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help me work out a Christmas question please

(80 Posts)
chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 10:34:24

Ok, this is going to be controversial. For those who haven't seen the back story, the relevant bits are:

XH cheated on me while I was pg with DS2. He spent Christmas that year (while DS1 was only 16mo) shagging his OW in the marital bed, and chose not to spend the holiday with either me or his son. I didn't know about OW at that point, I spent Christmas with my family due to his appalling behaviour in general. He was invited to come, and said that 'it didn't matter' if he saw our DS1 on Christmas day, and Boxing day was just as good as far as he was concerned.

When I discovered OW I LTB. He subsequently declared her the love of his life, and now lives with her. No problem - I am glad he's not around, he's a twunt.

Last year, our DS2's first Christmas, he did not ask to see him at all. He stuck to his usual access pattern of eow, which meant that he saw our boys on the 15th Dec and then the 29th. He went on holiday to Egypt with OW instead. I skyped him with DS1 on Christmas day, and he didn't even ask to see DS2 or whether he was ok. He made no attempt to call the boys, sent no presents etc. Told me it 'wasn't worth' driving to see them over Christmas itself (he lived 3 hours away at that point).

Anyway, he now wants to have the boys for Christmas this year as he thinks it's 'his turn'.

My objections are:
- He doesn't celebrate Christmas. It's irrelevant to him whether he sees them on Christmas day and he has said so explicitly more than once
- My family are Christian and do celebrate Christmas, I take the boys to church and he knows about this and supports it. I have always been very clear that this is a religious festival not a commercial one and they should grow up knowing the difference. He has always agreed with me on this point, until now.
- He has chosen not to see them at Christmas for the last two years due to having more selfish things to do. This year his OW is installed at his house so they think it would be 'fun' to have the boys and play at happy families angry because they don't have illicit shagging or 5*holidays planned instead. IF they had more money or something better to do, it would not have come up.
- I think he's a shit. (Probably not relevant but I do.)

So WWYD? say yes, have them for Christmas knowing that a) they won't do anything special for it, and b) it's 99% about point scoring on his part and nothing to do with what is right for the kids...

Or say no, not this year. Have them on Boxing Day instead because I can't reschedule Church etc (which the boys will be involved in, have little parts in plays etc if they go) but he can feed them a second dinner any time and give them presents on Boxing Day and it won't make any difference And he also says it makes no difference to him, unless someone else is listening who he needs to sound like a 'good dad' to.

I don't think at their age (1 and 3) the boys would care about spending Christmas with him. They only see him 4 days a month, 9-5 as it is. Which is entirely his choice.

Am I being unreasonable?

Purpleknickers Thu 16-May-13 10:40:23

Absolutely not being unreasonable ....I think he's a shit too ( again not relevant)

He can have them another day -if he can be bothered

oldwomaninashoe Thu 16-May-13 10:42:07

No he can see them Boxing day. Point out to him how Xmas doesn't seem to have mattered to him in the past, or seeing them.
No doubt he will still see it as his turn.
Suggest he and OW come to church with you all and that he comes to yours with his presents for the boys and watches them opening them, then allow him to have them boxing day.
My guess is that he will want to pass on the church etc.
You are not being unreasonable but I don't expect him to see it that way!

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 10:43:36

YADNBU - he doesn't even celebrate Christmas!!! Why is he even asking now - in May? He's a twunt of highest order (I've lurked on you other threads - might have posted under different name).

Say no, for all the reasons you've listed but the main one is he doesn't celebrate Xmas and you do and even if he did it's not his 'turn' - after disgraceful behaviour previous Xmas's (does OW??? - does it feel like this is coming from her?).

He can have them Boxing Day.

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 10:45:15

oops I got that in wrong order - I meant does OW celebrate Xmas? perhaps she is hoping your DC will help her create the 'perfect family Xmas'? BOAK, GAG!

Locketjuice Thu 16-May-13 10:49:02

Definitely not! I was under no circumstances be letting him have them on Christmas Day!

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 10:58:23

Why shouldn't as the childrens father have access to to them on Christmas day?

You've had 2 and now he wants 1. Why shouldn't they see Christmas from their father's side? Is it (as it always is with religion) that only your way is the correct way?

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:00:39

+he

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 11:08:16

Why shouldn't they see Christmas from their father's side? - um that would be like every other 'normal' day. There is no "Christmas from his side" as he doesn't celebrate Christmas!

Walkacrossthesand Thu 16-May-13 11:09:49

Christmas is tricky for divorced families, and I think each family needs to agree what will work for them. Whatever arrangement is agreed on, will play out year after year. My ex and I agreed to take turns with Christmas Day, and the DCs go to the other parent on Xmas day afternoon and have 'Xmas day the reprise' on Boxing Day - strictly alternating. It would be equally possible to agree that they always have Xmas day with nod parent and Boxing Day with the other - which sounds like what you would like. It's still early days/years for you, and while I hear what you say about how uninterested your ex was until it suited him, it may now be time to look at an 'alternating years' approach - as long as he'll commit to that ie not dipping out when it suits him because (eg) he and OW fancy going away for the Xmas period. If he agrees, and then dips out one year anyway, then you can say that they will always be with you on Xmas day thereafter because he hasn't prioritised their Christmas above his own holiday plans. Or you may find that he's not so keen when you offer an 'alternating or nothing' approach... What isn't reasonable is for him to chop and change as it suits him, which I suspect is what he wants. Not sure if that helps!

Walkacrossthesand Thu 16-May-13 11:10:52

Nod parent = one parent! Doh...

whippetwoman Thu 16-May-13 11:12:14

If he only sees them four days a month then he's not really that bothered is he. So why should you, who does the huge bulk of the day to day care, then have to miss out on a really special time of the year because he decides it's his turn? It doesn't work like that. Just say no, you really are NBU. Tell him it's not a matter of turns, don't let him set a precedent with the whole turn taking thing, which could leave you dreading Christmas without your children every other year. You, as the main carer, are well within the realm of reasonableness, given your current day to day set up and pattern of Christmas gone by, to say actually, they will be spending Christmas with me, you may see them on Boxing Day.

I am angry on your behalf!

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:12:44

The do nothing Christmas sounds better than the forcing religion on a 1 and 3 year old Christmas.

Are you saying he wouldn't give them any presents, have turkey etc?

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 11:13:18

No it's not my way is the only right way. Although if it were Eid or Channukah and he didn't celebrate them, I suspect that it wouldn't be anything like as contentious. In fact, if a non-religious dad demanded access every other Eid so he could give his kids a tenner and eat samosas (I am being deliberately crass, because this is exactly the way he views Christmas) he would no doubt be slammed and accused of denying them a cultural identity by not allowing them to be part of their religious community.

I feel that it's because 'Christmas' is seen in the UK as a general holiday for eating too much and giving a heap of presents, rather than as a religious festival, somehow it's about the fathers 'right' to have access on that day? I don't really understand that. You can 'celebrate' by eating a big meal and giving presents on any day. You can't reorganise the actual religious event.

OldRichandGrateful Thu 16-May-13 11:14:31

I have read your other threads.

He is a Twunt of the highest order and doesn't deserve to see the children at all, let alone at Christmas.

Twunt and OW only want them at Christmas to pretend to be a happy family so as to give a good appearance to the outside world. "Look we are good parents - we had the children at Christmas, they had a lovely time". Bollocks to that.

I don't get the "taking in turns" at Christmas anyway. Children are not parcels to be passed around. YANBU - Twunt and OW can fuck off.

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:15:17

Why are you angry on her behalf, you only have one side of the argument and a story full of irrelevancies to create bias.

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 11:15:58

it's not forcing religion on them hmm why do you celebrate Christmas RootinTootin if you don't go to Church or identify as a Christian? And no, he wouldn't do a Christmas dinner. For the last two years he hasn't done presents either.

OldRichandGrateful Thu 16-May-13 11:17:14

Rootin - do you know Twunt grin

He's just being a self-entitled arse as usual. sad Sorry you have to deal with his Choco.

Could he take them Christmas night, maybe?

AngsanaTree Thu 16-May-13 11:17:48

NO, Christmas is a time for families and he walked out on his.

Ex-h and I are both atheists, but I'm a christmas celebrating atheist (hmm?) and he isn't.

Anyway, ex-h has always been happy for kids to spend most of Xmas day with me, because he's not a self-entitled arse and because he knows there is plenty of time in the holidays to be with the kids - it doesn't have to be xmas day.

OldRichandGrateful Thu 16-May-13 11:20:56

I suspect Twunt likes the idea of Christmas with DCs but as it gets closer he will find some excuse not to have them because "something has come up."

Walkacrossthesand Thu 16-May-13 11:21:18

Old, my post was on the basis that both parents love their children and want to be with them on Christmas Day - but parents have split up so another solution has to be found, which is usually taking turns. Doesn't make the children into parcels. The OPs situation isn't so evenly split, and there is the religious vs. secular celebration aspect (my ex and I are both atheist, but Christmas Day is still special where there are children). Hope you find a solution, OP.

whippetwoman Thu 16-May-13 11:23:05

Because the OP does nearly all the day to day care. She is the one who gets up with them in the night, plays with them, cooks for them, cleans for them, sacrifices her social life etc. the list is endless. He has four days a month, which is his choice. So why then, should the OP, as the primary carer, have to give over a Christmas, to a largely absent father. I know, from experience, that divorce lawyers are very keen to ensure that women, as the primary carers, are not just there to cover the day to day slog, but get weekends, holidays and special events too.
I have been in the same situation as the OP.

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:28:16

Because it's not about the OP's wants it's what's best for the kids and imho children should see important dates and experiences from both sides of the family.

How can you moan about him not having them enough and then stop him for having extra access because it doesn't suit your religion?

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