"Thank You" cards to ex and HIS family a good idea?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2013
"Thank You" cards to ex and HIS family a good idea?
Fri, 12-27-2013 - 11:03am


This is the most appropriate board I could find. Sorry if I'm not quite on the right one.

I will try to keep this as brief as possible:

I became a teen mom at the age of 15 and my boyfriend at the time was on and off with me. He was a cheater, but for some strange reason I stayed by him thinking he would change. I was never with anyone other than him. At age 16 we had our 2nd child. At age 18, he and I got married (he also joined the Military during this time). At age 21, we got divorced. During the marriage, he still cheated on me and things were much worse. Again, I stayed by him thinking he would change. What in the world was I thinking?! I don't know. Our entire relationship was nothing but a "friends with benefits" thing. I didn't see it as that at the time; this took me several years to figure out. I know now why I was trying to hang onto this relationship; because I didn't think that anyone else would want to be with a single mother of two. I felt that our kids needed their father and I together. Boy was I ever wrong!

In 2010, I surprised myself; I met my now fiance and he and I have two of our own children together. Coincidentally, my XH also met someone in 2010 around the same time I met my fiance. XH got engaged a short time after meeting his now wife, which they got married in 2011. XH has occassional visits with our kids when he's in town on leave, so it was our kids who revealed that their dad was seeing someone else. 

Fast forward: In the past 4 years I've learned from my kids that their dad and wife have spread awful stories about me to their families, making me out to be their worst enemy. XH has hated my guts and I mean HATED me since I met my fiance (strange?) since we found out about each other's new relationships. He even tried to gain custody of our children (never before) and that didn't work. I've never been the bad guy here and never did anything wrong. Before I forget, XH also adopted his wife's 2 kids a short time after being married. 

Since we've moved onto our new relationships, our children receive many gifts at Christmas and their birthday's from their dad, his family and his wife's family. This past year especially, they've been very generous. After giving a lot of thought I've been debating on whether or not I should send out "thank you" cards to everyone? (To include the kids' dad and wife?) I've never done this before and I'm hesitant. I was going to let the kids sign, not myself. What does everyone think of this? 

That's why I gave you the back story. Maybe this will help aid in the situation? (BTW, my XH's wife has only ONCE spoken to me, ever). When they're in town for a visit, she is looking away from me or has her head down. My fiance notices that she will look at me intensely when I'm not looking at her. My XH, as much as he hates me will actually speak to me and my fiance will speak to him and we're all being nice (well, we're being nice, XH's just pretending) but XH's wife, IMO, is being an idiot. She spoke once to me, trying hard not to stare and had her head down for the most part, saying something about the kids' gifts (I really had a hard time hearing her). I can't wrap my head around this for some reason. My kids, when they visit with them, say they don't like her and that she's mean and has a big mouth. She and XH fight about something -every time- they visit. What does everyone think about this?

I think I've covered everything (I hope!) Please reply. Thank you for taking the time to read this! Smile


Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

You should teach your children to be polite, respectfull, and considerate.  They should have been writing Thank You cards since they were old enough to print the letters.  The rest of the discussion is totally immaterial.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002

I agree with the other poster regarding the thank you cards.  Let those be from the children who actually received the gifts.  With regard to the other issue, you should set up a meeting with your ex to discuss the situation face to face.  Tell your ex and his fiance they should not be bad mouthing you to your children, if there is something that needs discussion, they should talk to you.  It's time everyone grew up and became the adults, regardless of the age you had your children.  Additionally, teach your children to ask that your ex and his fiance not to say anything negative about you in their presence. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Anybody who gives a gift deserves to be thanked. It doesn't matter if the kids or you like the person who gave the gift. Since you do the majority of parenting it falls to you to teach your kids social graces. As soon as they are old enough to write "thank you" and sign their name they do it; as they get older they become more detailed in their thanks.

We didn't allow our kids to play with the gift until the thank you note was written, that made them get it done quickly.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

I agree with the others......if you accept the gift, then a thank you note is required......you need to teach your children to do that!  If they're not old enough to print one, then you write it for them, and have them sign it as best they can.  One or two lines is enough.

As for the hard feelings between everyone, another teaching moment for your children......he is their father, and if they unfortunately don't like his wife........well, they have to deal with it.  When they get old enough, they can choose not to visit them.  EVERYONE.........you, your ex husband, his new wife, your baby daddy, needs to grow up and ignore the stares or whatever.  It is what it is, and you all have to accept it and live with it.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

Yea, rare to go wrong with a thank you card.  Of course, it should be from the kids.  If I am doing my math right, they are old enough to do there own, as rough as it may be.  You can translate if necessary.  

The other stressors are immaterial to the thank you cards.  Unless there is abuse or fear of harm, send the the note.  :)  You may want to post the other issues on MSMW.  

Serenity CL making a second marriage work