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Oneupmanship started with presents already....how do you deal with it?

(10 Posts)

Hi, I'm newly separated and it is DS birthday tomorrow. I am very organised so had already bought presents for him. I've always tended to do the present shopping. STBEXH is the breadwinner so he has paid for them.

I have invited STBEXH over to spend the day with DS - various things planned and I thought it would be the right thing to do for DS. He's just emailed to say that he has been shopping and has bought DS loads of presents (from him but also from other family members who have give cash). Last time we spoke on the subject (last Friday) I said that I had assumed presents would be joint and perhaps separate cards. STBEXH only moved out a month ago so we are finding our feet in terms of what works and what doesn't. So probably next time we would do things differently - this way was just due to timing.

I'm cross - I'm getting a lot of this passive aggressive behaviour (on other matters eg the haircut issue). DS will have more presents tomorrow that he could ever need or want. I am probably going to say how lovely they are and then ask STBEH to take his presents back to his house. Or is that just being mean to DS? Any thoughts much appreciated.

niceguy2 Mon 22-Aug-11 19:30:10

As an isolated incident I'd say you are being a tad unreasonable.

But you suggest this is all part of a pattern of behaviour so hard to say.

But in general my ex & I buy separate presents. There's no real point in pretending presents are joint. What is it you hope to achieve by it?

The timing of our separation has meant that the presents were already bought and tucked away. I think if STBEXH wanted to do his own thing he should have said so - I would have no issue with that at all. He has paid for these so in reality they are joint. It is the lack of communication that is probably the real issue but then that's why the marriage failed. I just don't want DS being totally spoiled - he's an only child and up to now has (sweetly) been quite ungrabbing about stuff. I'm not sure now whether to tuck some of "my" things away for another day. I was trying to be generous involving ex in the day, so don't want to be involved in crap!

cestlavielife Tue 23-Aug-11 15:54:49

relax and breath...
they are just presents.
let ds enjoy them
ask him DS which he wants to keep at dad's house for when he goes there

maybe your ex is feeling this is some way to make up for things who knows.
if he doing it to wind you up - then dont let it wind you up smile and beathe

how old is DS?

DS was 6 today. Ex turned up over an hour late. By that time DS had got into a frenzy of opening all the presents although I did insist he keep back a couple of the larger ones for when Daddy was there. There is still a bag full of unopened pressies!

I did suggest that DS take some to Daddy's and will suggest that again.

Cestlavielife - The passive aggressive behaviour is making it very hard to tell if it is wind up or make up. Perhaps time will tell.

ladydeedy Thu 25-Aug-11 16:35:00

"I was trying to be generous involving ex in the day"? What does that mean? This rings alarm bells to me. I think you should be very careful in how you are positioning this - i.e. you are being generous by "allowing" your ex to see his child on the child's birthday?

Ladydeedy - no alarm bells needed. During the summer holidays I look after our DS. By chance his favourite activity was taking place on that day and had been booked long before I even knew that ex was moving out or going to be around. Ex suddenly announces that he has taken the day off so I did the decent thing and invited him over to spend the morning with us before all going off to activity. I still do feel that was "generous" considering the other woman, the lies and deceit. My real beef with all of this was the unecessary oneupmanship.

missmogwi Sat 03-Sep-11 00:43:05

With regard to the oneupmanship, I found this was the case with my XP for a couple of years after we split (his doing), I used to feel really naffed off as I couldn't afford the same.

But as time went on I realised that it was his guilt at not 'being there' and lack of regular child support that made him go so OTT with gifts. Five years later this still happens, but I couldnt care less and so will you one day.

Speaking from experience these sort of things bother you much less when things have calmed down, after all if its a very recent split you must be bloody livid and heartbroken.

Balls to him let him spend his money. Oh and I would say take some new toys to Dads so he can play with them there--and stop them cluttering your house up--

MeMySonAndI Sat 03-Sep-11 09:56:53

At 6 your child will not even notice who gave him more gifts. He won't even remember who gave him what.

You are in the early days in the separation so I understand things are raw at the moment but... please choose your battles. This one is not worth it.

I'm saying this not to be critical to you, but because experience has taught me that after divorce small stupid things (smaller than gifts even), may be like snowballs rolling down the hill, by the time you realise they are so huge they are out of control... so, in the interest of giving you both a good chance of co-parenting successfully I think it would be better not to think much about it and let it go.

With regards to passive aggresive behaviour, please don't forget that once you are living apart, passive agressive behaviour is easy to ignore. The trick is not to try to change him (you know already he won't change), what you need to change is the way you respond to his behaviour, it is in your hands to find the solution so what he does, doesn't affect you much.

hairylights Tue 06-Sep-11 14:34:32

I think your attitude here shows that you are (understandably) bitter about the split. It's not being generous to include his dad in his birthday ... It's being a good pare t and putting your dc needs first.

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