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Giving gifts to an ex partner

(8 Posts)
medwaydad Wed 23-May-18 01:51:43

Firstly I want to say I have quite an amicable relationship with my ex wife regards to childcare and how we split everything since our separation. But tonight I got into a disagreement with her about her receiving gifts/cards from her sister and how I'm not comfortable with the situation as it's now changed how we have been for the last year and as of saying this tonight our relationship has spiralled out of control in the last few hours where I've been shouted in the street as I left.

I want to start by saying I don't begrudge her sister buying her gifts but what I do have a dilemma with is her sister now buying gifts and cards and marking them from my daughters (they are 3 and 1yrs old) and it's all done as if I'm not responsible for it any more.

My point of view is that though what we've been through as a couple was hard and I'm responsible for hurting her emotionally, yes I'm no longer a husband to her, but I am still a dad and I want to gift to her to recognise her birthday and all those special occasions and show my girls that we still get on to some extent. I want to do this until the girls can choose and pay for a gift themselves and I'm there to do it with/for them but also giving the girls the choice as to what I buy in these early years. I also think that her sister shouldn't gift from my daughters as I'm still very much an active part of their lives and have them 50/50 custody..I'm not in anyway an absent father and if I were I could perhaps understand this position more.

I was quite explicitly told tonight that it's not normal for ex husbands to buy ex wife's presents and once we were divorced that should have been it and I should now stop it. I was told by ex wife that all her friends and family thought it was strange we had this agreement for the first year of our divorce and her sister has done this now to continue where I shouldn't be doing so. I tried explaining the gift wasn't from me but from the girls but was shot down by her saying "but it's your money so it's tainted".

Sorry for the long story I've tried to explain as best I can. My question basically is, is this really normal to not buy presents? Should I just stay quiet and let this continue and never purchase a card/gift again? I fear this is not sending out a great message to my girls. I wanted us to be mummy and daddy and this now feels like a war of attrition where it's mummy OR daddy.

What are your thoughts?

LadyB49 Wed 23-May-18 01:57:40

As you are/were on good terms I don't see anything wrong with you guiding your daughters in the art of choosing a gift for their mum. Unfortunately your wife doesn't agree which casts a different light on it.

medwaydad Wed 23-May-18 02:01:09

What about the point of view of her sister stepping in and doing it instead of me?

OneWouldHopeSo Wed 23-May-18 02:43:28

I suspect why you split up is relevant here. Did you leave her/ have an affair? If so - made bed - lie in it.

wtf2018 Wed 23-May-18 02:50:56

You actually sound like a fairly nice guy. I personally think it's normal - I will have to grit through my teeth and buy my abusive exH a small gift for Father's Day. He doesn't deserve one but DS will want to give one. Obviously exH will know I bought it but in my eyes it's not from me it's from DS

Nobody else would do it and I would love to just ignore it the way he does mothers days

It seems strange if you're amicable especially not to be ok with it to me.

But you do say in your OP you emotionally hurt her and maybe she is cutting down on how things were with you immediately post divorce to a less friendly relationship. Ultimately the gifts are from the kids to mum, whoever is doing it

grumpypug Thu 31-May-18 18:53:41

I disagree with the ex wife. I absolutely believe that is the 'job' of the dad/mum to buy gifts to their children's other parent. If one parent was refusing or had no contact then I could see why another relative would step in but as you play a very active part in their lives then of course it should be you.

Does their mum buy you gifts from them?

If it was a very difficult break up then I could see why your ex-wife may be unhappy but surely your relationship with your children, which includes showing them that you still respect their mother as their mother should take priority.

CottonBudBows Sun 03-Jun-18 21:24:26

I think it’s a really nice idea shopping with your children for your ex wife’s birthday but if she’s uncomfortable with accepting these gifts that you’ve paid for maybe you could try handmade cards,baking a cake or paper flowers. This way you can still help your children to give the gift without spending money.
Also when my DN was young I always took her to get my sisters b/day m/day cards and gifts so I think it is quite normal for someone to take that over after a split. Does she do anything for your b/day f/day?

Pinkprincess1978 Sat 16-Jun-18 22:37:36

I think it's great you want to help your children buy things for their Mum and don't see anything wrong with it. That said I also don't think it is wrong her sister does this also. She can get both lots of presents but if she is genuinely uncomfortable with you getting these presents then you should stop.

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