DP, EXH and Christmas(156 Posts)
This could be long and I am in work so I may not reply quickly so I will put in as much as I can to cover any questions...
EXH and I seperated almost 3 years ago just before christmas. This coming christmas will be the forth since we split. We were together seven years but it was a stormy relationship due to domestic violence from him to me. Regardless the state of our relationship at the time we always managed to spend christmas together with the kids, including the first one after we split.
I moved DP in with us very quickly so the second christmas after EXH and I seperated DP was there. He refused point blank to let EXH come round on christmas day as it was the first time he had had his DD overnight on christmas eve. This caused a lot of problems between EXH and I, he was not happy that he didnt see the kids untill boxing day.
Last year EXH put his foot down and said since I had the kids the previous year he was taking them for dinner and over night. I still had christmas morning with them until 11am but the rest of the day was terrible for me. I missed them so much. we also only had DSD for an hour or two last year.
This year EXH has said that he would like to come round on christmas morning and watch the kids open their presents and spend an hour or two with them before leaving us to get on with the day.
I don't think that is unreasonable, I think the kids would love it (8 & 5) and that as grown ups we should be able to manage a couple of hours in each others company for their sake.
We don't know when we will be having DSD this year as her mum hasn't decided yet.
I have spent lots of time with DP's ex for the sake of keeping relations easy. we have many times eaten a meal together at MILs etc.
Would I be unreasonable to expect DP to allow EXH a couple of hours with his kids on christmas morning?
Absolutely what Inertia said. He beat you, got away with it, now everyone plays nice in case he 'kicks off' again. Don't blame DP for not wanting to play along, tbh.
When you put it like that dreaming it paints a very very different picture. I think my op is how I would like it to be and how I have convinced myself things are but your post is most based in reality and you have seen right through me when I didn't want to see it myself.
I just want my kids to be happy and have the best of all worlds and to me, my original post seemed the answer and a lot of people agree.
Nacho, only you know the extent of your Ex's violence. Only you know whether he is actually safe to be in charge of his children (or his stepchildren). But you don't have to let him control what you do now. You can negotiate with him - but you don't have to allow him to bully you. And if he does threaten you or the children or DP , then you should involve the police.
If you do want to look at a shared-time arrangement for Christmas day, then I really urge you to consider meeting somewhere safe and neutral after present-opening. You haven't all moved on from this as grown-ups, which is what the earlier part of the thread indicated- he is still trying to control you using the unresolved threat of violence.
To be honest your current dp doesn't sound great, and he was moved in pretty quickly as you say. He sounds as if he has abusive tendencies in him as well, making you believe he should 'allow' things to happen. I wonder if you partly feel you've jumped from one abusive relationship and this one isn't great but feel it's better than the violence.
I agree with inertia.
I think you are still stuck in the mode of appeasing. That's not the same thing as compromising.
This will be the 6th Xmas we have spent separately since going our own ways. He comes round for an hour or so Christmas morning to give the kids a gift and have me wait on him hand and foot. In all fairness, though, the past couple of years he's left as soon as possible. Last Christmas he announced "well, the kids are obviously having a great time, I'll get going" and left after 15 minutes... with the new girlfriend he'd brought along in tow!
It makes me seethe internally, but he asks for it (no idea why, probably just on the small off-chance that there may be a man spending time with his DC on Christmas Day? I don't know) and the kids don't dislike it (I don't think they'd be fussed either way to be honest) so I grin and bear it.
Oh, he has them Boxing Day, usually mid-afternoon and overnight. Only if he doesn't have any other plans though!
If exh doesn't get to come for Christmas morning he will kick off
So this is more about placating your violent EX than what is best for your children?
I would put a stop to this now and if your EX 'kicks off' call the police.
I think that if you're able to pull this off then it's a great idea!
I can see this from both sides: my xh (we split up 10years ago) was violent towards me. I just wouldn't be able to spend that much time with him in my house. I've tried in the past, and failed. Luckily our ds's are grown up now, makes things much easier!
I can also see this from your xh's side, as my dh is not "allowed" by his xgf to have their dd at Christmas. Not Christmas Eve, and not Christmas Day. Sometimes we don't see her until several days past Boxing Day now. I know it hurts him a lot, so we have the best day we can with our 2 dc's together. Which is easy as they're young!
I think you're setting a great example to your children.
kinky So what if he asks? Say no!
Honestly, you shouldn't have to seethe on Christmas.
I know bohemian <<sighs>> I am in incredibly independent, feisty woman really, but always end up bending over to shut the ex up!
He's incredibly manipulative, and whilst I KNOW the kids couldn't give a shiny shit about seeing their father on Xmas morning, he would make them THINK that they do! Does that make any sense?
Seriously, it's 15 mins/an hour out of my day, then I get to close the door on him and spend the day with my family.... it's worth it to me, at this present moment in time.
Everything Inertia said.
I think I wouldn't be at all OK with spending my Christmas (every year?) accommodating the violent exH of my partner in my own home and exposing my child to him. And I wouldn't be at all OK with this: Basically I would find it really difficult to not let Exh have his own way. It is much easier to try and ask DP to compromise.
I don't think this is about what's best for your children at all. I think this is about what's easiest emotionally for you. I see no reason why they can't celebrate with you and your exH separately.
I agree with the posts about boundaries ect. Your DP lives in the house he can have an opinion and his opinion is just as important as your EXH's.
We only get boxing day with DSD and have xmas then, I don't see how you being together on the day the way you explained it is going to benefit the DC's and I'm sure they aren't going to worry about the present share. We say Santa couldn't fit them all down our chimney so we asked he to send some to Mums house.
I think keeping the family's separate when the DC'S are little is best and less confusing. Its different when they are older and can understand the dynamics better.
Fair enough, kinky. Sorry you have to deal with such a tosser.
I genuinely thought it was best for the kids and part of me still does think that in an ideal world it would be nice if we could all spend time together briefly.
however the more posts I read the more I think I am kidding myself that its what I want and best for the kids because I am scared to stand up to Ex and it is easier to just ask dp to go along with it.
so basically in a normal relationship between ex's it would be fine and a great idea but the fact that he was abusive means I am not seeing things clearly and letting him control me still and using a normal standard to convince myself that its not the case.
Isn't Christmas supposed to be about the DC?
In all honesty, what would make your DC happy OP?
What would make your DSD happy?
FWIW, xp and I have DD on alternate Christmases. One year, I have DD on Christmas day and xp has her on boxing day and the following year, we swap.
In an ideal world what you want for Christmas Day morning would be lovely.
But it's not an ideal world. Being 'friends' with XPs only works when there are no abusive tendencies on either side. In fact, it only tends to work really when there is a genuine bond between the separated parents that is independent of romantic feelings. If the only reason you have any contact with your X is because of the children, it doesn't work. That's not to say you can't be amicable and good-natured, but with boundaries in place that always make it clear this has much more to do with a friend-LY business arrangement than it does a genuine friendship.
Although it doesn't feel like it, establishing a precedent now will actually make it much easier in the future when you have issues over graduations, weddings, etc. While it should be the case that both parents have the right to attend these functions (at their child's invitation), with an abuser it has to be made clear that this is only on the sufferance of the non-abusive parent and the child. Otherwise, they tend to use it as an opportunity to exert control.
What is in your view equal rights will be seen as superior rights by an abuser, and you could find yourself in a situation where your own DP is banned from an event because the abuser threatens to kick off because he feels he has the right to exert that degree of control.
The right to have that big a say is forfeited the minute you decide to inflict abuse on your child's other parent, and by default your own child.
I think the children would be happy to see him but i don't think its ruined Christmas for them not seeing him in the morning the last two years either.
dsd wouldn't mind either way so far as I can tell, that's if she is even here.
Dahlen's right. Your plan would work in a family where ex-partners came to this compromise via an agreement about what would be best for the children, and were able to behave respectfully towards one another. This isn't the case when violence and abuse are involved.
The children can still have contact with their father but it doesn't have to be at your home and it doesn't have to be on Christmas day.
Could you not arrange it that e.g. Your ex has kid this year, your dp's ex has dsd this year too, so you and dp can lie in, champagne and muffins for breakfast, nice luxury dinner that the kids don't like (salmon? Steak? Lobster?) and generally treat the day as a "dirty weekend away". Pick the kids up Boxing Day pm and then have the early morning, presents and turkey with the kids on 27th. Then next year, you ask to have all the dc fr
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