I Miss My Ex’s Family More Than I Miss Him—Is That Weird?

I dated a guy once who was very much a major part of my life. Throughout our long, multiple-year relationship, I became very close to his family and he with mine. Because we were so tight, when we broke up, it felt like I wasn’t only losing my best friend and love but an entire part of my family too. Even now, years later, my heart hurts when I think about our breakup—not because I miss him but because I miss his family.

  1. His parents were super warm and inviting. My ex’s parents were super nice to me. I love my parents too, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll never forget how generous his parents were to me. I firmly believe that good people are hard to come by in this world and they were really the best. They welcomed me with open arms and treated me like one of their own.
  2. His mom and I were close. She even checked up on me several times after we broke up. She was someone I considered to be another mother figure to me and losing him meant I also lost her. We had a relationship independent of him and talked often. Still, as much as I wanted to maintain a relationship with her, ultimately, I knew it wouldn’t be healthy for me. He’d treated me really poorly at the end of our relationship and keeping her in my life would have been confusing for everyone and made it harder for me to move on.
  3. His parents were an example of what marriage should look like. My parents aren’t the greatest example of what it means to have a loving marriage, so I never grew up with much faith in the tradition. Like many of us who come from broken homes, I’ve had to figure out what a healthy relationship is through trial, error, and imitation. My ex’s parents clearly loved each other and prioritized each other even after being married for so many years. When they looked at each other it was with affection and when they spoke to each other it was with humor and respect. It was lovely to be around that kind of energy.
  4. They wanted me to be a part of their family too. Not long before we broke up, I found out that they hoped we would end up married. That crushed me because they clearly didn’t know about all of the problems we’d been having. Would they have changed their minds if they did know? I often wonder about that.
  5. I often wonder more about how his family is doing rather than how he’s doing. My ex was a douche at the end so I’m not that concerned with how his life has panned out since we split. However, I do find myself hoping that I might run into his family again one day just to catch up and just to see them one more time. They became such a fixture in my life that I didn’t ever entertain the idea of them not being a part of it. The truth is that I’ll probably never see them again.
  6. So many people got hurt. When we broke up, I was surprised to discover that many members of my family were impacted by our split. It actually felt like someone had died and everyone was in mourning.  I just didn’t realize how many people were invested in our relationship. I wonder if it was like that for his family too.
  7. I still cherish all of the memories we shared.  We spent a lot of time together over the years. Our families spent holidays, weekends, birthdays and other celebrations together. We went through some tough times and had a lot of really great ones too. We learned from each other, supported each other and grew up together—all of us. I only wish that I have the same connection with a BF’s family again one day because it was kind of extraordinary.
  8. We wouldn’t have been good together in the long run, but I wish I could’ve kept his fam. Okay, so maybe that’s a little creepy but whatever. If given the opportunity to have him back, I probably wouldn’t take it. He and I weren’t meant to be and I think he was supposed to be in my life for a very finite period of time. That being said, if taking him back meant that I would get to know his parents, his siblings, his aunts, and uncles and everyone again, I might consider it—if only just to make sure that they knew how grateful I was for them in my life.
  9. Now, I’m super hesitant to get too close to the family too soon. My current BF is really excited for our families to meet but I’m super nervous about it. I’m afraid that we’re going to involve our families in our relationship and then something will go wrong and it’ll all crumble. For me, opening up my life in that respect is really special and a big decision. I just don’t want to get hurt again.
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.