Who else is dreading the Christmas row?

(73 Posts)
Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 20:45:15

So it is getting to that time of year where the dreaded Christmas conversation row begins.

Exw demands she has kids every year for part of Xmas day and will argue to the very last second about whether she will let them stay here on Christmas Eve. It came to a massive head last year as the kids are a lot older (mid teens) and basically told me their dad that they didn't want to be shunted back and forth anymore, wanted to alternate Christmas so they got to spend the whole time in one place. We said we had no issue with it at all but that they would need to have the same discussion with their dm. She went nuts and dsd ended up very distressed and we had issues with her wetting the bed (she was 12) because of the stress. Dp tried to talk to his exw who basically said she didn't give a stuff what the kids wanted, it was her way or no way. Dp lost it and told her that she either played fair and listened to their kids or he would see her in court because he was sick of her ignoring what was best for the kids in favour of what suited her. She ended up agreeing to alternate but only if she had them last year. We agreed as it seemed best way to keep the peace.

It should be dps year to have them and I have asked him to open discussions with her at pick up this week. It should be an easy conversation.. It is their weekend with us in the run up so am swaying towards seeing if she wants to split the weekend or swap so she doesn't have to go 6 days over Christmas without seeing them. I know she will refuse to it being dps "turn" and will argue black is white that she did not agree to this. I tell dp every time to get it in writing but he doesn't bother.

Any one else dreading it?

Or better yet, anyone got some positive stories of it all being OK in the end?

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RandomMess Sun 07-Oct-18 20:47:42

In all honesty I would do a different kind of Christmas and accept you won't have them...

Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 20:51:05

@randommess why? The kids are entitled to have Christmas with their father. It is what they want.

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ThanksHunkyJesus Sun 07-Oct-18 20:54:13

I think if she does renege it's time for dh to actually follow through and take her to court.

RandomMess Sun 07-Oct-18 20:55:15

But do they want it enough for what their DM will put them through to have it?

I agree the DC should come first but if the other parent is hell bent on winning who loses out during the war?

QuantamBaby Sun 07-Oct-18 20:55:27

Stick to your guns and insist that you are following the wishes of the children - she had them last yeAr, you have them this year.

No parent has the right to dictate these things - be firm but insistent. If she kicks up a fuss remind her that the kids will be old enough to do whatever they like in a few years time and will remember her behaviour...

PippaRabbit Sun 07-Oct-18 20:55:58

It's up to to their dad to sort out with their mum. I wouldn't get involved.


PippaRabbit Sun 07-Oct-18 20:58:36

Stick to your guns and insist that you are following the wishes of the children.

🙄 Perhaps this is something their dad needs to do and not their step mother?

Kaykay06 Sun 07-Oct-18 20:59:27

Sounds awful such a shame when kids want to be with one parent then you can alternate, makes me wonder why ex thinks she is so special that she gets the kids every year?

Of course I’d LOVE to have Christmas with my kids every year, but I’m a nurse so it doesn’t happen, ex is police so he doesn’t either so whoever isn't working has them and same for new year. My older 2 boys haven’t been with me for the past 2 years and I have Christmas week off this year so v excited to spend the week with them all.

I hope you can sort something with ex and get it in bloody writing, stresses me thinking about it, especially as you say the kids want to do alternate how can she not listen to her kids,

junebirthdaygirl Sun 07-Oct-18 21:04:59

I agree with Random. Christmas day is not the be all and end all. You can have fun and family togetherness any day. Just end this sorry carry on and give the children lots of beautiful happy times all year round. Ye can have as much fun on a wet Saturday playing board games and lovely food.
My ds has a dd who lives with her dm. He just leaves it to her as peace and harmony is more important. We have fabulous times with his dd every time we see her as does her dad. Fighting over her at Christmas would be a disaster.
One of the sadness things lve seen is my dds friend on her graduation day so nervous and upset as her two parents would be in the same room at the one time. Poor kid! She should be having a great day.
Why not shock the dm and call it a day on this carry on.

Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 21:12:09

To adults it isn't the be all and end all. But to children who want to be involved in the magic with both their parents it absolutely is.

Dp will absolutely be going to court if she refuses. Which is part of why I want him to try and get it agreed now so he has time to see his solicitor and get the ball rolling.

And @pipparabbit at what point did I say I was planning to get involved with his exw? I tolerate her for the kids sake but frankly after the shit she has caused over the years I would happily never see her again.

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PippaRabbit Sun 07-Oct-18 21:18:22

And *@pipparabbit at what point did I say I was planning to get involved with his exw? I tolerate her for the kids sake but frankly after the shit she has caused over the years I would happily never see her again*

You sound very bitter. In your posts you appear to be having a large input to the situation. As I said before, this is an issue your DH and his ex wife should be looking for a resolution to. At the end of the day your DH was once married to the mother of his children therefore he needs to sort this out, not you.

PippaRabbit Sun 07-Oct-18 21:23:55

I have asked him to open discussions with her at pick up

This is when you initiated involvement. Step back and let your DH deal with the situation. If he can't or won't agree contact over Christmas this is not your issue. It's his. He's a big boy and SHOULD be organising this himself without your input. No grown man should need to be reminded or told that Christmas is approaching and that he should be organising his time with his children.

Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 21:32:40

yes I am bitter, I adore those kids and that woman makes their lives with their dad a nightmare for them. And no I was not the OW. She had several affairs and then kicked Dp out before you try to make accusations.

He is indeed a big boy, but he also like most people, requires reminders. And as his partner, mother to his child and a key presence in the lives of my dsc I am also entitled to ask what is happening and be involved in disucssions about things that effect me and my home.

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Blankscreen Sun 07-Oct-18 21:36:38

Op you've don't nothing wrong but to some posters the mere inference that you and your husband have discussed things make you an interfering bitch.

We have similar issue with dh's ex. 11 years on and it is still so petty. She also tells bare faced lies. As you say the only people that suffer are the children. I'm sure in time though your step children will see what their mother is like but that will just cause them emotional harm.

All very well people saying go back to court but that takes time and won't be sorted in time for Christmas.

Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 21:51:30

Absolutely @Blankscreen - the sad thing is they are already at the point where they see what she is like. As I said in my opening post, the request to alternate and spend the whole of Christmas in one location came from the kids.

I am hoping that she is going to honour the agreement made last year, but her previous form would suggest she won't. I think a letter from Dp's solicitor threatening court action would be enough to make her realise he means business and if not then we will go to court and get a fully ordered contact schedule - although at 13 & 15 I suspect the courts would defer to what the kids want anyway.

He is a great Dad, always has been, Fully involved in their education, lives etc, bit Disney at times and there have been issues to resolve, but he adores his kids. We have 50/50 contact with dsd and 70/30 with dss due to clubs and social lives. He pays double the CSA figure as well as 50% of all school related costs and 100% of all club costs on days they are with us.

The kids adore him, they adore their sister and want to be part of the magic. My 15 year old dss has already asked about breakfast with Santa (he was well pissed last year that we went on a day he wasn't here) and where we are going to see Santa and get the obligatory over priced picture bauble. Him and Dsd have already started plotting how they are going to do Santa's footprints on the stairs - they decided on icing sugar last year - it is banned - took me days to get that stuff out the bloody carpet! They don't want to pretend it is another day. They want that time with their dad.

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flamingofridays Sun 07-Oct-18 21:58:23

Oh look a step mum doing what the children want and STILL getting slagged off for it.

Op you sound fab. I would just ask dp to have a conversation with her. If she says no, a few days later get him to ask her via email or text explaining why (because it was agreed and kids want it) and if/when she declines than at least youve some evidence for court. Likely youll get your way as kids are old enough to have input. Silly that it even gets this far!

Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 22:11:21

@flamingofridays doesn't fit with posters agenda to acknowledge that most step mums aren't malevolent. Far easier to say we are interfering/causing problems than to admit that just like some step mums, some actual mums are vile.

The plan is for him to speak to her at the next pick up/drop off and take it from there. I genuinely do not want the aggravation of every other year and am praying that my anxiety is misplaced and it will al go fine... unfortunately I stopped believing in fairy tales long ago!

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CodLiverOil556 Sun 07-Oct-18 22:21:56

@Wheresthel1ght I feel your pain. My DH exw used all sorts of nonsense to get the kids at Christmas including the first (and only) time we had the kids on Christmas Day. The cowbag cried on the phone and from then on the kids refused to come on Christmas so they wouldn't upset their Mother.

They are nearly adults now and now know what their mum is like but it's too late. She won't let them come to yours so a solicitors letter should give her the nudge she needs.

The only people this hurts are the kids

Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 22:44:34

@kermitrulesok that is awful. Those poor kids! I am so glad the law is acknowledging that this sort of behaviour by parents does untold damage and is starting to punish those who undertake it.

My dsc are amazing young people but they have been massively effected by her games over the years. They know that their home here is a safe place for them to voice their issues/concerns. Dss refused to open up to his mum about the bullying at school, but dragged me for a walk with the dogs because he wanted to talk it over. Dsd spent months begging her mum to bra shopping but her mum refused saying she didn't need them, she asked me but I felt it wasn't appropriate and urged dp to talk to his ex. She brushed it off with 'yeah yeah I will get to it'. She came to us after PE one week in tears because they were hurting so much - I put her straight in the car and drove her to the nearest M&S and got her measured and fitted for bras. She now doesn't bother saying anything to her mum, it has become her thing with me. We book a day in, I book the appointment and then we have a girls day out just me and her, lunch out somewhere nice of her choice and some lovely 121 time. Her mum then becomes professionally offended that I do this. I love the day out we have, but equally I would love it if her mum did it. It would make dsd so much happier to have that bond with her mum. But I will not apologise for treating her like my own and stepping up when her mum refuses to.

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junebirthdaygirl Sun 07-Oct-18 23:43:39

I have absolutely no agenda where step mums are concerned. And l am not doubting your love and care. I merely think that a lot of hype can build up over Christmas which becomes this big thing and that families can be as happy together any other day. Dc growing up with strife whoever is causing it is desperate and if one less row can be had all the better.

Wheresthel1ght Sun 07-Oct-18 23:54:58

And if it wasn't for the fact the kids have specifically asked for this ii would agree with you re the hype. However, they haven't just asked, they have demanded. And I have suggested we do Christmas at another time, and they accept that on year's they have that day with their dm. BUT they absolutely want and deserve to have that significant time with their dad.

Their mum is the one causing this. She is being selfish and trying to score points.

Divorce has given him clarity and reading posts on here regarding Gaslighting etc has made him see how abusive she was during their marriage. Financially controlling, emotional blackmail, socially isolating him etc. He doesn't stand for it anymore and he stands up for himself. Stands up for his kids when she is wrong. She absolutely loathes that she cannot control him and now uses the kids to try and regain control. So if he doesn't agree to her ridiculous demands she stops contact, threatens to report to social services.

If I was a mum posting this saying my exh was refusing to allow me access to my kids at Christmas would you still be saying stop arguing and just hold it on another day?

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NorthernSpirit Mon 08-Oct-18 07:39:21

My OH’s EW was the same. Couldn’t possibly not be with the children Christmas Day, Boxing Day and NYE. Wound dictate when my now OH was ‘allowed’ to see the children (and that wasn’t on Christmas Day or their birthdays). He was ‘allowed’ to ring at 8am for 10 mins only in Christmas Day.

So he took her to court and got a contact order. It’s been in place 5 years now. They do alternate Christmas Day (includes Boxing Day) and NYE. Non negotiable. She had Christmas Day last year and kicked off she wanted them NYE. My OH simply referred her back to the contact order.

Go to court and get a contact order. It costs £215 and your OH can represent himself. Do it now and he may be seen before Christmas. Good luck.

NorthernSpirit Mon 08-Oct-18 07:43:08

And the contact schedule is set 1 year in advance. Everyone knows were they stand. Mum is completely inflexible so my OH never asks for any changes.

My OH’s EX sounds the same as the one you are dealing with. Completely controlling. Verging on narcissism I would say. She dislikes the fact her control has been taken away.

MO2x Mon 08-Oct-18 07:48:21

In all fairness my DH had 4 DC to 3 different women and I deal with it all because they know how to wind him up and they get along with me so it works! expect his oldest 2 as EW has DS1 and we have DS2 because she had DS2 an he went off the rails so he got put into out care for his own good. (I have 2DC both baby's I couldn't take on another troubled teen or I would have DS1 also) but your his partner it effects you so you've every right to you have a say
Your right he needs to ask now before it gets any closer to Christmas because no doubt by the sounds of it she won't let it happen.

Good luck xx

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