went to a party with ex's family

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
went to a party with ex's family
4
Sun, 09-23-2012 - 7:59pm

My ex's bro & SIL had their 25th anniv. party Sat. night.  I was invited along with my kids but my DD moved out of state and my 17 yr old son just didn't want to go.  I have been to plenty of family occasions w/ his family before but usually my kids were around.  this one I had to go to alone and for some reason it made me nervous.  Like I saw them this summer because his niece graduated from high school but it was at their house, very casual, just hanging in the back yard.  This was in a hall & I didn't know how many people would be there, would there be dancing, etc.  But I really like the couple who had the anniv.  So I got all dressed in a red dress, then I looked in the mirror & thought I might be too dressed up & changed into pants--you can't really blend in wearing bright red either.  I was glad I changed since the people weren't that dressed up.  There was dancing & of course I had no one to dance with which bothered me because I'm actually an excellent dancer--I take lessons & go out dancing a lot.  But even my SIL's married sisters I noticed were dancing w/o their DHs.  Oh & I had to sit at the table w/ my ex & his DW since most of the other tables were the other family or people I didn't know.  I was glad when the other brother & SIL & their kids came.

So today I figured out what was bothering me.  Even though it's been 16 yrs since I got divorced, there is still an element of wanting to show that it doesn't bother me & I'm doing better than ever.  And it's not like I don't get along w/ my ex--after all this time, we get along fine.  His DW is nice enough to me but I still feel "inferior' in a way because I'm alone.  I did get remarried a year after they did, but the guy turned out to be terrible--he had a mental illness & that marriage only lasted 5 yrs cause I didn't want to admit I made a mistake.  But then at least I had the facade of having someone and although he was terrible at home, he could keep up an act and be polite in public.  I know what I'd really like is to be there w/ some hot guy on my arm.  When I was leaving, the nice SIL said she hoped it wasn't too awkard for me, that she thought the kids would be there and she was going to pray for me to find Mr. Wonderful.  Isn't that sweet?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2012
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 9:34am

I think that its wonderful your former in-laws continue to include you in family events.  Even though you have been divorced for a long time, on some level,  you are still family.  Unfortunately,  my relationship with my in-laws is extremely turbulant so I will never have the opportunity to say that they remained kind through the years.  You are fortunate.  And I think it is only natural to want to show your ex and his wife that you are doing better than ever.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single.  The fact that you attend these family functions says a lot about how much you have moved on, grown, and that you really are fine.  =D 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 4:33pm

I have no doubt that everything you felt was perfectly normal and most women would feel the same.  But, how can you possibly feel inferior??  You're a LAWYER for crying out loud!!!  I can't imagine you feeling inferior to anybody as smart as you are!  I wish I was HALF as smart as you!  But, you're also human, so you're allowed ALL feelings.  :smileyhappy: 

I cannot EVEN imagine going to ANY family functions of my ex.  As soon as he called it quits, it was like I was an outcast.  His parents didn't contact me, nor did one of his SIL's who I had known for almost 30 years.  The only people who truly supported me was one SIL and my favorite ex aunt and uncle in-law.  It took my exMIL a while, but she eventually got over the shock and I still get birthday  and Christmas cards from her.  To be honest...losing my ex's family was almost as hard as the divorce itself because THEY were the family we were around the most (lived closer) and spent every holiday with.  I guess that's the hardest part...that after almost 30 years...I lost this family I was such a big part of.  It still stings at the holidays and has caused problems between me and my DDs.  It would have been easier had we not had children together because I could have just said, "Ok...they are now just people from my past."  But, my DDs are still part of that family and I feel like the outcast (which I am).  It has made me totally dread the holidays. 

As for feeling inferior to the ex's new wife...I probably should as she makes lots of money and supports her 2nd unemployed husband.  She lives in my beautiful big house which SHE now pays for, but, for some reason...I don't.  I guess I feel like she's just the female version of my ex and is probably the woman he should have married the first time.  God bless my mother.  2 years ago at my DD21's high school grad reception, my mother saw the new wife and commented, "She's not much to look at."   lol  However, I'm going to guess my DDs admire her more BECAUSE of her job and money.  As far as they're concerned, Mom's  done nothing but be supported by men her whole life.  sigh  Obviously I can't compete and I'm too old to care. 

I can totally understand though by sitting with your ex and his wife...it would definitely feel strange and...alone.  I'm sure I'd feel the same way.  I have 4 future weddings someday that I'll have to be around my ex and his wife, and I admit...I'm sure glad I'll have dh by my side to get me through it. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 4:51pm

Thanks for the compliments.  I think everybody has their areas where they feel inferior.  obviously I know I'm smart.  Ex's Dw is smart too (probably smarter than him)--she's a nurse.  My area of feeling inferior is my appearance because he used to make remarks about my weight--you would think I weighed a ton or something.  The new DW is thin but not that great looking.  I think that's why I married the 2nd DH (who turend out to be a lot worse) which was that he thought I was beautiful & sexy, so it was such a turn around from the 1st one.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 11:29pm

I think it's great when people can be mature and include everyone.  I hated the thought of divorce and really suffered through the process (as we all have).  But I am so grateful that all of my in-laws (including cousins, aunts, uncles, etc...) have kept me in the family.  Also, my family is nice to my ex and they still talk on birthdays, or when someone has a health issue.  Ex and I still talk and get along very well.  In fact my family and his family still talk to each other, and my ex MIL, my mom, DD and I go to lunch together occaisionally.

I am sure you being at the anniversary celebration without a BF or a new husband show how secure you are.  They're probably not nearly as happy as others may think and she might just be envious of you!!  Things are seldom the way they look from the outside.