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AIBU ExP treating former step children differently(283 Posts)
Short backstory, I have 3 children with ExH and 1 shared child with ExP, ExP also has a daughter (my SD). ExP has been there since older DCs were toddlers until he walked out 4 days before Christmas (whole other thread)
Since then he has only been interested in DS (his son), ExH treats all 5 children the same but ExP pretends mine don't exist.
He takes his son and daughter out regularly to the park, fishing, family days out - all of which I dismiss to the DCs and point out we don't have to do everything the same but here comes the sticking point... A while ago ExP took DS to the cinema, he burst through the door shouting "I went to the cinema" meanwhile the DCs had been at home while I was at work. I took ExP to one side and said would it have been too much to include them? He has space in his car, I would have happily paid and they would have loved it. He apologised and said he'd think first next time. I took this as he would include them with big days out, just like I always and still do include his daughter (we're talking trips he didn't come on I would get my dad to take a child to free up space for SD). I'm not quibbling the weekly contact, just when there's a big day out they might be included, you know he was their father figure for how many years? He might have a slight affection for them like I wouldn't buy ice creams for my children but not the neighbour who's come round to play.
Fast forward to this weekend, DS bursts in the door "I've been to the beach" cue 3 crestfallen faces! I stepped outside to ask what's going on and he is completely unrepentant "they're nothing to do with me" "they have their own dad" "I'm a good dad" he fails to see their gutted faces and bewilderment. They've only ever known everyone is included, no one is left out. When one gets invited to a party they know their time will come later in the year, they know if one gets a medal at school if they work hard enough they might too. They're not entitled in the slightest so am I being unreasonable to expect him to show an ounce of compassion for them?
Not to drip feed but this is not about me, I don't want to be included in these days out, I don't expect him to pay for anything, just when it's a big day out include all the siblings (bearing in mind DD and SD were best friends throughout school and she still comes around here)
As ahhh this is difficult particularly because his been with them since he was little but I do think it’s a bit much to say to him that he can’t take his DS anywhere fun by himself without having to take everyone. 5 DCs to the cinema and beach becomes challenging rather than fun.
It’s brutal for your other DC but does sound like he wants to pursue the relationship with his biological children more
Maybe he just doesn't feel comfortable with the responsibility of looking after children that aren't his now that you're no longer a blended family? It would be nice if he wanted to take your other children out but ultimately he's right that they have their own dad and aren't his responsibility, I think you will need to make your peace with the fact that if he chooses not to take them out with the children who are biologically his then that's his choice and not for you to dictate otherwise.
Oh that’s shit!
Bottom line though, your children really aren’t his. It’s not even a case of just one either... taking 3 extra kids on a day out really changes it. It’s far less about fun with your own two (and then bonding together) and more about herding a gang who will probably pair off - for example, your daughter and his - getting in the way of his 2 being a sibling pair.
I don’t think it’s fair or sustainable for him to take your 3 out every time.
All that said, I do want to say he should - for the sake of your children.
But I don’t think it’s realistic
You were wrong to just assume that him saying he’d, “think first” after the cinema trip meant he would take them on big days out.
If anything, I’d think it more likely he’d take them on the smaller days out.
Are you still taking his daughter places? It's hugely complicated, and a different dynamic . He's trying to work out new ways of doing relationships I suppose.
How long was he in the family.
To be honest, I wouldn’t consider the beach and the cinema big trips out so I wouldn’t expect him to take all the kids.
Your 3 children do have two parents who could take them there.
It’s never going to be easy when your kids have different fathers but that doesn’t mean he is in the wrong.
Surely they get time with their own df. Tbh its nice
youre exh is inexclusive of youre ds but he's not obligated to. Youre ex wants to spend time alone with his son and dd from previous reltionship and thats his right. His dd might have asked for this. What was the reason for the split?
You’re asking him to go above and beyond his duties imo. They’re not his children unfortunately, that’s the bottom line.
He walked out on you because (presumably) he couldn’t handle being a blended family unit and having your kids as his own.
You can’t control where he takes your son, or whether he takes the rest of your children or not. But you can talk to them - to try to prevent your son from bragging, and to let the others understand that life isn’t always perfectly equal and they’ll have plenty of fun days out too.
Look OP - they’re not his children and you are no longer together.
It’s shitty for your other children I don’t dispute that, but he has no responsibility for them.
Blended families are hard.
I think you and your ex husband might have an idealistic, amicable relationship - but you can’t force the same relationship onto your other ex and expect him to do the same as your ex husband
I can understand their bewilderment and upset, but he is right, he is not their dad and had you not had a baby with him he probably wouldn't see them at all. I mean, you'd be having to effectively do some sort of custody arrangement with you, ExH and ExP. It's complicated.
They’re not his kids and you’ve split up.
I’m sorry but I think it’s unrealistic to expect him to take them.
Don’t they do stuff with their own dad?
My god OP you are totally unreasonable. This has to be a joke. The poor man doesn't want to take your kids on his family days out!
I think YABU because I wouldn’t expect him to take your children on days out during his contact, which I’m assuming they are?
It’s great that your ex husband does this. But I think that’s less common that you’d think. And it might have made you a tiny bit presumptuous.
All of that aside though it doesn’t matter what you or we think. You can’t make him act the way you’d like. And they are going to have to get used to hearing of their brother’s time away from them, unfortunately.
The discussion after the beach sounds like he thinks you’re being a cheeky fucker looking for him to take your kids, tbh!
In fact I’m surprised your ex husband takes both (of his) step children out, especially your ex partner’s daughter
Sorry but I think YABU. How long would you keep this arrangement up? What if you meet someone else, or he meets someone else and those new partners have children. Are you going to take them all on every trip you go on? I would say cinema and beach are pretty normal days out.
It's not like he's only leaving one child at home, there's 3 of them. Only one child is going to do these things. Your other 3 children have a dad that can do those days out with them, and you that can take all 4.
Taking 5 children out with one adult sounds like such a headache. I don’t blame him for being reluctant.
I think you need to accept things have changed now you’ve spilt up. This is just an unfortunate consequence of the children having two fathers.
Does the father of the eldest never take them out without the younger DC?
Does your exh actually take your child you had with your new do out on days out with his 3 children?
I don’t take my ex husband’s step kids out when I take mine out. Why would I? That’s a ridiculous expectation.
My mum married my step dad when I was 5 they divorced when I was 15 he didn't take me for bloody days out with my half siblings why would he. Ridiculous.
This could pass as a reverse actually
Are you really saying your ExH takes your ExP’s child as well as you and ExP’s child, whenever he’s taking his 3DC out?
It’s a big ask to take 3 extra kids on a day out. They are not his children and he doesn’t have to. I wouldn’t do it and let’s be honest if or when he meets someone else do you really think he’s going to carry on taking all 5 out instead of the actual two that are his?
YABU. Bottom line is they are not his children.
Does your ExDH really include your SD in days out? I think that is incredibly unusual.
Your ExDP is perfectly entitled to want to have a day out with his 2 DCs. Having your other 3 there totally changes the dynamic.
How old are your DCs out of interest OP?
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