Am I Being Selfish?
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Thread: Am I Being Selfish?

  1. #1
    Senior Member JustTess's Avatar
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    Am I Being Selfish?

    I think I just need someone fron the outside to help me see why I shouldn't be upset or maybe I really am selfish.

    My EX (children's father) wants to have one of my sons over for a hunting trip for the next week. This means he will miss Christmas with me and his brother. We don't have anything planned but it would still feel like someone is missing. Last year, he had both of them for the entire winter vacation. They are both teenagers.

    We divorced when my oldest was 5 and youngest 3. He hasn't really been there and 5 years after the divorce he moves out of state and makes very little contact. He has gone two years without contact or seeing them in the past. When he does see them, it is usually a month in the summer so last year was a Christmas he had with the boys in over 6 years.

    My youngest isn't very close to him but he really wants to go on a cool hunting trip. So, I feel like the bad guy... the disciplinarian.... the one who handles everything and they get an occasional fun vacation with their disneyland dad.

    Do they get phone calls for their birthdays? ---- NO
    Do they get recognized for their report cards? ----NO, I don't think he has even seen one.
    Do they get words of comfort when they are sick or in the emergency room ----NO, he's busy.

    I just think Christmas is a time you share with family.... what FAMILY is suppose to mean.

    Twice in my lifetime, I have spent Christmas without my boys and all I do is sleep in and stare out the window. I can't bear to spend it with friends. It's too painful watching what I should be enjoying with my sons. I don't even like the conversations "where are your boys?" "It must be hard" " How do you do it?" So I just wait for Christmas to be over and try to count my blessings.

    George, Lola, Sophie, Ilya

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    Feeling like you do isn't selfish, you are disappointed and frustrated and that is okay.

    I cannot speak to YOUR situation, as I've not had children nor been married. But I have been the child of divorce with an absentee dad. As that 'child' I want to tell you this: I made up my own mind about my father and my mother and their conflicting stories and I enjoyed the small amount of time I spent with my dad for the most part. If I were you I'd plan something special for you and your other son and let your younger boy go with his dad on the hunting trip...because he wants to. Does it mean a piece is missing for your Christmas? Yes. But it's also giving your son the present of time with his dad, to make up his own mind about his relationship with him and to likely appreciate YOU more.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


  4. #3
    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    It doesn't matter whether we think you're being selfish or not. You feel however you feel and however that is, is okay.

    But the truth is that Christmas can be celebrated any day. Have the fancy dinner and the tree and the presents and the stockings and the egg nog and whatever your other traditions are before or after the hunting trip. There will be no reason to feel sad on the 24th/25th because you will have already celebrated!


    RIP Clifford, who never met a stranger

  5. #4
    Senior Member PiperPuppy's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    My children got on a plane this morning to go to their dad's house in another state. They won't be back until Dec. 29th. However, yesterday we celebrated Christmas with the kids, my mom and my SO. We got the tree a few weeks ago, decorated the house with lights, etc. Had wrapped gifts, dinner, a fun Christmas movie on DVD. Basically, Christmas was yesterday for us, and it was fantastic!

    We do this every other year, because all 3 of my kids are at their dad's house every other year. I COMPLETELY understand the no calls, no interest, etc. unless it suits your EX. That is how I have lived for years. My oldest is 14 and he knows what is what, you know? My EX digs his own holes, no help from me! For example, they visited their dad 2 summers ago and he hired a nanny to take care of them! They know.

    I understand wanting your kids with you on Christmas, I do. But make the best of what you DO have. (Easier said than done, but you can do it!) I will say, though, on Christmas day I will be thinking about my kids non-stop. And waiting (maybe in vane) for them to call me.

    One question: Why is your EX only taking one son? And how does the other son feel about this? That would be my biggest concern.
    Last edited by PiperPuppy; 12-19-2010 at 09:36 PM.

    One super cute Boston Terrier named Piper! We won't be breeding her or showing her. We will just be loving her.

  6. #5
    Senior Member JustTess's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    My EX is kinda famous for last minute decisions where we need to drop all other plans because his schedule opened up. Nevermind that the visitation says he needs to give 30 days notice. He won't. One summer, I lost tuition for their summer courses and camps but he finds a way to justify the short notices.

    That's why I had scheduled a med procedure to be done while he was gone that would give me time to recoup and celebrate Christmas on Christmas. The trip was orignially the 17th to the 24th.

    I know my younger son wants to go hunting. He has never gone before and was too young the last time family friends were going. I know my youngest doesn't feel very close to his father and he can be very reserved and quiet. I don't want him to resent me for taking any chance of getting to know his father better.

    One question: Why is your EX only taking one son? And how does the other son feel about this? That would be my biggest concern.
    I wanted him to take both of them but I think for safety reasons, it's better to take one out at a time. Both of my sons are like apples and oranges. The teenage years has been especially hard for my oldest who has Aspie tendencies. My guess is that our younger son will catch on to hunting procedures easier then the next trip my EX can concentrate on the oldest's quirks... he's either hyperfocused or extremely distracted.

    I'm just so irritated because there were summers where they waited weeks to do something with their dad and they didn't want to do anything else but wait.

    I guess this Christmas my older son can help me get the fur babies to pose in front of the Christmas tree.

    Thank you for your thoughts everyone :S

    George, Lola, Sophie, Ilya

  7. #6
    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    My boyfriend and I celebrate "Winter Solstice" with my mom and her boyfriend instead of Christmas. This is partially because none of us are religious, so we appreciate being able to celebrate a non-religious holiday, and also because my boyfriend's family prefers to celebrate Christmas on the 25th, and we want to celebrate with both of our families. Perhaps you can celebrate Christmas with your sons before the trip?

    Also, may I recommend doing something fun with your older son on Christmas day? It would make it so that the holiday is still fun for the both of you, and you can take advantage of a great one-on-one bonding experience with your older son. Maybe you could take him to visit some of your friends or family, or just have a nice night out together. Maybe go watch a movie (I think theaters are open on Christmas, right?) and bake and decorate a gingerbread house together?


    Skittles--Basil--Poisson--Butternut Squash

  8. #7
    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    Feeling like you do isn't selfish, you are disappointed and frustrated and that is okay.

    I cannot speak to YOUR situation, as I've not had children nor been married. But I have been the child of divorce with an absentee dad. As that 'child' I want to tell you this: I made up my own mind about my father and my mother and their conflicting stories and I enjoyed the small amount of time I spent with my dad for the most part. If I were you I'd plan something special for you and your other son and let your younger boy go with his dad on the hunting trip...because he wants to. Does it mean a piece is missing for your Christmas? Yes. But it's also giving your son the present of time with his dad, to make up his own mind about his relationship with him and to likely appreciate YOU more.
    Good advice and hope that the boy has a super time because years from now it will be remembered that you allowed this to happen. It ends up a win-win situation for you and son. I never knew a real dad but had a step dad for 7 yrs of grammar school (nice guy) and after him many uncles until I left home at a very early age. many things remembered about my mom, none of them good.

    Not complaining just life, but good memories would have been pleasant.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


  9. #8
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    You did say that your son is a teenager. The easisest answer is to just ask your son what he wants. If he doesn't want to go, tell your ex, too bad you made your bed now sleep in it. If your son does want to go, then I would suggest letting him go. Me being a son of a father that hardly ever wanted to do anything with me, I longed for the days when he would ask me to do something. Now that I am older and I can ask him to do things, I still hold out hope.

  10. #9
    Senior Member foxthegoldfish's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    My first thought was WOW I wish my dad would have taken me on a cool trip!!!
    My dad never did anything with me, I only saw him a few times a year, now I never see him (my choice).

    My advice is let your son go, he will have a great time and you can do christmas when he gets back.

    I understand it must be hard



  11. #10
    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Being Selfish?

    I have no children, so any advice I have could be worthless, but I think you should let your son decide what he wants to do.

    As your son grows older, he's going to know who was there for him and who wasn't. He's going to know that it was you that were there when he was sick or at the ER. He's going to know that it was you who praised him when he did well.

    If his father is that few and far between in his life, this maybe something that your son needs. He may not get that many more chances to have some one on one time with his dad, if he dad is that flaky. Giving him the chance to have some memories of time spent with his father would be a gift, IMO.

    Just my 2 cents.

    The Dogs: Eddie the Lab & Uallis the Mastiff
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