To defend or let go….


My ex-husband’s grandmother passed away. I chose not to attend the funeral, and my sons made the same choice. My daughter attended and said it was nice. Apparently, my ex-husband gave the eulogy. This was the main reason my sons chose not to attend.  They said they would find it difficult to stomach listening to him.  I am at peace with my decision,  and my boys seem to be as well. I have encouraged them to do what they feel is right. I told them we will honor her in our own way.

Right now, I am sorting through something in regard to my former mother in law.  It has come to my attention that she apparently understands the three of us not attending the funeral, but is hurt that we did not express our condolences to her on her loss.

To put this into context,  my ex-husband has apparently denied his behaviors that led to our divorce and has painted a picture of being an innocent victim to his mother.  For the last six years, I have let that slide. I came to the realization years ago that it doesn’t matter.  I know the truth, and people who know me well know the truth.

However,  this recent information has brought it forward again for me.  It has been the healthiest choice for me to distance myself from my ex and his family as much as possible.  For me, even expressing condolences pulls me back on to a circle of dysfunction I fought hard to free myself from. Yet, I  found those old messages coming back to haunt me. ..that I’m always in the wrong, always screwing up, can’t do anything right. My former mother in law criticized me on many levels frequently over 20 years.

I can’t genuinely say I’m particularly sorry for her loss. It isn’t only her loss. It’s my kids’ loss.  It’s my loss. It’s the world’s loss.  I’m genuinely sorry for all of those losses.

But hers? Not so much. Does that make me cold?  I don’t know. But, what I do know is that feels authentic.  And it makes me feel strong where I once felt weak.


5 thoughts on “To defend or let go….

  1. You do what you gotta do. You were not disrespectful and that’s all that matters. My’s ex’s nephew died a few years ago. I went to the funeral and sat in the back. They gushed over my decision to attend and that felt wrong. They, especially his sister (not the mother of the deceased) had not been nice to me — she was involved in the War of The Roses situation. I didn’t want her thanks. I didn’t want any kudos for attending

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And I didn’t need to be told that I could have sat with the family. It was a sudden death of a young man so I wanted to pay my respects. I didn’t want it to “mean” anything and that made me uncomfortable. Recently my mother-in- law hasn’t been well and I considered going to visit her, but it would “mean” something and we weren’t close so I chose not to. (Actually a friend talked me out of it). There are boundaries now. And I really needed that. No need to blur them now, especially if I want my boundaries respected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comments. I think people don’t always understand unless they have been in these situations. It’s so important to do what we know to be healthy for ourselves even if others judge us for it.

      Liked by 1 person

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