My sister despises my ex-husband. He and I have remained friends because we have young adult children. Family gatherings, especially around this time of year, are awkward for me and my son and daughter because my sister is outwardly hostile toward their father. They can be seated at opposite ends of the table, but she’ll still find a way to get a dig in. How can I make this more tolerable for our family?
Family festivities can bring out the very best behavior in a family or the very worst. Before the holidays begin, have lunch with your sister, or chat on the phone, to tell her how you feel. Tell her it is uncomfortable for everyone when she is mean to your former husband in front of his children as well as other family members who were once part of his family. It makes you squeamish anticipating the holidays.
Ask her politely to please refrain from saying anything unkind, mean or hostile to your former husband for the sake of your children—her niece and nephew. Remind her that they are incredibly sensitive to her hurtful remarks and if she doesn’t promise you that she will think carefully before saying anything unkind to him, you and your children will be forced to pull out of the festivities.
It sounds childish to threaten your sister, but she needs to know how strongly you feel.
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