My ex and I enjoy an amicable relationship, but even the most friendliest of situations can be tested when one decides to join her ex and his family for a three day vacation. This is my third trip since our separation and as such I've managed to come up with a few tried and true ways to enjoy my vacation without suffering from too many awkward moments.
1. Remember you're not married any longer. When my ex and I used to travel together, his inability to sit still for five minutes without wandering off during a parade was a major irritation. Now I shrug it off as if he were my weird cousin rather than the man with whom I plan to grow old.
2. Offer to take the pictures. The moment comes when his family wants a picture of, well, his family. Don't stand on the sidelines like an outsider. Offer to take the picture or just jump in. They can just explain you're like that weird cousin they can't seem to get rid of.
3. Be sure to give yourself a few moments alone. It can be bittersweet and uncomfortable to be around all that family fun. Take a few moments or even an hour or two to sneak away and enjoy some down time. Then, be a pal and offer the same to your ex. I'm sure it's just as weird for him.
4. Don't try to explain. When the hotel manager asks if my husband needs a key or if the waiter asks if my husband needs a refill, I simply answer their question rather than explain he's my ex and we're trying to have a peaceful divorce.
5. Remember why you're there. When I see my children's eyes light up and their laughter fills the air, I look at my ex in-laws and say thank you. Thank you for including me in your family vacation and thank you for understanding how important it is for me to share these moments with my children.