UPDATE: MY PARTNER QUIT PLAYING "HAPPY FAMILY" WITH BM
I have been with my partner for almost 5 years, while he has been separated from BM for almost 15 years. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, she has invited him to play "happy family" at the matrimonial home with their BK's while I sit home alone.
This year, he put his foot down and did not attend Thanksgiving. As has been the tradition, BM asked him to go this year, and possibly pay for 50% of the food (as he has done in previous years) and he said "no". He seems okay with his decision and rationalizes that even though his kids are important, his future is with me. I'm sure he misses hanging out with his children that day, but he wanted to send BM the message that he no longer is her "happy family" puppet.
However, I feel really sad that SD24 and SD20 do not want to meet him outside of the matrimonial home where they both live with BM. He tried to arrange a meal out--just him and SD20 around her birthday this summer, and she said she was too busy as she was hanging out with her fiance's family at their cottage. He tried to arrange something from SD24 for her recent birthday a week ago, and she said she was too busy to meet him but that she would see him at Thanskgiving. He told her that he's not attending Thanksgiving this year..
This is typical BM behaviour in that she requests something from my partner, he says "no", and then she gets one of the children to ask the same thing or presume it will happen even when my partner has already said "no" (eg. asking for my partner to give her a ride to SS33's wedding, asking for my partner to attend Thanksgiving, etc.)
Further, BM had an emotionally incestuous relationship with SS29 when she cried on his shoulder for years after my partner left her. He had to tell her to stop doing that as he was only a 15 year old kid. Moreover, it appears that his daughters may feel resentment against him because he is the cause of BM's crying (more so in the early days of separation) on a regular basis as she still wants him back to this day. I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of parenting alienation while my BK's were teens, but we have excellent relationships now that they are in their 20's.
Anyways, I am proud of my partner for standing up to BM and refusing to play her "happy family" games. However, it hurts me that his two daughters refuse to meet up with him outside of the matrimonial home. I gave up on anting to meet them and have fully disengaged, so they know he would be alone when they would meet. My partner is willing to accept his fate as the ball is in their court to visit with him.
Perhaps it's none of my business, but I wish for my partner the kind of relationship with his daughters that I have with my sons and that he has with his sons. Even my partner has great relationships with my sons. What steps can be taken for my partner to save his relationships with his daughters?