Wedding Woes

Stop it. Just stop. Find peace on your own with the situation.

Dear Prudence,

My husband and I have been happily married for almost 25 years. We were both married before. My ex and I share a son and two grandkids. We are always invited to the grandchildren’s birthdays, sporting events, etc. My question is this: I have always tried very hard to be friendly towards my ex and his wife, but they are always very standoffish and speak to nobody. I always feel like I want to prove to everyone that we are civil to one another so I always try … too hard, I think. They have been showing up less and less to events and when they do, they just stand off to the side with their arms crossed staring at everyone. The last time we were all together, they were very rude and rather ugly to me when I approached them. Should I quit even acknowledging them? I hate that they are still hurting my son with their behavior.

— Need My Ex to Grow Up!

Re: Stop it. Just stop. Find peace on your own with the situation.

  • You both need to grow up and do not project that their tuning you out is hurting your adult child.  The adult child presumably knows how to speak for himself.  

    Instead of projecting and claiming you're fine but it's the son that's hurt own that YOU are hurt.  Now acknowledge that you are divorced from this guy and likely his prior behavior may be a contributing factor to why you're happily married for 25 years to another man.  

    Stop trying to change someone with whom you owe nothing more than civil behavior.  That's it.  Be cordial and know that if he wasn't going to change while you're  married he surely won't now that your grown son is an adult of his own.
    ei34
  • They clearly fo not want to talk to you. Stop pushing. 
    MissKittyDangerCasadenacharlotte989875ei34
  • Attending does not necessarily mean speaking to each other. It means being pleasant.
    Tbh LW's son will see other person is being snarky eventually and realize that LW tried and maybe son will speak to the other parent about their attitude?
  • I suspect the LW is one of those people who wants everyone to like them.

    But they can't control anyone else's feelings or actions.  They can only control their response to those actions.

    All the LW needs to do is be pleasant and polite.  Don't seek the ex out for small talk, but don't avoid them either.  If near them or passing them, a smile, a nod, and a, "Hi, how are you?" is all that is needed.

    If they want to sit in a corner, that's their problem.  If the shared son doesn't like that they are cur-mudgeony, then he can say something if he wants to.  But the LW needs to let all of this go.
    MyNameIsNotei34MesmrEwe
  • They’re the ones who look ridiculous stop trying to make yourself look like you fit in with them. If they don’t want to be there, they don’t want to and that’s not on you. The best thing about divorcing him is that you’re not obligated to associate with him anymore. Why are you trying to?
    ei34Casadena
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    They’re the ones who look ridiculous stop trying to make yourself look like you fit in with them. If they don’t want to be there, they don’t want to and that’s not on you. The best thing about divorcing him is that you’re not obligated to associate with him anymore. Why are you trying to?
    Exactly.  It's over.  Leave it alone.  If they were having screaming matches, or something, I'd think the son should maybe invite his parents alternating weeks.  But what's wrong with everyone attending but not socializing?, is my question to the LW.
    charlotte989875flantastic
  • Say hello when they/you arrive at an event and leave it at that. Stop trying to force the friendliness when they are clearly not receptive for whatever reason. Yes, it would be nice if they were more amicable, but it's not going to happen, so let it go and focus instead on enjoying the time with your grandkids.
  • If I were in this situation I'd say hello and goodbye and only converse if it is absolutely necessary. Just take the time to focus on your family and I'm sure the grandkids will just be glad to see everyone is there. 
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