AIBU to want to be more important than the ex wife?

(184 Posts)
tintingirl Sat 08-Mar-14 12:14:57


Partner of 6.5 years. We don't live together and he has had real issues with boundaries with his ex wife (divorced 2 years before we met, she left him). Had spent countless hours sorting it out.

One thing that he promised me was that he would always speak to me before agreeing to a variation of the usual childcare pattern with her. She requests that he varies the pattern on a weekly basis and his default has always been "yes" irrespective of whether we have plans. I have spent many evenings sat alone in the theatre/cinema when she has asked him to switch nights with him at the last minute and we already have tickets...

Anyway, I've been away with work and we haven't seen each other much. He hates me being away/doing things without him so I have had ALOT of texts with him being "needy".

This weekend we have time to spend together. Saw him briefly on Wednesday but I spent the time "helping" him - his washing machine is broken so he bought over about 6 loads of washing which I have done. I've also helped him with some work stuff.

We planned a day having along walk with the dog in the sunshine, a meal out and then go to the cinema. Lovely.

Then he tells me his ex wife wants a night out and his almost 18 year old son is working. So he needs to take him to work. His ex is 15 miles away so at 5pm he needs to drive the 15 miles, pick up son, take him 5 miles to work and then drive the 20 miles back. OK, an annoyance, but fine.

EXCEPT, he then needs to do the whole thing again at 11pm when his son finishes work. So we can squeeze in the meal but cinema is out and he'll be clock watching all night. Refuses to suggest son gets a cab. Said yes to ex wife without even mentioning it to me. Said he'll leave at 10.30 and be back around midnight.

I am sooooo angry that he is prioritising his ex-wife's social life over me. It is SO rare for us to have a Saturday together as we both have our kids alternate weekends and his ex ALWAYS has some kind of "job" for him on the Saturdays we don't have the children.

In a fortnight it is his son's 18th and I won't see him all weekend as his son has made plans which only include my partner and his ex wife (excluding me and the ex's new husband) so this is our last chance for a month. I just wanted us to have a nice saturday together - but my partner thinks it is more important to allow his ex wife to go out unhindered by the responsibility of collecting her son from work.


Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 12:18:41

Why are you with him?

WorraLiberty Sat 08-Mar-14 12:18:44

It sounds as though it's his kids he's doing this for rather than his ex wife.

It's a weird way to treat an adult though. I see no reason at all why he couldn't have got a cab.

Why did you do his washing, instead of just showing him where the machine is?

Financeprincess Sat 08-Mar-14 12:20:29

No. I'd be furious. If his son is almost 18 he can get himself to work, surely? Why can't he get a cab?

Is he babying the son because he feels guilty about the divorce? Even if that's so, it's no excuse. He's doing his son no favours either. I have had similar issues with my DH at times, but nowhere near as bad as yours.

In your shoes, I'd be questioning whether I wanted to be in this relationship. Sorry.

Supercosy Sat 08-Mar-14 12:22:34

This sounds totally mad and I agree with you that his son needs to sort himself out. I would feel similarly pissed off if I were you even though I would admire someone who is such a hands on dad.

ArtexMonkey Sat 08-Mar-14 12:24:01

What Worra said.

He is prioritising his children over his girlfriend, which is much as you'd expect.

But the ds could have got a cab. And dp sounds like a pain in the arse tbh, 'needy' texts and having you doing his washing? BONER KILLER.

basgetti Sat 08-Mar-14 12:24:04

So he can stand you up whenever he feels like it, but he doesn't like you doing things without him? Why are you with him?

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 08-Mar-14 12:24:32

He hates you being unavailable but you have to put up with him and he flighty ex wife?

tintingirl Sat 08-Mar-14 12:29:03

Oh, the ex is taking the daughters out with her. Going to meet with family I think. If DP couldn't collect the son, she'd get back for 11 and do it herself. She just wants the flexibility to be later if she wants. It's mental that DP is driving all that way when ex might actually be home!

Floggingmolly Sat 08-Mar-14 12:29:18

No child (of 18!) who is able to hold down a job needs to be taken to and from said job by his parents. He's ditching your plans for this? hmm

MrsBennetsEldest Sat 08-Mar-14 12:36:22

Wives/girlfriends can come and go but your children are your children for life regardless of their age and I'm pretty sure we all would help our children out if we could. Perhaps your DP wanted to give his son a lift. Perhaps it's his way of still feeling connected to his family.

tintingirl Sat 08-Mar-14 12:38:04

We broke up over this type of behaviour recently. When we got back together he promised to check with me before he agreed to childcare swaps etc because he has a rubbish memory, doesn't keep a diary, says an automatic "yes" to his ex and therefore lets me down ALOT.

For example, at Christmas we were due at my parents on boxing day to eat at 1pm. He had his kids xmas day and was returning them to their mother. He turned up at my Mum's at 3pm because he had to take son to work and ex wife didn't want to do it. It was basically my "chrismas day" and I ate with an empty seat next to me and the family looking sympathetic. On NYE he didn't show up at all because his ex wife had changed plans at the last minute.

My main issue with this weekend is that he broke his promise to check with me before saying yes.

tintingirl Sat 08-Mar-14 12:38:56

He has his children at least 4 nights a week btw. He's the majority carer.

FreudiansSlipper Sat 08-Mar-14 12:39:38

why are you with someone who is so needy

you yourself have called him needy

so it is either you or his ex organising his life

comingintomyown Sat 08-Mar-14 12:40:01

Well as someone who watches her ex continually prioritise his partner over his DC I think you are being a bit U but I am biased

meditrina Sat 08-Mar-14 12:41:08

You've broken up over this before, and he hasn't changed.

This current example is, perhaps, tip of iceberg but also, importantly, evidence that he isn't going to change. He's just fine with the boundaries as they are. You're not.

Is this now the deal breaker?

Fairylea Sat 08-Mar-14 12:43:41

I agree with the others. It is more about him doing favours for his dc than his ex wife. His son is an adult! At 18 it is perfectly reasonable for your dp to turn round and say no he can't drive him about as he has plans and he therefore needs to get a taxi - as any normal 18 year old would. I used to work in a bar at 18, in roughest south London. I wouldn't dream of expecting my mum or dad to come and pick me up!!

I don't think this relationship sounds like much fun. Are you happy not living together? Not suggesting you should by the way but seems like a rather strange set up nearly 7 years in... you're doing his washing and going to the theatre on your own while he panders to everyone else. .?

tintingirl Sat 08-Mar-14 12:45:39

Something has to be the deal breaker. I didn't see him on my 40th birthday because his ex was changing jobs and she organised her leaving do for that night so he had his kids instead of seeing me. We were supposed to be away for the weekend - he said he'd surprise me so I arranged my own childcare and booked the dog in kennels. And then ended up home alone with a take away sad

Kaekae Sat 08-Mar-14 12:47:36

He needs to get a backbone and stand up to his ex. He is obviously putting his kids first but his ex wife is abusing the situation. Driving all that way to take his son to work seems a bit extreme. I don't think I would put up with let down all the time.

Floggingmolly Sat 08-Mar-14 12:48:26

What age are the younger children? Couldn't the 18 year old babysit now and again? confused

Life is too short. Dump him and keep him dumped this time. The needy, whiny baby act would be enough reason for me, without the other stuff.

basgetti Sat 08-Mar-14 12:50:49

If he is the primary carer for younger children that does put a different slant on it. There is not much a resident parent can do if the other parent won't do their share, so whilst he shouldn't necessarily be running around after an 18 year old, I can understand why he puts his younger children first. The neediness would irritate me though.

tintingirl Sat 08-Mar-14 12:51:23

Fairy - the distance made it difficulty initially to live together, we discussed it but have 5 kids between us in 4 different schools (soon to be 4 schools and 1 university).

Now, I am relieved we never did. He is useless with money and in a lot of debt. I have post-divorced debts too but am addressing them and they are shrinking fast. He runs out of money mid-month mostly and cannot put food on the table or fuel in the car. It is chaotic. He has no washing machine, dishwasher, his car is accident damaged and will fail the MOT next month (8th car in the time I have been with him). He holds down a professional job (with my help as we do the same job) but he is a nightmare.

Pimpf Sat 08-Mar-14 12:53:46

Get rid. You've already split up once over this, he promised to change, he hasn't.

tintingirl Sat 08-Mar-14 12:53:54

Basgetti - his wife is officially the primary carer and he pays maintenance to her (she is also a higher earner than him). BUT she ensures she has reasons for him to have the children an additional "unofficial" night or two a week. So his regular 3 nights become 4 every week and 5 some weeks. Plus additional time because he works school hours so he can. His kids are 18/16/12.

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