Life Advice



Ask Amy: In-law’s contact with the ex rattles the family

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My mother-in-law is causing a rift in the family that's hurting my husband.

We haven't been married long, and his divorce was a contentious one. His ex managed to delay every step of the divorce, and went after everything she could, including the house, which he ended up leaving to her just to bring the proceedings to an end.

My husband cried when he told his parents years ago how unhappy he was in the marriage, and his mother's response was only, "How will this affect the grandchildren?"

While they were divorcing, she took the grand "children" (they're twins in their early 20s) and their mother to Disney World!

Most recently, she took her grandchildren out to dinner on their birthday with – you guessed it – the ex, and not her son/us.

He and I have asked her and the rest of his family to wean off from socializing with the ex.


My MIL claims she's afraid the ex will cut her and her husband off from their grandchildren because the ex is very manipulative and the twins are very immature (they don't drive, live with their mom, and have no life).

The rest of the extended family has respected our wishes to cut ties with the ex, but not my MIL, and this has been very hurtful to my husband.

He feels like he doesn't have his own parents' support. (His father is passive and let's his wife do whatever she wants.)

Please advise us on what we can do.


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