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Samwise Offline
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Divorce: Choosing Sides. - September 16th 2012, 04:25 PM

My parents have been divorced since I was two, so I'm used to going back and forth to their houses everyday, because I can't remember them being together, it's normal for me. In the past few years I've been jealous of my friends that live in one house and don't have to worry about which side of the family they're going to spend the holidays with.

Here's the deal, every year at Christmas my brother and I have to choose which side of the family we're going to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner with, that's hard enough because of the guilt of choosing one over the other but know I have to make an even harder decision. Because my Grandma (Mam's side) died a few months ago we have all been dreading the thought of Christmas without her. So everyone has decided that we're going on a family holiday over Christmas and I get the task of choosing whether to stay or go and leave Dad for Christmas?

I just don't know what to do.

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Re: Divorce: Choosing Sides. - September 16th 2012, 06:59 PM

Hey Sam, I'm wondering how the other parent feels when you don't choose to spend the holiday with them? Do they make a big deal and make you feel bad or do they support the decision you make?

My dad lives across the country from me so we had this discussion too. He wanted me for practically my whole break which would mean spending Christmas away from my mom's (very close knit) side of the family for the first time in my life and spending it with my dad and 3 total strangers (he was engaged and she had 2 sons) 3000 miles away. It wasn't a tough choice at all. So for years I would spend Christmas with mom and then fly out the day after and stay with my Dad until New Years, then fly back for school and he was perfectly fine with it.

You should do which ever you want and if one parent or the other gives you a hard time, let them know that you don't appreciate feeling guilty or like you have to choose. Maybe alternate every other year?

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Re: Divorce: Choosing Sides. - September 16th 2012, 07:54 PM

My parents had a formal custody agreement, where I alternated holidays/birthdays, so I never felt guilty about having to choose between parents. I did, however, feel some guilt AFTER I turned 18. I definitely found myself spending more time with my dad during academic breaks than my mom, because my relationship with my mom was still rocky. What I ended up doing was spending Christmas Eve with my dad, Christmas morning with my mom, then the rest of Christmas with my dad again. Since they only lived about 20 minutes apart, it was easy to split the holidays with them. Thankfully, both of my parents have been fairly understanding of my desire to try and please both sides of the family, but if they weren't understanding, I would definitely speak up about how I don't appreciate being caught in the middle.

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Re: Divorce: Choosing Sides. - September 16th 2012, 09:18 PM

It's up to you, and, frankly, you shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it.
If your parents try to make you feel guilty, ignore it.

Admittedly, as I spend my term-time with my mum, and my Dad's terminally ill, I don't feel much guilt going to my Dad's for the holidays, personally, but I know it is an issue.

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