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Why does my boyfriend allow his ex wife to spend christmas with his kids at his house?
Family & Parenting / 6:27 PM - Tuesday December 16, 2008

why does my boyfriend allow his ex wife to spend christmas with his kids at his house?

he is going through a divorce and always considers his two kids, ages 8 and 11, both girls, first. he knows it bothers me since we have been together for 15months and i won't get to be there on christmas.

- Asked by A Sportif, Female, 36-45

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It's probably for the benefit of the kids. One day out of the year they get to be with both parents. I actually think your attitude is a little selfish at this point - he is your "boyfriend" not your husband - he is their "father" and his ex-wife is their "mother".

Can't you make plans to be with him after their family event is over - maybe Christmas Night? Those kids are still very, very young ... it won't be many years that they won't often even want either parent around. Let him enjoy it while he can.

- Response by missingaz, A Married Girl, Female, 46-55, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Community Rating: Community Star

I have an ex that used to do the same thing. I thought it was awesome that they maintained a civil relationship for their kids. Unless you have trust issues, I would stop trippin on that, or you're bound to lose him.

- Response by lavender, A Hippie Chick, Female, 46-55, San Francisco

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I wouldnt do it! She could get the kids half the day and him the other half. Or one could get them crhistmas eve and the other christmas day! Very disrespectful on you!

- Response by louisiana70, A Life of the Party, Male, 36-45, Consulting

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They are 8 and 11, and it is Christmas. It should be about the children and not about you. I've dated men who did that and I understood completely.

- Response by mare65, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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Think of it from his perspective.

If he doesn't show concern for his kids, he could lose custody or visitation rights.

Divorces are often VERY bitter, and the ex (wife or husband) might resort to bad-mouthing him/her in front of the kids.

Therefore, he MUST keep a good testimony. Consider his emotional needs.

- Response by thundermist04167, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

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ok, so get the girls a gift, then go out and enjoy yourself...

- Response by osieboo, A Thinker, Female, 56-65

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Why haven't you asked him that question???? There should be no reason you couldn't be there too.

- Response by barbb, An Alternative Girl, Female, Who Cares?, Other Profession

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Why can't you be there, because the ex is? Screw that! Go! Be there with him! Make it known that you are part of the family now, and you have just as much right to be there as her! Do it! Prove it to yoursef that you're worth the time!

- Response by doom2ruler, A Guy Critical, Male, 29-35, Technical

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Wow..what a nice guy..He is looking at the best thing for his children and what they need..You should be proud of him and stop being so selfish!!

- Response by springishere, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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You should go as well... (But I am wondering why you said " I won't be there on Christmas"
If it is your choice not to be there or his)....But I would make it a point to be there for sure......

I know it may be a little uncomfortable for you ...and most likely more for her...if you do go .......But you have him now..

I'd say , put on your best outfit and have a great time...be very socialable & polite ..(even if it kills you) ...

Don't be jealous, It is not the childrens fault that they are divorcing. It just didn't work out for them.... "Its all about the kids"...

Just think maybe next year ..she may not show....and she may be on ANSWEROLOGY instead of you ...Merry Christmas to you & good luck !!

- Response by twinkygirl2u, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 46-55, Philadelphia, Self-Employed

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Honey you have to accept that this man had a family before he had you. Those kids should be his top priority. I am willing to bet that Christmas will not be a fun day for him. I am guessing that they are doing the day together to make it easier on the kids. I applaud them for doing that. There is no need to make those kids suffer through two Christmases when Mom and Dad can manage to get through one for them. If you can't handle that I suggest you end the relationship. Also, he may be the kind that will drop anything at the drop of a hat later to help her once the divorce is final. Perhaps out of respect to his kids or maybe out of a sense of duty to her. Either way you need to accept you are the last to come to the party and the first one who can go. His kids are his priority. They should be. If you can't deal with that move on and find someone who doesn't have kids.

- Response by A Married Girl, Female, 36-45, Home Maker

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Yes, I would hope that he consider them first. They are his priority above all else, including you. He is trying to have a "family" Christmas for the the sake of his kids.

As for why you are not there, perhaps he feels it will be too awkward of a situation.

- Response by A Creative, Male, 29-35

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My BF was recently seperated when I first met him and he spent that first xmas at his ex wife's house with the kids. It didn't really bother me at the time but we have pics of it and it bothers me to see those. But I just remember that he's with me and not her and that it's better for the kids, as long as it's not a pattern of him doing it every xmas from now on it should be okay. My BF never did it again past that first year.

Dantzi Jean

- Response by dantzijean, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Student

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This is probably the one time that the children get to spend with both parents and don't have to 'pick and choose' who they want to spend Christmas with...I imagine that he's only thinking about the kids first and is trying to make the one holiday that is usually meant for 'family' as a tradition...:D

- Response by fastball, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Edmonton, Self-Employed

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Why is it that in an intact family situation everyone expects the husband to put the wife first, but in a divorce situation, it is the "ex" and/or the kids who come first?

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 46-55

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A real parent puts their children first. Period. If you can't handle that then perhaps you should break it off with him and seek out a man who doesn't have children.

- Response by seductivepisces9, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Who Cares?

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Wow, a wonderful dad. Why not? and who are you to fret?..

- Response by donau20, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 29-35, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Try talking to him about it.

I think its great when a man puts his kids first (esp. when they are young and don't understand the meaning of divorce). He may be trying to look out for is kids feelings!

Do they know you yet?

If he is still going through a divorce, he may not feel comfortable introducing them to you yet. He may not want to cause any confusion or discomforts to his kids. The kids are young and may not be happy/or understand about their divorce. He may want to spare them from more pain. Having christmas without you maybe his way to normalize the holiday experience for his kids.

I am not saying to sit back and watch all this, but you must express what you are feeling and ask him why you are not apart of that his Christmas Experience.

I have assumed many things here, but I do know men who have been in that situation and did not want the kids to meet the new girlgriend yet because he was trying to get the kids to understand that 'he' and mommy were not going to be together anymore (first). Anything else added to the already difficult situation just makes it more difficult.

As a parent, I can understand wanting to protect my child from any heartache.

Best Wishes, and may things change in your situation resulting in a special christmas.



- Response by pinklillies1, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 36-45, New York, Teaching

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Grown folks have to deal with their own issues without dragging or involving their children into it. The priority here ARE the children and their well-being. It is also about the grown folks being able to communicate effectively with one another. This includes the "ex's" understanding they are living their own lives and entering into other (new) relationships with other people. How wonderful for the children to actually witness extended families joining in and being a part of important events and celebrations that are going to occur in their lives. The reason(s) they divorced, or are divorcing, has nothing to do with you (unless of course your relationship was the cause for their break-up) so don't put yourself in the middle of it. "Drama" experienced by the kids will ultimately result in the kids having to choose which parent they invite to things when they get older. So don't let "drama" be created.

After my divorce, the first holiday spent (which happened to be Christmas) without my children was the absolute worst day of my life. I had them for Thanksgiving that year. When my ex-husband brought the kids home, I told him that neither one of us would ever spend another holiday or "special event" without them again. We held that promise until my daughter (the youngest) was almost 23 years old.

When my ex became involved with his girlfriend (the kids were still pretty young then, ages 8 and up), the invitation to participate with us was also extended to her and her son. They joined us for many celebrations and holidays. I was not threatened by their relationship at all as it had nothing to do with our "roles" as parents. Relationships may come and go, but no matter what, we would always be their parents... not girlfriends or boyfriends or even subsequent spouses would ever change that.

As a result, we are very proud parents, and grandparents, of 3 very happy and healthy grown children and 2 "perfect" grandchildren (giggling).

I hope you are able to find a happy, common ground with your boyfriend concerning this situation. You don't mention whether or not you have discussed how you feel about it with him. Hopefully you have but if you haven't, perhaps discussing it should be a priority as well. It will only be as awkward as the two of you make it... it doesn't have to be.

Good luck and I hope this turns out to be a joyous celebration for "all" of you.

- Response by nysongbird1, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, San Francisco, Other Profession

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I honestly think it is good that he his that involved with his kids, and he gets along with his ex-wife. You might see it as a problem now but when/if you do decide to be with him you know there will be no future problems with her being hateful or arguments about the children because they do get along so well. Give it time and just trust him if they are divorced it is for a reason that does not involve the kids so there should be no worries on that end. Just make plans for you and him on Christmas Eve and Christmas night after there get together. I had to do the same with my ex-boyfriend and his ex-wife and baby momma. Believe me it gets easier, I did it for 5 years.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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You won't be there why???
If you are planning on being a permanent part of his life, then he should include you also. If you are still casual and not moving toward a serious future, then you need to understand. I think by the tone of your message though, that you are not "welcome". IF that's the case, you need to look inside yourself and see if you always want to be treated as a second class citizen. My EX used to not tell me about b-day parties etc. His ex-wife had said that myself, nor our daughter were allowed to be there and he wasn't man enough to stand up to her. Ultimately, our 6 year relationship ended and he went back to his ex-wife. This really is a big issue. It may be healthy for his kids to see their parents getting along, but unless mommy and daddy are goinng to get back together, it's VERY unhealthy to play family and give them false hope.
Have to suggested that you come and the mother bring her s/o as well, if there is one?? For the kids to see ALL of you getting along would be a great step forward.


- Response by nicolegillenwater, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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Because he cares enough for his children to make it possible for them to be with both thier parents. This will always happen they will always be first...and its hard to understand sometimes...but you have to be glad/proud that he is taking care of his children. Now have you been invited and don't want to go? Do you have trust issues? Those are the things that woudl hurt me..if I didn't get invited or he didn't make plans for us after his family gathering. My husband(we got married in May) goes to his ex wives house for Christmas with his kids....after we had been dating over a year he, well she did too invited me to go to her house Christmas and we do. Since I have children also...and we have his children from the start of Christmas break until Christmas Eve...then we have them from Christmas nite until break is over...we go to my mothers Christmas morning have Christmas with my family...eat a big dinner..then my kids go to thier dads and we go to his ex wives house, have Christmas with them and then bring the boys home with us.


- Response by txblonde, A Hippie Chick, Female, 36-45, Houston, Financial / Banking

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Last Christmas you had only been together a few months so I assume this wasn't a problem for you. Now, this year you feel things should have changed but he is sticking to the same plans he has had in the past. All you can do is be grateful that you have a guy that is as caring as he is and know that if you are meant to stay together, he will make sure you find your place with this family. Think how hurt he would feel if he couldn't see his kids on Christmas because he had to choose between you and them.

- Response by maryea, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Retired

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Considering you're a Sportif, maybe you should consider going to the gym on Christmas instead?

- Response by lmarks, A Life of the Party, Male, 29-35, Los Angeles, Who Cares?

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First, you are with a guy for 15 months and he is STILL going through a divorce? Hmmm...

Kids come 1st period. The holiday is more fun for kids and it would be better on them for it to be a happy time. And your expressions that it bothers you have clearly paved your future together and your not being invited to those things. Maybe if you had said you are "OK" with it all, you might be included more.

Man....I swear if my ex gets with someone like you, he won't be seeing his kid period.



- Response by honey1306, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Denver, Who Cares?

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I actually don't agree with the majority of the other people answering here. There's a boundary issue here and a stage being set for a false set of expectations as well as the potential for some hanky panky with the soon to be ex...unless he's changing his mind and might not go through with the pending divorce.
If you're divorcing than the majority of people do start to separate their holidays with the kids. Either they alternate the holidays or one spends Christmas eve with them and the other Christmas day. Having a parent spend the night and give the false illusion that the parents are somehow back together under the same roof is a false one. If you were included in that day then the messages sent might be different but that's NOT what's being done here nor conveyed. If they truly are divorcing then they really aren't doing their children any favors here. And you are right to wonder what else might be going on. Because if a person is going to cheat....exs rank really high up on whom they will cheat with.
Holidays are important to primary partners. People think children come first...it's a really foolish premise. The primary relationship between partners teaches them how to be with their own partners someday. No wonder so many people don't know how to treat their partners?
And tell me...what is Daddy doing on Xmas eve with his ex after the kids go to bed?

- Response by joybird, A Career Man, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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Has he been going through a divorce for 15 months or is something else going on? Has he invited you or said you can't come? Those "details" aren't trivial.

- Response by bailarenfuego, A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Technical

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Well, you don't want to hear this. But! He should!! He's not even divorced yet! The kids would rather spend Christmas with mom and dad (especially during this very difficult time, i.e., mom and dad are divorcing and dad is going out with another woman). Suck it up, soldier! You wanted in this game by dating a man who isn't divorced yet. I have 4 girls, and I went through the same thing when I was seperated. Dad should do what ever it takes to make his girls feel comfortable (and safe!)at this stage of the divorce situation. It sucks for the girls...not you! My advice to you as a divorced dad, the last thing you want to do is put pressure on him by letting him know it bothers you. Right now, his life is about his daughters, not his new girl friend. If I were him, and you pressure me like that, I'd say "See Ya!" Just remember, this is about the girls, NOT you.

- Response by stringjammer, A Career Man, Male, 56-65, Chicago, Self-Employed

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I can't say I'd be thrilled about it, myself. But, if his intentions are to make this transition easier for his children, and working with his ex-wife to come to an amicable divorce (if there is such a thing). Then it will make it much easier for you all in the future. He has to think about his kids first, and I hope you understand that. Best of luck...I'd take the opportunity to have a girls night out, on the day of my choosing. Or, at the very least expect one heck-of-a christmas present.

- Response by tortureu2, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Other Profession

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it is good for the kids and also fun to bang the x once in awhile

- Response by bigcurt, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Pittsburgh, Self-Employed

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Well, he should consider his children first, it's good he does and he should always put them first at least until they are 18. Maybe she is required to have monitored visits? If not then i would say he is putting his children's feelings first and wants them to have a nice Christmas, my guess is that they probably asked to do this. So why aren't you going to be there for Christmas? Working? or maybe putting someone else first???

- Response by gmaloves13, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 56-65, Other Profession

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Well basically the Scriptures teach... what God has joined together let no man put asunder...
Marraige is a life long commitment in the eyes of God. Marraige between a man and a woman reflect His relationship to the believers through the resurrected Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is risen and can die no more but lives eternally (and is now seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for the believers and will soon return to rapture His people and Judge/destroy the world who are the unsaved under the wrath of God and without hope), and so this oneness of the believers and Christ guarantees the believers eternal life through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. He has taken on Himself our punishment for the sins which we have commited and were born into because of the fall of Adam (Adam and Eve) and the "inheritence of death" which was passed down onto all mankind. Christ has payed the debt which is owed by the believers. He has brought us from being under sin and under the law and God's wrath, into the covenant of grace, and secure and saved from the wrath to come. Christ is Who we should be focused on during the Christmas season. If you are not married to him, and she is, you should extinguish the relationship, and pray for God's mercy. The kids make things even more complicated. When we sin it is truly against God. Jesus Christ came to save sinners!


2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.


The following article may be of help in the area...(you may have to type this and not copy/paste due to the added spaces which answerology.com includes to interrupt URL's)

http://www.familyradio. com/graphical/literatur e/joined/joined_intro.h tml

http://www.familyrad io.com/graphical/litera ture/joined/joined_cont ents.html

- Response by stephanos, A Guy Critical, Male, 36-45

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i really wouldnt worry about it..he's doing it for the kids. they've been threw alot im sure with the divorce and they need to still have a family unit..even if the parents arent together

- Response by dragonflyfairie, A Hippie Chick, Female, 29-35, Teaching

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He loves his children. Put yourself in their shoes - it's very traumatic to have your parents split up, and this is his way of at least making Christmas a special day for them - a time when they can be with both their mom and dad. I would give the guy some credit for trying to take the best care of his kids. I am sure it's hard for him to be with his ex and be cordial, but he does it for his kids.

Unless he has given you a reason to mis-trust him, let this go.

While 15 months is a while, the kids will come first for him. If you marry him, then of course you have the right to be with your husband for Christmas, maybe you and he could host Christmas for his kids and their mother. Right now, since you are not married to him, if the relationship is serious - well, I can understand that you want to spend Christmas together. Talk to him and see if you can also be there, along with the kids and the ex. Think of her as their mom, not his ex-wife, if that makes it easier for you.

The reality is that when you date a man with kids, or when you marry a man with kids, you have to learn to accommodate that relationship and deal learn how to deal with the kids' mom. I can understand that you would feel left out, but you can't expect a man to neglect his children, at least if he is any kind of a decent man.

If you can't deal with this, you need to find a man without kids.

- Response by curvysmartgirl, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Dallas, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Sounds like a big problem to me. There are 2 parts to this.
1)Regarding his kids, he should consider his kids first under most situations because they are his kids. 2) He should not have his EX over his house if he expects to have a relationship (you) at the same time. This is unfair to you and you have every right to be upset about it. I'd talk to him about this and put an end to it real quick or you might want to move on. This is very wrong! If he doesn't understand this, he's not in tune, in touch and in to you!

- Response by chrisman, A Guy Critical, Male, 36-45, Self-Employed

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Also to add in response to many of the writers here who wrote how wonderful he is to be looking out for his childrens feelings etc and he is 'helping ' them by spending xmas with his Ex ... How is leading them on to believe in something that no longer exists helpful? It is cruel and a sign of a weak and selfish parent who cant bear to look 'bad'in front of their kids or "upset' their children ...so instead they spoil and bow to the childs every wish and demand ie I want Mummy and Daddy together at Xmas ...PATHETIC folks...Sportif I would be interested to see if you are still together ? For your sake I hope not as you say you have been together 15 months and he is still going through the divorce...he should get it over and done with ...My guy never "got round" to getting his divorce ...something in hindsight I also realise was a big red flag!

- Response by maryjar48, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Adelaide

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Also to add in response to many of the writers here who wrote how wonderful he is to be looking out for his childrens feelings etc and he is 'helping ' them by spending xmas with his Ex ... How is leading them on to believe in something that no longer exists helpful? It is cruel and a sign of a weak and selfish parent who cant bear to look 'bad'in front of their kids or "upset' their children ...so instead they spoil and bow to the childs every wish and demand ie I want Mummy and Daddy together at Xmas ...PATHETIC folks...Sportif I would be interested to see if you are still together ? For your sake I hope not as you say you have been together 15 months and he is still going through the divorce...he should get it over and done with ...My guy never "got round" to getting his divorce ...something in hindsight I also realise was a big red flag!

- Response by maryjar48, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Adelaide

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i am in the same boat yet mine is worst cause it's been 2 years that my BF and i are dating and he still won't introduce his son to me nor his ex wife. I asked him why and he keep saying he is not ready and he don't want to hurt his kid. And at christmas eve my BF have his son sleep at his place and on the morning of xmas they go to his ex wife's house at 6am. And around 11.30 all her family arrives for dinner and they all eat together. Around 1;30pm my BF and his son goes back to his place and they spend the whole afternoon playing xbox and stuff. What is left for me. Oh i forgot. the dec. 24 he drop my gift at my place and leave. So i open it by myself on xmas morning. And i made sure i make my xmas meal after his ex. around 3 or 4pm to make sure he comes but he doesn't cause his son is at his place and even if i invite his son too he won't because he is not ready.so i have xmas with my family but he is not there. So at the end of the day my BF drive his son back to his ex and then come late to eat with me around 6 or 7 pm. thats my xmas. i know i shouldn't be selfish, but at least if they would even know about me and i could be invited too that would be ok. and i know i should leave him if i'm not happy with that but he should make a little bit more sense and considered our relationship also.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Montreal, Fashion

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