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To Sam

Christmas with mums new boyfriend

my parents split up a couple years ago and my mom recently got a new boyfriend. we are going to spend christmas with him. i dont want to.

he has never done anything wrong to me and he's really nice. however i despise him... i cant figure out why and i feel so guilty. i don't know how to stop hating him, because i don't want to be miserable at his house on christmas. i feel like i might just cry all day this year. its all settled and i can't change my mom's mind, so i need to change mine.

please could you give me some advice?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Change can be difficult, even positive changes mean that things will be different and it can take time to accept things aren’t the same. When you have no control over something changing, like a parent having a new partner, you might feel angry and hurt and find that hard to express, especially when you like the new person.

Liking a person doesn’t mean you’ll be happy with them becoming part of your family life. It might be difficult to think about sharing special times like Christmas, birthdays and holidays with them. Your family might have ways that you usually celebrate and certain traditions and having someone else to join you might mean things will change. Big changes might make you feel uncertain or anxious. You might feel frustrated or angry towards your Mum’s new partner if you see them as the reason things aren’t how they used to be.

There are some things that can help you feel better.  You can try to say how you feel about Christmas plans, and to make some suggestions about how you’d like the day to be.  Ask your Mum what things will be the same as usual and let her know if there’s anything that’s especially important to you to keep the same, if possible. Having a say, no matter how small, can help you to feel part of the planning and more in control.

If you’re going to be at someone else’s house there might be new rules you’ll need to follow so ask in advance what you’ll need to do and to know. Always ask if you’re unsure what’s expected. It can be harder to relax when you’re not in your own home so you might want to take some things from home that will allow you to feel more comfortable. Ask where you can go if you need some quiet time and it can help to speak to friends or other family members during the day when you get the chance.

When things change it might help to be flexible and to accept things won’t be exactly what you’re used to but you can still find ways to enjoy the day. If you want to talk more about how you feel, there’s always support from our counsellors - they’ll be here to talk to on Christmas day and through the holidays and you can ask other young people for advice on our message boards.

I’m glad you wrote to me and I hope you find my advice helpful

Take care,


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