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Christmas issues

(119 Posts)
ConkersDontScareSpiders Sun 21-Aug-16 21:18:38

I have recently separated from h, and though at first it was very amicable, that soon altered when it transpired he had been seeing my best friend for the year and a half before the break up and that they had both been acting in ways that were highly manipulative and unpleasant during that time.This has continued in various forms since I found out and there have also been some horrible discussions with h about money,which have been stressful and during which I feel he has attempted to screw me over a bit.
I have had some pretty bad anxiety/depression issues since finding out about this in March.I eventually lost my job, which Id started the day I found out and which was something I had worked so hard for.Im still finding it all quite hard to deal with.
Our two DD's (9 and 10) are unaware of the situation with h and my former best friend (though I think they have worked out that something is going on-small town, lots of gossip, and of course said friend is no longer in my house every few days as she had been-and the kids aren't totally oblivious to that kind of thing).h does not want to tell them and I haven't-against my better judgement really and also because her kids are friends with mine-so it would be something that would affect them too-as they are also apparently none the wiser.
The situation is very strained still and I am nowhere near back to being myself.
The girls are now asking what will happen at christmas. They have expressed a preference to go to my parents-a 3 hour drive away (as my dad is old and ill and they have a very good relationship with him and are concious that after a recent health scare he is not invincible).My parents do not want anything to do with ex h, (whereas in the past it might have been possible-it isn't yet and may never be, for him to come with us to spend Christmas at their house).
H and I have had some brief discussions re Christmas.he thinks it would be 'unreasonable' of me to say that we are not all four going to spend Christmas together 'as that's what we always said we would do' (which we did, even post split-but that was when we were friends, before his behaviour had become apparent and before he consequences for me had occurred).
I don't feel I can spend any prolonged time with him at the moment.we are polite in front of the kids, and other than stuff around the kids I am trying not to engage with him at all. The thought of spending Christmas with him is not Inspiring.However of course I also don't want to spend it without the girls-especially this year after all that's happened.
The added issue is that it's dd1's birthday on Boxing Day-so it's not even really possible to trade one day off for the other in our case without it being awful for her.
I just don't know what to do, so any advice would be welcome. Am I being unreasonable in wanting to go to my parents? This will be our first spilt up Christmas and I'm so sad that we arent even friends enough to spend it all together as we might have done. It was important to me that we were friends still-and all that is now screwed up really.But I'm still a bit shattered by it all and I can't see how I can do it at the minute.
Sorry this was so long.

ThePinkOcelot Sun 21-Aug-16 21:47:52

If it were me, I would go to my parents and stuff him. The arrangement to spend it with him was before you found out he had been sleeping with your "friend"!! All bets are off!!
You will get people saying he's their father blah blah, but sod that!
Sorry you are going through this OP x

ImperialBlether Sun 21-Aug-16 21:52:08

As far as I'm concerned, he screwed you over so badly that he doesn't deserve any consideration now. He ripped up the rules when he had the affair with your best friend.

Your children want to spend Christmas with their grandparents. That's what you should do.

Oh and I WOULD tell the children about the OW. Better they hear about it from you. And tell them it was going on for a considerable length of time, otherwise he will tell them it happened after he left home.

He's a bastard. He's not your friend. Keep him at arms' length.

hownottofuckup Sun 21-Aug-16 21:52:46

Totally agree with Pink

Emeralda Sun 21-Aug-16 22:10:47

I think a lot of people alternate Christmases - would that work for you? You don't have to come up with a plan now for every Christmas, but I think it would be reasonable to say you'll take them to your parents this year, they can spend it with him next year.
It sounds like he might be one for opposing anything you suggest so you might need to prepare yourself for a bit of repeating yourself. "I have decided I'm taking DDs to my parents this year. They will see you from x date to x date. They can spend next Christmas Day with you". He won't be happy. Just repeat that and don't get drawn in to an argument. Don't complicate things, don't offer to split days or anything, as that generally doesn't work out well for the DCs.
How much is he seeing of them currently? Are you getting good external legal/practical advice so you can sort out the practicalities with as little conflict as possible? Are you getting emotional support too?
The first Christmas might be crap but it's also a time to start new traditions or think about what you'd really like it to be. Don't be bullied into making it how he wants it.
Good luck flowers

Inertia Sun 21-Aug-16 22:14:05

It was unreasonable of him to destroy your family by shagging your so-called friend. He doesn't get to call the shots on what's reasonable after that.

I hope you're getting some professional advice about money.

This one sounds like he's going to do his damnedest to screw you over. You can't be reasonable with someone who acts like that, you just need to do what's best for the children- and that would be to go with you to see their grandparents, as they've asked.

Cary2012 Sun 21-Aug-16 22:15:19

Go to your parents and have a lovely family Christmas. He lost the right to decide when he went off with your friend. What a horrible pair. They deserve each other.

Emeralda Sun 21-Aug-16 22:18:29

Oh and feel free to change your mind about them spending Christmas Day with him next year nearer the time. Definitely keep him at arm's length. I kind of agree about them not finding about OW from other people - that happened to me when I was younger - but only do it if you feel ready. My DM was so angry about it (and still is over 20 years later) that she would have done a terrible job of telling us.

Dozer Sun 21-Aug-16 22:19:02

Go to your parents.

And truth about the reasons for the break up and tense relationship (in age appropriate terms) would be far better than the DC hearing it from others on the grapevine or finding out later.

ConkersDontScareSpiders Sun 21-Aug-16 22:41:20

The marriage was in trouble before their affair to be fair.but I'm sure it didn't help.its actually the ways in which I've been manipulated and lied to over a long period of time by people I really trusted that hurts the most-as well as their quite horrible behaviour since I found out.
We have nearly got the money stuff ironed out now after mediation (failed-he didn't think the mediator was very good), and lots of mud slinging on his part, before he suddenly changed his mind (after seeing his solicitor so I can only assume he was told he was being offered a fair deal and advised to shut up and grab it with both hands-but he claims he has just decided to 'ensure I don't feel hard done by')
He has the DD's three nights a week, I have them the other four and also after school every day as he doesn't get home until 7.
All of that will be finalised in the divorce which is still to be sorted out but is agreed in principle.
Thanks for the replies. I'm glad so far that the consensus would be that it would be OK to be fairly insistent about us going to my parents. Last Christmas was awful as we knew he would be moving out in the February-we had it at home just the four of us.it was ok but sad.after the year I've had I just want this one to be happier.

Cary2012 Sun 21-Aug-16 22:49:10

Of course it hurts Conkers; the one person you need when a man cheats is your best friend, and she was the last person you could go to, a double betrayal, a real kick in the guts. This Christmas will be better, because all the crap is behind you. It's time for you and your kids to enjoy yourselves with your parents. Ex and OW can get stuffed, along with the turkey.

ConkersDontScareSpiders Sun 21-Aug-16 22:54:38

Emeralda-I would do an awful job of telling them as I am very upset about it all and pretty decastated over the way in which the former friend behaved and is behaving, in addition to h.
I haven't lied to them about her in that I've said there has been an argument, that she has hurt me and that we are no longer friends-in the early days I was upset enough for them to notice and they picked up on the fact that two other friends with whom She and I were close, but not her, were at the house all the time and asked why she wasn't.(she has been in and out of my house constantly since dd1 was for a long time her DD's best friend-from nursery onwards-although they are thankfully no longer as inseparable as they once were-a change in that relationship which pre dates this situation coming to light.she was therefore something of a fixture in their lives and they notice her not being around).I thought it best not to outright lie to them, but he would be very angry if I told them the rest of it, (he was angry with my saying what I have already), plus it's his relationship with them to screw up I suppose, not mine.They may be fine with it as kids are not party all the time to adult emotions.i fear however that it will be a massive head fuck for them-and obviously I will have to deal with that as it comes.which makes me very angry with them both in a different way-but is for the future. They aren't idiots and will I think work it or eventually whatever he decides to tell them when she and he are 'ready'. Currently they ignore each other in public (school stuff, all three DD's football matches etc). Which actually makes my blood boil even more, when I work up the courage to actually go and even be near (ish) to the woman-but again that's for me to deal with I suppose.

SharonfromEON Sun 21-Aug-16 23:03:03

Nothing wrong with not wanting to spend Christmas with your family..

You also never agreed to him shagging BF either...

I would also tell the kids about affair..Simply as it will come out...I live in small town so know how it works..It will be more hurtful to hear it elsewhere...

The one thing I would say is he cheated on you and not on the kids..So as much as he is a complete wanker the way he has treated you they does not affect his ability as a parent..Co parenting does not mean agreeing to what you agree with at one point...Parenting changes all the time...What works one week doesn't the next..

I can't see the 2 of you in the same house over Christmas would be positive for you or the kids..

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Sun 21-Aug-16 23:31:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ConkersDontScareSpiders Sun 21-Aug-16 23:44:03

He is a good dad to them to be fair. And they love him to death. I don't want that to alter or be the reason it alters, as I think it's important for them. I'm angry with him for not caring about it enough and to risk it for her, but he appears to be thinking with his dick and his ego at the moment-he may one day see sense I suppose. They are currently in a Romeo and Juliet situation as many of our mutual friends (those that know the real story and not the total rubbish he's been peddling) are no longer speaking much to either of them.no doubt they see it as being them against the world and their being star crossed lovers or some such shite.
When asked how he could possibly do it his answer is 'I like her'. Oh, ok then....but anyway-Christmas will have to be discussed again pretty soon-I am going to tell him I want to take the girls to my mums and will bring them back early on Boxing Day and we can try and so something for dd1s birthday as a family. I don't think it will go down well at all, but I can't seen another good option really.

TheNaze73 Sun 21-Aug-16 23:54:12

I think it would be potentially damaging for the children seeing you trying to play happy families at Christmas & I hope he realises that. Maybe suggest alternative parenting arrangements yearly like Emerelda said

Shizzlestix Mon 22-Aug-16 00:45:28

I think you should go to your parents for Christmas. Boxing Day, given its your dd's birthday may be a compromise, but I don't see why you have to ensure he spends it with your DD or you. I'm afraid he lost all choices when he decided to shag your friend. What a twat.

Catinthecorner Mon 22-Aug-16 00:51:38

The girls have asked to go to grandma and grandpa's. They are old enough to choose, so that is what we are doing.

DD is considering her options for her birthday and will let me know soon, then I'll let you know what she wants to do.

Trifleorbust Mon 22-Aug-16 09:12:34

Sod him. You don't get to treat someone like that and then complain about their 'unreasonable' behaviour in not wanting to spend Christmas in your company. How very dare he.

Mum4Fergus Mon 22-Aug-16 09:20:27

I'd supports the children's wishes every time ...

SparkleSoiree Mon 22-Aug-16 09:41:15

When the children were younger DH had his boys alternate Christmas and New Years and the same with birthdays. It allowed the children to enjoy their time with one parent without having to break into the day to drive somewhere else. He would see them when next scheduled and give his gifts then. He always rings them in their birthdays and Christmases that he isn't with them.

Your EXH sounds unbelievably entitled and is still manipulating his image by ensuring you don't discuss his betrayal with the children. I agree that children don't need to know all the gory details as that can cause them more rejection pain, but, he has you over a barrel with that issue!

Yanbu. Take your children to your parents for a few days at Christmas and allow them to relax in a familiar, caring environment. To be honest, I would stay Boxjng day night too if your daughter is happy with that.

ConkersDontScareSpiders Mon 22-Aug-16 10:38:55

Entitled is right I think. He really can't see that what they have done is really, pretty awful-except to say 'sorry we've hurt your feelings' in a sort of paying lip service sort of way.Therefore he can't see why I would question what his idea of acting reasonably is, and doesn't like it when I don't act how he thinks I should.
There's a lot of 'you should be over it by now' from him directly to me and both of them saying that about me to mutual friends. I guess that's because he wants it all done and dusted and easy-us to be friends again, he and her to have a nice time of it, all the kids one big happy family.he can't see the probably impossibility of this, or even that he's asking an awful lot from someone that he has hurt immeasurably and whose life has been a bit fucked over in lots of ways.

SparkleSoiree Mon 22-Aug-16 13:25:54

I think you need to urgently redefine your boundaries in relation to him. You need time and space to grieve and come to terms with the loss of your marriage due to their betrayal and nobody has the right to tell you how you should do that.

Don't behave in the way you think people expect you to behave, behave in the manner of what is best for you and your children. I'm really sorry this vile thing has happened to you, it takes a long time to get past. It's not your job to massage his guilt into thin air. It's his job to live with it.

Best of luck.

Dozer Mon 22-Aug-16 14:26:33

Yes yes to better boundaries.

If your "mutual friends" are being "flying monkeys" they need to butt out.

clam Mon 22-Aug-16 14:31:46

He has no right to be angry at what you may have told the children. Of course he wants to gloss over his appalling behaviour and present himself in a good light, but why on earth should you collude in that?

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