Ex spouses are still family

Families…after knowing his family for nearly 40 years and being a Brown for 37 years, I often still find myself trying to figure out where my place is.  I have participated in the family drama over the years….I’ve reacted with bad attitude as well as been the recipient of what I considered to be hurtful gossip.  As we said goodbye to my mother in law this week, I had an ah ha moment thinking about being an only child trying to find my level in a family of 4 siblings who grew up together in a tight knit family.  I realized at the funeral yesterday that I’m never going to be “one of them”….. But, I’m still part of the family and have my place.

On the way to the funeral yesterday, I was feeling some anxiety because I knew two of the ex spouses would also be there.  This wasn’t a problem for me but I was thinking about how I would feel if he had been married before and I was about to be thrown together with the history of the old families.  While I believed that my empathy was not out of line, I also felt this was the way it should be.  The mothers of the grandchildren who were saying goodbye to their grandma and these ex spouses were daughters in laws of this woman for a long time.

While I felt a little dance of discomfort in the beginning, everyone was accepted, greeted and included…it was actually an amazing show of love and acceptance.  I was proud to be a member of this family….brothers, sister, spouses, cousins and ex spouses.


Until next time….

6 thoughts on “Ex spouses are still family

  1. It sounds like things went really, really well. I’ve been to some pretty bad funerals that included drunken family members. Everyone behaved decently. Yea. I am a third wife. I don’t have the expectation of being included in anything. You get used to it. Also, I have three older brothers from my mom’s first marriage. I am truly “an only child with brothers.” When people can behave decently at all, I am impressed. It is always good when people can be civil.

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  2. I’m glad it went well. As a second spouse in a larger family situation, I have been and probably always will be the second. All gatherings are all inclusive, always have been and likely will be. I am fine with that – and I knew going in that it would never be any other way. There is more history there in terms of years, there are children and grandchildren involved, they were babies themselves when they married. We have all grown over the past 16 years of participating in this dance, and it has become perfectly normal for all of us to be at every function and party. It was a little strange at first – but the strangeness has passed, everyone is “over it”…and onward we have all moved.

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  3. As it should be. People are just people and we all have a past with somebody somewhere. But it’s the past. It’s wonderful when people can just care about someone as the person they are reguardless of the history. I have, as I think you know, a unique situation in my family. But I have experienced another side of it with another family dynamic, namely my step mother and her family. I have a step mother because of death, not divorce, but I think that 2nd spouces face a lot of the same issues either way. And it takes a self confident, caring, open minded person to accept some situations, to rise above the negative thoughts or feelings, thereby making their own place. We all have one, we can’t demand what we want that place to be, it just will be what it is. The less you worry about it, the better off you are. It’s nice that things turned out well, sounds like a great family to be a part of.

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  4. It is good to know that the intended result was achieved. As a second spouse in this situation, I think it is very inconsiderate of former spouses to hang around acting like family. Their very actions of being there makes it very hard for the second spouse to ever be noticed not to mention included. I have experienced that the inclusion of a second spouse is extremely hard, if not impossible. Some how the first spouses are accepted as the family members “other half” much easier. I don’t know what the etiquette of divorced spouses is for funerals. I would be interested to hear what people have to say. It may be a life stage issue, that that younger people are accepted easier than older people. Since people are older at their second marriages than their first ones, people who marry later in life may experience the same thing.

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    • I haven’t been in your shoes but I Understand what you are saying, Lark. I would feel uncomfortable and I think you should be proud of yourself showing grace under pressure!

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  5. How nice that everyone was able to get along for this. There are some families that will never let the spouses in. I am glad that isn’t the case in his family. Great picture.

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