15 answers

What to Say to Ex Daughter-in-law?

Unfortunately my son's divorce will be final as soon as the judge signs the papers in about a week or so. He thought there was a 90 day wait, but apparently not. I was hoping to have more time to think about what to say to my ex-dil. Somehow it seems that I should say something or write something to her as kind of a good-bye closure. Otherwise I think it would be awkward to run into her somewhere. I'm not good in person or with difficult communications. I don't think I could hold it together. I would like your ideas on if, how, and what to say. (no children involved so we don't have that issue) Responses appreciated. TriciaJ

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Featured Answers

I do ot think you need to say anything at all. There are no children, but if you feel you need to just let her know that there is not ill will toward her and that you hope she will get all that she needs out of life.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

T.,
Divorce always brings up the ugly side of people. Please don't take things too personally.

If I were your son's ex, what I would appreciate hearing from you is, "I'm sorry that things didn't work our between our son and you." "I wish you the best life to come and hope that you find what you are looking for."

Keep it simple heartfeldt and not detailed.

Best wishes to you.

4 moms found this helpful

I would write a letter, and treat the situation like she is moving away. Tell her what you have been thankful for during the time she was married to your son. Let her know the things you appreciate about her, and that you are sorry it has to end like this and that you wish her the best. Of course if those aren't your true feelings, it may be best to say nothing! But if you have something positive to say, I would say it! I would be good closure for the both of you.

3 moms found this helpful

T.,

I'm so sorry! I hope your son's heart recovers and grows from this experience and that he finds a lasting relationship in the future (if that is what he wants).

Two of my brothers have gone through divorces and I remember how difficult they were for my mom. One brother had children, the other didn't. This is what my mom did with the ex-dil with no children:

She wrote a letter - it was very short, about one page - that simply said she was sorry the marriage had come to an end, that she had enjoyed knowing her and that she wished her the best. My mom and the ex shared a love of museums, so my mom mentioned something about how much she had enjoyed going to local museums together. But that was it.

She shared the letter with my brother. He was initially upset about the letter, but he got over it and told my mom he was OK with it. She didn't send it until he OK'd it. I don't know if I would recommend that or not, but I thought I'd mention it.

The ex never wrote her back, which was fine. I think my mom was relieved because she wasn't looking to establish a longterm relationship. My mom did it because she knew they might run into each other some day and she didn't want it to be awkward (just like you).

Take good care of yourself - whether our children are 2 or 42, it hurts to see them in pain and to be unable to fix it.

3 moms found this helpful

Hi T.,

Oftentimes, the desire for closure is about us. We want to forgive someone for their actions or understand why they did something that was hurtful to someone we love.

If it were me, I would try writing a letter to your daughter-in-law. Let her know all of your feelings about the situation: your disappointment, your hurt feelings from the exchange a few months ago, everything. Then, after you are done, don't send it. I'm serious. This is about you moving on, not her. Instead, find some kind of ritual that will help YOU feel better. Many people burn these letters as a symbolic act of letting go of those feelings, or you can figure out something else to do that works for you. It's up to you what feels good, freeing and feels like resolution. Engaging with her may not end the way you expect, esp. since she is already upset that she's been 'inconvenienced'.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi T.,

I can't possibly imagine anything you could say to your soon to be ex-daughter-in-law. The break-up of the relationship really is between her and your son and since there are no children involved I don't see any reason for you to say goodbye to her or become involved in any way.

If I were you I'd simply stay out of it, just like us moms should always stay out of our kids relationship business, and if you should run into her on the street simply smile and be pleasant. Again since there are no children involved there's really not any reason why you should feel attached to your daughter-in-law nor she should feel attached to you once the divorce is final. Even though your last communication with her was unpleasant I hope you will be gracious enough to realize that in a situation like she was in at the time it is perfectly understandable that she may not have been at her best and might have been unpleasant with you. Divorce can tend to bring out the worst in people even when they don't mean it to.

I sincerely hope that you don't hold anything against her for the divorce. It's my experience that we only get one side of the story and that the information we get is always going to be told in such a way so that it doesn't put the person telling us in a bad light. When I divorced my ex-husband many, many years ago it was because he was an emotionally and physically abusive person who had a bad problem with alcohol and drugs. I found out many years later that he had told his family the divorce was all my fault, that I was running around partying, doing drugs and that he hadn't done anything but be a perfect husband to me and father to our children. I'm not saying that your son is lying to you about his part in the divorce but I'm just saying that people rarely tell all of a story when it comes to situations like this and the story they tell is rarely going to put them at fault in any way.

Sincerely,
C.

2 moms found this helpful

It sounds like you really need to have closure with this situation to move forward and for that, I respect that about you.

I think you should send her a "Thinking of you" card. Keep the card short, but let her know that you are sorry things didn't work out in the long run between her and your son and that you hope that in the future she finds the happiness that she is seeking. Leave it at that and then if you have to, pray any of the anger out. Don't let it bother you too much that her choices may be leading her down a different path than anyone else had planned for her. She obviously is struggling with other issues and those issues, no matter how much you care for her-are hers.

Many better wishes to you and your son and rest of the family. I'm sorry to hear that the situation had to end in those terms, but some people just need to have space and their plans unfortunately create bad situations.

Keep her in your prayers and hopefully, you can find closure.

Kim B.

2 moms found this helpful

T.,
It is always hard when there is a divorce in the family. My thoughts are to always be nice/pleasant. You would probably have an easier time writing something to her. I would kep it short and sweet and just keep it positive. Say nice things about her. You never know how it will have an impact on her and your son.

S.

2 moms found this helpful

I do ot think you need to say anything at all. There are no children, but if you feel you need to just let her know that there is not ill will toward her and that you hope she will get all that she needs out of life.

1 mom found this helpful

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