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Controlling or Courtesy?

(39 Posts)
Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 19:52:39

So I'm doubting myself now - and I know this belies other underlying issues....

So I'm working from home and looking after the partners kids (7 and 9 who are never any trouble). We're three years into a relationship so the kids are totally happy with me and visa versa. I mention as she's totally comfortable with where they are and who with in fairness to her.

She tells me she is nipping to the shops and dropping off an application form at a friends house. Both are in just over 5 minutes away and it's not like I'm mentally calculating how long she'll be.

2 hours later she gets back. The kids have asked where she is several times, not out of worry, but like me wondering where the hell she has got to.

I haven't text her or called her until about 5 mins before she arrived back asking where she is and in fairness getting a bit irked. Message read "are you actually planning to come back at some point this year?"

I point out that if she was going to stop for a coffee or whatever (I'm assuming it's what she did) it would have been fairly courteous just to drop me a message to say "going to be a while at blah blah" or something to that affect.

I told her I don't care where she is or what she's doing (to a point obviously) and that it's not about knowing her whereabouts, it's about a little basic, mutual respect for me, and also that her kids might also want to know where she is as we're all assuming she'd have been around 30 mins or whatever. In the same case I'd have 100% dropped her a message

What I get back is that I'm being totally controlling and that she didn';t realise "I had a clock on her"

I point out I haven't called or text her in the whole time, and that I'm not asking for details of where and what she's been doing, just pointing out that she could have shown a little courtesy.

Am I actually being unreasonable?

OP’s posts: |
wineandroses1 Fri 26-Jun-20 19:59:58

That's cheeky of her - popping out for 2 hours whilst you are working AND looking after her kids.

JRUIN Fri 26-Jun-20 20:03:22


Waveysnail Fri 26-Jun-20 20:05:41

Meh she probably got chatting to her friend and didnt realise the time. No need for an snotty text message. Why didn't you just being her and check in?

Waveysnail Fri 26-Jun-20 20:06:05

Ring her

Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:08:15

Because likewise I didn't really notice how long it had been. I did actually try to call her and got no answer, and the message being honest was meant to convey irritation.

Irrespective of whether my message was snotty or not, the question is: expecting a message to let me know would have been courteous, yes or no

OP’s posts: |
Saz12 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:08:39

Sounds like she’s being defensive because she knew she was taking the piss.
Move on, you’ve made your point to her : more hassle than it’s worth for a bit of point scoring.

PS: you’re in the right, but be the bigger person.

thepeopleversuswork Fri 26-Jun-20 20:08:50

Assuming the shops aren't a car's drive away, then YANBU. If you say you're "popping to the shops" to me that implies a half hour/45 minute round trip and if you're looking after someone's kids then as a courtesy to you and to reassure them I think its respectful to let the person know as a courtesy. It's a bit cheeky of her.

Your response escalated it unnecessarily though -- I'd just have said: "are you going to be back soon?" or something less confrontational. She's obviously going to feel a bit cornered if you say "are you going to be back at some point this year?" She's been two hours, not two days.

What are the other issues?

Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:14:15

Thanks for the response. Being honest the kids part I don't mind in the slightest in itself, they're good kids and no trouble at all. Bar making them some lunch they are totally happy doing their own thing.

The reason I mentioned it (which I didn't to her initially) was due to her response that I'm being unreasonable expecting a quick courtesy message, which is where I then said "and as well as having utterly no consideration for me, it might have been nice to let me know so I could tell your kids you were going to be a while.

One of them hurt himself a little bit which I dealt with (playing in the paddling pool). He came to get my crying so he wasn't screaming for his mum or anything. I'd told her this as a matter of course and got back from her "well where is the courtesy of telling me one of the kids was hurt"

I'd pointed out it was a little fall and didn't even need a plaster, no bump no bruise. I'd only have let her know if it was serious or if he'd wanted her. Plus as I thought she'd be back any minute there was no point, and that this was just trying to find reasons to fire back at me rather than just saying "fair point, I could have just done with letting you know, sorry" which would have been the end of it in my mind.

Again, I'm assuming here that actually she just didn't want to admit she'd been in the wrong?

OP’s posts: |
CalmdownJanet Fri 26-Jun-20 20:14:22

My reply would have been "Actually I am not controlling, I am babysitting, for free, again and you are taking the piss and being very rude too. In future take your kids with you and stay out as long as you fucking like"

I hate when piss takers pull the control card when actually they are just annoyed their piss taking is being rumbled

Justheretobeclear Fri 26-Jun-20 20:15:10

So, you were working from home and looking after someone else's children. You agreed to look after them whilst she run some errands for a short period of time and she, instead, did a social activity without informing you or your children?
Come off it, of course you're not being unreasonable. I mean, she's not done anything terrible but she should've said something like "sorry, yeah, just ended up having a coffee and lost track of time a bit" - that should've been the end of it I think. No drama, but she's in the wrong.

Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:22:28


Having just checked whatapp, my message to her was actually

1 / 2 "lads are hungry, are you coming back at some point this year?"

It was actually the kids asking me that brought my attention to it.

OP’s posts: |
Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:24:10

thepeopleversuswork - the friend and shops are within 10 minutes drive and she was in the car. When she came back she had a small carrier bag of food from a local shop next to her friends, so she'd clearly just been there and stopped, then gone over the road. That total trip would have been 2 mins max including the few household essentials she got

OP’s posts: |
Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:27:24

Saz12 - it's been a reoccuring issue. On New Year when we were out sat in a winebar (just me and her) - she was missing for about 40 minutes to the point where having tried to call her a few times I had to send a staff member into the girls toilet as I thought she was being sick or had fallen asleep in a cubicle

She comes out with some random girl telling me she'd been talking to her as she was a mate of a mate the whole time like nothing had happened. I said nothing there and then but did really have a go at her that time saying it was a total piss take, she'd been ignoring my calls, etc etc - so it's not the first time at all

OP’s posts: |
Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:31:58

I did. She ignored it.

OP’s posts: |
Lennon80 Fri 26-Jun-20 20:35:26

Is this a same
Sex relationship or are you a man posting this? I think you are being a bit controlling - she chatted to her mate for a bit. It’s lockdown and she’s got two kids - her heads probably fucked like the rest of us with kids not in school months on end.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Fri 26-Jun-20 20:54:50

I dont think its controlling at all. If anyone is double or more the time they tell you they're going to be, its natural to start to worry and wonder if they're ok, and it's not very nice to put someone else through that.

Heko Fri 26-Jun-20 20:57:25

*Is this a same
Sex relationship or are you a man posting this?*

Does it really matter, or do different rules apply if its a woman asking the question?

JustC Fri 26-Jun-20 21:09:05

How does it matter what his sex is?!
OP YANBU. Even taking the kids out of the equation, I still think it's common courtesy to let someone know (no matter who that someone is, partner, mum,ftiend etc) you'll be later than initially annouced. It is courtesy.

Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 21:33:35

@Lennon80 - she has worked full time through it and this isn’t a mate she speak to really. My point isn’t that she shouldn’t have, she can do what she wants for as long as she likes. I just expected that when she pops out to the shops but turns into two hours, it’s nice to let someone know.

How do I know she’s not been in a crash?

OP’s posts: |
billy1966 Fri 26-Jun-20 21:33:50

Her response was extremely rude.
The leaving you in the pub for 40 minutes is rude too.

It doesn't sound very respectful.
Her arguing the point would piss me off.

Perhaps she is taking you for granted.

Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 21:36:59

@JustC exactly. BeaR I’m mind we’re engaged, but I’d pay that courtesy to a flat mate, let alone my fiancé.

And no sex doesn’t matter you’re right. It’s just about a little respect amongst peers.

OP’s posts: |
Abbaddon223 Fri 26-Jun-20 21:38:16

For the record I’m a bloke (presently feeling less so lol)

OP’s posts: |
Canyousewcushions Fri 26-Jun-20 21:45:56

YANBU. My DH does this all the time and it drives me nuts, especially when he's said he'll make dinner, for e.g., and then heads to the shops and seems to get lost en route. Never thinks to text or let me know- if he did I could make the dinner with stuff we already have rather than him the start cooking an hour after our preschool kids wanted to be fed...

I don't want to be controlling but I do want him to be reliable.. just seems to have no concept of time.

crispysausagerolls Fri 26-Jun-20 22:00:13

It’s just very rude behaviour on her part.

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