Wedding ChurchHow do parents feel when their children announce their own divorce? How does that decision affect your siblings? There are relationships that you build and depend on outside of your own family and spouse when you marry or commit to someone. Does that new relationship just end the day you are no longer married? Is it okay with your own child that you continue to communicate with their ex-spouse?

In my own experience, it was very difficult for my ex-husband to let go of my family. We had shared so much with them and they were his family too. I was not very sympathetic to his feelings at the time and wanted my family to rally around me and me alone.

I remember the awkward moment at my former mother-in-law’s funeral when the family was sitting in a special room and my kids were there crying and I didn’t know if it would be okay for me to go into the room.   This was when I felt the divorce from his family the most.  My kids needed me to comfort them and yet I was somehow a stranger not invited in.

It is so important to remember that if you have children together, they are not divorcing their grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins — make sure to go out of your way to keep those connections vital to your children’s growth.  They need all the love and support that family members can bring.  They have the right to build adult relationships and make memories with your ex-spouse’s family.

As the years have gone by and I healed within my own self, I have remained good friends with my ex-husband who is and always will be the father of my children. While he does not see my family often, he is always a part of our conversations and included in all family events. He has never left our family and that has truly helped our children avoid having to pick which parent to be with and free to build their relationships with both families.

Please share your stories of family after the divorce by posting comments below.  I would love to hear how this situation was handled in your own life.

 

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