Sorry about any mistakes, this is my first post. My EH and I got divorced after a nine year marriage. It only took him 2 years to cheat on me with my employee. She then stalked me for five additional years and he never stuck up for me throughout the entire ordeal. He was not seeing her after I initially found out about the affair, but they must have had contact from time to time. Aside from that, we divorced in 2001 due to him being so distant in the relationship and we were pretty much just co-existing. He was never close with the children and, in fact, after the divorce, they say that they can't even remember him ever really being in the house. So they coped fine with the divorce. He never ONCE has phoned them (to this day) and only saw them at my persistance. I remarried after 15 months and their step-father was wonderful. Unfortunately, he passed away only 3 years later. Now, I have his child and my four children from my first marriage. We talked about it extensively, for about a year, and decided that we would all like to share the same last name. The kids were hyphenated with mine and my EH last name and my deceased husband's child and I shared his last name. We decided to go with my maiden name for everyone so that we could have the same last name in the household and would feel more unified. My EH never told his family that we changed our last names. Therefore, whenever my ex-mother-in-law sees a program with the kids name as only my maiden name, she gets upset and tells the kids that it is rude to their late grandfather and that they need to keep the hypenated last name to honor her family. Mind you, this side of the family rarely acknowledges the presence of my children. They never have received birthday gifts or even a card after the divorce and last year when we went over for Christmas, my kids did not receive a single gift from anyone (except grandma) on his side of the family, but got gifts for the other nieces and nephews. She (ex-MIL) keeps bringing it up at events, such as a concert or party. My EH says she complains about it constantly, but he never tells her the truth. My kids are 16, 17 and 18 years old. I think that we did the right thing for our family. Any advice on how to handle this?
P.S. If he had been an involved father, who really co-parented, this would never have been an issue. But I have been raising these kids, for the most part, on my own or for those few years with my deceased husband.