To not always dance to his tune?(46 Posts)
Back story, STBXH left me and (very young) kids 6 months ago for the OW who he'd been having an affair with for 2 years. (My kids are 3.5 and 1 year old)
He currently sees them for 24 hours every weekend. Either Friday night through to sat afternoon, or sat night through to Sunday afternoon. So far so
He had a business trip earlier this month which meant he couldn't have them for one weekend. So I agreed he could have them on a weds night through to thurs afternoon so he could still have his time with them.
He then announces he is going on holiday with the OW next month, and won't be able to see them for 2 weekends. He again wants to see them before the weekend he goes, and after the weekend he returns. Meaning I'd have to swap eldest DD's pre schoolorning round to enable him to spend the days with her (a Friday and a Monday)
Now, he says he's going on ANOTHER holiday with her in June and wants to do the same again. I'm afraid I told him enough is enough and if he can't see them on his allocated days then that's his look out. Sure they'd like to go abroad for a holiday too but alas that's not going to happen.
AIBU to refuse this third request? I just feel like they've taken me for a mug these last 2 years so why am I accommodating them so they can get away together, 4 weeks after their first holiday?
He is accusing me of using the children but honestly they don't give a shiny shit if they see him or not.
I agree with what had been said. Pick your battles. Also, even thigh you are still in the painful part of it try to disengage. So that when you talk to him about anything to do with the children you can do so objectively and without bringing emotion into it. Establish ground rules now. There should be some flexibility, but you may want to establish rough guidelines on notice given, and be clear that it is a two way street. You may need to change his weekend for your plans too.
Sorry see you have agreed already! Hope you feel better about it all soon.
I think you should agree to it. Very hard to move past the bitterness but try and see his time with them as having 2 benefits: one is they get to keep a relationship with their parent and the second is that you get to arrange some time for yourself, spend time with friends, go on a date?
If you can't get past the bitterness maybe try to pretend that you have moved on when speaking with him. Unfortunately he doesn't care about you much anyway since he cheated on you for 2 years but try to get out there and show him you have your own life and your own plans and you don't want him anymore!
By all means be flexible for him - but he has to expect to return the favour, for, say, a family party (your family) that has been arranged for 'his' day that the DC's wish to attend etc.
I have issues with this with DS1. Both me and his dad have brothers MUCH younger than us. They both have a family meal on their birthday, well, the closest Saturday to their birthday.
The issue? They were BOTH born on the same day in 1991!
So, especially for 'special' birthdays, there has been a bit of tension.
We ended up working it so that DS1's Uncle on his DSS's side spent his 18th Birthday meal with DS1, and his Uncle on my side got to spend his 21st Birthday meal with DS1!
It does take a lot of give and take, but the taking when it comes to flexibility shouldn't always be from one parent.
As an earlier poster said, see this flexibility now as a way of ensuring flexibility when you need it.
I think the time to re-assess this is when the STBXH isn't flexible for you.
Thank you all so much. I'm really glad I rose above it now. I want them to feel loved and wanted by their dad, so it's clear to me now I just need to suck it up and punch a pillow when he gets to me.
Sorry some of you are in similar positions but I really appreciate your experience and advice for a newbie at separation
OP - it can be rubbish can't it with awkward ex's but by putting your children first it means that you're a good mother and, even though it grates having ex call the shots, you know you're doing the best for the kids.
PS me and ex do the alternate 24 hours over the weekend (as well as 2 evenings/nights during the week) and it works really well for us. The boys get to see their Dad, I get a night off and get to go out and the boys don't go to long without me (which suits them (and me!))
I had all this with my first husband when dd1 was little; he'd just say 'I can't have dd this weekend, I'm working/going out/busy' and assume that I would have dd. whilst when I was at work or going out I had to make childcare arrangements, I didn't have the option to just say 'I can't have dd'.
It's so hard isn't it?
I separated when ds was 9 and I just put up and shut up when ds went to stay with ex and his girlfriend, though I seethed with resentment.
He's 17 and has a fab relationship with his dad and I'm always pleased when they see each other, and so glad I didn't put any stumbling blocks in their way.
Ds needed his dad, as do your dc.
Mind you ex is on about his 4th partner now .
I think you sound lovely, Op.
Thank you both
This just wasn't how life was supposed to be! I have to put the girls first, no matter how irritating he is.
and he's really fucking irritating
Awww Dolly it sucks sometimes doesn't it but you did good - the kids and their relationship with their dad is what matters - I totally relate. Chin up, it gets better x
You did great Dolly, we're all proud of you for being the bigger person. Well done.
Thank you ladies for some great advice. I do think 'Miss I work hard and like my lie ins without kids waking at 6am' may have a hard time spending a whole weekend with them in her flat
Well, I'm a lone parent and I have always liked my child free time! So much so that i put my 7 month old in childcare for 5 hours every week, purely so I could sit at home in peace
Mine are 15 and nearly 7 now. I have a long ish term boyfriend who I see lots of and it is all made easier by having child free weekends < oh and the 15 year old babysitter! >
Try and think longer term. I was a LP from day one with my youngest and it was quite tough. It's now easy. It will be for you too.
Bite his hand off re the two nights. And while you're at it, talk to him about whole weekends. You don't want a situation where this 24 hours here and there becomes ' the norm' and set in stone.
Let him have them. Sit back and take a bit of 'me' time. Catch up with old friends. Do something for yourself.
I doubt many LPs would actually admit to liking their childfree days but I used to enjoy packing mine off with DH for a couple of days on football tour!
Oh I know. It does feel shit but I promise, it doesn't feel shit forever. You're still in the hard part right now. It'll pass. < easy to say, but really, very true as you'll see in time to come >
You've had a lucky escape. God alone knows what nonsense lines he's fed her as well... And if she has chosen to be with a man who has kids, well then, let them have the kids for decent chunks of time.
This is ultimately going to work to your advantage
To be fair he has offered to have them for 2 nights over the early may bh weekend. Sigh.
I would be looking at him having them every other weekend from friday through until sunday. that way he gets decent time with them and you get a proper break.
You'll be glad of the time to yourself when you meet fabulous new man.
Sh1ney, I was afraid of that I'm afraid although I try my best, the bitterness does creep in! I can't help it. I'm a line parent, skint and run ragged and they're taking holidays abroad. But of course, I'd rather have my life. I'll be the bigger person I think.
why not tell him to lengthen his weekends that he does have the dc to friday through to sunday and that way he will get to see them more - and you get a longer rest
I couldn't swap weekends as I worked every other weekend - he still dropped weekends and I would have to find someone to have the dc. me and the dc wouldn't give our weekend time up together though so no swapsies
I think YANBU. I don't think you should be constantly changing the children's routine to fit him. Think I would be tempted to offer a swap that suits the children's routines, not Ex's demands.
prescshool my not be happy with all the chopping and changing. perhps you could suggest another day other than preschool day. you e offereing eextra time and dd gets consistency, which is also important. there my be different children and routines at preschool on a different day.
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