husband staying away with his children

(28 Posts)
shawl20 Thu 01-Nov-12 09:34:16

Help, i need advice, my husband and i live together with my daughter who treats him like her real dad, he has 4 children with his previous partner, they are from 4-12 years old, his children have told him that they don't like me and will only continue contact away from the house, they said they will see him for the day only but he wants overnight contact so then they have said they need to sleep elsewhere, his solution is to do just this, I had nothing to do with their break-up, she ended it with him and i and my daughter were introduced to his children slowly, every step of the way we have asked and made sure they were fine with what was going on and they said they were. The 12 year old has never taken to me but i put that down to she was the oldest and was maybe hurt more over the divorce but the others i have been getting along fine with.So much so that the 9 year old was very upset she was not allowed to come to our wedding, so we said we would have a blessing in church and they would be bridesmaids when their mum allowed them to which they were happy and excited about. My daughter halved most of her toys with them cause they didn't have alot, i got them new clothes as when i met their father they didn't really have a great deal. At xmas last year they were rude about most of their presents that they were not the right thing. I have spent hours baking and icing birthday cakes. The youngest 3 always gave me a kiss goodnight and when they left to go home and the oldest started doing so 2 months ago so it has hurt that they don't like me, It all changed the last few months, They would go home and make up things that my partner and i had done ie forced them to eat foods they didn't like, shouted at them all the time, never took them anywhere.
He is going to have to stay at his dads as we r not in a financial position to stay anywhere else, which also isn't ideal for him having that many people in his house. He took on myself and my daughter as a family and even told her she could call him dad and he would treat her like all the rest of his children which i agree is fab. She has never called him dad in front of his children she only says it when there is just us she has no other father as he didn't want to know when she was born. She didn't ask for this situation either, she was put in to it too and i think that seems to get forgotten when my partner and i r trying to please his children. He also has an 18 year old from another partner who i get along with fabulously. He works from 3pm till about half twelve Mon-Fri and the occasional weekend he hasn't his 4 girls so he doesn't see alot of us either as i work and my daughter is at high school during the day so weekends are the only time he has with us too. We should matter in this as well as his other children and i think just because we arent blood or with him first our opinions don't matter. I totally agree he should have time alone with his children and have always encouraged that, but i dont agree that it should be overnight away from home during the day fine. Just also to point out that these girls said they want to have quality time alone with their father so he spent the whole weekend giving them just that, i kept out the way, my daughter stayed at her friends and they told their mother they never spent quality time with their dad that weekend because he never took them out.We live in a 2 bedroom house, ( we cant afford to privately rent and the council say we not entitled to 3 bedroom as we didnt have children 2 weeks more) My partner and i gave the children our bedroom, and packed our stuff in boxes, we sleep on sofabed down stairs and when they are not there we use the little ones double bed. It may sound quite jumbled but i tried to give as much info as another site said i needed to. Is it right?

rainbowinthesky Thu 01-Nov-12 09:39:30

Yes. He should put his children first. The youngest is only 4 so must be a recentish split.

rainbowinthesky Thu 01-Nov-12 09:40:38

Having 4 or even 5 children is a huge commitment and perhaps he should have considered that before taking on a new family with another child.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 01-Nov-12 09:56:29

rainbow the OP has already had a pasting on AIBU - surely it's only fair that she receives constructive advice from people who have experienced a similar situation?

OP, I've been posting on your other thread - will be back in a bit!

rainbowinthesky Thu 01-Nov-12 10:00:38

Well having 5 older half siblings from both of my parents side I kind if figured I did have the experience to comment. However as you feel I shouldn't be posting my opinion I don't think I will bother. Didn't realise there were such rules.

rainbowinthesky Thu 01-Nov-12 10:01:51

Love that you highlighted the "have" as you assumed so much about me.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 01-Nov-12 10:34:15

OP - I don't think your DH solution is the answer - I think your whole family will benefit from family counselling, backed up by a contact order if your DSC mum blocks contact.

Try to ignore the comments that condemn your choice to make a life with a man who has children - it is perfectly possible to achieve if both you and your DH are committed to the DCs and each other.

purpleroses Thu 01-Nov-12 10:35:32

That is way too much power for a 12 year old to weild. And would hazzard a guess that it is the 12 year old who is the instigater of this - and the other children are following (siblings can be very loyal, especially when they move together between houses)

My DP's DS1 was very sulky when first introduced to me, but was never allowed to dictate that he wouldn't come. DP allowed him to sulk in his room at first, but insisted he sat at the table at meal times. He's fine now, he got used to me.

Your DP needs to talk to her to tell her that staying at his house is non-negotiable, but try to get the bottom of what it is that she's upset about. What do you think changed things a few months back?

rainbowinthesky Thu 01-Nov-12 10:38:40

Where did I condemn the op's choice? Speaking from my experience I do think the op's partner needs to consider his 4 children's needs and theses should sorted before taking on a new family. Again speaking from experience neither of my parents did this with their first families and 40 years later there is still bitterness and adults suffering because of this.

sanityseeker75 Thu 01-Nov-12 10:41:40

Me and DH have no children together but combined between us 4. It has always just been accepted that my DS would make room in life for DSC and because he is laid back in nature it just has been the norm for him, I think it is sad but true that the kids that kick up the less fuss probably luck out a little bit.

I am probably going to get shot for this but actually I think this is a wrong situation. What do the kids mean by quality time? To me it sounds like their idea of quality means having money spent on them and taken out for treats, not sat snuggled on sofa watching a film together and making the most of each other??? I have had this issue in the past - we found in the early days unless we had constant trips planned the DSC complained - we then decided one year that we could no longer afford to keep pandering to this so we gave the kids calendars - each month we had a budget of £50 and they had to take it in turns to pick (we put it on the calendar so there could be no arguments). We even agreed that if they chose to carry over then they could to save for theme parks etc. This actually made them be nicer to each other and meant they were involved as a family?

It is a rather depressing fact of being a SM that no matter how much love time and attention you put in there are times that they will throw it all back in your face leaving you hurt and rejected - I think all kids do it though sometimes they mean it and sometimes they are manipulated by ex into it and sometimes they just don't think like we do because they are kids!

I know that I would not tolerate DH staying away to see his DSC and if that makes me a bitch so be it(I would point out that we live in same town - if they were miles away it may have been different. When he married me I became his wife and as such we became a family unit so why should he then go be a family elsewhere leaving me and DS on our own - I am pretty damn sure if I was taking DS away to spend Quality time with him then DH would not be liking this. I am not saying that when the DSC are at ours (every weekend) that he can not have one on one time with them. In fact I encourage it and likewise I spend time on my own doing different things with them (DSD likes shopping and is only girl, DSS likes wrestling so we are taking him to watch Smackdown Raw with him on his own).

Surely if the message that is being sent out to your DSC is that it is ok to push you out when it suits them then they can control your marriage and your time together? If they were told quiet blatantly that dad will send some time away from his FAMILY home with them on true "quality" time but then the rest of the time was family time that they could be part of this is a better message.

I doubt they do not like you it sounds like they liked you, pushed boundaries and got away with it and now think that the way to get what they want is to blame you.

What does your own DD feel about this and if she grows up and one day has DSC would you advise her to allow this to happen to her?

Kaluki Thu 01-Nov-12 10:52:35

Where will all this end? If he lets them dictate like this to him now then they will rule him (and you). It won't just stop at weekends with out you, It will be more and more demands and they will use their time with him as a stick to beat him with.
I think he should get to the bottom of why they don't like you? Do you discipline them? Tell them off? Or is it that you don't give them everything they want/buy them enough toys??? My children constantly tell me I'm mean when I don't let them eat sweets/watch too much TV/stay up late etc etc so he needs to find out what exactly it is that bothers them. Whatever the reason they should be taught to resolve conflicts and issues together as a family and not bolt for the door when things don't go exactly their way.
They do sound quite spoilt and you sound like you have bent over backwards to please them and they are simply pushing the boundaries. Your DH should stop this now before he ends up with 4 spoilt entitled horrible children.

brdgrl Thu 01-Nov-12 11:44:11

I would not tolerate this for a second. Your DH has made a mistake by allowing this situation to develop.

They don't have to like you. They do have to accept that you are married to their dad. They do have to accept whatever rules your DH, with you, lays down about behaviour in the home and when in his care. Period.

I haven't seen your AIBU thread, and I am really sorry if you have gotten a pasting there. YANBU. Please pay no attention to comments like this * I do think the op's partner needs to consider his 4 children's needs and theses should sorted before taking on a new family*.

Your DH is your husband. He already has a commitment to you (and actually, yes, to your daughter) and that is just as real as his commitments to his children. A 'second family' is not and should never be treated as a second class family.

Surely if the message that is being sent out to your DSC is that it is ok to push you out when it suits them then they can control your marriage and your time together? If they were told quiet blatantly that dad will send some time away from his FAMILY home with them on true "quality" time but then the rest of the time was family time that they could be part of this is a better message.
Spot on. Time for your DH to step up for the sake of his entire family.

OhDeerHauntingFENTON Thu 01-Nov-12 11:48:42

I agree with others that the focus should be on improving things between you and the children rather than just having this as a quick fix solution.

It seems that the 12 year old is leading things here, that situation needs to be dealt with not just accepted or the problem ignored.

It might be helpful to try and identify what happened (in the child's opinion) a few months ago to have changed her attitude towards you.

EMS23 Thu 01-Nov-12 12:32:52

Is your DH willing to try and resolve this? We can give you all the advice going but unless he is willing to take action, it won't change and you are left deciding if this is the life you want for yourself and DD.

Kaluki Thu 01-Nov-12 12:51:26

True EMS23. In my (limited) experience of these situations, it will only work out when the father realises what is happening and wants to change things.
We can all agree on here till we are blue in the face but until these Disney dads actually man up and treat their children like children and take them off their pedestals then nothing at all will change.
My DP is heaps better than he was and although he still slips up sometimes (don't we all!) we wouldn't work together if he wasn't 100% committed to bringing his dc up alongside mine as one family unit when they are with us and that means teaching them manners and respect for everyone around them. If this makes us unpopular then tough shit.
Nobody here is talking about being mean or abusing them - just bringing them up to be decent human beings, which is what we all want for our kids isn't it?

Lookingatclouds Thu 01-Nov-12 13:54:11

I agree that you need to get to the bottom of what the issue for them (or the oldest one is).

How long have you, your dh and dd been living together? What were the arrangements for them having contact with him before you met?

shawl20 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:01:25

We have been living together for about a year and have been married for 3 months, The arrangements for contact before we met were fri-sun once a fortnight and half of half term weeks and summer holidays and at xmas it was xmas day-new years eve, now its only when he is away from home he can see them. I do feel he can't win no matter what but i think he needs to stand up and sort this out once and for all or i believe its only going to get worse.

anklebitersmum Thu 01-Nov-12 14:12:31

well said brdgrl !

I suspect some puppeteering on the Mother's part and a good dose of 'take the path of least resistance' Daddy behaviour too.

I would be insisting that DH and the ex start talking and resolve it, not least because if the children smell weakness the "we demand" will only get worse (and whether ex/Mother knows it yet or not this game-playing can easliy end up coming back and biting you in the bum) I've seen it happen and I wasn't smug at all, honest

Is it possible that there's resentment on the ex's part since the wedding in as much as you're not 'just the girlfriend' anymore and she feels her power/control is threatened?

shawl20 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:24:45

I believe so, she is very controlling and he has always done whatever she has asked and never stood up to her in fear of not being able to see the kids. His first marriage he had to fight tooth and nail to see his daughter and it wore him down and he hated having it dragged through the courts and she was around to see it all so i think she uses the children knowing full well he will do anything for them to avoid going through the courts again. He has started to stand up for himself a little more since i have been with him and i think thats why she doesn't like the situation.

Petal02 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:34:35

Your DH is your HUSBAND. He already has a commitment to you and that is just as real as his commitments to his children. A ‘second family’ is not, and should never be, treated as a ‘second class’ family.

Superb post. I was really horrified to read this thread and agree that the OP’s DH is giving his children far too much power. So at the moment, he has to live away from you when he sees them. Otherwise I assume they threaten to stop seeing him. What if this escalates and they threaten not to see him unless he lives away from you permanently? Would he still dance to their tune? And as someone has just asked, where will this end?

I know that I would not tolerate DH staying away to see his DSC and if that makes me a bitch then so be it. When he married me I became his wife and as such we became a family unit so why should he then go be a family elsewhere leaving me and DS on our own.

I agree with this too. Lots of children are involved in blended families; it doesn’t do them any harm. Let’s remember that children in a together family do not call the shots, so why should children in a step family hold all the cards?

When you’re a child, there are some things you don’t (quite rightly) get a say in – like where your father lives, or who he chooses to marry. These children have far too much power, it’s extremely unhealthy. Although until the father man’s up, I really don’t know what to do about it.

anklebitersmum Thu 01-Nov-12 14:38:58

I have no doubt that, from what you say, she'll be blaming you for his partly formed backbone and the DC's are therefore reacting in kind. Unfortunately DH is going to have to deal with her and the DC's himself-and he has to be seen to 'man up' on his own or it'll just get worse. Ask me how I know hmm

sanityseeker75 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:40:59

Has the ex got a partner? What would happen if she gets one? Are the children then going to demand that they only see mom without new partner? If they are allowed to dictate that now then this is what will then happen! Kids will rule both houses mom will never be able to move on and then kids will move out and mom will be very lonely!

In your house - you can not sustain a marriage that is forced apart. This could lead to a split - no woman in right mind with go near your DH as his children have already caused breakdown of last marriage - kids grow up have own lives and see him less. Dad will be very lonely.

Kids have boundaries spelt out to them and are not allowed to dictate in either home. Mom has new relationship (who knows may one day be SM herself) and is very happy and kids now have another positive role model in their life. Kids learn to live with your boundaries and become adjusted and have two more positive role models in life.

Kids now surrounded by people who love them very much and teach them how to grow into a loving supportive parent themselves but ones who realise that sometimes a parent is not a friend but always looking out for their best intersts regardless.

I know which I would choose everytime.

anklebitersmum Thu 01-Nov-12 14:53:59

I should probably add that I doubt very much whether DC's actually understand the potential consequences of their actions, either for them or anyone else.
I have literally been there got that t-shirt (and not just in one colour) and the best advice I can give is to try and remember however hard that they really are just children and they're not fully cooked yet smile

Kaluki Thu 01-Nov-12 17:35:05

"they really are just children and they're not fully cooked yet"
Amen to that!!!,

grapelovingweirdo Fri 02-Nov-12 11:03:30

Hey OP, my reply on your AIBU thread is here http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1600722-husband-staying-elsewhere-with-stepchildren?msgid=35141576#35141576

ladydeedy Fri 02-Nov-12 16:28:27

well said BRDGIRL! You are absolutely right in everything you say. OP please dont let this continue. Your DH has been misguided in agreeing to this and needs to change the situation before it gets even more out of control.

mouldyironingboard Sat 03-Nov-12 12:18:51

I really don't think that your DH should agree to overnight visits away from home. He can see his children during the day. If they refuse to come to your house it is their problem, not yours or your DH's.

Being cynical, if your DH's ex realises that she will never get a night on her own she is likely to encourage the overnight visits to start again. I think your DH needs to take a much harder line about this.

I have skids that I haven't seen for a few years as my DH sees them on his own and I can't say that I miss them!

Viviennemary Sat 03-Nov-12 12:37:02

Although the OP has done nothing wrong and is trying her best, the trouble is children just do not see it that way. And I think four children as opposed to one child when they all gang up together can be quite a strong influence.

The children see their Father having left (even if it wasn't his fault) and they are doing their best to get him back to give them his undivided attention. All this talk of moving on. Children don't see that at the time. They probably liked things the way they were.

But in the end although I sympathise hugely with the children, I don't think the husband should be leaving the marital home for overnight stays. Sorry if that sounds a bit old fashioned.

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