Was my partner rude or am I being too sensitive?

(60 Posts)
Mermaidsandbutterflies Mon 05-Sep-16 09:51:34

Bit of background info - partner and I have been together for 5 years, not married, no children but he has one 10 year old DC from a previous marriage.

We don't live together but last year we decided we were ready. Only problem is his DC won't sleep in their own bed so obviously we can't live together - I refuse to sleep in a spare room in what would be "our" house.

My partner said he would have the sleeping arrangement sorted by Xmas which means we can start looking for somewhere in spring/summer. He said this at the beginning of the summer and has just half heartedly tried.
He bought a nightlight to keep in his DC's room but he gets various excuses such as there's monsters in my room, I don't feel well, I had a bad dream etc etc and my partner just never pushes the issue.

2 weeks ago he said he'd had a conversation with his DC and the next time he stays over he is definitely going to be in his own room.
So last night we were talking about moving in again and I said oh yeah by the way how did the first night in your DC's own bed go?
Partner said it didn't happen, they were both tired and fell asleep on the sofa so was easier just to sleep in the same bed as him again.

So I then said ok but surely you're encouraging it then and not trying to put him in his own bed after you'd promised you'd have this sorted by xmas, I don't see that happening?

So my partner got arsey and said this is absolutely none of your business! I will do it when I feel the time is right and not before thankyou very much! To which he got up and stormed out.

I feel a bit hurt about this - one minute we are planning our future and the next minute he's telling me to butt out and mind my own business when it comes to someone that has been a big part of my life for the past 5 years.
I was under the impression it was my business as it affects whether or not we will be living together anytime soon and I only asked I didn't tell...

What is the point in us being together if he doesn't want me to have any sort of say in his DC's life? I'm not saying I want to make all the decisions in his life I just asked at what point would he be sorting out the sleeping arrangements and got told to keep my beak out.

Feeling a bit sorry for myself this morning :-(

MrsHathaway Mon 05-Sep-16 10:00:07

Sounds like he's feeling sensitive about it. It's pretty unusual for a ten-year-old to have such crap sleep hygiene and some of it must be his fault, especially if he carried her from the sofa to his bed rather than hers!

I wonder if the child feels very insecure about her* attachment to her father and needs the reassurance of his close presence. If you got together five years ago then she was very little when her parents split up and she may have felt abandoned. Does he have a good history of consistent contact etc? Do you know much about the details of the split? Does she trust him still to be there in the morning?

There is a wider issue about being a resident adult in a house where a child lives even if she's only there EOW or whatever. The step parenting board is the place to explore that minefield. It is absolutely your business what happens in your house, so he was wrong to challenge you on that; but you are quite right to have her sleeping in her own bed as a hard condition for moving in.

*(you haven't said; I'm using her in an attempt to make my post even vaguely clear!)

Mermaidsandbutterflies Mon 05-Sep-16 10:20:23

Yeah the contact is crap - its all based around what the exwife is doing - if she's arranged activities for the weekend then his DC doesn't come over - and if she's arranged to go out with her friends then he comes over etc - it's very one sided but again - I'm not allowed to have any input even though my life basically revolves around her life, in the sense that we can't plan to do anything ourselves as we never know when my partner will be having his DC.

There is no routine - his DC stays up until my partner goes to bed. My partner will usually fall asleep on the sofa and wake up around 12/1am to find his DC either asleep aswell next to him or still watching TV. I think he's making a rod for his own back here but again, none of my business...

I think the split did affect his DC really hard as yes he was only very little when it happened and neither parent sat down and explained what was happening - I guess it's not easy to do to someone so little - and he's never really understood whats happened he just knows his dad doesn't live with his mum anymore just doesn't really know why and gets upset if his dad is "out of sight" at any point - even if he's round the corner he will panic and get upset.

But I'm wondering how long this can go on for i.e how long do we wait until we can live together? I would like children - as would he, but I point blank refuse to start a family when we are not living together but time is running out rapidly for me which he is well aware of, and I would hate to think I've missed out just because my partner won't make the effort to sort out the sleeping arragements.

DoreenLethal Mon 05-Sep-16 10:23:36

Oh my gosh please do not move in with him!

Only1scoop Mon 05-Sep-16 10:26:35

Don't move in with him

He is using the sleep thing as an excuse

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 05-Sep-16 10:28:11

Don't move in with him. You are dodging a bullet here.

He has one child. Between the ages of 5 and 10 he has failed in the basic parenting task of putting his child to bed at night. Falling asleep on the sofa together every night in front of the TV. No bath, no story, no teeth cleaning? no pyjamas? They haven't even explained the break up to the poor little lad. Selfish parenting. I'm surprised it doesn't put you right off him.

Only1scoop Mon 05-Sep-16 10:31:13

Would put me off to.

'None of your business'

Becomes your business as soon as you move in with this flakey

MrsPMT Mon 05-Sep-16 10:34:45

Sleeping issues can be tricky though, and it is a very difficult habit to break, think the DC does probably find it reassuring because of the split. Is it possible to have a sofabed in the living room & DC & DP (potentially) sleep there until DC is over this phase? Then "your" room together would only have you and DP sleeping in it, no DC's allowed. Tbh once they get towards teen years they will want their own space (11/12ish) so shouldn't be too long.

Ozzieshunni Mon 05-Sep-16 10:35:11

It really is a lack of routine and consistency here. The child has no stability when it comes to seeing her father. Cosleeping and bedsharing are healthy practices when done properly, but this isn't the case here. At age 10, the child should have a set bedtime and routine. I would avoid moving in with him until this is sorted, or it will be a constant source of arguments between the pair of you. If he's unwilling to take your advice as a partner, maybe this isn't the relationship for you.

Mermaidsandbutterflies Mon 05-Sep-16 10:35:55

Well I forgot to add - it's not just the past 5 years, it's his whole life, he has never ever slept in his own bed since he was born he has always slept in the same bed as one of his parents. Hardly surprising there was some strain on their relationship.

It's the same with his mother - he sleeps in her bed and when he stays with his grandmother he also sleeps in her bed so no-one has ever encouraged him to sleep alone so I guess it's hard for my partner to introduce something when no-one else encourages it either.

He doesn't have sleepovers with his friends(I don't know if children his age actually do, no idea) and I'm guessing that's the reason why.

blushrush Mon 05-Sep-16 10:53:07

Oh dear OP, that sounds really unpleasant for you.

I think your partner is embarrassed that he can't get his 10 year old to sleep in his own room. He must be aware that is it unusual.

He snapped because he feels bad about it but he's completely wrong - it is your business if you are planning a future together. You will become part of the child's life and will be living with him some of the time. You are right to be upset.

As hard as it might be, you may have to tell your partner that your relationship cannot progress further until the issues with his child are tackled.

Poor child sounds very insecure. Has anyone suggested counselling for him?

thinkingthingsover Mon 05-Sep-16 11:04:13

Keeping the child up until they doze off in front of the TV sounds unkind and irresponsible. Both the parents should acknowledge there is a problem that a child of nearly secondary-school age doesn't have a healthy sleep routine and can't sleep alone, and they should work on it together.

I do wonder if your partner may be using the situation as an excuse to put off moving and trying for children with you. You say your time is running out - if he cares for you he should take this seriously. You may have to issue an ultimatum and set a deadline (and be prepared to split up if he won't meet it). If having children is important to you, please don't hang on indefinitely.

mathsmum314 Mon 05-Sep-16 11:15:10

What if instead of the two of them sleeping in the parents bedroom they slept in the DC's bed and then you would be in the main bedroom and not a spare room. They can watch TV and fall asleep in the child's bed and if he wants to, can then join you in the main bedroom. Not ideal but maybe a more gentle starting point to changing things.

If DC is ten and starts secondary school next year I would think DC will soon want change anyway. What teenager would ever want to wake up in bed with their parent there?

Gottagetmoving Mon 05-Sep-16 11:16:31

Of course it's your business. Your DP is being lazy and irresponsible about his child's sleeping problems.
Of course it's not easy and there has been insecurity in the child's life but I don't think that's an excuse for letting this go on the way it is.
His child is 10 so our DP should be seeking advice to resolve this if he has no.idea how to solve it.
He shouldn't be snapping at you for asking a reasonable question whether he is feeling bad or not.

Mermaidsandbutterflies Mon 05-Sep-16 11:39:10

I have wondered if the sleeping thing was an excuse but he's always said that if anything were to happen i.e I fell pregnant, then he would HAVE to sort things out... so it shows that he can do it, he just can't be bothered - that's how I interpret it.

It sounds to me like he's not going to take things seriously unless he's forced into it - I don't want to be the person that forces him to do something by "accidentally" getting pregnant no matter how much I want it - I want him to want it too.

He is the type of person that only ever does something about a situation when something has gone wrong.

For example, 6 months ago his DC still used a dummy, I warned him it was no good for his teeth and that its really odd to watch a child of 9 walking around with a dummy in his mouth - he said he would sort it and he didn't. Fast forward a few months and his DC goes to the dentist and partner gets an absolute bollocking because his DC's teeth have been pushed out of alignment due to still having the dummy!

He then had words with the exwife and said we need to stop the dummy thing right now, she agreed but neither of them did anything about it. It was only when her partner collected all the dummys up from her house and threw them in the bin that something was actually done about it. Makes me laugh how her new partner of 6 months can come in and do something like that with no worries yet me having an opinion after 5 years and I get told to mind my own business!

Mermaidsandbutterflies Mon 05-Sep-16 11:41:33

Mathsmum - he did actually try this approach once or twice, he would get into bed with his DC in his DC's room, wait for him to fall asleep and then go back into his own bed, but an hour later his DC would wander back into his dads room and say he needed the toilet, a drink, there were monsters etc and my partner was just too tired to do anything so let him back in his bed and after that didn't bother trying again...

his DC isn't daft - he knows full well all he has to do is wake up in the night and he will get to go back into his dad's bed. Can't blame him for that its only learned behaviour.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 05-Sep-16 11:50:10

How on earth did the ex manage to get and keep a new partner with a 10 year old sharing the bed?

IceRoadDucker Mon 05-Sep-16 11:57:30

A (presumably) NT 10-year-old still co-sleeping and using a dummy? These parents deserve more than a bollocking.

Run far away from this man.

ImperialBlether Mon 05-Sep-16 11:59:14

Pretty soon that child will not want to be sharing a bed with anyone.

I don't understand how either of his parents had any kind of relationship when they split up. When do you and your partner have sex if his son's always there? Does his mum's partner sleep in the same bed as both of them? Do you?

Does this child spend every evening with one parent or another? Doesn't he clean his teeth before bed? Shower? Wear pyjamas?

steppemum Mon 05-Sep-16 12:01:49

an awful lot of parenting is about having to be bothered, when you don't feel like it or are tired.
Anything requireing a routine, whether it is feeding, sleeping, discipline, TV times etc, they are require you to get off your arse and do it consistently.

If your partner can't do it for such a fundamental thing as sleeping, and lets face it, he had years with ex to do it. He had years on his own to do it, and now he has had 5 years with you to do it, but he just can't be bothered. Well, I would not under any circumstances be having any kids with him.
The dummy thing is mind blowing. They allowed a 9 year old to use a dummy and wreck his teeth, and neither of them could get round to enforcing the dentists opinion?

Please think really hard about what it will be like to co-parent with this man. It would be a deal breaker for me.
Give him an ultimatum. Prove you can parent, or I leave. Sorry, sounds harsh, but the future looks rubbish I'm afraid.

Jackie0 Mon 05-Sep-16 12:03:48

Is this the future you want for you and your hypothetical children ?
You aren't tied to him yet , run while you still can.
He's a rubbish father and partner and you seem to be thinking that's all you're worth, what's that about ?

NotDavidTennant Mon 05-Sep-16 12:03:57

Deep-down he knows something is wrong, but he's unwilling or unable to do anything about it and so is sticking his head in the sand. You are trying to make him take his head out of the sand and deal with it, and that makes him uncomfortable so he's snapping at you.

Based on your story about the dummies I don't think he's going to do anything about this unless someone or something forces his hand.

BummyMummy77 Mon 05-Sep-16 12:04:05

I hate to sound harsh but he's shown himself to be an appealing parent and I don't think you should consider having children with him for one second.

If you want children and feel time is running out then I'd move on ASAP. Sorry op. flowers

BummyMummy77 Mon 05-Sep-16 12:04:30

Appalling not appealing ffs.

Cookingongas Mon 05-Sep-16 12:15:06

Poor poor boy to such awful parents! Run op. He and his exw are damaging their son- don't bring any other children into this.

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