Fight over Holiday Schedule

Updated on December 12, 2012
K.C. asks from Boise, ID
11 answers

Hi ladies, I am in need of your advise. I will try and not make so long. So as in previous posts, I am in a blended family. My husband has a daughter from previous marriage (8 yrs old) , I as well have a 8 yr old son from previous marriage, & we have a just turned 3 yr old son together. Since we have been together, we have worked out all major holidays so that 1 year we get the older kids, and next yr the other parents get them. We have done this since they were age 4. Christmas works out that every other year we get Christmas day, and next year X mas eve. We get the kids the night before whatever day they are with us after they are done at the "other" parents house so that they get to "wake up" at our house to open presents with us. This has worked out well, until last year. It was our year to have his daughter on x mas eve. Well her mom lives with her mom, and they always celebrate on x mas eve. They get up, snack all day, go to church that night, then open all presents after church, then wake up Christmas morning to open stockings. Well last year he goes to figure out schedule with his ex, & she flat out lies (something she had done lots of) & says she has always gotten her daughter on x mas eve all day and then till 10am on Christmas morning so they can do stockings then after 10 she brings her over. That would mean our kids had never celebrated x mas together, complete lie. She stuck to her guns cuz that's what she wanted and they finally came to a agreement that we could have her night before x mas eve and part of day, however we would have to have her back by noon so that she could do all their x mas stuff and she got her all x mas day as well. So this year comes, and we have her x mas day so was figuring its not going to be fight really since they do it x mas eve at her moms, & all she is missing out on is stockings at her moms x mas day. Again, we have ALWAYS ALWAYS switched days since we have been together, never been issue till last year. A few weeks ago I asked him to bring up px mas schedule, he refused said I was trying to start fight and that he will figure it out when she brings it up. I have been the one to do all the shopping, decorating, everything. I have 2 kids here, her brother and step brother, its a big deal to me that we have all the kids togther. She text him this morning asking when I have my son for x mas break so they could work out when he has his daughter. He brought it up with such a cocky attitude like ha! I told you she was going to work with us!!! I said okay great, I am not worried about what week you have her, My son is here all day while his dad is at work so even if we have them on separate weeks, they still get to spend all day 9-12 hours together. I was wanting to know about actual Christmas day and if and when we are getting her so I can plan my day with my kids. He blew up, saying he was NOT going to ask, that I was impossible, I only care about myself, what I want and nothing else. I tried to explain, okay its our day with your daughter or suppose to be, i have 2 other kids in the house here to think about and plan for as well as family coming over, I need to know whats going on, he is flat out mad said he will work with is ex wife on what "they" want to do and he does not care at this point what I want that I am being selfish and stupid, and that he and his ex will figure it all out. I am super hurt. I have his son, his flesh and blood son here along with my son and I feel like he is completely siding with his ex wife, cared more about her and what her family has planned for holidays above our family. Am I in the wrong, should I just let it go and if we don't get his daughter till mid x mas day do I celebrate with my own 2 boys like we always do or wait for his daughter?
A Little history on her, she has never liked me and has done things to make sure that point is clear. I always am nice to her smile when I see her, but deep down I dont like her. Just recently she sent him a text asking why he did not say anyhting about her new hair cut when she dropped off there daughter, his reply "oh I did but I forgot to say anything sorry Smiley face" Her reply, oh okay well you should of I thought You did not notice. Um why should it matter if my husband, your ex notices and compliments your hair? I know they have been talking lots lately, all fine but never when I am around. His daughter had a music program last week and I saw her text asking who all was coming, (me and kids) he said everyone, she said "oh". Why does it matter to her if me and my children are coming with my husband? She has called him in middle of day when she thinks I ma not around just to talk with him, and he gets all weird like oh why are you calling, I ask him about it and he says he has no idea why she was calling him, just bored or something. There was a college football game about a month ago, he knew I could not go had plans with family, and his ex wife was going with their daughter at last minute he decides he really wants to go to game, goes sand buys ticket and goes to that 1 game. I have caught her back 2 years ago calling him on every one of her breaks at work, every day, just to talk, he finally had her stop after me getting really upset a couple of times. He said I dont know why she calls, probably cuz that's what she did while we were married and its a habit. So with this whole Christmas thing I feel like again we have a family, we have a kid together, and still what I want does not matter, and that I should be over joyed at every little thing his ex does, and that I am just completely crazy and selfish that I would want him to make a point to ask about Christmas day and get it locked down on what is going to happen. Am I wrong? Sorry so long, guess I need to vent.

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answers from Washington DC on

You know already that the real issue here is not where this girl spends Christmas. It's your husband's very strange and suspicious behavior with and about his ex. He is blaming YOU for being "impossible"? He is gleefully saying "Ha, I told you she would work with us" as if he's defending his ex against you? Add in the rest of your post with calls to him all day long, his sudden decision to go to events when she's there, her asking if you'll be at events, and so on -- and it sounds like he is allowing her far too much of his attention while he is behaving angrily at you over your very sensible and simple question of where this child will be for the holiday.

I strongly suggest you get a couples counselor and tell him that you both must go. If he refuses, or tries to say "This is about Christmas and you're blowing it out of proportion," tell him what it's really about -- his so-called ex calling him and his NOT halting it until you threw a fit. Your feeliing that he needs you to be positive about his ex and approve of her (you only HAVE to be civil). You need to work out whether you are having jealousy issues, and he needs to work out whether he is too attached to his ex and letting her remain too attached to him.

I would bet that she has little else in her life and has not ever moved on after their divorce, so she acts as if it's OK for her to contact him about things other than their child custody and visitation. But he is encouraging her and treating you as if you are an obstacle to his relationship with her. It is a good thing if he and she can be civil or even friendly, but you and he need some real clarity about this third person who is IN your marriage. Get professional help.

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answers from Portland on

I suggest the issue is not really about Christmas time. Christmas is just the event on which the issue is playing out. The issue is your husband's and your relationship and your husband's relationship with his ex. I urge you to go to counseling.

For this Christmas, I suggest that this is not a battle worth fighting. You need to find a way to make your relationship work with your husband. That's the priority. I'd back off and do whatever your husband decides to do with his daughter. Yes, it's been done differently and more satisfactorily in years past but it's different this year. You won't win and everyone will be miserable.

The priority in this situation is making sure his daughter has a good Christmas. She knows you're fighting about this and it's having a negative effect on her. Stop fighting. Let be what will be. And make an appointment with a counselor to deal with your relationship with your husband.

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answers from St. Louis on

It sounds to me like his ex is more than he can handle. Since he can't control her at all he is trying to keep you off his back.

Imagine if you have this problem to deal with that you don't want to deal with and then comes along help that is making it worse.

You are being more than reasonable but it sounds like he is saying he can't take being a tug of war rope. Let go of your side even if that means a minor victory for his ex, that way the rope doesn't get torn apart.
I just want to add I am divorced from a crazy ex. You just don't know how stressful it is. You want everything to be perfect but when you say black they say white. I swear to god the holidays are like playing chess. That is all spelled out means nothing to my ex's fantasy of how things have always been.

He is nuts!!

What is so wonderful for me is my husband understand this! He knows that all I am ever doing is the dance, this dance that is required to get anything done with a whack job for an ex. He never asks me why my ex called in the middle of the day to ask how to cook things, what he should buy for his house, how he should dress because the answer is always the same, shoulder shrug. He is nuts, I don't know why he calls, I made it pretty clear with the divorce I didn't like him. If that isn't enough I remarried!!

He is nuts!

He now calls my husband asking to hang out. Poor guy looks like a deer in headlights! He looks at me, I will do it if you think it is good for the kids. :)

I can't even imagine functioning if he put the kind of pressure on me that you are putting on your husband.

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answers from Boston on

I would be upset too. My husband wasn't married to his daughter's mom but let's call her his ex for the sake of simplicity. There were many years where it was clear that she was calling the shots on things despite court orders to the contrary, especially around things like holidays, birthdays, etc. I would try to plan to the best of my ability (like hey, if you want me to throw YOUR CHILD a birthday party YOU have to tell me what part of the weekend she'll be here so that I can book a place, invite her friends etc. and no, a week's notice won't suffice) and he would turn it around and make it seem like I was being controlling and crazy. Turns out that she really WAS calling the shots because he had slept with her while we were married so there was always the implied threat that she would have her way or would tell the big secret.

In a calm moment, can you very plainly state your observations and ask him what conclusions he would draw if he were you? Can you ask him what he would think if the roles were reversed and you were always catering to your son's father's whims when it comes to trying to schedule things that are important to him and all of your children? Perhaps putting this is writing to him might give him time to digest and respond without being defensive?

Of course with blended families, the ex-spouses getting along is a good thing and flexibility is key, but there's a way for him to conduct himself that clearly delineates that YOUR marriage and family are the primary relationships in his life. It's a delicate balance and it sounds like he is being very disrespectful to you and taking you for granted in this situation.

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answers from Chicago on

Your husband and his ex need to work it out and they you should just go with it. Not the end of the world either way - keep a bit of perspective on this it is one day - don't get crazy over it.

What ever the schedule is my advice is to just go with it - not need to make him or the daughter uncomfortable. It is one day - I have never understood why people make such fuss - if you do something fun together as a family a day or two before or after....does it really change anything in the big picture?

This is one of the unfortunate consequences of divorce...don't make the kids pay the price..find another fun alternative if she is not there according to your "plan".

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answers from Baton Rouge on

When my daughter and my stepkids were little, we stopped insisting that Christmas be December 25. Doing that meant spending all day in the car, and my daughter (who lived with me) not getting to play with any of her new toys all day.
So whatever day we got them, Christmas started when we got home. If that meant that Santa came to our house on December 23 or 27, so be it.

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answers from Washington DC on

Long and short is that she wants what she wants Christmas day and unless it's specified in the CO, it will be this whole push/pull every year. I think that he and she need to figure out what they can with this Christmas coming up in 2 weeks (which may mean that the boys get the morning at your house and she misses out) and then they go to mediation or something to work out a schedule on paper if it causes a lot of consternation every year.

Now, for this year, he might send her a picture of her from 2 years ago saying, "Ex, I went back to our pictures and this one clearly shows DD at my home on x year, so last year was your Christmas morning and this year is ours." See if that helps. But I'd stay out of that fight for the most part and ignore her and don't get riled up by her as much as you can. You are not wrong to want to know what your Christmas will be but if they don't lock it down, then you lock down YOUR plans with the boys and inform HIM. It can work both ways.

The year DD was born, SD asked that we wait for them to arrive. I said no. DD deserved her own Christmas morning and I was not going to set that precedent. Sometimes you just have to roll on with who is in your home.

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answers from Chicago on

This is not about the Christmas schedule, it's much deeper. Hubby should realize that the wishes of the ex wife take a backseat to current wife. However, I can see how he might be put in the middle trying to please both. Maybe hes trying to be cordial and polite so not to ruffle her feathers. although, even THAT has its limits. I would definitely be pissed if they are texting one another all the time. Why?

If step daughter can't be there -oh well. Celebrate without her. why should her absence disrupt your X-mas plans? I just don't get that? Make plans with her for the day after.

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answers from Billings on

The phone calls were 2 years ago? If that has stopped I think it be done and over with there.

The game....I think it is nice that they can be in the same room together and great that he can go for his daughter.

As for the Christmas thing. Maybe he blew up at you because it bothers him too. Maybe he doesn't want to upset crazy ex in fear he won't get to see her at all during the holidays. It doesn't sound like you have a court ordered visitation. Without a court ordered visitation she doesn't have to let you have her at all. If it really bothers him. HE needs to bring it up and go to court. If he isn't willing or wanting to do this then let it drop. I understand why YOU are trying to getting it figured out. You are doing it for the right reasons of all the kids doing the stuff together. DH may understand, but is too upset about how his ex is to really want to talk about it or think about it. (that doesn't make it right). Don't bring it up again. Let him do everytihng about planning or talking about the ex. Period. Ever!! This is HIS thing. Let it be his thing.

Plan your day and let your DH know what you are doing on that day. You maybe be frustrated, but you don't have any power in the situation so you have to step back and let that go. I do wish you luck. I agree it is sad and irritating that she can't just call and say " hey I am going to bring SD over at noon on Christmas". That being said. SD is doing Christmas on Christmas Eve and your kids don't. Do Christmas morning with your kids regardless. SD can open her gifts when she gets there at anytime. Don't make your children have to wait, while SD has already done Christmas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Ive been put in that "ex" situation before. It sounds and I am not kidding you like my ex is your husband. She made the same hari cut remark and everything. I did eventually leave. I found information that I did not like. I am sorry this is happening to you, and I hope and pray for a better outcome than mine.

Just know that sometimes guys leave out important information in order to stop a fight. Only because they think with half their brain and think we will not find out. Tell him like a kid that he can tell you the truth and that the truth will hurt everyone less in the end.

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answers from Boston on

MMMmmmm....this really has nothing to do with Christmas. Everything to do with the ex calling and being WAY to involved with your husband. She should only talk to him about the daughter and thats it. Any other "just to talk" phone calls need to stop. Watch your back with this one.

1 mom found this helpful
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