A Thanksgiving Alone Again?

Updated on November 25, 2012
C.P. asks from Santa Rosa, CA
13 answers

So my kids dad and I are not married but we live together for about 3.5 years now. Problem ... That this thanksgiving the kids and I ended up spending it without him... Again! His family was having it over his parents house and my family agreed to have it over my house. So he decided to go solo over to his parents while I entertained happily over our house to my folks. Problem is... This is the first time in 3 years my family came for a holiday. I spent the last three years doing whatever he did or keeping the kids and I home without a celebration so we could be together. I have always felt like this was a one sided relationship and maybe i feel guilty for getting pregnant with my first daughter. (The second was planned) This year my mom had cancer and a total hip replacement and my dad retired to take care of my mom. I guess I have adopted a more self centered perspective. So this year, we (the kids and me) stayed home and had my family over. While daddy went to his mommy's house for turkey. I just feel like I'm done with him... Is this overreacting... Because seriously, I feel like I'm ready for him to get out of my house... Because yes, I own it. Not him/us. I don't even think he cares... That maybe the worst part. That's I have sacrificed so much time and energy. With no change. I just look at the way my dad loves my mom and the way his parents love each other. I just don't see any of that here. I just done... Any
Advice. Because right now I want him out.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I'm not really going to lock him out. I think I was just needing to vent and get perspective. Thank you all for your input!

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answers from Chicago on

My advice is for you to talk to him and explain to him what you have explained to us. If he does not know he can not attempt to make changes. If you talk and he does not understand then maybe it is time you move on from this relationship but I suggest you sit down and talk first.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Whoaaaaa....you HOSTED and he left?
Sometimes I can see going separate ways for certain reasons, but you hosted your family...and he went to his moms?
Only you know whether this is the last straw.
Your mom & dad have weathered quite a storm. Sounds like you've got a great marriage role model there.
Men don't change.
I'm betting this is the basic personality your BF had when you met him, right?

Sorry you're going through this.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Even married people who have been together forever, can run into this.

We cannot control the ones we love. We have to accept them for who they are. We CAN, explain our feelings and wants..but it is up to the other person...what they will decide.

Here is the deal. Does he love you over all? Does he respect you over all?
Thanksgiving is once a year. You live in the same city. It is a blessing and a curse. I know, all of our family lives here.. When all of our grandparents were alive, good grief.. We would be trying to be at 5 houses in one day.. Ah the yelling in the car.. We were young.

Each holiday for my husband is stressful. He wants to be with just me and our daughter, but he also has his parents, his sister and her family, with her husbands family also in town,. I have my mom and her husband, my dad and my stepmom, my grandmother and all of that family, and then if any of the out of town or out of state relatives come down.. That adds another layer to the stress, of where to spend our time.

It is a shame that your boyfriend did not at least try to spend at least half of his time with you all, but it really is his choice.You either accept who he s and how his mind works, or you will go out of your mind.

I have been married to my husband for over 30 years. We have known each other since we were in middle school. All of these years we have dealt with all of this over and over.. When you plan on being with someone forever, things need to be able to be flexible.

Again, communication is a wonderful thing. And allowing each person to make their choices, sometimes, is very hard to accept but necessary. It shows your children how to work with an honor each other.

Here are the different thanksgiving situations we have been through.

Eat at my moms, then dash to the in laws, then dash to my father and step moms for another meal.. This was a few years when our daughter was first born..each thanksgiving, I thought I was going to have a heart attack, from the stress.

Sometimes, eat at my moms exactly at noon, leave at 2:00, drive to in laws...because they said they were doing a late lunch.....did not end up having the meal ready as said..and could have stayed 2 more hours at my moms, but instead end up at in laws until 8:00 because the meal was not ready until 5:00!

Host the meal at our home, in laws say they are coming, but back out that day...

Try to host the meal at in laws home, but SIL, backs out at last minute. Leaves mil in tears..

It goes on and on.. This year, daughter back home from college and here for thanksgiving for first time in 4 years...but she works for a charity and was in charge of an annual event.....arrived at the site at 6:00 am left at 1:00 after take down..husband went on his own to his moms, at 11:00 came home at 4:00.. We all took naps.. Then met my father and his wife at a restaurant for thanksgiving dinner. My mom and her husband were going to join all of us but, my cousin was in a accident and my mom and her husband went to be with him at the er..

All we can do is our best.. Being together forever takes, love, respect, patience and flexibility...

No matter who the 2 people are...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Ditto Laurie.

I gotta say, it seems like he isn't even trying to "behave" before getting married. You see what you get with him, and things will never get better after you get married. If anyting, they'll get worse.

I'm really sorry about this.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I don't know what to tell you. A dad should spend Thanksgiving with his kids, so yeah, daddy shouldn't be going over to his mommy's house, he should have stayed with you.

The only question I have is, did you ask him to stay home with his own family, or did you just let him go without questioning it? It doesn't sound like you said anything, it sounds like you wanted him to read your mind.

Men don't read minds, that's for sure. They're pretty dense (Can you tell I don't like men that much these days? Shoulda been a lesbian). You have to be really direct. The fact that he doesn't want to be with his kids is pretty pathetic, but still it would be worth it to try to keep this relationship together and improve it, for your kids' sake.

And stop feeling guilty that you got pregnant. That was equally HIS doing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I'm sorry for the way you're feeling.

For one thing, it's very dangerous to compare your life/relationship, etc with those of others. It's not realistic and other people have their issues and problems that we often are not even aware of.

Do you and your boyfriend get along fairly well with the exception of the holiday situation? If that's the case, I personally don't see breaking up a family over conflicting holiday plans. You said that for the last 3 years you've done whatever he did or you and the kids stayed home without a celebration. I'm sorry, but that part doesn't make any sense to me. I've been a single mom for a very long time and if the kids and I didn't go to see my family or whatever, we still celebrated. I'm not trying to kick you when you're already down, but if you chose not to do anything for yourself and kids, then that's on you. What I mean is that people can get into problems when they feel it has to be one way or no way at all. Your boyfriend stays home with you or you and the kids do nothing.

Obviously, since it's the first year your family has come, it would have been nice for your boyfriend to take part in that. However, you've lived together 3.5 years and it's become a "normal" thing for him to go to his parents' house for Thanksgiving.

Many families have to work these things out. I know some people that alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas and then flip the next year. Thanksgiving with woman's family, Christmas with man's family and then the next year, the opposite. Some amount of flexibility has to be in order to accomodate for new babies, ill, elderly, some families live a much greater distance away than others. You have to keep in mind that you can't please everybody all the time, there has to be room for compromise.

If you have way bigger issues than just the holidays, that's different.
However, it's my experience that ultimatums don't work unless you are 100% prepared to follow through and 100% prepared to handle the consequences of your decisions.

It's your house, you can certainly throw your boyfriend out, but bear in mind, you live in California. He WILL be granted visitation rights which will include him alternating holidays with the kids. You will be home WITHOUT the kids every other holiday. That includes Easter, school and summer vacations, etc.

I'm just saying that you need to consider if him spending Thanksgiving with his mother is a complete deal breaker, not only for you, but for the kids as well.

It takes some families years to find a happy middle ground, and even then, things will change as situations arise.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, love, joy on earth.....
It's such a shame that it's the time of year when people can be most at each other's throats, or have unrealistic expectations and be disappointed.

I haven't read the other responses. I can hear your frustration.
I just would be careful throwing the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

Just my opinion.

Best wishes to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd have told him that his family was having Thanksgiving at his house and he was expected to do the holiday with his family. Then let him choose. If he chose to leave and didn't have good valid reasons I would have said he could just take a couple of bags with him and stay.

Then I would have made sure he understood that you demanded his respect and all that went with having a family. If he still chose to stay at mom's then you would know what he wants.

Sitting down and talking deeply won't change a lot, he'll do the same thing at Christmas if given the chance. He may just not have any concept of how this is wrong. Teaching him might be a great way.

Getting him mother to understand too, if she tells him he should spend the time with his family at home then perhaps he would finally "get" it too. If she is not on your side then he might just be happier living with her anyway.

I would also give him the option of staying at your home for the major part of the day, the meal and time before it. Then let him go to his mom's afterwards once the clean up is completed. Then he could do both.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Peoria on

It's a very sad situation. But you are not married so he is free to go wherever he wishes for the holidays. He should want to spend it with you and his kids, but he does not.

I'm seeing that he does not want to get married, he does not want to be obligated to spend time with you and his kids on the holidays.

To me, it sounds like both of you want the same thing. To be free of each other. By asking him to leave, you will be setting you both free and that may be for the best.

But do some private planning before he goes. Research what needs to happen to ensure you receive child support. You will be more able to get copies of this payroll check stubs and bank accounts etc before he realizes you want him out. As soon as you loose your temper and kick him out, he will make all that unavailable to you.

You will want to take his name off of anything you hold together (like cell phone, cars, car insurance etc) so you are not stuck with bills he racks up in your name after he leaves. You will need to do this immediately upon is departure, so be sure it's what you want.

I'm just saying to be planful and smart about asking him to leave. It needs to be a strategic plan on your part, and not an emotional outburst. That is how women get the short end of the stick.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

Oh goodness. I'm really sorry you're in this situation. I'm not a relationship expert by any means, but I can understand your frustration and feelings right now. You're not married, but breaking up a family unit is not something to take lightly. Not without honest, heart to heart discussion first. I wouldn't break up over this, but if this is just a symptom of something bigger, then....that's something to pay attention to.
The first thing you should do when you're calm and collected is just to have a private talk (kids not at the house) and just ask what happened there and why. You said you either do what he did or keep the kids and you home....does that mean you 3 only, and daddy went elsewhere before? Does his family invite you and the children, and treat you well? If not, my concern would be that he is leaving his now-family (you and the children) for his mommy and that's not cool. I can't imagine my mom allowing my brother to come to her house without children in tow, lol. Does he have a problem with your parents? You need to know where the problem lies (his family and you, your family and him, or his ambivalence and not wanting to BE a family) so that you can know what to do next. You can't get mad OR act on something when you don't know where it's coming from to begin with. If you've always celebrated Thanksgiving with his family, then he might think that's "tradition" and that YOU are the one who broke it, even though you had good reasons. (Not taking sides, just playing devil's advocate). Thanksgiving is just a holiday....and I think people lose the "giving thanks" part and all that's left is some weird "gluttony" day instead. I wouldn't necessarily toss my family because he went to his mom's house, but if it actually means he doesn't care, and the only way to know that is to talk to him about it........if he doesn't want to be a family, then you know where you stand and can proceed from there. Talking about it isn't for the purpose of changing him or changing his mind, but for knowing what he was thinking and where you stand.
ETA: We're newlyweds compared to Laurie A (our 7th anniversary is 5 weeks away), and I think she has a lot of wisdom in her answer. Except that I feel I need a dose of pepto bismol just READING how many meals they had to eat. Blech. Maybe if I were in that situation, it'd be best to do Thursday at mom's and Friday at mil's, and the next year switch to Thurs at mil's and Fri at mom's? My family always did one holiday at one mom's side of the family and the other holiday at my dad's side of the family. In a perfect world, I would love to be old and hosting a big party for BOTH sides of the family, everyone welcome, and everyone can bring whatever they want...so we could all be together and happy. (Just plotting how I get to hang out with my grandkids....while my children are only 6 and 2....crazy, I know). But I'm sure that doesn't work easily for most families.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It sounds like this is just the last straw in an unhappy relationship. If not then give yourself time to cool off and focus on how to make the next holiday different. Did you and your bf discuss how to handle Thanksgiving? Did you ask him to spend time with you and the children? If not, then you can't fault him for doing what he wanted to do. He's not a mind reader.

If, however, your relationship is not happy for many other much more important reason, then it's time to see if you can make it happier. Have the two of you learned how to be assertive and discuss your individual expectations? Have you learned how to make compromises? Are you able to tell each other how you feel and be able to support each other even when you disagree? Have you tried counseling to learn these things? Is he willing to make an effort to improve the relationship?

You chose this man for a reason. If your relationship is truly over, then you go for counseling so that you'll be ready to have a better relationship and make a better choice.

If you want out of the relationship follow Loving M's advice. Plan, plan, plan so that you and the children will have a better life. Life will be drastically different and more difficult in many ways once he's out of the house.

A skill that will help you immensely whether or not you leave the relationship is learning how to talk in a way that acknowledges everyone's needs. There is a book entitled Non-violent Communication. Here is a web site that outlines the way of talking and relating with other people in such a way that everyone feels heard and is able to work on communication. http://www.wikihow.com/Practice-Nonviolent-Communication



answers from Las Vegas on

I don't know the reason you are not married at this point or why you chose to have his children outside of a marriage, but he is free to go with his family while you entertain your family. Even in a marriage, you can't make him be where he doesn't want to be.

I suggest once you have calmed down, you explain how you feel and tell him how important it is that you be together as a family, papers or not.



answers from Washington DC on

I am so sorry. I think I could understand if you and the kids had gone to your family's house and he went to his, but why didn't the kids go with him in the past? Are they not part of his family? Why were you not invited to go too?

I do think it is weird that he would not be home for a meal cooked in his home, eating with his kids. If he also wanted to visit/eat with his parents, then he should have let you know. Say if his mom always hosts dinner at 5p, then your family could have eaten at 12 - 1p. Then he could've been with your family and his. Or better yet, his family could've come over to your house also!

I haven't read your other posts, but his actions do seem immature. If you do decide to 'be done', I would probably wait until after the holidays (i.e. Jan.) to do anything that you initiate. That way you can't be blamed for his absence on Christmas.


answers from Houston on

I will NOT tell anyone to leave a spouse. I think that, however, you showed him that you are willing to stand up for what you feel is right. I agree with your entertaining your parents alone due to your having gone with him year after year and also due to your parents' health.

How was the mood when he came bck from his parents?

My neice and her husband invites BOTH families to their holiday dinners, therefore, no family feels left out.

God bless.

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