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Boyfriends family did not invite me for Christmas...please help!


upsetrightnow

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My boyfriend of just over a year (who I will call "Bruce") is divorced with 2 children (ages 12 and 17). We are very much in love and are planning a future together. His mother and aunt were against the divorce and do not seem to accept our relationship. Bruce and I had been planning to spend Christmas Eve together at his house with his daughter. The day before Christmas Eve, Bruce's aunt informed him that she is having his ex-wife, son and daughter over at her house and that I am not invited. The ex-wife does not know me and has never spoken to me, but apparently refuses to be in the same room with me. Bruce told his aunt he was unhappy with her for inviting his ex and told her it will not happen again. Christmas Eve still went as per the aunt's plans though. Bruce's mother also had Christmas dinner at her home the next day and invited Bruce and his ex-wife and children. She made it clear that I was not invited in order to not upset the ex-wife. I am deeply hurt by this. I have told Bruce how I feel. I know that he wanted to spend Christmas with his children, but I feel as though his aunt and mother did something inconsiderate. I have no issues spending Christmas with Bruce's ex, yet I suffer from her problem. I would love to hear advice on this.

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Don't make this about you.

 

The bigger issue is the family needs time to get over their divorce. Your bf can help that process along by ensuring there are boundaries with his ex and expectations he communicates with his family. But that's on him. Your role is to live your life and recognize that your relationship may have to evolve more slowly than others as he is needing to have a respectful relationship with his ex for the sake of the kids.

 

It just takes time.

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My take on this is a bit different. You've been dating for a over a year. If you had been together for a month, then, yes, it would make sense. I think what his aunt and mum did is totally unacceptable. He should be the one to decide who he wants to spend Christmas with.

How long has he been divorced?

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I think what his aunt and mum did is totally unacceptable. He should be the one to decide who he wants to spend Christmas with.

 

Of course. But as the girlfriend, making his life difficult so he has to balance the stress of his family and his gf being at odds is only going to make it harder for him and with kids involved, if it comes to an ultimatum it will be her out on her rear.

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Of course. But as the girlfriend, making his life difficult so he has to balance the stress of his family and his gf being at odds is only going to make it harder for him and with kids involved, if it comes to an ultimatum it will be her out on her rear.

 

That's true but if, after a year, his family still won't accept her, I don't see much future in the relationship, anyway.

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Many families don't invite the girlfriend or boyfriend- they draw a line between that and fiancee/spouse. In this case it sounds like they did it to be manipulative which isn't nice. Bruce could have chosen you but he really can't - he has to put seeing his children especially on Christmas- at a priority over you.

As far as his family accepting you that might continue to be a problem but my sense is less so once you're married.

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Were you in any way responsible for the divorce (i.e., he got divorced because you were involved with him in an affair while he was married)? If so, the prognosis for your relationship is very poor, because most affairs do not usually lead to a stable marriage after the affair and eventually end up in breakups.

 

If you were not the reason for the divorce, and this is the first Christmas since the divorce, then I think it will take some time before the family really accepts that the divorce will 'take' and that he is never going back to his ex-wife. Sometimes the in-laws can be as stubborn as children in terms of hoping that if only they set up the situation right, the couple will get back together, especially if they are religious and don't believe in divorce and/or they really really bonded with their daughter/son-in-law and want them to still be a part of the family.

 

So I would cut him SOME slack because he can't actually control his parents, but he can stand up to them and let them know that regardless of their wishes, he and the ex are not getting back together no matter how many 'family events' they try to set up to throw them together. If Bruce was blindsided and the invite to the ex-wife was already out and the divorce is recent, I would understand his conflict at NOT going because he wants to be with the children, BUT you need to sit him down and talk to him about how you do not intend to spend any more Christmases alone because he is giving in to his aunt's and mother's meddling in his life.

 

re: holidays, he needs to stick to the terms of his divorce in terms of who the children will spend their holidays with on a particular year. Usually it is some kind of an arrangement like the kids spend Xmas eve with one parent, then Xmas day with the other, or half of Christmas day with one parent and half with the other, or they alternate such that on any given year one parent gets them thanksgiving and the other on Xmas and it alternates every other year. So this is a NORMAL situation where it is not a legal or personal expectation that the divorced couple will spend the holidays together with the children at the same time. The in-laws are just meddling, and he is giving in to the meddling because he wants to be with the kids at all times rather than sticking to the terms of the divorce.

 

So you should first ask what those terms are, i.e., what does the divorce specify in terms of who gets the kid's when on the holidays. And he needs to stick to that agreement in the same manner as the rest of the divorced world does rather than letting his mother and aunt determine who/when sees the kids on Christmas. And for the next holiday, whether that is valentine's day or memorial day or whatever, he needs to NOT dump you to chase after the kids, and make his own plans rather than giving in to plans engineered by his relatives or his ex-wife. If he has the kids on a certain day and his parents want to see them on that day, then they will see them AND you on that day, end of story. If his wife has the kids for a particular holiday, then she has the kids and he doesn't see them that day and can plan the gift exchange or BBQ or whatever appropriate to the holidy on a day before or after the day the kids go to their mother on the holiday.

 

If you see he continues to give in to this and not incorporate you fully into his life or he tries to dump you on holidays or whenever there is a conflict with the ex-wife showing up, then frankly he is weak and not worth being with because he is selling you out to please his mother/aunt, or else he is lying and not telling you the truth and he is trying to get back with his ex-wife again and you don't know it, or else he doesn't see you as his 'real' partner when it comes to his kids and will continue to cut you out whenever he sees a conflict generated by acknowledging your status as his partner to his family.

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What's the arrangement with the children for the holidays? If they are to spend it with their mother, then no, you should not expect to be invited if there are still high emotions. If they are with the dad, let him invite people to his house. You don't get to decide who invites who, no matter how you are connected. If anything, this is about your boyfriend, but if your relationship is just over a year, maybe they are not aware of how serious you two are.

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