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Who is being unreasonable regarding Dc?

(63 Posts)
Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 07:41:52

I've name changed for this, am a regular poster.

Me and my Dp keep arguing over pretty much the same subject, my Dc.

He is constantly moaning about what they do or don't do and it's getting on my nerves. I'll phone him on the way home from work and he has to tell me Ds left some dishes on the coffee table.

Last night he was going on for ages about what he would do if he had Dc, how they wouldn't watch tv and would come home from school and do some reading and writing. I asked if he would like to come home from work everyday then do some more work before he was aloud to rest.

I ended up telling him how funny it was the idealist views people with children have before they have the reality of it. It ended up with him saying he was going to ignore my Dc in future and leave me to it. He hasn't spoken to me since.

I'm just so fed up with it, it's not as if my Dc are feral beasts or anything.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 17:46:35

No he didn't. He has said he will take some stuff to work with him tomorrow and then stay with his mum for the rest of the week.

SnookyPooky Tue 18-Mar-14 17:33:34

So he didn't go to a hotel then?
It was to get a reaction in my opinion.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 17:18:44

I did tell him to go if that's what he wanted.

He's just got home, we haven't spoken yet. Will try once the Dc are in bed.

SnookyPooky Tue 18-Mar-14 16:42:41

Just what I was thinking Merry, no money to get to and from work but can afford a hotel?

Jiggery, call his bluff, don't rise. Just say 'Ok then'.

MerryMarigold Tue 18-Mar-14 16:27:58

Where is he getting the money for that?!! Maybe he realises his freeloading is over...

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 14:42:42

Thanks that does make a lot of sense. He was living in a flat share before so was paying bills.

He says he's not coming home and wants a break to see how he feels at the end of the week.

I feel gutted but if we can't get past this then we can't.

stepmooster Tue 18-Mar-14 13:53:23

Personally I think you are being too generous with your money!

Where was your DP living before he moved in with you? Surely he had to pay rent and contributed to bills?

I really wouldn't stand for someone not contributing to the household, otherwise you are just giving him free board and lodgings. I would not be assisting him purchase a car either.

I don't know how old your DP is but he doesn't sound very financially mature. Money just doesn't disappear.

If it were me I would suggest your DP moves out, gets his act together a bit, I know it's not easy to find work but you are financially penalising yourself and your children by letting him live with you if he is not contributing.

I used to be a bit too generous with my money, especially with boyfriends, I might as well have flushed it down the loo what I 'lent' them. I wised up a lot after being caught out.

Now I have children I just wouldn't lend money to anyone anymore.

If my DH were to lose his job that would be different but we are married and have a joint account. We don't view our money as independently belonging to each of us, just jointly owned. In the event of marital breakdown I can go after him for my fair share of assets (as can he).

It's not your fault he is in financial hardship, you have your children to protect.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 11:55:43

Argh he's just text to say he thinks its best if he books into a hotel tonight instead of coming home! So much for talking.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 11:52:31

Thanks for all the input so far.

Am I expecting too much re money? I'm not sure. This living with someone is hard work.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 10:37:49

The money situation is complicated. Basically Dp has only been in work for the last 3 weeks. Before that he hadn't worked since December.

He had a tax rebate last month, paid some of his bills and bought a new car, I had to lend him money for car tax because his money had run out.

He is self employed. Started working 3 weeks ago for someone he's worked for before who is not very quick at paying. He got paid £300 Friday and £100 Saturday. He's not due any more money for another fortnight.

He paid me back for the car tax and spent £40 on shopping and is now worrying he doesn't have enough money to get to work for the next two weeks. Commuting costs are about £60 a week.

In the meantime I'm paying for all my bills, all the shared bills for the house, all the food and my commuting costs.

Things are just about manageable with me paying all the bills but it's tight and I do have to be very careful and keep track of every penny I spend.

I think he needs to start giving me some money for the bills etc. He says he can't afford to give me money and get to work and pay his bills which are about £100 a month. I think he can. He says money just disappears and he doesn't know where. I say he needs to figure it out quick.

His work is only on a week by week basis and there's always the worry he won't be paid. It would be better if he had a full time non self employed job.

stepmooster Tue 18-Mar-14 10:20:50

What is the money situation? Often money and feelings of people not paying their way can be at the bottom of a lot resentment.

stepmooster Tue 18-Mar-14 10:19:36

I imagine it must be very hard when you have been the sole carer in your home for a long time, to let another person have an input on how your children are raised. You have to try and be less defensive.

No adult is going to be happy living with another adult and have no say in the house rules, nevermind when there are children involved.

All of you, children too need to come up with some house rules. All of you need to compromise.

If it all possible, both you and your DP need to take a step back and start again from the beginning and thrash out some rules. Maybe right a list each and discuss them. No arguing, just listening and trying not lose patience or be bloody minded (both DP and you). Some rules will be important to you but not so much to your DP and vice versa, then you have to work out whether you can adapt expectations. If neither of you can live with a rule that other is adamant must be implemented then I can't see how your relationship would survive.

DH and I have rules that are very different to what he had with his ex. There are no TVs in bedrooms here, and there is no screen time after bedtime. This is something I was adamant had to happen before DH moved in. Although I was not yet a parent, but I knew I wanted this rule when I did have children. We agreed on it. I have had to relax my thoughts a bit on pop and junk food. It's not what I would do if I was on my own. But I don't let it get to me because it's the compromise.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 10:17:25

I'm going to try and talk to him tonight. He hasn't spoken to me since he huffed off to bed last night so I'm not sure how easy that will be.

I also need to discuss the money situation. I don't know whether to start a new thread about it or carry on here?

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:53:03

I think he does but we are both struggling with how to go about it. We both have different ideas. Any thing he complains about I take as an insult. Any thing I say to argue against him he takes as an insult.

MerryMarigold Tue 18-Mar-14 09:51:52

If you are never wrong, then you need to think that maybe YABU.

Maybe he is BU to expect them to come in from school and do some work straightaway, but not to a 20-30 mins at some point in the evening (depending on age). Maybe you are defensive because you have never done this, but imo it is a good thing past Y2.

Maybe he is BU that the kids need to be super tidy, but being trained to take your dishes to the kitchen when finished is fine. He is not BU.

I think he's had enough of having zero input so he gets more and more bloody minded about it. I do this with my dh sometimes. If you won't listen to me, then I need to go to an extreme [note: it doesn't work!]. But it is human nature when you are not being listened to.

Have a good chat and implement some of the ideas he has which are reasonable. And don't let your own insecurities dictate. You are not a perfect parent, nobody is. He has some ideas, let him go with the better ones.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 09:50:37

op I think birds is saying, look he's either fully in the family and fully engaged or he's not.

you can't be half hearted in a relationship.

he either loves you and the kids and wants to be fully in the family, fully committed and adoring or he needs to go.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:46:16

Well as far as I'm concerned it's a serious relationship. He wouldn't have moved in otherwise.

As for latest bed partner, he's the second man in 11 years! I don't make a habit of moving men in with my children.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:43:09

He does like them I'm sure he does.

His tolerance for mess is a lot lower than mine. Up until a few weeks ago he was doing the majority of the housework, now i am.

Birdsgottafly Tue 18-Mar-14 09:40:23

"I've already clarified that he doesn't dislike them. I'm not putting my need for a man over the well being of my children at all"

"He doesn't dislike them", isn't enough. You have given him the honour of becoming a Step parent. Your Carers should love you and want to care for you.

Unless you want them to think of him as your latest bed partner, of course.

In which case, he doesn't have a say, or a complaint, but gets cheap accommodation and sex.

It looks like you haven't both decided what it is you are doing. Which is dangerous for the children.

Birdsgottafly Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:54

It sounds as though you moved him in to quickly and without making sure of a few important deal breakers, beforehand.

"I think he likes them".

Unless someone loves your kids, they don't live with you, wether a partner or family member.

"I expect to much",

Sounds as though you don't expect enough, for you, or your children.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:52

Pink thanks did read the op.

you don't need to be the one phoning to raise the issue of leaving a mess? can't imagine any adult actually feeling stuff like that was important to mention in a phone call. big news the teenager left a plate in the sink!!! really!

also the op actually says I think he likes the kids

not overwhelming is it.

read the other posts.

not demonising the oh, must be hard as I posted.

they need to talk.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:45

I've already clarified that he doesn't dislike them. I'm not putting my need for a man over the well being of my children at all.

whois Tue 18-Mar-14 09:33:50

Huzzah, another woman putting her need for 'a man' over the well being of her children. <slow clap>

Sort it out, get rid. How horrible for your children to have someone who clearly doesn't like them in their lives.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:20:19

Thanks that does make sense. I will try and talk to him tonight.

I need to talk to him about money also tonight. The situation is complicated so I don't know if I'm expecting too much with that too.

stepmooster Tue 18-Mar-14 09:05:16

Hi Jiggerypoke, I think step-parenting is a bit of a minefield. I have been a stepmother for 3 years and I am also a mother. It is very difficult to know what you are allowed to do in terms of discipline etc. It is also very hard when you do not have children of your own. I have 2 small children now, and it's certainly helped now I am a mother.

There is a lot of fear, at least there was in my case of not over-stepping boundaries, of being acutely aware that I was not DSS mother. Is there a father your children see regularly? If so, your partner may not want to be seen to be trying to be the father when he clearly isn't.

I have to remind my DH that DSS has a mum and a dad, and that he cannot defer difficult parenting decisions and disciplining to me. Sure i ask DSS to clear the table etc, but if he doesn't do it, it's up to my DH as the parent to ensure he respects me and does clear the table. If he remains silent on the matter, then DSS will see that he can ignore me and treat me with no respect. I would probably get, "you are not my mum, you can't tell me what to do."

This is my home, I owned it before I met my DH so perhaps it is easier for me to have an input on the house rules. But if I had moved in with DH and he had let the children be a little messy and I didnt like it, i would feel very out of place and uncomfortable changing the status quo, to make sure DSS was more tidy. I would expect my DH to lay out the new ground rules to DSS, and present a united front.

I don't know how long you 2 have been together but the early days are really hard. Your DP isn't going to love your children as you do. It's impossible, especially if there is already a father in place, and your DP has not been active in your children's lives from a very young age.

I don't think you should treat step children as treasured guests, especially if there are other children in the house, but I think that you definitely have to have a united front. If your DP wants your child to be more tidy, perhaps you should honour this wish, it may not be what you would do, but if you were with the child's father you would still need to come to some kind of compromise on parenting matters. I think your DP is looking for you to agree this new rule, because it is important to him, and as it's not really a big thing to get the children to take their dishes to the kitchen, he wants you to enforce the rule. I think once the children see that you agree with DP over this and not backing them up all the time, he may find it easier to ask his stepchildren to do things instead of running to you.

In a nutshell, if your DP would like his stepchildren to do something, and you aren't fussed or in agreement, the children are not going to listen to him, he will be undermined and he will feel resentment at the situation. Small things then get blown out of proportion and your relationship suffers and everyone is unhappy.

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