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My wife's relationship with her ex-husband
Married Life / 9:28 PM - Wednesday August 26, 2009

My wife's relationship with her ex-husband

Okay here's the deal. My wife and I have been married going on three years 1/14/2010. I've had some complaints about the relationship she has with her ex-husband when it comes to the children (19 & 15). Example, our 1st X-mas as a new "family" included her ex-husband there and interacting the morning of our X-mas together. I expressed to her "why can't we make this our event" the boys are old enough that the father can come pick them up and have "their" holiday together...the responce was "well we've always done it like this since the divorce". I'm like and what about us starting a new tradition, a new family. I'm not trying to tell her to push the boy's father out of the picture, just some separation, so we can have a go at making something that is ours? Please, am I seeing this wrong, she just won't budge on issues like this, HELP am I missing something? Am I reacting the wrong way?

- Asked by Male, 36-45

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Not my ball of snakes to tell you right or wrong. Here is what has worked for us for over 25 years:

My ex-wife and I made and raised some pretty good kids. We just didn't get along anymore.

My new wife decided somewhere that life would be easier for all of us, if holidays and birthdays kept on for our old family in the established customary manner. Then, when it was just for the two of us, we celebrated together without the crowd.

What happened was everyone recognized it was most important for the KIDS to see that as adults we could compromise and cope. We are the adults, after all.

In over 25 years, we have not had any disagreements on celebrating hers, mine and our holidays and birthdays... even funerals. It sure saves a lot of unnecessary angst and drama.

rek

PS: Good Luck in whatever you choose to do.

- Response by rekkonball, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Retired

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Wow I am so sorry, she seems really horrible, you need to firmly tell her that you guys have a new life together and you will now have new traditions that do not involve her ex. That is just so weird and disrespectful for her to do that to you. Her sons are beyond old enough to have their own tradition with the father.

- Response by A Hippie Chick, Female, 22-25

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Christmas is a time for inclusion and joy, not a time for you to go bogarting your new family and dictating who they'll appreciate.

Last Christmas, my mom's ex-best-friend-from-hig hschool's ex-husband came to our Christmas celebration, bringing with him his new girlfriend and her three children from her previous marriage. These kids had never had a Christmas celebration, and they were my FAVORITE guests! They were so enthusiastic and thrilled to be there, it was like the spirit of Christmas had settled personally on our celebration. They were passing out gifts when they didn't even know anyone's names (and about forty people come to Christmas).

You are upset because they have the traditions they've always had and you want them to instantly switch to the traditions YOU've always had. Compromises must be made, but I don't get the sense you're looking at this with any compassion or open-mindedness.

And yes, you ARE trying to push their father out of the picture and usurp his place as the dominant male figure in their lives. And honey, that's probably not going to happen. I mean, they're old enough that they've been getting by without you for a long time, and you need to respect their opinions. If THEY feel comfortable integrating YOU into the little family set-up they've got going, you should be honored. What you should NOT feel is like you've got any right to rearrange their traditions and priorities.

- Response by anela1988, A Thinker, Female, 22-25

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I don't think you're being unreasonable here. Especially, with her children being the ages that they are. It's time for her to have a little talk with them about changing things a bit. I can understand how you would want to start your own family traditions, without the ex- hanging around celebrating with you all. It's been great for the boys and her. But, I don't think she's ever really considered what it would make you feel like after awhile. Just make it plain to her as you've stated at the end of this post. Hopefully, she'll understand. However, if she doesn't, are you willing to just let it go and deal with it until her children are grown? I really hope you two can work things out and the children are OK with it.

- Response by thelovedovefor1, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Atlanta, Who Cares?

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I'm sorry but your wife is wrong. Your first Xmas together should have been special for just the two of you and the kids. I assume your wife is old enough to know that relationships that work involve compromise so both parties can feel valued and loved. You gave in to her selfish demand last Christmas. Don't this one. Tell her that she must start to make changes. That some holidays, like Easter or Thanksgiving would be fine to spend with everyone and the ex together but not every one and not every Christmas. The children are practically adults and they will deal better than their Mom with their Dad seeing them later in the day. It took my sister over twenty years to have holidays with her ex and their two grown children. Tell her its time to be a reasonable adult.

- Response by cinders717, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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I am going through this talk with my boyfriend right now regard his ex and his kids, only his are significantly younger. I am also a poster child of divorce, and have never had qualms about separate Christmases or events between my parents. You adapt to it.

In your case, these kids are old enough to not be traumatized, whatsoever, by a separate event. I understand your wife's sentimental values, but she must also understand yours as well. You have put up with this for three years, now it's her turn. They are old enough to split the day up with the parents, and what could be better than different hoards of foods to choose from (something I always had fun with). I don't think kids make an issue out of this, as parents like to claim, the parents do. There's being civil with your ex, and then there's trying to merge your new life with the old, and it can be confusing to kids. Dropping by to get the kids, having a quick coffee before leaving? Sure, but expecting your new partner to just be the 3rd wheel in your past isn't right.

I would tell her how you feel, in a nutshell, not just asking if you can start a new life, but how the current situation makes you feel. Explain to her that you have done 2 years of Christmases her way, not you'd appreciate if you'd try her way. I can see it as an occasional thing, if it's one big Christmas party, but an intimate family setting should not have -your- family including her Ex.

Good luck, hun!

- Response by spaceycase, A Thinker, Female, 29-35

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I am 1000% in your favour,You are in the right and i think your wife is still wed to her former husband. I,having been through it all see your marriage failing, sorry but thats how I see it

- Response by duggers, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older

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I personally being me, would offer her an ultimatum, Its him or me, you cant have both.

- Response by duggers, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older

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