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Moving Forward after separation, new possibilities but how to respect the past?

Mr K
Community Member
After accepting that my relationship was officially over (not the same as emotionally over), I have managed in many ways to live a better life than I had for over a decade. I still have 50% care of my beautiful children, I'm still managing to pay my way in life as well as supporting my past commitments i.e. as we have not yet formalised the separation of assets so I'm still paying a mortgage as well as rent and other living costs. I have met a new partner who feels like a real soulmate and my mental health is steady. My kids seem happy and content at least when with me which was, is and always will be my number one priority. What I struggle with is when the ink is dried and the divorce and assets are finalised how do I respectfully maintain my relationship with my now in-laws, who have remained amicable and supportive, whilst developing my new relationship?
3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome,

It is a good question. Over many years and 3 previous long term (over 7 years each) relationships I've realised that some people find it easy to maintain friendships from ex family members, but some cant especially (in my case) if there is bitterness between me and my ex partner upon separation.

I would suggest friendships between you and your inlaws can be maintained if you really had a friendship and not a relationship of convenience. eg convenient as they were family of your ex.

In one case, my ex brother in law to my first wife of 11 years and his wife were great aunty and uncle to my young children. I gave my then eldest (7yo) the phone and encouraged her to ring her auntie "D" to meet up. Well that was a great thing to do as my kids regularly visited them for many years. My ex Brother in law and "D" separated around 2008 and 6 months later "D" and I dated and eventually married. Meaning aunty "D" became step mum.

With that relationship development I never thought twice in the early days of maintaining a friendship with them both. However my other brother in law got into the details of my ex and I separation and became judgemental. Hence we were never going to keep a acquaintanceship going. So thats when I realised that inlaws friendships will only survive if its a real friendship and not a relationship just because you are an ex inlaw.

Hope that makes sense. Good luck with your new relationship.


Community Member

Hi op.

l'd be thinking you probably won't even bother after awhile anyway. You'll be moving into a whole new life and so will your ex and really , it's pretty unlikely ex in laws are still gonna gel with all that as time goes on. Things will most likely just naturally go their own direction, and that's ok.

Ps, please keep close eye on your kids , never mind how things appear.

Good luck with everything.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Mr K, I'm pleased you still have 50 % where you can see your children because what can happen is the wife (ex) can simply say no, then you have to go to court, spend a lot of money with no successful outcome, so that's definitely positive and I have someone going through exactly the same as what you are.

Your in-laws now will probably be asking you questions about the divorce, just in case they want to tell and warn their daughter, but it has nothing to do with them, so just tell them you both made a decision and would rather not talk about it, unless you might have told them about certain situations, but there is no need to continue on with the topic, the more you can keep to yourself the better.

Even who gets what assets are no concern of their's, it's a decision you and your ex have come to an agreement.

If you do decide to live with your girlfriend, have you considered a prenuptial, otherwise, you could be in the exact position you're now in, just a suggestion.

Try and keep your cards close to your chest.