My in-laws love my husband's ex. Am I too sensitive?!

Shannon - posted on 03/15/2016 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I got married three years ago and at the time, my in-laws all practically praised me and were SO happy I "replaced" my husband's ex. Well, for some reason they gradually started loving her. They have pictures of her on their wall, they comment on everything on her facebook, and my sisters in law call her part of the family.

My father in law insists on watching her new baby who has no relation to my husband. I feel making her a part of the family is crossing a boundary.
Every time I visit I have to hear about the ex or watch them have a conversation for half hour right in front of me. It's causing me to be very resentful and not want to be at their house.

I'm desperate for some advice! It almost led my husband and I to a divorce last year because I was so hurt that they loved her despite how I felt, and he would just defend them. My husband is cordial with his ex and does not talk to her unless it is about their child, which I am completely fine with. My husband just lets it go that they love her so much. Do you think I should do the same? Or does it make sense that I want nothing to do with them??

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Jodi - posted on 03/15/2016

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I see it totally different to how MaryAnn sees it. I do think you are being too sensitive about it. The ex is the mother of their grandchild, so in a way, she will always be a little bit a part of the family, and she should be encouraged to continue her relationship with the in-laws, in particular, for the sake of their child.

My husband has an ex that has continued to be part of my in-law's family. My husband and the ex have a daughter together but split up many years ago (21 years to be exact). I have now been married to my husband for 12 years (together for 14). The ex has also since moved on, remarried and had more children. She continued to visit my in-laws and was considered part of the family, as were her other children (the ones she had with her new husband). They treated ALL of the children the same. When my father-in-law passed just last year, they were all included on the obituary as part of the family. He was their grandpa too.....if not by blood, by acceptance and love.

My husband doesn't talk to his ex either - he doesn't like her at all. He is civil and respectful, and we both accept that this is the decision my in-laws made, and they have a right to make that decision. I can't choose how they choose to continue to interact with my husband's exes. That would be controlling and overbearing. I am a mature adult. I acknowledge that my husband has a past, my step-children have mothers, and those mothers will always be a part of our lives and the lives of our in-laws. Ultimately, the children are the ones who have benefited from this relationship - by the ex maintaining a good relationship with the in-laws, the children have been able to maintain stronger relationships with their grandparents through more frequent visits.

Why does their love for the ex have to take away from you? Is it actually taking anything away from you? Maybe they were happy when your husband and his ex broke up because the ex wasn't good for him? That doesn't make the ex a bad person - just not the person who could make their son happy. That doesn't mean they don't care for her.

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Amber - posted on 03/18/2016

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You have every right to be upset, but if you want your marriage to work you have to find a way to deal with it.

Felica - posted on 03/17/2016

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I can relate to you to Shannon instead of being married we are engaged it is hard dealing with it but as I must realize when there is a child involved its not about you or me its about the child im sure they dont mean to do these things but its just they know things are and is trying to keep the peace. I need to use my own advice.

Raye - posted on 03/16/2016

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Sorry if you took my comments as rude. It wasn't meant that way. I just think there's a bigger picture that you're not seeing. And if it already almost ruined your marriage once, that your husband can't control other people, then I was just observing that it might not be the right relationship for you. Or, get counseling to help you get over it. Because your reaction to it is the only thing you CAN control.

Shannon - posted on 03/16/2016

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Okay well it seems out of line to be so harsh about it. I'm seeking help about it, and I have accepted my husband's past. I didn't realize all that it entailed with my inlaws and it caused a lot of strain for us. So this IS me moving forward and figuring out what I need to do to make it better.
Your advice (raye and jodi) has been helpful, but Raye's is just rude.

Raye - posted on 03/16/2016

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I agree 100% with Jodi. Your husband has clear boundaries with his ex, and that's great that you and he are on the same page. But neither you nor your husband can control what his parents do. They are the grandparents of at least one of her children, so they should continue a relationship with her. I actually wrote my ex-wife-in-law a letter that said that I consider her part of my family. I personally don't like the EWIL, but I don't like one of my sisters either, and you don't have to like everyone in your family... but you try to get along because you're family. I am married to the father of this woman's children... if those kids are my family (and they are!), then she is too. Suck it up. My MIL has pictures of the ex, my husband, and their kids on her wall. I don't get bent out of shape about it. It's her house to do with as she pleases. My MIL has invited the ex, her boyfriend and his kids to her house for the family Easter egg hunt. That's her prerogative to do so. You didn't just marry your husband, you married the whole situation, whether you like it or not. You have to get along for the sake of the kids. If you can't find a way to get past it, then that's your problem and maybe you shouldn't be in a relationship with a man that has other children.

Corina - posted on 03/16/2016

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Im sure they are trying to keep the peace as so she does not take their grandchild away

Shannon - posted on 03/15/2016

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I did delete the other post... I'm new here! Was trying to make my question simple.
I guess that's where I'm confused. I did try to make boundaries with my FIL. My husband told him that it's too hard on us and an inappropriate boundary to include her as part of the family. But FIL got mad and is continuing to treat the ex as family, even moreso.
I'm fine with everyone having peace and occasional conversations or going to birthday parties for the sake of my SD. But when they extend it the way they are, I'm not okay with it. She's the past... My husband is SO close with his family, so I hate to think of the ex also being family.... because she's not! She's the past!
DH has helped, we no longer will stay overnight with them when we visit.. but I don't know how to continue relationships with my inlaws when they know my feelings but are continuing to so heavily pursue his ex.

MaryAnn - posted on 03/15/2016

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Did you delete your other post?
I think it m8ght be time for you to start setting boundaries.
In a perfect world, we wouldnt have to deal with exes. But the world's not perfect. Under what (realistic) circumstances are you comfortable being around the ex? Make that clear. It may mean missing out on some things.
We have a happy relationship with my SDs BM. We pull together for SD, and treat eachother with respect. We (she and I) have even done friend type stuff together, both with and without hubby.BUT. we DO NOT invite her, or expect her to invite us, for family things. We are two separate units.
Make it clear that she is NOT your family, and if hubby would rather she be with him and his parents, tell him to walk. Let his family do what they want. Its not your family. But dont let it bring you down.
Make it clear that parenting is between BM and DH, and dont let them in, dont let them bring you into it.
Make it clear that your marriage is between you, and DH, and dont let his family or BM in it.
Make it clear that if you wanted to know about anything to do with BM, you have her number.
Dont let his parents or siblings bring you down. Dont let them make you feel unimportant or less than, or like an outsider in your own family.
This is yours. Protect it.
You go girl!

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