“I was a product of a divorce in the ’80s, and any time my parents and extended family were in the room, it was so uncomfortable,” said Linda Perry, a divorce consultant and author of the self-published e-book on mediation A Clearer Path: The Divorce Consultants Complete Guide to Divorce. “But today, my kids — who are products of divorce — find it incredibly easy to be in the same room with my former in-laws and me because my ex and I set the foundation that [it’s] OK for everybody to get along.”
Perry said that unless there has been a history of physical or emotional abuse in the marriage, making it important to limit if not end personal connections, having a friendly relationship with your ex and the ex’s family can be beneficial, especially if children are involved.
“In divorce, you don’t only lose a partner, you lose an entire side of the family,” Perry said. “The old way of doing things was to declare war, but today it’s about finding new ways of communicating.”
See Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Family section for tips on navigating post-divorce relationships with ex in-laws.