Why do men...

(28 Posts)
Wdigin2this Wed 24-Feb-16 23:05:17

....think that if they brush a problem under the carpet, or put their heads in the sand.....the problem will go away?! And why is 'talking the situation over, with a view to resolving it' always construed as nagging?!!!

PrettyBrightFireflies Wed 24-Feb-16 23:09:48

Oh flowers

I know you already know it's not all men so I don't need to say that wink but even those who deal with the elephants rather than sweep them under the rug, and do discuss things as a couple, don't always resolve things effectively either sad

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 24-Feb-16 23:28:40

I hear you! Wdigin you seem to bear up when it's so obvious to everyone else that there is a lot of manipulation going on! The worst is that it isn't your fault or in your control, and of course you are going to notice and not always be able to just swallow your feelings. You are part of the family relationships after all!

I often feel that is one of the biggest tensions in my relationship with DP. I seem to be a very 'on top of things' parent - not saying I get things right, or I am better, but I do notice an awful lot and just cannot let it go. I just feel so uncomfortable with problems simmering and bubbling up.

Yet my DP is completely blind! Our resident DSD barely scraped through her exams and was quite rude to me and my son most of the time. I never had an argument, but when I finally asked for some civility she caused a huge stink and DP was angry with me. Yet when her sisters complained about her rudeness DP was sympathetic. Grr.... I think it's a territorial thing. No one 'outside' the circle of blood relatives can ever comment!

Wdigin2this Wed 24-Feb-16 23:30:08

Yep Pretty, you're dead right there! As you say, I know it's not all men, but most of the ones I've met in life, are guilty of it to a certain degree!

It never fails to amaze me that, an educated, intelligent, capable and generally well meaning man can listen to a story, which he hears as 'Oh dear poor me, I don't like to ask, but do you think you could help me out this once?'....and I hear as 'OK, I'm broke but I want ****, and I want it now, are you going to cough up for it, or what?'

Ah well, maybe I am a bitter and cynical, but thanks for the flowers!!!

Wdigin2this Wed 24-Feb-16 23:35:01

Thank you Bananas, I know what you mean about simmering problems! I'm sure DH lives in a fantacy world sometimes, where if he just hides his head for long enough, when he pops it up again, all will be a pretty, harmonious scene straight from Disneyland!

swingofthings Thu 25-Feb-16 09:15:18

It never fails to amaze me that, an educated, intelligent, capable and generally well meaning man can listen to a story, which he hears as 'Oh dear poor me, I don't like to ask, but do you think you could help me out this once?'....and I hear as 'OK, I'm broke but I want *, and I want it now, are you going to cough up for it, or what?'*
Maybe because the reality is that it is somewhere in between the two?

PrettyBrightFireflies Thu 25-Feb-16 09:26:38

Maybe because the reality is that it is somewhere in between the two?

It undoubtedly is, and that's where it comes back to values. If a stepmums values mean that a polite, one-off apologetic request is the absolute limit of what is acceptable from adult DCs, then anything less apologetic or more frequent is going to be perceived as rude and grabby, and agreement from her DH is going to be seen as him being a doormat.

My exH used to rely on his parents to bail him out financially on a regular basis. I was mortified, horrified and lost huge amounts of respect for him - even though his parents were quite happy with the arrangement.
This seems similar - with the added dimension of the OPs own household finances being impacted by the requests for money that she considers unreasonable.

Wdigin2this Thu 25-Feb-16 10:05:19

Swing, I've known her for over 20 years, so I seriously doubt it!

Wdigin2this Thu 25-Feb-16 10:11:40

Quite Pretty, my financial situation is impacted, because we are not talking ££'s here, over the average 12 months, (and I did add it up one year) we are talking £££££'s....and that's just the money that I actually KNOW about! She is a grown woman with DC of her own, but regularly asks for and gets money for large items, weekly subs, bailing out on monthly household payments....none of our other DC's are, or expect to be treated like this!

swingofthings Thu 25-Feb-16 10:31:24

But he's known her for even longer, so that doesn't explain why you have such different views on the matter.

I am in a way in your OH's boots as the parent, although in my case resident. My ex doesn't pay a penny towards our two children despite working full-time. My OH doesn't understand why I don't take steps, via csa (or whatever they are call now) to make him pay and I know that it does make him angry at times, which is understandable as he could argue that it does impact on him indirectly.

However, I do have some valid reasons (I believe!) for not doing so. The history behind it is that ex is very very bad with money and that lead to one of the reasons (not the only one) why I fell out of love with him and decided to separate. When we did, we agreed on a figure he would pay monthly. He did for 3 months until he was made redundant. Then came a serie of him having a job for a few months, then losing it again. During that time, I had to negotiate ongoingly for him to pay when he did work, each time becoming more and more stressful as he would make promises, then break them, then I would say I had no choice but to go to the csa, then he would get angry and I would get anxious and angry at any contact we would have. It is hard to express these feelings, but it left me shattered and upset and even though I am naturally feisty when it comes to my rights, working full-time and raising my kids more or less on my own was draining enough that life became easier not having this to add more stress in my life.

This added to the fact that I could see how it affected the kids. Ultimately, all they wanted themselves is being able to enjoy being with both parents without tension affecting our moods. When I confronted their dad, he became angry and resentful, and although he adores the kids, he is not very good at putting away his feelings, so ultimately, his emotions spilled out when with them, which made the visits not so pleasant for them.

When I met OH, he didn't work anyway and as contact dwindled because more and more was done through the kids, and ex probably asking the kids not to share information with me, I didn't really know if he did work or not. When I got to know that he did, I suspected it was on a self-employment basis anyway and knew that going through csa wouldn't assure any payment anyway and even if it did, he would be able to adjust his accounts to reflect a very low income. Again, it wasn't worth it. At the same time, my income increased and combined with OH's we just didn't need any additional money, even if of course, everything would be nice and there is the principle (the kids sees him every week-end).

All this to say that this has led me to decide to forget about getting any financial support for maintenance and that at times annoys my OH. It wouldn't cross his mind not to support his children if he was in that position, so it is hard to believe that ex doesn't care, and he doesn't understand my reticence to pursue it.

HOWEVER, he respects my decision. He understands my rationale up to a point and more importantly respects it. This is why I love him so much, the fact that he doesn't feel the need to impose what he believes or what he would do on me.

So maybe this is why your OH acts the way he does with you. Maybe not, just a suggestion.

PS: My OH also does things, in relation to his mum, that I would never do with my parents and also indirectly impacts on me, but I understand that it means a lot to him and I too respect the fact that I have a very different perception of the situation to him.

Sorry for the long post!

PrettyBrightFireflies Thu 25-Feb-16 10:42:12

HOWEVER, he respects my decision. He understands my rationale up to a point and more importantly respects it. This is why I love him so much, the fact that he doesn't feel the need to impose what he believes or what he would do on me.

How had he come to that conclusion? Of course, he's discussed it with you, but I'm sure he's done his own soul searching and reflection - and he's possibly even spoken to others about it too.

The alternative is that he's not given it any real consideration and is just going along with it for a quiet life.

The point is that the OP is reflecting and considering whether she can continue to respect her DH despite his continued concessions to his DD. Your DH may well do the same, it's just you dont know about it!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 25-Feb-16 13:12:25

My ex doesn't pay a penny towards our two children despite working full-time. - Swing - But it does mean that your OH is effectively financially supporting your children instead of their own father. That isn't fair or right in anyone's books. In a way whether your OH takes umbrage or not is by the by, he'd have every right to and it would be awful if you took this out on your OH if he DID decide to be cross about it. (I'm not saying you would!).

*It never fails to amaze me that, an educated, intelligent, capable and generally well meaning man can listen to a story, which he hears as 'Oh dear poor me, I don't like to ask, but do you think you could help me out this once?'.*- yes my DP has done this too. He'd never take this kind of manipulation off anyone else but his daughter - including me! I think it is because it still feeds into his sense of being a 'provider' and it has become the way that he gives and IS EXPECTED to give love (ie through money/taxi). For a man this role as provider is totally ingrained with many, - although not all as Swings Ex shows.

Wdigin I would be totally cross too. This money grabbing is not the occasional one off, the once in a blue moon helping out your child. It has become a horrible manipulation and the amount of money and the fact that it has gone on for years means that it is a constant intrustion into your and your DPs life. You are not able to plan financially, you must be very affected financially the both of you. It IS your problem whether you wanted it or not. Your DP becomes secretive and it sounds like he sometimes takes out his fustration onto you Maddening!

swingofthings Thu 25-Feb-16 17:24:22

No Pretty, that's not the case. It might be hard to believe but we both believe that despite being a married couple, there are things that both of us do which we don't particularly agree with, but respect the fact that we don't have to agree on everything to love and respect each other. We are married, but remain independent individuals and that is important to both of us.

Banana, it's not black and white that he is effectively financially supporting our children because we both earn a good income, and have separate account, so in the end, it just means he has more disposable income than I do (I pay everything directly associated with the kids). Saying that, it's never been a case of your/my money and he has for instance always paid half for holidays and if I ever needed money, he would automatically give me some without question.

swingofthings Thu 25-Feb-16 17:40:47

Thinking of my situation, if the issue is with money, then maybe, a potential way to deal with it is to devise a budget of what bills need paying and what needs to be put aside each month for other joint purchases, and what is left over is then divided for each to dispose as they wish. The money he then gives her (in addition to the agreed maintenance) can come out of his disposable income and not impact on you at all.

PrettyBrightFireflies Thu 25-Feb-16 18:39:59

No Pretty, that's not the case. It might be hard to believe but we both believe that despite being a married couple, there are things that both of us do which we don't particularly agree with, but respect the fact that we don't have to agree on everything to love and respect each other. We are married, but remain independent individuals and that is important to both of us.

What isn't the case, swing? That your DH agrees with you for a quiet life, or that you each reflect on your own boundaries to ensure you are still both comfortable with the others choices? Because it's got to be one of the two, hasn't it?
Either, your DH accepts what you choose to do without question, because he 'respects you' or he reflects on the choices you make to ensure he is still comfortable with those boundaries.

My DH and I often disagree about our respective decisions regarding our own DCs. Not once would we ever 'agree to disagree' without first ensuring that the decision doesn't overstep our own values or beliefs. Because we know that if we do accept a decision that fundamentally breaks our own values/principles, then the respect we have for each other will be destroyed.

DontCareHowIWantItNow Thu 25-Feb-16 18:43:24

My DH exW hasn't and doesn't pay a penny towards her DC and I doubt she ever will.

Wdigin2this Fri 26-Feb-16 09:45:38

Thanks for all the responses, all of which have their valid points!
My particular gripe is the fact that this DSD is treated so differently than all of our other DC, including her own siblings! The reason is not because she is the favoured one, it's more a case of the rest are independent people who are making their own way in the world, for themselves and their families, they gratefully accept any help we offer, but never ask for or expect it as a right! The DSD however, not only appears to think she has a right to live way beyond her own means, but that if her DF is fool enough to go along with it, she has no problem putting her hand out for the money to finance it! The rest of our DC, know full well this is going on, but out of love and respect for their DF/DSF they appear to think it best not to call him on it....which I don't necessarily agree with!!!!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Fri 26-Feb-16 13:27:27

Yes it is must be affecting her siblings, however they seem to feel that it is more trouble than it is worth confronting this. Like the elephant in the room!

Wdigin2this Fri 26-Feb-16 16:12:10

Exactly Bananas!
One of DH's children has, on a few occasions opened up to me, saying it always has been like this....but why? What I notice is that DH's siblings and wider family tend to make a joke of it, I often hear, 'Oh you know what ** is like, always got her hand out!' But I think that's mainly to avoid actually doing something about it!!!

swingofthings Fri 26-Feb-16 16:26:38

What isn't the case, swing?
Yes, sorry, misunderstood what you had said. To answer, I would say it is 80% accepting without question, 20% of a quiet life. Then again, there are difference ways these two could be interpreted!

* Because we know that if we do accept a decision that fundamentally breaks our own values/principles, then the respect we have for each other will be destroyed.*
I haven't thought that deeply about it, but in this case, I am pretty certain that he wouldn't say that me not enforcing my ex to pay maintenance breaks his principles and values on the opposite. His values and principles would be that the well-being of my children comes before anything else, and I think he understands that there is nothing worse for children than to be caught between two parents fighting. .

swingofthings Fri 26-Feb-16 17:15:10

* But I think that's mainly to avoid actually doing something about it!!!*
Or just not letting it get to them, that's all. My sister is treated so differently to me, it is really shocking. I could be upset, I could try to confront my mum, I could throw tantrums, but in the end, I just really don't care. I have tried to speak to my mum about it and she totally agrees with me, says that she needs to make changes, but before I know it, she is once again treating my adult sister like she is still 10 yo.

I have accepted that it is the dynamics of their relationship and I don't believe any longer than anything will change it, certainly not me kicking a fuss. I don't feel any jealousy or envy though so it doesn't affect me.

I have learnt that the things you can't change are just not worth getting frustrated with and avoiding dealing with them is indeed the wisest way.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:04:17

Swing that is very hard on you, your Ex just leaving all finances to you.

Like wdigin and her DSD, why do some people just get away with being more selfish? I think I just find it too hard not get angry when things are unfair. But maybe it is better to try and rise above if nothing is to be done. Not sure I can!

swingofthings Fri 26-Feb-16 19:06:49

Swing that is very hard on you, your Ex just leaving all finances to you.
The worse of it is that he isn't paying because he is resentful or angry or anything like this but because he is living and always had lived beyond his means, so his life is about making it to the end of the month. He is very generous (which is one of the problem), but I'm not a priority and as I am able to provide more than adequately to the kids, he doesn't see the need to pay, ie. he would do it only out of principle and as things stand, principles come far behind his every day living needs (and treats for him and his new family when he can).

Wdigin2this Fri 26-Feb-16 22:37:24

Swing, that's just bloody awfu! Just because you can provide for your children, does not excuse their father from respnsibility....he should be at least thinking about his children before considering his own needs!

Bananas, yes she is so used to getting away with all kinds of selfishness, I doubt she will ever consider anyone other than herself!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 27-Feb-16 16:53:41

Swing - well thank goodness the kids have you!

I do have some sympathy, my Ex does pay (fairly) regular maintenance but it is far too small to cover anything much at all. If I behaved like him our child would be practically starving. He just turns a blind eye.

You sound like a very forgiving person - but it's not fair at all that he is doing this and it is selfish of him. He bought those kids into the world and he's just turning away from that responsibility.

wdigin - perhaps your DSD should have my or Swing's Ex as a father for a while!

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