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Newb in need of advice

Posted by on Dec. 21, 2017 at 4:44 PM
  • 20 Replies
I’ll be honest. I’m not married so not actually a step mom- I have been divorced but have only ever been on the bm side of the equation.
My bf and his exwife have a 4 year old.
She wants to do all holidays together. She wants to come over on Christmas morning and open presents just the three of them. They decorated the tree together, cheesy Facebook pics, etc.
Is this normal? Me and my ex husband get along, but we’re not going to pick out Christmas trees together either.
I kinda want to run while I still have half a chance. I’ve never dated a guy with kids before.
He seems to have no interest in changing anything with her.
by on Dec. 21, 2017 at 4:44 PM
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by Platinum Member on Dec. 21, 2017 at 5:21 PM
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Welcome to the group! 

Though some families find that this works for them, I wouldn't say it's the 'norm'.  How long have boyfriend and his EX been divorced?  Have they set a precedence celebrating this way?  Does your boyfriend want this as well or is this BMs request solely?  

I'm the BM in my situation.  BF and I divorced more than 10  years ago.  I've not once shared a holiday since he walked out, right after Christmas 15 years ago.  Why?  Because we were separated (more than 2 years) and then divorced.  We weren't a family to celebrate the holidays together.  It never even crossed my mind to do so.  He made other choices than to stay in our marriage, he could make other choices than to celebrate as the family he broke up.  

He and SM made their own, new traditions.  Those don't include me.  I made my own traditions with our boys, those don't include him.  

SO doesn't have children, so this isn't something I have had to face myself.  

How long have you and boyfriend been dating?  

The 'just the three of them' would bother me, whether I was 'new' to him or not.  If, however, they wanted to keep these traditions going but 'add' whomever the other is dating (and any children that may come with them), that I might be able to adjust to, IF the two of them got along well and were open to their former partners moving on and introducing others to their family. 

If you're fairly new with him, I'd just talk to him and ask him why he wants to do things this way, and how does he, or she even, envision this working as each of them move on in their lives.  Or, have they even considered it?  Perhaps they haven't thought further than this year.  Perhaps they feel that any future partner will 'understand' not being included in this tradition they've begun.  Perhaps they feel that a future partner will be included, once the vows are made.  You won't know what the thought is until you ask though.  :)  

by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2017 at 6:39 PM
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I think it’s great that they can do things together, It does seem a bit over the top though.
by Ruby Member on Dec. 21, 2017 at 8:27 PM
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Doesn’t sound normal, it doesn’t seem like your SO has emotionally separated from his ex. This can’t be comfortable for you and if he is that into you, he would be open to making some changes for your comfort.
by Silver Member on Dec. 22, 2017 at 1:10 AM
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It might be their own kind of normal and that is okay. 

Not everyone runs their divorced lives the same as the next divorced couple.  

by Bronze Member on Dec. 22, 2017 at 12:33 PM
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This depends alot on some information you didn't give. Namely, I would need to know how long they have been divorced and how long the two of you have been together.

Some ex couples still do things together like this for the kids. That's usually if they get along really well and are still close friends. Is he close friends with his ex? Does it bother you if he is?

Secondly, how long have you been around and how serious is this? From your mention of whether you need to run, I'm guessing you haven't been around very long and it isn't that serious, no talk of marriage soon or anything. I think if you're still only months into this relationship, it makes sense for you to have been left out of the tradition. I think if you become more of a solid, long term, fixture in his life and you are still left out, then that could signal a problem.

After all, what happens when one of them has a child with someone else. Either both new families need to get along and be welcomed into the tradition, or the level of dual celebration will need to be slowly phased out.

It is sort of like those excouples who maintain the marital home and they themselves move in and out instead of having the kids switch homes for visitation. It can work for a little while, but once the parents are wanting to start new families, it becomes problematic.
by Platinum Member on Dec. 22, 2017 at 9:11 PM
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Ex-wife probably the type of those controlling women who can’t let go off their Ex, she will be always trying to show you “she is the mother of his kid, and kid ang her always will come first”.
Which is could be fine if you are just dating
But it will be disastrous, if you want to get married

Is EW married/has BF?
by on Dec. 25, 2017 at 6:35 AM
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Ok, if you don't like that answer, I'll give a slightly less direct one.

Tell BF, I am not comfortable with this. It seems like there are too many loosey-goosey boundaries here, and that's not really good for anyone. Boundaries are healthy.

SO - what do you see moving forward, BF? Do you expect me to participate, should we keep on dating? What if we got married (let him know no pressure, you're just trying to get a handle on this)? What then? Would you be supportive of this with my ex? Am I expected to stay home and accept this?

Don't do it all accusatory - just say, I haven't experienced this in my divorce, so I want to see what your thoughts are.

Me, personally? RUN. I have no patience with this sort of drama. I've been at the SM thing for a long time, and I am no longer interested in bending over backwards for people who usually don't reciprocate. I'm including your BF in that general statement.

I've learned over the years that if I'd put up, clearly and without any fuss, what my boundaries were, and been open with my DH, I would have saved myself a lot of drama.

So there's my $0.01

by Battler on Dec. 25, 2017 at 9:44 PM
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If you are not comfortable with it, and he does it anyway- you know what you need to do.

They may be doing that because the kid is so young, but I couldn't hang.
by Ruby Member on Dec. 26, 2017 at 1:30 AM
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Sure it might work for them, but I would not be interested in getting involved with a guy and his ex wife. Because it sounds like she is part of the equation. Don’t try to change it, just put it out there to him that if this is their normal then you need to figure out if you can live with it. Then take a break and figure it out.

by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2017 at 2:07 AM
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Without a lot more information, perhaps you should just look at your own comfort level.  If you aren't comfortable with it, then you have the right to tell the boyfriend so.  If he is not willing to change that, you need to figure out whether or not you are willing to continue that tradition.  If not, it's best to end the relationship now.

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