It’s not always easy to find common ground with our partner’s ex, especially when the issue involves their child. Emma, a Bright Side reader, is facing an awkward situation where she found herself banned from her boyfriend’s son’s birthday party after she refused to host it at their home. She wrote to us seeking advice for her challenging situation.


Communicate openly with Carl.

Initiate a calm and honest conversation with Carl about your feelings and concerns regarding the party situation. Express your desire to be involved in celebrating his son’s birthday and being part of the family events. Share that you suggested an alternative venue out of concern for the furniture, and that Marla’s reaction surprised you.

Seek Carl’s perspective on the matter and work together to find a compromise that considers everyone’s feelings and maintains a harmonious family dynamic.

Offer to compromise on the venue.

Propose a compromise to Marla by suggesting a different arrangement for the party that meets both her wishes and your concerns. Perhaps you can agree to host a smaller gathering at home, with measures in place to protect the furniture, or find a middle ground that ensures a memorable celebration for the child without compromising your living space.

Emphasize your willingness to cooperate and contribute positively to the event while addressing the issues that led to the initial disagreement.

Seek mediation or family counseling.

If tensions persist, propose the idea of seeking professional assistance through mediation or family counseling. A neutral third party can help facilitate a constructive dialogue between you, Carl, and Marla, fostering understanding and finding common ground.

This approach may help address underlying issues and improve communication, ultimately benefiting the entire family and preventing further strain on relationships.

Host a special celebration separately.

Consider organizing a separate celebration for Carl’s son at a different time or venue that aligns with your preferences. This allows you to create a memorable and enjoyable experience without the potential conflicts associated with the birthday party.

Invite close family members, including Marla, to share in the celebration, reinforcing your commitment to being part of the family while avoiding the specific challenges presented by Marla’s proposed event.

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