Need advice how to handle my late husband's family and my new partner

Barbara - posted on 11/29/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




My husband of 20 years committed suicide 3 1/2 years ago. My 2 sons (now 16 and 20) and I have moved on and are doing well considering the traumatic circumstances.
I've met my new partner 1 1/2 years ago. He is divorced and we are both very happy with each other. We both have separate households and are taking it slowly.
My late husband's family is the only family me and my children have in this country (I am from Europe and my family lives there) My in-laws have been wonderful and supportive. For the past 24 years me and my children have been celebrating holidays and birthdays with them. My new partner has a lot of problems with the fact that I still have contact with my late husband's family. I have reduced the contact greatly but I do not want to alienate his aging mother and I do not want to take my children's traditions and support entirely. I don't have problems to slowly shift spending holidays with my new partner but I do not want to cut off contact completely. My late husband's family is very open to meeting my new partner. They are happy for me and always extend invitations for him to come along.
Me having contact with my in-laws causes a lot of conflict with my new partner and he doesn't seem to understand why I don't cut off contact the way he did with his divorced in-laws. He does not appear to understand the difference.
I'm at a loss and very conflicted. I would appreciate any input.


Jodi - posted on 11/29/2015




Your new partner needs to be mature enough to recognise that these people are your childrens' family and they will always be in your life somehow. It is very different to his divorce, because when a couple divorce, each partner in the couple supports the children in their relationship with their own family. However, your children don't have a second parent to do that - you are the person who supports their relationship with BOTH sides of the family because there is noone else to do that. If your new boyfriend can't understand that, then I'd be seriously questioning moving forward any further.

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