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Is he serious?!

Anxious26's picture

I apologise in advance for daring to mention Christmas in July but my boyfriend has just sprung an idea on me which has left me feeling incredulous and then a few days later came up with another ‘bright idea’ which makes me think he only cares how his own child is affected. My bf has shared care so has his son for 7 days every two weeks. He has his own flat and stays there with him but stays with us on the Saturdays. About two weeks ago my bf brought up that seeing as we won’t be having his son on Christmas Day as it’s his mothers turn, how do I feel about not celebrating at all on Christmas Day and have my 5yr old son not open any presents until Boxing Day! Meanwhile his son gets two days of opening presents as an 8yr old (who is probably by now pretending to believe in Santa to placeate his parents and get more presents) whilst my 5yr old who fully believes in the magic of Christmas is going to be left wondering why on earth santa didn’t visit yet.  How my partner expects me to pull the wool over my sons eyes I don’t know, seeing as his grandparents and other family will all want to FaceTime him on Christmas Day to see what he got and so will his younger cousins. I didn’t want a confrontation 6 months before Christmas has even come so I said I’d go along with it so long as my son could open a few presents on Christmas Day. However, since this he has now suggested that my sons main present be a second hand Nintendo wii. It’s all in the box and I’m not a snob so seeing as my son is only 6 on NYE I had no problem with this but when I said I’d rather he have a bike for Christmas he immediately suggested he have his sons one which is now too small for him, despite my son already having seen it/used it so would know it was not new or from Santa. I did say no way because it would shatter the illusion of Christmas and my bf agreed and left it at that but I’m left feeling like my son is only worth seconds whilst he intends to get his own son a brand new laptop rather than repair the one he already had which is literally only missing the ‘A’ button on the keyboard! The more I think on it the more it annoys me and I feel like just not spending Christmas Day together at all. Am I being over sensitive or unreasonable? 


justmakingthebest's picture

Just due to the absurdity of that request, I would let him know that if he feels that way he can spend Christmas alone.

ndc's picture

Are you and your boyfriend financial equals, or is this a situation where he holds some control over you? I ask because his suggestions are ridiculous.  I can understand suggesting used items if you are struggling financially, but then it should be used items for all, and there'd be no need to bring it up 6 months in advance. Red flags are flying; pay attention.

STaround's picture

About expecting your DS to wait.

As to presents, you get to decide what your DS gets from you, unless he is helping  you pay for it.

tog redux's picture

You need to stand up for yourself.  This guy is a bully.

Your son can open the majority of his gifts on Christmas and save a couple for when his stepbrother is over to open his, the next day. YOU are your son's parent, YOU decide what gifts he gets for Christmas.  Generally, "here's your stepbrother's used wii and bike" would not be acceptable gifts, and you know it.


Anxious26's picture

He tells me I need to stand up for myself all the time yet when I stand up to him it becomes hours and hours of relentless discussion until I agree with him for the sake of not going insane with it. We get on excellent 95% of the time and our arguments are rare but almost always about the kids or money. He offers me money a lot but then spends eternity reminding me how ‘helpful’ he is which makes me feel like s**t and left wishing I didn’t accept it 

tog redux's picture

Yeah, get out now. Bullying you into agreeing with him through hours of relentless discussion is emotional abuse. BM here did the same to DH and now to SS19. It's very narcissistic.

thinkthrice's picture

This is classic narcissistic behavior pretending to support you by telling you you need to stand up to others yet making sure you don't stand up to HIM!  Chef does this every so often and I make sure to shut it down.   Think of it in these terms:  what would you advise a good friend who comes to you with the same information?

Anxious26's picture

Yes this is my concern. I’ve lived in a women’s refuge and attended domestic violence course so it’s not like alarm bells haven’t been ringing but because I’ve been diagnosed PTSD it’s easy for him to attribute my concerns to that. He definitely has insecurity issues.

Anxious26's picture

He refuses to call it arguing and says he is just debating. I don’t see the difference seeing as he never accepts my opinion and challenges it until I feel like screaming. Tonight he emailed me a list of 14 reasons why I’m feeling like I am including my dad dying 3 months ago, giving up smoking amongst others and then proceeded to state he gets it why I’m like this. So if you have 14 reasons why f***ing ‘debate’ with me relentlessly in front of my 5 year old until I’m crying?! The kids were continuously ignoring me in the car when I told them to stop fighting and it went on ignored by bf for 20 mins till I asked him to step in only to be told he was busy thinking. So o turned around in my seat and screamed at the top of my lungs for them to both shut the F up and my bf started having a go at me. I NEVER swear in front of the kids and certainly not at them but I have perforated eardrum and the constant screeching was more than I could take after 20 mins. He wanted me to apologise to his son for swearing but I was like HELL NO! I’m a grown arsed woman telling the kids to behave. It’s not like I hit the kids I just said F**k once in a whole year! I said there’s one thing I’ll never do and that’s apologise to a 7yr old for being a parent!

tog redux's picture

As I said, DH says that BM did this to him. She would argue her point until he'd rather die than hear her say one more word. This is abusive, and it's the behavior of someone who feels he should ALWAYS get his way and will do whatever he needs to do to get it - but he wants you to think that YOU are the problem, not him.

And when SHE doesn't want to talk about anything anymore, she apparently says, "THIS CONVERSATION IS OVER." and everyone has to stop talking.

You know this is abusive. BM may have never hit my DH, but she drove his self-esteem into the ground and he's a strong man.

Anxious26's picture

We haven’t spoken for two days because I refused to accept money from him. He says I have problem because past bfs never gave me anything only took but I have zero issue accepting money from my mum because she doesn’t ever mention it again. A gift is a gift and she knows I appreciate it and that is enough for her, yet with bf he wants constant gratitude verbal thanks and adoration.

Curious Georgetta's picture

accepting his gifts while being fully aware of his expectations.

That ceases to be gift giving and ventures into the area of paid transactions.

You should call your domestic abuse counselor and tell him or her that you are relapsing.

Stop repeating his nonsense. Get a second job and then you will not need to accept anything, including his company, from him.

Let your next partner experience you as  an independent and financially self sufficient woman.




Anxious26's picture

I’m pleased it’s not just me with this opinion. What makes it worse is he brought up his ex’s 2 daughters from 18 months to 19yrs so you would think he might be a title more understanding of my feelings. I’ve never even had a bf with kids before now. He has 19yrs experience and a biological child. Yes he is better off financially. Before I had my son I earnt good money and was very independent but my sons dad was violent and abusive so I had to give up my job to move away from the area. 

shamds's picture

He does not get to dictate what goes with your son. This is like saying well my son won’t be here on his birthday so lets not celebrate it till the following week and i’ll just give him the old bike of my son as a present..

i have no hesitation telling my husband if he and skids are being arseholes, inconsiderate and treating me and my 2 kids with hubby as a burden, inconvenience, disabled or even 2nd class. 

When he’s dumb enough to reply back with pathetic excuses and dumb shit, i reply back sarcastically. The more sarcastic it is the more embarassed hubby is that he just can’t justify things his way anymore as its just beyond ridiculous 

so how about you type up a draft message on your phone. Take a day or 2 to go back and re-edit or add things to it and proof read until it says what you wanna say.

i find when i do it this way when hubby is at work i can address issues better. If you are face to face and he gaslights you and you aren’t prepared for it then you won’t be able to word things well.

also tell bf that your family has traditions that you and your sons dad follow and that the world does not revolve solely around his son. Unfortunately you just have to be blunt with him as there is realy no way to sugarcoat for arseholes and real life pricks

StrawberryPie's picture

Denying your 5yr old Christmas day because its more convenient for your BF is so sad for your son!  Like you said, its 6 months until Christmas, focus on being safe and financially independent.  Stop letting this guy boss you around. 

twoviewpoints's picture

If your BF has his own flat where he stays with his son (with the exception of Saturday), why is Christmas Day (which is on Wednesday this year) even an issue for your place, yo and your son?

Wht you do in your place on Wednesday doesn't affect your BF's son at all. Santa comes to your place to your son. You can do Christmas Day anyway ou please. Chatter and show and tell on Facetime all you want. None of it affects his son.... he isn't even there. Thursday (the day after) when BF finally gets to celebrate with his son, Santa can come to BFs son at BF's flat. 

As far as what you have have Santa bring your son, you have six months. Perhaps you can put a bit extra away each pay and maybe even take on a short term part ime seasonal job to earn a bit more. That suggetion of giving your son his son's old bike is ridiculous (tell him to shove such cheap pettiness up BF's *ss). 


notarelative's picture

You are agreeing to stop the arguing. He's wearing you down in advance. First it's the gifts. Then it's going to be a reason for you not to Skype with your family. 

You've come out of one violent and abusive relationship and walked into one that is, while not violent, emotionally abusive. Because he is not violent, like the ex, you are not seeing his emotional abuse of you and your son. You, and your son, deserve better than this. Please get yourself some counseling. 


Curious Georgetta's picture

it is not  his place to dictate how you manage Xmas with your kid.

Stop accepting his money. It comes with expectations.

Liberate yourself by getting a job. If you have a job, find a second job.

One man tried to control you with violence; the next man is using money to try to control you.

Become self sufficient and then all of the control is yours.


Harry's picture

You have Christmas on CHRISTMAS, for your DS not any other day.  Your son does not have to suffer because of your SO playing DISNEY DAD.  Giving your son a second hand gift ?  Is he giving his son. Anything second hand. 

See the Red Flag.  He only think about his DS and nobody else.  Giving him two days of gifts ect, ect,  this will go on forever if you don’t stop it.  Yes it’s his money, but Family don’t do this. 

WTF...REALLY's picture

 I’m so sorry. You left a one abusive relationship and landed yourself in a another abusive relationship. I really think you need to work on yourself right now. You need self-esteem and self worth. And you deserve to find the strength within yourself to be a strong woman and strong mother. This man is emotionally abusive from what I’m reading. 


 And hell no can he wreck your sons Christmas. The answer is not only no, but it’s hell no!

secret's picture

Different take here... I'm get my exh when my kids were very young. The oldest was 5. 

I never really encouraged belief in Santa... but I never discouraged it, either. That being said, I kind of swung the idea that Santa only brings one gift and not a room full of them. Kids Christmas movies kind of supported that .. so... regardless of whether my kids were with me or my ex, they only got 1 gift from Santa. (In each home). 

For our family, the ex generally has them on the 24th because his family celebrates on the 24th... always has. They do the mass thing with the Reveillon... whereas my family does more of a family thing. We spend the day together..  do a massive brunch and early large dinner... and if always taught my kids it was more about who you're with than what you get... so presents always waited until after brunch.

Now with ss... he's significantly younger than my kids (6, versus 13, 15 and almost 17) so while my kids are used to this, ss is still immediately excited when waking up and it's all about the presents.

Dh used to get up at the buttcrack of dawn with ss and as would have all his presents opened by the time the rest of us got up...even if that was like 8am.

Used to drive me NUTS... made me feel like dh wanted his own private Christmas with his son... now... at least, he waits until we all get up... we make the effort to be up by 7:30 and ss gets to open 1 or 2 presents right away. If my kids are only coming back in the morning from their dad's, they're usually back by 9 so ss can open the few anyway whether they're there or not.

Then we take it easy and get brunch going... my mom and partner usually come over... we put on music and chill and occasionally toss a gift randomly to someone... everyone has a turn. Then we let the kids open the balance of their gifts... 

We do one gift at a time per person... we really take our time. I'm bug on it's expected that every gift received is properly appreciated and thank yous are given.

When the kids were younger it could take from 9 or 10am to 1 or 2 pm... then off to play they'd go and we'd have supper around 4 or 5.

Now... it's usually only an hour or so because the gifts are bigger, so there are less of them. 

I would suggest that you start planting the seed that Christmas is more about family than about gifts and Santa..  it's easier for a kid to understand that we should wait until the family is together than trying to explain why Christmas is late.

As in...look...Santa came... we can open 1 gift but we need to wait until everyone is here before we open the rest because Christmas is about games being together.

All that being said... there have been times where due to family circumstances ( mini vacay out of town or something) that we've done family christmas on the fly on the 22nd, 23rd, 26th... it's not been big deal when they were younger, because "Santa always brings 1 gift ON christmas, where you are, wherever that might be".

Anxious26's picture

Yes we did exactly the same in our family. My big sister revealed mum was Santa when I was 4 anyway but mum was huge on manners and made sure we knew family had worked hard to buy for us and so we knew to thank them. Mum would put one ‘Santa’ present under the tree which we knew wasn’t from Santa but it was just a tradition she stuck to. Last year I lost my job and only had £100 cash and my catalogue to rely on but because we didn’t have bfs ss previous year he wanted to go overboard and get them a PlayStation 4 between them for £400 so we borrowed £800 (£400 each) from his boss which he has never let me forget. 

secret's picture

Yikes. That sucks... it was his choice to do it and he holds it over you? Ugh.

I'm nearing 40 and I still get a Santa gift. Lol!

Here's something else to think about... your child is only 5... does he know the days? You can always just lead him to think it's 3 more sleeps instead of 2... give it a trial run... if it doesn't work out then it doesn't work out.

I'm not suggesting your child is more or less important than the other... but changing the celebration day has worked well for us when necessary... but like I said in my last post, our family makes it about family not about the presents. 

You can't control how yours deal with ss... but you can mold your own child not to be an entitled little sh!t.  

It's not THAT early brother is getting married in October and I've already made it clear to dh as to what the expectations are with respect to his kid. (My brother doesn't want him there because he's loud and hyper and CAN be rude even if for the most part he's ok, just an active 6 year old boy. He'd be the only kid other than my brother's 3 year old...who will have a babysitter.)

Anxious26's picture

I just don’t think I should have to change the day. As I said, my son has a very close relationship with his aunties and cousins who will want to FaceTime him on Xmas morning to show him what they got,as will his grandparents. Last Christmas we were all together which was a lovely day, and we decided not to do Xmas dinner due to timings as we were going to my sisters for the evening, so we decided to do it on Boxing Day instead. However, when the day came and bf had to take ss back to his mum’s, when bf returned an hour later he said ss mum had agreed to let him come back the next day because he would be bored without my son and the new PlayStation so he decided we wouldn’t do Xmas dinner until the next day when ss was back. I feel like my life and my sons is on hold waiting for ss to be available all the time. When me and my sister were kids and my dad moved out and had our two half sisters , they went away and out for meals, theatre and all sorts as a family while we didn’t go as we were only there weekends, it didn’t stop us loving our dad and we didn’t resent our sisters either. Also worth noting, bf leaves for work at 7:15am and gets home 8:40 for the entire week he stays here and because he always picks ss up on sundays we never have a free weekend to go out because he doesn’t want to be tired for his son. I’m at the end of my patients with the whole set up at this point Sad

secret's picture

You're Right, you shouldn't "have to".

I hear you about life being put on hold... I deal with that too, still now. For the big events I look at it like a child coming back from college but not until Tuesday so we wait until Tuesday to do the "big stuff".

I've not been shy, though, to tell my dh that life isn't paused because ss isn't around. Fortunately for Me, dh understands that some things won't be delayed for the sake of having ss around. I don't think your dh is as understanding.

If you guys make plans, stick to them ss be damned.

To make a point to dh... I've put him in the position that changing plans meant we'd need to reschedule half a dozen other people... and told him HE needed to explain to everyone that the plans made weeks in advance during the Christmas season needed to change to accommodate his 3 ( at the time) year old.

He didn't. We proceeded as planned.

Some things are worth moving around... some aren't..  some can be compromised. Whatever works best for you.

Curious Georgetta's picture

for the things to which you will only acquiesce. It is not necessary to select on your childhood experiences. It is sufficient to make a reasonable decision in the here and now.

Your boyfriend may think that every decision or demand  that he makes is in the best interest of his child. That is the child for whom he is responsible.

You are trying to blame him for not making decisions that are in the best interest of your child. That is not his job; that is your job.

He is your romantic partner. He is not a parent to your child. It is possible to keep your romantic interest  and your parental responsibilities separate.

You can be his girlfriend and Johnny 's  mom, and those  2 worlds need only intersect on planned ocassions.

Securing your own financial independence seems to be critical in this particular relationship.


Livingoutloud's picture

I really don’t understand this. I never in my life thought of consulting any boyfriends what to get for my DD on any holidays and how I should celebrate any holidays wuth her. I don’t understand in what shape or form it’s your boyfriend’s business what you buy for your kid? I truly don’t get it

In addition to it you are on welfare but struggling to feed your BF some special foods. Say what? He can eat special foods in his own house. 

You need to take a break from men so you can sort your life first and not go for these losers. Your child is 5 so he should be in school. While he is in school you should be at work. Making your own money.

And stop supporting losers. He wants to eat organic he can bring his own food or he can stay home and take you on a date. My house isn’t a hotel.  

Livingoutloud's picture

I also have to say that your son observing you and your bf fighting is damaging for him. At age 5 he already witnessed his mother being in two abusuve telationships. You send your son all wrong messages 

elkclan's picture

There is nothing wrong with accepting 2nd hand items, but they aren't appropriate Christmas presents. A used kid's bike is fine. For a 5 yr old, a used wii is fine. And your son does not need a super expensive present for Christmas, but hand-me-downs aren't really good presents. 

Christmas should be on Christmas Day for your son, but that doesn't mean you can't have another Christmas celebration a day later. This year, we will have Xmas with our kids on a separate day. But they will still have Xmas with their other parents on Xmas Day, for sure. Which is fine. 

Livingoutloud's picture

The point is that it’s not for her boyfriend to decide what gifts are appropriate for her child or when she should celebrate with her kid. 

ESMOD's picture

About the original issue.. I see no problem in your son having HIS Christmas on the day of.  But, I also see that it might be a nice compromise to save a few of your son's presents (not the Santa ones).. to open with your BF's son on Boxing day.. and to have a 2nd celebratory day that both kids can be part of. 

That's what I call a win/win.. both kids get "two" festive days to open presents and eat treats.

BUT.. it seems like the rest of the discussion here has settled into some really poor communication with you all.. and possibly abusive patterns.  I think you would benefit from counseling.. alone.. and perhaps together.