Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is it okay to keep in touch with your Ex's family?

So I was listenin to slow jams on a DC radio station (95.5) and they also have a great late night talk show. The topic of choice last night was dealing with your ex's family. The question posed was is it okay to stay close or keep in touch with your ex's family. The other question was if your significant other was keeping in touch with their ex's family how would you feel? I thought this was interesting because I have personally dealt with some situations like this....I have had a boyfriend in which I was really fond of his family, particularly his mother. We spent a lot of time together, went to lunch frequently, and talked a lot. However, once me and him were through the relationship with his fam, in my opinion, had to be cut short. Granted we are still friends we are not going to continually be chillin and talking regularly. I feel like the relationship wouldn't be as healthy if you are no longer dating for many reasons. Here are some different ways of looking at it.

1) How will your new significant other feel about you still being so close to your ex's family? On the radio station one guy mentioned that it made him feel like his woman still wanted to be with her ex because she always had to stop there for every holiday and such. He thought who do you want to see me or him and his people. I could see the legitmacy in this thought and understand the frustration.

2) How would you feel if your significant other was still always with his/her ex's family? I refuse to believe that any normal person wouldn't feel some type of way about this situation. One woman on the radio said she kept very close to her ex's mother until she met her new guy and he was always spending time with his ex's father. She was a little perplexed as to why they still golf together every weekend and she still went to the house for family gatherings. Plus she was not convinced that his ex did not want him back. She then realized she was guilty of the same thing and minimalized the amount of contact she had with her ex's mom.

3) Are we really moving on or trying to hold onto something that is still there? If you insist on keeping these ties what are you really hanging onto? If you are sustaining this relationship chances are you are going to see and hear about your ex a lot! You may find out how they are doing, who they are dating, and other things. Do you want to really subject yourself to this?

4) Who says that you can not still have a healthy and functional relationship with your ex's family if that is honestly all it is. The mother of one of my ex's is my homegirl for real. Granted we do not live in the same place we talk a few times a year and whenever she is in town we see each other. But her son (my ex) is a good friend of mine and we are strictly platonic. We have actually double dated with our new people. So in a situation such as this is it really the end of the world to stay cool with the ex's peeps?

I definitely know this issue from many sides. The most recent side being that when I was with my last boyfriend his ex and his mother and sister were like "best friends". It was irritating as hell. I would get mad at him for letting it go on. I just thought like there is more to this than your family cuz she is going way too hard. She is trying to prove a point.

Any thoughts?.......

3 comments:

Matthew said...

Yo this is a really good post. I utterly disagree with keeping in touch with ex's family members. I wouldn't do it nor would I be happy if a girl I was serious with was doing it. I just think it's disrespectful to the new person. I also believe that folks who do this are almost ALWAYS making an excuse for some subliminal feelings that they still have. I don't see any other logical reason why they'd stick around that same circle. ESPECIALLY if the relationship didn't end well. i.e to spite the ex by still being all up in the mix, or nosiness to keep tabs on what they are up to. You can never really be out of the loop if you up under they moms

Chanel said...

My thoughts exactly. My boyfriend decided to keep in touch with his exes cousin & her husband, he hadn't contacted them since we started dating & then, 6 months later, he feels (in the words of the voice note) "sh*t that he doesn't see them, but if things don't work, they don't work... What the hell is that suppose to mean?!?!

I freaked, packed my stuff - I told him get over her & her family & let me know. He didn't understand, until I painted the following picture:

First off, I have a family. Why don't you rather focus on this new future you are building & build relationships with my aunts, cousins, mom and so on. Why hold onto hers? What is my family not good enough for you to hang out with when I am not around, but hers is? If you want to build a future with someone, shouldn't you energy be spent on just that & not your past?

Yes, in my mind I think he isn't over her. Trust me, he proofs all to often that he is. The man does love me & shows it, but realistic - if Tom introduces you to Harry, you met Harry through Tom. So everytime you see, speak or hear of Harry - you are reminded of Tom in some way. I don't care how childlike that sounds - the fact is I want to take all your head space & if I am going to have to share it with your ex because you feel something for her family, then I don't want to be in your mind at all.

He did start arguing that he felt he had better & wouldn't mind showing off with me... I was blown away with this. You see, I am tired of being every man I dates show pony. Before him, I dated a dude in the music industry & somehow I was either sworn at or told to look more the part of the genre music he played. Now dating this new (amazing) man, I was constantly told by his friends that I was better than his ex, I made him happier, I looked better... Compliments to the max & yes it does feel great. But we have been dating for 6 months - I am over trying to show people I am pretty darn amazing, I am tired of hearing how she didn't cut it. I just want to be me, I don't want to be on display to be judged & compared. Now, back to the point - he wants to show her family he got better?! Why? What type of family has she got that they would think that? Which brings me to the next topic that got him thinking:

People talk, all people talk about each other. Its human, nothing wrong with a bit of gossip & some judging. This is her family, their loyality should lie with her. So do you really think that they won't be discussing you or your new relationship & partner? They have probably already discussed the fact that you want to visit them. Now I am a woman & my 1st reaction would be that he wants to get back into my life & that his new girlfriend isn't as grand as me. I would see him as pathetic & that I am better off, not the other way. No one can tell me that they don't care what people say about them, we all have a sense of pride & a fear for rejection. He was not just placing himself in that predicament to get discussed and laugh at, but me as well, & even if none of us were sure what if that discussion went down or how it sounded - the fact that you would risk the person you loves reputation - that sucked...

I asked him how he would feel if I hung out with my exes family? I also asked him how he would feel if his ex hung out with his family? See, there should be an ounce of respect for your ex ( no matter what the situation for your break up was) & part of that respect is allowing them to keep their family for their backing.

I think my picture made it clear & now he has stopped. I hope whoever is reading this will also tell their partner to stop or that if you are keeping in contact with your exes family that you see the damage you are doing to your future (whether in a new relationship or not) & that you will let go

Chanel said...

My thoughts exactly. My boyfriend decided to keep in touch with his exes cousin & her husband, he hadn't contacted them since we started dating & then, 6 months later, he feels (in the words of the voice note) "sh*t that he doesn't see them, but if things don't work, they don't work... What the hell is that suppose to mean?!?!

I freaked, packed my stuff - I told him get over her & her family & let me know. He didn't understand, until I painted the following picture:

First off, I have a family. Why don't you rather focus on this new future you are building & build relationships with my aunts, cousins, mom and so on. Why hold onto hers? What is my family not good enough for you to hang out with when I am not around, but hers is? If you want to build a future with someone, shouldn't you energy be spent on just that & not your past?

Yes, in my mind I think he isn't over her. Trust me, he proofs all to often that he is. The man does love me & shows it, but realistic - if Tom introduces you to Harry, you met Harry through Tom. So everytime you see, speak or hear of Harry - you are reminded of Tom in some way. I don't care how childlike that sounds - the fact is I want to take all your head space & if I am going to have to share it with your ex because you feel something for her family, then I don't want to be in your mind at all.

He did start arguing that he felt he had better & wouldn't mind showing off with me... I was blown away with this. You see, I am tired of being every man I dates show pony. Before him, I dated a dude in the music industry & somehow I was either sworn at or told to look more the part of the genre music he played. Now dating this new (amazing) man, I was constantly told by his friends that I was better than his ex, I made him happier, I looked better... Compliments to the max & yes it does feel great. But we have been dating for 6 months - I am over trying to show people I am pretty darn amazing, I am tired of hearing how she didn't cut it. I just want to be me, I don't want to be on display to be judged & compared. Now, back to the point - he wants to show her family he got better?! Why? What type of family has she got that they would think that? Which brings me to the next topic that got him thinking:

People talk, all people talk about each other. Its human, nothing wrong with a bit of gossip & some judging. This is her family, their loyality should lie with her. So do you really think that they won't be discussing you or your new relationship & partner? They have probably already discussed the fact that you want to visit them. Now I am a woman & my 1st reaction would be that he wants to get back into my life & that his new girlfriend isn't as grand as me. I would see him as pathetic & that I am better off, not the other way. No one can tell me that they don't care what people say about them, we all have a sense of pride & a fear for rejection. He was not just placing himself in that predicament to get discussed and laugh at, but me as well, & even if none of us were sure what if that discussion went down or how it sounded - the fact that you would risk the person you loves reputation - that sucked...

I asked him how he would feel if I hung out with my exes family? I also asked him how he would feel if his ex hung out with his family? See, there should be an ounce of respect for your ex ( no matter what the situation for your break up was) & part of that respect is allowing them to keep their family for their backing.

I think my picture made it clear & now he has stopped. I hope whoever is reading this will also tell their partner to stop or that if you are keeping in contact with your exes family that you see the damage you are doing to your future (whether in a new relationship or not) & that you will let go

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