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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?

Xales Thu 16-May-13 14:07:32

My ex has just had DS two Christmases in a row. Two years ago it was 'his turn' and then in the January they lost his step mother (ex's) and it looked like his dad was at risk as he had been in and out of hospital over the year. So I offered just in case it was the last Christmas with dad/granddad.

I did that because ex is a loving hands on dad.

Yor ex is nothing like a loving caring dad. I think you should simply say no (dressed up nicely) and then refuse to engage any further on the subject.

He is such an almighty cock that I wouldn't even be giving this head space.

Say no. Mean no. And don't engage in any conversation about because, frankly, that will just take up seconds of your life he doesn't deserve to have!

payitforward Thu 16-May-13 14:10:33

Choco, have not posted before but have been following your threads for a longtime. I'm so mad on your behalf. Think your doing a brilliant job by the way. I would second what themidwife has said. However, I would suggest that, if you can, put it off discussing it further with him until closer the time. In future years he may be more involved in the day to day care of the dc and you can review it then

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 17:02:37

I have suggested for this year that he has them on Boxing Day. I haven't said anything about what we will do going forwards, and I'm not setting an every year precedent (unlike him, who wants to establish his 'turn' at the fun stuff). This isn't about denying a loving father time with children who love and miss him. This is about giving the children I love and care for (bust a fucking gut for actually) a memorable and special Christmas.

The man who feels entitled to have 'half' of the holidays etc also refuses to have them on New Year (he can't drink) arranges to have his friends stay for the weekend when he has the children (so that our 2yo comes home angry and bored and upset because he's had to loaf around in the garden with a bunch of adults he doesn't know while they get stoned/drunk) and doesn't call or acknowledge messages telling him that our 2yo has suffered from a fit or that our baby has been running a fever for 3 days. He doesn't want 'half' the holidays at all by the way, he wants the morning of Christmas day so he can see them charge around playing with whatever age inappropriate crap presents he may or may not remember to get them. It's not about the OW either, other than the fact of her being there is probably the only reason he's even asked. If there was no-one to impress, he wouldn't have.

sad

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 17:05:51

thank you for all the replies though, I will think about everything that has been said and try not to let it upset me to the point I can't think clearly. He's not worth it.

BTW I do struggle a great deal with anyone who thinks that the set up we have represents parents who are 'equal', in my eyes or in our children's eyes. Our baby barely recognises him - he describes him as 'weirdly quiet' unless his brother is playing with him. That's because he doesn't know his dad really, and he certainly doesn't know any of the random people his dad passes him off to when he has them. He happens to have created two children. He doesn't parent them though.

BonzoDooDah Thu 16-May-13 17:16:58

Well done you. Sounds like a good compromise. And sadly agree with all you said.
Lucky kids having you to fight for them as he obviously won't the shit

Hopasholic Thu 16-May-13 17:27:26

I remember you're earlier thread Choco.

It's almost like he's taken a master class in 'How to make my ex's life a misery'
'What can I do in May that'll upset Choco for a good 7 months........ Oh yes let's get her all wound up about Christmas! She looks like she's moving on...... Might meet someone else...... I'll just fuck her over by planting this in her head......

Don't react. He's playing you. NO is your answer and leave it at that.

Wish you well flowers

Ginderella Thu 16-May-13 19:24:05

Choco, Twunt knows your triggers and is playing you. He knows it is far too early to discuss Christmas. He knows that this will upset you.

He is a parent in name only. You are the parent that matters. He is merely a far off satellite orbiting your DCs world. Don't engage with him on this matter. It's May FGS!! You know that he will change his mind before then. He will try and take turns with birthdays next. If he wanted to play happy families, he shouldn't have started shagging OW.

His reward for being a Twunt is that he will never experience what it is like to be a real father because he will never spend time with them. Cherry picking the nice bits of being a father does not a parent make.

Lavenderhoney Thu 16-May-13 19:35:14

Its a bit early to talk about Christmas isn't it? Is he trying I make sure he gets the day off or something from work? Or is the new gf wanting to spend it with her folks and he doesn't want to?

I doubt from his current interest in the dc its about them tbh.

Tell him it's too soon to discuss, maybe in November.

BarredfromhavingStella Thu 16-May-13 19:56:54

Simply say, 'let me think about it...ok no' & smile very sweetly.

skyeskyeskye Thu 16-May-13 22:54:09

Choco, my XH , like yours, sees DD just four days a month, including two nights. He refuses to have her on a Zfriday night or in the summer holidays because he has to work. There is nothing 50/50 about his access, therefore he can go whistle when it comes to Christmas.

Last year I said there was no way I was going to be without her at Christmas and asked what he could offer her. He agreed that she would be better off with me and large extended family. I offered him Boxing Day , industed that he had her as we had always spent Boxing Day with his family, and he refused (wanted to go and watch football). He spent Christmas with OW, her H and her parents, who are strangers to DD. he chose them over his mum, brother and DD.

He had DD for two nights after Christmas, refused to have her NYE as he had plans.

As far as I'm concerned, he will never have her for Christmas while he can only be bothered to see her four days a month. I have to deal with everything all year round and I'm not missing out on Christmas.

When it was OW's birthday and he had DD, he wanted me to have her back so he could go out. While he continues to be selfish and put himself first, he will not have her at Christmas. If DD asks when she is older we can deal with it then.

So, no, YANBU. Everybody's situation is different and different things work for different people.

You, as always, will work out the best thing to do for your own children.

Stepmooster Fri 17-May-13 13:29:23

The man who feels entitled to have 'half' of the holidays etc also refuses to have them on New Year (he can't drink) arranges to have his friends stay for the weekend when he has the children (so that our 2yo comes home angry and bored and upset because he's had to loaf around in the garden with a bunch of adults he doesn't know while they get stoned/drunk) and doesn't call or acknowledge messages telling him that our 2yo has suffered from a fit or that our baby has been running a fever for 3 days.

Why are you even letting him in his care then? Surely the issue is that he is not responsible or capable of taking care of his kids. Can't you withold contact completely or allow only limited access with no overnights?

my XH , like yours, sees DD just four days a month, including two nights. He refuses to have her on a Zfriday night or in the summer holidays because he has to work. There is nothing 50/50 about his access, therefore he can go whistle when it comes to Christmas.

Does your XH pay maintenance, does he work to provide you with that money? Most XH only see their children EOW, because it gives both parents weekend contact with the children so they don't only have to spend time with them on schoold days. I suppose your XH could quit his job, go part-time and pay you less maintenance in order to see more of his child. When are people going to realise contact is not something you pay for!! I say this as a stepmother and a child of divorce.

I get that there are d*ckheads out there, but seriously let your children share christmas day with their dads once in a while. It's for the children you do it not the d*ckhead exes. They need to have memories of christmas with both parents and not resnt you as they get older for not being allowed to see them.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Fri 17-May-13 13:48:06

Choco FWIW I think you're doing exactly the right thing here. Parenting is a full time commitment and its not fair for him to pick and choose when he wants to play at being a good Dad.

It always worries me with threads like this that certain posters seem to focus on specific details and use them to castigate the OP with. For me this is not an issue of religion, or the fact that its his 'turn', or that as their dad he is 'entitled' to see them, it's a case of the OP rightfully feeling aggrieved that a man who makes little to no effort (and does so on his own terms to suit his own needs) wanting to call the shots when he feels like it.

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 14:30:47

he does have limited contact, without overnights at present stepmooster. I don't feel that witholding contact altogether is the next natural step and if I did no doubt someone like yourself would be poised to tell me what a bitch I am then, too.

Parents don't have rights actually, children do. They have the right to feel safe, loved, be cared for, grow up healthy and secure. Parents BOTH have a responsibility to make sure that this happens.

And this isn't forcing him out of their lives every Christmas ad infinitum, seriously did you even read my posts? I have asked and discussed what to do this year. When the previous two years, he has chosen not to have anything to do with them, while shouting the odds about his rights which neither of us, as I have stated, actually have.

Still - you carry on thinking all mothers are monsters and stepmothers with their poor DP's are the only right thinking people in the universe. I'm sure it's more comfortable for you to do that isn't it hmm

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 14:32:27

to everyone else, thank you for your replies, and apologies for getting a bit cross, its hard not to sometimes!!

Anomaly Fri 17-May-13 16:42:37

So he wants the absolute best bit about Christmas? What a total twat! Boxing days is generous given the circumstances.

kittybiscuits Fri 17-May-13 16:45:06

Dear choco , he's an arse and you're a legend. Don't reply. At all. And if he asks again, say 'I thought you were joking'. No contact at all last year - he is a prick for asking this.

Stepmooster Fri 17-May-13 17:01:24

he does have limited contact, without overnights at present stepmooster. I don't feel that witholding contact altogether is the next natural step and if I did no doubt someone like yourself would be poised to tell me what a bitch I am then, too.

To be clear I never called you a bitch. So please let's back off with the nastiness. And I did say that if he was doing drugs in front of your children you should withold contact, so that would make me a hypocrite if I was then to say allow contact always.

Being a twunt of an ex doesn't necessarily a bad parent make, often they are linked but not always.

As a child of divorce, and the stepmother of a boy who has specifically requested to see his father at Christmas and isn't allowed to I try to always see things from the child's point of view.

I don't know your ex, and he does sound like a prat, but maybe he is starting to turn his life around and do right for his children, or maybe not, who knows.

So if Christmas is not with dad this year what about 2014? When does it become acceptable to you? I would really like to know as someone who was a child of divorce?

Stepmooster, it sounds like you and your DH have experienced an ex-wife with-holding access. I sympathise - I know its such a painful situation to be in. However, Chocos story is very different and I don't see why her ex should cherry pick the times he would like to have the kids.

If we took your idea to its logical conclusion then her ex should have the kids at Christmas, birthdays, valentines, all national holidays, halloween, guy fawkes, etc, etc, and then graduations, weddings etc, etc, just because he fancies it.

I imagine her ex would love that. All the glory, none of the work. But why should she agree to that? Why would it benefit the kids that the man who can't be arsed with day to day life leaps in on special occasions? It wouldn't be for the benefit of choco either. Just because the ex says 'jump' doesn't mean she has to say 'how high?' just because he is their lousy dad.

themidwife Fri 17-May-13 17:44:20

Actually, in the past whenever Choco has offered the ex to have the kids other than his 4 part daytimes a month he has refused. He only wants a brief Christmas morning visit prior to the drinking. He won't get up with them at 5am, he'll have a lie in, the DCs to be presented to him washed dressed & ready to be "Christmassed" before they are spirited off when the party starts or they get too excited & annoying.
Choco is not withholding access. He will it have only when it's totally on his terms.

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 17:47:52

it becomes acceptable to share all the lovely things in our DC's life a) when he shares their lives full stop, and b) when they ask for him to.

I am having a particularly bad time of it at the moment, made worse by his complete and total lack of concern or regard for his children. Hence being more prickly than usual. Apologies if the language offended anyone.

As it happens, he has chosen to completely ignore the suggestion of Boxing Day. It's as if I never spoke. Which makes me think it's even more likely that the request was absolutely nothing to do with the children at all, and everything to do with who was listening when he made it. Without anyone to hear him have an opinion, he doesn't have one - I'm not surprised really, I knew he didn't care about this issue himself, after all he literally doesn't celebrate it. So it was probably partly about winding me up and making himself look like a doting dad for the right audience.

I am only cross with myself for taking the bait this time and agonizing over something that means precisely nothing to him sad

skyeskyeskye Fri 17-May-13 17:53:31

stepmooster - it is not a question of my DD not being allowed to see XH at Christmas. my XH said that DD would be better off with me and my family at Christmas. He also said that she would have more fun with me and my family on Boxing Day. I tried to insist on him having her on Boxing Day, to be fair to him and he refused. He did this all to look good in mediation, when in reality, he wanted to spend Christmas with OW and her family and Boxing Day watching his favourite football team, again with OW and her H. He didn't want DD on NYE, so that he could out with OW and her H.

He chooses to put himself and his wants and needs before his DD. Therefore, there is no equal access over Christmas. He can't just decide when he does and doesnt want her.

I also clearly said that if DD wants to spend Christmas with him when she is older, that is something that we can talk about.

Yes he works, to pay a small amount of maintenance. i also have to work full time, in order to pay the mortgage and all bills. I ask him to have DD for just 3 Mondays in the summer holidays, to help me with childcare and so that she can spend some more time with him. He refused. He refuses to see her at all in the holidays.

He also refused last year on the grounds that he had to work, then went abroad for a week with OW and her H. So it is clear where his priorities lie.

Choco has had the same thing many times with her STBXH and has clearly stated that on this thread. Choco wants to do the best for her DS', but also does not want to be taken advantage of, just when it suits her STBXh to have his DC.

Don't attack mothers who have actually offered access to their children and had it thrown back in their faces by XH's as it is not convenient to their sordid little social life.

I do not think it is fair for a father to swan in and expect to have one of the best days of the year with his DC, when he doesn't want to see them any more than he has to the rest of the year.

Choco

I've read many of your threads re you Ex. And it's my guessing that come nearer christmas that him and ow will either be going to her family for Christmas or they will being going away anyway. He will use this as the excuse as to why he not seeing the dc again.

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 18:25:24

I feel like a bit of an idiot for letting him get to me so much over this. It's May FGS as so many of you more sensible lot have pointed out! Doh. Sometimes when I step away from the emotional stuff I can see how much I am still on the end of a chain he likes to yank now and then sad you think you're making progress...

It's lovely to hear from so many of you who remember my old threads - it is genuinely helpful to be reminded now and again how his behaviour has looked to those on the outside, I forget sometimes and get caught up in it all again.

Time for a chin up moment eh? December can take care of itself... besides, I suspect wheredidiputit has it nailed really, as to how it will really play out.

skyeskyeskye Fri 17-May-13 18:29:50

agreed, by the time Christmas gets here, your Twunt will have other plans no doubt!

just ignore it for now.

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