Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


ExH expecting me to do everything?

29 replies

justanotherlemontree · 02/12/2019 13:36

I’m feeling rubbish today (headache) so be gentle.

ExH and I have two children together. I work, he doesn’t. By law where we live (non UK) I pay all the children’s expenses.

He’s just messaging me wanting to know what presents I’ve got the children for Christmas so he will know in advance and he will “maybe” buy something else. I texted back “I’m at work” and got the immediate reply “So? When then?” (Ie when will I send the list).

AIBU to think he could have raised it completely differently?

I work all hours to support our children and when I’m not working, I’m racing around trying to sort presents/clothes/daily things that need doing.

I feel utterly rubbish today and I have had no time to myself in months.

He does nothing with his life and contributes nothing financially.

AIBU or would it be normal to expect a message more along the lines of, hey, I haven’t got anything for the children yet? Have you?

I feel so inadequate and hopeless.

OP posts:

Finals1234 · 02/12/2019 13:38

I'm also a single mum but UK based. I would just tell him you haven't got any presents, and so he can leave you alone and get on with buying some himself as well.


El2El · 02/12/2019 13:38

I would be tempted to just ignore a message like that to be honest. What would he do if you say nothing. Or just tell him you haven't sorted anything?


chocolatesaltyballs22 · 02/12/2019 13:39

Tell him to do one - I wouldn't be sharing my present list with him if I were you. If he decides he's going to buy them something he can then check with you beforehand to make sure they haven't already got it. He sounds like an arse.


HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend · 02/12/2019 13:40

Your expenses surely does not mean Christmas presents as they will be “gifts” ?


smalalalalalala · 02/12/2019 13:41

For me presents are not part of the agreement you have from your divorce. It's an extra and what you choose to offer to your children is not his, or his business.

If he wants to buy something to the children that's his business and unrelated to what you're buying.


StrayWoman · 02/12/2019 13:41

Why doesn't he work? Does he not have to pay any maintenance?


justanotherlemontree · 02/12/2019 13:44

True haud.

I should have ignored him but I rose to the bait. I’d already written something along the lines of have a think about what you’re asking me and check your attitude.

I’m just so worn down. I can’t do this any more.

OP posts:

justanotherlemontree · 02/12/2019 13:45

stray he’s lazy. No, he doesn’t have to pay maintenance. I’m in despair really.

Our children are so lovely.

OP posts:

OrangeZog · 02/12/2019 13:47

I’d just reply and say you haven’t bought anything yet and will probably end up doing it last minute but he can feel reassured that you will be getting them presents and if he doubles you with anything, it’s fine as they can have a set at each house.


HoomanMoomin · 02/12/2019 13:54

I wouldn’t tell him in case he’ll say to kids “I bought you something from your list, it’ll be under the tree with the rest of the gifts”.


justanotherlemontree · 02/12/2019 13:59

Well here’s the thing, we’re European nutters so we do presents on Christmas Eve. He wants to know in advance what’s in the wrapping paper. Because he has no plans to fucking wrap them!

I’m a “kids first” type so I always say that presents are from both of us. Then last kid’s birthday, he showed up with a present that was all from him.


OP posts:

justanotherlemontree · 02/12/2019 14:01

BTW no digs at anyone were meant by me saying I’m a “kids first” type. I’m a fucking mug is what I am!

OP posts:

recycledbottle · 02/12/2019 14:01

I'd message him back and say "unless you are going to get them, I am at a complete loss to understand why you need to know". My DH does this. Rather than do something, he actually messages me as a form of reminder of things he feels I should be doing. Its bad enough that I am doing it but the asking/querying when it is going to be done sends me over the edge.


Morporkia · 02/12/2019 14:03

Flowers for you. Tell him to ask the kids what they want.. why does he expect a list from you?


Justanothernameonthepage · 02/12/2019 14:04

Stop doing them from both of you. Message back 'I wasn't aware we were doing joint presents again. What budget have you put aside for the joint one? Or do you want to keep it simple and just get presents separately. If you're stuck for ideas, talk to the kids, I haven't planned anything so you can have first pick'


Morporkia · 02/12/2019 14:06

And I would stop the whole presents are from us... if he doesn’t get them a gift they need to know that. You’re setting them up for a fall in later life if they think he’s great! Because he WILL let them down eventually.


chocolatesaltyballs22 · 02/12/2019 14:06

I honestly don't know why you're covering up his shit-ness to the kids. They will soon learn for themselves what he's like (not sure how old they are...)


averythinline · 02/12/2019 14:09


Do not reply to him in work time.
I would block when you get to work the unblock at the end of the day.

Do presents really account in children expenses??? I would get advice if I was you....

When u want to reply say you have got your presents to them...

Why are u doing joint presents...


LasthingIlldo · 02/12/2019 14:15

Stop the joint presents you do enough and this man needs to step up and do something for his kids all by himself.
A simple "nothing decided yet but I'm sure you could always ask the kids seen as we're buying separately now"
Then honestly rinse and repeat don't waste any of your energy arguing with a lazy man.


CalmdownJanet · 02/12/2019 14:16

Just say "The presents I bought are from me only, no need for you to know, you sort yourself out, any duplicates we can sort out after Christmas"


PurpleCrowbar · 02/12/2019 16:54

Hi OP.

I'm also outside the UK, so no maintenance.

What works for me is to ignore all this!

If he wants to send an indication of what he's getting them, so you don't duplicate, fine. If you want to do this, fine. If you want to draw up a shared list & 'bag' different items, still fine.

If you don't want to do any of this - & I wouldn't -then just tell him he can get whatever he likes, & you'll do the same.

You don't have to do this dance with him!

If anything is duplicated, no problem. Both sides keep receipts & return them - it's actually to your advantage to be the one who does this, as you can then get replacements toys etc for half the price in the January sales...Wink


DeathStare · 02/12/2019 17:18

I'd just say "get whatever you like. If you duplicate with anything I've got for them I'll be happy to return mine".

And don't do joint gifts anymore.


MzHz · 02/12/2019 17:37

Does he actually see them? Does he do anything at all?

I’d be inclined to ignore him completely and entirely.

Not even any of the following replies:

I got them a cardboard cutout of a proper dad, he’s more useful and a better parent than you

I’m getting them exactly what you’ve got them all the past Christmasses... nothing, if it’s good for the goose and all that...

Who dis?

Haven’t had a chance to think about it yet, so let me know what you’ve bought and I’ll make sure I don’t double up laughing

Your ex sounds like mine... the kids rumble these twats in the end! My ex hasn’t shown signs of life since May. We’re not even remotely pining, my ds has pretty much forgotten all about him

The ex hasn’t been in contact cos he knows he owes me money...


Gatehouse77 · 02/12/2019 17:42

Are these gifts from both of you?
If so, out of curiosity, why is that the case rather than buying your own each?


justanotherlemontree · 02/12/2019 18:59

@MzHz they see him almost every weekend. Basically he does all the fun stuff and I do all the grunt work.

@Gatehouse77 we split up not long before last Christmas, and I suppose we've not changed anything since then. It was always me buying and paying for the presents, and nothing's changed since then.

I really appreciate all these replies. I'm so disappointed for the children, but as @Morporkia said I'm just setting them up for a fall. I need to get some firm boundaries in place.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?