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Christmas...and other issues.

tyinthemtns's picture

Hello everyone! This is my first post, and I'm still learning the abbreviations and all, but I just need to vent, and I apologize for the length in advance.


Some background: I'm a male in my late twenties and I've been married to my 30y/o wife for 2 and a half years. We have been a couple since November of 2013. I have no kids, and I am a stepfather of SD8, and SS6. When we were first dating, I lived in a completely different state. I moved to her state where we had her kids for a week on week off. Their bio-dad is in the military and is now stationed in Florida, so we moved back to my home state where we now have the kids 24/7.


I want to start by saying that becoming a full time step dad was not something I ever imagned. I was naive enough to think that I would at least live a life where we had every other weekend off. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I am very much a freebird, and I love to live by the seat of my pants and experience as much as I can, my wife is the complete opposite. I love her so much, so I do everything I can to be what she needs. Ultimately, I do not enjoy being a step parent, but I love my wife so much I can't quit.


Earlier today, we found out that bio-dad is actually going to visit his kids for once. He will be here Dec 24 through the New Year. My wife suggested that we have him over for Christmas and watch the kids open presents together. I told her that I am not comfortable with this and I would rather not see him. This made her upset and she said something along the lines of "great now I have to choose between you or my kids." I suggested that he have them stay at his hotel on christmas eve, wake up and open presents with his kids, drop them off at our place so that we can open presents with them, and then he could pick them up at a later time. Still, she just replied "I'll just figure it out myself."


Should I feel like a bad person because I don't want to see her ex-husband, let alone spend part of Christmas with him?


I have a hard enough time being a step-parent in day to day life, and sometimes I wonder what I am doing and how I got here, but I just love her too much to give up...


I feel like I'm not asking for too much.

SteppedOut's picture

You are not wrong. There is zero reason what you suggested is not a good idea. Your idea is completely reasonable.

Why does she not want to do that? Does she not trust their father? 

Edit to add: how about they stay at home Christmas Eve, wake up and open presents and then bio-dad takes them for the remaining portion of the day? He is there for multiple he going to come over every day to visit? 

Sparkl3s's picture

Thanks to all these lovely stepparents I was able to draw boundaries early into my relationship. Don’t start something you won’t feel comfortable doing the rest of your life. 

My breaking point was joint bday parties my hubby was expected to foot the bill for that I was not invited to.  We now celebrate separately. 

I know some people can do it “for the kids” but that is something I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable doing or having to pretend I was enjoyed being a part of that whole circus. 

fourbrats's picture

on how often dad sees the kids and whether or not the kids are comfortable with him at this point and whether your wife is comfortable with him keeping them overnight in his hotel and missing out on Christmas morning. It sounds like he is a less than stellar father and not very involved, so your wife giving up Christmas morning is a huge deal. That doesn't mean you are wrong either. This just needs more context. 

beebeel's picture

How does it sound like that at all?! Dad is military and his ex up and moved his kids states away. Dad stays in FL until his orders say otherwise. It sounds like those are the reasons he's not very involved. Giving up "her" Christmas is not a huge deal. They can celebrate together whenever they want. I hope the mom gives dad as much possible time with his kids during his trip to their state. That would be a wonderful gift to her children.

Rags's picture

Your idea is perfectly reasonable. Your DW wanting to bring her XH into your home is far from reasonable.

Our Custody/Visitation/Support CO provided for the SpermIdiot to have a visitation in Sept-Oct for as long as 10 days in our area of residence on the provision that SS did not miss school.   We for damned sure were not going to offer to let that POS stay in our home.  He never once in 16+ years that we lived under the CO even discussed taking that visitation.

Do not let an X into your marital home. Neither your X nor your DW's X.

Good luck.

Gimlet's picture

 "great now I have to choose between you or my kids." 

I am so f*cking sick of this strawman.  Nope, YOU chose between your kids having an intact family and your own wants/needs, so stop putting that bullsh1t on someone else. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the boundary you are setting.  It's not going to harm the kids in any way to open presents at each house separately.  Personally, I think playing Happy Family after a divorce sets the kids up to hope that Mom and Dad are getting back together and as a general rule should be avoided, for everyone's sake.

Step-girlfriend's picture

"great now I have to choose between you or my kids" equals "great, since you have your own feelings and won't do things exactly as I want to do them and play happy family with my ex-husband, now I have to set boundaries and figure out a plan that is more reasonable and works for everyone". 

Nice try lady, I would love to hear her thoughts on spending Christmas with YOUR ex-wife, if you had one. I highly doubt she would be so accommodating then. I love how then YOU are being unreasonable, when all of this is her own doing.

Anyway, I'm very similar to you. Free spirit, love to do what I want when I want, and I love my alone time. Being in a SM role is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I do it because I love my SO and don't want to give him up.


ndc's picture

You are not asking for too much.  It is not reasonable for your wife to expect you to celebrate Christmas with her ex-husband there if you do not want to.  I also think it was incredibly rude and selfish for her to say "Great, now I have to choose between you and my kids."  Her choice with respect to her kids and whether they would spend all of their holidays with both parents was made when she divorced her ex.  It had nothing to do with you.  For her to try to make you the bad guy is just wrong.

Holidays with the ex was where I drew my line in the sand.  My SO's ex thought we should all spend holidays together.  Thanks but no thanks.  I told SO that he had to make a choice, and I meant it.  It was something I would have walked away over early in our relationship.

If you bend here, expect to continue to bend until you break.

New_to_this's picture

I agree with the others. Your request was absolutely reasonable. I would never want to spend Christmas with my husband's ex, no matter what her situation was. And, I have made concessions in my marriage that have come back to haunt me. If you give an inch, they'll take a mile. Don't give in on this one.

notasm3's picture

Oh please - this has nothing to do with “the kids”.  Your wife on some level wants to spent this time with her children’s father.   Call her out on this sh*t. 

Normal people who have moved on do not want to spend holidays with people from their past even if they have has children together.  It is not even like this is an established situation that has gone on for some time. 


Fade to black's picture

Notasm3 nailed it. She on some level wants her ex to participate. Yeah,no.

Harry's picture

It’s your wife wanting to spend Christmas with her EX “ Happy Family “.  She made that choice, between her Kids and someone else, when she devorice the EX.   You are not wrong in not wanting EX over your home. They can figure something out for Christmas 

Winterglow's picture

You are not in any way a bad person. If your wife can't understand that you do not want to share a cosy family moment with a guy who has intimate knowledge of your spouse (maybe phrase it with words she'll understand? "I don't want to spend time with a man who used to f*** you on a regular basis" might work) then she has a BIG problem. 

And tell her to cut the drama when she starts with the "making her choose" crap. There WAS no choice until she dragged her ex into this. 

FWIW, if he's a decent guy he'd probably hate the idea as much as you do...

marblefawn's picture

Sparkl said it right up above: "Don’t start something you won’t feel comfortable doing the rest of your life."

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Oh hell no! Your wife is putting your needs last. You’re child-free so why the hell are you in StepHell!? 

RUN BOY, RUN! Go find a woman who is also child-free! 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Your answer is reasonable. Some people are just stubborn. I can't even tell you how many times DH has said "I'll figure it out myself." I normally sit him down and make him hash it out with me. Remind her you're PARTNERS. NOrmally he calms down and just admits it was frustration and we have a reasonable solution so that I don't flip s*** on him.

You not wanting to see her ex is reasonable. Exes suck. They make things hard, and I know in our situation. PSYCHO IS NOT ALLOWED IN OUR HOME. So I think your idea makes total sense!!!

(also kudos to you. Being a full tiem stepparent is chaotic)