I Refused to Let My Ex-Husband’s Daughter Spend Christmas With Us

year ago

When a marriage comes to an end and children are in the picture, things can get a bit tricky when one of the parents decides to remarry and start a new family. And it gets even more complicated if someone in the ex’s new family is going through a tough time, like dealing with a serious illness. It’s like a whole web of relationships getting tangled up. A Reddit user had the same worry, and we’ve got their story to share with you.

It’s been seven years since my ex and I split up, but we still share custody of our 13-year-old daughter. He’s moved on and remarried, and now he has a 5-year-old daughter with his new wife. Those two little ones really love each other, but here’s the thing: his daughter hardly ever comes to my place, and they rarely get to hang out together.

Now, here’s where things get tough. His wife just got diagnosed with cancer and started treatment. The other day, when he dropped off our daughter, he pulled me aside to talk. He told me all about his wife’s situation and how his family won’t be able to have a proper Christmas celebration this year. He said it wouldn’t be fair to his daughter and asked if I could somehow “include” her in our family’s Christmas. He mentioned how much fun the girls could have together, bonding and making memories.

I said I was sorry, but our family’s Christmas tradition is something we hold dear and it doesn’t feel right to include others. He told me that his daughter may not be my family, but she sure is her half-sister’s family. He asked me to think about what would be best for the kids. I suggested he take his daughter to spend Christmas with her grandparents and tried to wrap up the conversation. But he stopped me and started accusing me of being cruel for not including his daughter, especially when she was already going through a tough time adjusting.

I noticed he was getting teary-eyed, so I took a step back and said I wasn’t comfortable continuing the conversation. I asked him to leave, and eventually, he did, but he kept texting me, begging me to let his daughter come to our Christmas celebration. He even offered to stay away himself if it would make me feel better. I stuck to my decision and said no, which led him to call me selfish and cold.

What’s important to mention here is that even my own family, who will be there for Christmas, also feels uncomfortable with this situation.

How to help kids in dealing with these types of situations

  • Try to get the parent to talk to the child. No matter what the prognosis of the disease is, parents need to talk openly with their children about the situation they are facing. That way, they can know what is going on and what to expect.
  • Try to stick to routines. It is important to let children go about their normal lives as much as possible. This will give them a sense of security about what is going on. They can rely on friends or family members for support.
  • Give them some space. If the child likes to write, they can be encouraged to express their feelings in a journal. This can help them manage their emotions and process this trying time safely and privately.
  • Do not neglect family time. When talking to a child about a serious illness, such as cancer, they need to know that it does not affect the love you have for each other as a family. This is also reflected in the quality time you spend together, such as on a holiday or a family outing.
  • Don’t forget to show affection to them. In the case of cancer, it is not a contagious disease, so it is okay if a child wants to hug or kiss their loved ones who are going through this process.

Co-parenting can be challenging, particularly when you have separated from your former partner on unfavorable terms. Nevertheless, many ex-couples have successfully navigated the journey of co-parenting, finding the right path to ensure their children receive a positive upbringing.

Preview photo credit Christmas_Joy231 / Reddit


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Well I don't know what to say about that.

The new wife should've been more understanding And let her step daughter join them for Christmas.

I mean if it was me in the new wife's place, I'd say yes in a heart beat.

And to heck with the tradition. The more the merrier is what I say.


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