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Divorce/Separation :
First holidays since filing for D

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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 6:58 PM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

How did everyone handle this? I feel as if my WH is expecting things to be as they always were but it is not going to happen. The only way the two of us and our son will spend them together is if we stay home, just the three of us. WH is not welcome at my family's gatherings and I really don't think I want to go to his family. Our son is 16 so he basically would be able to choose but I'm fairly certain if he chooses me WH will have an issue with it and end up putting our son in the middle. There is no legal agreement yet so how does this get settled? If my son chose WH for the holiday I wouldn't be happy but I would respect his decision so as not to put him in the middle, and I know I would still see him at some point.

My brother lives five hours away and has invited me and my son for Thanksgiving. That would mean no time for WH and our son on that holiday due to the overnight stay. How to resolve this? Just leave it all up to our son? Also doesn't feel fair to put that on his shoulders. This just takes all the joy out of the holidays.

Me: BS - 52
Him: WH - 53
DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA
Filed for D 9/2021
***************
Didn't cause it
Can't control it
Can't cure him

posts: 640   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8696650
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 7:08 PM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

I suggest that you and WH make an informal agreement between the two of you and to keep your son out of the middle.

I would suggest that one of you "gets" Thanksgiving and one of you "gets" Christmas. If WH wants to be prickly about it, let him pick which holiday that he wants and you get the other one. That way, your son is completely left out of the negotiations.

Me: BH, age 48
Her: WS, age 45 (multiple EAs and PAs)
D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5141   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8696651
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Alonelyagain ( member #32820) posted at 9:43 PM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Prior to my divorce 3 years ago, we always spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with XWW’s family. This split was written into our Joint Custody Agreement. For all other holidays, we alternate yearly, who gets the three kids. Our oldest child went away to college (freshman) in August and is returning home for the first time for Thanksgiving. It’s XWW’s turn to have the kids for Thanksgiving this year, but I suggested that we all go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving this year, and she agreed. This was my oldest’s preference.

posts: 386   ·   registered: Jul. 18th, 2011   ·   location: New Jersey
id 8696669
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 12:46 AM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

Nearly every custody agreement I've worked on in decades of divorce work had the holidays split, e.g., parent 1 gets kids on Xmas eve and parent2 on Xmas day.

The times of what constitutes Xmas eve & Xmas day can depend on a bunch of factors unique to each family, including the kids' ages.

Some families choose to alternate (so in even# years parent 1 gets Xmas eve, and in odd# years Parent1 gets Xmas day), and others just keep it the same, to maintain (or create new) extended family traditions, such as AlonelyAgain describes.

I've seen the same for Thanksgiving - so parent1 gets Wed after school until Thurs nite or Friday, then parent2 gets remaining weekend. If parents alternate weekends, they can write into their decree whether holiday weekends restart the clock, or just bump another parent's regular weekend (note that bumping weekends can cause problems with the total # of overnights in a year, but restarting can cause problems for folks who work weekends or have other scheduling issues).

There are also times where one parent just gets Xmas and the other gets Thanksgiving, but IME it was rare (the most common scenario was one parent was Christian and the other was Jewish and didn't have a problem "missing" kid time over Xmas, as Jewish parent's extended family didn't celebrate).

Personally - as a child of D and as a LONG ago co-parent, I prefer the one person always gets Xmas eve and the other always gets Xmas day. As a teen, I appreciated the stability of knowing what was happening, with whom and when, and my family created a lot of cool traditions with some great stories years & years later (including a Christmas eve Chinese dinner, even before A Christmas Story came out )

I would not leave it up to your son/put him in the middle. I would work as best as I can to formulate something fair with your STBX, with (in a perfect world - which I know may not be possible) BOTH of you considering your son's preferences. If things with STBX are antagonistic, and either you/son/STBX are in IC, I've seen this kind of thing hashed out in an IC session (a place where your son feels comfortable/safe expressing his needs/wants and there is a 3rd party to keep the goal in focus).

[This message edited by gmc94 at 6:48 PM, November 3rd, 2021 (Wednesday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8696695
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 2:03 AM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

Ask your soon-to-be ex husband if he want’s to have the son for Thanksgiving or for Christmas this year.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10012   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8696701
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:14 AM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

Your son is 16 years old (not a little kid) so I don’t think it’s putting him in the middle to give him a say over where he would like to spend the holidays. Just ask your son which holidays how he would like to divide his time over the holidays and that you won’t be offended by his choices. If he wants to be with you for Thanksgiving (for example), then tell your husband what the plan is and that your son will be him for Thanksgiving next year.

If your ex puffs his feathers, remind him that your son is in the unfortunate position of having to divide his holidays between two households and that alternating holidays is the reality going forward.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 549   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8696705
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crumbs ( member #28953) posted at 10:35 PM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

My son was 11 when we separated and the actual divorce wasn't final for another 5 years, so we were also kind of on our own those first couple of years and had to learn as we went. The first year (I'd moved out in September), I attempted to keep it fairly "normal" by doing Thanksgiving lunch & Christmas morning all together at this dad's--it was a disaster for all of us! Fortunately, my family was only an hour away, so after that, son did Thanksgiving lunch with my family then I dropped him at his dad's on my way back for a later dinner. Yes, that meant he ate a LOT on Thanksgiving, but he learned to pace himself. ;-) For Christmas, he was with me Christmas Eve through a late breakfast, then to his dad's for dinner and staying the night. As he got older & could drive, he set the times himself and still sticks to this schedule now that he's in college but home of the holidays.

I add this because your son is older and really allowing him to figure out his own schedule does help, but giving the option of "splitting" the days or the holiday is always an option. Celebrating on other days can also work. Even more "traditional" families learn to adjust around growing children with their own interests, friends & families have to happen. My son now does the spilt between me & his dad, but also usually ends the nights with his friends and that's become it's own tradition for him. Giving him some control helped a lot. His dad wasn't happy at first, but eventually even he accepted it.

DDay 2009Wouldn't stop - Moved out 8/10Divorced 2015 (Divorcing a NPD is no fun)

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jul. 2nd, 2010
id 8696824
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 12:23 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

Thank you all for your responses. I know there isn't just one solution to this and we will have to see what works best for us. Or at least I will - I'm assuming WH will just want to make sure he gets his fair time with our son.

One issue is we still live in the same house. Another is most likely wherever we go it will be quite a drive so splitting the day might not be an option. My son is aware that we've been invited to my brother's which would be an overnight visit, and that his dad is not invited. He hasn't told me his thoughts on that yet. And of course it all depends upon whether he is working or not. I will try to be ok with whatever he wishes although of course I'd be heartbroken if he does not choose whatever I am doing lol.

Navigating this is so difficult so I am trying to make it as easy as possible on my son. I may end up eating a take out turkey dinner alone but I will make sure he is where he wants to be.

Me: BS - 52
Him: WH - 53
DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA
Filed for D 9/2021
***************
Didn't cause it
Can't control it
Can't cure him

posts: 640   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8696839
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psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 1:41 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this, BTA. My DD was 18 when things blew up in our life, and I made many mistakes regarding her feelings back then. One statement you made really stands out to me- making choices that make things as easy as possible for your son. I wish I’d had the clarity and ability to think things through that you possess. Your son will benefit from your desire to do what is best for him, putting his needs before your own. With that in mind you will make the right decisions. You are a good mom. smile

BS (me); fWH (both 50+; married 20 yr at the time; 2 DD
DDay 1- 9/13/2014 (EA)- 3+ yrs
DDay 2- 10/24/2014(PA2)-July'14-Sept'14
DDay 3- 11/12/2014(PA1)-Oct-Feb '14
Reconciled

posts: 4247   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Back among those who found Peace of Mind
id 8696918
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 1:01 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021

Thank you psychmom. As expected, he is making this difficult. Last might - at 1:30am - he says "do you think you are going to just take my son away from me for Thanksgiving?" I told him we are getting divorced - how did you think this would work? Then he proceeds to tell me how his cousin and his exes are friendly and do holidays together all the time. I asked if his cousin cheated on his exes and he says that doesn't matter. I told him it does matter. It is a completely different dynamic. Then he proceeds to again try to tell me what I did wrong (said I'm not discussing that) and that my family is being adversarial. I said what do you expect they don't like the way you treat me. He asked what I think we should do about the holidays and I said I don't see us spending them together unless it is just us at home, and we should present the options to our son and let him choose. Whatever he decides we just have to be ok with it to make it easier on him. All things along those lines.

At this point, I ended the conversation because he wouldn't stop typing on his phone and I told him if he wasn't going to give me his full attention then I wasn't going to speak with him. So this is what I'm dealing with.

Me: BS - 52
Him: WH - 53
DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA
Filed for D 9/2021
***************
Didn't cause it
Can't control it
Can't cure him

posts: 640   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8697493
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 1:01 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021

Double post

[This message edited by BetterTimesAhead at 1:11 PM, Monday, November 8th]

Me: BS - 52
Him: WH - 53
DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA
Filed for D 9/2021
***************
Didn't cause it
Can't control it
Can't cure him

posts: 640   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8697494
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scaredwoman ( member #78680) posted at 8:01 PM on Monday, November 15th, 2021

we should present the options to our son and let him choose

Please PLEASE don't do this. Give your stbxWH the option of choosing if he prefers Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this at all.

posts: 195   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2021
id 8698570
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 6:06 AM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021

My son is fine with going to my brother's for Thanksgiving. WH is not. He is being spiteful and now says he wants to take our son 3000 miles away for 7-10 days to visit his brother and sister. Mind you nobody invited them he just says it's fair. I don't see it as fair at all. Mine is a car trip, 250 miles, gas, tolls, a couple hundred dollars, 3-4 days. His is thousands of dollars we don't have, airfare, hotel, rental car, food (his siblings most likely will not pay for anything) and they will be gone for three holidays. My son doesn't even know if he wants to go or can get off work. AND WH wants to get a hotel near my brother's home and expects me to bring my son to him after Thanksgiving dinner and that he will stay in the hotel with him.

I don't even know if he's allowed to spend this money we don't have without my consent since it is a lot. He just makes everything so difficult

Me: BS - 52
Him: WH - 53
DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA
Filed for D 9/2021
***************
Didn't cause it
Can't control it
Can't cure him

posts: 640   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8699009
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:30 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021

He is going to try to wear you down/out. It is important you outline a fair plan (one that could be shown in court when you ex refuses) and go with it. I would recommend just pulling one of the samples off the internet and modify if you need to.

I would discourage doing the 'one big happy family' thing since it sets a precedent of future holidays. It is well worth digging in now versus doing this fight again next holiday.

If he is hellbent on Thanksgiving, do an unemotional "ok...then I get Christmas".

How long until you are in separate households? It will be much easier then.

And do not think of it as 'eating turkey alone'. It is important not to get hung up on the actual DATE after a D. Your Thanksgiving (or Christmas or Easter, etc) with your DS can be any day. Once I accepted that - it really took the sting out of it.

My first Thanksgiving alone, I dreaded. But it was actually nice. I got to stay in my jammies and watch the Macy's parade! No running around like a lunatic getting stuff ready to run to all the other relatives, etc.

posts: 6685   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8699048
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 3:53 AM on Friday, November 19th, 2021

According to WH, since there is no settlement yet, I can't take his son away for the holiday. I was hoping to address this Monday at the four way but since WH never did his paperwork that is being postponed. I will have to call my attorney and ask how this works. WH says he will get a hotel room near my family and I will have to bring my son to him after dinner. We are only going to be there about 48 hours and he wants to take time away. My son is not a little kid- he is 16. WH just thinks he is entitled to whatever he wants and things shouldn't change.

I don't know when he is moving out. Probably when D is finalized. He says he pays the bills so he's not leaving.

Me: BS - 52
Him: WH - 53
DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA
Filed for D 9/2021
***************
Didn't cause it
Can't control it
Can't cure him

posts: 640   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8699181
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 3:39 PM on Friday, November 19th, 2021

Don’t play his stupid games. It’s "only" a holiday and it’s "only" this year. Next year the divorce will be through and issues like this cleared up.
Tell him fine – son will stay in the family home with the expectation that your husband be there too. You will leave for the dinner and come back 48 hours later. If your son wants to go then his father can explain why that’s not possible.

Nobody will die, be traumatized or need therapy nor will any criminal charges be made, or time spent in prison if one parent stays home with the kid and the other leaves for 48 hours. Your son will not be permanently damaged.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10012   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8699282
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 2:57 AM on Saturday, November 20th, 2021

Actually, my son wants to come with me and stay with my family. I told him his father wants to stay in a hotel close by and have him go there after dinner and spend the night and my son said no way. He's going to have to talk to his father. I just don't understand why WH has to interfere in our family time with my family. It's two days!

Me: BS - 52
Him: WH - 53
DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA
Filed for D 9/2021
***************
Didn't cause it
Can't control it
Can't cure him

posts: 640   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8699415
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