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First Christmas after separation/divorce

leafields posted 10/15/2020 22:54 PM

I'm getting ready to file for D, and will after our house sells. I'm good friends with my SIL, but feeling some anxiety about the situation.

I can do Thanksgiving because the STBXWH will work part of the day, but he has Christmas off. I don't know if I can do this.

Do you have any advice?

LadyG posted 10/16/2020 02:17 AM

I did Christmas lunch last year at monster in laws house with WH and my sons, I havenít been back to that house since.

Smug MIL Gave me a MIL Tongue plant as a gift. Fitting as the thing doesnít need watering and lives off thin air. It thrives on Nothing. No water, No food needed.

This year I will have my sons over at my apartment and Covid willing, I will fly out the next day for a holiday somewhere warm.

Catwoman posted 10/16/2020 07:39 AM

Time to make your own traditions! Seriously, shake things up. Do things the way YOU want to do them. Want to just have a big cocktail party and no meal? Do it.

My BEST Christmas was one where I was separated from my now-ex. We had my family (parents, sisters), my best friend and her husband, her mother and her mother-in-law as well as one of her friends. It was a BLAST.

Cat

99problems posted 10/16/2020 11:21 AM

Are you talking about doing Christmas WITH the stbx?
I could not do that.
Luckily for me, AP #179 or whatever hasn't invited me over (to my house) for the holiday festivities.
Darn! I was looking forward to drinking a carton of egg nog and setting the christmas tree on fire.

In all seriousness though- it's my first Christmas after separation as well. And I am anxious to make it a good one for my daughter.

But I can't imagine an event that wouldn't be improved by the lack of stbxw's presence. So I should just stop worrying and enjoy it. The kid and I deserve some good times this year.

If you can't do it, then don't. Plenty of kids get to have 2 christmases and it's totally okay.

Justsomeguy posted 10/17/2020 19:18 PM

Your post made me think about the first Thanksgiving after I decided to S. We did an in house S and then nesting, week on, week off. I can't remember what stsgecwe were at, but I think I had kicked my WW to the office at that point. Anyhow, we did the big family dinner as we normally host everyone and I had build a beautiful hand scraped table that seated 12. I occupied the head as I normally did, and was thoroughly and completely ignored the whole dinner. Even my kids commented on how no one would talk to me. After dinner, I hot up, walked to the master bedroom and food into a good bottle of scotch. It was complete hell for me and I swore I would never put myself in a position like that again.

The argument can be made that you should do it for the kids, but at what price? Will you kids be horrified to learn the pain and anguish you suffered just to fake a holiday? It's just another lie, heaped upon a mountain of lies.

So last Christmas was my very first on my own with my kids. I bought a $6 tree at the thrift store which was about 2 1/2 feet tall and sat on my tv console. I decorated the house with the few decorations I could afford and made it as Christmasy as I could. On Christmas eve, I lit candles after dinner and poured my kids champagne (don't tell their mom) and we had a toast. Turns out they don't like champagne. We sat and talked and remember better times. We also made a new memory...

After they went to bed, Santa went to work and filled stockings. When they got up, we had our morning and they opened the few presents I could afford to give them... they weren't extravagant, but they were well considered. It wasn't a full on family Christmas, but it was good. They still speak fondly of it, so mission accomplished.

I've come to the realization that I can no longer give them material things, but I can give them a father's love. It's what I gave left to give. If that's not enough, then I've failed at raising them. I don't want to spend all my time feeling guilty and shitty about how my decision to D has affected them. It will destroy me and I e done it a lot already. Breathe in and breathe out. You can do this.

99problems posted 10/18/2020 11:59 AM

Jsg- wow man, thanks for the post. I am trying to mentally get where you are and it's great to hear that it can be done. My attitude is much the same- stbxw and stbxmil will blow their respective wads trying to make me look bad this year presentwise, but I know that I have raised this child, not them, and she frickin loves me no matter what. I'll put in the effort and do what I can, and most importantly, spend lots of actual quality time with my favorite person on the planet.

BentandBroken posted 10/19/2020 09:03 AM

Not sure if kiddos are involved, but I agree with other posters. New traditions are the way to go. Do something that feeds your soul. Not exactly easy during COVID, but maybe a hike and picnic, or skating? You might put several suggestions in a hat and draw one. But why put yourself in a toxic uncomfortable situation?

Gottagetthrough posted 10/20/2020 13:29 PM

Christmas during my first separation... we had a 1 year old and a 5 year old. Wh and ow1 had custody on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after.

This was the babyís 2nd Christmas and the first had been spent with Wh asking for a divorce at his familyís house. I was 700 miles away from my family and his sister wouldnít even look at me (she knew he was cheating). I felt like a leper, was 6 months post partum and hormonal anyway, and now this asshat is asking for a divorce.

So the first Christmas separated was better than that! I expected to be sad, because I was alone( I was court ordered to return to the state Wh was in, so I was away from my family)

In actuality it was fun! It was so quiet! And I put the kids toys together and did extras for them like write a letter from Santa and spray it with glitter, etc. except this time instead of being tired and doing it at 1 am when they were asleep, I did it not rushed, while watching Christmas movies, on my own time.

They came in the front door and saw everything on the evening of the 26th and were so excited!

Honestly- one of the best Christmases Iíve had.

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 1:33 PM, October 20th (Tuesday)]

crazyblindsided posted 10/20/2020 14:18 PM

I'm actually looking forward to having Christmas with just me & the kids this year. Usually I go with kids to my parents (my ex is Jewish so it's not really his holiday anyways but he did used to come to my parents with us until his A then it stopped). I'm not going to be able to get any extravagant gifts this year but I will make sure it is festive!

My STBX usually ruined holidays with his narc BS so it will be better any way I look at it.

countrydirt posted 10/21/2020 04:40 AM

Divorce will be final on December 22. However, Thanksgiving is also a celebration of my parent's 60th anniversary, so my youngest son (17) and I will be joining my 2 brothers and sister and their respective families for a low key celebration of one long marriage in my family. STBXW was crying over it last week realizing that she probably gave up any family holidays ever again, since she really has no family (her own sister is disgusted with her) and her new partner doesn't either. Oh well, her decisions do have consequences.

CoderMom posted 10/31/2020 22:02 PM

Time helps to heal things, but there will always be a twinge when seeing him.

leafields posted 10/31/2020 23:02 PM

Thank you for all your posts. My kids are adults (youngest is 25) but I have 2 grandsons. I'm trying to do my best for them... and me.

My MIL and FIL have passed, as well as my own mom (dad never in picture). My in-laws were great, but I realize that STBXWH isolated me from my family.

My SIL has been my friend and has problems with change. I don't want to hurt her, but I am a people pleaser.

99problems posted 10/31/2020 23:31 PM

Me and stbxw couldn't even share the kid (7yo dd)for Halloween this year(I actually would have, if i would have been asked, but since I wasn't and it was my court ordered day then hell no was I gonna reach out and suggest that).

Halloween was always a big deal for my kiddo. And we managed to have a great one with just me and her!!! She told me tonight that it was her favorite halloween ever. <3

It isn't great to realize that not did only my stbxw throw my marriage and family in the trash, but any hope of even co-parenting. I guess she won't settle for anything less than the total destruction of anything we ever had.

I'm at peace with this though. I don't want to wallow in the tiny amount of good times(which are all tainted beyond redemption anyway).

Really, getting her as far out of my life as possible is the best option for me anyway and I realize that now, so her callousness is really working to my benefit.
It's surprising to me that being the recipient of a narcissistic discard has actually benefitted me so much. I highly prefer it to being strung along, gaslit, and bullshitted.

leafields posted 11/1/2020 00:05 AM

IMS, I've been the recipient of the NPD discard, too. It sucks big time. Halloween wasn't as big for us, but Thanksgiving and Christmas were. Just trying to put it all together.

Guess it isn't dependent on age.

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