I read the post What to do about the In-laws? today and it reminded me of a dilemma I have. I had a really great relationship with my mother-in-law (my ex’s father passed away before I met him). When we moved from Sweden to the US, she would come visit several times a year and when the girls were born and I stayed home she would come for extended trips. The longest was 3 months. My then husband would work and travel so most of the time it was just the two of us home with the girls. Then my ex moved out and she didn’t come visit for almost 2 years, I have no idea what he told her about it. During the separation he threatened me to tell people it was a mutual decision so I’m sure if she still thinks that. I went along with that to keep the peace, I told my parents and my close friends the truth, but with a 6 hour time difference and no face to face time, I have no idea what she thinks of me.
This past Christmas she came to visit for 1.5 weeks. I offered her to stay at my house with the girls since the Christmas week was supposed to be mine, but my ex took the entire time off so that she wouldn’t. I don’t know if he suddenly had the urge to spend time with her or if he didn’t want us to talk. I did see her a few times and the first time she commented on how much weight I’d lost. I wanted to tell her: “remember how much weight you said you lost when your husband died, can you imagine how these past 1.5 year has been for me? Being lied to and cheated on. Being threatened that he wants full custody etc, etc.” I said nothing since my ex was right there and smiled and said thank you.
Anyway, during that stay I brought up the fact that I wanted to go to Sweden this summer for a long visit. I asked my ex if he would like to come with for the first week, he could take the girls to see his mother and sister. He said it was a great idea, he told his mother and she loved the idea. Now fast forward one month, or a few weeks, he meets E. I had a suspicion that it would change things. A few weeks ago when I brought up the subject again since I wanted to book our flights he said that he couldn’t go. He said that he was moving so he needed to save money. I asked if I could still stay for 3 weeks and he agreed to that. Now back to my dilemma, has he told his mother he’s not coming? I don’t know. Should I contact her? Should I offer her to come visit at my parents house so she can see the girls (2 hours away so she’d have to stay the night)? What do I do? Do I, as always, take the high road and do what’s best for my daughters and contact her and try to make sure that she still has a relationship with them? I did during Christmas… I let him have 5 out of my 7 days. Why do I feel so guilty about things like this? Why doesn’t he have to take that responsibility and make sure that they have a relationship with her? Is it still my job or should it be his? And should I not pick up the slack after him, which I felt like I did during our entire relationship. Shouldn’t I be free from that by now?