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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 12-09-2012, 01:53 PM
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Default Christmas season schedules, alienation and other stress

I recall when I was still married that Christmas and Easter proved to be major stressful time as we were expected to visit many relatives. Lengthy travel was the norm and I really disliked his family as they were extremely rude to me and my family despite all of the efforts I had gone through to be a good daughter-in-law. My son loved to visit his cousins and grandparents and I have to say they were very good to him over the years. Then my husband and I separated.

My adult son was totally cut off from any contact whatsoever from my ex's side of the family. I have to say I was initially relieved by this as it made things simpler for me. However, I was always conscious of the hurt that my son experienced then and probably still feels 3 yrs after our divorce.

To make matters worse my ex's g/f takes every family opportunity to spread lies about my son and I. I hear about the lies through mutual friends. Thankfully we're not told about the crap until well after the festive season.

I could care less what is said about me but I have to say I get a bit upset when I hear about the lies about my son (I will never stop being a mama). Last year I did speak to my ex about him reining in his g/f. The g/f of course denied everything.

In retrospect I probably shouldn't have even said anything to ex as this just gives his g/f power and knowledge that she upset me.

Anyone else having to deal with this sort of thing?
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:06 PM
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I didn't mean to throw Nadia's thread off topic, so I will re-post my comment here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
When the kids are adults, hopefully, finally, I can relax and never hear from her again. Until that time I have duty to my kids and duty to myself.
Sorry but hoping to finally relax and never hear from the ex again is not likely to happen.

I have young adult children and there are events that both of us need/should attend. University graduations, engagements, baptisms, etc.

When the ex tells the adult child that they refuse to attend because they will not 'sit in a room and breath the same air' as me (the other parent), they continue the stress.

Adult children are not immune to this. They are able to voice their feelings and tell the other parent that they won't participate, however the event becomes stressful as they wait to see how everyone is going to behave and interact with each other.

I work with someone who is well into their 30's and still dealing with parents who fight over who's turn it is to have the holiday dinner. His parents have been divorced for almost 20 years. Him and his siblings have told the parents 'enough', we have families of our own and both of you need to attend our family events and be civil. But there is still stress waiting to see if everyone will behave.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:30 PM
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I have to say it is pleasant for me not to have to see ex and I'm sure relieved my son is an adult. My son doesn't see his father at all. It is sad as I had such a wonderful relationship with my father.

I do have mixed feelings when I walk into my garage and see the plastic bins full of Christmas decorations from years gone by as well as the containers of photo albums. These bins will probably sit untouched indefinitely.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:32 PM
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My ex sends me an e-mail just about every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas telling me how selfish I am, and how disappointed he is if our kids spend the day with me or my side of the family and by the way I should have told him what was going on, he shouldn't have to hear it from the kids at the last minute.

If the kids spend the day with him, he sends an e-mail telling me it is not his responsibility to tell me because our kids are young adults and can speak for themselves.

Either way, the kids are put in the middle and they don't like it and they don't want to always remember where they should be. Everyone forgets sometimes, or they want to switch things up because a cousin they haven't seen in a while is going to be in town.

I have celebrated the holidays on whatever day works for all of us. It not about the day, but about being together. That we can define it anyway we want, and do whats best for us.

I tell my kids that when their dad and I were first married, both families wanted to see us on Christmas eve, Christmas day, and Boxing day. Both families had certain traditions that took place on each of these days. We tried for awhile to attend each event, but it was exhausting.

We eventually made the decision to attend every-other year. Every Christmas for about 20 years my mother-in-law would phone my ex. and plead and beg and cry in her attempt to get us to change our minds. All this did was make my ex very angry, the stress he felt in anticipation of this phone call each year was palpable.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
I do have mixed feelings when I walk into my garage and see the plastic bins full of Christmas decorations from years gone by as well as the containers of photo albums. These bins will probably sit untouched indefinitely.
Why? Surely there are not only "all bad" memories attached to these items and photographs. In fact, you may find something in there that helps you remember the better times and help you focus on the positive rather than the negative.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:19 PM
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You are probably correct but it is hard to relate to that after just receiving yet another unpleasant email from my ex's g/f. I wonder when it will ever cease. This one is so money-grubbing and unhappy that I receive SS she just won't let things drop. She has positioned herself as chief go-to girl for my ex and takes it upon herself to meet with his lawyer and send documents to me. She is chomping at the bit, trying to calculate the amount he will have to pay me next year. She does this every year and yet we haven't had a recalculation since our divorce. I am so very tired of her interference. Wish there was something I could do but my ex obviously finds this to be to his advantage. He is such a loser.... so glad we're divorced.

Oh well that's my rant for today.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:23 PM
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I have to admit... I didn't know a lot about separation/divorce before I started dating my bf... my Dad's parents are divorced, but that happened when he was young, but I have never had to experience first hand... I watched my father go through battles with his parents for years... I never understood why they always fought, to me it was "normal" that grandma and grandpa were not together, but it was clear that they could still not accept it.

I have learned a lot about family law, separation and divorce with my bf... I am sort of a nerd and took it upon myself to take some course and educate myself. It certainly opened my eyes. When I was first introduced to Canlii... I spent hours reading and it still shocks me with what some parents put their children through during separation and divorce.

Like I said in another thread... even for adult children, divorce still ha many negative effects... it was only recently that I realized what my father actually went through with his family... for the past 4 years, we have not bothered with my father's family for any holidays. We see my grandpa maybe once a year, if we are lucky and my grandma we see maybe 2-3 times a year and only if there is something "special" going on. I realize now the hurt my father faced all those years and it truly upsets me that my grandparents put my father through that. I suppose that is why it bothers me so much to watch my partner go through that with his parents. He is truly torn apart at times... to see a grown man suffer like that at the words of his parents it very sad.

The holidays always bring much more "pain and suffering" to our house than it does happiness. The constant battles we endure during the holiday seasons from his parents is horrible. You would think at 30 he would be allowed to make his own decisions but he is constantly walking on egg shells when it comes to his parents. His ex is often a little "moody" when it comes to Holidays... but that may never change.

Kids should never be put in the middle... EVER. It is just unfortunate that the "hate" for the other parent often comes before the happiness for the children. Some "adults" may not realize that when they put down the other parent, they are degrading part of that child. When a child hears (and they often do) that one parent is doing this, I can't help but think that the child may end up resenting the parent doing the bashing. Children are so innocent when it comes to separation and divorce... adults need to pull their heads out of their a$$es and grow up. Sadly, most never will. I just hope that those parents who are reasonable, never drop to the other parents level just to "get even". Always take the highroad, be nice and don't get caught up in the other parent's drama...

One thing my mother has always told me when conflict breaks out is "Just remember...they can't fight with themselves..."... this is so true, no matter who you are dealing with!
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
This one is so money-grubbing and unhappy that I receive SS she just won't let things drop.
I'm always surprised that people who receive support, either CS or SS, feel that the payor should just "get over it", because they already have.

When we were young, we could end a relationship, and while it hurt, you could put the relationship in the past. Healing could occur, and time would dull the edge.

Support though keeps the wound fresh. Every month you remember what this person did to you in a personal, visceral fashion. You cannot heal while you are the victim of perpetual, reoccurring theft. Time cannot work its usual magic, since support is constantly resetting the clock.

The recipient of support can "get over it"... there is no baggage, just a nice little glow from the cash that comes in every month. The payors though are getting stabbed every month, and expecting to forgive is, in my opinion, really asking for too much.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:26 PM
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I have the opposite stress. My ex and I are very very good at keeping the kids out of our divorce. I just have to endure the most awkward situations to accomplish this. So Christmas is going to be him, me, the kids and my parents at my house this year. Not sure yet when we all visit his family, but it will be in there somewhere too.

I feel like I shouldn't even complain about this sort of set up, since so many of you have such worse situations, but it's going to be a very long, awkward, stressful day for me. But the kids will have a great time.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote by Janus "The recipient of support can "get over it"... there is no baggage, just a nice little glow from the cash that comes in every month. The payors though are getting stabbed every month, and expecting to forgive is, in my opinion, really asking for too much."

Are you f'ing kidding me? What an ignorant comment, seriously! Hey maybe the forum should be divided up; the "pitchers" and the "catchers."

Last edited by hadenough; 12-09-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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