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To think that 20 year old stepson can drive up to visit us instead of husband still collecting him

(111 Posts)
Imdonewithchristmas Tue 27-Dec-16 15:34:27

I am a step mum to 2 lovely, (now adult )children (a man now 20 years old and a woman aged 22).

Husband and I are also parents to a 9 and 12 year old and have been together since his children were young. We live about 2/2.5 hour drive away from them (more depending on traffic) and since his divorce he has always travelled a round trip on every other weekend to collect them and return them (so approx 8 -10 hours round trip in a weekend).

For about the last 3 years, we discovered a train station which is approx half way between us. HB would buy tickets and then drive an hour each way to collect from station so this has reduced the overall journey time by some 4 -5 hours.

Stepson passed his driving test in August and has own car now. I only found out this out last week just as current visit was being planned. My first reaction was just to ask husband why he couldn't drive up on this occasion as he is now 20, has own car and it would be good for his independence. (still lives at home with a part time job and no plans for a career). Also we were coming back from seeing my family (3 hour drive) and he had planned to collect his kids that afternoon (so a 5 hour journey). Then, they have decided to return on separate days as stepson has a part time job he does so that’s another 4 hours of trips.

My husband went literally berserk. I thought what I had asked was a reasonable question but he just said “no – just shut up” I don’t want your carping on. I hadn’t carped at all – literally just asked the question.

I said I was just trying to understand why it was such an issue and he said that he couldn’t expect his son to drive all that way and his car is probably not the best.

I tried to bring it up again today as we sat stuck in traffic on the way back feeling stressed at the timings basically saying did he have any plans for the future to ask son to drive up. Honestly his response was so harsh I had to just force back the tears so our children in the back didn’t know.

I am shocked at his reaction to even discuss the matter. Was I being unreasonable to ask for his reasoning? He was so sensitive about it. Can someone help me get a perspective if I am in the wrong here as I don’t get it at all.

JigglyTuff Tue 27-Dec-16 15:36:58

He shouldn't be carting either of them about. They're adults!

Keepingupwiththejonesys Tue 27-Dec-16 15:38:35

You are NBU at all, I'd be wondering why the hell his reaction is so hostile. If you offer to give DSS petrol money for the trip then I don't see the issue whatsoever.

BIgBagofJelly Tue 27-Dec-16 15:38:36

Your DH's reaction was very extreme if you literally just asked. Why couldn't he just reply "I don't think DS is ready for such a long drive/his car is unreliable so I'll go and get him for now" or whatever. Is there some history of you being unhappy with arrangements or him feeling that you're not welcoming to his DS? Or his your DH generally so unreasonable?

BIgBagofJelly Tue 27-Dec-16 15:39:20

Also does seem duke a ludicrously long drive to collect a pair of adults. Couldn't they come themselves or do longer trips less frequently?

JenniferYellowHat1980 Tue 27-Dec-16 15:41:28

You WNBU to have an issue with him doing years and years of round trips without contribution from their mother either.

Lweji Tue 27-Dec-16 15:42:39

It does sound like an odd reaction, but what for you may be useless driving time, for him it may be precious hours in the company of his children with undivided attention.
I'd let him decide how he wants to arrange it.

Ncbecauseitshard Tue 27-Dec-16 15:42:57

At 20 and 22 I find keeping up the every other weekend a bit odd. I understand It's nice for their dad but surely most of us by that age would visit parents as and when, independently.

RichardBucket Tue 27-Dec-16 15:43:23


Can you think of any reason for his reaction?

LineyReborn Tue 27-Dec-16 15:44:55

Do you post lots of threads about your husband and adult step-son?

It all seems familiar.

GeekyWombat Tue 27-Dec-16 15:50:48

It does sound like an odd reaction, but what for you may be useless driving time, for him it may be precious hours in the company of his children with undivided attention.

I was going to post along the lines of this (but less eloquently).

SheldonsSpot Tue 27-Dec-16 15:51:02

His reaction was ott, but it sounds like you've raised the issue a few times now and for whatever reason, he wants to continue collecting his children.

It could be that he enjoys the 1:1 time with them, he might like the break from you and the younger kids (sorry), his son has only passed his test a few months ago so may not be comfortable doing such a distance just yet, could be that he's driven 3 hours to do a visit to your family but feels you resent him doing the same for his children.

I'd drop it for now if I were you.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 27-Dec-16 15:54:17

I think it's a perfectly reasonable question and like others don't understand why adults are still coming every other weekend.

I have an 18 year old step daughter and I find it frustrating that she can't get on a train or coach to visit but since dss is 13 dp is going to collect him anyway so I don't say anything. They are only here for school holidays so not every other weekend but their mum is a nightmare and often stops contact then dsd will moan about not coming and I feel like saying your a bloody adult I was working full time at your age get on a train.

Lweji Tue 27-Dec-16 15:57:57

Why can't adult children visit every other weekend? hmm

Figure17a Tue 27-Dec-16 16:00:12

Hmm. On the face of it it does seem a reasonable request but as ming dh us usually reasonable his reaction is so extreme there must be a reason.

Do you always go with him? Any time alone in the car with my teen ds is precious as that's when he might actually talk to me (rather than chat iyswim)

Is he worried about a newly qualified young driver doing long distances in a substandard car? That's not an invalid concern.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 27-Dec-16 16:03:36

Lweji if they lived closer and popped round of their own accord then fine or even if they made their own way to visit fine but it sounds more like they are just continuing a contact rota that has been going on for years, I find that a bit odd. I'm close to my mum but there's no way she would drive hours every other weekend to pick me up and take me home

PicardsCombOver Tue 27-Dec-16 16:05:06

Without any further response from your 'D'H it's fair to say he is being PFB about his adult children. Good on you guys for maintaining what seems like frequent contact with adult children but before you ask him again why he won't answer you, tell him to never ever speak to you badly (esppecially in front of the young children) again, or you'll have his bollocks for earrings smile

Namechangebitch Tue 27-Dec-16 16:06:46

You could pay for his petrol and membership of RAC (or similar) with the money you save in petrol.
A logical solution.

Millymollymanatee Tue 27-Dec-16 16:11:47

Your children will always be your children and as such you want to see them and spoil them. Step well away from how your DH manages his time with his children, otherwise there will be trouble.

It's all very well carping on about adult children but how old they are is pretty irrelevant in this situation.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 27-Dec-16 16:13:26

My dc are that age and in college. My dh enjoys driving up to collect them as chat on the way, stop for coffee and generally have a nice time. Maybe he is nervous about his ds driving such a long distance, . I think it's totally up to himself and seems fair enough since he already drove you 3 hours to see your family and your an adult.
The best conversations l've had with my young adult dc have been in the car as no screens, music etc and they can't wander off. Just leave him do whatever he wants.

Lweji Tue 27-Dec-16 16:14:45


This is something I could see my dad doing, actually.
Everyone is different, and, as pointed out the dad may get a lot of and really enjoy that driving time.

blueskyinmarch Tue 27-Dec-16 16:15:23

I think it is utterly weird that they see him every other weekend. Don’t they have friends and plan and interesting stuff to be doing? Mine are 19 and 24.The 19 yo i hadn’t seen since she popped home briefly from uni in early October. The 24yo work f/t and i see her once very 2-3 months. They are both busy having a full social life. It has been lovely to have them home for Christmas but i would rather they were doing their own thing than having to feel obliged to come and see me every fortnight.

Imdonewithchristmas Tue 27-Dec-16 16:17:57

Oh thank you so much for all the replies - I had no idea so many people would reply. Its all really helpful. So just to clear up a few things - they don't currently visit every other weekend now - as eldest is at Uni and stepson is working part time. So Id say they come about once every 4 - 6 weeks now. Maybe thats had an affect?

@liney reborn - no I have never posted before about step son and HB - so that must be someone else. This is the first time.

I do take the point about precious time away from me and our younger Kids. He has always enjoyed that - maybe thats a part of it and yes he did say he was concerned about the car and an inexperienced driver as its a lot of motorway. Although my take on that was that how is ever going to get experience without driving - plus it was August when he passed test so its nearly 6 months - I guess it would be interesting to find out where he has gone in that time.

I also think it could be related to how he feels about his son at present in terms of future work/career. His son is still living at home after finishing A levels and didn't want go to University (fair enough) but have a year out. Thats turned into 18 months which he spent living at home 20 hour a week job and then playing x box for 4 hours a day. In short he is very unmotivated to really carve out a future for himself and tends to mope around a lot. I walked in one night to hear step daughter and HB discussing heatedly their worries for him and I wonder if HB feels guilty he is to blame for not being there all of these years to help give him the motivation he needs. Perhaps its a raw nerve I have touched?

Crispbutty Tue 27-Dec-16 16:18:29

They are adults. I'm amazed they are still getting picked up for visits every other weekend. YANBU

Hellmouth Tue 27-Dec-16 16:21:57

Is it really that big a deal? His reaction was a bit extreme, but he is a fully grown adult who is capable of carting other adults around if he wants to ....

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