I know that divorced families have to negotiate the holidays and oftentimes it can be a minefield. I came from divorced parents who needed a judge to determine the holiday schedule and it was still a stressful time. I think that gave me a little PTSD when it somes to holidays.
I planned to have my kids over for Christmas Eve. The Hunter invited Niño and his girlfriend, I had Taz, her fiancé and my son. My thought was to have them on Christmas Eve and then they would spend Christmas Day with the Ex and his family. That worked out fine, but my Ex was a bit tricky because he caused my kids some guilt because he was spending Christmas Eve alone apparently. I tried to mitigate it a bit by inviting him to church, but he refused and things sorted themselves out.
I have learned that I still have lingering bitterness and anger towards my Ex. The Hunter is encouraging me to let go, but I am grimly, doggedly hanging onto those emotions. I have done the horrible thing of “keeping score” and I need to let go of that mentality. I am hoping that since I recognize it, I am on the way to healing.
Here’s an example of my score-keeping: I had Taz and the fiancé over for Christmas Eve. They hung out for about 5 hours. My son is staying with me while the Happy Couple stayed with my Ex. On Christmas morning, my son headed to my Ex’s for Christmas breakfast compliments of Taz, then on to the Ex’s family (2 parties), back to my Ex’s and he spent the night (under duress — both Taz and my Ex pressured him into staying). On Christmas Day, I got no phone call from Taz and only a response to my Merry Christmas text. WTF. I was hurt.
Then she had plans with her girlfriends and so I didn’t see now hear from her until Monday because we had a dress fitting. Then we spent a lovely day together and the fiancé joined us for a great lunch. I had Taz all day, but I was still grumbling to the Hunter that the time spent with me is all wedding plans and errands. I don’t get “fun” time.
He chastised me by telling me that I am lucky because she knows I can get that stuff done and trusts me. OK, OK, I get that, but sometimes I want to be the fun one! He replied that I need to stop keeping score and just ignore the Ex’s existence. Easier said than done, but he has a point.
One thing that dawned on me as I bitterly counted up the hours they are spending with the Ex versus me, is that baring an unforeseen calamity, I will outlive my Ex easily. He’s almost 56 to my 51 and as I mentioned in my previous post, his three decades of smoking is beginning to haunt him. He was hospitalized briefly and although Taz says he’s fine, I am not so sure. The Hunter, when he first met him, noted that his color was bad and that he looked sick. I agree. Plus my Ex’s dad died at age 62….
Anyway, that morbid thought has put things into perspective. Also, I know that he whines to the kids for more time. I sit back and don’t guilt them. My son appreciates that. My daughter prefers the Ex’s faster-paced neighborhood and lifestyle. That’s fine too. I just don’t want to be taken for granted and ignored. I don’t want them to think that simply because I have the Hunter that I don’t want them around. OK, I am getting horny and fooling around with my son here is a bit tough since our bedrooms are side-by-side. LOL.
But I like seeing my kids and spending time with them. I just need to perhaps come up with more activities. I know that visiting my dad was dull because he never knew what the heck to do with me, so I need to apply that lesson to my own kids. We have invited my son to go camping with is over New Years. Once again, he is mindful of his dad and may only join us for a night or two. Damn, I guess I should be proud of the thoughtful son I have raised. In the meantime I get to take Taz and the fiancé to breakfast and the airport. Lucky me!