One of the by-products of a dissolved marriage is the technically estranged family–the former in-laws. But what if one’s relationships with this extension (not extended) family has not been sundered, as they had nothing at all to do with the dissolution of the marriage? What does one call them now — former sister-in-law, ex-niece-in-law…out-laws?

I maintain a warm relationship with my nieces and nephews on my ex-husband’s family. Warmer perhaps, than his own with them. One of my best friends is my ex-husband’s brother’s wife, my “bilas” as we Pinoys call the relation, Needa. I have kept in touch with Needa and her kids Wanda, Dingdong and Nikki, and Baby’s kids Janjan and Darth. I think of them now not as in-laws but as blood relatives, as the experiences we had shared at the time before the annulment bind us more than the negated piece of paper that had brought us together.

p.s. In case you were wondering, I had my marriage annulled in 2002. I have remarried since then, happily this time, to the father of my daughter Maia.


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