Mostly, it can be what you and they want it to be. If there are children involved, I think it best to take the high road if you can find one, and help them stay close to their relations. If you had a particular friend among your ex's family, maybe that person will want to stay close, and maybe they will think they need to stick with "their own". Time will tell, I suppose.
On my side of the family, we don't have any divorces. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, sibling, etc. are all still married. Happily, even, for the most part.
My husband's side, OTOH, has four divorces just between his parents and two sisters… I can't even count them all if we got further up the tree than that. But his family is full of crazy, angry people anyway, so we don't associate with them much, even aside from divorces. :shrug:
Though I can say, a cousin of my mom's who got divorced about 15 years ago from his kids' mom, was still required to invite his ex to major family functions (my great aunt said so!) because "she is still a member of this family. WE didn't divorce her."
I kept custody of my ex's mother and brother when they divorced- wasn't their fault he was so horrible. He just took after his father, womanizing, drinking, and all. ExMil used to come stay with us in the summer so she could see her grandkids, and I wrote her every week. By mutual consent the Ex was NOT ever mentioned by either of us. (Would like to point out that GFB adopted my children shortly after we married. Had no bearing on the relationship w/my exMIL, and after several years she thanked him for being such a wonderful parent to her grandkids.)
OTH, DS first wife ruptured our relationships with the grandkids. She told DS that if she EVER heard from him or us, any attempt to contact the kids, she would report him to the police as a stalker, even if it wasn't true. GFB planned to contact them once they became adults...hasn't happened yet. We are both still a little leery of that family-even tho DS ex died 2 years ago and her mother took over raising the kids.
Before that happened, DS didn't want to acknowledge the second child as his (she pulled that classic 50s maneuver- no sex for months, couldn't stand to be touched, then one night she practically rapes him, then goes back to no sex & don't touch me and 8 months later the second child is born- as GFB and I told DS any child born in a valid marriage is a legitimate child of that marriage, even if non-paternity can be proven, and its not fair to the children for us to acknowledge one and not the other)
Hope your inlaws are kind, and will not cause the battles my exDIL did.
We're still cordial with my first ex's family after almost 40 years. They welcomed DH inot their family. I wasn't married to the second ex long enough to know or develop a relationship with his family.
Me and ex hubby are friendly with each other when our son is involved, thank goodness. I didn't think we could be when we first split up. I see it as his responsibility to take our son to see his paternal grandparents, and he does. They are nice though and we just don't talk about the divorce if I run into them.
My daughter, who was three when me and the ex married, still likes him and will go with my son to his house to hang out sometimes. Ex and I even go to McDonald's together occasionally to let the kids play.
My parents and him get along fine if they run into each other, but they don't go out of their way to talk or anything.
My Ex and I split when our children were 2 & 6, and I never felt the need to speak to his mother again - but we visited her parents a few times, and my FIL and his new wife came to visit us from NY while visiting others near us.
The people who treated me honorably were allowed to remain in the children's lives. Those who spewed venom and hate were excluded, effectively.
While I would never wish to share finances or a bed with my Ex - he was a decent human being and there is proof that we got along at least twice (son & daughter) so belittling their genetics was not an option for me.
My Ex and current Hubby sat on our back patio drinking a few beers over a few nights while the Ex was in town for our younger child's graduation a couple years ago.
The relationships will work out however you wish them to... I had the kids keep in contact with their relatives, and things settled in quite fine.
I don't speak to any of the ex's family unless there's something going on with DS (he had a recent hospital stay, for instance). There are some of them that I miss but even after all these years, it would be awkward. His mom is the most controlling, venomous person I've ever met so I try not to have anything to do with her unless it's absolutely necessary.
It's normal to miss the good ones, if that's what you're asking. Just decide whether or not it would be okay to keep in touch with them, if both parties want to and go from there.
As far as he goes, we get along for our son. We don't speak about anything besides him.
Our son is 6 and knows that we are not together but some families are. He has never asked me why I am not with Daddy or asked for us to get back together. He seems to understand that we cannot be together, and that is okay. He has a stepdaddy and a stepmommy now and he's content with all of his extra family. I don't keep him from anyone that is a safe and responsible adult because they are his family, regardless of whether or not they are still mine.
My first ex husband passed away before DH and I got together....so no problem there.(we very rarely saw his family when he was alive)
DH's ex and I get a long fine, I really like her and I love her mother to pieces(DH's ex mil). Actually his ex and I chit/chat the whole time when we have gatherings that include the children and grandchildren. Back in August we were discussing canning recipes and ideas.
I think for us a lot of time has passed....DH and ex got married when they were very young. They actually married each other twice I believe. I think the final divorce was in 83, DH and I got together in 96. All of our kids are grown. DH's ex never remarried.
When my kids Dad and I got divorced, his sister came to me and said," Just because you and my brother divorced, that does not mean you divorced the family." I am so glad she said that as we and the cousins are all very close. Their Dad and I are better friends than when we were married. Due, I think, to what his sister said.
Now that the kids are grown, there's nothing to fight about.
Playing power games over the grandkids is not acceptable.
I get along with any ex inlaws that want to get along with me.
Don't tolerate any stupidity from them, or present family.
My life is none of their business. They don't know everything about how we got to this point. If they want to act like rational human beings, and be sociable, I meet them halfway. If they thrive on drama, we won't be seeing much of each other.
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