Christmas with partner, all the kids And his ex + her new partner?

(62 Posts)
The1975 Thu 15-Oct-15 23:58:53

I know it's still October; I'm sorry.

DP and I have been together 8 months. I have no contact with my ex (court injunction - another story) and my daughter is 2. Partner still shares the same house with his ex and their 2 kids. They separated over a year ago, but are unable to afford to run 2 houses; this one is quite big and they get on ok.

My problem is that DP has announced that his ex has suggested we all spend Christmas together at his place. Her new partner, me and my daughter, my DP and their boys.

I initially said ok, but am now a bit weirded out by the whole thing. I can see that they want the kids to have both parents around for Christmas Day. And it's a positive thing for the kids that their parents still get on (my ex and his ex were a nightmare together).

Overall, I don't think either of them have quite got to grips with what being separated means - they couldn't plan a p*ss up in a brewery, everything ends up being last minute and plans are always changing, which has annoyed me and I've said so.

I'm trying to go with the flow, but part of me just wants to yell, can you just be like normal people who've split up and not want to spend time together?

Any thoughts or advice? Happy to be told to get back in my box and stop being a tw@t.

Justgetknitting Fri 16-Oct-15 00:10:28

It sounds like "his" place is actually "their" place...

Sounds very very complicated, and not sure how you have a relationship with someone who still lives in their house with their ex-partner?

I guess how does it work with your relationship with your partner? If his ex is there during your time together then maybe there is a different spin on the situation

I'm sorry I'm a bit confused

Justgetknitting Fri 16-Oct-15 00:45:38

just trying to understand the dynamic of the relationship so I can try and help.

wannaBe Fri 16-Oct-15 01:01:54

on the whole I am of the view that if ex's can get on to the extent that they can spend time together and new partners/children can be included in that then that's fantastic. However....

The fact that these two people are still living in the same house and are inviting new partners in as well is IMO going to be extremely confusing for their children.As far as the children are concerned, their parents are still living together, still doing things together, children don't equate not together any more in the same way that adults do if the adults are still living together and still getting on reasonably well.

Personally I would say that even introducing the children to new partners while they are still living under the same roof is highly inappropriate, and personally I would think twice before getting into a relationship with someone in this kind of situation.

So not only would I say no to Christmas, but I would run a mile from the relationship as a whole.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Fri 16-Oct-15 01:07:13

The whole living together thing sounds very difficult to cope with! My DP and his ex live 2 minutes apart and (won't say too much as it's very identifying!) their families are still quite intermingled.

We did exactly what you have described here last year. Well, my DP and his new GF were also invited over but unable to make it and DP's ex had just split with her BF, so it ended up him, me, his ex, her sister & mum and the DCs.

TBH it wasn't that bad. I've always been a bit suspicious of their relationship/her intentions towards him. Spending a day watching them interact was strangely reassuring, I could tell there wasn't any flirtation or intimacy between them and she was a right lazy bint and didn't help with cooking or clearing up like the rest of us, so it made me feel more like I was 'co-hosting' with DP rather than being his & her guest.

If you like her/get on ok then it might be alright and, as you say, most importantly it is nice for the DCs to have everyone together.

However, DP has suggested doing it again this year and I'm not overly keen! It was ok, but given the option to be in my own home, with just me and the DCs (and their dad for part of the day) or waiting on DP's ex, I think I'll stay at home!

MarkRuffaloCrumble Fri 16-Oct-15 01:10:25

and what Wannabe said.

The together/not together thing is bad enough for you, but for their DCs, total head fuck. I'd stay out of it until they can untangle themselves.

Previous years DP and I had our own fake Xmas the weekend before when we gave each other gifts and gave the other one's DCs gifts. In some ways it felt more special than the real thing which we subsequently spent with our exes.

It takes a bit of trial and error to figure out new traditions, but I think on reflection, given their weird situation, maybe this year is not the one for you to join them?

The1975 Fri 16-Oct-15 07:52:55

Knitting - his place is indeed their place. I do get on fine with her, have met a few times, I stay over occasionally when she's not there, but mainly we're at mine. He does spend time at his place when they are all together (as they would have been), which I agree, think is really confusing for the kids.

I'm not worried about him spending time with her, their relationship is long over and from what I can see, they've both moved on. They just get on ok. Having seen them together in "their house" I dont worry that they're getting it on the moment I leave.

My ex is not around & so not a consideration.

We both met when things were complicated for both of us & he saw me through some really grim times earlier this year. I feel I need to give him the chance to sort things out as well.

I would like him to move out, but money is an issue. We live nearly an hour away from each other and he doesn't just want to see the kids every other weekend.

As far as Christmas is concerned, I would have quite liked to have done our own thing with his kids, but he doesn't want to take the kids away from their Mum for Christmas.

I'm sure we would have a nice day; my DD would love it. Trying to convince myself....

Tis complicated.

wannaBe Fri 16-Oct-15 08:10:37

how old are his kids?

Tbh it's not the thought of them being together which would be the issue for me. Me and my ex lived in the same house for eight months after we split while I waited to be able to move out, ds was aware that we weren't together any more, I was sleeping in the spare room, and we individually took him to e.g. see our perspective families etc, but when we were in the same house we ate meals together for instance (well it just made sense to iyswim) and generally got on relatively well esp in front of ds. but there is no way I would ever have brought another man into the house I was still sharing with my h, not even if he hadn't been there. Fwiw there wasn't one on the scene at that point, but even if there had been, there are IMO boundaries which shouldn't be crossed and that is one of them. I equally wouldn't consider it ok to introduce another man to my ds while I was still living under the same roof as his dad.

I hear what you're saying when you talk about a history etc, but please think about the long-term impact this could have on his dc and possibly even on how they will come to view you as they grow up and their perception of the world becomes clearer. They will remember that you used to stay over with their dad or spend time together with their dad while their parents were still living together and they will draw their own conclusions from that. In fact most adults would conclude that you were the ow (even though you're not) and that the whole situation is incredibly messy.

Honestly if this relationship is meant to be then it will be, but you seriously should back off from any relationship with his kids until there has been a clean split from their mum.

ThatsDissapointing Fri 16-Oct-15 08:15:34

I agree with other posters who are suggesting not going and stepping back a little. You've only been dating for 8 months and there are kids involved. If you are really serious about him then there is no need to try to rush things - there will be plenty more xmas's in the future.

lunar1 Fri 16-Oct-15 09:29:45

I'm all for getting on with your ex and getting together for the children when appropriate but only at a point when the children understand where the boundaries lay. It's completely inappropriate if you have stayed when the children are in the house, or really that you have much to do with the dc at all!

You have to back off completely from the children until they are living independently of each other and the children can get used to the reality of separated parents. What's going on now sounds like a complete head fuck for them.

lunar1 Fri 16-Oct-15 09:30:29

I'm all for getting on with your ex and getting together for the children when appropriate but only at a point when the children understand where the boundaries lay. It's completely inappropriate if you have stayed when the children are in the house, or really that you have much to do with the dc at all!

You have to back off completely from the children until they are living independently of each other and the children can get used to the reality of separated parents. What's going on now sounds like a complete head fuck for them.

hampsterdam Fri 16-Oct-15 11:07:42

No way would I be in a relationship with a man who is still living with his ex. Those poor kids must be so confused.when if ever will they be able to afford to live separately?
My ex comes to mine on Xmas morning to see ds open his presents. Me and dh go to the pub and leave them to it for a couple if hours.we get on fine but We are not a happy family anymore and I don't believe in pretending to be. The thought of spending Xmas dinner with my ex and dhs ex makes me shudder. If u was you I would bow out and start making traditions for your family which is you and your dd not this weird soap style set up.

pinkprimroses Fri 16-Oct-15 12:08:29

It sounds really messy.

I'd be inclined to make other plans for Christmas day, and invite him to bring his kids round to yours on Boxing day and spend some nice time together then.

heavens2betsy Fri 16-Oct-15 12:12:59

I would go! You've only been together 8 months so its very early days.
As for the dc being confused - how old are they? It doesn't have to be a "head fuck" for them as long as all the adults are open and honest with them. In fact I expect its nicer for them than having Mum and Dad fighting and using them as weapons and having to divide their time between two houses.

OutToGetYou Fri 16-Oct-15 13:47:05

If he can't plan now and his ex is as bad, and it drives you mad, it isn't going to get any better. I have that T shirt. I'd not go for Xmas and be a bit distant re being around the DC.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Fri 16-Oct-15 15:03:47

I'm not worried about him spending time with her, their relationship is long over and from what I can see, they've both moved on.
But they literally haven't 'moved on' have they. Not being sexually involved is only part of the moving on process. Living apart, being emotionally separate, having the person that you say hello to in the morning, the person that you are financially bonded with, all these things are for a new partner. It's not fair on the children either.

My Ex wanted to continue living with me, and always wanted to around. It wasn't great for our child, and for us, just made the whole moving on process take far longer.

My DPs Ex llives around the corner and that is still far too near! Old habits die hard, she still treats him like a 'husband'. If I were you I'd find someone else.

Justgetknitting Fri 16-Oct-15 22:54:52

I personally couldn't be in that situation, but each to their own! And if you can make it work then fair play to you - personally I am with Bannana the Ex lives about ten minutes away and that is way too close for me ;) I would love (her) to move to Alaska smile but I've never seen her and she doesn't really even see her children (twice in 2015) so it's hard on the kiddos not so much me.

But what I will say is that it doesn't seem very fair on you that your OH is not thinking of you here, there needs to be compromise and he should understand why you wouldn't want to be there (I couldn't even contemplate it!) and surely he wants to spend time with you on Christmas? Can't keep up the "living" arrangments for ever and you have been together 8 months which come Christmas will nearly be a year!

I wish you luck and hope you figure it out!

Morganly Sat 17-Oct-15 00:36:49

I wouldn't do it. You've been slotted in as an add on (sex provider) to his existing set up. Perfect for him: catering from oldie, time with kids and sex with newbie. Amazing that his ex has agreed to it as well. Will you be shagging in her house while she lies in a separate bedroom knowing that's what's happening. Hideous and cruel. What sort of thoughtless, selfish, entitled prat have you attached yourself to?

I would walk away from this one until he has genuinely separated from his ex, moved out and has proper arrangements in place for when he sees the children, including how they will organise Christmases between them in future.

The1975 Sat 17-Oct-15 00:37:19

Really appreciate the advice/views you've all taken time to offer.

I completely get everyone's views about the kids being confused & we did talk about it for quite a while. But they asked to meet me, as they'd asked their Dad who he was texting (they are 6&8 and quite switched on).

It might not be for everyone, but in every other aspect I am really happy being with him. Will just have to sort things out as we go. And perhaps make other plans this Christmas!

Thanks again everyone. Not posted on MN before and was dreading getting crucified!

Justgetknitting Sat 17-Oct-15 02:50:07

Good luck with it all!

I really hope it works out for you, it still would not be a path I would or could follow just try and be careful not to get hurt as i think you could be quite easily X

lunar1 Sat 17-Oct-15 03:09:30

I was hoping the children would be at least teenagers. What a vile situation for such young children to be in.

Sansoora Sat 17-Oct-15 03:57:32

What an awful mess, and all in the name of being 'adult' about things.

Coconutmummy Sat 17-Oct-15 04:02:26

Wow, vile situation for the kids to be in? You have no idea Lunar.

Op, this can and should work well for all involved. It's not messing up with the kids. I should know. I am remarried, with a baby and living with my ex husband whom I had 2 kids from. I tried moving out, but for my family this did not work and I won't do it to my kids. My situation is unconventional and requires lots of patience and compromise but it works! I especially love that my daughters will grow up in the same house as true sisters. Kids are simple so long as they are loved and prioritised, that is all they need. As for the future. I know I am doing the best for them now, and expect they will grow up to be well rounded, adaptable individuals.

Sansoora Sat 17-Oct-15 07:09:01

I especially love that my daughters will grow up in the same house as true sisters.

People can manage that without growing up in the same house.

MascaraAndConverse Sat 17-Oct-15 07:31:30

Coconutmummy How does your husband feel about the arrangement??

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