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To spend Christmas with the ex or not?

(38 Posts)
UnbridledPositivity Thu 13-Dec-12 23:25:07

He wants to spend 'part of' Christmas together at my house, has offered to pay for some of the food, would help cook it, has talked about present for me etc. He's very generous, no violence issues or anything.

I keep thinking I ought to say yes. He wants it 'for DD's sake', and while I will have visitors over Christmas, he won't (but would never admit to being lonely/sad).

We spent Christmas together last year, and it went ok until we had a big row afterwards as he seemed to resent the effort and money he put into making it nice, and I was sad that he seemed emotionally absent, for lack of a better expression.

This time I'm really struggling with the constant rejection I feel. We've been separated for a long time, but occasionally I stupidly still hope that we can make things work (I instigated the split after finding out about his webcam habit and worse). He goes to enormous lengths to avoid spending time together and seems completely disinterested in anything I say. I know he's an absolute c word, but at the same time I feel really down about the way my life has turned out.

Would it be wrong to say no to a joint Christmas this time? He cried when we talked about it, but got angry when I told him I was upset. He occasionally does me favours, and I will likely need quite a few more from him next year for work-related reasons, so I often feel I have to give a little. Plus I might regret saying no when it's Christmas.

thebluenailbrush Fri 14-Dec-12 12:18:08

i've just reported you

UnbridledPositivity Fri 14-Dec-12 18:19:21

Didn't mean to drip feed, but it is all so horribly complicated. If he seemed generally very keen to spend time together at other times, I would say yes straightaway. But just for Christmas - I'd feel a bit used.

lighted Sat 15-Dec-12 06:44:13

No, not a good idea given your circumstances.

It's an arrangement that suits him because he has emotionally moved on; you have not, I don't think.

It's all very well that you are trying to do the best for your dd but you haven't reached a point of detachment yourself with him and sometimes you have to look after your own welfare as a mum too. You also have said earlier in the thread about him saying he will grow to 'hate you' and it's 'toxic'.....

Not everyone can do Xmas with the ex, immediately or in the future. Maybe, in the future, you could do it, but I don't think you are ready for it and you seem to still be dealing with hurt and rejection emotions.

feelingdizzy Sat 15-Dec-12 07:21:37

I spend xmas with my ex,we are divorced 8 years,the kids are 9 and 10 so in one sense we are lucky that they have no memory off us being together so having xmas this way is all they have ever known.We also had a brief and horrific marriage so only had 3 christmas' together,when married.

Its fine ,he brings all the food and drink,we chat have dinner a drink.It can work.We have a relatively amicable relationship now,don't really talk to him that much.its like having an uncle or cousin for dinner at this stage.

Doesn't sound like you are there at this stage,arrange something that gives you peace this Christmas.Good Luck

lighted Sat 15-Dec-12 07:55:08

OP, do what is best for you, not for him. It won't benefit your dd if emotions (both yours and his) cannot be completely hidden/suppressed.

DontmindifIdo Sat 15-Dec-12 08:04:09

Sounds like you are being used at Christmas, he doesn't actually want to be with you, he wants the "family Christmas" - that's all. It will ruin Christmas for you. Say no, let him have your DD on Boxing day at his place, he can do Christmas then.

HandbagCrab Sat 15-Dec-12 09:20:00

It sounds like something out of a film: mum and dad have split up, dad comes over for christmas and through the bickering over turkey, the Christmas lights catch the twinkle in his eye and mum falls in love with him all over again.

The reality is though this is a man who has told you he is planning to hate you after he broke your marriage (how can you be 50/50 responsible for him using webcams?). It is not your fault or responsibility if he is alone at Christmas, perhaps a turkey dinner for one would be the kick up the arse he needs to sort his life out? Perhaps it would also give you the clarity you need to decide to do what is best for you and your dd? I see you're worried about your dd spending time with his family, but I am sure one hour will not be as bad as a whole day with mum and dad playing happy families with all the unrealistic expectation that this set up must bring for you all.

prettywhiteguitar Sat 15-Dec-12 12:01:33

NO no and thrice no!!! Please don't let yourself be drawn back in, ignore and keep contact at strict times so there is no outside discussion or argument

It has taken my ex and I 5 years to be emotionally detached to have a nice chat and consider spending time together with ds but we both have partners not to do with the split and hr has learnt what I will put up with, basically nothing

Keep your distance from him, the fact you know what he thinks of you means you are too close, for your own good and to show your dd what a healthy relationship looks like.

Give him Christmas eve or boxing day but let yourself have a nice Christmas day with your dd with no worry involved

UnbridledPositivity Sat 15-Dec-12 19:24:53

I do think he just wants to borrow a family when it suits him. But I will need some favours from him next year, so perhaps I should let him just to keep the peace.

I'd also quite like to see his family as this is the nicest group of people from his generally crappy family.

Definitely agree that I need to disengage more, but it's hard.

thebluenailbrush Sun 16-Dec-12 08:50:39

emotionally disengaging is the key. My ex only wanted to do christmas with us when he was single- once he he had a new partner he never again asked to have any part of christmas day with DC. However i didn't feel in any way used because i had completely disengaged from him- except on rare occasions when he did something really bloody stupid!

I find it very easy to emotionally disengage so not sure how people who find it hard go about learning how to do that- maybe you can start a new thread asking for help with that aspect?

DontmindifIdo Sun 16-Dec-12 09:11:00

From what you've said, I don't think letting him "borrow" a family for Christmas is going to make him more inclined to help you out next year.

Don't do this thinking it'll make your life easier, it probably won't, only have him there for Christmas day if you think that decision in isolation is the best one for you and DD.

TheProvincialLady Sun 16-Dec-12 09:25:27

Don't have him over for Christmas.

DO make arrangements so that you don't need favours from him. Find alternative childcare. If you feel he has some kind of hold over you, you will never move on and will forever be trying to appease him. Your ex is behaving like the manipulative dick that he is - don't let him get away with it. Say no to Christmas and ignore the crying. How he feels about it is not your problem. It's not like it's the first Christmas since the split, when emotions are particularly raw. He had a chance to do it last year, but he was critical and caused a big row. Only an idiot would risk the same thing happening again. If your ex really wanted the best for his daughter, he would be arranging a magical 'second Christmas' for her. As it's all about him, your ex wants YOU to organise a magical Christmas for HIM, complete with fake happy family. Just don't.

Foxy800 Sun 16-Dec-12 09:39:03

Hi this is my first year as a single mm and dd and i are spending xmas with his dad and stepmum and if he is not working he will be there too, i am doing this for dd and so it isnt just us on xmas day as it would be a normal day and nothing special apart from the pressies.

However I get on well with his family so it should be nice even if he is there.

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