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to not want DD's to meet up with their step siblings?

(42 Posts)
alisunshine29 Wed 16-Jan-13 13:40:52

DD1 (DP's stepdaughter) is 5, DD2 is 7 months. DP has a 5 and 6 year old from previous marriage. When we first met DP had regular contact with his kids for the first year, DD1 really liked them (though they were sometimes mean to her) and all was going well, considering. Contact dwindled/was cancelled last minute and irregular for a year before stopping altogether about 14 months ago. DD1 was very upset and missed them terribly - she has just about stopped asking about them now. DD2 has obviously never met them. DP has been 'planning' to take his ex to court for contact since she stopped it but hasn't done anything about it yet, despite my support and encouragement. However, he includes them in calculations for things - i.e. when considering how many bedrooms we need/how many seats in car etc. When our car broke we got a 7 seater on his basis that we'd need it when we have his kids. However, if he does pull his finger out and sort contact out via court, I would not want our DD's to meet up with his kids til contact was established, regular and his relationship with the kids was rebuilt. IMO it isn't fair on any of the kids to keep getting attached then losing each other. AIBU?

StuntGirl Wed 16-Jan-13 13:43:52

I was going to say YABU but I can see your point. Why did contact stop last time?

Andro Wed 16-Jan-13 13:45:29

I don't think it's being unreasonable to try and protect your children from more pain.

waterrat Wed 16-Jan-13 13:46:54

Blimey, your partner has made no effort to try and see his own children? That's awful - 'pull his finger out' - as though it's some kind of casual issue.

The issue here isn't about your children meeting them - it's about his failure to be a father to them!

alisunshine29 Wed 16-Jan-13 13:50:14

Ex wants DP to have normal contact (midweek and every other weekend) but he works shifts which will not change and has 3 weekends off in a row about every 6 weeks. She moved 40 ish miles away so DP says that's too far for midweek contact. Ex said he wasn't committed to contact by only seeing them every 6 weeks, though he can have them for extended periods in school holidays.

DontmindifIdo Wed 16-Jan-13 13:51:18

why doesn't your DP want to see his DCs???? I know if I ever tried to stop DH seeing DS, he'd move heaven and earth to get to see his son, nothing else would matter to him. I can't comprehend being with a man who doesn't feel that level of attachment to his own children. sad

But yes, avoiding pain for your DDs is best, you can only protect them. does he see your DDs as optional parts of his life too?

LemonBreeland Wed 16-Jan-13 13:52:03

YANBU. Not just for your DC but also because his DC need to rebuild a proper relationship with him first.

Why is he not bothering to try and see them? Poor kids.

millie30 Wed 16-Jan-13 13:53:51

YANBU to not want your DDs to be hurt. However, it may not even be an issue- your DP hasn't seen his young children for over a year and if he goes to court may well have to prove himself with contact slowly building up to re-establish his own relationship with them. I doubt he will be allowed to dictate that he brings his new children along, that also wouldn't be fair on the children who haven't seen their father for so long.

alisunshine29 Wed 16-Jan-13 13:56:50

He says he wants to and misses them. Think he had been hoping ex would change her mind and let him see them without involving court - he hates confrontation. But after leaving it so long the Judge will rip him to shreds if he gets that far (haven't told him that!) which I think will put him off again. I worry that his youngest will barely remember him if he leaves it much longer as they've had sporadic contact since he was 2, none at all from just over 3.5 years old.

ENormaSnob Wed 16-Jan-13 13:58:39

Your dp sounds a bit of a prick IMO.

Does he actually want to see his kids or is he just paying lip service?

Id worry whether he would be fussed about seeing your dcs should you split.

How far in advance are his shifts.done?

Booyhoo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:01:17

those poor children.

millie30 Wed 16-Jan-13 14:16:33

So he might be put off by a scolding from the Judge? They are par for the course in family court, if he was that desperate to see his children he would take whatever was thrown at him. But the fact that his Ex offered him regular contact and he hasn't stuck to it, or made any effort for over a year, make it sound like he really just can't be bothered. I pity your DCs if you and he ever split up, I would have no respect for a man like that.

DontmindifIdo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:17:49

Saying he misses them is one thing, acting like it is another. I hate confrontation (in real life, I'm a right bitch while hiding behind my keyboard! wink ) but nothing would keep me from DS.

I don't understand. Actually, I do, he doesn't care, he feels he should so says he misses them, but not enough to actually fight for them. Surely if he works weekends, he also gets time off in the week making the 40 miles for midweek visit easier as he's got the time to travel... I would just not be able to respect a man who didn't have a relationship with his DCs and wasn't fighting in every way possible to fix that.

You are right to avoid any futher upset for your DDs.

LoopsInHoops Wed 16-Jan-13 14:28:03

If you think your DD was upset, imagine how his children felt? sad

He sounds like a twat.

KobayashiMaru Wed 16-Jan-13 14:30:28

They are half sisters, not step sisters, which is an entirely different thing.

Your DP is a terrible father. I think you are worrying about the wrong issues here altogether.

LoopsInHoops Wed 16-Jan-13 14:32:21

I agree, Kobayashi

LemonBreeland Wed 16-Jan-13 14:34:25

Actually only one is a half sister. The other child, who is the one old enough to get upset is a step sister.

LoopsInHoops Wed 16-Jan-13 14:39:17

But we have DP's daughters, who are half sister to DD2, and DD2, who is half sister to DD1. They are just as 'related' to DD2 as DD1 is.

poshfrock Wed 16-Jan-13 14:40:30

40 miles is nothing. My DH travelled 250 miles round trip every other weekend for 10 years to see his kids ( in fact it was 500 miles in total - 250 to pick them up and 250 to take them back). His is a police officer and works shifts. He frequently finished work at 3am on Friday night / Sat morning, slept for 4/5 hours and then got up to collect his kids. Spent a couple of hours with them and then went off to work for another 12 hours. I looked after them while he worked before he drove them back on a Sunday morning, getting home at 2pm and going back to work at 3pm. He did it because he loves his kids even through he was a) exhausted,b) skint ( petrol was £80 every 2 weeks) and c) quite often only actually "saw" them for a couple of hours when they were here. Your DH needs to make much more of an effort. Those poor kids.

Beamur Wed 16-Jan-13 14:41:42

On one hand I agree that you should ensure that any relationship with the siblings is on a more secure footing as you don't want to cause them distress, but I agree with a lot of the posters on here so far - why is your DP being so crap about getting access organised?
It's all well and good planning car seats/bedrooms etc - which frankly sounds like a sop to his conscience (I must be a good Dad and thinking about them, I've bought a 7 seater car) but what about how the abandoned kids are feeling?
Access is supposed to be about what is good for the kids, not the rights of the parents.
40 miles away is not the ends of the earth.
I know my DP would happily drive and hour and back to spend time with his kids in the same evening if that was all that could be managed.

BigStickBIWI Wed 16-Jan-13 14:46:38

Hmm. You started a thread on Friday complaining about your DP not divorcing his exDW, where you said you had 2 children. That's a bit confusing.

It's very easy to say you want to do something. But if you take no action to make it happen, then frankly you don't REALLY want to do it. You just want to think (and to make others think) that you're the sort of person who would do it (but x,y,z gets in the way, blah blah blah boo hoo).

alisunshine29, you've presumably been with DP for over three years? To be blunt, has he replaced his own children with yours, because their proximity makes them so much more convenient? And would he repeat this pattern were you to split in the future?

"However, he includes them in calculations for things - i.e. when considering how many bedrooms we need/how many seats in car etc. When our car broke we got a 7 seater on his basis that we'd need it when we have his kids."
What? Next time such a calculation comes up, refuse it. He's doing it purely to convince you/himself that he really still wants to see his DC but he doesn't. I expect you could have spent considerably less or got a more appropriate car if he wasn't being so delusional.

YANBU to not want your DC sucked in to his, frankly, nasty fantasy. But I'd suggest you consider him a little less favourably. He's being completely shit to his children.

Biwi I read it that op has 2 dc, the youngest with her dp, who has 2 other children with his ex.

DontmindifIdo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:54:30

yep, to me the house the car etc sounds like so he can say to other people, "oh I need a 7 seater because I've got 4 kids" not because he either wants to have all 4 at the same time. sorry to be harsh, but judge a man on his actions. What he says is what he thinks he should say, what he does if what he feels.

Booyhoo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:54:58

op does have 2 children BIWI

WorraLiberty Wed 16-Jan-13 14:58:20

It sounds as though your DP doesn't really give a shit

So I wouldn't worry about how it's going to affect your kids

Floralnomad Wed 16-Jan-13 15:06:09

Why can't he agree to the every other weekend thing ,even if he's working shifts could you not look after them and then he can see them when he gets home . TBH it's your youngest daughters half sister and you should be making more of an effort as well . I assume your husband does contribute towards the upkeep of these poor children.?

NatashaBee Wed 16-Jan-13 15:16:21

I agree with Floralnomad. Sounds like you both need to pull your finger out. Your partner sounds like a pillock - why on earth would he not push for access? What a shame for all the kids involved - they are all missing out.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 16-Jan-13 16:41:56

Your DP sounds awful.

I genuinely can't understand why you would allow him into your children's lives when he has proved himself to be so spectacularly shit as a Father.

MammaTJ Wed 16-Jan-13 16:52:45

Plenty of time to have found another job, one more suitable for access imo!!

Or at least look! And Fight for his 'D'C!

I could not contemplate being with someone who would so easily abandon their children. How little would it take for him to abandon yours too?

flossy101 Wed 16-Jan-13 17:24:04

I honestly don't think I could be with a man that wasn't trying harder to see his kids. It's been over a year? Is he looking for different work so he can see them on the contact proposed by his ex?

MolehillAlchemy Wed 16-Jan-13 17:59:39

I think OP that you should be instrumental in encouraging more contact between your DCs and their half/step siblings, not finding more obstacles to put in the way of that happening.

Disrupted contact doesn't have to cause your DCs unnecessary upset, just explain that the other children are part of your family, you and your DP love them, but unfortunately you don't get to see them as much as you'd like. They'll understand that, and be happy when they do get to see them.

I speak as a child who was kept at arms-length from my absent parent and their new step-children, and it still upsets me decades later.

Another poster referred to your other thread, and I do think it is relevant to this thread too. On the other thread you posted -
"He has made a start to the divorce as it's his new years resolution to become divorced but doubt it'll be finalised this year as he doesn't know where his wife is etc and she's likely to make it difficult."
So even though you've been together four years, he hasn't got around to getting divorced. In the past fourteen months, he hasn't got around to doing ANYTHING to regain access to his eldest two children. He hasn't got around to proposing to you either.

<adopts Rolf Harris voice>
Can you tell what the problem is yet?

" Ex said he wasn't committed to contact by only seeing them every 6 weeks"
His wife has a point. He is truly shit to his children.

alisunshine29 Wed 16-Jan-13 23:06:39

Yes he does pay for them. I can't have them as I can't collect or return them and their mum isn't willing to bring them here. He has a career as opposed to a job, so not so easy to change. Plus if he did quit his career and get a different job his ex said she'd make contact impossible because of maintenance reduction.

alisunshine29 Wed 16-Jan-13 23:11:52

Molehill - your theory is nice but wasn't working before and wouldn't work now. DD1 would get excited to see the kids then they wouldn't be there to collect or they'd come but be nasty to her because their mum told them it's DDs fault their dad doesn't see them more.

MolehillAlchemy Wed 16-Jan-13 23:39:36

But fast-forward 20 years. You're having a conversation with your DCs who want to know the real reasons why they don't know their step/half siblings. How will you explain you stopped contact because sometimes they were nasty? Full siblings can be nasty! It's all a natural part of growing up. Can't imagine my mother keeping me away from my siblings for being nasty (Chinese burns were all the rage in my childhood!).

So your DD1 is excited to see them and they don't turn up, so give her a reasonable explanation without mentioning any behind-the-scenes machinations of the the Ex because she doesn't need to know that.

Making a decision to stop contact seems cruel and unnecessary, and ultimately more unfair on the DCs.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 16-Jan-13 23:46:51

This is a complete non problem as the chances of him bothering to re-establish contact are titchy so non of you will be seeing them.

Bobyan Thu 17-Jan-13 07:54:48

You and your DH sound like a match made in heaven.

ihearsounds Thu 17-Jan-13 08:12:10

What are you going to do when your own children are nasty to each other, selnd one away to live elsewhere?

Sounds like a charmer. He says he wants to see them but is doing nothing. Shift work is a crap excuse, and if he actually wanted to see them he would. Having days off mid week is no excuse. But all we are hearing is lame excuses, even saying mum will reduce contact if money is reduced.. erm none issue, because he isnt seeing them anyway. How can she reduce something which is nothing she cannot.

Anyway, good luck your going to need it. In several years time you aree gping to have all these children asking why.

DontmindifIdo Thu 17-Jan-13 08:41:17

so, he's not got round to arranging a divorce, he's not got round to trying to get contact with his DDs, are you sure if he's put in a flexible working request? He might have a profession, not just a job, but very few aren't open to some family requests (I know police offices, hospital consultants, ambulance drivers, fire fighters and pilots all of whom were just shifts that changed reguarly, once applied for, were able to get certain requests in place, if he wasn't saying he'd never work weekends just he needed every other weekend off, and beyond that was completely flexible on his shift pattern, then it should be achievable in most cases.)

He doesn't sound like he's the best at actually doing stuff, more he expects life to happen to him, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's not actually asked if this is an option. Get him to put a request in, if it gets declined at least he's tried. But he doens't sound like he's particularly bothered about his DCs. sad

3littlefrogs Thu 17-Jan-13 08:47:28

I drive 50 miles a day to get to and from work. Just saying....

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