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family argument - advice needed please

(27 Posts)
sadbagpuss Tue 12-Aug-08 13:23:47

Will try to be concise and not waffle but really need an independent view on this.

My mum looks after my DS one day a week. A few months ago her husband (my stepdad) did a job at our house (it's his line of business etc) and I phoned to say thanks that night - he was out but I spoke to Mum. Mum forgot I phoned - this is crucial!
Anyway, tried next day twice but no answer. I didn;t leave a message as wanted to actually speak to him to say thanks.

Next day was saturday and busy all day so didn't call. they are usually out on sat's anyway.
Was going to ring on Sunday morning, but mum beat me to it and phoned and said he was upset about me not phoning to say thanks (remember mum forgot my original call). Anyway, to cut a long story short, he then put phone down on me, I went round to try and resolve this and had huge row. my view is that I tried to phone, and he is being totally unreasonable and incredibly childish about it. he just will not listen when you try to speak calmly.

So, not spoken to him but still seeing mum. They have had a few issues together which are now resolved and so mum is coming round tonight to 'catch up' with me. I think she wants us to make up. I am happy to accept an apology from him but that is it, my DH is still furious that step dad is only apologising now situation between him and my mum is resolved. his view is that if he was actually sorry he'd have come round weeks ago.

My real issue here is that throughout this mess, myself and DH told my mum that we didn't want our DS round at their house as we didnlt want DS anywhere near stepdad (because of unreasonableness etc). Mum accepted this and came to us instead to look after DS.

My concern is that DH (and me to a certain extent) still doesn't wnat DS to be round there. His view is that stepdad is idiot etc and as DH wont go round again (he isn;t accepting the apology) , therefore why should DS be round there.

I am worried that mum will come tonight, say that stepdad is sorry and wants to apologise and then everything will be back to normal. AIBU to say still don;t wnat DS to go there? this will make things difficult for my mum but I need to support Dh -there is no way i can say I'm taking DS round if he says no, as I wouldn't let him if situation was reversed.

hope this makes sense not sure true situation has come out very well in my typing but could really do with some impartial MN advice.

ginnny Tue 12-Aug-08 13:29:17

I don't think YABU to be upset that your stepdad overreacted like this, but if he is prepared to apologise (albeit a bit late) I think you should accept with good grace and put it behind you.
If your Mum is good enough to look after your ds she should be able to have him in her own home.
IMO just because your stepdad is 'an idiot' isn't really good enough grounds to keep your ds away from him.
Surely its your family and your DH should support you not the other way round.

fluffyanimal Tue 12-Aug-08 13:29:21

It sounds to me that your dh is being as childish as your stepdad, and that this is being blown out of proportion by both sides. And the people that are suffering are your mum and your ds. Sorry, but I think you need to talk to your husband. This is the sort of behaviour that will end up in a huge family rift and it really isn't worth it. I feel very uncomfortable with the 'witholding' of your ds as a punishment, and I doubt that is having much effect on your step-dad.

TheProvincialLady Tue 12-Aug-08 13:33:02

So the step dad is good enough to come and do work on your house (for free or reduced rates?) but not good enough to see your DS? I find this appalling actually.

bago07 Tue 12-Aug-08 13:34:59

If this issue is just about the row over the apology for work done, then I would say that perhaps DH is cutting off his nose to spite his face by not letting DS go to your mum's.

However, it sounds as if your problems with your step-dad go further than this. If he is unreasonable most of the time about little things and gets angry and shouts etc etc, then I would agree with DH about not letting your son go there as step-dad is a bad role model, and I would explain this to your mum when she came round tonight.

Hope this helps!

lilymolly Tue 12-Aug-08 13:36:21

I cant understand why you would stop ds going to mums house- outrageous shock

Twas a silly misunderstanding, step dad acting like spoilt child but WTF does that have to do with your ds going to their house?

tiggerlovestobounce Tue 12-Aug-08 13:37:00

How does your stepdad feel about the childcare issue? Does he feel that your mum is doing something for free that she should be paid for?
If he felt a bit like that before he did the job for you that might have made him more ready to get angry over the other thing.
TBH I think you are lucky to be getting free childcare, and that if your stepdad isnt presenting a risk to your child then she should be able to look after him in her own house.

sadbagpuss Tue 12-Aug-08 13:37:22

We haven't withheld DS as punishment - I've not expained it very well. i told my mum that we loved her seeing DS and it was great that she had him one day a wekk, but after stepdads behaviour we didn't want him anywhere near our child. There had been so much shouting and aggression from him that i point balnk didn;t want him near my son. i told mum that if this meant she didn;t look after him that was her choice but she was welsome to come to our house any time. she was happy to do that adn still wanted ot look after him. mum and i haven't fallen out over this at all.
DH is stubborn I know, but his view is that stepdad is blatantly only apologising because he is being 'made to' and its therefore not genuine, he then said he wouldn't want to see him again, and so why would he want DS to see him.
I feel torn about this, beacuse DH is very very stubborn and I'm not sure I can persuade him otherwise.
I agree that we shoudl accpet the apology with good grace and I am happy to do that, but still feel uncompftabel with DS being there.

lilymolly Tue 12-Aug-08 13:37:36

Another example of women using children as weapons
If the step dad was that bad, you would Never had had him in your house doing work.

I am so angry at this

babyinbelly Tue 12-Aug-08 13:38:49

Hi. I can see your point. My DP would expect the same from me if he had made a decision. ie loyalty to him. However I do agree that if your mum is doing you a favour than she should be able to have your ds in her house. Remember it is her looking after him and not your stepdad and as fluffyanimal said. It probably doesn't bother your stepdad either way whether your ds is there.

If it is a problem with you seeing stepdad can your mum pick him up/drop him off at your house but have him there in between?

Milkysallgone Tue 12-Aug-08 13:39:37

Unless there are other 'issues' which explain why your dh doesn't want ds going round there, it seems a tad childish to continue in this vain; and surely if you are prepared to build bridges with your stepdad, then your dh should support you in this?

I can understand your dh still being annoyed over the incident (mine is a major grudge holder), but keeping your ds away seems excessive.

lilymolly Tue 12-Aug-08 13:39:49

Why would you ds being near him cause him damage?

Can you be more specific about how he acts?

AbbeyA Tue 12-Aug-08 13:39:55

Life is too short for such upsets over a silly misunderstanding! Draw a line under it and carry on as normal.

goingslowlymad Tue 12-Aug-08 13:40:41

agree with lilymolly. You all just need to move on, especially your DH. What on earth would his SD need to do to prove it was a genuine apology? Life is too short for silly family feuds.

sadbagpuss Tue 12-Aug-08 13:44:29

let me answer a few comments and explain some more:

I take offence at the using children as weapons comment. that isn't what I am doing. Stepdad doesn't have anything to do with DS when he is there, mum looks after him. my mum understood why we said we didn't want DS going round there as stepdads behaviour was so irrational and shouty. step dad and I donlt have fabulous relatinship but it was ok, and i was happy for my son to be around him, but after this event I changed my mind - i donlt want my son to be around someone who I felt was a bad role model

stepdad offered to do the work (a small thing) for free. we offered to pay and were told not to embarrass him. hence why i phoned straightaway that night and next day to say thanks.

mum offered to have DS - we never asked and do not take this for granted,

Mamazon Tue 12-Aug-08 13:44:49

there was a misunderstanding that has now seemingly been resolved.

i don't see why the fact he was upset by something means he is unsuitable to be around yoru child.

I fully understand you feel he has over reacted but this really is a silly argument over something minor.

you are all acting incredibly childish unless there is some other reason you feel he is incapable of being around your children.....though if that were the case why would you allow him to work in your home and why has it taken you until now to say so.

goingslowlymad Tue 12-Aug-08 13:48:36

If being shouty and acting irrationally is a basis for being a bad role model and unsuitable to be around children then I'd hazard a guess that 90% of mothers would fall under the same umbrella. I know I certainly behave in a way that isn't exemplary all the time.

Maybe your SD was having a bad day and you caught the brunt of it, but it's not teh end of the world. Let it blow over and move on.

Love2bake Tue 12-Aug-08 13:52:58

I think your being a bit OTT about not letting your DS go back there. However have a feeling is more DH's choice than yours.

Go back to as it was before, and move on. It will cause constant bad-feeling if you carry on with boycotting your son from their house.

mayorquimby Tue 12-Aug-08 13:53:01

at this stage i think your husband is being worse than your step dad. he got urious and over reacted at a perceived slight at a time when, by yor own admission, he was going through soe reltaionship problems.
now that things have calmed down he is willing to admit that he is wrong and apologise.
but for some reason your husband wants to prolong it?why not just accept it and move on.
in the end i can only see stopping him going round as hurting your mother.

sadbagpuss Tue 12-Aug-08 13:53:33

there have ben a few instances of when stepdad has behaved quite badly - nothing dangerous etc but not great behavour.

he is generally either very shouty or ignores you to be honest.

this last event was a sort of final straw for DH (and me) who then said he didn;t want to really see stepdad again.

to clarify, the work took an hour and was done while we were all out.

i agree that is seems childish - perhaps we do need to move on a bit. Dh can choose to avoid seeing stepdad, perhaps it just takes some time to settle down and get back to normal.

appreciate your comments, that is why i posted to get an objective view. i'm not sure all the little nuances of the situation ahve come out properly but I'm getting an idea that things have been blown up a bit.

lilymolly Tue 12-Aug-08 13:54:22

"Stepdad doesn't have anything to do with DS when he is there"

Therefore why would you stop sending him?
At the end of the day its your mother you are punishing.

Can I give you and example:

My mam and dad look after dd once a week.

they also have my fucked up cocaine addicted brother who lives at their house and has caused many an argument with me and dp
He is obv NOT good role model for dd.
But I trust my mum 100% to care for dd and would never withhold her because of this

sadbagpuss Tue 12-Aug-08 14:00:39

fair point lilymolly - i do trust my mum and know she always looks after DS.

i don't usually hold grudges, but this situation has got me really annoyed and upset. I just couldn't belive that a grown man could behave so badly - all this was in front of my mum BTW who was crying as we argued. makes me cringe to think about it sad i tried to stay very calm

it was the next day however, when I'd calmed down that i made the decison with DH to not want DS round there just based on his behaviour

sadbagpuss Tue 12-Aug-08 14:03:29

think i will see what mum has to say tonight - she has just phoned to confirm she is coming - and take it from there.

bets thing seems to be to accept his apology (if it comes) and then move on

thanks for posting

more Tue 12-Aug-08 14:09:36

I think you are going to teach your son to hold a grudge if you/your dh are not going to accept your stepdad's apology.

How on earth are you going to keep your son from ever meeting unreasonable/irrational people.

So the next time your dh does something "bad" that requires an apology, does that mean he can't be around his own son?

We all have bad days, where we are stressed. Some people get it out by shouting, some need time to be alone, and some people bottle it up (and eventually explode).

I would bear in mind that your stepdad did not abuse your son in any way (that you have told us about).

wannaBe Tue 12-Aug-08 14:14:04

you are all being childish, and the only innocent party in all this is your mum, who is now being punished for the fact you are all acting like spoiled children.

The fact of the matter is, your mum has chosen this man to be her partner. And regardless of your feelings about him, and the way he has behaved towards you, you should be supportive of that. Imagine if the tables were turned and your mum refused to see your dh because of the way he has behaved wrt your stepdad? Would you te all understanding of that? I think not.

While someone who shouts might not be perceived as being a good rol model you cannot use this as a reason to not allow your ds around there. Until this one incident you didn't consider your sd unworthy of being allowed in the same building as your son, and given this incident was very minor (albeit petty) it is not justification for your reaction.

And think of how this must be affecting your mum, how do you think she feels being caught in the middle? Because that is where she is, and that's hardly fair is it?

And lastly, what of your ds in all this. I presume he's a baby atm, but how are you going to deal with him wanting to go to his nanny's house in the future? Will you tell him why? and if not what are you going to tell him?

I wonder if this has more to do

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