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I think I'm too nice for this gig

elkclan's picture

My SO and I are both 'nice people'. Ask a favour? Sure, I'll be glad to!  My SO is even nicer than I am. We both think about other people's perspectives, try to find rational reasons for others' behaviour, and assume the best intentions. It makes our relationship wonderful and I wouldn't trade that...It makes dealing with stepkids easy, because we don't go looking for trouble. 

...but it makes dealing with selfish exes an effin' nightmare. 

BM said she was going to give us the whole of the Christmas hols - awesome! She wants to go back to her homeland for a family visit. She took the kids last year so SO didn't get any time at all with his kids. I gave up Xmas with mine so we could get on sync. (It wasn't a total sacrifice - we housesat for a former colleague in his mountain home in the South of France - quelle miserie! - basically a holiday we couldn't have otherwise afforded.)

Now she says it's much cheaper for her to fly on Xmas eve and she wants SO to pick up the kids that day - and take HER to the airport. 

He agreed without consulting me. I tried to let it go, but I'm not happy. 

I don't care about him dropping her off at the airport, it's on the way, but her flight isn't until really late. Xmas Eve dinner is more important to me than Xmas day because of the way my family of origin celebrated, plus being of Nordic descent. I want my Christmas Eve. 

I'm kinda sick of MY plans being disrupted because she changes things at the last minute (ok this isn't last minute but other times it has been) and plans things on our kid weekends. I know she doesn't owe me anything, but dang it, I want SO to treat my plans like they matter more than hers. I know what the deal is though - she's high conflict and I'm not. My ex is high conflict and my SO isn't. So we're always accommodating one or the other of these jerks because we don't like confrontation.  She also just told us that she accepted a birthday party invitation on her 

I'm going to tell him today that I'm not happy. I'm going to tell him that I want them back here for dinner at 6, ready to eat at 7 on Xmas Eve. I had wanted to take all the kids to church for carol singing. (My SO is fairly hard core atheist, so he won't be down with that.) 

My ex also just dropped on me that he's booked flights on one of his weekends with our son. Didn't ask. Just informed. And I just passed that on to my SO - who I know will just roll with it. 


ETA: I love the people who say "We don't do favours for a-holes and we don't negotiate with terrorists". But frankly we still do favour for a-holes and we do negotiate with them, too. My ex is unreasonable, but one area that has been good is swapping for evening work events. I don't want to lose that. 


UPDATE: Sorted. Smile Xmas eve plans back on track. I don't even care she's keeping them until Xmas eve because they aren't back in school til 2nd week of Jan anyway. 


Winterglow's picture

Oh that's an easy one Smile

He picks up the kids and drops her at the airport early enough for you to enjoy your Xmas Eve. Of course, not an whisper to the dear lady that she's going to be sitting alone in the airport for HOURS. I mean, you wouldn't want to spoil her surprise, would you?


And if she says she isn't ready, well then tough deal for her - she'll just have to call a taxi. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Regarding Christmas Eve:

"BM, I can drop you off at the airport at 5:00pm. I have plans for Christmas Eve with the kids."

She can sit at the airport for a few hours. No reason she can't. She can take her phone, a book, etc. If she doesn't like it, she can call an Uber. You're SO will have to grow a bit of a spine, and this is a good test to grow it on.

Regarding your ex, remember that visitation is a privilege that an NCP doesn't have to exercise. You can't force your ex to take your kid. Heck, he also can't stop you from just dropping him off and never coming back. That's just a part of procreating with a d-bag, whether you were still together or not.

You can grow a spine with HCBPs but you do have to be willing to deal with confrontation. And you will find that there is a limit to how hardcore you can be. But you can take baby steps to tighten things up to a level you are comfortable with even if it isn't the Holy Grail of dealing with a HCBP. Some things work and some things don't, but being a doormat will always lead to your home being 100% dictated by outside forces.

ESMOD's picture

If I were him I would say.  "EX, I have no problem dropping you at the airport but I have to be back at the house by 5... so I need to do the pick ups and drop offs before then."  If she responds with "but my flight isn't until X".  "I'm sorry, I can only do the drop off if it is early.. I guess you can wait and get an uber or something if you don't want to wait at the airport... my hands are tied"

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

We don't do favors for Psycho period. Too much drama involved, and she kept tyring to overly take advantage of my DH's good heart. So our solution? She's an adult. She's capable to solve her own issues. My DH isn't anything besides a co-parent. Unless it deals with skids we don't have contact with her, because she's crazy. Took a while for her to catch on. But eventually it lessened the drama.

I don't get why your DH is doing that for her, when frankly she shouldn't be. She's a big girl and can find her own ride to the airport, it's not your DH's job to be an unpaid Taxi. IF he's going to do it though, he should definitley be able to say, I need to be back home, so I'll drop you off at this time, if she's not ready,he takes the kids and she figures it out herself like an adult.

Major Blunder's picture

You are a nice person elk but I agree you deserve the holiday you want to have, same advice as the rest from me, although I wouldn't take her to the airport, no longer my wife, no longer my responsibility.

beebeel's picture

Yeah, I wouldn't take her to the airport, either...unless she had a one-way ticket to somewhere cold and desolate. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

If Psycho had one of those... I would drive, I mean f***, I'd probably provide treats and a drink on the way there... She could even pick the music. LOL

elkclan's picture

The airport really is a 15 minute detour max - she lives a long way from the airport. But there are buses that take them there. I guess they run on Christmas Eve, I don't know. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

It's less about the time required to drive her there and more of the standard behind it I think elkclan. A lot of the HCBMs. If you give them an inch then take a mile and then start building an entire city using YOUR funding and YOUR time and effort. A city she'll most likely burn down later in a tantrum....

There are busses that run Christmas Eve in most places.

tog redux's picture

High conflict exes make your life hell no matter what you do. My DH set clear limits on his difficult ex and would not have driven her to the airport at gunpoint, and he ended up alienated from his son.  You can give in all the time and end up alienated anyway.

You have to decide your own limits and boundaries and when to flex and when to hold, but do it for yourselves, not to avoid her wrath. That can't be done.  She will rage because it's Tuesday. 

I think it's crazy for her to even think her ex will take her to the airport (my good friend has a great relationship with her ex, but even she would be like WTF? If he asked her to take him to the airport).  I'd be inclined to do what the others say, which is, I'll pick up the kids at X o'clock, but sorry, can't do the airport run.  But be prepared that she will keep them as late as she can to punish DH for not doing the airport run, and just plan your Xmas eve accordingly.

elkclan's picture

We are just the kind of people who don't mind doing favours even for crappy exes. I don't want to lower my standard to hers. I don't want my ex to lower his standards to hers. But the point I'm getting to is that we don't mind doing favours, but I don't want to do favours if it incoveniences ME. And this does. If she wants dropping at the airport, that's fine, but it will be on OUR timetable, not hers. 

I mean, my SSs go on and on about some special sauce - I looked high and low for it. Finally found a tiny bottle of it and they said their mum gets a giant bottle. I said - well, I couldn't find the giant bottle, maybe next time she goes to that store she could get me a bottle, too so they could have it here. OSS says "I don't think she'll do that..." all quiet like. 

tog redux's picture

It's not doing favors, it's setting boundaries.  Asking someone for a ride to the airport in this day and age of Uber/Lyft is unnecessary, quite frankly - and she's just using you.  I don't do favors for people who treat me badly or use me, and especially if they tie things I want or need to that "favor" so I'll be more compelled to do it.

If ex is stranded on the side of the road and you pick her up, that's a favor.  Her tying an airport run to the visitation pick-up is using you.

You're right, you are too nice!



elkclan's picture

It's not - she lives FAR away from the airport. If she lived in the same town or with easy access to the airport, I'd agree, but she doesn't. I've lived as far out as she does from the airport and it really is a major PITA to get there or a HUGE expense. My SO passes the airport she's using on his way from the village she lives in to our house. It's really not a big deal to take her to the airport - IF the times were convenient. 

still learning's picture

Can't she take a taxi or an uber? Maybe even drive herself and park in long term parking?  

elkclan's picture

No, not really. It would cost hundreds to park. Really. The only option is bus and I don't know how convenient that is. But I have made up my mind that we will not be forgoing our Christmas Eve and if she wants to a lift to the airport then she can have one when it is convenient for us. 

tog redux's picture

There you go - good compromise.  Expect her to foil it somehow.  Smile

elkclan's picture

yep, but if she does - she does it knowing that she's ruining my Christmas. Of course, I won't allow my Christmas to be ruined. But that will be it for me. I'm very laid back, but once my final line is crossed... well there it is. I may live in England now, but I was raised a redneck. 

tog redux's picture

BM here would feel victimized by not getting what she wanted (ride to the airport on HER terms and at the time she wanted), and so would withhold the kid until the last possible second to ruin Christmas intentionally. And if she does ruin it for you, what does that mean when you say, "that will be it for me"?

notasm3's picture

Two can play that game.  If she tries to withhold the child until the last minute,  your DH can delay picking him up until AFTER your Christmas celebration.    Let her try to find child care and a ride so she can make her flight.

Cover1W's picture

Can she take a taxi or something to a train connection or bus connection?  I would think that she could get to at least a metro area and go from there.

pixielady's picture

Her getting to the airport is her problem, not yours. She's a big girl, she can figure it out. Why do YOU have to figure it out and worry about expense, etc? She surely has other ppl to ask.