Author Topic: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long) - new update #53  (Read 20637 times)

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Coley

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Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long) - new update #53
« on: April 03, 2012, 07:22:04 AM »
Brief BG:

Ex and I have been divorced for 6 years. We have one DS together, who is 11. He splits his time equally between Ex and me per the custody agreement. We are on friendly terms, and we also work hard to make sure that we are respectful of our custody agreement.

DH and I have been married for 3 years. He has 3 DSs. All are independent and living in other cities.

My brother lives 2 hours away. He is divorced with 4 kids. They were separated a 18 months ago and finalized a few months ago.

My mother lives 30 minutes away. We don't see her often because she is manipulative and difficult. My dad died 7 years ago.

For many years (I'd estimate 15-20), holidays at my mother's house have been organized for the convenience of my brother and his family. My mother and brother discuss what will work for him and I am informed. Then I am expected to find a way to make it work for my family regardless. Over the years, I began feeling increasingly resentful. I spoke with both of them about this a number of years ago to no avail. They see no reason to plan differently. Therefore, I concluded that because I cannot change the way they handle holidays, I have to change the way I respond. I know I don't have to accommodate them. I started saying no.

My mother doesn't respect my custody agreement with Ex. Over the years, she has circumvented Ex's weekends with DS when my brother comes in to visit. If I say no, don't bother Ex, she will call him anyway and manipulate Ex into giving up his time with DS. One Christmas several years ago, this resulted in an argument between my mother and me, and I limited contact with her severely after that because she could not respect my boundaries. I have increased contact with her slowly, but it is still limited. Her M.O. is to lie and manipulate others to get what she wants.

End BG.

Easter is upon us. My mother e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago to inform me that my brother and his kids won't be there for Easter because his Ex has them that weekend. She also informed me that she invited some old friends of hers for Easter. I was informed that we could come on Easter to eat with them. She and my brother also decided to reschedule the family Easter for the 15th, and I was informed of this as well. 

DH's birthday is on Easter Sunday. He decided that he wants to spend the day with his DSs, who will be in town this weekend for the holiday. He would prefer not to spend his birthday with my mother's friends. He missed out on seeing his DSs at Thanksgiving because my mother again managed to create a large scheduling problem that involved DS. I don't intend to let that happen again.

Unfortunately, DH and I have DS on Easter and not on the weekend of the 15th. As you've probably guessed by now, despite this problem, my mother expects us to come on the 15th because my brother will be there. I contacted both my mother and my brother after I received her e-mail. I told my mother about our plans for Easter and DH's birthday. I told both my mother and brother that the 15th wasn't going to work for us because we don't have DS the weekend of the 15th. My brother said that he'd talk to his Ex and see if they could switch things around for the weekend of the 21st. Of course, he has not gotten back to me on that. Instead, I got another e-mail from my mother in which I was informed that she and my brother confirmed the 15th, and if that was a problem with DS's schedule, I should invite my Ex to dinner so DS can come. (Not surprisingly, this expectation does not apply to my brother with regard to his Ex.)

I should add that my mother never cared much for Ex. He's a nice guy and a terrific dad, but she didn't think he was good enough for me. She rarely spoke to him for the 15 years we were together. She isn't inviting him to dinner because she wants HIM there. She is inviting him as a ruse to get DS there.

So, here we are. Evidently, I am supposed to invite my Ex to the belated Easter dinner on the 15th at my mother's house so that DS can be there when it's convenient for my brother and his kids to be there. ??? As I see it, I have four options:

1) Decline the invitation for the 15th. DH and I would prefer not to go without DS. Time at my mother's house is really that unpleasant. We don't want to disrupt Ex's weekend with DS either. (Note: Historically, my mother would call Ex anyway and manipulate him to give up DS for the weekend if I say no.)

2) Accept the invitation for just DH and me. We see my brother and his kids; DS keeps his weekend with Ex. Unless my mother calls Ex herself.

3) Talk to Ex. Invite him to dinner. Then all of us (DH, Ex, DS, and me) could be at dinner on the 15th. This is my mother's perfect scenario. I dislike participating in the manipulative ruse to get DS to her house.

4) Tell my mother to invite Ex to dinner. She is the hostess, so I'm not sure why the onus is on me to invite him to dinner at her house. (Note: Am I being hypocritical with respect to the other options above? Is it better if I sanction her invitation?) If Ex says yes, then we will all be there. I still dislike the manipulative ruse of inviting him to dinner, but it's his decision.

I don't know what to do here. I'm leaning toward #4, but I don't want Ex to give up his weekend with DS because of my mother. I prefer #1 because DH and I would much rather not go at all. I've already told DS that we won't be going to my mother's on Easter and explained about DH's birthday, so he's not expecting to see his grandmother that day. He doesn't know about the 15th at all. I haven't said anything to Ex about the 15th yet, but I could put a bug in his ear.

Am I missing any other options?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 04:23:27 AM by Coley »

Teenyweeny

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 07:36:52 AM »
I'm going to cut this short: I think you are taking on too much responsibility here.

Decide what *you* want to do. It sounds like you will not be going to your mum's at Easter. Stick to your guns there. I'd probably go to the 'family' easter, just to see my brother and his kids, but that's just me.

For 'family' easter, call your ex, since you are friendly.

"Hi Ex, I just wanted to give you a heads up that my mum is planning a family get together for Easter on the 15th. I know that that is *your* time with DS, and I don't expect you to give it up, but you know what she's like, so you should probably expect a call from her.

I just wanted to let you know so that you aren't caught off guard, and end up agreeing to something you don't want to do."

Then the ball is in his court.  If he allows himself to be manipulated into giving up time with his son (or into attending a function he really doesn't want to go to) then that is *his* problem. Don't make it yours.



wx4caster

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 07:41:36 AM »
Option 1: Decline the invite because you already have plans AND call your ex to warn him about your mother's latest scheme.

In other words, POD to Teenyweeny's answer.
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magiccat26

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 07:49:57 AM »
Honestly, I would go with #1.  Decline.  Then I would call Ex and tell him that you have declined and will not be there and that even if your Mother calls, she is doing so against your wishes.
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MariaE

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 08:06:49 AM »
Honestly, I would go with #1.  Decline.  Then I would call Ex and tell him that you have declined and will not be there and that even if your Mother calls, she is doing so against your wishes.

Exactly this.
 
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cicero

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 08:15:21 AM »
what everyone said.

I think that the actual bottom line here is that you really don't want to go. ex's weekend or not, on the correct date or not - the bottom line is that you don't want to go (this is what i am getting from your message).

so don't go.

in a perfect world, if everyone can behave themselves, in and of itself, there isn't really anything wrong with asking your ex to change weekends etc - if that is what *you* want to do. And there really isn't anything wrong with having an ex attend a family dinner (I know  people who continue to go to their former in laws for seder, for example, even though they are divorced). but you are not describing a perfect world.

and certainly, if *anyone* is going to invite the ex - it should your mother (and here is where your fair warning to the ex would come in handy), just as it should be *you* who negotiates any changes in visitation with the ex.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 08:16:56 AM by cicero »

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Shopaholic

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 08:16:15 AM »
Honestly, I would go with #1.  Decline.  Then I would call Ex and tell him that you have declined and will not be there and that even if your Mother calls, she is doing so against your wishes.

Exactly this.

X3

There's no rule that you have to spend the holidays with your family, especially if it is so unpleasant for you.
Next holiday, talk to your brother in advance and make plans before letting your mother dictate her plans to you.

Coley

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 11:32:17 AM »
Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your input.

Teenyweeny: You hit the nail on the head, I think, by suggesting that I'm taking on too much responsibility in this. Where Ex is concerned, I worry about him sacrificing his time with DS in order to accommodate my family. Logically, I know that it's his decision, but emotionally, it's hard to let go of that because it involves my mother. I believe that she should respect the custody agreement and my boundaries when I tell her not to bother Ex. But what she should do and what she does are two very different things. That means it's Ex's spine that's on the line, I guess.

cicero: You're right that some people include their Ex spouses in various get-togethers. In fact, we've had Ex to various events at our house. I want very much for him to be here for events in DS's life. We invited him last year for Christmas dinner. Where my mother is concerned, you're right that it's not a "perfect world." It feels different when my mother is involved because her motives aren't pure.

Thanks again.  :)

wheeitsme

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 11:55:37 AM »
I would also like to add that when you call your Ex, I wouldn't just warn him, but support him in his right for his weekend with DS, and encourage him to keep that time for himself. 

couchpotato

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 01:17:25 PM »
Maybe you could make it clear to both your mom and ex that you will in no way be at the fake Easter celebration on the 15th. Even if your mom bullies ex into giving up his weekend, you will not take DS to her house. And if ex ends up caving and takes him there himself, that's all on him as long as the visit doesn't effect any other visitation dates (like ex saying "since I took DS to your moms for the 15th, you have to give me the 22nd).

Good luck. Maybe once your mom feels your absence for a couple holidays, she might start taking your schedule into consideration. OR you might just spend less time with your mom. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Bibliophile

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 01:33:47 PM »
I'm going to cut this short: I think you are taking on too much responsibility here.

Decide what *you* want to do. It sounds like you will not be going to your mum's at Easter. Stick to your guns there. I'd probably go to the 'family' easter, just to see my brother and his kids, but that's just me.

For 'family' easter, call your ex, since you are friendly.

"Hi Ex, I just wanted to give you a heads up that my mum is planning a family get together for Easter on the 15th. I know that that is *your* time with DS, and I don't expect you to give it up, but you know what she's like, so you should probably expect a call from her.

I just wanted to let you know so that you aren't caught off guard, and end up agreeing to something you don't want to do."

Then the ball is in his court.  If he allows himself to be manipulated into giving up time with his son (or into attending a function he really doesn't want to go to) then that is *his* problem. Don't make it yours.

This, or "That's not going to be possible" and decline.  I would flat out tell her again that you can't conform to their schedules.  Make your own plans and stick to them.

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amylouky

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 02:05:15 PM »
So.. your mom rescheduled Easter to accommodate your brother's custody arrangement, and moved it (can you even move Easter???) to a date that conflicts with your custody arrangement?

My mom would get a big, "Sorry, the 15th doesn't work for us. And we have other plans for Easter Sunday. See you soon!".

And I disagree that your mother should invite Ex. I would NOT want my mother having contact with an ex other than that which came through me. But I think you need to give Ex a heads up and let him know she may be calling, and it is perfectly okay with you for him to decline/ignore her calls.

She is being disrespectful to you, DH, DS, AND your ex. It sounds like she will continue to do so for as long as you allow her to.

NyaChan

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 02:25:02 PM »
Don't have anything new to add, just adding my vote for everyone else's advice!

MacadamiaNut

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 02:51:57 PM »
So.. your mom rescheduled Easter to accommodate your brother's custody arrangement, and moved it (can you even move Easter???) to a date that conflicts with your custody arrangement?

My mom would get a big, "Sorry, the 15th doesn't work for us. And we have other plans for Easter Sunday. See you soon!".

And I disagree that your mother should invite Ex. I would NOT want my mother having contact with an ex other than that which came through me. But I think you need to give Ex a heads up and let him know she may be calling, and it is perfectly okay with you for him to decline/ignore her calls.

She is being disrespectful to you, DH, DS, AND your ex. It sounds like she will continue to do so for as long as you allow her to.

I agree with this entirely.  I also think it is not mother's place to be calling your Ex, especially given the details surrounding why she would be doing so.  Definitely let Ex know that you will not be at the trumped up "second Easter".
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JoyinVirginia

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Re: Easter dinner? Invite your Ex! (long)
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 03:20:31 PM »
Email, phone, however you communicate with ex, FIRST. ” ex, mom is hosting dinner on 15th and I am not going. She may call and ask you, please don't worry about going.”
Call two to mom, or email, whatever ” mom, thanks for asking us, we can't come on 15th”.

Then don't go. And try not to feel to guilty when mom starts whining.