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Woman gives BF ultimatum: 'sleep at your ex's house for Christmas and we break up.' AITA? UPDATED

Woman gives BF ultimatum: 'sleep at your ex's house for Christmas and we break up.' AITA? UPDATED


"AITAH for telling my boyfriend I'll break up with him if he sleeps at his ex-wife and kids' house for Christmas?"

Hello! I have a relationship with a 41M and he has 4 kids from his previous relationship. His youngest kid is currently 3 years old. He currently lives with his mom and his younger sister. I’ve accepted the fact that his kids will come first always. And I’ve accepted situations that I might not feel 100% comfortable with.

For example, if his ex-wife needs to go out of town, he stays at her house with the kids and he even sleeps in her bed. I really don’t like the fact that he sleeps in room they used to share (since there's no guest room). I just don’t feel comfortable with that but I’ve accepted it, since it’s “easier” for him to stay there for his 4 kids.

Now, with the Christmas…The past years, he has taken his kids with his side of the family. And on New Year’s the ex-wife has the kids. Although, on both days both of the parents take time to share with the 4 kids. They even go shopping for the gifts and give them to the children together, as a way to showing the kids both of their parents are there.

A week ago, he told me he was thinking on spending Christmas Eve at his ex-wife’s and kids house, because kids love opening gifts and he wants to be there when they wake up. His ex-wife also has a boyfriend.

When he told me this, I was completely in shock… I told him that as a father that was a really kind gesture for his kids, but as a man with a partner, is not healthy for the relationship he wants to build with me (and even his ex with her new boyfriend). Besides, I also told him to forgive me if I was going to cross the line, but I also thought this was confusing for the kids…

Kids with divorced parents will always dream for their parents to go back together. So what message are his ex and him sending to the kids? I know this is not my problem, and my only concern is us two and our relationship.

I an effort of understanding, I offer him to stay at my place (since my house is a little closer than his mom’s house) so he could stay until really late on Christmas Eve with his kids and he could go back really early on Christmas morning, before the kids wake up.

I just see completely unnecessary for him to sleep in that house. He told me that "I needed to trust him" and that “he was only doing this for his kids”. So I told him, again, that as my partner, it was not healthy for our relationship. So I told him this was a boundary I was not willing to compromise.

Because even though he’s priority is to be a father, he’s also someone’s partner. And if he’s not willing to respect my boundaries, I’ll rather break up. His mother also got involved two days ago when she told him I needed to “suck it up” because his kids will always come first. So tell me… AITAH?

CLARIFICATION: Neither her ex's partner or myself will be there since both parents are not in a position to introduce us to the kids yet. Also, as I mentioned above, there's no guest room (that's why he sleeps in her ex's room when he stays with the kids).

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Neo_Demiurge said:

Clear NTA. This is how serious mistakes happen: a few drinks, some reminiscing about good times, and two former lovers alone together at night. Even if their intentions are good, and you have no reason to think they aren't, they aren't sinless saints.

Part of being faithful to a partner includes not putting oneself in compromising positions. Your boundaries are completely reasonable. I would never want my partner sleeping over a former lover's house without me, nor would I do it either. It's very silly anyone would even entertain the notion.

Loud_Eye_7141 said:

NAH. Everyone’s divorce looks different . I’m a child of divorce your boyfriend relationship with his ex, was my dream. Instead I grew up in a war zone, where my parents parallel parented. Children understand that their parents are divorced, they just want to feel safe and seen.

Boundaries are important, if your boundary is he doesn’t sleep at the ex, then keep your boundary. He’s not a bad guy either he’s doing what works for him and his ex. I’m a stepmom sometimes my needs to take a back seat.

My husband, children are grown, but the last year has been difficult for two of his children that required parents to intervene. My suggestion to you is to breakup. The youngest is 3, theirs bound to be other stuff, that’s going to annoy you.

mama9873 said:

NTA. I grew up with divorced parents and that never once stopped my dad from being there Christmas morning, bc he made a point to be there. He’d show up well before we woke up, ready to celebrate with us.

He doesn’t actually have to sleep over his ex’s house to have Christmas morning. He just needs to be willing to do the work a compromise would require, and it’s a reasonable compromise to ask for. I doubt very much he’d want you sleeping over at your ex’s.

I_Dont_Like_Rice said:

NTA - He's asking you to accept his boatload of baggage, but he's not respecting anything you need. This is a very one sided relationship. Unless you always want to be a 5th wheel to the ex and kids, I think you should part ways. You'll always be last.

Find someone who can put you first, or at least not make you feel like the annoying interloper making their life difficult. Your bf and his family are treating you like a massive inconvenience for existing. I'd walk away if I were in your shoes.

SnooOnions382 said:

I guess NTA but it doesn’t sound like this is a very serious relationship. He has a three year old from his ex-wife so I assume you guys haven’t been together a very long time especially considering you’re a girlfriend not a fiance. Your edit also says neither parent is ready for their partners to be around the children.

His ex-wife gets a boyfriend this year and now he wants to go play house for Christmas? I’d take the signs here OP.

OpeningCharacter2969 said:

NTA. That is a very reasonable boundary. OP isn’t asking him not to hang out with his ex wife and kids Xmas eve or Xmas morning. She is only asking him to not spend the night. This should have been an easy compromise if her boyfriend valued their relationship at all. He leaves when the kids go to sleep and sets an alarm to get there before they open presents.

Not sure why boyfriend can’t compromise even a little. OP doesn’t sound controlling and is basically asking for the bare minimum. I would put my foot down. Boyfriend sounds like the type if you give him an inch he tries to take a mile.


I want to thank you all for your different points of view. Some of them have been really tough, but they've enlighten me on things I was not seeing. I'm a 33F, I do want kids in my future, in fact, I had a miscarriage from a previous relationship (that obviously ended).

He does in fact ended up living with his mother, because he couldn't afford a place of his own. In my case, I'm in a better position financially, and most of the time I'm the person that carries with big financial responsibilities in our relationship.

This got me to think of a lot of comments I read of him having me only because I was convenient and that I'll not be as a priority as a partner should be if it's not convenient to him. Y'all have given me multiple things I need to reevaluate for myself and the future I could build with this person.

I also apologize if my post was entitled or I seemed like a manipulative brat. As all humans, I do carry my own insecurities, and that's why I really don't like being put in this kind of positions, were relationships can be compromised. Thank you all for opening my eyes!

Everyone was on OP's side for this one, for the most part. What's your advice for this couple?

Sources: Reddit
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