Breaking Up is Hard to Do

As an Aunt to three great kids and being from a family who remained intact (a feat in and of itself nowadays, good job Mom and Dad!), I have found it to be a bit of a struggle with seeing my neices and nephew go through another separation even on my end. My husband unfortunately has been through divorce, and turned out just fine incidentally, but other than seeing some of my friends go through it, I haven’t had it immediately impact me before.

So when we found out that my brother-in-law and his wife were ending their relationship I was very confused on how that would impact my relationship with the kids. The one I know we’ll continue to see as she is my BIL’s biological daughter, but the other two I worried about as they were from her previous marriage. The older one is over 18 so I’m not too worried about keeping in touch with him, but the younger one I was really quite concerned about.

I tried talking to my hubby about it all and then made up my mind that no matter what, our door was always going to be open to all three kids. And I told them so. And I gave them our contact info (so they don’t have to ask anyone for it) and said that they are always welcome to visit, call or whatever they want as long as they have permission of course! I was afraid it would be a very delicate situation, but I must say, it has worked out rather well. I now feel I know the kids even better and have even connected with them on Facebook (mentioned in a previous post) so we can better keep in touch. We’ve seen them at the major holidays and really had a wonderful time. We’re all addicted to the Wii so it’s even more fun playing with them!

In the fall we had the middle girl over for a weekend. It gave her a break from the tension and gave us a chance to have some fun with her. We took her to the Royal Winter Fair and she got to see her Uncle compete in a match. A wonderful time was had by the three of us. She is chomping at the bit to come again too. And now her big brother is hinting, ok, well, out and out trying to pick a date actually, when he too can come down and hang out.

I still worry about the balance and how to arrange these events with the uniqueness of the situation and all, but I’m trying and I feel pretty good about it. After all, these are my neices and nephew by marriage, and I adore them so I’d like to continue to be in their lives and try to come up with a new definition of family along the way. I can’t just turn off the emotions and shouldn’t have to. I’m not splitting with them after all.

Have any of you had similar issues come up? Do you have any comments or suggestions? Strategies? I’d love to hear them!

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