In our last post, we talked about how to break the news about your divorce to your parents. Here’s a trickier problem: how should you talk with your in-laws about the split?
Perhaps you have a rocky relationship with your mother-in-law or sister-in-law, and you’re anticipating that those relationships will only sour as a result of the divorce. But maybe you really love your in-laws (or at least some of your in-laws), and you are devastated to lose those relationships during the divorce. You might even be connected to your in-laws in other ways. For instance, maybe you and your brother-in-law started up a business or worked on a creative project together. Or maybe your families are now good friends with one another.
Can you salvage those relationships? How do you start?
First of all, while you want to be mindful of conversations with your in-laws, don’t put too much pressure on any single interaction. You can’t control what other people do, say, or think. You can only control how you react and process events.
When in doubt, err on the side of restraint. For instance, if your mother-in-law begins to believe some mythology about the divorce that your ex-husband has been spreading (and that is not true), your impulse might be to “correct the story” as soon as possible. You want the truth about the situation to come out — and you want your ex to be kind and to play by the rules. But you can’t guarantee that.
Instead, just be a good, ethical person, listen actively, and don’t take responsibility for other people’s feelings. Mind your own actions and behaviors, and eventually, the relationships with your in-laws will sort out for the better. Begin the process the right way by calling a California divorce attorney with Dinnebier & Demmerle right now for a consultation with us.