Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Help please! DH and DS and loggerheads, I'm caught in the middle

(19 Posts)

I think this board is the best place for this as it is about relationships in our family. I have posted about us before: I have a long-term chronic illness and now struggle physically and mentally to manage to work full-time. DH is disabled and no longer works outside the home. DS1 is a young adult, not working and has ASD. DS2 is very able and at Uni.

In his second year, DS2 did not do very well in his exams, due to various emotional and relationship issues. Now his girlfriend is a long way away and DS wants to visit her just before his Finals. He misses her a lot and would have to wait until after the exams to see her again otherwise.

We are very worried that this will badly effect his exams. He has form for not reaching his potential due to laziness. He has no experience of foreign travel, but wants to go half-way around the world at such an important time.

DH has gone ballistic and has rung DS in a rage about this. Now, obviously, we can't stop DS from going - he is an adult. But DH is talking about cutting off his funding if he goes. I feel pretty much the same as DH, but would not cut DS off and I try to keep lines of communication going between us all.

Any ideas for how to resolve this without any more huge rows on the phone?

Whitecherry Sun 07-Oct-12 18:16:58

Off er to fund the trip fir him.... After the exams?

Could the gf come here instead?

MushroomSoup Sun 07-Oct-12 18:17:56

Personally I think you need to let your son make his own adult decisions and his own adult mistakes. I wouldn't cut his funding off but I'd make it clear that if he chooses to spend it on a plane ticket and not his studies, then there will be absolutely no bail out later on.

She will be back here anyway just after the exams, which is why we think he is being foolish. I agree that he needs to make his own decisions, but DH doesn't!

They had a huge row on the phone and then DS started on at me online. Feeling so upset and miserable now. As if I didn't have enough things to deal with at the moment. Don't want to fall out with DS when he is so far away.

OrangeImperialGoldBlether Sun 07-Oct-12 18:43:04

Is he doing a regular September - June academic year? When does he plan to travel there? When are his next exams?

His Finals are in May/June and he is planning to travel at Easter. Yes, his academic year is regular.

DontmindifIdo Sun 07-Oct-12 18:52:19

hmm, are you assuming he can't study at his GFs? Sorry, he's an adult. I was in a long distance relationship with the now DH from 2nd year at uni, he was in another country. I did visit him the Easter before my finals for a week, however I studied when he was at work. I actually think it was easier to study at his house where it was quiet in the day, and with everyone in his houseshare (4 blokes) getting up for work, waking me up so i was ready to start studying at 9.

I would say it's actually not your business anymore. If he doesn't realise by his final year of uni that he needs to work hard to get a good degree, then he'll never get this. He's an adult now.

OrangeImperialGoldBlether Sun 07-Oct-12 18:53:19

Personally I think he should be studying at Easter. My daughter finished her degree a year ago and we agreed she'd give up her part time job then and I'd help fund her so that she could do well.

Could you say you'll pay for him to go as soon as his degree ceremony's over?

Don't withdraw his money. Calmly talk to him and make it clear that you pay for him to live. And if he chooses to spend his money on travel, then that is up to him, but there will be no bail out, or extra money for expenses/books/food. He needs to manage his money. If he fails exams, then he fails them - he will have to sort that out himself.

She will be back again straight after the exams. I agree with you all that he is now an adult and has to make his own way in the world. DH is finding it so hard to let go, though. He constantly catastrophises, probably due to his depression.

DontmindifIdo Sun 07-Oct-12 19:57:49

Your DS is old enough to know he has to study when he's at his girlfriend's house. If he wants to study, he'll have more time spending his easter holidays visiting her than he would working over the holidays.

Your DS shouldn't have to base his decisions not on what's best for him, his relationship, his education but on what's going to stop his depressed father having a drama about it. Having done the same thing myself, being in a different house doesn't mean you won't study, and if it does, then it must be that you aren't all that fussed about passing or failing.

Also remember, if he came home for Easter, it's not going to be a quiet and relaxing household, there are 3 adults in the house all day he'll have to study round, you'll have your own routines and lives to get on with. He genuninely might get more done at his GFs.

Can I ask, are you sure it's the studying you/your DH are worrying about? If this is the last holidays before he graduates, are you/DH concerned it's the last long stretch of time you'll have him at home? If he gets a job straight after uni that's not in your home town, then this is the last time he'll be back when he considers your house as "home" not "visiting mum and dad's."

We were not worried that it would be the last time he came home as we had suggested that he stayed at Uni overe Easter. It is unlikely that he would study whilst abroad as he would have to lug his laptop and books on a long-haul flight!

He is very good about coming home, though, as he worries about us, despite my efforts to stop him. He is a very good DS and I am very close to him. We have always had a fantastic relationship.

DH hid away for a few minutes and emailed DS a lovely message so apologise. I know he is gritting his teeth and is still upset and worried, but at least he has taken steps to mend their relationship.

diddl Sun 07-Oct-12 20:26:02

How does he intend to fund the trip?

Would Christmas be a better time to go?

He has a lot of savings from a legacy, lucky lad. The original idea was to go at Christmas, which we were still not happy about, but was a bit better, but it has now been changed for a variety of reasons.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 07-Oct-12 20:30:34

I can see all sides of this.

The bottom line though, is that you are funding him through uni and he owes it to you to try not to fuck up.

Why don't you suggest he discusses his plans with his tutor with regard to revision timetables etc and see if that bears any fruit.

That's a good idea about the tutor. I will suggest that to DS. Ultimately, I know we have to back off and let him get on with his own life. We have done that before, though, and he really messed up. Then DH blames me!

We are funding him, although we are not very well off, because we wanted him to have the same start in life that we had. We were lucky enough to go into HE during the 1970s when there were grants and no fees.

OrangeImperialGoldBlether Mon 08-Oct-12 20:55:27

I think a couple of weeks at Christmas would be much better, because so much time is wasted then anyway.

Well, we will have to wait and see what he decides to do. If he comes out of it all with a good degree, then DH will be so pleased and I will be able to relax. All of this fuss will have been pointless. I just wish I had a crystal ball to see into the future!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now