Breaking Up With the Family Is Hard to Do

broken heart
Flickr photo by Niffty
I'm sad. My little sister and her boyfriend, whom she's been with for five years, decided to go their separate ways yesterday.

This breaks my heart because I really, really liked him -- I thought of him as my own brother. I understand it's for the best, and she needs to do what makes her happy, and obviously, I'm going to support her decision.

But having them break up makes me feel as if there's been a big ol' divorce in the family.


Once a family gets close to a significant other, break-ups get a lot messier, especially if that significant other was considered part of the family. When people look at past family photos, he'll be "oh, yeah, that guy ... I remember him."

But, that's life.

As close as I was to him, my sister comes first and, out of respect for her, I plan to distance myself from him. No more funny YouTube links being sent on Facebook, no more queries about Lost (how timely) -- I'll take a step back, keeping myself out of their situation. I'm hoping this is the appropriate action.

Just because the relationship ends doesn't mean the relationship you built with the family has to. I hope that this will be the case with my sister's ex. I've maintained relationships with ex's families. Just this past Christmas, I spent an entire day with my high school sweetheart's mother, and my ex-fiance's mom and I message each other on Facebook every now and again. I was close to these families and thought very highly of them.

Hopefully, once things have smoothed over and hearts have been mended, I can continue my friendship with him. He's a great guy, just not the best match for my little sister.

What are your thoughts on staying friends with the ex's family after a break-up? Are you still close to any of your exes' families?

Read More >