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AIBU to be so angry every time

(28 Posts)
drnoitall Thu 13-Feb-14 11:44:34

Short history is-
Dh sees dc from previous marriage at pil house once every weekday evening for tea.
Exw re married. Dc 20, 17, 15.
Dc used to visit us at wkend but this is now rare, except special occasion.
Dh & I have children that are not included in this weekday tea, mil has made it clear several times over the years we are not invited, "it's better if dc see their dad to themselves". She will also make remarks like "its too much" "I can't cope".
My dc are younger, oldest 13 youngest 6 months.
This is some of what irritates mesad
Dh & mil make arrangements to the total exclusion of me and our dc together.
Mil makes no effort to visit or have relationship with our dc. She always sends bday & Xmas gift.
I feel like I'm excluded from my dh life and he doesn't see a problem. Only every mentions the evening if I ask and changes the day without saying anything to me.
Please give advise, I'm so frustrated and angry, but no idea if actually this arrangement is normal.

I can see right on both sides here, actually. I do think that it is important that you, your dh and all the dcs spend time together, because you are all part of the same extended family. And I can understand how you are feeling excluded by your dh and his mother making plans together, without reference to you.

But it is also important that his older dc do get to have time together, just them. They don't see anywhere near as much of him as your dc do (I am assuming), and if you and your dc were always there when he and his older dc were together, they might well feel pushed away and sidelined.

I also think it is important that your children have a relationship with their paternal grandmother, and I would be sad if I felt my children were missing out altogether, and my dh's older children weren't.

Could you sit down with your dh, and discuss ways to improve on the current arrangements? For a start, he should be making sure that his younger dc also get time with their grandmother - maybe by inviting her to your house, or by arranging for you all to meet up somewhere (so she can't argue that she is being expected to do more hosting and that this is 'too much' for her). Perhaps you could also suggest a day out for you, him and all the dc - maybe during a school holiday (when I assume he will have extra contact) - somewhere they will all get to have fun, if not together, at least alongside eachother, if you see what I mean.

I think you need to explain to your dh how the current arrangements are making you feel.

Jess03 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:34:20

I agree your step dc have a right to an independent relationship although I agree MIL should be making an effort with your dc at a different time. It also doesn't sound like dh is very good at keeping you up to date with the plans, that's not acceptable.

lljkk Thu 13-Feb-14 13:53:13

I don't think it's at all U of MIL to have a meal with just the older 3 kids of DH. The kids deserve as much.
But whether your Mil is generally a cow, I can't say.

drnoitall Thu 13-Feb-14 14:23:41

Thanks for replying.
Llijk . It's not a problem mil having a meal with the dc (my step children) & dh. It's the fact that she has no interest in my dc and I, we are excluded, every single week. To clarify all the dc in question are dh children.
My other problem is feeling an outsider to their arrangements.
Thanks S
I can see his other dc need time with him, my feelings are such because I feel excluded from the arrangements. Last week he walked in expecting tea to be cooked, I wasn't expecting him home, he arranged days with mil and didn't tell me. Also, I am upset because she makes no effort with my dc, which are also her grandchildren. I wish I could get over this.
Jess . I agree dh needs to let me know, it's very annoying to be the last to know. He says he forgot.

JohnnyUtah Thu 13-Feb-14 14:28:20

Your elder child is 13 yrs or 13 mths? What were the circumstances surrounding the start of your relationship, do they colour your MIL's view of you?

drnoitall Thu 13-Feb-14 18:13:33

Just 13 years.
She was fine and dandy at the beginning, and really glad her son had met someone, dsc are lovely, no issues afaik, but think as she has got older she has run out of enthusiasm.?

WooWooOwl Thu 13-Feb-14 18:20:19

I think it's nice that your DH has an arrangement where he sees his older children away from the younger ones sometimes, they shouldn't always have to share him so your DH is doing a good thing with that. And it's nice that your mil is accommodating enough to have them all over every week.

It's a shame you feel excluded, but I don't think that can be helped tbh and you'll just have to put up with it. It's unlikely to go on forever. There's not much you can do about your mil not taking an interest in your children either really. It sounds like she's over the initial novelty of having grandchildren and she's happy as long as she knows all her GC are being taken care of, which is fair enough.

In what way do you want her to show more interest?

MojitoMadness Thu 13-Feb-14 18:24:09

Do the SDC have no relationship with your own DC? I find it appalling that plans are made the detriment of you and your own DC. I also find it appalling that your DH thinks this is fine. confused Does it not bother him that three of his children have no relationship with his younger DC? It's all very bizarre.

Honestly I'd be questioning my relationship as will as getting angry. This all boils down to your DH, MIL can only do it if he lets her, which he does. If the older SDC want to see their dad why can't they come to your house? confused Why can't you all be a family?

Whenever we take the DC out we always include DSD, if she's not working or got plans she comes along. DDs and DSD have fantastic relationships, would not have it any other way. It's really weird that your DH basically has 2 families. hmm

MojitoMadness Thu 13-Feb-14 18:25:06

as well, not will

throckenholt Thu 13-Feb-14 18:43:34

Why don't you suggest that DH invites them over to yours more often - either as a group or one or two at a time. It would be nice for them to have a reasonable relationship with their younger siblings.

throckenholt Thu 13-Feb-14 18:45:34

By the way - I wouldn't bother to fight for attention for your kids with MIL - for whatever reason she doesn't have much interest in them - don't try and force it. But the relationship with the DH's other children doesn't have to be limited to MIL's meal.

Fairyliz Thu 13-Feb-14 18:53:22

Can I ask how old the pils are? Its just that I am the oldest grandchild in the family and had a lovely relationship with my grandparents. But by the time my cousins came along 16 years later, my grandparentswere just 'too old' to deal with the baby/toddler stage again so I know my cousins didn't have such a good relationship

WooWooOwl Thu 13-Feb-14 18:56:32

Mojito,maybe the older children would prefer to have dinner with their dad and their gran rather than their step mum and a baby.

This arrangement is not at all detrimental to the younger children, and it's positively good for the older children.

There is no reason at all why the older children shouldn't be allowed time with their own Dad without their younger half siblings around.

MerryWinterfel Thu 13-Feb-14 19:00:51

I would invite them round for dinner with your and your three children, might even be fun smile

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 13-Feb-14 19:08:59

So he just sees them one night for tea? No other time? Theres no way on this earth i'd get involved with somebody who has so little involvement in his childrens life.

Where he chooses to see them is down to him. Maybe the older ones prefer the arrangement.

BrownSauceSandwich Thu 13-Feb-14 19:14:44

I agree that you could make a point of inviting them to you... Beyond that, this seems to be out of your hands. You can't make your husband's kids want to spend time with you. I expect they feel that you (and they may not blame you for it) have squeezed them out of their father's life. And they might be right to think they get more of his attention when you're not around. Sounds to me like the MIL, and your husband, have engineered that for them, and I think it'd be pretty shitty to try to undermine it.

However, I do think it's a shame for your children that they don't have a relationship with their siblings. And the older ones may come to regret it in time. But it sounds like your husband is the only one in the middle, so he has to be the one to work on that. And him putting conditions on how he sees the older kids won't help. Basically, if they choose not to be involved with your children, that's up to them. One of the potential complications of starting a family with somebody who already has children. Sorry sad

As for the mother-in-law, her treatment of your children is weird and a bit nasty, but also out of your control. That's the thing I think you're right to be angry about, but don't take it out on your husband's older children.

BrownSauceSandwich Thu 13-Feb-14 19:25:44

Mojito, they could all be a family if they all saw themselves as a family, but it looks like they don't. I'm not sure why you think a teenager should feel family affinity with somebody just because their parent falls in love. I know I didn't when it happened to me! Whatever my "stepmother" did, she was never more than an acquaintance, and the only thing we had in common was my dad.

WooWooOwl Thu 13-Feb-14 19:30:00

What ages are the older ones OP?

I got the impression that they were older teenagers as your youngest was 13, so seeing a non resident parent once a week for dinner might not be that bad if we're talking about 16/17/18 year olds.

WooWooOwl Thu 13-Feb-14 19:30:53

Sorry, meant your oldest was 13.

drnoitall Thu 13-Feb-14 19:31:14

Fairy. I think you are right, she's over the excitement of being a gm. Wants a quiet life, my dc are young and yes they are noisy.
Thanks everyone.
It's over an hour away to our house for step dc which is why they don't come here, mil house is 5 minute from them. I've suggested paying train fares, they expect to be collected and dropped off, fgs they are 20, 17 & 15! It's a direct train.
The step dc are lovely lovely children, caring and polite, very chatting and happy people.
It feels like there is no need to come here, "we will see dad in a week anyway". Therefore any relationship with half siblings is not happening, it's a shame but I think that's the age gap.
Thanks again, I'm calm now, I think I have it in perspective.

drnoitall Thu 13-Feb-14 19:40:20

Mummy. My dh dc are 20, 17 & 15.
The only once a week is recent,
They were also here every weekend for years
They have jobs, college, friends.... A life.... An hour away., each way.
I didn't say..." No other time"

MojitoMadness Thu 13-Feb-14 19:44:56

BrownSauce I suppose I just can't understand not wanting all your children to have relationships with each other. If the OP's eldest is 13 and the youngest SDC is 15 then there is only 2 years between them.

I would be devastated if my DSD saw me as merely an acquaintance. But then we've always been close, far closer that she is to her own mother (if you could call her that). I've also been in her life since she was 2, so she's grown up with me.

bastardcandycrush Thu 13-Feb-14 19:50:52

I would see it as an age thing. They have their own lives at that age. Tea with granny and dad is probably seen as a weekly obligation. The fact that you are excluded at other times is more of a worry.

drnoitall Thu 13-Feb-14 19:51:19

Yes mojito that's one of things I'm annoyed about, my dh not caring about keeping his dc apart with this arrangement. He is not at all proactive to arrange anything, he goes trotting along because mil tells him to.
I going to arrange a fun day out as many of you have suggested. No point moaning, I need to just make the effort myself. I have never forced myself into their relationship, I take a very back seat as they need to know their dad is there for them. What "brown sauce" said has left an impression, they probably do see me as a acquaintance of their dad, I've always followed his lead, as is right IMO.
I'm going to look for something fun for a family of dc aged 20 to 1 year!!!

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