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To want one holiday where I don't feel like DP's "booby prize" to his "real" family?

(112 Posts)
CrushingFfingCandy Thu 10-Jul-14 13:27:50

I probably am but it's doing my head in. DP has been divorced around 4 years. We've been together around 2.5 years. Every holiday or weekend away we've been on he's whinged on about missing his kids - hear me out because I know that sounds bad.

His kids are 17 and 18 years old. They visit every Saturday (well, youngest one does, eldest tries to get out of it more these days and who can blame him? he's 18, who wants to be stuck with daddy every saturday night at 18?). Anyway, we first went away for a weekend about 3 months into the relationship and he went on about his kids and how he was missing them the entire time. Same again when we went away a few months later. I let it go but lets be honest, who wants to go away with someone who is constantly wishing they were with someone else? no matter who that someone else is. I felt awkward.

We went away after a year for two weeks with my kids on a two week holiday. His kids couldn't come although I would have been happy for them to come. Well for the entire two weeks he went on about how he was missing his kids, how he felt guilty that he was taking someone elses kids away and not his own, how his kids would have loved the things we were doing, how he so wishes his kids were there to enjoy it - yeah it's nice and noble that he thinks about his kids so much but there comes a point where you start to question why you're even there if the company he's with is so shit that he spends the entire time going on about his 'real' family.

We went away again a few months later, just me and him and again he spent the entire weekend going on about how he was missing his kids, how he felt guilty because this specific thing we were doing was something he used to do with his kids and ex wife, how he wishes his kids were there etc etc. I just felt so awkward and felt like I was second choice and if he had the option he'd have his old life back in a heartbeat.

We've just been away again (same place as it's a yearly event) and he did the same thing again. Going on about how his kids should be there because it was "their thing" and how he used to love taking them there and how he missed them etc etc. I snapped at this point, 2.5 years later I'm still being made to feel like the booby prize so I told him this. I told him the way he goes on makes me feel like I'm second choice and if his ex said to him "let's get back together and we'll take the kids away as a family like we used to" he'd do it without a second thought. He disagreed and apologised and said he's "trying" to get used to having a new family. But he doesn't treat me like family at all though, he's constantly pining for his "real" family. It does me in that everytime we go away I have to listen to this and then remember phOTOS Ive seen of him truely enjoying holidays with his real family and how happy and content he looked.

Anyway we're going away in 4 weeks for a big two week holiday. AIBU to wish that just for once, he would treat me as if I'm the one he actually wants to be there with?

AlpacaLypse Thu 10-Jul-14 13:30:02

Why are you still with him?

CoffeeTea103 Thu 10-Jul-14 13:32:07

Well it's two years later and it's still happening so why are you putting up with it. Him accepting you as part of his family seems like something he's not willing to do and seems like just too much hard work tbh. So now that you know this is him and Its not changing why go along with it.

5Foot5 Thu 10-Jul-14 13:32:26

YADNBU and if he does it again I think a big blow up when you tell him in no uncertain terms how it makes you feel would be quite in order. He is being an insensitive arse and shouldn't really need telling this.

Also worth pointing out to him that at 17 and 18 it is highly likely that even if he was still with his ex the DCs might choose not to go away with them

CrushingFfingCandy Thu 10-Jul-14 13:33:28

Because part of me thinks "they're his kids, of course he'll miss them" but then another part of me thinks "yeah he'll miss his kids but I'm supposed to be his fiance, should he not be happy being away with me on holidays etc or will our entire marriage be about him missing his kids and wishing he was with them?"

JessMcL Thu 10-Jul-14 13:37:17


While it is nice that this guy obviously cares about his kids- they are adults and it's doubtful they would want to come anyway. That and the fact that he should be enjoying his holiday with his fiancée and her family.

I don't think it's a relationship breaker- but if he does it again I certainly wouldn't be paying for anymore holidays to go on with him.

LEMmingaround Thu 10-Jul-14 13:37:56

He sounds like he is carrying around a lot of guilt. He needs to deal with it. How old are your children and how old were his when he left

MyFavouriteWordIsDazzle Thu 10-Jul-14 13:40:35

I don't get why men do this.

DP used to get all moony over DSD when she wasn't here. Made me feel rubbish. Things are better since we had DD, but I still feel like in his eyes, fun things aren't worth doing unless DSD can come too.

Anyway, I digress.

He's being ridiculous, especially since his DCs are so old. And he's being very hurtful and insensitive towards you.

CrushingFfingCandy Thu 10-Jul-14 13:40:42

My kids are 13 and 15 (12 and 14 when we all went on holiday together and he spent the entire time moping that his own kids were missing out. Made me feel like he almost resented us for taking the place of his real family).

When he left (at her request, she filed for divorce) his kids were 14 and 13.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 10-Jul-14 13:41:08

YANBU. It's great that he loves his kids and likes to spend time with them. That doesn't mean that he shouldn't be able to enjoy a holiday with his DP without wishing they were there.

Is your annual trip to a place he used to visit with his Ex & DCs? If so, that may not be helping. Maybe you could find a new location that is "yours"?

MyFavouriteWordIsDazzle Thu 10-Jul-14 13:41:28

PS: my other observation is that wow, you guys go away a lot <envious>

CrushingFfingCandy Thu 10-Jul-14 13:42:57

We just get cheap deals lol, one of them was a weekend in Dublin which cost around £150 for plane and hotel.

magicstar1 Thu 10-Jul-14 13:44:25

Can I ask why you keep going back to the same place? Surely that will bring back old memories for him which wouldn't help. Find a new holiday destination to make "yours"

IndridCold Thu 10-Jul-14 13:44:59

It sounds more like a stupid (and very annoying!) habit he has got into. I assume he doesn't go on like this normally.

I would explain again how it makes you feel (he probably has no real idea). Perhaps you could introduce a 'swear box' idea and use the proceeds to buy yourselves a nice bottle of wine at the end of the holiday or something. Not if you think it would get a bit heavy though...

CrushingFfingCandy Thu 10-Jul-14 13:46:25

This yearly place is something he started doing with his ex and kids. Then when they divorced he went with just him and his kids (although I found evidence that she was on the cards to go too, she had a ticket so not sure if he'd tried to get her to go with them even though they'd split but anyway, just him and kids ended up going) and then since then, just me and him. He INSISTS on it, every year. We met a group of people who became friends the first year we went and he goes on about his kids with them too. "oh I used to bring my kids, it was amazing for them blah blah blah"

ApocalypseThen Thu 10-Jul-14 13:48:46

Perhaps suggest to him that since holidays with you make him miserable, which he does everything in his power to extend to all around him, it might be best for everyone if he stays at home.

gamerchick Thu 10-Jul-14 13:49:09

I couldn't live with that.
Why can't you forewarn him before you leave that if he bitches or whinges just once while you're away then he can do his own thing while away and won't be invited anywhere and you won't go away with him again till he's over it.

No room for excuses.. just a clear consequence if he starts.

CrushingFfingCandy Thu 10-Jul-14 13:49:57

Ok glad people don't think I'm being unreasonable so my next question is = WIBU to actually ask him not to do it prior to us going away in 4 weeks? He can be quiite volatile touchy so I'd need to word it just right (even then it will probably blow up into an argument) but I'm thinking something along the lines of

"DP, this upcoming holiday means a lot to me, can we make an effort to enjoy each others company without going on about missing people back home?"

How does that sounds? (((prepares the egg shells across floor)))

MaryWestmacott Thu 10-Jul-14 13:52:08

Is there any reason why you cant extend the invite to his DCs too?

If not, then I'd talk to him again and say you don't want to hear all about him missing htem, mainly because at that age, they probably wouldnt be always wanting to holiday with mum and dad even if he and his ExW hadn't split up.

Personally, I think if someone isn't over their last relationship and come to terms with their family breaking up, then they aren't ready to play Step parent role in a different family. If he's not 'over it' then you really should break up and wait until he's ready to have a relationship that doesn't feel like 2nd prize, or until your DCs have left home so it's only you that's made to feel like 2nd best, not your DCs.

ApocalypseThen Thu 10-Jul-14 13:52:35

Honestly? It sounds to gentle to me. You've already mentioned having your holiday ruined to him and he didn't take you seriously. It's got to stop, and he's got to understand that you're quite serious about that.

edamsavestheday Thu 10-Jul-14 13:52:35

That sounds MORE than reasonable.

edamsavestheday Thu 10-Jul-14 13:53:07

PS where do you get these cheap deals from? Pretty please? smile

MaryWestmacott Thu 10-Jul-14 13:53:34

Oh god, stroppy and volatile and whingy? Why are you going on holiday with him??? Leave man-child at home, invite a friend to take his place, accept he's not a good catch.

gamerchick Thu 10-Jul-14 13:53:55

You seriously want to sugar coat and appeal to him?

Why can't you just tell him straight, Do you often tiptoe around him?

MTWTFSS Thu 10-Jul-14 13:55:15

You have 2 choices:

1) LTB.
2) Go on holiday from Sunday -Friday.

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