Man up­set his ex-wife went to his mom’s funeral

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - el­liead­ DEAR EL­LIE

Q . Six years ago I was in the hos­pi­tal in se­ri­ous con­di­tion. My mother passed away dur­ing this time and I couldn’t at­tend the funeral.

My ex-wife of 20-plus years did at­tend the funeral, which I find very un­ortho­dox and strange be­cause she and my mother were never close. My mother didn’t like her.

Friends of mine stated that it was out of re­spect for my mother but I find this ridicu­lous since there was no re­la­tion­ship.

What do you think her in­ten­tions were in do­ing this strange act?

My ex did email me re­cently to ask where I was and why I wasn’t at the funeral as well.

A. Whether it was re­spect for your late mother or for your past re­la­tion­ship, her at­ten­dance at the funeral would usu­ally not be con­sid­ered a neg­a­tive act. So it’s just as odd that you’re still won­der­ing about it six years later ... es­pe­cially since you could re­ply to her email and ask her why she at­tended.

How­ever, I de­tect some sus­pi­cion from you which may sug­gest it’s best not to ask, lest you stir up is­sues be­tween you and your ex.

Per­haps she thinks you in­her­ited money from your mother, and sees some po­ten­tial ad­van­tage to her­self. If that’s on your list of what-ifs, talk to a lawyer to learn what’s pos­si­ble in your case, re­gard­ing the rights of an ex-spouse to an in­her­i­tance re­ceived post-divorce.

Q. My hus­band and I each have chil­dren from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage.

Ini­tially, we lived very close to his mother and things were fine for sev­eral years.

When his chil­dren be­came adults, one was very rude to me. Since then, my hus­band and I (but mostly me), have been ex­cluded from fam­ily get-to­geth­ers. When his mother had a hol­i­day party with all fam­ily and friends ex­cept us, I had enough. We moved far­ther away.

I told my mother-in-law how her be­hav­iour made me feel. She was very de­fen­sive, but later said she wanted to “fix things.” It’s been two years with no word from her since. But the fam­ily con­tin­ues to in­vite my hus­band and ex­clude me and my adult chil­dren.

My hus­band is stuck in the mid­dle, though I en­cour­age him to see them without me, and sup­port him at­tend­ing on hol­i­days de­spite that I’m left without him.

Am I be­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily stub­born? My hus­band doesn’t think so but is he just try­ing to keep the peace?

A. Sorry, but your hus­band is not “stuck” in the mid­dle. He was part of the move fur­ther away from his mother, so un­der­stood how hurt­ful this ex­clu­sion­ary be­hav­iour had be­come.

But you’ve made it easy for him to at­tend these events without you, when it’s sim­ply wrong of his fam­ily — led by his mother’s ex­am­ple — to leave you out.

Your hus­band should ask his mother and his adult chil­dren what this is all about. You shouldn’t be left sit­ting home on hol­i­days without your hus­band.

Feed­back re­gard­ing the son, 19, whose par­ents want to pro­vide a sep­a­rate room for him and his girl­friend on their fam­ily va­ca­tion (Feb. 1):

Reader: “What if the girl’s mother dis­agrees, caus­ing con­flict be­tween her and her daugh­ter?

“So, the young cou­ple is old enough to share a room but the girl has to ask her mother? These are mixed mes­sages we give de­pen­dent chil­dren.

“Call me old-fashioned. Maybe the annoying son should stay home since he doesn’t ap­pre­ci­ate the va­ca­tion without his girl­friend.

El­lie: In di­vorced/re­mar­ried fam­i­lies, it’s of­ten dif­fi­cult to ac­com­mo­date an older teenager dur­ing a trip with a tod­dler sib­ling. Since the dat­ing cou­ple don’t live to­gether, the boy’s mother would be wrong to not get the girl’s par­ents’ ap­proval.

The mother was clearly will­ing to pay for this fam­ily va­ca­tion.

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