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Woman refuses to call Xmas with ex, 'family Christmas;' he says, 'I feel like a failure.'

Woman refuses to call Xmas with ex, 'family Christmas;' he says, 'I feel like a failure.'


"AITA for calling Christmas with my ex ‘co-parent Christmas’ instead of ‘family Christmas’?"


My ex (30M) and I (26F) are still in the midst of our divorce. We split after a few years of his mother making my life a nightmare and many failed pregnancies. Incidentally, I found out I was pregnant two weeks after we split. He begged me to get back together with him and even though I still loved him, I knew that we weren’t going to last.

I had our son this august and we’ve decided to do Christmas together year for him. My ex had also gone NC with his family for the role they played in our split so i don’t want him to be alone during the holidays.

He’ll be coming over to my mothers place on Christmas eve and leaving on the 26th as is normal to do in our family for Christmas as we open presents on the eve, go to church on the day and then have dinner together that evening. My ex also gets along really well with a lot of my male cousins and my older brothers so it hopefully won’t be awkward.

Naturally, this situation has been giving me a lot of stress. My ex still wants us to work it out, we’re in the midst of our divorce, I’m suffering from health problems from the birth etc. I’ve been talking about this non-stop with my therapist and she coined the term ‘co-parent Christmas’.

I find the term funny and I guess when I put it like that, I can effectively compartmentalize what is stressing me out exactly between general holiday stress or my ex being there. I’ve started using the term with friends and family too.

My ex came over yesterday to drop off his presents for my family members (my mom likes to get all the presents in her house when she’s hosting by the 22nd so she can organize them properly, we have a huge family) and we discussed the arrangements a little. He comes over daily just to see the baby too because he’s still exclusively breastfed.

I used the term ‘co-parent Christmas’ and he got a funny look on his face but never said anything. Later on, he called me to say that he didn’t like the term as it reminded him of his failure as a husband and how it meant that he didn’t get to experience any sort of family Christmas this year.

I felt absolutely awful and I even teared up as I apologized. I even lost a little sleep over it and I spoke to my older brother and he said I was an AH for not being mindful over how I spoke to my ex. I want an unbiased opinion too so I’m opening the floor to reddit. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA, but do yourself a favor and put some distance between the two of you. Otherwise OP will continue to be stressed, family will be confused/make assumptions, and the guy will continue to use this "in" as a way to push getting back together.

The OP responded here:


I’m planning to when our son is older but right now i’m stuck 😣


Your son is literally not able to understand the concept of Christmas right now, he’s only a few months old.

The OP again responded:


Christmas aside, i still see my ex everyday. I mentioned it in the post.


"I was an AH for not being mindful over how I spoke to my ex."

He allowed his family to treat you badly for YEARS. You do not need to be "mindful" to someone who was not mindful to you. It's not a family Christmas because he is not your family.

This is merely a consequence to his (lack of) actions. If he's struggling with coming to terms with the fact that he failed as a husband, those feelings are his to manage, not yours. NTA.


NTA, but you're not doing him any favours stringing him along like this. Your kid is not even going to know it's Xmas so it's not worth doing for his sake. Get some distance.


Setting a boundary that 1) you are getting divorced, and 2) you are no longer a family unit is not inappropriate. I get that it may sting for some, but, if said without malice or glee, it is not an inappropriate distinction to make.

You need to have a conversation with your brother. My guess is that he disagrees with your decision to divorce. It would be best for you and he to air out that conversation.


NTA...I like the term! In the same way you've had to seek help and get your mind around the situation, your ex needs to do the same. He may have some emotional reaction to the term, but it IS the reality that he needs to face. He too may need to seek help to get through this.

So, do you think the OP was intentionally trying to hurt her ex or was she drawing a line to show what she was emotionally comfortable with?

Sources: Reddit
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