Agony Aunt Annie offers advice to a reader who is constantly reminded of how much his family loved his ex…

Dear Annie

Please can you give me some advice on how to handle my husband’s family and their insensitive comments.

We’ve been married for three years and we are planning to be with his family over the holiday period. My parents are passed and what family I do have, live overseas. His parents and his two brothers always get together with us, along with the wives and children.

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His family are great and all get along very well. The problem is that they actively still talk about his first wife with such warmth and seem to have no regard for how I feel. I get that she was an important part of their lives and they were married for 16 years. She passed away a year before we met.

I was also married before for 14 years. My ex and I got divorced five years ago. I would never be so insensitive as to talk about him or our relationship. They don’t show me the same respect and will refer to things that they did together very often. They even have family photos that include her on their walls!

I’m not jealous that he had a previous relationship, but I would like to feel that I am the current and present wife without this constant reminder.

Current Mrs

Dear Current Mrs

Thank you for your letter. The holiday season does seem to highlight all the niggling family issues that we’d prefer to forget about in the year. I suspect that is how Christmas cake got to have brandy in it. Some families are better handled with morning tea that includes a tot or two.

It seems to matter hugely how the ex became the ex and this determines the protocol for future dealings

The holiday season does seem to highlight all the niggling family issues that we’d prefer to forget about in the year

Should your spouse say for example: “Oh honey, I am feeling so tearful today because yesterday would have been our anniversary” ( it’s either the woman or a man who is in touch with his feminine side), the appropriate response is strictly according to the method of departure of said spouse.

The previous quality of the relationship is not a contributing factor at all

If departed spouse has relocated to heaven, Facebook status should lovingly reflect photos of the couple together before the departure. Statements like “I will love you forever” are completely acceptable and current: the living spouse is required to not only like said post, but to also post comforting phrases like “I’m here for you babe”.

If your ex husband was your childhood sweetheart and he ran off and broke your heart, we hate the bastard and so should you. No loving memories are acceptable, regardless of how many years of positive memories you may have had together.

When God separates a couple by physically relocating one, the appropriate response is loving reminiscent moments

The arms of a new, hot lover can bring this comfort and he or she will be seen as akin to a priest blessing you.

The same valeted parking spot is not offered to the hot bare chested man or woman bringing comfort to the single person whose spouse has relocated within mailing distance, (not from the local post office of course) by human choice.

While all exes are complete trash, (with few exceptions of course: I was once an ex and I’m stunning, but my ex is of course of the majority chuck out pile) divorced persons should seek comfort from appropriate support groups that do not involve any interviews for replacement partners.

Maybe understanding the rules makes it easier to negotiate the family get togethers. (That and the brandy Christmas cake and pudding of course.)

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings
Annie