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Bunny

Not really family

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My husband and I were married a little over 15 years. We attended many family functions in both his mother’s and father’s families (they divorced when he was a toddler) and I got along with everyone. The only people to call me since he died are his parents and one of his dad’s cousins. His mom is quite toxic so I decided to cut off ties with her, but I’ve kept in touch with his dad and fraternal grandma.

 

Well... last time I talked to her, last year, we were making sure she had my mailing address and she asked me what my last name was and then said my maiden name. That really hurt and I told her my last name, which is the same as hers. I think it doubly stung because she was also widowed young and has been someone I could talk to about widow stuff.

 

I guess last year it just finally hit me, five years into this, that no one really considered me family anymore. I think the fact that we didn’t have children really cinched it for them. There is no ‘real blood’ to bind us. So, this last weekend, for the first time, I didn’t call his grandma on her birthday. I did still call his dad on his, even though it’s been years since he instigated one of our phone calls. I don’t know why I didn’t call, I just felt...detached? I didn’t call in June, like I usually do either. 

 

I’ve always been happy I took my husband’s name, but this year I’ve thought about changing it back to my maiden name. It just kinda sucks and the whole thing makes me feel bad and I just wanted to write it down somewhere in case someone else feels the same or close enough. 

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Bunny,  my situation is kind of similar to yours as in feeling detached from his family.  His parents are gone but has 2 sisters.  I have not talked to either of them in over 3 yrs.  When they decided (without at least talking to me) to invite DH's ex to holiday dinner. I was with DH for 20 yrs, she was never invited.  This also put my stepkids (adults) and I in a strained position over the past couple of yrs.  I have come to realize that things change and I need to keep moving forward rebuilding my life with or without them. As DH used to say "it is what it is" 

Hugs

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It's more of a norm than it should be. Mine almost instantly cut me out. I still talk to the father's side but the divide gets bigger all the time. I used to joke in the early days you're only an in-law until your an outlaw. Weird part is I also have a crazy MIL and she still apperently calls out cat her grand kitty. I'm just glad she doesn't want visitation rights.

 

Welcome to the shitty club of no kid wids. Extra serving of isolation. 

 

Hugs to you

 

Kk

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Yeah. Strange feeling to know that there are photos of you at their family functions when you were 'one of them'. But, I have decided to feel liberated by it instead. I married him. I wanted him. Everything else is / was secondary, and was just part of him. So it has gone with him. And honestly, there was a lot of toxic baggage there, so better off without it. But does cut your anchor tying you to your old life. 

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It's kind of a double-edged sword isn't it? As widows with no kids we have the option to walk away if we want. We don't necessarily have that continuous tie of blood and yet sometimes it feels like the options taken away from us because of that fact. That illusion that we really only belonged because they were there. I've been invited to a wedding for next year. however I know I'm really only a sad reminder to them he's gone and I feel like sometimes they only invite me out of obligation. I'm happy some people are blessed with in-laws that support them and continue to be a balanced and healthy part of their lives. However I do truly believe that is the exception and not the norm when you don't have kids with your late husband.

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My husband and I didn't have children together, but from previous marriages, he has 2 sons, and I have 2 daughter's.  

One stepsons  fiance is pregnant now. Due in February.  My husband died a little over a year ago. 

I'm not quite sure what my role as...'widowed step grammie'  will be.  I'm interested to see how much time I will end  up spending with my husband's grand child. 

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I got a Christmas card from BIL and wife that read, "stay in touch, but only if you want to."  

 

Oddly, the only time we communicated with them was when Late Husband took the initiative to call.They never called  us.

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