AIBU to expect to be told...

(86 Posts)
Gettingmeback Mon 23-Jun-14 08:14:02

That my DSD will be with us full time for the next month? DH told me today and DSD comes tomorrow. We have 50/50 and her mum is going on holiday for 4 weeks so she is staying with us. DH says 'I forgot' which to give you some history is not a one off but a regular occurrence. I don't have an issue with DSD staying, we have a good relationship but I do enjoy my time when it's just us. We don't have any DC other than DSD. We both work full time but DH works shift work so I do a lot of looking after DSD. AIBU to ask that I be included in discussions? DHs DM will help up but she has been aware of this for ages.

Elizabeth120914 Sun 29-Jun-14 21:34:03

Re the birthday I wouldn't go unless uve reached some sort of resolution pretending might just add more pressure ..

Elizabeth120914 Sun 29-Jun-14 21:30:04

What a crap situation..

It's easy to say walk away blah blah but it's easier said than done when u have years invested in something and people are making the right noises.

I've felt just where u are on many occasions thankfully things have settled down a little the last few weeks..

My OH definitely agrees to things as he's 'a good dad' in his eyes and maybe that's the motivation? If they dont actually have to do anything out of the ordinarily themselves they get all the kudos and we do it! My OH also conveniently forgets she's not my child so as u say and i find I'm not entirely relaxed when they are here effects relationship/ sex life etc they are oblivious. My OH loves saying he's doing the 'right thing' but he isn't i am as I facilitate it!

I've said it before in your position id be raging. Has he attempted to sort something out or does it all still hinge on u? If he hasn't tried to resolve it I don't know what u can actually do other than accept it or leave as if he's not trying now ur raging he never will... Would MIL understand/ help maybe she might step in? Mines a pain in the arse but she doesn't want her son dumped and dsd without some own whose done a lot for her...? Sometimes telling people helps they might not get the full story can't believe anyone wouldn't see why ur annoyed??

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 29-Jun-14 20:30:38

Gaslighting. It's called Gaslighting.

Gettingmeback Thu 26-Jun-14 10:11:52

Thanks Petal. That is my concern. Other than him say "I promise it will never happen again", what exactly does he think "it" is? I've told him that when he said I should have told you what I'd organised, this is still incredibly disrespectful because it still doesn't acknowledge I need to be 'asked', not just told. I can see he hasn't worked out how to manage things in the future, and just wants them resolved for now.

When we go on holidays, just us two, we don't ask DSDs mum to cover our 50%, we make other arrangements. But he hasn't done this, he's accepted the entire month, which as we know, logistically requires me. I would feel it was more acceptable if it was reciprocal. She has also chosen to go away during school holidays which presents additional issues. Why would you go away in school holidays if not to include the child?

Any thoughts of me going to MILs birthday when I can't even look at DH?

Petal02 Thu 26-Jun-14 09:24:30

I think it depends on your definition of 'making peace.' If this means forgetting the row that blew up, sweeping it under the carpet and moving forward - then that would make me enormously resentful. You would have made up, but nothing would have been resolved.

If, however, 'making peace' means discussing a mutually acceptable way forward, then that's a bit different. Although despite the discussions you've had since starting this thread, he doesn't appear to have come up with any solutions for future child care, it's all very vague, which (in the male brain) tends to mean "I haven't given this issue any thought" and "if I keep quiet it will avoid another row and hopefully it will all pan out ok without anyone noticing" - and that, IMO, is the issue you need to be tackling.

Gettingmeback Thu 26-Jun-14 09:13:24

DapSplash - feeling your pain. I don't think I would stick around if DH emotionally blackmailed me in that way. Stick to your boundaries and good luck.

Update - DH as brought up the course without me mentioning it. BTW I didn't go with him to the info night. He has said he knows when I asked some weeks ago about his arrangements for DSD, he was dismissive. He says he needs my support to do it but not in terms of child care. In the partner sense.

The more things he says to apologise and make things ok, the more I realise he's been...I can't think of the term for it...when someone rewrites history to make you feel you're going mad or the issue is all in your head? What do MNers call that?

I know he's deeply sorry and desperately trying to make things right. But I feel exhausted. It seems that a few years of, as I described it to him, "being shit on and left to feel like it's my problem", have caught up with me. I can barely look at or acknowledge him. I feel bad, but that's just my natural instinct to help someone distressed. It worries me if I make peace at the moment, then my distress is again, secondary to his. I'm not sure what to do. He's asked me if I'll go to his mum's birthday on the weekend and I don't know. She is a contributor to our issues, in that she speaks poorly of me for not taking a 'mother' role. But, I don't want to not go and give further ammunition to divide us. The whole thing is such a head fuck.

Petal02 Wed 25-Jun-14 10:10:18

I agree Elizabeth - it's not that the child necessarily does anything wrong, but when they're not YOUR child, then they're a visitor, and you don't relax the same as if you're alone.

Elizabeth120914 Tue 24-Jun-14 16:36:51

The thing I find is I never feel very comfortable in the house.. It's like having visitors u have to watch what u say about money etc. I don't wonder round in a towel and have to make sure paper work isn't around. It's nothing like it's your own kids.

Dsd likes to 'help' with meals which means mess and nothjngs easy or quick a month would send me nuts!

DapSlash Tue 24-Jun-14 15:15:38

I'm in a similar situation to you OP at the moment.

I'm on mat leave with our 6 month old DD and DP and his ex seem incapable of sorting out her childcare between them without dragging me or DP's exMIL into the arrangements.

ExMIL has said no to the latest last minute request to step in and bail them out. So when DP turned to me, I said no as well. I have a tiny baby to look after, we have our own routine and stuff to do during the day. And moreover, I simply don't want to be the one stuck looking after two children while DP gets to have DSD extra and his ex gets to go in holiday.

I get the usual emotional blackmail about how DSD will think I don't love her if I don't instantly drop all my plans so I can do her school run every day for the next fortnight. But I'm standing firm. It's not about whether I love DSD enough to pick her up from school or not. It's about the assumption that my time and my routine isn't that important and ought to be changed at the whim of DP and his ex in order to accommodate what they both want.

As I said to DP, DSD has two parents, GPs and two uncles all within a mile radius of where we live and where she goes to school. They should be able to sort something out between them that means muggins here doesn't have to pick up the slack.

Petal02 Tue 24-Jun-14 13:45:14

I realise this might not be the case for everyone, but even though access wasn't at stake, DH was terrified of rocking the boat with his ex, in case she took it out on DSS. I don't mean that she'd beat him (LOL!!!) but DH was aware that if he upset the ex, then the ex would moan at DSS about it, and DH didn't think this was fair. So whilst I could see his point to a degree (and bearing in mind DSS was in his mid teens by this time) we were still dancing to the ex's tune just to (over) protect DSS.

As I said in an earlier post, DSS has been at Uni for nearly a year now, so we no longer have 'access' but even with the benefit of hindsight, I'll never quite fathom the dynamics of DH/DSS/the ex; it was a toxic, ugly mess.

catsmother Tue 24-Jun-14 13:24:51

Hmmm, his attitude is a bit odd if contact isn't at stake as that's what normally drives men to creep round an unreasonable ex. I wonder if there's an element of "face saving" going on ? .... what I mean is, for example, my DP sets great store in being seen as a "good dad". As I touched on above he really laps up the praise he gets from colleagues when he tells them he's had his kids for "extra" time above "normal" contact. Now, I'm not in your situation, because they live too far away for me to ever be placed in a position where I'd have needed to cover childcare while DP was at work as they'd have needed to go to school (but if they hadn't moved, I suspect I might have been pressured to help as you've been) but I've noticed there's definitely this tendency for some people to over praise DP as if, because he's a man, he's going above and beyond the call of duty for looking after his own kids! Frustratingly, it's often women in particular who do this. In your case, maybe your DH likes to give a similar impression so readily accepts extra contact as he then gets all the plaudits without actually having to do much of the additional work required. I also wondered if maybe he's being influenced by his mum - either because she shares his old fashioned view that childcare (for a child who isn't yours) is your job and/or because if SD is at your house, she (MIL) gets to see her more easily ?

Either that, or he is literally too lazy to be bothered to look into alternative childcare options.

As you say, the sex thing is very relevant. What woman feels turned on if she's taken for granted and treated like a drudge whose feelings don't matter - and can then automatically switch into sexy siren mode when required ? To be extremely blunt, you kind of end up thinking "well, I'm alright for a shag, but I'm not good enough to be treated with respect as an equal adult at other times". Doesn't make you feel very good does it ?

Gettingmeback Tue 24-Jun-14 12:35:50

Yes we don't fight about anything else either. But I do notice that the more resentment I feel, the more I find it difficult to enjoy our time that we do have together. Our sex life will be non existent for the next month because for some reason, I don't feel comfortable when DSD is here. Paper thin walls, but I also just don't feel like it. That will lead to more tension and arguments I'm guessing like I care at the moment

Elizabeth120914 Tue 24-Jun-14 12:24:57

I totally sympathise.. Ex would dump dsd with us forever if she got the chance although not officially as she would loose her benefit money..!!

We get the same thing we agree for one day and then we have plans for the next day and guess what for some reason dsd doesn't go back and ends up with us an extra day and what can I say take your daughter home? Or an 'emergency' call out to work and guess who gets stuck!

OH and I fight about nothing else ever and for some reason when she's here he's different and will be far more snappy with me the result being such lovely happy times!!

It seems quite a universal problem. Good on you saying no i always end up backing down as I feel like a bad person/ guilty.. The worst part is you sacrifice your own happiness for the child like the parent should when both bio parents get what they want!!

I think it's quite ironic. My dsd will want to be with me rather than OH when she comes round too so the laugh is she's coming to see me. I get to look after her, have the crap when he falls out with the ex, and the crap when I say I've had enough of it all the time.. It does make me laugh when people on here attack some of us really aren't bad people but in a terrible position! You can be very fond of the child too BUT iTS NOT YOURS so why is it bad to want to see your OH alone sometimes??!!

Gettingmeback Tue 24-Jun-14 12:19:59

I don't want to live like that either, but I do see myself engaging in some of the behaviours you both describe and trying to cut things off at the pass before they eventuate. TBH though, I think I will lose my attraction to my DH if we have to live like that. I have done things like plan weekends away with girlfriends when I've discovered snooped and got confirmation of a gut feeling he's arranged DSD stay with us without discussion.

Petal02 Tue 24-Jun-14 12:03:07

Catsmother I completely understand comment about having to remain ‘on alert’ . I used feel that unless I kept a very close eye on the situation, the ex would increase her demands by stealth, and that DH would appease her, he wouldn’t tell me (deceit by omission), and then I’d be met with a fait accompli, ie DSS arriving on Thursday for a “surprise” access weekend. And of course once he’d arrived at our house, what could I do? It is indeed a very exhausting way to live; I used to eaves drop on conversations, and the only time I ever snooped on DH’s phone was to see if he’d arranged extra access. In fact it often felt like rather pathetic game of cat and mouse – DH and the ex were almost in cahoots about DSS being at our house as much as possible, and my remit was to preserve my position by catching them out before they got chance to executive their plans.

Not a healthy way to live.

Gettingmeback Tue 24-Jun-14 11:54:49

Yes lazy. I guess I will see if I am important enough to him that he steps out of his 'comfort' zone of dealing with things or not dealing with them really He has said today that I am the most important person in his life and it's me he should be trying to look out for and make happy. Let's see if he really knows what that means and if he's capable of it. I have realised lately his words often don't match his actions.

Petal02 Tue 24-Jun-14 11:50:50

It was the same with us, in that DH was terrified of rocking the boat with the ex, but we both knew from experience that she wouldn't stop or reduce contact, quite the opposite in fact (DH often said "I daren't piss her off, or we could end up with DSS for the next few consecutive weekends"). He seemed to forget that he always had the option of saying "no".

Thumbwitch Tue 24-Jun-14 11:40:14

Ok, that doesn't make sense either then. He just CBA to make compromises with her then, so just dumps it on you as a fait accompli so he doesn't have to go back and forth. Lazy.

Gettingmeback Tue 24-Jun-14 11:36:36

Thumb, that is what I don't understand. The ex doesn't cause any problems with access, she can't wait to offload her DD. That is what he finds difficult. I think she pressures him to have his DD a lot more than he is able. But if he says no and upsets her, it doesn't impact on his access and I can't really see the big deal.

Gettingmeback Tue 24-Jun-14 11:30:15

Whoops I meant Catsmother

Gettingmeback Tue 24-Jun-14 11:29:31

Petal I do worry about the resentment never going away. And slowly eating away at anything good. I think if he can start being inclusive of my needs, I can let the past go. But it will need to be a pretty substantial overhaul of current behaviour. As for the next month, I have told him I won't be doing it so he will have to sort it out. Because I have said this I won't know if he would have suggested it himself. I intend to stick to my guns and not bail him out.

Thumbwitch Tue 24-Jun-14 11:29:26

Sorry, xposted! Catsmother's post wasn't showing when I typed mine.

Thumbwitch Tue 24-Jun-14 11:24:50

I suspect that the reason they are more keen to accommodate the whims of the ex is so that she doesn't create issues with contact, which is of course a complete arse for the current wife, but does make sense (however unfair).

catsmother Tue 24-Jun-14 11:18:26

Ditto everything Petal said. IME, what I found so dreadfully upsetting and insulting was that while DP readily acknowledged his ex was a vile spiteful bitch (and if anyone reading that wants to judge me - fine, go ahead - you don't know her and what she's done but I do) he would at the same time do all he could to appease her and keep her "on side". Anything so she didn't disrupt/contact any further .... yet even though it soon became evident that no matter how much he lay down and invited her to wipe her feet all over him, it didn't make a jot of difference and she still messed about, told dreadful whopping lies and played the stepkids as pawns. So really, what was the point in kow-towing to her ?

On the other hand, as his partner, who, in theory, he actually wanted to be with .... well, it was okay to upset me, cause me inconvenience and spend money we didn't have (meeting ex's demands) and which could have been spent in a 1001 different ways on our home and standard of living.

As a result I feel I have effectively been "firefighting" for more than a decade - anticipating how he'd react to ex and/or stepkid demands and manipulation and trying to see that off at the pass by establishing how we were going to approach a given situation before it happened so that hopefully ground rules - which were fair to everyone rather than those who shouted loudest - were already in place. Of course, living like that is bloody exhausting but I know if I didn't remain alert then there's a very good chance DP would give in to so much more unfair stuff just for the sake of a "quiet life" (so effing what if his ex sounds off at him?!?) and maintaining contact (not that giving in makes much if any difference). And obviously, I can't see into the future more's the pity and stuff happens all the time where there's not much I can do about it.

It's very very hard and I admit I carry a lot of resentment for all the consideration he's shown to the extremely unpleasant ex (and stepkids when they've been equally unreasonable). Bottom line, if you can't rely upon your partner to consider the effect on everyone concerned before he makes unilateral decisions and if you feel that you're almost an afterthought - because his 1st thought is how not to "rock the boat" - then it does huge damage to your relationship - and I honestly don't know if it ever recovers properly, even when stepkids become adults. We're more or less at that stage now and there's still sh*t going on in various ways .... contrary to what I used to naiively think about how refreshing it'd be once they "grew up" and the ex's influence became less strong (DP also used to wistfully imagine the same thing).

OP ..... it is good that you've had some acknowledgement from your DH but I'd remain cautious for now. I can't help wondering if he's sensed how absolutely peed off you are this time and it's his attempt at damage limitation. One way he could show you he was taking your feelings seriously would be if he sorted out this whole month of "extra" SD for a start - recognise that without notice and without agreement there's no way you should be expected to cover off the additional childcare needed. If he hasn't done anything about that, and is not planning to within the next couple of days I'd be very sceptical about his depth of regret. If he is serious about moving forward with more fairness and respect I wonder if he'd consider counselling with you ? ..... you'd soon find out whether he was genuine or if he was just paying lip service to your (understandable) complaints. It might also strike a chord if a third party was able to convey to him - or help him to see - how unfair his attitude is. I wish we could have had counselling because I think it would have helped immensely but we've never been able to afford it (due in no small part to the financial pressure caused by ex - and I'm not talking about child maintenance before anyone has a go but about stuff like her moving 2.5 hrs away and refusing to share driving, or her never sending clothes etc.) Oh the irony.

Gettingmeback Tue 24-Jun-14 11:03:45

I think that's why I am still upset and angry. I have a feeling he thinks that moving forward, he would let me know what he's planned, but that still doesn't involve asking me what I think. I've told him I'm not going to be his babysitter for the next month. I think there needs to be consequences or I won't achieve any change.

I don't know why they do it. I would have thought that living with an upset and angry wife would be worse than an angry ex gf. Apparently not. TBH, I feel like there are a lot of people in my marriage, and I'm not one of them.

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