Your Mother-in-Law and His Ex
Are They Too Close for Comfort?
BY CLAUDETTE CHENEVERT
Does your mother-in-law stay in touch with the ex? This, despite the problems and issues she’s caused for you and your partner? If so, you may feel betrayed by your mother-in-law or find her talk of “the good old days” off-putting. Not to mention their friendship, which is yet another reminder that the ex is lurking in the background.
This can be—and often is—a frustrating experience for stepmoms, who struggle to move forward while everyone around them seems to grip tightly to the past. Some mother-in-laws maintain such ties to avoid losing contact with their grandchild. Others do it because they genuinely like their former daughters-in-law and want to maintain friendships with them.
In the most unfortunate circumstances, you and your mother-in-law may not get along at all. That was the case for me, in the beginning. You’re civil to one another but have yet to nd common ground. This can make you feel as if she’s purposefully excluding you. Your husband may feel caught in the middle (Surprise!) and not know what to do or how to stand up for you.
Stepmoms in this situation might think or say:
“When is it going to end?”
“After all she’s done to you?!”
“Are they conspiring against me?”
“Why are they going to lunch together?”
“How can she still be invited for the holidays?”
This sort of dynamic, regardless of the reasons behind it or how it plays out, can feel maddening and seem irrational. But, if there’s one thing I want you to know, it’s this: Their relationship has nothing to do with you. You could be the loveliest person on the planet. That will never change the fact that your mother-in-law once had and may still have close ties to the ex.
What you can do is understand why and avoid feeling miserable about it. …To read this article, log in and download the April 2018 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.