Husband has left me, is it too late to ask for step parenting advice

(172 Posts)
Singlemummentality Sat 23-Oct-21 22:45:50

DH has asked for a divorce and moved out. He tells me he has had enough of me preventing him from being a dad to our DS (my DS from another relationship) DH has been in DS15 life from the age of 3. DH says I seem to protect DS from him. I have always thought they had a lovely relationship and that it wasn't necessary for me to nurture it. DS still sees his dad.
DH and I spoke recently and he said it was over and that he's tried to talk to me but I don't seem to be putting anything into action. He is really struggling and very angry that I haven't noticed/ cared/ helped him.
Please tell me how you have achieved a good relationship between yourself, your partner and your children. I'm struggling to find any information online and have noone in real life who has step children/married to someone who isn't their child's parent to ask advice from. I really want to save my marriage. DH says he loves me he just can't go on anymore and that I've said the right things I've just not put things into practice.
I can tell my DH is really angry with me that he feels he has no choice but to walk away.
I can't believe it's come to this and that I'm having to post my personal business online, but I don't know where else to turn. My friends are there for me in real life and have been amazing at listening and offering advice. But I need advice on how to handle the situation even though I'm aware it's probably already too late

OP’s posts: |
AlexaShutUp Sat 23-Oct-21 22:48:03

What exactly is he asking you to do? Or what does he want you to stop doing?

EmmetEmma Sat 23-Oct-21 22:50:40

I’m sorry Single, I don’t think I can give you much advice - but does he sound like he is going to reconsider? Can you think of anything specific which you said you’d do and then didn’t? Has he given you anything on what he wants to be done?

It sounds like it’s blindsided you - which isn’t fair - and that he throwing in the towel rather than working on it, and putting all the blame on you.

If it’s to work he needs to tell you what he needs and you need to see if you can do it and find a way through it together.

AnneLovesGilbert Sat 23-Oct-21 22:54:03

It’s not clear what the issue is. Can you give some examples?

Your son has two parents, has a relationship with his dad, so your husband should be a bonus adult in his life but the parenting is done by mum and dad.

Unless there’s something else going on and he’s using this for cover, it seems very odd he’s been angry for a while and you thought everything was going swimmingly. How’s your communication generally?

I’m a step mum, we have a shared child, things are happy and stable. I’m close to my step kids but I’ll not their parent, though I was more involved when they were younger.

Sorry things are in such a bad way for you. It sounds like he’s been unhappy for a while so if he’s sure he wants out you need to respect his decision. But if you could explain a bit more that might help to see how he’s got there.

Singlemummentality Sat 23-Oct-21 22:56:41

He's asked me to back him up if he's talking about something. I don't always agree with him so would sometimes interrupt him to have my say. He thinks I should of let him finish and pulled him aside afterwards.
He thinks if DS was moody to him I should of put him in check.
I'm trying to remember everything he has said, I thought everything was OK, but he's told me about loads of instances where I've not been supportive.
I must admit he's right in all instances.
If DH was angry in lockdown about something, I'd tell DS to stay away from DH today he's in a mood. I can't believe I actually did that

OP’s posts: |
Monsterpumpkins Sat 23-Oct-21 22:57:52

My exh at 1 point was resentful towards me that my ds wasn't our ds... We met when I was pregnant...
He was also resentful he had my dc around but not his. Ex was somewhat awful regarding contact. Is your dh resentful ds has his df and him? Maybe he would secretly prefer to be the only one there for ds

.
Or do you secretly disapprove of his parenting methods and step in and undermine him at times?

GinIronic Sat 23-Oct-21 23:00:32

Let him go. You don’t have to agree with everything he says. You are right to support and protect your DS from him.

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Shouldbedoing Sat 23-Oct-21 23:00:51

Ah, the old stepfather thinks mum is too lenient and undermines him scenario. He's done your son a favour by leaving. No child should be resented in their own home.

Shouldbedoing Sat 23-Oct-21 23:02:04

Nor walk on eggshells

Singlemummentality Sat 23-Oct-21 23:03:48

I do believe there's more to it. It's been a tough year. He's struggling with his mental health and is blaming it on me and our home life, but I believe it's a combination of Lockdown, an injury he incurred that resulted in surgery and not being able to work out and exercise. He was worried about money from being self employed and recently we found out that after years of not falling pregnant that I'm infertile and we would need to have IVF to start our family. We're talking about 2 weeks before he asked for the divorce we found this out.
He told me "not only are you preventing me from being a dad to our DS but you're preventing me from being a dad"

DS dad even though he's worshipped by DS isn't a decent dad and has probably only seen him about 5 times in the last 2 years. I think this upsets DH too that I do encourage a relationship between them as his dad has children with current partner and I want him to have a good relationship with his siblings

OP’s posts: |
WillYouDoTheFandango Sat 23-Oct-21 23:08:05

His comment about your infertility is disgusting and in my view would be unforgivable.

JustJoinedRightNow Sat 23-Oct-21 23:09:54

OP, let him leave. I cannot believe his comment to you about your infertility. Surely you can see that’s a horrible uncalled for comment? Let him leave, and be glad you’re rid of such a nasty person.

Singlemummentality Sat 23-Oct-21 23:09:55

@monsterpumpkins yes I think DH is resentful, he does all the parenting, pays for DS, puts a roof over his head, pays for everything he wants, gives advice, takes him for boytime and haircuts but doesn't receive the recognition as his dad. While DS dad pays nothing, sees him barely ever, never takes him out but is still loved and idolised by DS

OP’s posts: |
JustJoinedRightNow Sat 23-Oct-21 23:11:52

And to add about him being resentful, he knew it wasn’t his baby when he married you. The time to be resentful and work through things was years ago, not now.
He’s blaming everything on you when in reality he just wants out. I’ll say again, let him go. You’ll be so much happier in the long run.

Singlemummentality Sat 23-Oct-21 23:12:57

I understand people can say hurtful, spiteful things when they're angry so I can let that comment go.
I asked him a few days later about that comment and he said to be honest it's not even about that (another baby through ivf) it's about me preventing him from fathering DS.

OP’s posts: |
AlexaShutUp Sat 23-Oct-21 23:13:01

Singlemummentality

*@monsterpumpkins* yes I think DH is resentful, he does all the parenting, pays for DS, puts a roof over his head, pays for everything he wants, gives advice, takes him for boytime and haircuts but doesn't receive the recognition as his dad. While DS dad pays nothing, sees him barely ever, never takes him out but is still loved and idolised by DS

But he isn't his dad, so what exactly is he expecting? What does he want?

AlexaShutUp Sat 23-Oct-21 23:16:07

I missed the comment about your infertility. Horrible thing to say.

It sounds like this is the real reason that he's leaving tbh, but he knows how shit that makes him look, so he has invented some nonsense about you not allowing him to be a father to ds.

I'm sorry, OP, but you might be better off without him. If you stay together, what's to say that he won't keep throwing the infertility in your face every time you argue?

You deserve better than that.

Weenurse Sat 23-Oct-21 23:16:28

Sounds like DS is getting to the age where he is testing to see who is the alpha male in the household .
By you not backing DH, DH is feeling unsupported and undermined.
It is hard to keep your mouth shut, when you don’t agree with what is being said, but it is important to present a United front.
I don’t know how many times I bit my tongue when DH argued with the teens. I would speak to him separately afterward and state my position.
We would then come to an agreement and present a United, calm front when outlining things to the teens.
Sometimes DH position would change, and he would acknowledge this, sometimes not.
“ after discussion with your mother, we feel/ would like / would prefer…..” .
Good luck

Singlemummentality Sat 23-Oct-21 23:17:18

Over the last year and a half, as DS became a teenager and started being moodiwr and talking less, we'd get into arguments about DS, and DH would say we'll I'll just stay out of it then coz you're not listening to what I want. And I'd just say OK then.
And then it would happen again. On repeat.
So please don't think DH is to blame. It really is me. He thinks I'm stuck in the mentality of being a single mum and having to do everything for him and not allowing him to be involved. And maybe I have been without realising.

OP’s posts: |
billy1966 Sat 23-Oct-21 23:18:31

I think he wants out but wants to blame you for it.

Let him go.

Do not accept the blame.
flowers

Singlemummentality Sat 23-Oct-21 23:21:09

@weenurse yes this is what I should of been doing! So annoyed at myself that I didn't bite my tongue.
DS is staying in his room more, just generally grumpier, or out with his friends on his bike. I see this as normal teen behaviour but I think DH takes it as an insult to him and that DS is avoiding him because of how I've been

OP’s posts: |
AlexaShutUp Sat 23-Oct-21 23:23:27

DS is just being a normal teenager. It's ridiculous to suggest that you always have to agree with DH. DS is old enough to understand that people have different opinions.

As far as the moodiness is concerned, that kind of goes with the territory in the teenage years. Is he being really rude and getting away with it, or just a bit grunty?

You sound very quick to blame yourself, OP, but I'm not so sure.

AlexaShutUp Sat 23-Oct-21 23:25:56

Singlemummentality

*@weenurse* yes this is what I should of been doing! So annoyed at myself that I didn't bite my tongue.
DS is staying in his room more, just generally grumpier, or out with his friends on his bike. I see this as normal teen behaviour but I think DH takes it as an insult to him and that DS is avoiding him because of how I've been

See, I think this is concerning. DS is being a normal teenager whereas your DH has decided to take it as a personal insult. He needs to realise that "being a father" includes allowing kids to go through normal developmental stages on their way to adulthood.

It sounds like it's all about him and his ego?

Oneborneverydecade Sat 23-Oct-21 23:26:51

My DH has also been in my DS15's life since he was 3. Sadly DS's dad passed away last year but prior to that I'm sure DH felt resentful that he was supporting DS financially and emotionally and in return DS idolised his dad. But he's a grown up and dealt with his feelings, probably knowing that in the long term DS would come to appreciate him more.
It sounds like some of your DH's issues around not feeling supported would arise regardless of whether DS was his biologically or not. It can't be uncommon for a parent to feel unsupported or undermined by their co-parent occasionally?
I think he's upset to discover that he's not going to be able to father children with you and he's making excuses to leave the relationship

Boulshired Sat 23-Oct-21 23:33:05

I do not do well with ultimatums, he wants a divorce so for me has decided that communication has ceased. If it was fixable then you discuss the problems, it you go straight for divorce/leaving then it creates an unequal conversation. If he is upset about not having biological children then say it, do not bring into the argument of his step child.

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