My inconsiderate asshat of an ex-wife...FFS!

I am in my second marriage, with a blended family. My wife and I have two biological kids together, and she is a great stepmom to my older two bio children from my first marriage.

My wife gets only one week off from work the whole summer, and it is the break between her camp’s first and second sessions–so, zero flexibility. But she knew months in advance which week in July it would be, and we also knew that my ex usually likes to do some combination of having her parents come visit (from Seattle), going out there with the kids, or sending them out to spend a couple weeks there without her. So *months *ago (like, three months at least), we told her we could be flexible with custody the whole summer, except for that one week.

So we booked ourselves a whirlwind Midwestern road trip: up to Minnesota and North Dakota to visit the wife’s family, then on to Winnipeg to meet up with my mom and check out the Francophone district (nous sommes tous francophiles), and back. We booked two rooms for two nights on Priceline, a big splurge for us at a nonrefundable $160 + fees.

Today my sixteen year old son, our eldest, comes over and is all excited about how his grandparents are going to take him to New York City (they grew up in Jersey and have lots of extended family there) “as long as it’s okay with” us. Sure, that’s great–with the obvious point that of course it wouldn’t be scheduled during our one week that we staked out months ago.

So, you know, we contacted my ex just to make absolutely sure on that point. Need I say more? :mad: (This is in the Pit, after all.) She “thought it was a different week”, despite the fact that we emphasized it over and over and OVER. :smack:

So, no problem…we just have to tell an excited sixteen year old who’s never seen NYC “sorry, you have to stay in the Midwest with us instead”. Where the **FUCK **does she get off, getting his hopes up about this trip without checking with us first?! Gaaaahhhhhh!!!

Have you asked your sons grandparents if their trip is flexible?

Your son, at sixteen, is old enough to decide whether he’d rather go to New York with his grandparents, or visit your current wife’s family and spend one day with his grandmother in Winnipeg. I strongly suggest that you let him make that decision.


A co-worker had a similar situation last summer, where her ex-husband tried to pull the same stunt. Seriously, if you had posted this a year ago, I would’ve thought that you posted as her, and just changed the genders.

Part of her decision was made by the fact that her daughters could either spend a great deal of time with her biological grandparents on the dad’s side, or have her kids spend a shorter amount of time with her parents, with some time spent with her husband’s parents as well (they are kinda close, but moreso with the ex-husband’s parents).

The kids are old enough that they should have a say. If your mother rarely gets to see them, is not in good health, etc., I could see where you might play the “trump” card, but otherwise, this could be a cause for resentment and you have to ask yourself if this is a fight worth having - both with the ex and with the kid.

Depending on your arrangement with the ex, this “oversight” could come in handy for future custody / family court dealings. (Although, at 16, I don’t imagine that it will)

I’m not too inclined to give up one of the last family vacations we will get together before he leaves the nest.

Whoa … exactly what I was going to say … scary

That should be his decision … start letting go so he’s prepared when he does fly the coop

I totally understand this.

Is there a possibility of you speaking with the grandparents and asking them if they are flexible on the dates of the trip? Did your ex even tell them that was the exact week you had told her you had a trip planned? Or are they as petty and spiteful as your ex seems to be?

Yabbut… chances are he’s not going to see it that way. Drag him along to the Midwest and he’s liable to resent you for it, and be as grouchy and moody and passive-aggressive as a teen can be and make things tense and miserable for the rest of your family.

Don’t punish him (and the rest of you) for your ex’s irresponsibility.

Do see if your ex’s parents would be able to take him a different week in the summer.

That’s your problem. Think instead about what is best for him.

He has the opportunity to go to NYC, to spend time with his grandparents that he apparently does not get to see very often, to meet family members that he has never met, and you want to deprive him of this opportunity because you want him to spend time with your current wife’s family and a speed trip to Winnipeg. Frankly, you’re being extremely selfish. Think about him.

It doesn’t ruin your trip. You’ve still got your kids with your current wife to visit her family. (You said you have two with your ex. Is only your son invited to NY?) Your mother will still be delighted to see grandchildren. If fact, I’d be astonished, knowing Manitobans as I do, if she wasn’t delighted for his opportunity. She’ll be disappointed, but she’ll understand.

You’re being selfish. You’re thinking only of what is best for you. Stop that.

Seriously, a teenager is about as interested in visiting his grandparents/relatives as he is in taking a 8 hour a day Algebra class. Let him go to New York, or at least make up his own mind.

That’s a totally reasonable expectation, and I don’t blame you for holding to it. But - without knowing anything about your kid’s temperment or personality - how likely is it that making him come on this trip is going to make him sullen and resentful the whole time, and how likely is that to bring down everyone else on the trip? Is it worth it to have “just one more family vacation” if it’s going to be a sucky one? Or is it better to retroactively make the previous trip “the last one,” and just enjoy yourselves in Minnesota with the rest of the fam, while he’s in NY?

I don’t know what they know. I always got along with them decently well. I hope they can indeed shift things around. I would love for both him and his sister to get that experience (their plan was to take him while she goes to a filmmaking camp, but we are leaving town the day after camp ends and they were not planning to come back from the East Coast until a week later, I think).

FYI, he spends several weeks with my ex-in-laws every summer. He has spent at least triple, probably quadruple, the amount of time with them in his life as with my mom.

Hopefully they can shift things around, but if not I agree that it should be his choice. A vacation should be something you enjoy, not something you are forced in to for someone else’s pleasure.

If he goes to NYC, plan a weekend camping trip with him or something. It’ll be even more meaningful for both of you.

OP, if your son can’t make it, I’ll fill in for him. It’s a while since I’ve had a vacation.

I won’t call you “Dad,” though.

Wait, Winnipeg? I’d have to get a passport.

Never mind.

You should have 16 more years with the kid … probably a hell of a lot longer … trust me, in about 8 years you’ll be wondering when he actually will leave the nest …

Additionally, there might be an added benefit of each child spending time with their “genetic” grandparents, instead of one’s side feeling like a “guest star” on the other’s blood-related family gathering.

Like I said, I don’t know your situation, so it may be one big happy blended family where everyone feels like they are wholly part of a single unit, so forgive my assumptions.

We generally blend pretty seamlessly/harmoniously.

I also don’t see how this is your ex’s fault yet. Maybe that’s the only time her parents could do this trip? After all, it sounds like THEY’RE the ones who asked, not her, correct?

Here’s the story, of a man named Brady,