Holiday diiners with hubby's ex wife

Janice - posted on 11/17/2008 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Does anyone do holiday dinners with your hubbys ex wife? My step daughter asked me two years go if her mom from out of province could join us for Christmas. My reaction was NO!!! I have been to two functions with my mom and step father and both times his ex wife was there. They seem to get along, and it does not bother them at all. My hubby's ex wife is coming out for Christmas this year. My step daughter has not asked if her mom can join us, but if she does I do not know if I can feel as comfortable as my mom does around her hubby's ex wife.



If you allow this, how do you make it work? How do your kids feel? your new spouse? I am interested in hearing from you.

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Carmen - posted on 12/25/2008

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my husband and I get along with my ex. But the both of us including my husbands family do not get along with his ex wife. I can see it working out if all party's work at it and know for a fact it wont be a disaster. Things are better with my ex, for instance we have my ex's nephews spend the night at our house. i know its weird but my step kids get along with my ex's family. My son is very pleased. Unfortunately its nothing like that with my husbands exwife, too much bad blood there btw my hubby his family and his kids against her. Its crazy. So I guess my answer to your question would be as I have stated before, if all party's are agreeing to this then do it. Its about the kids.

Janice - posted on 11/18/2008

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Thanks Kim!!! Both you ladies seem very strong. Because my stepdaughter is 23 years old, I do not think she would want everyone to be a big happy family. I know she did when she was younger. When she asked us 2 years ago I simply said I was not ready to do that yet, as my hubby and I were and still are having personal issues that we need to work on before we bring any of the ex's in the picture. It is nice to hear that ex's can get together on these occations, maybe one day I will be strong enough to do it.

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Janice - posted on 12/26/2008

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Well, I took a step. My hubby's ex did not join us for Xmas dinner, but we invited her over for Xmas Eve! It went better than I thought. Everyone enjoyed themselves. She and I talked more than she and my hubby. Thank you all for your stories. Hope you all had a great Xmas

Becky - posted on 12/26/2008

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ya know, this year we had DH's ex over at our house for Christmas, she is on supervised visits so not much of a choice, but it wasn't that bad! I cooked breakfast for us after the kids opened their gifts..she brought things to help with breakfast...all in all it was a good visit and I actually enjoyed visiting with her this go around! I'm not sure how comfortable she was however!

Danielle - posted on 12/10/2008

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Our two families always try to do things together with my stepson - go to his soccer games, school activities ect, so he can see us all getting along. We even go to halloween parties at his sister's house (not my stepdaughter). But we do NOT socialize at one another's houses, because this kind of intimate setting, especially around the Holidays, we make sure to split the time in half so each family can have their "special family time". Not to mention, with how stressful holidays can be... there'd bound to be an incident if we tried.

Settie - posted on 12/04/2008

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From a different angle, MY ex-husband and his girlfriend join us for every holiday, and non-holidays too, for that matter. The kids love it and so does everyone else. I don't suppose it would work for everybody, but if you all get along, I'd say it's worth a shot.



I imagine that it would be expecially rewarding for your grown step- and bio-kids, as it would relieve them of the grown-up burden of scheduling 2 (or 3 or 4) different holiday functions with different sets of parents.

Shelley - posted on 12/02/2008

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The first year I cooked for my (then future) husband's family Christmas, which was held at his house with his parents, brother & wife, my two step daughters, my son, my Mom and myself, my father-in-law invited my husband's ex-wife to dinner, and she accepted. I played the gracious hostess, but was very uncomfortable, as she had known these people longer than I had, the dinner was in her former home, etc. We have since become friendly, and co-exist quite well at graduations, sporting events, etc. that we share. We do not, however, share any more holidays. I think it sends mixed signals to the kids, and is just too awkward all the way around. There is too much history involved in holiday celebrations--both good and bad. All that history is heavy on already frayed nerves and emotions can get the better of us. Best to have the "I'm glad you love your mom, and I know you guys will have a special holiday together, but this is our family time..." speach. Good luck!

Tara Lee - posted on 12/01/2008

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It depends on the relationship between the Exs...My husband and his ex got along great...until his son moved in with us, now we don't even talk...she was fine as long as she had complete control.

Tara Lee - posted on 11/30/2008

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My husband and I have been together for 14yrs. Almost since the beginning, we have spent alot of holidays together. It's really great for the kids. I ended up being very good friends with his ex. Both his ex and I come from split families. My parents got along and her parents didn't, so we knew what it was like from both views. We wanted the kids to have happy holidays and special occations. My husband and I actually would stay right at her house when we went to visit the kids(they lived out of town). We even shared Christmas and thier(kids) birthdays together. Bought joint gifts and shared party expenses.

Dottie - posted on 11/25/2008

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I have been divorced from my ex since my daughter was only a few months old, and have been with my husband now since she was 18months old. My husband and I have been married for almost three years, and my daughter will be 7 in February. To answer your question, we will have holidays and invite my ex to the get togethers, we all get along. He is a recovering alcoholic, and my husband has actually tried to help keep him on the right track (that is what he does - drug / alc counseling- homeless) . But we feel that you there are certain times (not always) that we have to set our feelings aside and put her first. We have had almost all of her birthday parties together, my family, my husbands family, and my ex husbands family. Everyone gets along, we actually have fun. It works, because we make it work. (and this was a man that did everything wrong in a marriage that he could have- physical abuse, mental abuse, cheating while I was pregnant, etc - wow- but the power of forgiveness! ) This will work for you and your daughter if you need it to- it is only for a short while, pretend you are on a first date with your daughter and you cannot make any wrong moves - you can only impress her socks off and I bet you will pull the whole thing off without a problem. Good luck with your choice~

[deleted account]

I couldn't do this. For me, holidays are about spending time with loved ones and unfortunately, my husband's ex doesn't qualify. There are court papers that say when each of us gets my stepson (who is 10) and though it's far from perfect, it will just have to do.

I do understand that as he gets into adulthood, we may have to suck it up and spend some time with the ex whether we like it or not. But that is years and years away. My parents are divorced and they have had to spend some holidays together if they want to spend time with their grandkids,etc. But ultimately my sisters and I try very hard to not do this - it's easier on everyone if it's separate. It sucks, but it is a fact of divorced life. For those that can do it and make it work - more power to ya!!!

Trina - posted on 11/23/2008

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Neither me nor my husband really get along with his ex (she's happiest when there's striff) but I've always tried to be civil to her. I think it helps the kids. I've been there step mother for 20 years now and they both tell me they love me and my step son who we got custody of at 12yrs old say's I was more of a mother than his own mother (she wanted to be his best friend). I have hosted the birthday parties for my step grand kids and I have always welcomed her into my house when the kids are there. My step daughter has seizures and just rencently had a bad one and had to spend the week at our house to recop. I invited her mother to my house so she could be there for her daughter. She didn't come but her grandmother on her mothers side did and stayed with her all day so I could go to work. She even unloaded and loaded my dishwasher so I wouldn't have to. If the kids see everyone getting along then it makes it easier for them. It may be awakward at first but everytime you make the effort I'm sure your step kids would appreciate it and you more and more.

Alicia - posted on 11/23/2008

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Janice, I think you are stronger that what you give yourself credit for. I think only you can answer the question if you could have dinner w/ your hubbys ex. You know how your relationship w/ her is. I could w/ my hubbys ex because we have a good releationship...its not roses everyday but we have more rosy days than thorney days. She attended our wedding, her mother made my flowers, that was 10 years ago the other day I talked to her about some concerns I had w/ her son for about 30 min and it was a nice conversation. Again I think only you know how your relationship is. If you dont feel comfortable doing it then dont do it, holiday dinners are supposed to be fun relaxing time w/ the people that mean the most to you. If you decide to have holiday dinner w/ her then remember...she will eventually leave and you can take great satisfaction in the fact she doesn't live w/ you LOL :) Good luck

Janice - posted on 11/21/2008

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Congrats to all of you for getting together with your hubby's ex wife on holidays for your kids sake. From reading the post most of you have younger kids. When my kids were younger we never did dinner's with my ex or hubby's ex. Now that all 5 kids are adults, I cannot do it, and my kids should understand this. My mom does the diners with her hubby's ex wife b/c he was doing it before he and my mom got together. But I do say hats off to those of you that do it . I am not that strong of a person right now to go through with it

Debbie - posted on 11/20/2008

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Hi, I used to go to my hubby's ex's place for school holidays, so that my kids and her kids could spend time together, It is great for the step kids, they get to spend time with their siblings in their own enviroment, show them off to their friends ect. It would still work like that had she not been such a B#^$H. All the kids now have to miss out, because of her, truthfully I'm glad, as it does get uncomfortable for me.

Katie - posted on 11/19/2008

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My husband & I have been married just over 6 years, and my stepsons' mother and I don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, particularly when it comes to how we raise the boys. But my husband and I agreed before we were married that we would do everything in our power to create a positive environment for the boys (he has two, I have one). While I have never had her over for the holidays, I have invited her to stay for dinner on occasions when I knew she was going through a tough time. On the other hand, I still have a wonderful relationship with my ex-husband's mother, and when we take my son over to her house on the holidays, I am often invited to come in and stay for a while. My husband is not so crazy about it when all the extended family is there, but we generally stay for a short time at least because it is good for our youngest. It does wonders for the children to see everyone getting along and not fighting -- it keeps them from feeling quite so "stuck in the middle" or as if they have to choose sides.



I'm certainly not saying that everything should be rosy -- I know first-hand that isn't normally the case. But I know that my husband's ex-wife and my ex-husband are going to be a part of our daily lives as long as the boys are still living under our respective roofs. Divorce is hard on everyone, but the kids are forced into it without a choice. I feel a responsibility to put my personal issues with either ex aside as much as possible when it comes to interacting with the other parent. Yes, I am uncomfortable at times. Yes, I feel like I get the raw end of the deal at times. But even when I don't get the same respect in return, I *try* to always treat either ex with the same respect I would like to receive from them. We are the "grownups," and we are responsible for the situation in which the children are now forced to live because of the divorce, so I try to see it from their point of view. And if you don't have a good relationship with an ex right now, there is really only one way to begin mending that bridge...you have to try. It won't happen in one day, probably not even in one year. But if you make the effort, that will be one thing the children will never be able to hold against you, either.

Terexa - posted on 11/18/2008

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My husband's ex and I did not get along so well at first. We got together right as they were splitting so there was some drama. She was also pregnant with their 2nd child. After time (and some VERY awkward moments together) we realized that we really liked each other. I consider her part of my family and her and I get along a lot better then her and my husband. She now has a new man and he does not like the fact that we all were close and our relationshio has suffered because of that. Where we used to spend all holidays together, he does not think that is necessary and has put a stop to that. I hope that he changes his mind soon because I do miss our "family". Besides, we have 5 children together and they all suffer now because of the "split". My daughter is not able to go over to her sisters house and stay anymore because of the conflict. The children do suffer when adult cannot get along. I know ours have. Take care!

[deleted account]

My fiance's ex and I get along great. We always try to do stuff as an extended family as we call it. We go to school feild trips together, sports functions, etc. I have a daughter that is only 9 months older than my step-son so we do stuff with them together often. It bothered my fiance at first, but I feel its very important to let the past go and move forward. My stepson never has to feel like he has to choose between his mom and his dad coming, and feels very comfortable with his mom and I both around alot. We are even planning a trip to disneyland together, she is getting married in feb and her fiance and us get along great too. It was a bit hard at first, but we talked it out and agreed that being friends is what is best for my stepson, and it works great! Good luck, and I hope your christmas is great!

Nicole - posted on 11/18/2008

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I personally could not do this. She has been too nasty and damaging to my hubby's relationship with his children. I know some can be friendly but I don't see that ever being the case in our situation. I'm ok with that and my stepkids will just have to accept that. I know I will see her at their weddings someday as well as things to do with the grandchildren. But I don't feel I need to be friends with her nor do I need to invite her into my home.

Kim - posted on 11/18/2008

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Never have...never will. I'm sure that my hubsband's ex feels the same. (She would love it if we just disappeared) My parents are divorced (28 yrs ago) and one year, about 15 yrs ago, my mom came up to visit for Christmas. I was 19, my sister 17. Our mom came over to my dad and mom's (step-mom) house. Everyone was nice to each other but I was so stressed she was there that I really don't remember much about it. If you haven't noticed...I don't really get along with my real mom.

Kimi - posted on 11/18/2008

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I have been in many situations like this with my stepdaughter. She is now 15 and I have been with her father since she was 2. As the other person responded, it does more than you know for the step child. It is awkward, uncomfortable and so many other things. But, for the stepdaughter to see everybody getting along and having any type of civil conversation gives her a feeling of unity. So often, stepchildren feel just the opposite and feel they are on unstable ground. Part of that for my stepdaughter was that she wants others to see that her and I are friends and that we get along. With all that said, the only thing I would be cautious of is if she is wanting everyone to be a big happy family. Or if she may really hope that if her parents can spend some time together that maybe they will decide to get back together. I would just make sure that the best of intentions are being met for everyone!

Janice - posted on 11/17/2008

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Glad to hear it worked out for yu that year Veronica!!!! All of our children are adults,and when they were young we never had our ex's over for dinner, so I am not sure if I can start now. My hubby's ex likes to be everone's friend which is fine, but than she starts to meddle

Veronica - posted on 11/17/2008

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My husband and I do not have a great relationship with his ex-wife. She is remarried, and the children live with her, but two Christmas' ago my husband and I ended up spending most of Christmas day at her house. My step children are now 11 and 13. All that I can say from the experience is that the children loved it, they still talk about how "everybody got along..." My husband's ex is not easy to get along with, and it was very strange for me. Nothing has changed as far as us getting along, so I don't know that I would do it again. I'm not sure if I helped or not, but hope maybe just a little bit.

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