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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother Crosses Line In Inviting Ex To Christmas

DEAR ABBY: My mom insists on including my ex-husband and his wife at our family gatherings. I have told her repeatedly that it makes me very uncomfortable, but she even included them in the gift exchange last Christmas. What should I do? Not go?

My sister has already laid a guilt trip on me. Must I go and have Christmas with my ex like we're one big happy family? (If we had been happy, we would not have gotten divorced.) What are your thoughts on this? -- LIVING IN DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION

DEAR LIVING: If you and your ex were married for a long time, I can see why your mother might consider him still part of the family and want to include him. However, out of consideration for your feelings, it should be on a limited basis -- not every holiday. (Could she be trying to punish you because she blames you for the divorce?)

Because it would make you uncomfortable and your mother knows it, make plans to do something you would enjoy -- perhaps a trip out of town to be with friends or to a different climate. And please, don't feel guilty if you do -- regardless of what your sister says.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations