is marrying someone with a child too tough?

karenb2003

i am in love with a wonderful man who's been divorced 3 years. for the last year and a half - he and his ex have shared the same roof since his son wanted to live with him and not the mother. The mother refused to give up custody. The son is 6 yrs old. He has a great relationship with his dad and is a good kid. The kid does not have a good relationship with his mom since she is always hankering after him, emotionally blackmails him (you love your dad more than me so you don't listen to me, if you don't do what i tell you to, i will leave you and go away) and he also sees the animosity between the parents. The ex-wife is now moving out and has decided for now to continue letting the child stay with the father until the end of the school year and then will take him to live with her. The son will definitely throw tantrums if that happens, since he is extremely attached to the father. His father and I want to get married at the end of the year. My family is throwing a fit saying that is the worst decision I could make that I could easily meet someone who is single and no kids and that the child and his ex, whom we know is vindictive, will create a lot of problems for me. I am not sure that the child will be a problem because although I don't see the child at all since we live in different countries, I have met him earlier and talk to him on the phone and we have a good rapport. I know that I will love this kid and take care of him and I hope he will accept me if he sees that. This man loves me and I am the centre of his world - I know he will do anything and everything to make me happy. He has a strong value system and is a good man. If it weren't for his child and ex, my parents would have been happy if I were with him. What should I do? I am petrified since I don't know anyone with a kid who has been through a divorce and re-married. There aren't any divorces either. I am scared and not sure I should go ahead with this although I fear that I am losing someone who does make me happy. Any thoughts?

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stacey446

been there..done that...listen to your mom and dad..they know best

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karenb2003

Thanks Stacey. You'd don't feel it's the right thing to do?

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stacey446

I have had my share of men with children.. More than my share..anywhere from him having custody of his daughter to oops I forgot to tell you the girl I was dating before you is pregnant...I have found that there are many many men out there that do not have children. How old are you? I couldnt find it in your post. I now have someone that I intend to marry. Yes, he has kids but, there are 21 and 23. THANK GOD.. I would never do the little kid thing again. Also, been there and done that with the ex still living under the same roof but, we have been divorced bull.. Listen to your mom and dad...

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whazzup

You said he has a strong value system and is a good man. Is his only fault that he's been married before and has a child? Think about it long and hard, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater (so to speak).

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suzieque

Wait a minute - - you said that the child lives with the father and mother, then you said that you never see the child because you live in different countries. So you and your boyfriend live in different countries? If I've read that right, how often do you see your boyfriend? Does he visit your country often?

I do think that marrying someone with a child/children CAN work - - but it takes maturity on the part of the adults and hard work. It's not without problems, but what family is?

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ladylawyer

I wholeheartedly second the last statement made by Suzieque.

Let me give you another perspective. My first marriage was to someone single, no kids, college educated, good looking, lots of money. We had a lot of fun together. Dated two years, got engaged and married a year later, traveled a lot and just really had what we thought was a great marriage. We were married three years when we decided we had a good enough foundation to bring a child into the world.

I have a rare blood disorder that makes carrying and delivering children very risky and difficult, so my pregnancy was a nightmare (bed rest, blood transfusion upon blood transfusion, scary delivery). After I delivered my son, I was extremely anemic and sick for six months after. It was very stressful and that's when I found out that the man I had known for six years couldn't deal with life very well when things got rough. He developed (during my pregnancy but I didn't find out until our son was almost two years old) a very scary and very violent problem. After five years of marriage, it literally ended overnight when I found certain pictures and confronted him with them and he lost control. He ended up pleading guilty to assault and battery against me. I was in total shock. I really thought I knew this person. I completely stopped eating for two months because I literally could not swallow my food, lost thirty pounds (and I only weigh 125 to begin with, so my friends and family were pretty freaked out).

I guess after all of this, I could have shut myself up and not let anyone in, not trust anyone ever again. After all, I thought I had found Mr. Wonderful once and was so very wrong. But, I met someone and fell in love. We started with saying that this was only going to be fun, casual dating, but it took a different turn pretty quickly. We've been married a year now and we have the most beautiful little son together. I am so glad I didn't turn him away, just because 1) he has another child from another relationship and 2) because I had been hurt before.

I am not really advocating what you should do one way or the other, but just trying to say, that in any relationship, you take chances. In a way, at least you know up front that your relationship with this man will have one very serious layer of complexity. And its definitely not easy. There will be challenges. But if you feel you are strong enough to face those challenges and you have a good support network (I am so blessed with the most awesome friends and family, they were by my side every minute of my divorce and now they are so happy that I am doing well and right there sharing in it), I think anything is possible. Good Luck :)

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RosieL

You will have no idea what this child is really like until the child realizes that his home as he new it is no longer intact and there is a new woman vying for his father's time. Sometimes love isn't enough to survive the struggle of living check to check because you are paying for attorneys for custody, support battles, or that your home is in a constant turmoil because of the ex or conflicts with the child. This child will in no way be the kind of child that you would raise. He may have nasty habits, poor manners, rude behavior and you will be powerless to try to change a child whose parents see no problem. Your parents probably know you well enough to have an idea if you have the strength to handle this situation. Some people can. Some regret it to the day they die. I would defer to your parents' judgment. If I saw my little girl getting ready to jump into this kind of hell that I see all over these pages, I would freak as well!!! Read these posts. All of these people started with the feelings of love you have. That love can quickly turn into despair. There are many men that can "make you happy" out there. Remember... when you marry this man, you also accept the fact that the child AND the ex wife are a part of the package. Also .... don't fool yourself into believing that all the bad things he says about his wife are true. They may or may not be. It usually takes two. You don't know his wife or him for that matter very well if its a long distance relationship. Take your time. There is no hurry. He has never lived away from his wife. Give him a chance to be by himself for a while and find out who he is without a woman to guide him. What its like to raise a child without help and be responsible for his every need. If your parents smell a skunk ... I would bet there's one lurking around somewhere. You just may not see it.

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stacey446

Great Advice Rosiel...I loved the skunk part.. Too many times women jump into marriage before they get to know the person. Why this happens I dont know..insecurity, pregnancy ect ect....I personally could have been married before and am so glad I waited. You dont see their true colors after a year it usually takes longer. Most people lie when it comes to their ex's also. Maybe I shouldnt say flat out lie but, they tell it how they see it. Remember there are three sides to every story. Hers, his and the truth.. LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS....

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nadastimer

It's not always a bad idea. I think it depends on your thinking and the relationship and what you're able to deal with. My father has been in several relationships with women with kids after he and my mother divorced. In those relationships the problems he had wasn't with the kids, it was the mothers! He's now dating a woman he dated for a bit back about 12 years ago and she has 1 10 year old and 17 year old. The 10 year old lives with her mother. In this case things are working out great! Dad has given this girl more love and attention than her own father has ever given her. The woman is nice and caring and likes my father for who he is. She is upset that the other women in his life put strains on the relationship my father had with my brother and I and she's helping us be closer. Our family has accepted them in with open arms and we love them all and the love us. In this case, things are good. But it depends on the situation and the people involved and again how mature you're going to be about the situation. Like you can't think that the ex-wife won't be a part of your life at all because that's not likely. And you can't think you can just get the bf to give up his kid to make your life easier because he has a responsiblity to the child. And you can't be jealous of the relationship he has with his child.

I do question what all is going on here. Like others pointed out about living in different countries yet the child lives with his parents still. How did you meet this man? How long have you known him? How much timd have you spent with him? You can't marry someone you hardly have ever seen and mostly only keep in contact with via e-mail or phone calls. You're not seeing the real person and the whole situation. He could be telling you anything you want to hear. Here's the big thing, when you marry, who's moving where? Is he planning on moving out of the house that he shares with the ex or will you be moving in to? I say you need to move closer to this man and get to know him before you plan on marrying him. You never know what you may end up with. That's why I'm sort of glad my two closest friend's decided to move in with their bf's of several years. They're learning the truth about these guys. It was easy for them to show off and be all cool and wonderful a few hours a week but it's different when it's 24/7 and you have bills to pay and responsibilities. The one spent a year with the guy and told him to get lost because he wanted to do as he pleased and acted like she wasn't around. My friend of many years is learning that her guy thinks of himself and rarely comes home. At least they're going to know what they're getting into before they get married...no surprises there. So when they divorce, it was their own fault for seeing that it wasn't working in the first place.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.

~Leslie~

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ladylawyer

See, I don't agree with the whole "only [lots of] time will tell." Time doesn't tell, the events that happen in life and how that person handles them is what "tells." I was with my ex husband six years before our son was born and life was easy, lots of time and money at our disposal, gallivanting across the French countryside, sunning ourselves on the beaches of the Mayan Riveria, driving new sports cars. I didn't get a chance to see how he would hold up to the pressures life always brings because we avoided those pressures for so long.

Now, my second marriage has been the reverse. Since I have met my husband, I started my career at a large law firm (stressful, grueling), bought a new house which we completely remodeled (fun, but still stressful), planned a wedding in that house (again, fun, but stressful) and most telling of all, had a difficult pregnancy to deal with and now an infant to raise. I literally faced death to bring my children into this world (so a lot of life's other challenges seem very insignificant to me) and my children were in danger too. Both my sons spent the first few days of their lives in pediatric intensive care. My second husband never left that child's side. He went to every single doctor appointment, ultrasound, etc. I love the man more and more everyday, because my first husband, who I have made my amends with and consider my friend, crumbled under all of this, while my second husband has been my rock.

You have an unique opportunity to see how this man holds up under fire. Not everybody gets that. If you feel you can hold your own with his ex and that is the only thing making you hesitate, if you think that otherwise, this is the man of your dreams, I wouldn't necessarily say the whole experience he has to face right now should be viewed as a "negative." Watch how he handles things, if you see a lot of strength there, remember that in your own times of need, he will be strong.

As for the ex, try to imagine how much anger and bitterness must be gnawing at her in order for her to act the way she does. She can't be a happy person. Would you trade places with her?

Like I said, I made my amends with my ex husband before the ink was even dry on our divorce decree. I knew all the emotions I was holding on to would just eat me up inside, so I did what I had to resolve them and move on so that I could be happy. All she is doing is holding herself back from being happy. It is within my power to destroy every relationship my ex has simply by sending his present girlfriend a copy of the police report in which he admitted he attacked me and a transcipt of the hearing at which he pleaded guilty to assaulting me. But such a vindicative, angry action on my part is beneath me. I want him to be happy, because my son's happiness depends on him being happy and I love my son more than anything. My ex has been dating a very nice woman for over two years now, I would be thrilled if they got married because she is very good to my son and told me herself that she thinks he is the sweetest boy.

If you are good to her son, maybe she might feel the same way about you one day. But if not, know that until she resolves her anger and bitterness on her own terms, you are going to have issues, because even though you are only guilty of giving a man who disappointed her a chance at happiness, she is going to take it out on you. If you decide to go through with this, just be strong and do the right thing by the child involved. Let that child know that you don't intend to be his mother, but hope to be his good friend. Do small kind things to make him feel like you care. Expect nothing in return and you won't be disappointed.

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stacey446

ladylawyer..I went back and looked at your posts..you have only been married for a year..your relationship took a turn quickly. this tells me that you were not together long? (not sure here) Most people in general men and women are on their best behavior in the beginning. Sorry you are in the beginning if you have only been married a year. As with your ex you were together for awhile before things took a turn correct? After awhile people take each other for granted. I also looked at the original message. I am taking it that she does not have children and he is coming with baggage (sorry ex and child are baggage). If she does not have children of her own she should look to find someone without all that. Especially if she is young. I am thinking (for some reason) that she is in her early 20's (dont know why)..the biggest and most important factor here....HER PARENTS ARE AGAINST IT!! Also your comment on how you can show your ex's girlfriends the papers..Sorry to say that women tend to believe alot of what their guy tells them. I am sure we all have been been given a line of crap. am sure he has already told them stories about you and nothing you could say would change their minds..sad but true...Karenb...listen to mom and dad..

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mom_2_4

Karen B, if you truly love this man, feel he loves you and feel you could handle the stresses of step kids and an ex (read over this entire board), then just continue dating him. Don't be hasty and get married right away. Do you know why we are all step-families here? Because we all made bad choices, got married too soon, too young, whatever. There is no rush. If he's the right one, he'll still be there. Just don't sign that paper. Give it a minimum of another year.

And another thing -- do NOT ignore those red flags. You know, those nagging little things about him, his life, his attitude, his family (or whatever) that bother you, but you THINK you can live with. Those annoyances can become huge problems through the years -- or more importantly -- they are a sign of greater problems that you haven't yet allowed yourself to acknowledge. I don't believe that any divorced person can honestly say "I DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS LIKE THAT". There are always signs and clues that you choose to ignore for whatever reasons.

WAIT LONGER BEFORE SAYING "I DO" ......... Don't be defiant and marry him because your parents don't want you to. Or don't leave him because your parents say so. You are an adult, and the decision is yours. But the common sense thing to do is to wait -- just so happens your parents are right.

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stacey446

Mom 2 4 GREAT POST!! I have to agree with you. No one "developes" promlems or turns into a nut. You were so right about the signs being there. I saw another post on here where she said her husband developed a problem. No, more like he had one and you ignored the signs..lmao YOU ARE SO RIGHT

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mkk621

runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn fast!

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Chethi

Great advice by RosieL..! Karen, I will make a short and sweet statement here. Im talking with my own experience only. Dont do it and PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS!!! Otherwise you will regret for sure. There are enough of single men out there. Go and spend your life happyly without dragging unwanted stuff to your wonderful life.

Good luck..!

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Henzy Henzy

I am in this situation. It's going to be very challenging. Please try to find a guy with no kids. most of the ppl are asking you to listen to your parents. PLease listen to them. Please have mercy on yourself.

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colleenoz

I think the point is moot: the original post was 15 years ago.

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Henzy Henzy

I wish i read this before then.

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Ariel Anderson

My take, 15 years ago. . . to the present. Some things have slightly changed for SMs, and some things have not, and some things have a long way to go. What is a potential SM supposed to look for nowadays? There really is no one set of answers.

There are just too many extenuating factors to take into consideration, and still much of the advice out there for SMs is based on long-held presumptions and assumptions, and much of it is based on what largely non-SMs think should work vs. what actually may. Very few, even amongst professionals, take into consideration SM’s main role as dad’s wife or SO and instead seem to only want to focus on the “mom” part of SM. Because of this, for years and years SMs have been looked at almost solely as competitors to mom or competitors to SKs for dad’s attention, and SMs have traditionally been treated abrasively and judged harshly because of it. The reality is, most SMs just want to be dad’s wife or SO, and welcoming to the children.

I’ve been a SM for over 15 years now, and I still can’t really help much with the “How do you make it work?,” question. What I can tell you is that as a SM, or even potential SM, you need to do what works for you, because there is so much bad or contradictory advise out there, it is unbelievable. What works in one step-situation might not work in another, because there may be a huge difference in the many factors that go into making a step-situation work. I often even refer to SP’ing as a crazy backwards world, because things that no woman or wife would be expected to take in a typical family situation, for some reason a SM is expected to take and with no questions asked. In the year 2018, everyone knows spouses and even SOs are to be seated together at events. This is just a given, isn’t it? Not with SMs, that’s for sure.! You can be married to your husband for years and years and it can still be a crap shoot whom someone will try to pair with your husband at a family event, no permission needed. You’ll both just attend an event, and, surprise!, everything will be arranged like your husband and his ex- are still a ‘joined at the hip twosome’ and you (SM) simply do not exist. This is just one example.

Follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Look out for yourself. Most people will probably tell you something like, “Just be nice to the kids, and it will all work out,” or something similarly sappy. It sounds like common sense, and I would have thought the same before I became a SP, but that’s another thing. . . a lot of what sounds like common sense doesn’t work in step-world. There are studies that show that the nicer a SM is, the more the kids may start to despise her, because their loyalties are to mom, and they’ll just automatically look at SM as competition for mom. This is especially true if BM encourages them to think such, which certainly can occur. There is no way you can change anyone’s mind in this situation. You can’t control BM; nor should you be expected to. This is where you need a STRONG husband/ DH. He needs to put his foot down from day one that you are his SO and his children are to treat you as dad’s wife, and not as mom’s competition. Sounds simple enough, but so many divorced men with children fail on this one it is unbelievable.

Too many of these men wind up treating their wife or SO like a child and their child more like a spouse. Even little things like letting his son or daughter sit in the front seat next to him ALL the time while you’re in the back, could send the message to the kids that they are dad’s significant other and not you. Children deserve to have all the love in the world, but they are not SOs and they are not wives. You combine a lot of these SM in the back type situations, along with guilty dad syndrome and BM’s PAS’ing, and next thing you know, you start to feel like the servant they are treating you as, and then when you go to one of your married friends to complain, she tells you that you need to understand more and give them space and not put your DH in the middle. In reality, not only are YOU the one being put in the middle, but you are also being put in the middle of someone else’s divorce/ fallout. There is no way you should be put in the middle of this and no way you can correct this. Only your DH can.

Not trying to sound sour, but trying to get all to see that there is no way a SM should have to settle for being sloppy seconds just because her husband has children from a previous relationship. If as a SM, you feel like you are being the family servant or scapegoat or can never do anything right, or everyone is telling you you need to suck it up for the “family,” these are all signs that your DH is letting you take the fall, among other things. One might expect that of BM or even SKs, but very few women ever expect that once they get heavily involved with or marry, that their DH could so easily shrug his shoulders and let his wife or SO take the fall in reference to his family pretty much every time. In the end, the only advice I can really give any SM, is make sure you have a strong and true and tried DH before you ever marry him. You’ll need at least that. There is really no way to guarantee your success as a SM, as success largely depends on bio-mom and bio-dad, and less on SM or the SKs. And, remember: Manipulative, controlling BM and weak, enabling DH almost surely means Step Hell for life.

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Tana Wriston

i married a man with a daughter from a previous marriage. dumbest thing i ever did

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HU-672704190

I need advices. I am dating someone who is married & has a son. He & his wife are not living under the same roof.

He is going to apply for a divorce petition. We want to get married but I think my parents will never accept it. I just can't accept the fact that he has a child with that woman. & I really hate her. He has never been happy with her. Because of her,he had severed all ties with his family. He loves me dearly. Am in a dilemma,I want to marry him but sometimes I am reluctant to do that. Any advices

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colleenoz

Find someone else. Seriously. Dating someone who is married, whether they say they are getting divorced soon or not, is a dangerous game.

Often, the divorce never happens and was never intended to happen, it was just the married person's way of keeping the side relationship going.

Even if there is a divorce, to the ex wife and son, you are and always will be "the other woman". She will have cause to bad mouth you anywhere and everywhere she wants to, and likely will. This will not make you happy.

If the divorce goes through, that does not mean his relationship with his son (or indeed his ex wife for that matter) ends. At the very least he will have to pay child support, which I suspect you will resent, if not at the beginning, but eventually. He may want to visit with his son, have his son visit him, co-parent even. You don't like this child and he will be in your life forever. It's not fair to the child, who is innocent in this, to have to be around someone who resents him. And his mother will always be involved, if only peripherally. You will never be totally free of her.

And lastly- if he played around on her, he may well play around on you next when the glamour wears off. Presumably he loved her enough to marry her once, then fell out of love. Same thing could happen to you.

Cut your losses and move on. Find someone who isn't married, and is childless. You won't be happy in the long run otherwise.

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Karen Peltier

Well said, colleenoz. Couldn't have said it better.

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HU-687080093

I am going through the same thing.

I am in a long distance relationship ith someone who lives literally half way across the world, has been divorced for 3 years and has 2 girls, 13 and 9.

When i first agreed to the relationship i had no problems with him having kids. In fact i couldnt understand why anyone would mind. As the relationship progressed pretty fast and we got engaged, I am now having all these doubts. I dont have parents or family to tell me what to do or give me advice.

Basically he is very loving to me butn fully committed to them for another n7 years before he can even think of uprooting himself. He says he never wanted to marry their mum and that his kids were a mistake, but he loves them very much and i can see how great of father he is, one of the reasons i fell for him. I met his daughters once and we all went out together, it was awkward and pressuring for me, but he made sure not to make me feel left out and his younger daughter was very sweet to me on numerous occasions despite it being somewhat awkward and shy for us.

The thing is its going to be a very big decision and Im not sure if i can handle life after getting married. He himself cannot tell me what role he hopes i will play as he says not needs to be developed organically.

We are going through so much to be together, different countries, cultures, religions, and now I dont know if i can handle all that comes with being witj someone who has kids.

Dont know what to do :(

Go through with it? And deal with whatever comes together?

Or back out, and give up this chance at happiness with him but reassuring myself there are many fishes in the sea?

Btw Im not very young - late 30s,but before him I had been single for a very long time.

Can anyone share with me some perspective or advice?





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kk sc

I fell in love with a wonderful man with 4 kids and married him-I was miserable and wished someone had locked me up. From the outside looking in they were nice kids! When I had contact with them they were good and polite. Living with them on a daily basis is a different story-these are not your tribe. The Ex wife and her family are not your allies and often cause trouble you can't correct. It goes on & on! The DH usually has a guilt complex and SDs are often disruptive to your marriage and your happiness! Stay in your own house and be happy with the wine & dine


Men with children are like peacocks! They make themselves so attractive! They are fishing for a bedpartner who will endure the misery of living with damaged children. I'm here to tell you there is a lot of misery What they want is someone to come in and organize it all up and take the pressure off them! The term dating should be called shopping! You are shopping for a man-find one you'll like on a daily basis-if there are children involved your happiness chance is slim to none.

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Karen Peltier

I don’t know how to put into words what it is like to be a step-mom/ SM. However, I can give examples. Examples of what you can expect around the holidays, and not around the holidays, for that matter. I guess you’d say the common theme is--you can’t win. But, it goes beyond that.

If you (SM) show up to family Christmas party: “What in the H- is that bee doing here?”
If you don’t show up to family Christmas party: “That bee didn’t come. Yep, she hates us. “

If everyone loves the casserole that you and your husband Jim brought with and you made: “Wow! What a fantastic casserole. Jim this is great! “

If the casserole is even remotely burnt, or too salty, etc.: “Yuck! What is that bee trying to do—kill us!?"

If everyone loves their presents that both you and your husband brought: “Wow! Thank you so much Jim/daddy/bro. for this wonderful gift! It was so generous of you. “
If anyone doesn’t like or thinks they got a puny gift: “Yep, bee ripped us off again. I’m sure her kids/relatives got twice as much. “

If you’re even a tad overdressed or a little loud, or actually seem to be enjoying
yourself: “I see bee is trying to hog the limelight again. What does she think she’s doing? She’s not the host. “
If you’re underdressed and very quiet and only speak when spoken to: “Geesh, bee actually seems to be minding her place this time. Maybe she’s finally getting it.“

If your husband accidentally stands under the mistletoe: His ex- comes running up, grabs his cheeks and smacks him on the lips, making sure her lipstick smears. Everyone starts laughing and says, “Good one!” Jim, your husband looks sheepish and then starts laughing too.
If you accidentally stand under the mistletoe: No one makes a move or even blinks. Your husband glances your way and takes another swig of beer.

If a call goes out for family pictures and you go up and stand next to your husband of XX years: Gasps!, dead-silence, raised-eyebrows. Someone says, “We said family,” with a scowl, as they glance your way. When family pictures come out, your head is somehow cut-off. But, Step-son’s girlfriend of two months is fully included.

If a call goes out for family pictures and you don’t go up and stand next to your husband of XX years: Someone says, “Isn’t great that we can come here every year and get a picture of ALL of us together.”

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