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Birthday Party for DS - what to do about WH?

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StrongAndCapable posted 8/19/2014 12:04 PM

Hi friends! We have been separated since May 1. WH is textbook unremorseful POS. I'm moving forward with D without his knowledge. We have a visitation schedule for our DS who is about to turn 5. Here are my questions: on his actual birthday, we always have close friends with their kids (we all have kids around the same age) over for an early dinner and birthday cake. Do I invite WH? It will NOT be his scheduled day and it will be at the marital home which me and DS share. Also, we usually have a birthday party for DS's friends from school. I am planning on doing this as well. I am doing all the planning and paying for the party which will be held at a local park with a bouncy castle. It again, will NOT be on WH's scheduled day. Do I invite WH? I would like to stress that WH continues to be dishonest and just returned from a two week trip to "clear his head" (aka meet up with OW). I have been involved in the 180 for almost 6 weeks now. His presence disturbs me and I would rather not have him at either function but I can put my disgust aside for my son who adores his dad. What to do?

Time Ticks On posted 8/19/2014 12:50 PM

I always invited my ex husband to our kids party. It was their day and they wanted him there. If you don't invite him your son may be hurt, thinking his dad didn't want to come.

norabird posted 8/19/2014 13:46 PM

I might wait for your STBXWH to take the initiative and ask about the birthday plans. It is not your job to parent for him. He should know that something will be occurring, and he should ask for details on how you are proceeding with the party this year.

Obviously you need to consider your son, but I think the onus is on your POSWH to make sure that he is involved.

IrishGirlVA posted 8/19/2014 13:58 PM

What about just inviting him to the event at the park? It is less personal than having him over at the house for dinner and cake.

But I agree that this needs to be about your child's birthday.

I do not have children but my heart really goes out to every single one of you that has to manage these types of situations.

RyeBread posted 8/19/2014 14:05 PM

I'll answer your question with a question... What would be the best thing for your DS? I am sure he loves is dad regardless of the issues between you and your WH. Is it possible to invite your WH to all of it? It may not be as fun for you but your DS might appreciate it.

suckstobeme posted 8/19/2014 14:12 PM

I'm in a different camp - I don't invite my exwh to my kids' birthday events and he doesn't invite me to his (whenever he decides to get around to planning something for them).

My kids are aware that D means that we do things separately now. That said, I have always agreed to let him to see the kids on their birthdays even if it wasn't his scheduled day. He has taken them for ice cream or a meal so that he can give them their presents and that's never bothered me. Kids should be able to see both of their parents on their birthdays.

But, as far as having him in my space and around my friends/family together, that isn't going to happen. My feeling has always been that you're either in or you're out when it comes to these things. If you want to choose your OW over us, there's no coming over for Christmas morning to watch them open presents; there's no helping me hide the easter baskets; there's no blowing out candles together, etc. Now, I'm fully aware of and deal with the fact that it goes both ways - I've been without my kids on their actual birthdays and on certain major holidays if it happens to be his visitation time. We just adjust to the schedule and have "our" celebration at another time.

Every one has a different opinion and preference. My opinion is you do whatever makes you feel comfortable and safe. Lots of kids do perfectly well with 2 different birthday celebrations.

ETA: I might have done that had the D not occurred because of his cheating and the fact that he left to be with OW. I would never be invited to "their" house to celebrate an event with my kids and I don't believe he would ever be allowed to come to my house for the same reason. Again, if they leave for the AP, that throws a whole different monkey wrench into the mix.

[This message edited by suckstobeme at 2:15 PM, August 19th (Tuesday)]

ideservebetter45 posted 8/19/2014 14:13 PM

Nope..Wouldn't happen.

GabyBaby posted 8/19/2014 14:17 PM

I'm in a different camp - I don't invite my exwh to my kids' birthday events and he doesn't invite me to his (whenever he decides to get around to planning something for them).
My kids are aware that D means that we do things separately now.

But, as far as having him in my space and around my friends/family together, that isn't going to happen. My feeling has always been that you're either in or you're out when it comes to these things. If you want to choose your OW over us, there's no coming over for Christmas morning to watch them open presents; there's no helping me hide the easter baskets; there's no blowing out candles together, etc.

Ditto Suckstobeme.
He wanted to be single, that means no more "family" gatherings. It also (IMO) confuses the kids and gives them false hopes that mom and dad might get back together.
Adjusting to the new normal isn't just for you and STXWH. It is also for you kiddos.

Gemini71 posted 8/19/2014 14:40 PM

It's not on his time. Unless DS specifically asks for daddy to be there, hell no! He gets to make his own birthday plans for the kids. Once the kids realize they get another cake and another set of gifts, they're usually fine with it.

betrayedpregnant posted 8/19/2014 15:15 PM

No. It will be uncomfortable for you. It will be uncomfortable for him being near your friends or family who know about his cheating. Let him have his own birthday celebration. So, your son gets his birthday celebrated TWICE no THRICE. Thrice is nice.

newlysingle posted 8/19/2014 15:18 PM

I do not do this. We celebrate our kids' birthdays separately. Not only do I not want to see or deal with him, but neither do any of my friends.

Hopeful74 posted 8/19/2014 16:45 PM

DS birthday was June 3, 2 days after my 12th anniversary. I had his birthday at the park on my anniversary. I did not include his father. I did not want the tension on my son's day. My family was in attendance and they HATE my H! So, I had a party for him and the following weekend, his dad had one with his family. My son was excited to celebrate twice, with 2 different activities.


painfulpast posted 8/19/2014 17:08 PM

I really think this should be about your DS, as it seems you do as well. How is your DS handling the separation? Is it still confusing and upsetting to him, or does he seem to be handling things OK. I know, he's only 5, but I think that's the answer. If he's adjusting well to the separation, and you feel that HE would want his Dad at the party, then have him at the party. If, however, he becomes upset each time you leave when bringing DS to WH's, or when WH leaves after bringing him home, then I would not have WH there.

I have what are now adult children from my first marriage. We separated when our children were quite young, for many reasons. The one thing we did, always, was put the kids first. We didn't argue about holiday schedules, birthdays, etc. It was ALWAYS about what would be best for the kids, and what would be more fun for the kids when it came to parties and such.

I know you're hurting, and your WH is being nothing but an asshole to you. I know he chose to be 'single', and you have every right to want space from him. I know that, as a partner, he deserves nothing. BUT, if he is a good father, and the day would be more enjoyable for DS if both parents were present, then this may be the first in what will absolutely be multiple shared encounters.

Regarding the 'dinner' portion, on that I would say no, there's no reason for him to be there. It sounds like it's a dinner for the parents while the kids play. Obviously, the kids have dinner too, but if it's basically a shared dinner and then the kids get to play while the adults spend time together, he doesn't need to be there. In fact, you could make this year a 'girls night' and have the moms bring their kids. Could be fun?

I'm sorry your WH is such a dick. Unfortunately, when kids are involved, it's just better if the adults can find a way to get along, at least as far as children's activities go.

Nature_Girl posted 8/19/2014 17:36 PM

My ex & I do not do any joint activities. We are divorced, we are not on speaking terms, he was an abuser as well as a cheater, he has never been able to keep himself from yelling at me in front of the kids. So no, he is not invited to the kids' b-day events.

However, the kids think this is a bonus for them. They get double the parties, double the celebration. One with Mom, one with Dad. And this goes for all holidays as well. They like it!

StrongAndCapable posted 8/19/2014 18:48 PM

Thank you for all of your input. I really do appreciate it. I like the one post that stated how I wouldn't be invited to his house if he was having a party for DS, so why should he be invited to mine? So, definitely no on the invite for dinner and cake at MY house. He can take DS out after school for ice cream or something to celebrate his actual birthday.

HeBrokeVows posted 8/19/2014 20:48 PM

I just went through this last weekend with my 5 year old twins. I had their friend bday party for my kids during the day and my family over for dinner at night. Soon to be ex WH never asked to see the kids on their bday. I waited until a few days before to ask if he'd like to see the kids. He said yes but it wasn't his visit day. I said the kids would be crushed not to see you so how about taking them out to breakfast. Which is true. They didn't understand why daddy didn't spend his own bday with them.

The kids had asked me if he could come to their friend bday party (it was at a game place). I said mommy is giving you this party, daddy will do his own celebration. I struggled with this because it is their day but yet their day could've easily been ruined with the stress between us. We are still raw to this and don't talk. We are not happy family. For my kids to enjoy their day, it was best he wasn't there. They didn't even mention him and had a blast. Heck, they didn't even notice I was there! At five years old its all about them, their friends and gifts. But I do recommend moving mountains this first bday separated to have him at least see their dad if possible. This age doesn't understand celebrating another day!

Runningaway posted 8/19/2014 23:33 PM

I share birthdays with XH, it's not that big of a deal anymore.
The first year we were separated it was weird, and tense. But everything was. Now it's fine. We split the cost of all big presents. And I get to pick them out, he just gives me the money. Same with Christmas. He's like a brother now.

But to each their own, I know a lot of people who do not share events and their kids seem fine.
If you're fine, your kid will be fine.

Freeme posted 8/20/2014 06:15 AM

Here is my take on it. Yes, you want to do what is best for your child. But having both parents there is not always the best thing. Yes you can try to get along for this one event but we all know that's not easy. If you are going to feel tense, angry, frustrated (just took OW on vacation) and if other family members are angry with him... having him around might ruin the party worse than not having him there.

I see no reason he can't take DS out on his own to celebrate.

sparkysable posted 8/20/2014 10:01 AM

Hell no. He wanted to have an affair? He can see what it's like to be a divorced parent, and that involves no longer being invited to family events.

ideservebetter45 posted 8/20/2014 10:13 AM

He wanted to be single, that means no more "family" gatherings


EXACTLY!

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