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Christmas was crap...

(29 Posts)
user1471548678 Thu 12-Jan-17 22:58:46

My Christmas didn't go well. In brief I'm divorced and have been having my ex for Christmas Day since we separated 3 years ago. We have 3 kids and he lives close by. I do everything for Xmas and cook, prepare, wrap, organise, etc etc as most women do (I know some men do too, but I'm generalising)
This year I was exhausted before Christmas due to my own health issues, my youngest (3) being ill for 10 days and sleeping badly and the usual rushing around organising angel costumes, teachers gifts, presents etc. One of my kids has special needs (ASD and ADHD) and really struggles with the disruption of Xmas so he was extra difficult too.
My issue is what shall I do next year?
I've tried to discuss my feelings with my ex about how I do everything on the day and he walked off and then ignored my carefully worded calm email a few days later. Also, he won't make any financial contribution to Xmas. He did buy one present though. hmm

RacoonBandit Thu 12-Jan-17 23:09:19

Don't invite him and don't make any of the gifts from him.

You are no longer with this man so stop behaving like you are.

PenguinsandPebbles Thu 12-Jan-17 23:44:20

Agree why are you having him in your home on Christmas Day?

He's your ex - no need for carefully worded emails, it is not working for you anymore and he will not contribute so let him have Christmas with the children separately.

TalkingofMichaelAngel0 Thu 12-Jan-17 23:47:38

Ffs stop having him! Youve already left the bastard!

BonsGirl Thu 12-Jan-17 23:49:44

There's no way I'd have my ex over for Christmas! Especially when he's not contributing, fuck that!!!

tipsytrifle Fri 13-Jan-17 00:15:26

In the same way that your everyday lives have changed and you are now divorced I think that Christmas needs to change, almost as an act of completion. Do you cater for your ex at other occasions in the calendar? There's a lot of "letting go" involved in not just separation but actual divorce. If Xh has his own place then Christmas can be divided up according to what works best for all of you. I don't think taking full responsibility for this time of year is helping the "moving on" phase of what has no doubt been a difficult time for all of you. What would you prefer to happen next year?

Imfree Fri 13-Jan-17 06:41:18

Just tell him you won't be inviting him next year. And he has got a whole year to get used to the idea.

forumdonkey Fri 13-Jan-17 06:46:10

Don't have him for christmas. You'll have the same stress, but none of the resentment.

ineedmorelemonpledge Fri 13-Jan-17 06:58:41

If he brings nothing to the table then stop inviting him.

Alternate your Christmas Days next year or split the day and drop them at his in the afternoon.

abbsisspartacus Fri 13-Jan-17 07:09:04

I did this one year he bought nothing slept on my sofa and expected to be waited on hand and foot I didn't do it again

MatchboxTwenty Fri 13-Jan-17 07:11:57

Don't do it. How do you deal with access arrangements? Birthdays/Easter etc...

Calmly word an email now laying out how you'd like it to work this Christmas but I'd suggest you maybe get them to wake up at yours and then go to him at 2pm till tea time boxing day or something like that.

Don't say the presents are from him if he's not contributing!

Gallavich Fri 13-Jan-17 07:12:47

Have Christmas with your kids and he can have them a day after to celebrate if he wants. No need for him to be with you at Christmas.

user1471548678 Fri 13-Jan-17 07:28:43

Thank you for all the replies. we have tried to stay amicable for the sake of the children and so I invite him to birthdays etc and we've usually celebrated these jointly.
He is quite disorganised so I'm concerned that if the kids are with him for Xmas or part of it they will have a rubbish time. As it is 2 out of 3 of them are often reluctant to go to his house.
So although I'd like to have more detachment from him I worry the children will suffer.

Imfree Fri 13-Jan-17 07:34:23

Well they won't suffer as they don't want to go to his anyway. And if he can't make an effort over Christmas then maybe they should go another time before or after Christmas or just the afternoon on Boxing Day or something. You can't take over just because he's useless. Let him get on with it.

RacoonBandit Fri 13-Jan-17 07:37:34

User I understand your concerns but you cannot parent for him. As long as he is not a danger to them you have break the cycle. You are still behaving like his partner which is not good for you or the children. Stop enabling this man child and break his controlling behaviour.
You don't have to be nasty about it just be factual.

Dear ex
Christmas was very stressful for me and I have reached a point where it is clear we need to make a clean break. If you would like to discuss holiday contact for the children please contact me and we can discuss what we feel works best for them but I will not be inviting you to spend Christmas in my home this year.

Kind regards

TheNaze73 Fri 13-Jan-17 07:38:40

He doesn't need another mother, leave him be

Imbroglio Fri 13-Jan-17 07:45:57

My ex didn't cook or help much while we were together. Everything was up to me. He isn't perfect but it turned out that he was capable enough when he needed to be. Let him be responsible and he will (hopefully) step up.

Montane50 Fri 13-Jan-17 07:49:57

Why are you worrying about this now? Its January! A lot can happen in the next 11 months, you may both have new partners etc. I think you're a bit too organised tbh.

Lovemusic33 Fri 13-Jan-17 07:54:12

Sounds like my Christmas sad, I think next year I'm going to take the dd's away somewhere and ex dh can make his own plans. I have children with sn's too and each year it seems to get more stressful and we just don't enjoy it anymore.

user1471548678 Fri 13-Jan-17 08:52:36

Thank you for all your comments.
I'm determined it won't be like this next year so I'm planning in advance. Ex tends to ask me things at a bad moment and I end up being forced into an arrangement I don't want.
Your ideas have be useful and I feel I am a bit too entangled with him as some of you have suggested.
I have met someone else but my ex won't have any contact with him at all or allow him to be around at Xmas if he's there too. My ex is a bit hopeless and quite selfish. He can't cook and only ever cooks one very simple meal when he has the kids over and is very disorganised but he can't admit this so I do feel like his grumpy mother at times.
I feel like I have been very accommodating to him but I can't do it any more as he's taking me for granted and doesn't ever seem to appreciate what I do.
It's hard with a child who has special needs as well as he doesn't really enjoy the Xmas events and gets disrupted by it all and then behaviour is awful.
I'd love to take the kids away for Xmas next year if I can afford it.
How do others manage to split Xmas with a useless ex?

Blobby10 Fri 13-Jan-17 10:10:15

user although my children are much older than yours (they live with me - Ex in flat nearby), I too invited my ex around to spend Christmas Day with us. We are still amicable after our split. Like you, I did everything (although he did buy and collect the turkey!) all the food cooking, got all the kids presents, and on the the day everything was pleasant, helped by me drinking most of the bottles of fizz I had bought - he didn't contribute by bringing even one bottle of wine so I didn't offer anything else! petty but there you go wink

Two things have now happened to make me decide not to do that again. 1) he chose Boxing Day to tell me he was taking his 'new lady' to his mums with the kids that day (previously she had been 'someone I've seen a few times - nothing serious)
2) All the presents I had bought I had labelled from both of us. He got the kids tickets to a sports event and put them in a 'you are invited to' sort of thing - signed 'from Dad'.

Already decided that, even for the kids sakes, young adults though they are, I'm not doing it next year (this year!). All presents bought and wrapped by me will be signed from me. Not inviting him round for any more dinners - we will be divorced by then and all financial stuff settled too.

StartingfromHere Fri 13-Jan-17 10:12:22

We alternate Christmas. So one year I have them Christmas Day the next Boxing Day. DC don't seem to care.

He has a lot more money than me so always gives them a flash holiday when he has them. They're not impressed by that either and this year only one was even willing to go. They are happy to wait to have Christmas at home with me.

mrssapphirebright Fri 13-Jan-17 10:58:15

I don;t mean to put a spanner in the works, but wouldn't you end up doing most of this stuff anyway, regardless of whether you have your ex over or not? by that i mean, present buying, gift wrapping, stuff for teachers etc, cooking etc? isn't that just part of the stress of being a single mum (or not if you are married to a man who leaves everything to his wife).

Like you I also have my exh over for xmas dinner (and his mum one year). We have been divorced 4 years and are amicable. we have two dc, 13 and 15. I usually have them xmas eve and then he comes to us for xmas day and then they go back to his xmas day night and he has them boxing day. My ex is a hands on dad and has them 3 nights a week, but its still me that does all the xmas stuff - i cook the dinner (but i'd have to do that anyway even if he didn't come). I buy and wrap a pile of presents for dc (he gives them some money and a few bits to unwrap). i buy the dc presents for their friends /. teachers etc, xmas cards etc.

When I re-married 2 years ago I still invited my ex as he and my dh are amicable and get on. If he didn't respect my dh then he would not be welcome at xmas end of.

Seeingadistance Fri 13-Jan-17 11:08:16

We started living apart in the September (coming on for 10 years ago now). Son was 5 at the time, and the first Christmas apart I invited ex round to mine for Christmas Day. This was before I knew he was seeing someone else. I had planned for him being round for most of the day - got food and snacks in, son had planned games etc. Ex came round for a couple of hours, then fucked off to spend rest of the day with his new woman and her family. When I said that our son would be disappointed not to spend more time with him, he told me that the new woman's son would be upset if he didn't show up there! He even brought their presents with him, which son saw and wanted to unwrap!

Since then, my son stays with his dad on Christmas Eve, had the morning with his dad, then I pick him up around midday and he's with me for the rest of the day, and the rest of the holidays usually.

Rainbowqueeen Fri 13-Jan-17 11:13:56

So looking into the future if he is disorganised, puts little effort into his time with the kids and they are reluctant to go, he will end up with a rubbish relationship with them.

But you know what, that's on him, his choice, his consequences. You can't save him from that. I know that you are worried about the impact on your kids but a shit dad is a shit dad and kids are smart enough to know this. All you can do is be there for your kids and be the best parent that you can. Your kids are still a lot better off than the kids who have 2 shit parents.

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