first xmas - what is reasonable?(13 Posts)
There is another first xmas thread about contact and how it works for different people which is really useful but I just wanted to get an opinion on my specific situation.
My xhtb ended our marriage in the summer. He was extremely aggressive although it was his choice. I went to my parents for a few days when it happened, and in that time he got house valued, instigated DV, then not long after changed the locks, effectively refusing to move out and let his son come home.
The upshot it that I had to move back for a job, so me, DS and dog have ended up in a tiny 2 up 2 down rental. I jointly own our house and will have to plod through DV before I can move onto somewhere better (I hope).
So...xmas. I have no family here. I came back (after initial split and being forced by x's actions into being with family several hundred miles away for the summer) so that DS could see his dad regularly without enduring massive drives at a young age. He is only 3.
This rental house is so small I can't put anyone up in it so I can't have family come to me for xmas.
This means my choices are take DS to my family for xmas, in which case DS won't see his Dad. Or I stay here with DS, but then I'll be alone.
Considering XH has put me in this position, is it unreasonable to take DS to my parents'? I would probably suggest he can have him for New Year and plenty of time around the dates.
Heading to mediation this week (dreading it as ex is EA and has no empathy whatsoever) . Just feel I need to be prepared with suggestions of what I am willing to do.
I don't want this to be the case for years to come. Just this year.
How did you do Christmases when you were together? And how often is DS seeing his father?
Last xmas I hosted his family. Xhtb has never been very hands on. I do all the work. Bought all presents. Basically I make it xmas and he used to grace me/us with his presence for a bit.
Ds seeing him weekly and eow. Xhtb says wants 50/50 but he never gave anything like that much time to ds when we were together. Since he has pushed us out the home, hasn't even provided a bed, bedding, clothes at 'his' house for ds. Has managed to buy himself plenty of things. He's just very selfish and immature. Ds likes seeing him but comes home dirty, hungry and exhausted from weekends.
Oh I don't know. It's so hard to do the right thing.
I am in a similar situation re: Christmas arrangements and have decided to take my daughter up to my parents' place for the week - its 5 hours away from where I currently live, and they can't come to me with my Mum's job as a nurse.
I say just tell him you are having your son for christmas and see how he reacts. He may be fine with it, subject to other arrangements (New Year etc).
But the comment you make about your stbxh re: lack of bed, clothes, appropriate food etc would really concern me. If he isn't meeting your son's care needs then I would question whether he is competent to have your son overnight at all.
I would definitely document the state he leaves your care vs the state you have him returned to you in.
He can't just change the locks of the house if its your former home - get some legal advice quickly here.
Sounds like a horrible situation to be in, far worse than my situation (I moved in with my sister because exH wouldn't leave and I couldn't tolerate any more threats/manipulative behaviour). Hang in there and know thta it will get better. Xx
alternate years for Xmas at yours or his dad's, with whoever doesn't have him for Xmas having him for new year. We did this for years with my DH's kids (same age as your DS when he and ex split) and it worked well; the kids ended up with TWO Christmas Days, time to see both families in a relaxed and "normal" way, and no stupid rushing up the motorway half way through Christmas Day or Boxing Day which means no one has a good time, least of all the little ones...
your other concerns about how DS lives when he's with his dad will need to be sorted out as well of course, but getting the "festive season" arrangements clear and agreed now will reduce stress for everyone involved, and as your little one is still young it will seem completely straightforward to him to have two lots of Christmas.
Thx for your posts. Mediation though hard was much better than I feared. Nothing finalised yet but x didn't seem to bothered about ds with me for xmas. Going again soon.
Off topic slightly, but I thought that if you both own the house, neither of you can do things like change the locks & bar access to a joint property. Have you seen a solicitor about this?
I thought your idea of going to your family for Christmas & ex H having the children for New Year was more than reasonable as he's illegally locked you & his children out of your home.
Legally he can. And I can legally break in and change them back. And so it cango on.
What I couldn't do is make him leave. You can only do that with domestic violence.. And even then you have to proove it to a judge.
So I had to go cos he wouldn't.
Thx. I think I've been worrying about it and x isn't as bothered as I imagined. I don't understand him.
He's not bothered about seeing his children over Xmas?
Then you're better off without him & your lovely children deserve better.
Fuck him - I would go to my parents. He changed the locks so you could not get back in? Why are you worried about his feelings then. From experience I would tell you NOT to worry about his feelings if he does not show you and your son any concern. Put yourself first.
Thanks daisy. It has all moved on since I posted.
We went to mediation. He didn't even seem fussed about seeing our ds at xmas. All he cared about was that his mother could see him at some point. So yes going to my parents, which I'm relieved about, but DS will see his dad for NY and weekends around xmas.
You are spot on daisy though. He has been abusive and subtly threatening again. On top of this, he has now changed the locks again so I can't access my house if I need to. Not that I have without his knowledge recently. Then, the cherry on top. DS has been ill this week so I had to put off contact on one evening this week. I said I'd see how he was for the next night, which was due. XHTB said he was busy so could we do another night. I said he shouldn't be busy on a contact visit, so he said ok he'd see DS if he was well enough. The following day came, DS was recovered. XHTB claimed HE was now ill. Turns out OW car on drive that night. So he cancelled on his son for OW. How lovely.
Anyway, I've reached a critical mass of twattery and I'm beyond giving a toss right now. Booked a santa event with DS for tomorrow and we have pizza for a snuggly friday tea so I'm happy today and XHTB is an utter tit for not even realising what he's done. He might have an empty house and a tart to shag, but I have our beautiful son and little dog, which counts much more.
I would take him to your family. If he complains tell him it's his turn next year. If he's as feckless as you say, it's unlikely he's going to take him off for days and days.
I'm not a fan of splitting the day itself, I think it's nicer for DC to spend a relaxed full day with whichever side of the family they are with that year.
Yes it is truly lovely when they put a woman before their own child. I have experience of that too. If I could go back and do it again I would certainly not have bothered to think about my exh's feelings and to try to enable him to see our daughter. I did a lot of work and running around and he did sod all and now is being a horrible thoughtless idiot and does not see how I tried to make things smooth for him or put our daughter first. He is just selfish selfish selfish.
It is a pattern that happens when so many relationships break down. Men put themselves first - even before children. They are intrinsically selfish animals and nothing takes precedence over their feelings and their needs. People may argue otherwise but I have yet to see things turn out differently. Women apologise, make allowances, go out of their way, smooth things over. Men do nothing and then blame when things do not turn out the way they want them to.
So my advice - don't help him if he isn't decent to you.
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