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To want to distance myself because I can't take this anymore

(19 Posts)
Hughes32 Sat 02-Jul-16 15:34:22

Hi. I need to let off some steam about my dh's cousin (it might be a long one) She's really getting to me and driving me crazy to the point were I don't want to be around her anymore, especially after what she said yesterday). My dh thinks I'm overreacting a little but he's not the one having to listen to it all and put up with all the drama.

So from the beginning. Me and my husband have two ds's one age 8 and one age 7. Our 7 year old is diagnosed ADHD,Spd,Gdd. Life for us is very hard (I wouldn't usually admit that to anyone but it is) and has been since our youngest was around two years old. Everything has changed for us, our jobs, our friends, our connection to family and even our home. I love my son unconditionally and wouldn't change him for the world and don't blame anyone for the way things have turned out. I also understand that other people's problems, especially to them are just that, their problems and they shouldn't be diminished. In other words usually I wouldn't ever think that people aren't allowed a moan or a rant just because their life may be perceived to be easier than mine and my dh's. However i do make an exception when it comes to my dh's cousin. I'm fully expecting to be told I'm being unreasonable but here goes.

So like I've already said we have two boys. My dh works full time, I work part time but i'm on the verge of packing it all in as I'm being called into school every week to deal with our ds and it can't continue. My dh's cousin took a liking to me when we first met years ago but it's only been the last couple of years were we've started to see each other outside of the usual family get togethers. She doesn't live far from us so she will sometimes turns up unannounced.

She is a "single" mum to three children. The reason I've put single like that is because whilst she may technically be one on paper, in reality she isn't. She still sees her children's father daily, even when the children aren't there. He takes the children one night during the week and then from 4pm Friday until 6pm Sunday. She is out on the town every week, goes out lunching/shopping with friends and has plenty of me time. She doesn't work, just a few hours with an agency here and there yet she has a decent quality of life and gets to be her and not just mum.

Now I know what you're thinking, I'm just jealous, but I'm not. I wouldn't ever dream of commenting on someone's else's life as what they do is up to them and quite frankly usually I wouldn't give a damn but on this occasion I feel like screaming.

My husband's cousin isn't very tactful and just says things without thinking it through first but she's out of order. All she goes on about how hard her life is as a single parent and that anyone who isn't "doing it all alone" couldn't possibly understand how tough life can be. She has gone on like his for months and has even taken to Facebook looking for sympathy posting that she's a hard working single mum who does her kids proud but how hard it is coping alone and anyone who isn't on there own couldn't possibly understand.

Now she knows how my family have had it of late and that my husband and older son especially have been struggling to cope with our youngest's behaviour, but up until recently I hadn't really said anything, as one she doesn't seem like she cares anyway and two I can never get a bloody word in edge ways.

So she came round yesterday for a cuppa and i'd had a particularly bad few days with our ds as I'd been called into school every day and he also broke my nose by head butting me backwards in the middle of a meltdown. My nose is strapped and I'm in quite a bit of pain but she never mentioned anything or asked if I was ok. Instead she sat on my couch and did nothing but moan about how her kids were driving her crackers and that she's exhausted as she never get a break. When we eventually did get on to me and my life she had the nerve to say yes but at least you have a partner here all the time to help you and it can't be as bad as her situation as she's on her own all of the time. I explained that my dh works 1pm-11pm Monday through Friday and works every other Saturday (which she already knows) so in fact I'm on my own a lot of the time but she just scoffed, and said oh he's home on a Sunday though isn't he and you get a few hours together every morning before he goes to work. She then went on to say how I've only got two kids not three like her and having three is so much harder.

So Aibu to have wanted to slap her or at the very least chuck her out of my house (I don't know how I didn't). I understand that being a single parent must be hard going and i have the utmost respect for parents who do it alone but she is really taking the piss! She may be a single person/woman but she is most definitely not a single parent. She gets to spend half the week with her kids but then they go to their father's house half the time too. She goes out twice a week, I go out twice a year. She has time to completely switch off, I can't even do that even when I'm at work as I'm always getting calls from school/after school club. I would never dismiss another persons concerns or problems but she really doesn't understnsd the meaning of a hard life, and for her to imply that my life is a walk in the park just because I have a partner and only have two kids instead of three is an absolute joke. I never and I mean never put my problems onto other people unless they're happy to hear them as I don't like to burden people, and I certainly don't post on Facebook looking for sympathy. Our life is what it is and it's not going to change anytime soon, I accept that. But why can't my dh's cousin accept that she's out of order saying the things she does and in fact she has it quite easy in comparison to genuine single parents who do it alone with no or very little help. So tell me aibu here?

PeppasNanna Sat 02-Jul-16 15:41:19

As a parent of 2 ds with ASD & ADHD, only oeople who hace dc eith needs 'gets it'.

Stop comparing yourself to this lady.

I wouldn't be so available for chats as she sounds draining...

I'm not going to say if Yabu or not as your life is different & thsts judt the way it is!

queenofthepirates Sat 02-Jul-16 15:41:39

I understand you're having a hard time, I do but you're not being terribly kind to her either! You're under estimating how hard it is to be a single parent when in reality, neither of you is worse off than the other by the sounds of it.

Maybe give her time to vent then it's your turn.

PeppasNanna Sat 02-Jul-16 15:41:48

Sorry bout typosblush

OurBlanche Sat 02-Jul-16 15:43:01

So... why do you want to remain friends?

Next time she makes you feel like throwing her out, do so! Tell her that you feel insulted, that you don't have time to listen to someone who can't spare a single moment for anyone other than themselves. Bye!

Hughes32 Sat 02-Jul-16 15:46:04

I promise you I have sat and listened to her, rather patiently may I add for over a year now. I'm not meaning to come across as mean, I was just giving you a bit of her background. I know our lives are different and I assure you I've never sat and sulked comparing my life to others who seemingly have it easier, I've know need to do that. But when she's putting me down, making out I'm moaning, when I was most definitely not, oh and telling me it has to be harder being a single parent as opposed to a parent to a Sen child, well it really got to me.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Sat 02-Jul-16 15:46:25

I think you need to tell her a) it's not a fucking competition; b) if she wants sympathy then maybe she should offer some to others; c) actually she has no idea how hard your life is at the moment.

Hughes32 Sat 02-Jul-16 15:48:00

I don't think I do want to remain friends to be honest. It's difficult becusse when she used to be a really fun and positive person but now she just seems bitter and all she does is moan. I could cope with that on its own but when she's putting me down and downplaying my life it just makes me want to scram x

PeppasNanna Sat 02-Jul-16 15:48:28

Your not going to be able to makeher understand what its like for you.

Stop letting her consume your time & energy.

Hughes32 Sat 02-Jul-16 15:48:52

I think you're right Felicia, and that's exactly what I need to say.

redexpat Sat 02-Jul-16 15:49:06

Yanbu, she is playing pity trumps and being insensitive to your challenges. You want an acknowledgement that your life isnt easy, but youre not going to get it from her. I think you just need to be a bit less available, and just say mmm I see if she starts, and unfollow her on fb.

redexpat Sat 02-Jul-16 15:50:14

Scratch my post, I like Feliciass post!

Hughes32 Sat 02-Jul-16 15:53:28

I think you're right. To be honest I don't really want some sort of acknowledgement that my life isn't easy, as for anyone who knows us or takes the time to care or get to know us would realise things can't be a walk in the park with an autistic child. All I wanted was for her to maybe listen and not put me down. I've listened to her for such a long time and agreed with her, been patient and offered advice yet she can't do the same and just takes it as gospel my life is so easy just because I have a partner.

jellyrolly Sat 02-Jul-16 16:10:08

You aren't being unreasonable, I have an adhd child who has had to come out of school to home ed as it was so difficult for him. It's okay to envy other people's me time, it's ok to vent as long as you aren't hurting anyone's feelings. It sounds like she has just got used to you listening to her. She probably is jealous of your relationship with your husband. I would be a little less available, cut her off (kindly) when she starts to moan, steer the conversations back to the fun way they used to be, maybe try and find some ways to factor in things you enjoy where you can. It is possible, you have to be creative. I'm sorry your nose is broken, you are also allowed to be really upset by that. None of your situation is her fault but maybe she is an easier, more comfortable target.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 02-Jul-16 16:13:16

She sounds deeply boring. Friends should be fun most of the time.

Do you have anything to talk about except family life?

Benedikte2 Sat 02-Jul-16 16:17:56

I feel for you Hughes 32. You need someone who acknowledges your pain and with whom you can have a laugh etc to give you an opportunity to unwind.
We all need a chance to offload at times but it gets bloody boring to listen to it time after time and tbh it feels boring to me so I limit it -- doesn't do me or my listener any favours. Usually though it's about - guess what happened today rather than a constant repetitive moan about ones circumstances.unfortunately your DHs cousin has outworn her welcome.
Maybe if you can't avoid her on all occasions you could suggest you both go for a walk down to the shops, have a look round the charity shops, walk round the park etc because you just need to get out of the house. It's harder to keep up a constant moan during an activity and it may get her onto other subjects.
Hang in there and I hope you have some good times this summer. I never underestimate how hard it is to parent a child with "issues" as even run of the mill children are hard work.
Good luck Hughes

mumofthemonsters808 Sat 02-Jul-16 16:21:45

I think you've exhausted your tolerance level, you sound physically and emotionally drained and really anything she says will piss you off. We all have our own crosses to bear, but she sounds very blinkered and selfish.She lost my sympathy, when she didn't immediately ask why your nose was bust. Don't see her as often, you should be enjoying her company at your catch ups and you should be able to unburden yourself, not just solely listen to her problems and be comforted by the statement "at least you have a partner".

Hughes32 Sat 02-Jul-16 16:23:14

This is what I mean. I'm here to listen to friends and family as I hope they'd do the same for me but I also want to chat about other things, fun things, what they're up to, how works going, holidays etc. My husband's cousin though just seems obsessed with talking about how hard life is, how she struggles as a single parent etc and can't just carry a normal conversation without turning it into something negative. It's really draining.

LauderSyme Sat 02-Jul-16 16:31:06

YA definitely NBU. Sorry things are so tough for you flowers
She sounds self centred, even self obsessed, without any empathy at all. This is not a friendship and she is draining you of precious energy that you really need to save for yourself.
It sounds like she is struggling to cope with not having a partner, but her bitterness about this is leading her to treat you really unkindly.
She didn't even ask you about your poor battered nose? How rude.
Yes being a single mum is hard; I am one but I only have one child (he happens to have mild ASD) and I know having two or more children is exponentially tougher so I am not complaining. I get no practical help at all from my ds' father and have probably had maybe two nights off per year since he was born, if that.
Gosh - every weekend off?! She has no idea how fortunate she is.
She needs to stop navel gazing and wallowing in self pity and start being more supportive of you. Or perhaps I should rephrase that, and say you need her to do those things if you are to continue giving her your time.
I think you should try to explain to her, if you can, how you feel.
If she cannot respond positively, yes definitely do distance yourself. You do not need her projecting her misery on you like this when your resources are stretched so thin.

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