knows how to behave. She herself said she gets a stomachache from the tension in the air. :P  And it's worse because no one knows if the kids know, and no one wants to ask, and everyone is worried about giving something away in front of them.


  I would not be inviting the husband, if the wife is my relative and she and XH/STBX can not be together with each other without causing so much tension that people get physically sick. Sorry Wife does not get to dictate that everyone else has a miserable holiday/event because she wants to play pretend.  She simply has no right to expect to be able to make everyone else miserable for her. 
  If she tried to pull the "all or nothing for the kids" - well we'll miss the kids but everyone else has the right to an enjoyable holiday/event too.  The father should be expected to show up at his children's events...and no where else.
 

Sharnita

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2013, 07:03:47 PM »
It isn't just that the wife wants' everyone to given in to her interests but more that it sounds like at different sides she has had opposing interests that she expected the family to support.  When she was upset with what STBX did/is doing she shares the details with the relatives so they will agree he is the bad guy/done her wrong/whatever but now her goals have changed and everybody has to somehow forget the negative behaviors she informed them about and treat him as a good guy.  It would have been much easier for them to do that if she hadn't made sure they knew he was a "bad" guy.

Tea Drinker

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2013, 07:57:43 PM »
I don't think there's an agreed-on set of rules for dealing with an ex's family, because what the people who are splitting want varies so much, as well as what sort of relationship people may have built up with in-laws, cousins-by-marriage, and the like.

But "don't ask people for mutually contradictory things, and get annoyed if they don't read your mind" is a meta-rule. The person described is coming close to breaking it, because in social terms you can't both pretend that all is well between a couple, and invite only one of them to events to avoid upsetting the other. People are either a social unit, or not, and most of us are going to get fed up with being asked to keep track of repeated changes back and forth on that. Even if we don't get fed up--there's probably an app for tracking these things, for people who don't want to use their address books and a pencil--sooner or later someone won't get the latest update, and will invite both people at the wrong time, or exclude one and be asked "but what about Murgatroyd?"
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turnip

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Re: A divorce etiquette question
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2013, 08:33:03 PM »
Our Christmas gather last year included my uncle, his wife, his ex, my brother, and my brother's ex girlfriend.  We just don't let people out of our family that easily ;-).   Obviously, everyone gets along well, and the ex-girlfriend might have been unusual (it was a relatively recent breakup ) but she doesn't have other family on this continent, and we've known her so long ( almost 10 years )  that we all hated to have her spend her holidays alone.  My brother was fine with this, as he has been encouraging us to keep in touch with her.

My uncle and his ex have been divorced and co-parenting for about 20 years now so that was smooth and easy.   My brother and his ex were occasionally awkward - he's been dating a bit, he avoided talking about it - but overall everyone had a good time.

So my inclination is to invite both, and let them work out if and how they want to arrange things.