When you get married, you often establish relationships with your spouse’s family and vice versa. Your extended family members might take on important roles in your life, from friends to caregivers or even parental figures. Essentially, your family circle expands.
However, if you divorce your spouse, what happens to the relationships you have with their family? Do you have to divorce them as well?
Not always. Regardless, navigating these relationships after a divorce can be a challenge.
6 factors that can affect the future of these relationships
The relationships you built with your ex-spouse’s family will change after a divorce, no matter what. These changes might be small or significant, positive or negative, but you will have to accept that they will change.
The future status of these relationships will generally depend on six factors. These include:
- The level of conflict involved in the divorce
- Your wishes
- Your ex-spouse’s wishes
- Each individual extended family member’s wishes
- The effort from the above parties
- The complex emotions involved
For example, it is frequently possible to maintain some form of a relationship with your ex-spouse’s family members after an amicable divorce. It will take time to work through the emotions related to the divorce and establish a new foundation, but it is possible.
As Psychology Today notes, one critical step to take is discussing the future of these relationships with your ex-spouse. You can both make your wishes clear and determine how you will inform each of your families about the divorce. After all, your ex-spouse may wish to maintain relationships with your family as well.
Remember your boundaries
In previous blog posts, we discussed the importance of establishing healthy boundaries during and after your divorce. This will be an essential step to take if you wish to maintain a relationship with any members of your ex-spouse’s family. Even if you still get along well with them, you may wish to establish a boundary of not discussing the details of your divorce or even talking about your ex-spouse with them at all.
During the marriage, your ex-spouse’s family might become your own. Depending on the circumstances, you do not have to let those relationships fall by the wayside simply because you and your spouse divorce.