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STBXH splashing the cash - feel uneasy

(23 Posts)
mitchsta Fri 25-Oct-13 15:35:15

BlackeyedSusan Wed 16-Oct-13 14:37:06
try to get alternting weekend days next time you go to mediation.

try to make the day to day fun. do you have time to go to the park with her after school?, collecting conkers? walks in the leaves? splashing about in the bath? tickles and cuddles? eating tea outside or on a rug on the floor like picnic? making dens, painting naills? try to do bit of homework everyday then sunday afternoons could be more fun.

tlk to her, as suggested above, about the value of money and time.


It's mostly the free/cheap stuff I remember from my childhood. These are the best memories - the lasting ones. I did get the odd cool/expensive pair of trainers or trips to the cinema or whatever, but I couldn't care less about those now looking back. I loved skipping, cats cradle, hopscotch, making dens and going for walks. One of my fondest memories is of me and my mum finding sticks/twigs to peel as we were out on our walks. And if we went to the woods and the weather was ok, we'd take our shoes off and walk in bare feet - I thought that was really rebellious smile

I also hated being dragged to church... but always enjoyed a sing-song once I got there. Now my faith is very important to me and I'm really, REALLY glad that my parents encouraged me to go. In fact, it wasn't until I lost my grandma (aged 25) that I realised how thankful I was for that. It sounds like you're doing a great job, so try not to worry too much about his splashing of the cash - let him spend it while he can if it makes him feel better - but don't be too hard on yourself.

Also, just because your ex takes DD from one organised activity to the next... and then onto the next - doesn't mean you have to. Nothing wrong with playing things by ear - stick a film on/have a PJ day if it's miserable outside, go for a walk if the weather's nice, or just sit and talk as you make salt dough Christmas decorations together or something. We used to get hand-me-down board games from relatives or jigsaws from charity shops - not because we were hard up, just because my parents didn't see the need to fork out for new stuff when they could get it cheaper second-hand.

betterthanever Wed 16-Oct-13 21:30:02

OP - I think they will both get bored of it. Treats are only treats when they don't happen all the time and I can understand your STBXH will miss her during the week at the moment and feels like he wants to make it up to her as I take it, it is quite recent?
As someone else said he will soon have more bills and will not have the cash to splash.
When the house is sold would he be able to have her to stay at his place during the week and take her to school one or two mornings a week?
He has moved out and is paying the mortgage, there are many worse ones out there - I would swap you smile
Use the time for you, just think your own place soon, own job, new friends, nights out. I think you will all be fine in the end - good luck.

muser31 Wed 16-Oct-13 17:15:23

didn't get a chance to read all the replies cos in a rush here but i really feel for you, as my dd gets spoilt rotton by ex and his family. my family have the money (i don't, i mean my mum and dad) but i am thankful that they don't spoil her like that. she is very young, and already she is whining for her dad all the time. but i have listened to a few people who haev been through this and their kids are now adults, and they have given me great advice and told me not to try to compete. they said that the children as they get older will soon realise what is really going on, and who has made the sacrifices for them, and who has shown them the real love and care. i hope this helps in some way. i am just trying to provide that security for my dd that money can't buy.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 16-Oct-13 16:13:47

It is very easy for people who are not in an LP situation to say that you should say something as they would to their partner. However, it's very different to say such a thing from within a relationship to when you are separated.

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 16:13:13

We'll both be renting once the house is sold. I'm assuming he's getting a place on his own. I've had a niggling feeling recently that he might have met someone - but it's only a feeling - but if he has, I don't know if that will effect where he ends up living.

She's actually staying overnight with him this weekend to make up for the Saturday he was away - she's beside herself with excitement.

I suppose my feeling is that it is possible to do activities that don't cost a fortune - there are plenty of museums, which DD really enjoys, there's the park, sometimes there are events locally worth going to. I will get DD lunch out once in a while, but usually I take a packed lunch when we go out for the day... I guess it's a bit irritating when he keeps going on about how skint he is...

I think you're right that he won't be able to sustain this - but that makes me worry a bit for DD too - just in terms of her happiness and stability.

Ah well - could be worse I guess - at least we're communicating and stuff...

Rummikub Wed 16-Oct-13 16:04:49

Also, it's unlikely that he will be able to sustain the spending once he gets his place and/ or fritters away his share of house money. Does your dd stay overnight? I'm assuming not as its not his place? If we're going to be charitable perhaps he has to do activities, whereas you are providing a loving home. I dislike it intensely when dc tell me a new thing dad has bought. And sometimes I do lose it blush

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 15:50:43

thanks for your thoughts folks - I really appreciate it.

I had kind of taken that approach cestlavie - i.e. that what he does with her is his business. I've been finding it difficult but just thought I needed to suck it up - but then a couple of people said to me that they thought I should say something to him.

You're right - it's really not up to me, and I suppose as she gets used to the way things are she'll value more the simple things we do together - I guess these lavish days out with her Dad have a novelty value at the moment.

At least she knows both me and her Dad love her. That's the main thing.

cestlavielife Wed 16-Oct-13 15:13:14

you have no say over what he does with her and how he spends her money just as he has no say over you.

just acknowledge her "oh yes that's nice" without getting upset/anxious/jealoous... you could just point out calmly that you sharing time with her and that is the way it is.

also dd maybesubconsciously trying for your reaction, see if you still love her even tho she apparently prefers dad etc. testing you.

you dont need to justify to her really or to yourself - you cealry putting yourself out to do nice things with heras well as the routine stuff.

changing to EOW will maybe help. you can certainly keep on in mediation that EOW weeknd is fairer to dd and you both as each gets a full weekend

BlackeyedSusan Wed 16-Oct-13 14:37:06

try to get alternting weekend days next time you go to mediation.

try to make the day to day fun. do you have time to go to the park with her after school?, collecting conkers? walks in the leaves? splashing about in the bath? tickles and cuddles? eating tea outside or on a rug on the floor like picnic? making dens, painting naills? try to do bit of homework everyday then sunday afternoons could be more fun.

tlk to her, as suggested above, about the value of money and time.

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 13:45:35

Thanks OnTheBottom (LOVE your nn btw grin) - yeah - I agree - I've raised in mediation (as politely as possible) that I feel that decisions about when STBXH has DD at the moment haven't really been discussed - he's just announced what he is doing - and that I'd like a chance for fun time too - not sure how he took it really - he tends to keep cards close to his chest. He did try to pick a fight with me about something else as soon as we got away from the mediator so he had an excuse to flounce off in a huff. Then again, I want to take DD away for a few days over half term, which will affect one of his Saturdays with her - and he was very accommodating about that (though I did ask him rather than "tell" him IYSWIM), so don't want to paint him as being totally unreasonable.

He doesn't really do partnership and discussions where you get a mutual agreement (well, not with women anyway as far as I can see) - he tends to decide then tell me - I used to get angry at the beginning and fight about it - but I just ended up kind of getting used to it.

When you've got the living situation sorted out, can you change it to EOW and a few weeknights each?

At the moment it seems like Dad gets all the "glamorous" free time with your DD while you are doing all the day to day grind.

I'll bet once he's in charge of getting her up and out to school, and supervising homework, the attitude will naturally change - as he won't be able to be "fun" dad all the time. It'll be better for each of your relationships with your DD also, as you will each have similar amounts of work/school time, and nice weekend time, and therefore the time you each spend with her will reflect normal life, so the relationship will be built on reality IYKWIM.

Plus you'll each get a proper weekend off for yourselves!

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 13:21:47

thanks guys - guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and not allow myself to get upset with all the stuff about Dad being "more fun" and the rest of it - The main thing is DD and I love each other very much and regularly tell one another I guess! smile

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 13:20:08

Oh crossed a couple of posts. DD is 7.

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 13:18:37

Yeah - unfortunately DD is expressing a preference at the moment - but don't know if that's a way of trying to get me to get back with him. Also I guess I feel like I'm constantly saying "no" to her while STBXH is always saying "yes".

I can't work out if I was being financially abused throughout our marriage or not. There was certainly a fair amount of emotional abuse (though not of the kind that I found on emotional abuse checklists, so didn't acknowledge it as such until I read "Why Does He Do That"). (Not that I was necessarily a dream to live with either...)

Kids AM is what I'd do with DD - but she's aware that with the cinema and her Dad she can go to whatever film she likes rather than just go to the film that Kids AM is putting on

Rummikub Wed 16-Oct-13 13:16:27

The thing my dc are starting to notice is that I will listen to them and spend time just hanging out, whereas their dad spends time 'working'. I discuss value systems with my dc, would they prefer me to work more and have more money or do they prefer my time. That made for an interesting discussion! I have no qualms in saying I can't afford that or ok, but we need to save up.

Smile and nod and be pleased your dd is having nice experiences with her dad and teach your daughter values that will hold her in good stead as she grows up. It's tough going though, hey.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 16-Oct-13 13:08:13

You don't say how old she is. My DD is nearly 10 now and is becoming less impressed with the cash splashing as she is realising that it is a cover up for genuinely enjoying doing things with her.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 16-Oct-13 13:06:12

My ex does this and I think thank goodness for that! It means I don't have to spend the money. My dc have never shown any preference for spending time with him because of it, we do stuff too, interesting fun stuff just not super expensive. Eg cinema, I take all three of us to Kids am for a tenner. My dc don't know that's the cheaper showing or we go to the park and they get an ice cream, happy with that. I don't think it's as apparent to kids as we think.

I also think you were probably being financially abused throughout your marriage.

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 13:02:36

Thanks Lonecat and Rummikub. Sounds like I need to suck it up really and just keep going as I am - there's probably lots of us in a similar position...

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 13:00:31

Silly really - I don't want to "compete" as such - I want her to have a wonderful time with her Dad and to make this as pain-free for her as possible - I suppose I just wish I didn't feel like second best in her eyes, and I worry about the values that she's holding onto around money sad

Rummikub Wed 16-Oct-13 12:59:23

Hi cactus

Erm, it's a tricky one because I can see why you feel as you do but unfortunately he will say its his money and he can choose how to spend. It also sounds like a bit of Disney parenting to me on his part.

I'm in a similar situation, ex earns 4 times what I do and I struggle with dc coming home and saying dad's asked if we want an ipad when I have had to downgrade everything I can. I live in fear of unexpected expenses.

I have always tried to instil value of money and I think that is all I can do.

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 12:56:10

Yeah - I suppose I need to find things that she'll value just as much that I can do cheaply. It's a bit problematic with STBXH having Saturday as his day with her (which he kind of announced was going to happen rather than discuss with me) - so I get all the dragging her to school of a morning, taking her to her clubs of an evening - dragging her to Church on a Sunday morning (which she's always reluctant to go to - though she seems to enjoy once she's there). Then there's things like getting her to do her homework. I try and do fun things with her in between, but I'm not sure she places much value on them.

STBXH had a mystery weekend away somewhere or other a couple of weeks ago and I had the Saturday with DD - and had a lovely time - after I took her to her drama class, I took her to an interactive museum which we have membership for, so it didn't cost anything - and we played together for hours, had a lovely time - took her for a cheap lunch - a pizza which she enjoyed, then mooched around a market together (which she likes doing) and she wanted to wander around the shopping centre in the city centre, so we did that - felt like we'd had a lovely day together - but then she said she wished she could have gone out with her Dad because she has more fun with him.

Again, I spent Sunday afternoon drawing with her and playing the violin together, and we seemed to have fun doing that - but then the next morning I got the "I like time with Dad better because he can drive and take me to expensive places" bombshell.

She's not being a brat here - she kind of tries to say it kindly to me - but she's still trying to get her head around the Divorce, which she is taking incredibly hard

I suppose I need to keep trying different activities that she'll value - baking's a good idea actually - might try that next.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 16-Oct-13 12:43:54

My ExH does all of this. I haven't raised as he threw the what I do with her in my time is my business card at me over something else.
I don't try to compete. I am different. We bake together which DD loves and he would never be able to do. Every so often we have a girl's movie night homemade pizza on the sofa and then homemade popcorn ( all costing very little).

NightOfTheCactus Wed 16-Oct-13 12:27:23

STBXH and I split up a few months ago. At the moment I'm living in our house with DD until it is sold and he is staying at a mate's.

At the moment, STBXH takes DD out on a Thursday night and all day Saturdays. This will probably be altered a bit once we've sold the house and STBXH has his own place. I'll still be resident parent

When we were together, STBXH would take DD out on a Saturday - and he might take her swimming, to the park, then to a friend's farm where she'd look at the animals and he'd chat with his friend.

Now the routine is he takes DD to her drama class (which I organised), then he takes her to the cinema, followed by lunch at Frankie and Bennie's, followed by this indoor mini-golf thing.

On Thursday nights he used to take her to her football class - but now that's been cancelled he seems to be about to get into a routine of taking her bowling every week.

Money has always been tight in our marriage - he has always talked about things as if we were going to be made destitute any second (though I was never sure how to take that because the next week he'd say "it's not that bad" (usually when he'd spent money on something he wanted).) Our financial situation is he works, though doesn't earn a high salary. I have ongoing mental health problems and am on ESA at the moment, though hope not to be in this state long-term - but even once I find work, I'm always going to be on a shoe-string as a single Mum because I've always done jobs with quite a small salary - and I need to think of what I can do that will fit in with DD's needs.

I've always done my best to budget throughout our marriage, and DD (being 7) is very "I want this, I want that" and I'm always having to tell her things are too expensive.

Right now the situation is that STBXH is paying the mortgage on our house until it is sold, but is living with a mate for free. The bills have been signed over to me. Once the house is sold, my benefits will stop and I will live on my share of the equity from the house until I can work. STBXH will have his job and his share of the equity. We will both rent somewhere and be responsible for costs in each place ourselves.

As far as I'm concerned, either going to the cinema (and I'm talking about latest films at the deluxe cinema - not the kids club mornings I'd do with her), going out for a meal, going to mini golf (at about £8 each a time), going bowling - are all things I'd see as treats - something I'd do once in a while with her - and then it would just be one of those things at a time - but her Dad is taking her to all of these things every week.

Now DD loves this, and I don't want to spoil her fun - I suppose I'm finding it hard when she says things to me like "I don't want to hurt your feelings Mum, but I think I prefer time with Dad to time with you because he can drive and he takes me to lots of expensive places"

How would you feel in a situation like that. I'm not sure if I'm being petty and mardy for no reason and just being a bit jealous that STBXH can do all of that for DD (and that now she doesn't seem to value the less expensive fun that we have together so much) - or whether it's teaching her confusing lessons about the value of money and money buying love

There is also the fact that I wonder if he's going to be able to financially sustain all of this once we've sold the house and how that will effect DD.

We have mediation on Friday. I am wondering whether to raise this at all or whether it is really none of my business and I should keep my gob shut. He can get quite nasty and defensive and doesn't react to criticism at all well, and at the moment we've managed a couple of weeks without him verbally lashing out at me, so I don't want to stir things up if it's not necessary.

Sorry - I've gone on a bit here - objective opinions welcomed. Thanks.

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