Family Matters
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Should I say something...

A little background I was previously married and my ex's niece is my goddaughter. I've continued to be invited to and go to the family parties for her and her brother's birthdays. My ex attended until he found out I was engaged, since then he hasn't come (it's his family).

Both kids will ask if he's coming to their parties to the point that my goddaughter begged him to come to her birthday party last year and he wouldn't. I feel bad because the only one getting hurt is the kids. Do I try contacting him (we haven't spoken in probably 3 years and the divorce was civil) telling him that I think he should attend the parties for the kids sake, he doesn't have to talk or look at me but should go for the kids or do I just leave it alone? His brother and sister-in-law seem to let it go.

Re: Should I say something...

  • I think you should just stay out of it and let the kids parents deal with their brother.  I doubt he's going to all the sudden say "oh, my ex wife told me I should do this so I better."
  • I would stay out of it.

    If he doesn't know enough on his own what the "right thing to do" is, and if he hasn't decided on his own that he can be around you and your husband, then you probably won't be able to convince him otherwise if you talk to him.

    image
  • I would stay out of it.  It's the parents choice. 

    Are you bringing your fiance to these parties?  If yes, maybe tell the parents that you will leave your fi at home. 

    I think your ex is acting like a big baby.  Seriously, he dislikes you (or the fact that you are engaged to someone else) more than he loves his niece / nephew?  No wonder you divorced him!  He needs to grow up!

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • I would stay out of it. This is something that the parents should be dealing with. Also your ex is the one being the immature one here. You may have to leave fiancee or husband now? at home if this is a problem too?
    image
  • Thanks for the advice ladies. It is sad that a grown "man" can't be adult enough to go for his niece/nephew.

    My H was invited to their parties and has attended. Even when he wasn't able to attend my ex would show.

  • It is sad that he can't act like an adult, but there isn't anything you can do to fix that. Nor should you try.
    Hope is not a strategy.
  • It's easy for us all to sit here and bash him for not being able to put whatever is going on w/ him aside to be there for his neice and nephew.  And to a point, I do agree.

    But at the same time, while you say the divorce was civil, you also haven't talked to him in 3 years.  There is obviously something on his side of this that you don't know about.  Esp as it was your getting engaged that caused this to happen. 

    He's having a hard time w/ something in this equation and I just can't totally bash him for that. 

    I do think it's sad that even when begged by them, he still won't come.  In a perfect world, I do agree that he should be able to put his feelings aside.  But - this isn't a perfect world! 

    To your question, I do agree w/ the others - this isn't something for you to contact him about.  This is up to his brother and SIL to handle if they have a problem w/ it.  I think for you to contact him would be rubbing salt in the wound and there is just too much room for him to perceive anything you say as pity. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
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  • I totally agree with ECB.   Seems like maybe more to the story.   Did he not want to get divorced or something?  
  • We haven't talked in three years because I haven't seen him and there really hasn't been any reason to.

    I can't say if he didn't want to get divorced because he didn't talk about it nor tried to do anything about separating. Nor would he go see a counselor to discuss any issues.

    The only thing I can add toward my relationship with my ex is that his mother has said (now that he's been living back at this parent's house - he's 45 - for a number of years) that she now knows why both his marriages failed, yes he was married prior to me.

    I do agree with PPs that if the kids parent's don't take issue with it, it isn't my place to say something and will leave it be.

  • imagemrsdevilguy:
    I can't say if he didn't want to get divorced because he didn't talk about it nor tried to do anything about separating. Nor would he go see a counselor to discuss any issues.
    This makes him sound like an "avoider".  He avoided his problems w/ you, he avoided talking about them, he avoided getting help for them, and now he's avoiding you. 

    That coupled w/ the fact that he's 45 and living w/ his mom - he sounds a bit immature. 

    In the end, it will be his loss.  And maybe his brother and SIL already realize this - they can't force him to be any closer to their kids than HE wants to be.  if he really wants to avoid parties because you'll be there, that will play a role in defining his relationship w/ his neice and nephew.  While they are upset now, eventually in time they will just come to learn and accept that this is how their uncle is and this is what their relationship w/ him is.

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.
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  • imageliza0828:
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.

    This.

    Maybe instead of going to the family gatherings try and schedule some time to do some thing with your goddaughter before or after? 

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  • imagestinkerbell6879:

    imageliza0828:
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.

    This.

    Maybe instead of going to the family gatherings try and schedule some time to do some thing with your goddaughter before or after? 

    I completely agree with this. When I think back to when I was dating, the last thing I wanted to do was spend time with my ex once we called it quits, even when it ended on good terms. This situation has got to be awkward for him especially since your DH is sometimes there.

    I think you could still spend quality time with your GD outside of family gatherings.

    [IMG]http://i56.tinypic.com/33vlx6a.jpg[/IMG]
  • imageCuardraro:
    imagestinkerbell6879:

    imageliza0828:
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.

    This.

    Maybe instead of going to the family gatherings try and schedule some time to do some thing with your goddaughter before or after? 

    I completely agree with this. When I think back to when I was dating, the last thing I wanted to do was spend time with my ex once we called it quits, even when it ended on good terms. This situation has got to be awkward for him especially since your DH is sometimes there.

    I think you could still spend quality time with your GD outside of family gatherings.

    I'm actually in this group too. Sure you can still spend time with the kids and be a part of their lives.  But now that you're not married into the family anymore I wouldn't see the need to continue attending their gatherings.  IMO a kid's birthday party is for family, and their blood uncle is their family and should be the one there with them.

    Is your new H comfortable attending family parties with your ex's family?

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/x200p0.jpg[/IMG]
  • imageliza0828:
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.

    I have to disagree.. I have kind of been in her goddaughter's position in this situation. And I don't know how old this girl is, but in my case I was old enough to understand what was going on. If uncle will only show up if godmom (his ex) doesn't then that's on him and the kids will most likely know it and they shouldn't miss out on having someone they are close to coming to their parties ect. just because uncle is a big baby. 

  • imageliza0828:
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.
    This thought went through my head too.  Which is part of the reason I can't entirely bash him.  We can all talk the talk here on an anonymous chat board all we want, but I really have to wonder how comfortable most of us would be w/ an ex showing up at our family gatherings.

    I get that it's for the neice, and I think it's great that the brother and SIL are keeping her involved.  And I also think her ex probably has some bigger issues going on too. 

    But even at the simple level - I can't say that I'd be overly thrilled about seeing an ex at family gatherings AND also their new spouse! 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • ya know, I'm torn on this one.  I guess it really depends on how close you are with the kids. If it was me, I would probably avoid small family gatherings and birthdays and do something special with the goddaugther. however, big events and milestones such as graduation parties, sweet 16, recitals/performances, religous milestones such as first holy communion, wedding, etc. I would still definatly make an appearance, with my spouse. If your ex still won't attend those bigger functions b/c you'll be in attendance, then he needs to grow up.

             I also agree that if your previous marriage ended on civil terms, and he still avoids you at his family events...there is something much deeper going on.

  • He doesn't sound very mature. And I can certainly see why he would feel set aside if his entire family is hap hap happy to see his third ex wife at important family events to the extent that they'd rather have her than him. No, he's not behaving as well as he might; but I can understand his feelings, and he is family, after all, you're not.

    You can be this girl's godmother without going to the family events. I'd find somewhere else to be, frankly; and no, I would not call this man and 'talk it out' with him.

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  • imageliza0828:
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.

     

    This.

     

    You get to see your family without having him hanging around and making things awkward. If he considers your presence awkward, then you should really start splitting up the birthday parties / gatherings. Like everything else in a divorce, make it 50/50. You don't even have to talk to him about it, just tell the parents that you won't be able to make it but you'll see the little girl that weekend or something.

  • imagestinkerbell6879:

    imageliza0828:
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but if I were in your shoes I think the gracious thing to do would be to step aside.  This is HIS family, after all.  I'm not saying you should remove yourself from the girl's life-- you can and should still have a relationship with her, since she's your goddaughter. But it seems to me that the relationship shouldn't have to include family gatherings.  While it's considerate of your former SIL and BIL to include you, to me this all sounds really awkward. Honestly, I can see your exH's side in this.  I wouldn't be super thrilled with my ex (and her spouse!) coming to my family's parties.  Should he rise above it?  Maybe, but I can't really blame the guy, either.

    This.

    Maybe instead of going to the family gatherings try and schedule some time to do some thing with your goddaughter before or after? 

     

     

    i agree 100%

    Pregnancy Ticker
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