Is it normal that... my family still sees my ex-husband?

This might be happening to Gwyneth Paltrow, but it’s also going on right here, in thei iVillager’s local Chinese. Can you help?

I have just come home from one of the most mortifying evenings of my life. Every month my parents and brother and I get together for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.

I was mid-way through my first-course spring roll when in walked my ex-husband.

My mum stood up and yelled out, “Deeeeeean, ” opened her arms and hugged him like he was her long lost son. Except he’s not her son, he’s my ex.

Aren’t I meant to get custody of my parents in the divorce?

Look, Dean has known my family his entire life. He and I grew up on the same street, we were friends since we were kids and we got married in our early 20s. It was a huge mistake. We tried to make our friendship into more than it was, or at least that’s what I think went wrong. He didn’t want to get divorced and it was painful. But it was the right thing to do. He needs to find someone who loves him and I want to find someone I love.

We’ve been separated now for a long time, and it’s four months since our divorce became official and as I put my dinner down and gave him a brief and awkward hug, I sat down thinking he’d leave, but my dad asks him to join us.

It turns out this isn’t the first time they’ve seen him since our divorce, by the way. Even though our families no longer live on the same street they chatted like old friends. From what I could gather as I silently observed my family’s betrayal, it seems Dean has been seeing my parents on a semi-regular basis.

Get this. Mum has called Dean over to the house to do a few jobs for her. She called him when my dad couldn’t fix our broken front gate on his own, and he stayed for lunch apparently. He’s also repainted the outside of their house and has taken Mum to Costco for her bi-annual stock up of grocery essentials.

Sweet, huh. And wrong!

We are divorced. Don’t they know what that means? It means Dean and I are no longer in love and we don’t want to see each other all that often.

Dinner was horrible and awkward, for me. Dean and my parents got along like a house on fire, chatting away and making plans to get together the following week. Apparently Dean and Dad are going fishing.

I want to give my family an ultimatum. Clearly they don’t understand what the done thing is when it comes to divorce. It means my entire family is divorced from him, not just me.

They have a choice – him or me. Right?

Do I have a right to be angry? Shouldn’t my parents cut off contact with my ex?