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To refuse to let ex take our son on holiday?

(118 Posts)
OhanaHarlow Mon 01-Apr-13 20:55:47

Little bit of background. DS is currently 6, but will be 7 in June. My ex and I were together until he was 5 when I found out he had cheated on me and he is still with the woman he left me for.

We don't get on too well, but tolerate each other for our sons sake - and are mostly polite to each other.

Tonight DH has told me (after he dropped DS back at home) that he would like to take DS to Disneyland Florida with his girlfriend and her daughter in late August - but would obviously need me to give permission by law (I think?)

I've said I would think about it, but I wasn't happy with the idea. He said that I was doing this purely to get back at him and hurting our son in the process.

It does genuinely worry me that DS would be a 9 hour flight away, and that he would be gone for 2 weeks.

When I went in to say goodnight to DS he was talking about Disneyland to me - so obviously DH has mentioned it to him already. So if I say no DS will think of me as an awful person.

... I really don't mind being told YABU because I really have no idea if I am.

Theicingontop Tue 02-Apr-13 16:11:35

Fwiw you're handling this whole thing with far more grace than I ever could. Hats off to you OP.

crashdoll Tue 02-Apr-13 16:04:56

OP you didn't deserve harsh replies. You were unreasonable but it was due to fear and anxiety and it was totally understandable. I'm glad you got some perspective and I agree it wrong for his dad to tell him about it before checking with you.

Hope you're doing to do something special while he's away!

feckawwf Tue 02-Apr-13 16:04:50

Im going to go against most other opinions and tell you that I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago and said no.

The difference though was that ds had virtually no relationship with my ex who left me when I was pregnant. Ds has been brought up by Dh and has seen his biological father irregularly over the years, sometimes he'd go for periods of a few months without contact.

Ex then wanted to take ds away with him for 2wks for his wedding abroad which I felt was for show and using my son to look good in photos etc. I discussed with ds of he'd like to go and he said no himself, he was 10 though so old enough to know his own mind and feelings about his father.

Of course I was the bad one with ex and his family but coincidentally ds now 14 has nothing to do with them(his choice, he finally got sick of the irregular contact and let downs) best thing I ever did was not force him to go on that holiday BUT if circumstances were different and they'd had a good relationship then I have to say I'd have allowed it even tho I'd have hated every minute of him being away without me.

wellthatsdoneit Tue 02-Apr-13 16:02:20

I think there's two things you can do now OP:

1 Start thinking about how you're going to optimise those two child free weeks for yourself
2 Have a game of AIBU Bingo with how many posters come on without having read how the thread has developed and spluttering that you are being VERY unreasonable

Goldmandra Tue 02-Apr-13 15:58:45

I definitely was being unreasonable (to a point as I'm annoyed that he told DS first) and of course after giving it thought and reading the responses I will let him go.

I don't think you were at all unreasonable. You were put on the spot about something which made you feel very uncomfortable and you refused to give an answer without time to think. That seems perfectly appropriate to me.

It is also perfectly reasonable to be annoyed that he mentioned it to your DS first. That is very manipulative and deliberately putting the child in the middle of a possible conflict - totally out of order for any parent. I hope you'll find a way to let him know that it wasn't appropriate, that you wouldn't do it to your DS and he shouldn't ever do it again either.

I think you're being very brave too. You are clearly a very good mother who puts her child's needs at the centre of her decisions.

You took some time to reflect on this, asked for opinions of others to make sure you were seeing it from all angles and now you've made the best decision you can for your DS. He is lucky to be your son smile

Now, what are you going to do while he's away?

quoteunquote Tue 02-Apr-13 15:58:44

Florida in August will be totally scorching, make sure he packs lots of hats and factor 50 sunblock, they will spend the entire time in the pool.

It may seem very hard to let him go, but you would hate if you were not allowed to take him where you want, he'll have a lovely time, and he'll miss you, if you don't just grin and bare it, it will just come back on you.

Try to get away yourself and make the most of the time off.

MadameDefarge Tue 02-Apr-13 15:52:52

and absolutely not unreasonable to be pissed of at your XH manipulating you by promising the trip to ds before consulting you. Just ignore the subsequent posts Ohana. sometimes people dont read the whole thread before pitching in.

BigPigLittlePig Tue 02-Apr-13 15:52:09

Haven't read any of the replies, so sorry if this has been said already.

I have a dsd, who is 5. I would love to be able to take her away for a fortnight, but her dm won't allow it - and I completely get why. She is still a young child, and 2 weeks away from the main caregiver is a long time. After a week away on holidays each summer, dsd really misses her mum. Is there any way your ex-p could compromise, and have a week away, or 10 days, instead of a full fortnight?

YANBU to want to ensure your son is safe and happy, but I don't think you can say an outright no, without discussing things further with your ex-p.

MadameDefarge Tue 02-Apr-13 15:50:51

I think you are being very brave. If its any consolation I sent ds to North America by himself just turned five for a month because ExP had gone back and was refusing to continue his relationship with ds in the UK. He was living with his parents so I knew ds would be well looked after. but it hurt like fuck. This was the only way I could see to make sure ds still had a dad in his life. ExP did return to UK and has remained ever since.

OhanaHarlow Tue 02-Apr-13 15:49:52

I'm sorry if I'm appearing ungrateful because I'm not at all.

No-one has posted anything nasty or given me a ridiculously hard time.

I've appreciated every comment and it's given me things to think about - contact whilst he is away, insurance - and hopefully doing something myself for those 2 weeks.

I definitely was being unreasonable (to a point as I'm annoyed that he told DS first) and of course after giving it thought and reading the responses I will let him go.

But now I just don't need people constantly telling me now that I'm being very unreasonable.

MadameDefarge Tue 02-Apr-13 15:48:08

Regarding the travel alone with a child to the USA. They are very hot on the solo parent having documentation to prove they have the permission of the other parent, whether married, together or not, to the child's travelling. ExP is Canadian and has same name as ds. he was told off on arrival in Canada for not having permission from me to take ds away...but let them in anyway. They then went on a road trip to the US and I had to email giving permission and a date I expected ds to be returned to me because the US border people would not have allowed him entry. its about being stricter about child abduction by parents. some countries are not so hot on policing it some are. the US is one of them.

Lueji Tue 02-Apr-13 15:46:05

That's why I have the option of just one page and scroll directly to the end and make sure I read the OP's last post at least. smile

Which still causes some mistakes, but hey.

OP, just leave the thread if you are not getting anything from it. smile

Goldmandra Tue 02-Apr-13 15:43:17

So why are you still trying to hammer the point that I am unreasonable?!

It's because people can't be bothered to see how threads have developed by reading them through and just want to air their opinion. I find it very frustrating too but have been guilty of it a couple of times when I didn't notice threads had more than one page smile

OhanaHarlow Tue 02-Apr-13 15:39:06

but YABVU to refuse permission based on it being hard for you

I think you'll find I actually said he can go AGES ago on this thread.

And my reason for thinking about it before jumping and saying yes was not based purely on the fact that it is hard on me.

For goodness sake this is getting ridiculous.

I asked AIBU? Got told that yes I was from very understandable and reasonable replies.

I read the replies and agreed and realised that yes I was. Hence why I said ages ago that I would let him go.

So why are you still trying to hammer the point that I am unreasonable?!

Areyoumadorisitme Tue 02-Apr-13 15:33:56

I understand it'd be hard for you OP but YABVU to refuse permission based on it being hard for you when in fact it'd be a fantastic opportunity for your DS.

Your exP did used to live with DS and knows him well, it is not a case of an absent never been there parent. Your DS will be fine and will have a whale of a time. You will need to find something good for you to do while he is away though.

JenaiMorris Tue 02-Apr-13 15:31:03

I don't care how many years it's been tbh. OP's son is very little still and doesn't like his father's girlfriend.

If the father had his son's best interests at heart he'd be planning something less ambitious and put the two week USA trip on hold for a year or two.

glossyflower Tue 02-Apr-13 15:25:47

Oh sorry I misread the post!

I take that part back then.

SailToMe Tue 02-Apr-13 15:24:58

The son is only 6 almost 7. They broke up when he was 5.

So I'm guessing the gf would have only been in the sons life for 2 years.

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Apr-13 15:24:37

I think glossy simply read the OP wrong.

It's been nearly 2 years.

Spero Tue 02-Apr-13 15:22:32

Its only been five years if he was fucking about for 2-3 years behind the op's back.

If her son only spends 2-3 nights at a time with his dad, not sure how much of a 'big part' of his life the OW is.

SailToMe Tue 02-Apr-13 15:19:43

but it's been 5 years now so obviously she's a big part of his life now

Where did you get 5 years from?

glossyflower Tue 02-Apr-13 15:16:23

I can understand your concern at your child being so far away from you and for more time than you are used to but your ex is his dad and he has just as much right as you to your son.
I think it would deprive your son of a fantastic experience if you said no.
The fact that your ex is going with the woman he cheated in you with must be very hard but it's been 5 years now so obviously she's a big part of his life now with her daughter, it wasn't just a fling.
Think more of what's best for your son.
Take care xxx

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Apr-13 14:20:02

I'm glad you're going to say it's OK OP.

Of course you'll miss each other but he'll be back at the end of it, having no doubt had great fun.

As someone else suggested, it might be a good idea to make some plans yourself for those 2 weeks to take your mind off things a bit.

I wouldn't pay too much attention to him saying he doesn't like his stepmother (unless there are serious reasons) He might just mean that he wishes she was you...or that she does things differently to you and he doesn't like that.

frostyfingers Tue 02-Apr-13 14:19:46

Not in the least bit unreasonable to feel uncomfortable and unwilling. Him being away for two weeks will be strange, but can you plan to have some treats for yourself in that time so you've got something to look forward to as well?

JenaiMorris Tue 02-Apr-13 14:16:21

If the ex was remotely reasonable then he wouldn't be trying to lay on a guilt trip.

His and the OP's child is too young to have to go away for a fortnight with a woman he doesn't even like. A week in Spain would be one thing - two weeks in America something else entirely.

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