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to expect a bit more gratitude for spending time with DP's children?

(67 Posts)
dingledangleflipflop Fri 28-Dec-12 23:29:23

I have been with my DP for 3 years (have known each other for about 7), she has two children aged 4 and 8 and I'm sick of her not appreciating the effort I make with them.

I see the children once every week or fortnight as I work away, when I'm around I do spend time with the children but rather than appreciate my efforts, DP says this is simply what she expects me to do.

According to her, I knew the situation when we got together (her having kids) and if I want to be with her I should be prepared to just get stuck in and stop expecting praise.

Things came to a head yesterday when I looked after her children for half an hour while she went to the supermarket, I do not have children so I do find it stressful being around them at times. After driving her to the supermarket, looking after her kids and then driving everyone back to her house again I said I'd like to watch a DVD on my laptop (with headphones in) while they sat and watched a film in the same room.

DP kicked off and said if I wanted to do that I might as well not be there, it would be rude to sit in the same room doing something else when we could all sit together and watch something suitable for the children.

I'm sick of her selfish attitude, I was stressed out from entertaining her kids while she went shopping and just want her to understand that sometimes I need time to unwind after being around them.

She refuses to back down and says I'm trying to cherry pick when I am involved with her kids, who is being unreasonable?

riverboat Sat 29-Dec-12 18:08:44

As someone with no kids of my own, who isn't a really a kid person, but who got involved with a man with a child - would just say in his defense that there isn't really any way to know what you're getting into. For a start, when I started seeing DP I didn't necessarily think that this would be "the" relationship, I thought maybe it would just be a fling. And secondly, even when I started to think it could develop into something, and I knew he had a kid - well, I hadn't been around kids since I was one, I had no idea what to expect to be honest. What you imagine it will be like isn't necessarily what turns out to be the case. And by the time you have had enough contact with the kid to start realising "actually having someone else's child(ren) in your life on a permanent basis isn't that easy" probably you are already deeply in love with your DP and it's not just a case of saying "well I'll be off then".

For me, I went through some serious internal struggles of "can I do this?" - but came out the other side. I like having DSS around now, even if it's not always easy. I think we've all found a happy balance in our family dynamic.

But if after three years (incidentally roughly the same length of time I've been with my DP/DSS) OPs DP is still stuck in this negative place - I think that yousmell is right, unless you just want to have a very casual "dating" relationship, where can this really go?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Dec-12 11:07:52

OP- the man is an utter dickhead. Leave him. You deserve better and will meet a much nicer man than him.

He sounds like every woman's worst nightmare. Pretending he is happy to be with a woman with children,pretending to accept they come as a package only to turn around and be like "well actually no".

jessjessjess Sat 29-Dec-12 11:01:34

He's acting like a child. Please leave him. If you end up shacking up together he will make your DCs' lives a misery.

splashymcsplash Sat 29-Dec-12 10:56:35

I read this as clearly a reverse aibu and read on with the thread and it is.

While he is of course bu, yabu for not simply posting it straightforwardly.

From your post I think its clear you need to find someone new.

HecateQueenofWitches Sat 29-Dec-12 09:19:04

Yup. I think it is time to call it a day.

If someone cannot fold someones children into their life then they have no business taking up with someone who has them. None at all.

diddl Sat 29-Dec-12 09:16:41

Wanting praise-seriously??!!

Doesn´t seem that he sees the kids often enough to find them stressful tbh!

Watching something different in the same room-can´t exactly see the problem with that tbh.

Unless they really would have enjoyed for him to watch the film with them as a family.

Seeing how little he sees of them that doesn´t sound a very big ask tbh.

biff23 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:42:38

Don't think you are unreasonable for watching lap top, we do things like this all the time. Can't stand the crap the kids watch.

However, expecting praise is ridiculous when spending time with the kids. You are either there for them all, with no cop outs when you're feeling tired/stressed etc (this is what being a parent is all about) or you don't really want the role of step-parent, on which case you need to walk away. I'm afraid with children it's all or nothing.

tiffinbaker Sat 29-Dec-12 08:42:05

It was obvious that it was a reverse AIBU, no man with the attitude described in the OP would choose dingledangleflipflop as a nickname.

LTB from me too I'm afraid. He has a childish attitude to family life and will be very bad for your children's development as they grow up. You need a relationship with an adult, not an overgrown child.

financialwizard Sat 29-Dec-12 08:33:17

Why have you not told him to fuck off to the far side of fuck and then fuck off some more?

I met my husband when I had my DS and he was superb with him. We have been together 6 years next year, married for 5 and he is like a Dad to him. You should be a family unit.

Get rid ASAP.

StuntGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 08:20:50

I don't actually mind reverse threads, didn't realise there was such hatred for them. It's usually pretty obvious when its a reverse anyway!

Why your partner, who is by choice child free, decided to date a woman with two children is beyond me. And why you chose to be with a man who has admitted he doesn't like or want children is equally bizarre. I couldn't be with a man who had such wildly different ideals for life, you need to decide if you do.

Tee2072Thing Sat 29-Dec-12 08:00:41

YABU for doing a reverse AIBU.

Honestly how hard is to write: My DP thinks being with my children for 30 minutes is stressful and never wants to help with them. We don't live together and he doesn't see them that often. What should I do?

Then I could say: LTB

So I'll still say: LTB

RandomMess Sat 29-Dec-12 07:55:00

actually I think dipping in and out makes it harder for him to build any sort of relationship with them and "normality" as he works away etc.

Still time to move on I think.

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Sat 29-Dec-12 07:49:18

Rather than AIBU you should be in relations, the answer you would get there is when a man tells you what he is like LISTEN. He does not like children, he knows this, you know this and yours kids probably do too. If you want a man to enjoy being part of your family then you need to find a new man.

There's nothing wrong with not wanting kids, and as he said that's why he hasn't, but to try and make him is wrong and can never work.

AllSnowballsAndNoKnickers Sat 29-Dec-12 07:22:06

WTF is it with these "reverse AIBU's" ? Why not just say what you mean in the first place?

So very very this ^^^.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Dec-12 07:11:17

You are in a relationship that isn't going to work- I would move on- he is never going to understand that he has two children for life.

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 07:02:08

Agree kids/lady comes as a package. For a proper relationship he does need to take on a vague father figure and accept them as part of his life. He must develop a bond with them also.

However I think it is possible to date once a week and have little child contact but the relation will be superficial and light. Dates would also take place while the kids are in bed. Keeping man and child separate.

What do you want from this man? If you just want sex and some company in the evening then it could work. If you want anything more then it really is time to move on.

Aspiemum2 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:46:06

You deserve better than this. He is totally wrong for you, totally wrong for your dc's.
I do understand how hard it is when you have self esteem issues but I would urge you to take some time to work on that outwith a relationship, you will settle for less than you deserve if you are not confident in yourself.

SantaFlashesHisBoobsALot Sat 29-Dec-12 00:29:00

Sorry, should also add that DP and I don't live together, he sees DS a few times a week briefly (playschool drop offs etc) and the odd evening. He also watches him for me when I have hospital appointments.

SantaFlashesHisBoobsALot Sat 29-Dec-12 00:27:27

I hate reverse POVs, they piss me off.

But you deserve better than this bullshit. DP put DS to bed tonight because DS wanted him to, and he came out afterwards saying how much he adores DS, and loves that he can do the odd bedtime etc. He goes out of his way to do things with and for DS, and has never once indicated he wanted praising for it. I do praise him a lot, and he gushes about how wonderful DS is in reply. In fact, he probably boasts about how amazing DS is to anyone people more than I do.

And whilst that is wonderful, it is also the way things should be. He should feel privileged to be allowed in to your children's lives! He shouldn't be treating you, or them, like this.

LTB. You will be much much happier.

dingledangleflipflop Sat 29-Dec-12 00:08:31

I tried to type thing from my POV but it didn't seem quite right so thought I'd do it from what he has told me about how he feels, seeing as he believes I never see things from his POV.

We have been friends for a few years so he has always known my situation, he is very good with children (my own and his nieces/nephews), he just finds their energy and excitement very stressful. We discussed children when we first got together and I think in a way he was glad that I have my two because he felt it would stop me from wanting any with him in the future.

He has told me he doesn't think it will work due to our different expectations and that he is shocked and speechless at how I feel, definitely seems like it's time to call it a day.

Thanks for the replies, all very useful!

GroupieGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 00:07:16

I've been with my partner for ten months, and he's currently putting my two year old back to bed. I do not expect this, but I accept it gratefully. I do thank him, however he usually tells me to shut up when I do. We are a family...this is how it should be, I think.

sue52 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:05:13

He's not going to change for you. Get out now.

riverboat Sat 29-Dec-12 00:01:42

Cross post!

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 00:01:30

If he's chosen not to have kids then what the fuck is he doing getting involved with a woman who has kids? And what the fuck are you doing letting him get close to your kids when he has spelled it out that he doesn't want particularly children in his life? confused

riverboat Sat 29-Dec-12 00:00:39

Reads like a reverse AIBU to me.

But for what its worth, I think YANBU for finding it difficult to cope with being a 'step parent' and not loving having the kids around, but YABU to expect praise every time you make an effort. It makes you sound like a third kid your DP has to juggle. Sounds like you and your DP are not on the same wavelength re: what you expect from each other. There are not neccessarily rights or wrongs re involvement IMO, but if you both have different expectations and can't find a compromise...you have some tough decisions ahead.

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