I know I am being unreasonable. But how unreasonable?

(63 Posts)
MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 16:44:44

Dsd 15 lives quite a distance away but comes whenever she feels like it in holidays. Love having her, but visits always accompanied by a drama of some sorts. Last time (recently) she found some hidden vodka, downed a huge amount, vomited at 3am and woke my dd to clear it up which she spent most of the night doing as there was so much. Problem was dd was meant to be revising for Gcse's and wasn't able to the next day as she was exhausted from lack of sleep. To cap it all, dsd blamed my cooking (only later that we found out about alcohol).

She has now said she wants to come the days just before my dd's actual Gcse's. I KNOW this is her home and she's entitled to be here as much as my dd is. Despite the dramas I usually look forward to her visits. But it's just going to be such an incredibly stressful week (dd suffers severe exam nerves) that I don't want to be policing dsd or even worrying about dh watching her (useless anyway as tends to turn blind eye). Ok, I still know I'm being unreasonable but just wish she could wait till after exams. Rant over and ready to be flamed!

fuzzywuzzy Sat 03-May-14 16:48:39

Tell her sure she can come anytime after (whatever date the last exams finish).

I'd spin it that you want to spend time doing fun things together as a family which you won't be able to until exams are out of the way first.

Presumably she also has mocks?

TheNewSofa Sat 03-May-14 16:59:11

I wouldnt lie to dsd. I would tell her straight as to why she cant come because shes a pain in the arse

FavaBeanPyramidScheme Sat 03-May-14 17:00:03

I don't think you're being unreasonable: your DD needs to be able to focus on her exams.

Tell her to come after the exams.

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 17:02:12

Thanks Fuzzy for not flaming me! I suggested this to dh who went absolutely mad, saying he's never heard anything so ridiculous and she's entitled to come whenever she wants. Dh will take her out doing fun things (ie shopping) for some of the time, but the thing is there's hardly going to be a relaxed atmosphere here that week, she'll have to keep the noise down when dd revising and she's not very good at that.

I know if she lives here full time there'd be no choice- but perhaps if be able to pull her up on things then- as it is only dh is allowed.

NigellasDealer Sat 03-May-14 17:06:30

she woke up her stepsister to clean up her vomit?? shock the cheeky little mare!
tell her to come after the exams!!

Malificentmaud Sat 03-May-14 17:08:27

I have recently rethought the whole " it's their home" philosophy.

I've always thought of it that way but now I'm starting to think, fuck it, they treat it like they're visiting guests and come and go as they please, treat the place like a hotel, contribute nothing to family life so no, is not their home. Despite understanding the sentiment.

Put the resident child's needs first.

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 17:08:41

Thanks all. Dh is spitting venom at me for having even suggested she wait till after the exams. He won't budge on this. It's one bloody week, she has her whole life to come here. Dd loves her visits but told me she's worried she'll be distracted all the time. Will just have to make the best of it I suppose.

Corygal Sat 03-May-14 17:12:44

I'd avoid the issue of SD being a potential PITA and stick to the tactful explanation, which is that you want to celebrate after exams and really need her to be with you all then. How old is she?

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 17:15:41

Thank you MalificentMaud and all again for not flaming me, I can only imagine the response I would get in aibu. As it happens, dsd when here doesn't lift a finger, not even clearing her plate from the table. Dd hovers round ready to take her shopping at the click of a finger. So life pretty much changes when she's here.

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 17:16:49

Corygal she's 15

MarianneSolong Sat 03-May-14 17:22:00

I don't think you are being unreasonable.

I am rather assuming that the GCSE taking daughter is yours from a previous relationship, rather than a child you have had with your current partner.

If GCSE daughter was your partner's own child, how would he feel about her exam preparations being scuppered, by his other daughter wanting to stay and be her usual dramatic self at that particular time?

Do you and your partner have similar views about the importance of education? Or not?

There's also the fact that non-GCSE daughter, as somebody who is not a permanent resident, is better able to escape the consequences of her actions. There aren't likely the boundaries and the sanctions that people who were co-parenting would impose on a child who has only one home.

I would be inclined to suggest that if father and daughter really want to see each other during that week they go away. Alternatively non-GCSE daughter does come but ground rules are very clearly spelled out in advance, and that - in view of the GCSE preparation - there is an agreement that she will be returned to her mother's if she cannot keep to what's been agreed.

TheNewSofa Sat 03-May-14 17:23:53

Its not solely dh decision

Hes out voted im afraid

Guitargirl Sat 03-May-14 17:24:47

I'm assuming DD is not your DH's?

I would absolutely stick my heels in over this one. It is really not fair on your DD to have this extra stress. Why on earth did your DSD wake your DD to clear up her mess?

wolfofwestfieled Sat 03-May-14 17:27:09

Isn't DSD doing GCSEs as well, or is that next year?

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 17:34:42

Marianne, dh is dd's step father. We place the same values on education. There are never any consequences for dsd's actions- after the vomiting episode, dh would not even tell her we knew the reason for it, let alone tell her off.

I have told dh if he will not postpone her visit, I will myself tell dsd when she arrives that I know EXACTLY what happened last time, and that if dd is distracted in any way (by her), she will have to go back to dm. Problem is dsd knows full well that would never happen. And she will hate me into the bargain for saying it!

Ohbyethen Sat 03-May-14 17:36:03

Your DH is a Disney dad.
If he thinks it's appropriate to spit venom I'd lay a little home truth on him and say if I could trust him to take responsibility for her and prevent her antics affecting dd then you wouldn't have a problem but he doesn't and he will feel the same next year when his dd's revision or mocks were interrupted by anything.
Your dd may be the resident child but that doesn't mean her needs come second as the pay off. Her exams are important and the fact that dsd is disruptive (not meant unkindly, even the most harmless teen daftness can be) is less a comment on her than her father.
If she was also resident I bet a shiny silver dollar he would be ringfencing her study time and keeping the house quiet.

If he can't be bothered to do it he doesn't have an argument.

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 17:44:31

Ohbyethen he is Mr Disney. He promises she will behave. I just don't believe him. It does very much upset me that if dd was his own daughter, he would feel differently and put her first. I really struggle with that.

Petal02 Sat 03-May-14 18:09:31

your daughter may be the resident child, but that doesn't mean her needs come second as the pay-off

Very good point.

Ohbyethen Sat 03-May-14 18:19:50

I'm not surprised.

Has he calmed down enough for a discussion? I imagine you feel dsd is equally entitled to good quality revision time and support so will be making appropriate adjustments for her next year to make it as easy for her as possible. Would bringing that to his thinking make a difference?
It's a shame he wants to create such bad feeling over it but I too would be sticking to my guns for my dd.
Poor you and poor dd, such a horrible position to be in. Step mums get a lot of flack and I've seen countless get told 'well, that's what you signed up for when you married a man with dc' but for once I actually think I do want to use this argument - your husband signed up to being a step father and made a commitment to your dd when he joined your family. He has exactly the same responsibilities he expects from you.
Match him argument for argument over what he expects you to do for his dd (do the shit work sounds like but say nary a word against her) and get him to explain why you should honour them if he isn't.
Not that you want to not see dsd, you do! And she would be welcome if he did his job - if he's going to make it unpleasant then he ought to have a better argument than he has presented so far.
I would shine the light on the real problem and make it clear he is making it about dsd to default on taking responsibility for his behaviour.
I like an harmonious accord usually and resolution without conflict but he is taking the piss and not being very nice about it.

alita7 Sat 03-May-14 18:26:07

It's your house too and In these situations your dd must come first, she is doing her exams and if she does badly for any other reason than her own (lack of effort or ability) then that is totally unfair. explain to dp that after what happened with the vodka you can't risk your dd being kept up during exams. ask her to come the week after or for dp take her away for a weekend if he wants to see her.

It is not fair for your dd to potentially loose marks in her important exams at all. If there was no history of things like you mentioned and drama then I'd say have her but make dp take her out every day, but I think there would be too much risk! If it was dsd doing exams I'd say put her first, there are things and situations when one child has to come before the others like exams, birthdays, medical needs, emotional times...

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 18:50:24

Thank you ohbyethen and alita. When it comes to dsd's exams next year I doubt she will visit half term as she will want to revise at home. But goes without saying that if she did, I would insist on quiet envoirenment for her. I'm sure the vodka episode won't repeat itself, but dsd is inconsiderate, slamming doors when others asleep and the like. Not the worst of sins but just not that week!

I think dh feels there could be jealousy on dsd's part that she is not the resident dd (entirely her choice), and wants her to feel she is wanted whenever suits her. Again, what riles me the most is that dh simply will not put dd's needs over dsd's wants.

The irony is, that if only his children did not always automatically assume they come first, life would be so much easier in so many ways for dh, not least in that they would respect him- but that's another story.

alita7 Sat 03-May-14 20:06:53

dsd can come first for him but not for you. You have the right to make the decision that she cannot stay that close to dds exams.

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 21:34:41

Just had blazing row dh says I am completely out of order and that his dd is welcome whenever she likes and for as l I am beyond upset but there

MarmiteMania Sat 03-May-14 21:36:16

... Doesn't seem to be a compromise. So many more reasons for second marriages to fail aren't there

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