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Silver Conversationalist
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Re: Ex has terminal cancer, wants me to attend family reunion

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Message 1 of 5

Okay, major dilemma you are faced with, real question is,  "what do you want to do"?

 

Does your ex husbands "new" wife ever around in person? Seems like hide and seek with his the new wife most of the time? I get it, you don't want to see her, but it just seems odd she is never seen. It's really not important but it just makes me curious. Anyhow.....................

 

…………….real hard decision here. To the first point, you mentioned to yourself as the "magnanimous first wife". You were in fact married to him first, but you are now an "Ex-wife". You have been divorced for 16 years now and your marriage responsibilities ended then.

 

The decision you have to make will be with your "freewill".  It will depend on what type of a person do you feel you should be. It's not about what any of his family or your family thinks, this is about what you think.   Do you see a wrong or right in going to the gathering?   Will it really bother you to see his new wife after being divorced for 16 years? Only you can answer the above questions.

 

I have seen some divorces where the ex's are still in touch with their former in-laws and even after being remarried. Then you have those divorces where nobody ever talks to each other again, I mean to nobody in the families.  So it's always all over the board as to what will happen when we divorce and to whom the divorce will effect. So there is no right or wrong singular answer, which then still comes back to you.............................what do you think you should do?

 

I would suggest this................ I think you had a 27 year marriage with this man. You have all the details and information of those 27 years of being together. You had children with this man, your children seem to be doing very well in life and I am very glad to hear it. 

 

I ask for you to take a deep breath and hear me out. I ask that you please not look at what your marriage became in the end or when you got divorced. Just let all that past garbage go for a minute.

 

Can you look back in time and find one moment in your former marriage that can make you smile? Can you find a moment in your former marriage that you can say you were happy?  The reason I ask is because you said: 

 

"I have never totally gotten over the split"

 

and it seems the both of you became civil over the years, that's a good thing, maybe not back into best buddies, but civil relationships are good.  You sound like an excellent mother, and you were probably an excellent wife during your marriage, and I can tell you care, so you are a good person.

 

I think you want to see him and for all the right reasons and be alone with him before that moment disappears. You just don't want all the other characters there and I don't blame you at all. I would not recommend you go to the gathering..............................

 

..................I will suggest that the two of you have a lunch or a coffee together or wherever you choose to meet.  Nobody else there, not with his wife (if she is ever around), not with his family members, not even with your children. You should be able to see him one last time as "just you", not be seen as the mother, and not be seen as the first wife, and not be seen as the family member or as the ex-in law.

 

Just you and him together alone, with the titles of ex-husband and ex-wife put aside to have maybe some remembrance of what good times there were, possibly a brief glimpse of forgiveness between you two, and to simply say goodbye.   

 

I know you are a good person........no, you are probably a great person. You are strong and you have freewill and I think I know what you will do.

 

Which leads me back up to the top of this post and my first question to you,  

 

"What do you want to do?"

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Super Social Butterfly
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Re: Ex has terminal cancer, wants me to attend family reunion

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Message 2 of 5

Concur.

 

In this situation I would do what I am comfortable with; if that is going to the reunion, then go. If not then don't.

 

No moral or ethical question here, I think. Do not put yourself in a situation you are not comfortable with.

 

You'll be there for your kids when they need you when their Dad passes; that's what really matters.

 

 

Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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Treasured Social Butterfly
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Re: Ex has terminal cancer, wants me to attend family reunion

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Message 3 of 5

I wouldn't go.  I'd encourage our kids/grandkids to go.  But I wouldn't.  

 

Boundaries are important.  Care for and nurture "you" right now.  Not him.   


Hang in there.  I know it's rough.  

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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: Ex has terminal cancer, wants me to attend family reunion

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Message 4 of 5

@epikeia wrote:

He left me for a woman he met on the internet. 

 

(Our divorce was acrimonious - although I filed it, I would have liked to have worked on the marriage via counseling or whatever but he refused. 


Here's the situation:  ex has just been diagnosed with agressive and terminal cancer.  He may have only months to live. 

 

I don't really want to go and be the magnanimous first wife (I have never totally gotten over the split, though I have a good and happy life now.) I don't really want to be on his wife's turf with her family and friends, his family, and our kids.

 

I know that the cultural construct says "He's dying, go, and do it for him, not for yourself." 

 

 


Did he meet a woman on the internet FOR YOU?

 

Did he submit to counseling FOR YOU?

 

This may sound cold but this "family reunion" isn't FOR YOU either.

 

The advice your lawyer gave you some time ago still holds true.

 

GET OUT/GET CLEAR

 

I say don't go.

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Info Seeker
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Ex has terminal cancer, wants me to attend family reunion

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Message 5 of 5

My ex and I divorced 16 years ago after a 27 year marriage.  He left me for a woman he met on the internet.  They lived in another state for a number of years and then retired to an expat community in Mexico.  (Our divorce was acrimonious - although I filed it, I would have liked to have worked on the marriage via counseling or whatever but he refused. BTW, for those of you thinking about staying married after ex leaves, don't.  My lawyer was right - get out/get clear.  My financial situation benefitted.)

 

Our children were grown at time of divorce, and the last had just graduated from college. Both went on to stellar careers in the sciences and have been nothing but supportive and loving to me since he left.  Over the years ex and I became civil to each other and then friendly at grad school graduations, marriages, and his occasional visits to see his grandkids.  The wife (they eventually married) never came to any of those things (possibly wasn't invited, unclear) and I haven't met her and haven't wanted to.

 

Here's the situation:  ex has just been diagnosed with agressive and terminal cancer.  He may have only months to live.  He now wants to have a family reunion in Mexico and has invited me along with his assorted relatives, his wife's relatives, our kids and grandkids.  Sigh.

 

I don't really want to go and be the magnanimous first wife (I have never totally gotten over the split, though I have a good and happy life now.) I don't really want to be on his wife's turf with her family and friends, his family, and our kids. I know that the cultural construct says "He's dying, go, and do it for him, not for yourself."  But I feel like I may hate myself either way, go and pretend all is well, or don't go and regret not seeing him once more time before he dies (we've seen each other at our kids' homes about twice a year since the divorce, and his wife has never come.)

 

I looked around on the internet to see if I could find a place where thoughtful, older people might have comments and insights, and found this site.  I may not do what you recommend, but I'd like to hear your thoughts.Thanks.

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