Deactivating Eskridge Prt 3: Seperation Anxiety- I LOVE MY IN-LAWS...or EX in-laws..
By Brittney Baker
"In every conceivable manner, family is the link to our past, and the bridge to our future."
It had been 6 months into our blossoming relationship, and still no mention about meeting his family. Growing up in a smaller family dynamic, this concerned me. Family love and support are very important to me. I grew up in a very sheltered environment, and as the youngest and only girl, I had a different attachment and connection to my family than what my ex husband could understand. My parents were uber protective, and my big brother....lets just say he thought he had a little brother LOL. It was hard for him to let me be a girl. In fact, he escorted me to my first High School Homecoming Dance. He refused to let me get approached or approach anyone LOL.
After becoming a wife, I yearned for a stronger connection with my new family. At that time, we resided in his hometown, and I prayed I would be embraced by them. Gradually, I was blessed enough to meet everyone, and my relationship with his Mother grew strong, and she became just as important to me as my own Mother.
So... Here we are, nearly divorced and the question arises, Do you still consider them family? Do they appreciate your journey with your spouse, now that it's ending? In the beginning, I worried how I would look to them. Especially his Mother. I wanted my truth to be heard. His siblings never treated me bad, but I always felt they looked at me as being temporary. I fought through all my fears and doubts and kept trying to develop some bonds. My former spouse always felt my family was a bit biased and overly opinionated when it came to me. He was able to build a bond with them anyhow, but it became very rocky and strained quickly.
Shockingly, after all the details of our demise had been exposed, his Mother's unconditional support and love for me remained constant, if not stronger. I adore that woman so much! You would think our relationship would bring joy but it only aggravated my former spouse. Sometimes, he'd call and I'd say, "Hey, let me call you back, I'm on the phone with your Mom" I would feel the eyes rolling and teeth smacking lol. He felt I talked to her too much about our marriage. Same with my family, I exposed and overshared according to him.
Currently, I'm having a hard time detaching from his family. I grew such a love, interest, and concern for them all, that I can't seem to "Cut-off" those emotions. In an effort to remain healthy during this process, I digress from communication. Social networks don't help with that, but I try. His sister and I recently started communicating a lot more. She's a new mommy and it was exciting to be around and involved from a distance. Hearing her say things like, "You will always be by Sister, no matter what." always warmed my heart.
How realistic is that though? How long do you keep the relationship going? In my opinion , it strengthens you. Yes, it can get unhealthy, but only if you allow it. Whether they know it or not, their ability to remain cordial speaks wonders to your development. It shows that you were respected and valued as a person, not because you were married to their relative.
I do plan on remarrying one day and I definitely want to leave the baggage at the door. However, it's hard not to keep good people in your heart. Keep in my mind, people only become baggage if you allow them to be that.
My struggle with this is still very real. Somedays I'm scared to see social media posts from his family. I'm nervous to correspond via text with his Siblings or Mother. I'm fearful of what I may discover, what I may hear about "former spouse". This is me avoiding and deflecting. You have to face it head on. I'm working on it :-)
Some may say when you cut him off, the family should be as well. I disagree. If I did that, that would mean the relationships we built were merely based on our titles to each other and not our genuine hearts. Even my Ex Boyfriend's (before future Ex Husband lol) family is still very active in my life, and were during my marriage, also.
It heavily relies on the person to decipher if keeping the bond will hendure or help. Maturely understanding limits and how to leave your past with your significant other out of the equation is crucial.
I challenge you all to look deep in yourselves and decide if "Cutting-off" is a resourceful tool in your growth, or if it's blocking it.
Did you enjoy this installment of Deactivating Eskridge? Do you familiarize with these emotional transitions of ending relationships with exes and their families? Is Brittney's transparency a ministry to your journey? Sound off in the comments below!