Setting Boundaries: With Your Ex’s Family
At this time of year, it can be hard to set boundaries – especially if the people you always celebrated with are no longer in your life. But it is important to be aware of what is appropriate and what is not once you separate or divorce.
If you’ve been with somebody for decades, you may have known your in-law family since you were young. It can be incredibly difficult to just say goodbye and never see them again.
And if you were close, the idea of not meeting for lunch, going shopping, or spending holidays together can be devastating.
They’re her family. Not yours. And it’s time to set boundaries once you get divorced.
A client recently told me she knows her father-in-law is going to still love her. I was thinking, ‘He may still love you and care about you, but your relationship is going to change because no matter what, the child becomes the priority.”
Her soon-to-be ex is the father-in-law’s son. There’s no substituting blood for water.
You must in a way say goodbye.
You must make peace with moving on – not just from your ex, but from life-as-you-knew-it while you were married.
Holidays will be different. Relationships will change.
You. Must. Accept. It.
The good news is that in the space of letting go, you create opportunities for new relationships to fill in. Your holidays won’t always be lonely. The empty seats at the family table will eventually be filled by new friends and perhaps the family of a new love.
But first, you must set appropriate boundaries.