Am I about to be unreasonable. Genuinely can't tell. Help!

(34 Posts)
madonnawhore Sun 14-Oct-12 22:48:13

Background: I've been with DP (BF?) for two years. We don't live together but I spend a huge amount of time with him and his DD, we've been on lots of holidays with her, very involved in each other's lives, etc.

I have never met his ex (the mother of his DD). She walked out on him when their DD was two. From what I've seen of the way she handles their 50/50 split I'm not massively impressed with her parenting. She's always asking my DP to take on extra nights during the week and extra weekends. She doesn't offer to swap, she's happy to just forfeit her time with her DD when she's got a better offer. To give you an example; she had her DD for a total of three weekends between the beginning of June and the middle of September. They'd only been back into the 'regular' routine for one fortnight before she was asking my DP to have their DD for an extra weekend because it was her birthday hmm.

Obviously my DP loves the opportunity to spend extra time with his DD but I dunno, it's hard. Anyway, suffice it to say, I'm not that interested in being friendly with her. And so far it hasn't even come up as an issue.

But it's DP's DD's birthday soon. His ex has planned a party and my DP is going with his mum. I know that his ex's new partner will be there but so far there's been no mention of me being there.

To be honest I'd prefer not to go and have to be false with her and pretend that I don't think she's really selfish. But on the other hand if DP's DD asked me to come I absolutely would.

But the thing is I wonder whether DP might be keeping me at arm's length from the party. He just hasn't mentioned it and I don't know whether to be offended that he's not said I should come along, even though I don't want to go anyway. And how allowed is he to invite me anyway since it's his ex organising the party and not him?

I realise I may be being really childish. I just can't really get any perspective on this so I'd welcome others' points of view.

AIBU for wanting to be invited even though I don't want to go?

Is my DP BU for not inviting me?

Or is his ex BU for not inviting me?

Or AIBU to expect to be invited at all despite the fact that I'm very close to his DD and have shared beds with her in holiday, shared tents camping, pick her up from school sometimes, etc?

Beamur Sun 14-Oct-12 22:56:31

Tricky.
I get where you're coming from though in wanting to be invited - even if you didn't want to go!
Is your DP not involving you because he knows you don't really want to go? Perhaps he wants to avoid any tension - the party is after all, not about the adults, it's about the child.
I've always been invited along to events that the kids have wanted both parents to go to (I'm also a SM) but I think in the early days there were some that I declined to attend.
I've been with DP for 10 years, his ex has never given us or me any reason to fall out and yet, I don't really want to be friends with her.
How old is DD?

madonnawhore Sun 14-Oct-12 23:01:46

Thanks for your reply and understanding where I'm coming from! His DD is going to be 5. I do wonder whether she's just assuming that I'll be coming. I can imagine her asking me where I was when I see her after the party and I wasn't there IYSWIM?

I've always been outspoken to DP about what I think about his ex. She really does take the piss so often and seems to think that the world, especially my DP and his DD, should revolve around her and her plans. So perhaps he thinks I won't want to go and wants to avoid conflict?

I just want an invite so I can say in a dignified way 'I'd love to but I already made other plans for that weekend since I knew you'd be tied up with the party'. Or is that really passive aggressive?!

ProphetOfDoom Sun 14-Oct-12 23:05:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beamur Sun 14-Oct-12 23:06:46

If your DP knows how you feel, he might be nervous of bringing you both together!
To be honest, I'd rise above it - do something nice with your SD to mark her birthday, and don't say to her that you weren't invited if she asks after the event why you weren't there.
Maybe you might need to be slightly more measured in your criticism of the ex. You are only seeing one side of the situation after all. (Although you might be right grin)

ProphetOfDoom Sun 14-Oct-12 23:06:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slambang Sun 14-Oct-12 23:08:21

AIBU for wanting to be invited even though I don't want to go?
YANBU because you are human. Unrealistic yes, unreasonable no.

Is my DP BU for not inviting me?
No - it's not his party. How could he invite you to his ex's party. How might ex feel if dd's dad brought his new woman along unexpectedly Highly irritated probably. I can just imagine the shreiks of horror on an AIBU thread here 'xh brought OW to my party.'

Or is his ex BU for not inviting me?
No - she doesn't know you. She's throwing a party for her dd and has invited her dd's dad - normal and civilised. Inviting dd's dad's new gf is way more than civilised. Too soon.

Or AIBU to expect to be invited at all
Yup - that about sums it up.

madelineashton Sun 14-Oct-12 23:28:17

*AIBU for wanting to be invited even though I don't want to go?
YANBU because you are human. Unrealistic yes, unreasonable no*

Tee hee, I like that. Just about sums up quite a lot about being a step mum grin

Personally I can see why he and/or she don't feel that it's the right setting for a first meet. Particularly if you really are that vocal about your dislike of her to your DP.

If you ask me, it's best to tone that down if you want him to involve you in thngs like this in the future. It's okay to voice when something she does affects you directly and your partner is being unfair to you etc etc... but slagging her off in other ways is likely to make him hide things and tread on egg shells around you.Getting in too conversations over an unreasonable ex is, at the start of a relationship, something that can happen naturally and help the two of you to bond over shared views and frustrations. But it isn't very healthy in my experience. As they have a child together they need to be civil (sometimes even NICE and shock pleasant!) there'snothing worse than having a good old rant with your partner about what a selish horrible cow bag his ex is, only to discover that the next day theyre laughing and joking together over a cuppa grin. Rise above it and keep doing what youre doing for the little girl.Plan something nice that the three of you can do to mark her special day, and let her have her party with Mum and Dad.

imtheonlyone Mon 15-Oct-12 00:06:39

Hmmmmm, feeling for you with this one! I can totally see where you're coming from and as another post said .... A situation is step mums find ourselves in quite a lot and sums up life as a SM.

I have been with my DP for just over two and a half years, I have two DSs of my own and he has two DSs .... Four boys under 7!! They get in great for the most part. We recently bought a house together and prior to that spent every other weekend together which is when we have all the boys.

I've not really had much to do with his ex - partly because he has never encouraged it and partly because I don't feel right about it. I have though, since we have been living together seen her quite a few times and its polite but nothing more. I think we both feel quite uncomfortable. I can imagine though that my DP feels hugely uncomfortable about it and I do understand that. Only last week I took my DSs to McDonald's as a treat because they had both had great school reports from parents evening .... And his ex was there with the eldest DSS!! We ended up all on a table together because the boys wanted to sit together but when I told my DP about it I could see how uncomfortable it made him. Tonight, she came and picked up DSSs and she mentioned to both of us that there was a bonfire/fireworks do at his eldest DS's school and that we were all invited blushblush .... I think she noticed the look on my face and said she would leave it with us but my DP said as soon as she was gone how NOT keen on the idea he is!! Although I can see the reason she asked -they had one last year and my DP went to be with his boys but I was not invited and would not have gone anyway. I too am not keen on us all going but she has asked us because her eldest asked if my two boys could go too - it's all so innocent for the children they (the lucky things) don't get the uncomfortableness of it all!

I can see why you might be miffed about not being invited, but I feel sooooo weird that she has invited us to the fireworks!!!!

It's hard being a step mum sad

imtheonlyone Mon 15-Oct-12 07:18:00

I realise that I didn't really answer your questions!!
I would defo not feel bad towards DP - in his mind it is just weird, has no bearing on your importance in his life - just a strange situation to have you at a party where his ex and her family are there.

As for the ex - whether the split was amicable, mutual, her leaving, him leaving - I think it's hard as the ex to accept another woman in your DCs life - I know that even though I have my DSC I find it hard to imagine what my XH's new partner is like with MY boys sad. They really like her and talk about her but I find t really hard. And if I had a party for my DCs and invited their father, I wouldn't want his new partner there.

I hope that helps - it isn't easy, but as the previous poster said - YANBU just human!!

madelineashton Mon 15-Oct-12 07:57:25

Imtheonlyone, why is your dp so uncomfortable with it? I mean, of course it's a little cringey but the way his ex is being sounds like something I could only dream of. Well, saying that, my DH's ex used to be very very pally with me and invite me to loads of things. Only to spend the event launching passive aggressive verbal grenades at me angry but I invite my dds sm to things and dd loves it. We're not "friends" as such and I think my ex does find it icky (probably in case I tell her of past indiscretions that I'm sure he'd rather she stayed in the dark about!!) but the look on my dds face with all her favourite grown ups at her birthday or play or whatever is worth it.
Unlike with OP though, we all met through pick ups and drop offs so there was no tension by the time it got to the birthdays.

madelineashton Mon 15-Oct-12 07:59:03

It sounds incredibly smug and self righteous but I think that we should be thinking about what is best for the child in all circumstances rather than protecting mums or dads ego.

madonnawhore Mon 15-Oct-12 21:04:20

So I got invited and now I'm going. It would be weird for his DD if I was the only one of 'the adults' not there. So I guess I'll just suck it up.

This is hard huh?!

madelineashton Mon 15-Oct-12 21:48:42

You hit invited, great. Sounds like mum has her daughters best interests at heart. This could be the foundation of a really positive relationship model for her.

imtheonlyone Tue 16-Oct-12 10:42:08

Good luck smile I'm pleased for you that you got invited. As you say, it's for your DSD and that's what matters. And yes, we should be thinking about the little ones here.

I do appreciate that. I don't really know why my DP feels so weird about it - he does like to compartmentalise (is that a word??!!!) his life in many ways! He rarely mixes work with his private life and as I've said, it was a long time before I met his XDP. I know he loved her dearly and she did the nasty on him in a big way (was sleeping around in the day when he was at work, swinging websites and messaging random men at all times of the day) he was heartbroken. Also, this invitation is out of the ordinary because she is normally a complete bitch to him and has plenty to bitch about me in the past!! I know it should be all friendly and grown up but alas is rarely the case!

Maybe he doesn't want the two of us talking .... I know things, she knows things ... Dunno!!! But I can understand that I wouldn't particularly want my XH'S new partner at my kids' parties ..... I can see why that makes a mother feel uncomfortable.

madonnawhore Tue 16-Oct-12 11:22:33

See, madeleineashton, my issue has always been that dumping her DD for almost the whole summer to piss around with her new BF and their mates ISN'T having her DD's best interests at heart. That's why I have such a low opinion of her.

I'm quite sure she couldn't give two shits about me. As long as me and my DP keep changing our plans to fit in with her schedule and whatever's going on in her relationship, I'm sure she thinks everything's hunky dory.

This is a bit of a tangent now, but how do I stop getting so worked up and angry about the way she behaves? After all it isn't my problem to solve really.

imtheonlyone Tue 16-Oct-12 13:41:15

I know what you mean .... We've been through similar! Every holiday she expects us to have the boys at least half and normally more yet she appears to spend very little of her holiday time with the boys when they're off school. This year she has had 8 days so far and that actually includes Christmas where we've just realised that she has worked it so she has then the bank holidays but we have them on the working days so we have to take the holiday! She has always been like this. On her weekends my DP will always get a text from her asking if he wants them for a day - it's like she can't cope or doesn't care or can't be bothered .... It is hugely frustrating! Personally I want to spend as much holiday time with my DCs as possible but she really doesn't! 8 days over a year .... What does she do with all her other leave days? It is frustrating - I've learnt to let it go a bit .... It's her loss at the end of the day and frustrating as it is (and hard work as it is for us) we're happy to have the boys. I know my DP is happy to see them whenever we can.

It's hard not to know what she's taking the piss though - does she genuinely need our help to have the boys cos she is working or is she 'busy' with her other life?? We don't know. Sometimes we accommodate and others we don't.

Just be the best SM you can be, welcome them when they're with you and make them feel welcome and loved. They are only kids once, when they grow up it will be different. I'm sure his boys will want to come less when they're older .... They'll have things on or want to be with their friends at home.

It's her loss if she doesn't want to spend time with them - frustrating for you I know - but her loss - you sound like you're doing a great job grin

madelineashton Tue 16-Oct-12 22:54:03

Well. Madonna, that is the 50,000 dollar question. It has taken me 5 years and an estranged dsd and I'm still not really over getting angry at how her Mum raises her. But I am 100 times better than I was and as time goes on I realise more and more that it is wasted energy. All that it serves to do is make you bitter and sad.
The age old "grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change" applies to nothing better than a step parenting situation IMO.
Thing is, you only really see one side properly. It certainly seems like she is a shit Mum and that you would be a better one. But what can you do about that? Nothing. Just be a living step mum and forget point scoring and having to prove that you're better. You just ARE, but she will never see it, and in all likeliness nor will the child. And I suppose that is right.
Please try not to waste your energy.

madelineashton Tue 16-Oct-12 22:54:48

loving step mum grinblush

madonnawhore Wed 17-Oct-12 12:44:46

Thanks. It's just so hard to let it go. Every time my DP tells me he's agreed to have his DD that weekend, even though it's not his weekend to have her, and I do the maths in my head and work out that it means her mum's only spent four evenings with her out of three weeks. I just think 'how can she be okay with spending so little time with her daughter?' And 'how has she got the brass neck to keep taking all that money off him each month when she has her DD so little?' What sort of person behaves that way and feels no remorse? Whenever DP mentions that he thinks she should spend more time with DD, he gets a massive argument about how she needs time to herself and he's out of order for trying to make her feel guilty, etc. Nothing about their DD. No acknowledgement that he might have a point. Just it's all about her her her.

I just really dislike her and I've never even met her. I don't like feeling like this.

Cloverhoney Wed 17-Oct-12 13:14:16

@madelineashton - loving the AA quote - it is entirely appropriate! There should be Stepmums Anonymous....I'd go...

We have a similar thing - supposed to split hols - this summer BM arranged a fortnight abroad with SC - she asked us to keep them until 2 days before she left and pick them up the day she got back. We had them the rest of the summer. She then got mad when she found out we'd booked them (and our own kids) into a summer activity programme for a few days when we both had to work. Yep....the brass neck...

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...you bet!

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sat 20-Oct-12 08:22:53

Oh god the holiday thing is a massive issue here to.

We live the other end of the country so only see the dsc one weekend a month and have them every half term, because DP uses his holiday up for the half terms it means he doesn't have enough to split the summer holidays 50:50 so has 2 weeks off to spend with them, ex kicks off every year about how she can't find childcare for the week she considers should be ours.

It really pisses me off because the same happens every year DP gets guilted into having them for the 3rd week so we juggle childcare (DP works nights and I'm a nanny and work 12hr days) which mostly means a mixture of the kids entertaining themselves while DP sleeps all day and youngest DSS coming to work with me (try to only do this once or twice as don't want to take advantage of my bosses good will) BUT here's the problem for her 3 weeks she leaves DSD (just 14) to look after DSS while she works/goes shopping/goes out to dinner and then books her holiday for the 3 weeks we have them and swans off abroad, my SC are lovely children and it makes me furious that DSD gets treated like unpaid childcare just because their mother can't be bothered to spend time with her children and considers it her right to have a childfree holiday angry

Just to add its not like she never gets time to herself, DSD looks after DSS after school and cooks them both tea (ex finishes work at 3.30 but goes shopping/to get her hair or nails done/cinema after work and palms them off to who ever she can at the weekends so she can go out friday and saturday nights.

I've learnt not to be so vocal in my opinions of ex to DP because it puts him in the middle and causes arguments between us, I rant on here or to my mum she never offers an opinion but listens and doesn't judge

madelineashton Sat 20-Oct-12 09:03:52

She actually finishes work at 3.30 but the kids stay home alone while she has plans...? And that's an "always" rather than a sometimes? Really!?

madonnawhore Sat 20-Oct-12 09:14:04

It's infuriating. Why the hell did these women bother having children?

Especially in my DP's ex's case. They have 50:50 so she gets exactly the same amount of free time as he does. But somehow it's that much harder for her and she deserves more time to herself hmm.

Also, does anyone ever get angry at their DP's for having children with these selfish women?

In DP's specific circumstances I do sometimes wonder what the hell he was thinking and how on earth he ever thought it would turn out any other way.

I realise that's very unfair and I would never say it out loud. I do adore DP and his DD. I'm only saying it on here because it's anonymous and I can let my secret horrible mean side out 'safely'.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 20-Oct-12 10:06:06

madonna It's a lot easier to understand if you have a bonkers difficult ex yourself!

I had DD with a man who has proven to be unreasonable, selfish, controlling and insecure. When I married him we were both very different people smile

I know why I married my ex, and understand why DP married his - at that time, neither if us would have been attracted to each other wink

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