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Probably IABU but I need a vent

(23 Posts)
VeryFoolishFay Sun 27-Nov-16 13:07:53

My ExDH and I divorced over a decade ago at my instigation. We are relatively amicable and have 2 DC in their early twenties. He is resolutely single and seems to enjoy his home and good social life. I have since remarried.

I have 8 nieces and nephews, all 11 and under. He does come to occasional wider family events at my invitation because we were married for a long time and our DC are pleased by this, but the majority of my nieces and nephews wouldn't know him from Adam. None of his family will have any contact with me at all.

Perhaps I'm being petty but I'm getting increasingly more irritable as time goes on that he insists on buying birthday and Christmas presents for each of them and refers to them as 'his' nieces and nephews. They're not. They're mine. He is their aunt's exDH from over a decade ago.

I know it doesn't really matter in the great scheme of things and I don't see any point in saying anything but I feel it's still a way of still trying to show how hard done by he was and how he still has a 'right' to be involved. I'm finding it increasingly creepy as time goes on.

It's a bit over the top, isn't it?

Considering he never arranged a present for anyone during our marriage!

Cherrysoup Sun 27-Nov-16 13:10:21

You have kept inviting him to extended family events but are finding it weird that he buys people presents? I think YABU. Stop inviting/involving him then maybe he won't want to be so involved.

ClopySow Sun 27-Nov-16 13:18:56

You're being unreasonable.

VeryFoolishFay Sun 27-Nov-16 13:20:18

It's only occasional, perhaps yearly. And it makes my DC happy. It's still weird, though.

Trifleorbust Sun 27-Nov-16 13:20:52

I think it's nice that he wants to stay involved tbh.

statetrooperstacey Sun 27-Nov-16 13:22:20

Yes it's odd if you have been separated since before most of these children we're born. I think he is trying to keep a connection to you especially as your children are grown now. He has less reason to see and speak to you now so this gives him an in.

Bluntness100 Sun 27-Nov-16 13:26:04

It's probably something he started and now feels uncomfortable to stop, as these are kids. I doubt he's doing it for some sinister ulterior motive to piss you off. So yeah, I think you're over thinking it and being unreasonable to want the kids to not have gifts.

VeryFoolishFay Sun 27-Nov-16 13:26:12

The vast majority of these children have been born since we got divorced.

I had to stop him, a few years after we divorced from sending Christmas cards, to my old friends from school. And several of my elderly aunts and uncles have expressed bemusement that he's persisted all these years.

What grates is that he was never particularly struck on my family whilst we were actually married.

VeryBitchyRestingFace Sun 27-Nov-16 13:29:40

YABU. Stop inviting him to events if you can't cope with his henious gift giving.

Trifleorbust Sun 27-Nov-16 13:30:28

Okay, it's odd if the children don't pre-date the divorce.

VeryFoolishFay Sun 27-Nov-16 13:44:25

He phoned here the other day to speak to our DS, and whilst he was waiting for him to come to the phone he was telling me how he was struggling to find a suitable gift for one of my nieces....

sandragreen Sun 27-Nov-16 13:48:48

Well OP there was your opportunity to say something. "Oh, I don't know why you bother, nobody would mind if you stopped, it's a bit weird really isn't it as we have been divorced for ten years, "tinkly laugh".................."

thisisafakename Sun 27-Nov-16 13:58:06

What a massive bastard. Can't believe he would give gifts or send christmas cards to people. Shouldn't be allowed.

littlesallyracket Sun 27-Nov-16 14:03:45

Making an effort to send gifts to nieces and nephews he could easily just ignore seems like a kind thing to do to me.

redexpat Sun 27-Nov-16 14:13:21

Are you all missing the part where the op said these nieces and nephews arrived after she divorced him? Thats really weird. I can only think of 3 explanations.
1. He misses the family and is trying to cling on to it, although you said he wasnt interested when you were married so that seems unlikely. Maybe he didnt know what hed got till it was done?
2. That he is a controlling bastard trying to stay in your life to annoy you. Again, unlikely given that you have said things were amicable.
3. He doesnt really understand social norms, and is possibly on the spectrum.
4. Like you he is trying to be nice but just getting it wrong.

Any of that sound likely?

emmanuelcant Sun 27-Nov-16 14:14:21


CheeseCakeSunflowers Sun 27-Nov-16 14:30:48

Is there any chance he could be on the spectrum. It does sound a bit like he does not understand the normal social rules.

pictish Sun 27-Nov-16 14:37:59

I agree that it's inappropriate. Just tell him...but nicely mind.

"You don't need to buy anything for her...she's not your niece, she's mine. She was born after we got divorced so there's no relationship you need to observe at all. No one expects it from you...if anything it's a bit odd that you feel the need. Don't worry about getting her or any of the others a gift any more."

VeryFoolishFay Sun 27-Nov-16 16:13:35

I think redexpat might have something; I suspect it's a mix between being a little controlling in a way that's difficult to complain about and not really seeing that it's a bit inappropriate. There has always been an element of passive aggressive behaviour over the years. On the surface we're quite amicable but perhaps we're both quite cross not too far underneath!

Of course, I should have used the tinkly laugh approach but it caught me particularly by surprise to hear him refer specifically to 'MY niece' that I missed the moment.

I am generally quite fond of him and I don't want to cause upset so I think that I will wait for another opportunity to mention it organically.

lizzieoak Sun 27-Nov-16 16:30:30

My exh cannot remember the names or ages of his sole niece & nephew, nvm buy pressies. I've always done it as I feel obliged to to help keep the cousins connected.

We all have our cross to bear!

Allthebestnamesareused Sun 27-Nov-16 16:34:44

To be fair he is looking at them as his DC's cousins. As he is being included in family events he feels a part of the family and treats them as such.

I personally feel you are lucky. My sister's ExH still buys for my son whereas my sister doesn't whole other thread.

cushioncovers Sun 27-Nov-16 17:51:50

I agree with red.

VeryFoolishFay Sun 27-Nov-16 22:16:06

I don't want to cause a major upheaval. I'll see how things go.

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