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Rebuilding Relationships After Divorce: No Laughing Matter

Posted on in Child Custody

The “mother-in-law” has historically been the brunt of many comedic one liners. How many mothers-in-law does it take to screw in a light bulb? None – she always gets the son-in-law to do it! How many mothers-in-law does it take to ruin a marriage? - Just one, mine!

If you and your spouse are entering into divorce proceedings there is probably more involved in your decision to divorce than either of your respective mother-in-laws. It is not about light bulbs or your mother-in-law is responsible for the deterioration of your marriage. Although you may chuckle at the mother-in-law zingers, you may actually enjoy spending time with your spouse’s mother. You both just recently broke the news to your families. The silence was deafening. The wall went up. Blood is thicker than water. You have been worried and apprehensive about the upcoming divorce proceedings. Trying to keep a teary eye on the kids, meeting with your divorce attorney and struggling to maintain composure. Staying in touch with your spouse’s family members on the same level of pre-divorce kinship crosses your mind occasionally. Will the divorce automatically extinguish your relationship with your in-laws? With children involved there will likely be some type of civil exchange, but what can you do to salvage the bond you created? Time heals all wounds. Your in-laws are no different. Will the relationship weather the storm? It can.  When you feel you are navigating calmer waters, take a moment and put pen to paper. This maybe the best way to reach out to begin the healing process.

Wait for the Right Time

You will know when the time is right. It may be months or even a year or two. If penned too early, your mother-in-law may not be as responsive as you hoped. Make it Personal Forgo the email; communicate the old-fashioned way. Choose upbeat stationary, hand-write the note and have the mail carrier deliver your message. Be Sincere Start with a simple heart-felt reason of why you wish to reconnect. It could be as simple as saying you miss her and wonder how she is doing. If relationships with the children have been estranged, let her know how much they miss her as well. Explain how important your relationship was to you. Leave the past in the past. Keep it simple and humble. A few sentences should be fine. Be Positive Do not rehash the divorce. Stay positive. Briefly touch upon the contributions she’s made to your life. Provide an example or two. Keep it brief but specific. Do not go into information overload. Five or six sentences should suffice. Be Open Specifically encourage a response. Ask her to drop a few lines to let you know how she is doing. Briefly suggest that you would love to treat her to lunch. Include all your contact information so it is closely at hand. If your mother-in-law responds and lunch is on the calendar, keep it light. Do not bring up old battles. Touch upon upcoming events involving the kids. Ask her to attend. Just take a breather and enjoy the time together. Mention you had fun and perhaps you can do it again. If maintaining important relationships in the midst of divorce proceedings is only one of the many concerns you have about your upcoming divorce, contact us to schedule an initial consultation. The legal team at Davi Law Group will work with you closely to address all of your legal questions as well as assist you through this difficult time. From our Illinois offices we are committed to building relationships for clients in the DuPage, Will, Kane, Kendall and Cook counties. Call us today at 630-580-6373 and let's begin the conversation.

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