‘Cruel ex-husband is insisting he has the kids at Christmas to get at me’ – Coleen Nolan

One reader writes to Daily Mirror agony aunt Coleen Nolan because – out of the blue – her ex has decided he wants the children for Christmas Day

'He normally goes away with his partner and never sees the children at Christmas'
‘He normally goes away with his partner and never sees the children at Christmas’

Dear Coleen,

I’m struggling to stay on polite terms with my ex-husband at the moment because he’s being unreasonable over arrangements for Christmas.

He had an affair a few years ago, which led to our divorce, and he’s now living with the other woman.

He’s never been bothered about seeing our kids at Christmas since we split – in fact, he usually goes abroad with his girlfriend or spends it with her family.

This year, though, he’s insisting our son and daughter spend the holidays with him and his girlfriend. This has made me so mad – I didn’t get to spend Christmas with my family last year because of Covid and I know they’re really looking forward to seeing the children.

My family make a big deal of Christmas and it means a lot to them, whereas my ex has never been that ­interested – until now!

He does provide financially for the children and sees them every other weekend, but it feels like he’s only interested in having the kids at Christmas this year because the novelty of being on his own with his girlfriend has worn off.

What do you think – am I being unreasonable? Christmas means a lot to me and my family, but I worry my ex is just using it to score points or cause chaos and couldn’t care less what our kids actually want.

What would you tell this reader to do? Have your say in the comment section

Coleen Nolan is the Mirror’s resident agony aunt

Coleen says,

Christmas can be a real trigger point for divorced families but, on the ­positive side, isn’t it a good sign that he wants to spend this special time with the children?

It sounds like he has been selfish in the past, but maybe it’s a chance to have a conversation about a new way of doing things that everyone can benefit from. Stay with me here!

What about a compromise? Could you and your family have the kids for some of the holiday and your ex have them on the other days?

I’m sure the children would jump at the chance of having two Christmas days to look forward to! And you’ll get a break to relax or see friends.

I understand you feeling resentful when you do most of the heavy lifting in terms of childcare, and your ex hasn’t shown any interest in having the kids at Christmas in the past, but I think it’s good to think long term.

Think also about what’s in the best interests of your children now and in the future in terms of nurturing their relationship with their dad.

So, if I were you, I’d grit my teeth, sit down with him and try to work something out acceptable to all of you.

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