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Ex and his GF gave me a Christmas gift.

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Ex and his GF gave me a Christmas gift.
Old 12-23-2018, 05:57 AM
  #1

Ugh. The girls were with them yesterday, and came home with a gift bag containing a nice bottle of wine for me from them (completely the GF's idea...she wants us to be best friends lol).

So what do I do now? I really don't want to give them a gift. I lost half of my child support this year, and they just bought a very expensive house in a wealthy area of the city. I don't mind being civil, but I don't want to be friends.

Any suggestions?


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My thoughts...
Old 12-23-2018, 06:01 AM
  #2

Send a brief thank-you note.
Nothing else.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:03 AM
  #3

Quote:
I don't mind being civil, but I don't want to be friends.
Civil is a brief and formal thank-you-note sent by snail mail.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:55 AM
  #4

Yeah, I don't think a gift back is necessary. Not many people buy gifts for their ex's wife! A thank you note is definitely sufficient.
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:01 AM
  #5

A short thank-you note if you feel like you need to do something then sit back, relax and enjoy the wine.


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Old 12-23-2018, 07:08 AM
  #6

I don't think you owe them ANYTHING.

In general, I'm a fan of thank you notes. However, in this case I don't know that even that is necessary. I'd just let it go, regift the bottle or throw it out or even drink it if you want to. If you don't want to fan that fire, just let it go.

I'd have a hard time sending a thank you note for these reasons. 1. not thankful 2. don't want to encourage gift exchange expectations 3. the feeling like I've been trapped in an awkward situation. It'd be easier to just let it lie.
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:16 AM
  #7

How about just a Christmas card or thank you card back?
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:18 AM
  #8

Quote:
'd have a hard time sending a thank you note for these reasons. 1. not thankful 2. don't want to encourage gift exchange expectations 3. the feeling like I've been trapped in an awkward situation. It'd be easier to just let it lie.
THIS. EXACTLY! Mostly number 2 ----I don't want this to become a THING. When I divorced that man, one of the things I got to stop doing was thinking of gifts to buy him !
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:18 AM
  #9

I think a thank you card would be appropriate. No gift necessary. Civil is nice.
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Look
Old 12-23-2018, 07:43 AM
  #10

I take my son every year to buy Christmas for his dad, step mom, step brother, and half sister.
I donít do it to suck up to them. I do it to raise a son that will one day be a husband and father himself and know how to be giving.

If I were you I would thank my girls and tell them you appreciate their thinking of you and leave it.


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Welp...
Old 12-23-2018, 07:51 AM
  #11

Because you have kids with the ex, and he's always going part of your life, write a thank you.

A thank you doesn't mean you are a door mat. It doesn't mean you are BFF. It means you got the gift. It was a nice bottle of wine, not Slim Jims, air freshner, and breath mints taped on top of a semi mushed package of Hostess cupcakes.

I get you'd like to tell them both eff off and DIAF. If the GF treats your daughters decent, doesn't talk sh*t about you while they are there, and tries not to make the visits a drama filled hellscape, write the note.

Civil and polite does not =friends.

It's BS you got the child support cut, but that's on the Ex, not his flavor of the moment.

Last edited by Tawaki; 12-23-2018 at 05:18 PM..
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:54 AM
  #12

Quote:
I take my son every year to buy Christmas for his dad, step mom, step brother, and half sister.
I donít do it to suck up to them. I do it to raise a son that will one day be a husband and father himself and know how to be giving.

If I were you I would thank my girls and tell them you appreciate their thinking of you and leave it.
I think you're misunderstanding. This gift is NOT supposed to be from my DDs. They are grown girls, 18 and 21, and they have been buying gifts for me on their own for years (and before that, their father did take them shopping to buy gifts for me).

This gift is from my Ex and his GF (really just from the GF).

I understand what you're saying.......I have been taking my girls shopping for their father, grandmother and cousins on that side of the family ever since the divorce. We always get nice things for them, and I'm never petty about it. But those gifts are from the girls, not from me. This is a different situation.
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:56 AM
  #13

Quote:
I get you'd like to tell them both eff off and DIAF. If the GF treats your daughters decent, doesn't talk sh*t about you while they are there, and tries not to make the visits a drama filled hellscape, write the note.
I never said I would like to tell them both to eff off, and I don't know what DIAF means.

My dilemma is mostly this.....do I reciprocate with a gift?
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:12 AM
  #14

No, you donít need to reciprocate with a gift. People give gifts because they want to, not because they expect something in return.

I was on the fence about a thank you note. I write thank you notes to my students but not to my family that I see over the holidays. Since they didnít give it to you in person a thank you note would be nice.

I also understand if you donít feel comfortable sending them a thank you.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:15 AM
  #15

Quote:
I don't know what DIAF means.
die in a fire
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:20 AM
  #16

I agree with java and Tawaki. Modeling civil behavior for your kids (even if they are adults) is never a bad idea. Send 'em a Hickory Farms sampler thing. It doesn't have to be a big deal and I think the girlfriend is pretty great for sending you a gift. She didn't have to do that, but she did. At the very least, I would acknowledge it with a thank you card.
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She was was being nice
Old 12-23-2018, 09:10 AM
  #17

And she's good to your girls. I would definitely send a thank you note, and, the next time your girls go to visit, send them with some cookies or a box of chocolates. She has the right idea- it's good to be civil (but not bffs!)
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:12 AM
  #18

If this is a woman he left you for...I'd be tempted to just ignore the gesture. You owe them (her) nothing.

If they met after you were divorced...no matter what kind of jerk your ex is, it was a kind gesture on her part. A gift is not necessary but a thank you card / text / email may be appropriate. Normally I would not think a text or email would suffice as a thank you, but in this case, I think it would be ok.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:28 AM
  #19

I am in the camp of "card only". I think a gift back, no matter how small, does make it a thing and you will be getting and buying gifts every year.


I had a falling out with a family friend who others in my family still see. She continued to buy gifts for my children and I had them send thank you cards after the holidays but we did not reciprocate. I could have easily picked up a box of chocolates or wine but I don't like that person, nor appreciate anything they do, so it seemed fake to me. I don't know if that makes me petty but I prefer to think of myself as "on theme"
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Unwanted gift
Old 12-23-2018, 09:34 AM
  #20

It's never wrong to be nice. Write and send a brief thank you note.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:44 AM
  #21

I think a thank you note shows good manners. I would not reciprocate with a gift.

Should we help you write that thank you note?

On a totally unrelated note....Everytime I see anything Paris related in decorating I think about your guest for sru6yo decorate your Dd's room years ago!
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:01 AM
  #22

I think a thank you note is appropriate; but should be addressed to HER, not him. Short and sweet:

Dear Bambalina, Thank you for the delicious bottle of wine. It was so kind of you to think of me this Christmas. Happy New Year! Sincerely, Ruby

I wouldn't even bother with snail mail. I would have the girls deliver it the next time they go visit, but that's just me--I wouldn't want to pay the postage. If you would rather leave them out of it, snail mail works fine.
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:02 AM
  #23

I have a quote on my quote board that says "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." It was kind of her to send you a bottle of wine. The polite (and kind) thing to do is a send a thank you note. You don't need to send a gift back. All the note needs to say is "Thank you for the wine. Merry Christmas."
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:06 AM
  #24

I'm honestly appalled that anyone would think she needs to reciprocate with a gift. I do get the people saying yes to a note, because that would generally be my stance on thank you notes too - you get a gift, you write a note.

However, in this situation boundaries are important to set. It was a gesture that is in no way reciprocated. IMO Sometimes the kindest thing to do do a gesture if it isn't appreciated is to ignore it and just let it go. Sometimes saying nothing IS the message you want to send. I honestly feel a note could be misleading and feels disingenuous.

OP has already raised her children and doesn't need to set an example for them of having a gift exchanging relationship with her ex husband's girlfriends. I don't think not sending a thank you note isn't civil. In this day and age most people don't even send them to people they LIKE! I definitely think no thank you note implies a lack of appreciation - and in this case that shoe kind of fits. I think just letting it go without comment IS a civil thing to do in this situation.
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:41 AM
  #25

I remember your story from the beginning, and you have always been very classy. I know this is a different gf than before, but you are definitely not obligated. I would not send a gift if I were in your situation.
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OP here again....
Old 12-23-2018, 11:14 AM
  #26

For those of you who do remember my story from the beginning (2009!), this is not "Bambi" ! She's long gone, and this new GF is only 3 years younger than my EX (the other one was 16 years younger), and was never a threat to our marriage. She's smart and well-off, and enjoys spending time with the girls. There have been some bumpy moments between them, but I have stayed out of it, and the girls have handled it on their own.

I think I'll send a wrapped box of candy (my best friend is a chocolatier with her own restaurant/candy store) with the girls on Christmas Eve.
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:26 AM
  #27

A reciprocal gift is not necessary.
Let this be GF's thing.
Simply give a verbal thank you the next time you see her.

You have modeled classy behaviour for your kids from the beginning.
They know it.
Your EX knows it. His GF does too.
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Old 12-23-2018, 12:11 PM
  #28

If the kids were young, I might send a note.
I would not send a gift from me. Divorce severs a gift giving relationship.

When kids are young, parents need to make an effort to facilitate a relationship between the ex and the kids. At the age of your children, the relationship is between the child and the parent.

In this case, if you have a phone number, to be polite and civil, I'd text a thanks. But, this is all I'd do. I wouldn't want to encourage GF. I would want this to be a one time thing, not to be repeated.
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Old 12-23-2018, 01:13 PM
  #29

I think a short thank you note is appropriate.

As for your concern with #2 on the list (the precedent for reciprocal gift-giving), if you are giving a thank you and NOT a gift, you are not setting a precedent for anything except that you are polite and give thanks when given something. I'd send the thank you note the same way the gift was sent to you- through the girls. The fact that you are thanking them and not sending a gift back is message enough.
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Well.....
Old 12-23-2018, 02:12 PM
  #30

If my ex's wife (I'm pretty sure that's not correct???) Sent me anything it would probably be poisoned so I would be really leery. It doesn't sound like this is your case, so I like your idea of the box of chocolate. Isn't complicated family stuff grand?
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From the other side.
Old 12-24-2018, 12:07 PM
  #31

I also got my DH's ex a gift a few years ago. I had an ornament made with a cute picture of my step kids from when they were young (well before I was in the picture) and I had one made for her as well. Not because I wanted it to make it a thing, not because we are friends, but because I genuinely thought she would like it and it would bring her fond memories of when her children were little. She sent a nice thank you and that was the end of it. I think it's appropriate to acknowledge the gift your received. You don't need to reciprocate.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:25 PM
  #32

Quote:
I also got my DH's ex a gift a few years ago. I had an ornament made with a cute picture of my step kids from when they were young (well before I was in the picture) and I had one made for her as well. Not because I wanted it to make it a thing, not because we are friends, but because I genuinely thought she would like it and it would bring her fond memories of when her children were little. She sent a nice thank you and that was the end of it. I think it's appropriate to acknowledge the gift your received. You don't need to reciprocate.
I think you are a lovely human.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:01 PM
  #33

I would just send a card, no need for any type of gift.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:53 PM
  #34

Thank you.
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