When I got divorced, my ex-husband decided it would be best to keep his distance from me. I know we both needed that break to move on with our lives, so we did just that. At first, I would occasionally see him only when he and I agreed it was a good time for me to visit our dog who was living with him. Once our dog died, my contact with him all but ceased.
About five months after our divorce, he started dating a woman I met under very odd circumstances. It was about a year later that my dear friend broke the news to me that not only was my ex getting married to that woman, but they were expecting a child. After going through at least eight years of infertility treatments, this was a very hard pill to swallow. They now have two daughters, the second of which was born earlier this year.
Throughout my divorce and since then, my only hope for the man I was married to, and loved most of my life, was that he was happy. Was I a bit jealous that he was married with kids of his own? Sure. I have no problem admitting that. Again, the jealousy was overshadowed by my hope and wishes for his happiness. I felt like he was a good man and deserved that.
Since our dog passed away the year after our divorce, I’ve only seen my ex twice. The first time was at my niece’s high school graduation party, and the second was at my nephew’s wedding last October. That’s it. My niece and nephew belong to my ex’s brother. My nephew is actually his stepson, but he might as well be his son given that he’d basically raised him since he was about three. He and my niece, his half-sister, are my only niece and nephew, and I love them dearly. Just because I’m not married to their dad’s brother anymore doesn’t mean my feelings for them changed. They are now 28 and 20, so they were at least young adults when we got divorced. We don’t talk or see each other too often, as they both have their own lives, but there is no doubt in their minds that their aunt loves them.
My nephew and his wife live not far from me here in town. His wife is absolutely perfect for him and I love her like a niece. I’m thrilled to say the feelings are mutual. On Easer Sunday this year, I got a random text from my nephew. His text to me said thanks for never making his sister and him choose sides. He then went on to say that I’m his favorite aunt and always will be.
Well…that made my heart swell!! It was nice to know I meant so much to my nephew. At the same time I was thinking this, my heart sank. What could have happened to have triggered this? When I asked him that, he said that he’s decided to cut my ex’s family out of his life for a while. His mom and stepdad unfortunately see the same things, so they understand. Ugh! Now, I know how my ex’s family can be, so I guess I can imagine a few scenarios, but since we decided to meet for dinner on Thursday, he said he’d fill me in on the details then.
I met my nephew and his wife that evening, and we had a great visit. They told me about their move next month and we talked about our jobs. After catching up on all the important stuff, I finally asked him what happened with the family. He told me that my ex’s new wife basically HATES the fact that my ex-brother-in-law and his family keep in touch with me. Ummm…huh?! Again, I’ve seen this woman a total of THREE TIMES since they met back in 2013. I don’t think she even said a word to me the last time I saw her. I’m happy to strike up a pleasant conversation, but the two of them have chosen to pretend I don’t exist. Fine, whatever. Why then did I get brought into this by her? I’ve been in these people’s lives for at least 20 years now. I was married to HER HUSBAND for more than three times the amount of time they’ve been married. I was floored.
My nephew and his wife then proceeded to explain that because of our continued contact, they all get ignored. When my ex celebrated his birthday this year, they weren’t invited. Again, he didn’t invite his OWN BROTHER to his birthday party. When they went back their hometown for his best friend’s daughter’s 17th birthday party, which is where my ex-BIL lives, and is 3 ½ hours away from here, they didn’t invite them. When my ex-MIL called her oldest son to ask why they weren’t at the party, my ex-BIL asked her what party. They knew nothing about it…and they live not even 10 minutes away!! Turns out, at this party, my ex’s new wife got staggering drunk…AT A TEENAGER’S BIRTHDAY PARTY!! I would have been mortified!!
As I mentioned, my ex and his wife now have two daughters. When they got pregnant with their first, my ex-MIL & FIL sold their house in their small hometown and moved into the house my ex bought here. They wanted to be closer to their grandchild since their oldest one (they don’t really consider my nephew a grandchild) was now living with her boyfriend. It turns out, my ex-FIL has become very depressed because he doesn’t like living here. My ex’s wife now dictates to my ex-MIL about taking care of the new baby. She doesn’t ask if she can help her, she just expects it. When my ex-BIL said something to my ex about it, he said, “So what? You think you’re the only one to get free child care from them?”
My jaw dropped. I was speechless!!
This was a man who I so desperately want to have a family with that I put my body through countless treatments and procedures. I endured failure after failure and disappointment time and time again. In the end, my marriage ended because he simply did not want to adopt. Now, here he is with two children of his own and he’s married to a woman who treats her MIL like unpaid help?!…and to make it worse, he hasn’t done anything to stop it.
As I mentioned before, the only thing I have ever wanted for my ex was for him to be happy. To think that not only is he not happy, but taking advantage of his family, and letting his wife do the same, absolutely broke me. Why? Why did things get to this? Why did my ex’s wife think she could use me as an excuse to be a complete asshole to her husband’s parents and his family?! I adored these people. I’ve just been struggling with this so much since he told me. My ex-MIL & FIL are so unhappy. My ex-BIL and his family have been shunned because they’ve chosen to keep in touch with me. Is she jealous of me? Does he not have a backbone to stand up to her shit? Has he turned into a bitter, unhappily married man? This is a choice they’re all making, and it seems the new wife is running the show.
This all just absolutely breaks my heart. How did it come to this?!