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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 08-12-2011, 09:59 PM
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Default Need Perspective on Gifts

Background: our separation agreement has no spousal support (even though he could have easily had a case for me to pay him) and no child support (his income is so low I figure I don't need to ding him any more, especially considering I'm not paying spousal).

So it was my birthday recently, and my ex arranged for our sons to give me presents. Pretty cool, especially because they were kid items that they would probably end up playing with the most. However, I happened to see them in a store when I was out shopping, and I had no idea they were so expensive!

Now I feel awkward that he's buying me (the kids) presents like that, when I am trying to be gracious and not insist on child support. But honestly, I'd rather he skip buying me presents (I don't get him any anymore) and skip buying the kids presents on a non-occasion (they have plenty of toys!) and keep his money to live on. Or if he somehow has that much disposable cash, just give me child support after all, as then I could use it on bills.

This is a new tactic; previously he's given me grown up things that I've just let sit around unopened (anyone want Starcraft II?). Maybe he's fed up with me being an ingrate? I tell him he doesn't have to buy me anything, but I think he's trying to teach the kids generosity. But then how does that work with having them buy me kids' toys? He could have had them make a little craft or bought something small with their own money, not spent his own money big time.

I know I'm overthinking this, but I feel very awkward and haven't got a clue how to discourage it. Can anyone give me any insight into the male ego?
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:19 PM
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I think you're overthinking it.

First, very likely he asked a friend what he should do, and the friend told him, exactly as I would, to let the kids pick out a gift they would enjoy using with their mum.

Second, if he's content to live on peanut butter lunches so he can buy something for his kids, more power to him. I have a friend who spends more on booze and pot, and then says they can't afford to take their kids on a playdate with mine to a comic convention or an amusement park. He earns a certain amount, he pays his bills, he spends his money on what he chooses after that. Don't get caught up in it.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:32 AM
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Maybe your still really smoking hot and he wants to sleep with you…I know I do
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:09 AM
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Thanks, but I don't do guys.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:58 AM
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Maybe your still really smoking hot and he wants to sleep with you…I know I do
Ah, the "sleep with" euphemism. One of the all the time greats
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
I know I'm overthinking this, but I feel very awkward and haven't got a clue how to discourage it. Can anyone give me any insight into the male ego?
Hi Rioe,

If gifts are an issue I would suggest the following:

You can have one of your relatives take the children to buy a gifts for you for the special days you have. (Birthday, etc...) You can make an agreement with the other parent that you will have your relatives teach your children this lesson and recommend the other parent's family do the same.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:35 PM
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Rioe: Don't try and figure out what if he has money or not or if you should go for child support or not because you feel sorry for him in a way and then not. That is too hard on the brain. If you can make do without CS as you have made your decsion, then move on....if you can't, then you ask, simple as that. You can't pick and choose what he does with his money or what he is going to buy you if anything for your birthday.

I wouldn't get the relative involve. Let's put it this way: if he wants to buy you something he will and not something for the kids. I would thank him and tell him the kids appreciated it, that's it. How many of us do really expect a birthday gift from their "ex"? Honestly????

Mess: you can PICK your FRIENDS but not your FAMILY. I just hope you don't pay for friends and his kids tickets, expenses to attend these events considering the fact you know his life style...

Sillyme and Dadtotheend: i don't think buying a child's toy for a birthday gift for the mother has anything to do with "sleeping with her", or I hope not as it's called "DESPERATION" and "STUPID". We are talking about her ex.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:40 PM
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Rioe: Don't try and figure out what if he has money or not or if you should go for child support or not because you feel sorry for him in a way and then not. That is too hard on the brain. If you can make do without CS as you have made your decision, then move on....if you can't, then you ask, simple as that. You can't pick and choose what he does with his money or what he is going to buy you if anything for your birthday.
But, if it makes you feel uncomfortable just ask him not to do it anymore. But, do it after the first time it happens. Don't let it go on for years or it could impact your children.

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I wouldn't get the relative involve.
I don't see an issue with having family address the issue. Family is the most important aspect of children's lives. Unless there is huge conflict between the extended families it shouldn't be a bad idea.

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Let's put it this way: if he wants to buy you something he will and not something for the kids. I would thank him and tell him the kids appreciated it, that's it. How many of us do really expect a birthday gift from their "ex"? Honestly????
How many people "want" a gift from their ex-partner really? Had it not been for the fact that you are linked as parents would any separated couple really talk to each other after a divorce?

Many parents use their children as an excuse in an attempt to hoover back the ex-partner. Emotions linger for years. Even for the partner who chose to leave. It is a very complex issue and the giving of gifts may be a gesture that the other parent isn't comfortable with. Be honest and tell the truth.

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Originally Posted by TLCRN View Post
Mess: you can PICK your FRIENDS but not your FAMILY.
Actually, all parents pick their partner. (Well, ok, arranged marriages are the exception.) So, yes you can pick your family. You chose to have children with the other parent. So at one point in your life you loved the other parent enough to have a child with them. (Exception - one night stances etc of course but, again you chose to have intercourse with that person.)

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:50 PM
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I've bought gifts for the ex for my son to give her.
He loves her, and should be able to get her something at christmas or whatever.
I don't think thats too unusual? The kid came with me and picked out a trinket from a choice on the 20 dollar shelf.

Now what you describe is a little different, and mybe he feels guilty about not paying cs. So he does things like this?
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:02 PM
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I've bought gifts for the ex for my son to give her.
He loves her, and should be able to get her something at christmas or whatever.

I don't think thats too unusual? The kid came with me and picked out a trinket from a choice on the 20 dollar shelf.
No that is not unusual at all. The gift has a price cap. Your son chose chose the gift for her and he gave it to her. I don't think a 20 dollar gift is what is what the OP is worried about. They sound to be in a much higher range and value.

Also, if this is something you did while you were still living together it is just a continuance of status quo. It can get odd if the other parent is attempting to use the gifts as a way of reconciliation for a past wrong.

Apologies are much better than using children as an excuse in these circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TLCRN View Post
Now what you describe is a little different, and mybe he feels guilty about not paying cs. So he does things like this?
I agree. It does read this way to me. Hence the confusion from the OP and the threat possibly.

There are "creepy" gifts to get form the other parent. The gift you described isn't one of those. We don't know what the OP got as a gift to raise the question so I can only assume it falls into an "uncomfortable" gift range due to cost.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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