Ask Kari: Can I be friendly with my ex-sister in law without offending my brother?

Dear Kari,

My ex-sister in law is getting married again. I like her very much and we are still friendly, as we talk a few times a year. I am not attending her upcoming wedding, as is it a destination wedding in Mexico but I am wondering if I should send her a gift.  What do you think? Do you think it be will offensive to my brother if I do, as their marriage ended because she had an affair? (It was with someone different from who she is marrying.)

Still Friendly

Dear Still Friendly,

You did not mention how close you are with your brother and whether he has moved on from his relationship with his ex-wife. I will assume that he has and you are more concerned about proper etiquette versus causing poor family dynamics. I think it is perfectly fine to send a gift to you ex- sister in law. At this point you truly are just friends and friends send friends good wishes and sometimes gifts when they have a joyous occasion in their lives.


As published in the April 2014 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.

Email your Ask Kari questions to [email protected] or use our online form. All email user personal information will remain confidential and not be public.