Who is BU? DS1 or Ex's fiancée? Step-parent related.

(75 Posts)

Have had a fraught weekend thanks to some issues with DS1. I should firstly say that DS1 is an adult (21 nearly 22) with a child of his own, also that I don't have any particular animosity towards his dad. His dad/Ex is not a horrible person, bit of a womaniser and not been that present in DS1s life at times but has been really trying since DGS was born, plus we split up when I was pregnant and I have been with DH ever since so there are no bitter feelings from me. Although I think DS harbours some resentment.

The fiancée, I'll call her T, (also please bear in mind that his dad has been engaged 3 times previously in the past 10 years and so that status holds little weight) has been with Ex for 3 years, they now live together, she comes across as alright and has 2 children of her own, but generally DS meets his dad outside of ex's house so he see's little of this woman. DS didn't attend their engagement party so in total has met T 6 times.

This weekend DS went to his dads house, where T now lives too, to have lunch and watch the football. He took DGS with him. When DS turned up, T answered the door and said "There's our boy", she then asked "How's my grandson?", DS said he decided to just act normally to this. Apparently, as the day continued, she made lots of comments in reference to DS about being their/our/her son, DGS also being hers/theirs/ours and talking about how they could be a nice little family etc. DS said this was really winding him up, but he wasn't commenting on it. She then made a comment about being his step-mum and how she hoped she could be like a second mum to him, DS then explained to her that he already has a mum but that he was pleased she was making his dad happy.

At this point, which I think was just after lunch, an almighty row kicked off. T accused DS of being rude and ungrateful, being coached by me and indoctrinated to hate her, treating her unfairly because he is very open to my DH (been with me since DS1 was born), not wanting their family to succeed and various other scathing comments about me, DS1 and our family. DS countered that she is crazy, deluded, he barely knows her, his dad has to meet him outside of the house so her children aren't upset, she is just one in a long line of women and lots of equally nasty comments about how dare she speak about our family.

I can't work out who is being unreasonable, obviously the row sounds bad but was DS1 being over sensitive, rude and ungrateful or was she being insensitive, over eager and bit unrealistic in how she thought DS would relate to her? I can go into more detail but this is already too long.

ElenorRigby Tue 12-Nov-13 13:03:41

My DSD is 11. I've been her life since she was just 3. We get on very very well.
There is no way I would patronise and then attack DSD as T has done.
The woman sounds like an arse. I feel sorry for your son, poor guy.

allnewtaketwo I'm not too sure, that is the arrangement they've come up with themselves. Its not set in stone as plans do change, on occasion they meet up in the week or seem to swap it about if something comes up.

Do you think its not enough? I suppose it could be more but they both work and DS has lots of other commitments like DGS, the girlfriend, football and is studying as part of his job.

I've come into the office this morning which has made things a bit better. I am not perfect and I have never claimed to be, I know that I am a little bit of a loon myself in that I can get very angry about things. Maybe I am giving this too much head space but it is very difficult for me not. My son lives at home still, he's very much part of the family and we are all close, so I know whats going on with him generally anyway, I have seen him come home for the past 2 evenings and he is clearly crushed by whats gone on, he looks unwell and exhausted and he's been crying. Obviously he isn't happy all the time, but my son is not a crier and is known for being a very cheerful happy go lucky type, he is a life and soul of the party type of character. To see him being subdued, crying and sulky is a shock to the system so I really can't help but worry about it.

I spoke to him this morning and what he's saying is that he doesn't remember his dad leaving, he wasn't born at that point so that figures, and that he thinks he never really felt that loss, but now as Wilson said he does feel like he's been abandoned and its hurts a lot because its come at point where he felt they had actually built a relationship and that his son had built a relationship too. He says that he had started to see his dad as a member of his family rather than just this almost family friend like figure who took him out every couple of years and so whereas before he was indifferent to ex coming and going, he now feels totally rejected and very upset that his son has been rejected.

I suppose DS had convinced himself that ex was a parent and a dad to him like DH is, so he had been under the impression that ex loved him and DGS in the way we love them. Its been very upsetting to find out that wasn't the case. I guess its like being dumped in an awful way. I think maybe he just needs to be upset for a bit, he is still talking about wanting a relationship with ex though. I don't want to counsel him against it but I'm not sure how it can happen.

vj32 Tue 12-Nov-13 10:07:32

Sounds a lot like my Dad. His last live in girlfriend was a complete loon, and made some completely inappropriate comments about family members she had never met and offered me advice about them.

After years of this (and similarly my Dad has been married a few times and had lots of other girlfriends who have appeared and disappeared randomly) I would say to your DS to rise above it. The key thing is to not rely on his Dad and expect that in every situation he will have to be the bigger person even though he is the child not the parent. If his Dad can't see him until the New Year - send Christmas presents and cards, maybe Skype to maintain contact for his DS, or at least offer. Its really sad but some people are not good parents. Some people just don't care about their children in the same way. Its not a personal rejection (although it feels that way), its just his Dad's problem. If he doesn't want to see his son and grandson for a while, or puts his fiance first, that is his loss. Hopefully your son will soon see this is just his Dad's character and not worth getting upset over as nothing will change it. (At the old age of 30 I am just about philosophical about it!)

You just need to be supportive of your son and stay out of it. He needs to work out how to deal with it himself.

WilsonFrickett Tue 12-Nov-13 09:28:47

Do. Not. Confront. Her.

allnewtaketwo Tue 12-Nov-13 07:40:58

slightly off topic but why does DS see his father "every other weekend"?

JumpingJackSprat Tue 12-Nov-13 07:14:15

You say you don't enjoy the drama then why are you giving it so much head space. Leave it for your adult son to sort out you can't fight his battles for him.

And you actually don't know what he said to her do you because you weren't there. Chances are he probably said stuff he wasn't proud of as people tend to do in arguments.

perfectstorm Tue 12-Nov-13 06:48:56

I suppose if this drags out and more comments are made by me I will have to confront her because it does seem to becoming more apparent she wants my acknowledgement.

God, if she's that desperate to get into a barney with you all the more reason to steer well clear. I pity her tbh, she doesn't sound a happy or stable woman and a bloke like your ex will trash her, but she isn't your problem. It's just a shame your ex is your DS' but you've done all you can to give him a stable support system, he has a loving family with your side and his own baby and partner, too. He's not some little kid with a stepmother behaving this way - that really is hellish.

The best thing you can do to help your son is detach. Be sympathetic and supportive but focus on talking about all the positives - not in reference to this, just in normal day to day conversation. He has so much more than loads of people do, with you, his stepdad, a sibling, a child and gf. So his dad's an arse? Well, isn't it lucky he's an adult and doesn't have the crazy stepmonster throwing these fits every other weekend while he's stuck staying overnights.

I see why you're so angry and upset, but if you want to help your son, you can do it by letting this go and helping him do the same. His father is totally unreliable - with everyone, it seems. The sooner DS earns to insulate himself and his own son from that, the better for them both. You can't help him do that while focusing on T, who's basically a short term irrelevance, albeit an exceptionally annoying one.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 12-Nov-13 05:51:06

If she wants a reaction even more reason not to give her one.

You need to model the correct response to your son - "sigh, isn't she ridiculous, oh well she won't last long".

Your son needs one of his parents to behave like an adult here and the adult response is to rise above this silly nonsense. Let your son see how strong you are.

Dri2 Tue 12-Nov-13 04:01:32

Ok, so maybe T is the only one enjoying this drama, why is everyone else fanning the flames? Let her be a weirdo drama queen on her own, she doesn't need an audience and surely it will all burn out far quicker without the extra attention. Rise above it

Also does anyone else think T is trying to get some kind of response from me? She has had ex report to DS that she wants an apology from me, that I need to look at my parenting and a lot of this argument seems to be based around her belief that I am jealous of her relationship and have thus indoctrinated my DS against her. She's basically tried to hint at threatening me by telling ex to tell DS how she was so angry with me she nearyl came round here to have it out with me, I don't think she's dare to be so bold but to make such a comment seems quite aggressive.

Don't know what to think. I suppose if this drags out and more comments are made by me I will have to confront her because it does seem to becoming more apparent she wants my acknowledgement.

God, I am so worried about this I can't sleep. I have had previous insomnia, its apparently stress induced, can see I'm going to be up all night thinking about this.

I know I shouldn't meddle but I think tomorrow I will talk to my good friend who is cousin of the ex. She knows ex and T quite well now so maybe she can give me an idea of what the next step could be for DS.

I know I need to encourage an emotional detachment and bring DS back to the reality of who he is dealing with but he is clearly so hurt and doesn't seem ready to give up on his dad yet. Before he went to bed tonight he said to me "I just never expected this" with a sad little face <sob> and I think thats the key issue, growing up DS learned very quickly to have low expectations of his dad, but he's been much better in the past few years and I think DS expectations have been raised, he'd forgotten how he was in the past, and now its shocked him that his dad is still that guy.

Amyshellfish you are wrong, he was very diplomatic until she kicked off and made disparaging remarks about him, DH and I.

Of course he isn't a child, he is an adult who behaved like one.

Wilson, sorry I missed you saying that previously. I hadn't thought of that but maybe that why he's so upset. It's difficult he shuts down emotionally when he's upset.

And thanks Mickey I've always thought he handled his dad well and compassionately I suppose it just such a shame this is his reward.

FWIW, your DS sounds like a real good egg. He created a bond with his useless father for the sake of his own son- that takes some serious guts (I say this because I have not been able to face doing this)
Well done you on raising such a lovely guy. I really hope a solution comes of this all, but it sounds like he has all he needs with you and your DH anyway. I can imagine it is absolutely devastating seeing him like this but there isn't much you can do- definitely don't get involved.

I agree with what was said upthread- counsel him to be emotionally detached from it all. have no expectations whatsoever and anything else will just wash over him.

My SD has never ever assumed to be "my dad". He has been in my life for 18 of my 22 years- T sounds like an absolute loon. We haven't had the best relationship but since having my DD I am glad that he is around, and he acts the loving Pop.

"I whisperingly ranted about my fantasies of weave related injuries I could inflict." <<<< This made me grin

amyshellfish Mon 11-Nov-13 21:44:54

It sounds like she was trying to make an effort and misread the situation. After your sons reaction I expect she won't bother again. I think he should have been more diplomatic he isn't a child.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Nov-13 21:34:15

T is making some sort of point. X is an 'anything for a quiet life' sort of guy so is rolling over. Honestly, the best course of action is to help DS understand this is what's going on, mop his tears and help him move forward. And also protect his own son from this sorry excuse of a man. He's abandoned his son before, he clearly has no hesitation in doing it again.

I mentioned this up thread, I suspect having his own child has led your DS to re-examine some of the things from his past and almost replay his own childhood through his son. So this rejection (of him and DGS) will probably hurt a lot more than you would expect it to, if you see what I mean. Poor boy x

(You should still stay out though!)

Thanks for your advice Thisisaghost. You're probably right.

It has just all been really upsetting. DS has come home and doesn't even want to watch made in Chelsea or have anything to eat. It looks like it's actually making him ill all this stress. Hopefully there will be some sort of change, if not you may see me in the news having cheerfully murdered the ex!

TarkaTheOtter Mon 11-Nov-13 21:23:58

Your ex is being a massive shitbag. I still would recommend you staying out of it but being kind to your son and helping him deal with the fact that his father cannot be relied on AT ALL.
T sounds like an absolute nightmare and handled the initial situation appallingly. It needed sensitive handling because of how shit your ex has been in the past and she went in well over the top.

Counsel your son to be emotionally detached from the pair of them. "They're not worth it" etc.
No decent father would choose to not see his child in this situation.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 11-Nov-13 21:18:51

Poor ds- his dad has done what it sounds like he's always done- let him down. I hate these 'anything for an easy life types' - they pretend its all peace and harmony but actually he's just a coward.

His gf has decided to shake things up and he hasn't the balls to say no. Your ds can see this clear as day.

I do feel very guilty about it. I know it is ludicrous, but I feel like I've fucked up and given him such a poor excuse as a dad. I also feel guilty that I was part of the topic that set it off, I'm a grown up I can take someone slating me, I feel guilty that DS has got into this because on one level he had loyalty to me and wanted to defend me.

In regards to him having time to see his dad, we live in NE London and ex lives in SE London, they typically just meet in the middle and have a lunch out together with DGS, maybe take him to the park etc if DGS is for some reason not available or there is a match on they sometimes arrange to go to WHL as both, like DH are big spurs fans. DS's girlfriend works on a Saturday so he has plenty of time and often DGS looks forward to it.

Thats another thing DGS is going to be upset at not seeing ex as he has quite an attachment to him. FFS this is making me so cross with ex.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 11-Nov-13 20:58:33

You have nothing to feel guilty about.

I've been with dh since dss was seventeen, dss also has a baby now. I would never say such presumptuous things to dss and if I did lose my mind, dh would stop me. They are being ridiculous. She has met him just a few times and she is arguing that she is his second mum? awful behavior.

2rebecca Mon 11-Nov-13 20:57:02

If your son's 21 and has a son and girlfriend he doesn't live with then I'm surprised he's had time to visit his father every other weekend up until now.
I'd maybe encourage him to phone his father some time and discuss his partner's strangely over mumsy behaviour at the weekend, and reminding his father he'd only met her a handful of times and it all seemed odd and OTT.
I would disagree with those who say that if she does marry his father she won't become his stepmother because she will. The name "stepmother" applies to the wife of your father, the name doesn't change depending on how close you are. You do have to get married to become a stepmother thought, there's no such thing as a common law stepmother, although you can choose to call your father's girlfirend stepmum just as you can choose to call friends of your parents "auntie".
If my elderly father marries his girlfriend she will become my stepmother. I will not expect her to do any mothering however. Not sure if my kids would call her grannie. They certainly wouldn't call her grannie unless they got married though.

SugarHut Mon 11-Nov-13 20:44:55

Perhaps your DS used some "choice" language to this woman. And that's me being super critical. That's about all you can lay blame at his feet for.

She acted like a dick. He didn't tolerate it. Good grief, if anybody slated my mother like that (rightly or wrongly), I'd take them down before they could breathe.

DH has come home and called DS who has said he will come home. He was sitting in Tinseltown apparently hmm

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