One of the toughest parts about divorce can be giving up a relationship with your in-laws ― but you don’t have to.
Below, seven divorced men and women share why it was important for them to hold onto a relationship with their ex’s parents.
1. Because she didn’t want her family to be torn apart.
“I’m not only still friends with my ex-in-laws, but I also still consider them my family. I choose to do so because when people get divorced, families have the choice to grow and change or to be torn into shreds in the process. Our family chose the latter. My new husband and I invited them to our wedding, to birthday parties and other events, and my father-in-law read scriptures at my father’s memorial service. My mother-in-law still calls to sing the birthday song to me. I love the three of them dearly ― my ex’s mom, stepmom and father ― and I think we set a wonderful example for our children.” ― Trish Eklund
2. Because there’s no reason to make divorce more complicated than it already is.
“I am very much still friendly with my ex-husband’s family. I loved them then and I love them still. They were always very good to me and are still a big part of our children’s lives. There is no reason to make a situation like divorce more complicated than it needs to be. It’s hard enough on family and friends. Why make it worse? At the end of the day, we are all still one big family even if the picture looks different than it used to.” ― Julie Scagell
3. Because his ex-in-laws didn’t cause the split.
“My ex-in-laws were not the cause of my divorce. They are two great people who are an important part of my children’s lives. My ex-father-in-law and I continue to go to church together and my ex-mother-in-law is always a sound ear when it comes to working through issues with my ex-wife. I love them to death and can’t imagine my life without them. They both know I still love their daughter and will do anything for her despite how the marriage ended.” ― Andrew Slattery
4. Because they’re related to her children.
“They have supported me throughout the turmoil of my last few years of marriage, they stand for what is right and they will always be my son’s grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. They are a part of him as much as a second family to me, even without my ex being around us. It’s important that my son knows who his blood relatives are and maintains a positive relationship with them, in spite of what happened with his father and me.” ― Amanda Racey Roadcap
5. Because they’re still family.
“I have a special relationship with my ex-in-laws. In fact, in my mind, there is no ‘ex’ when it comes to them. They are the grandparents to my daughter, and my mother-in-law and I have always been very close. We are family, regardless. This arrangement may not work for everyone who has been through divorce, but I am happy that it works for all of us.” ― Erinne Magee
6. Because they’ve been there in times of need.
“They are wonderful people and the grandparents to my child. I divorced my spouse, not the whole family. They have been there for me always.” ― Amy Roberts
7. Because they simply get along well.
“My ex-husband and I fell out of love, but not out of friends, and I was lucky that my ex’s in-laws still wanted to be my friends, and my family. My ex-husband, Derek, and I divorced after 16 years of marriage. We stayed friends, although it was not always easy in the beginning. He then met his new wife after six months and she became part of our family. After a few years we also started celebrating Christmas and Easter together. I met my present husband after being alone for three years and, with no problems, he just joined our extended family. The first time we went to England together, we visited my ex-mother-in-law, and she made us feel very welcome. Likewise when we went to see my ex-sister-in-law. A few years later we also met my ex-brother-in-law. What they all said was that I was still family.” ― Ulla Jessen
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