So I just spent $140... (long!)

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by MrsWbee, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. MrsWbee

    MrsWbee Companion

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    Dec 27, 2008

    on my husband's ex-wife and now it has caused a huge argument between my husband and me.

    Last Christmas, we had her kids buy her a new make-up bag and brushes... grand total of maybe $15. Her present to us from them was a $50 g.c. to a restaurant. I felt kind of bad.

    So this year, I'm totally not trying to "outspend" or anything like that, but I *did* want to get her something nice from the kids. My stepdaughter wanted to get her a pedicure, so I went to a dayspa near her house and bought a giftcard for a spa pedicure from her daughter and one for a spa manicure from her son. I also included the tip on the giftcards. (Because who wants to get a gift that you still have to pay for?!?)

    Then, I had decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to get her a gift as congratulations on finishing her master's degree, which she did last week. So I got a g.c. at the spa today for a 30-min massage to go with the mani/pedi. Add in gift bags and cards, and suddenly my total was $140!!!!

    I am totally comfortable with this. We had a wonderful Christmas (our first EVER with hubby's kids, which I won't really get into because it doesn't help my side of the story, lol) and we have a little extra to spend this year, thank G-d.

    My husband, on the other hand, is really really angry with me. He doesn't think that she deserves it (I have to keep reminding him that just because she's a "sorry excuse for a mother" doesn't mean she's not a really good person overall, because she is) and thinks that I was way out of line to get her a congratulations gift. But he KNEW that I was doing this because I asked him if he thought it would be okay back when I got the idea and he said it was fine as long as his name wasn't on it. So then he said that he figured I'd just get her a cheap mani/pedi at some hole-in-the-wall nail place and that going to the dayspa was more than she deserves.

    I know that she's an ex for a reason, but like it or not, she IS going to be part of our lives forever because they have kids together. I agree with him that she is a horrible, horrible mother, but she is a good person and has worked very hard to get this degree and I know that I would appreciate someone else recognizing that and seeing beyond our differences of opinion about the kids if I were in that position. Am I wrong for buying this gift for her??? :help:
     
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  3. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Dec 27, 2008

    Part of those are from the kids. Just because they add up to a larger amount and its all at the same time I don't think you did anything wrong.
     
  4. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Well! (Deep subject!)...It's over and done.

    So! (sew); (Sharp subject!) ...Let it go.

    But! (butt); (BIG subject)...You still have to deal with your hubby about it AND he'll get over it soon enough.
    You did it with a sincere heart BUT thinking that IF it was you, she'd do the same too. Right? It's the wrong reason to buy a gift for. As long as you don't think of it this way, then there shouldn't be any strings attached to the gift. You gave it BECAUSE you wanted to, NOT because you want something in return. Anyway, that is my opinion about gift giving & it throws a lot of people off.
    We are all guilty of this, one time or another.
    Rebel1
     
  5. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I think you did something very right. Hubby will get over it. You are a great woman for being so giving to someone who you don't have to give to at all. You are right, a person needs to be recognized for an accoplishment as great as getting a masters degree. I hope your step kids and your hubby see what kind of person that you are. Keep up the amazing attitude.
     
  6. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    My view is that it is wonderful that you took your stepkids to the dayspa to pick out a nice gift for their mom. That makes you a very lovely stepmom, truly. Personally, I would not have added in the personal gift. I say this not knowing any of you, so take it for one stranger's opinion. As a stepchild, I was very confused trying to work out how everyone felt about each other and this would have been kind of confounding...because I ALWAYS kept my mom and stepmom in separate spheres in my life. That was my choice for my own sanity. Also, loyalty is a big deal after divorce, and I'd want my DH to know I'm on his side 100%.

    You should be very proud and pleased that you have what sounds like a lovely and harmonious extended family!
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    I think you have set a fine example for the kids. So many families are torn apart by raging fights and bitter attitudes between the ex's. Keep up the positive attitude and your hubby will come around.
     
  8. Sunny Teacher

    Sunny Teacher Rookie

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    I love what you did. My family was torn apart by divorce. You really stepped up, and I think it will really speak volumes to the kids who are always stuck in the middle. Way to go. :)
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Even though your hubby & her don't seem to have remained friends after the divorce, it's nice that you & her have, since like you said she'll continue to be in your lives, so might as well make the best of it. I think that for all future gifit-giving occasions, you shouldn't involve your hubby in the gift idea/purchase. Get her what you want & keep it btwn the two of you. I don't know how old your kids are, but maybe you should tell the kids not to tell their dad what gifts are given to her from you guys because your hubby doesn't care or thinks she deserves anything at all for that matter, so why involve him anymore & cause arguments btwn the two of you?
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Your actions may have gone a long way towards promoting better relations between the two families. Who knows then those good relations will be needed?

    You've also shown the kids a great lesson today. You've shown respect for their mom. That too will come home to roost.
     
  11. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I think that you were wonderful for thinking of her and her children.
     
  12. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    I think you did something great. It's good for the kids to do something nice for their mom, rather than go to some "hole in the wall salon" to get a lesser gift out of obligation.

    For personal reasons, my husband's mother wasn't a very good mom during his childhood. However, he has always loved her and they have a wonderful, loving relationship now. By showing your stepkids' mom respect now, you might be enabling your stepchildren to have a meaningful relationship with their mother in the future. That's awesome!
     
  13. MrsWbee

    MrsWbee Companion

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    No, I didn't do it thinking that she would do the same thing. I meant that if it was I (me?) who was graduating with my master's, I would hope that *somebody* (not her specifically) would realize the enormity of that accomplishment. As a separate thought, if it were I (me?) graduating, I would very greatly appreciate a sincerely thoughtful gesture from someone recognizing my hard work. I didn't mean that I hoped she would buy me a gift for graduating if the tables were turned.
     
  14. MrsWbee

    MrsWbee Companion

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    Thanks everyone for your support and all of your POVs. Just to give a little insight, my stepkids are 7 and 5, so still quite young. I didn't do this as some heroic act that would show them I'm some great person, but I do hope that they understand that their mom is respected in our home and that we do our best to think of her during special occasions as well.

    No offense to the suggester, but I would NEVER dream of continuing to do these kinds of things and telling my stepkids just to not tell Daddy. They get enough of that kind of thing from her and from other family members, and I don't feel that that it's an appropriate lesson to ever teach them. We work hard to show them that he and I are a team and that we discuss our choices with one another. I wouldn't have done this behind his back; as I mentioned, he KNEW that I was buying this. Had he said that he didn't want me to, then that would have been a different story altogether.

    Also, my husband is not a mean or spiteful person. I realize that my post made him sound kind of malicious or bitter, but he is very polite to her and continues to do very nice things for his ex (fix her car, help her out if something breaks in her home, drive across the city to pick up the kids in a pinch so she doesn't have to hire a babysitter, etc.). I think he was just suffering from "sticker shock" and didn't really expect that when I said I wanted to get her a trip to the dayspa it would actually cost that much (men! :lol:)

    I wasn't able to watch her open the gifts when she picked up the kids today, because my 3 y.o. needed some help in the bathroom, lol! But my husband said that she was excited and grateful and overwhelmed. He also said that he is blessed to have a wife that can look beyond a tough past to separate her dislike of a person's choices from her accomplishments and other good deeds. He apologized for being such a jerk about the whole thing and knows that I did the right thing and that her reaction toward the kids made the whole thing worth it, regardless of the price.

    I'm just glad this argument is over!!! (And that I won, hehe... TOTALLY KIDDING!!!!!)
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I don't have a lot of experience (ok, none) with divorce situations, so take this for what it's worth...this is what I see from my friends who are in what sounds like a similar situations. Background: I am no longer friends with the ex, we were really only friends with her because of the husband, so now we are friends with the new couple (and most of that was the choice of the ex). So most of what I hear comes from the new wife.

    The 2 women's (ex and current) have a very hot/cold relationship. The current tries very hard to get along with the ex, and she gets very angry when that is not reciprocated. I'm not saying that will be you, but I just want to caution you from taking a "I spent $140 on her and this is how she treats me" feeling.

    Again, I say that only from the experience of my friends-I see this all the time with the current, and I just have to wonder why she continues to try so hard if the ex never changes? I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't expect anything to improve/change, and don't be disappointed when it doesn't.
     
  16. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Okay!:thumb: Got it!
    You did it with a sincere giving heart & no strings attached. You don't need to worry about anything then. Your husband will get over it, and you will continue the relationship that you are building with the mother of your step children. You are a very nice person and you will be blessed for what you are trying to do for your family.
    Keep up the great work,
    Rebel1
     
  17. MrsWbee

    MrsWbee Companion

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    Oh my husband and I have been married for 4 years, so I don't expect anything from her at this point. I spent about 2 years trying to build a bridge and do ANYTHING I could to create a "friendship" and despite many efforts, her "ways" haven't changed. I did have the same experience as you talk about, where I was hurt that she wouldn't reciprocate and that she wasn't willing to meet me halfway and yadda-yadda. Though she and I have definitely come a long way, I certainly don't believe that this gift will change her behaviors or attitudes toward my husband or myself (and certainly not her kids) in the least, and definitely not in the long run. The next time something hurtful happens, I won't be surprised or taken aback, lol. I appreciate your insight :)
     
  18. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    MrsWbee I have to admire you dearly, I don't think that I could do for my husband's ex, but our situation is totally different. I know my ex's wife would never do anything of that sort for me. I think it takes someone with an open mind and big heart to do what you did. I am glad that she appreciated the gift.
     
  19. boogaboo214

    boogaboo214 Companion

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    Im glad you did that It was very nice. My parents divorced when I was 7 and my bro was 4 so it was hard on us.( i even went through some issues that yr with grades and a lot of emotional trauma, because I never seen it coming they never argued) but my dad remarried a few years after the divorce and my step mom hates my mom and in the same instance, my mom was not the greatest, she went through this have to be with a man or i will die thing and was back and forth with my now step dad for years, they would fight he would move out for 2 days and then move back in, and she got in to drinking a little much and I cant confirm or deny but I also have strong beliefs that she was snorting cocaine until I was 16 or 17 too. So my mom not the greatest and my dad is an alcholic and would not get custody of us he didn't care that much especially since my step mom still hates me and my brother, But she would bad mouth my mom where we could hear and to a 9 or 10 yr old that is rough, now my dad has never said anything negative about my mom even now he will not even agree or disagree if we say something but the point to this ramble is because of my step mom I spen most of my teenage years avoiding my dad because we did not have that great of a relationship neways and it was easier to avoid them all toghether than to deal with her and it is still that way now mostly, we visit him a few times a year (he lives 25 minutes from us) and i talk to him on the phone about once a month or so and it is like talking to a stranger becasue he does not even know me. I bet he can't even tell you my favorite color.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    People always go bonkers when they see the dollar signs. After the dust have settled, then they can recognize the nice gesture that went with it.
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I personally would not spend that much on her. It's the thought that counts and just the fact that you would help the kids get her a gift is what matters. It's great on your part, but I still think that was too much.
     
  22. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Good for you. A generous act is rarely the wrong choice.
     
  23. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Jan 2, 2009

    Mrs.WBee,
    I think you are such a sweetheart!!!
    Muah & hugs to you!
     

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