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Handling Someone Else's Divorce, Cope Ideas?

My sister until recently was married to my husband's best friend. And to everyone's credit we all doing our best not to turn this into a who on who's side thing. The problem comes when my husband and I are at social function with my former brother in law without my sister. One of two things happens he either completely abandons all attempts to parent his kids because he believes it my resposibilty. Or he completely spoils them undermines what I know my sister told him about homework and punishments and even goes so far as to say 'I am the fun one, mommy's the mean one, right?"

So my question: What do I do? Do I keep my mouth shut to avoid getting the middle? Do I avoid my former brothere-in-law all together? Or do I call him on his crap?


Asked by FuzNet at 3:30 PM on Mar. 20, 2009 in Relationships

Level 14 (1,540 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • While this is/was your hubby's best friend, he is now also your sister's ex. Would you put up with his comments if he were not so close to your hubby? If you would keep it to yourself, then do so in this situation also. But, if you would say something, then do so.

    You are not thier parent and should not be expected to act like it either. But, as thier aunt, you do have the right to correct their behavior, even in front of thier dad (especially if he is contradicting the mom's wishes) When he makes comments like those, make a simple one right back to the kids. Such as "Your mom is not mean. She has rules b/c she loves you. -look at dad- And I think we all need to show your mom some respect by behaving right now." or if hes not parenting them say whatever you would say to your own children and add "I don't think your mom and dad would approve of this behavior". It makes him apart of the situation, even if he tries not to be.

    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 6:06 PM on Mar. 20, 2009

  • It's hard to say because I don't really know the type of relationship you have with either of these people. But if it were me, I have a hard time staying out of something that I think is wrong. It's one thing he is lets little things slide but to basically bad mouth the other parent to the child isn't okay in my book. The "mommy's mean" comment is not appropriate for him to say, even just joking. I would probably have a sit down with him and tell him how you feel about it and if things don't change, maybe bring it up with her. You run a risk of losing a friendship with this guy by stepping in so you just really need to figure out which is more important to you. Staying close to both parties after a divorce is very, very hard and very much like Mission Impossible. But follow your gut. Talk to your husband about it, maybe he can help.

    Answer by DDry at 3:46 PM on Mar. 20, 2009

  • Well, I would make sure that he knows it's not YOUR responsibility to parent HIS kids. I would ask him to be respectful of the fact that his exwife is your sister and that you will not tolerate negative remarks about her. If he can't understand something that common sense, tell your husband you would prefer not to be around the guy anymore.

    Answer by Silvertears1275 at 3:53 PM on Mar. 20, 2009

  • I vote stay out of it

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:03 PM on Mar. 20, 2009