Advice

Please Advise: I can’t break up with my ex’s family.

Pin it

I don't ever want to see him again, but his family are some of my favorite people. What do I do?

Each week, the inbox of our venerable advice columnist, Miss Information, is flooded with queries. And although she makes a valiant effort, she can't answer them all. To deal with the surplus, we've decided to turn to you. So, don your spectacles and help this woman out give her advice in the comments below.

Dear Nerve,

I dated this guy for about four years, and we'd been living together for about eight months when he abruptly decided he no longer loved me and began cheating on me, eventually leaving me with a few months left on the lease and more rent than I was comfortably able to handle. It was one of the worst periods of my life, and I don't ever want to see him again.

But the problem is, over the four years we were together, I got unbelievably close with his parents and sister. I grew up as a child of a relatively early divorce, without any siblings, and a small extended family. I have a family, and a relationship with them, but it's always felt like a perfunctory one — I never got the warmth and support that I think characterizes a truly great family. Meanwhile, my ex's family and I hit it off in a way that now seems almost unfair. His sister and I used to hang out without him, his mother and father took to me immediately (his mother still calls me just to say hi and catch up), and I felt included and loved in a way that I never did before. For years, I felt like part of the family I never had.

Now, I'm finding it really hard to move on. Do I have to give up his family to get complete closure? I'm not suggesting that I stop seeing them entirely (or stop hanging out one-on-one), but is it necessary that I stop going to gatherings where I know my ex will be there? Is it weird that I want to go to lunch with his mom and sister, and keep emailing his dad funny cat pictures? How many ties do I need to cut? To get over my ex, do I also have to get over his parents?

 Still in Love With the In-Laws