Relationships

Dealing with ex son-in-laws

Dear Wendyl, our daughter and her ex husband ended their marriage recently. As the divorce is a good length of time away, we would like to know if we're still beholden to give gifts to the ex for Christmas

Dear Wendyl,

Our daughter and her ex husband ended their marriage recently. As the divorce is a good length of time away, we would like to know if we’re still beholden to give gifts to the ex for Christmas or birthdays. There are no kids involved and our daughter has made it clear she doesn’t want anything to do with her ex as he has caused her a lot of grief, so should we close ties too?

Not Sure, Waikato

Dear Not Sure,

It really depends on how close you were to him.

I see no problem with parents-in-law continuing a relationship of sorts with an ex son-in-law if that’s what both parties want and your daughter has no objection. I know of many marriages that have split yet the in-laws still keep in touch by sending cards at Christmas.

I think what you’re trying to work out is how to do the best by your daughter and the best by her ex. I think a Christmas card might be nice, but run it past your daughter first as she needs to know you support her first and foremost. You could use the card to also express how sorry you are that the marriage has ended and wish him all the best for the future, or something nice along those lines.

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