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How do you deal with differences in parenting between you and exh/p

(21 Posts)
sincitylover Mon 13-Jul-09 12:55:42

Had an almighty blowout with exh this morning over ds2.

We have a long standing argument about the amount of time he sees dcs imo not enough and not to the terms of his agreememt.

He and his new p seem to be similar in their approach to parenting - think control freakery, gf style - I am more of a warm, laid back style.

he pays basic maintenance but I am struggling due to high rent etc (work ft. ) What has happened recently is he is paying for alot of extra luxury items for dcs - all very nice but a bit gutting when I am struggling to feed them!!

IMO he sort of swans in and out when it looks good for him and his reputation and gets on his high horse about the dcs.

This morning he has been to school to discuss rereferring ds2 to SALT - he has already been once and been discharged - its for hesitation. That's fine with me but the convo we were having after descended into a row for two reasons he thinks he should go sooner rather than later (its only a two month wait) and wants to pay for private sessions - this gets to me given the situation.

Then he starts talking about his erratic behaviour (???) everyone agrees he is well behaved child tho he does sometimes kick off with me or exh. I thought it was normal exh thinks its highly abnormal (I think he is most worried that he is being shown up in front of new p's family who all have much yougner children).

Then the issue of ds2s weight - he is slightly overweight - but he is active and he loves food - I think to completely forbid and deny food he will end up with issues. EXH says he already has isseues (he and new p seem obsessed with healthy eating)

Apparently it's the worst thing anyone can be (overweight that is!!)- gave my db as an example.

Unless all my friends and cm are lying to me they think as he gets taller he will lose the tummy.

Either way I don't think the answer is to ping his waistband (exh denies this) and make commments about what he eats!!

I feel bullied by them and criticised and resentful that he flits in and out giving his parenting wisdom backed up by his new p.

Perhaps not relvant but think exh ahs aspergers

Rnat over

HolyGuacamole Mon 13-Jul-09 14:49:50


cestlavielife Mon 13-Jul-09 17:05:55

how old is ds?

i would have him pay for private SALT adn take him there too. why not? nothing to lose.

re: the weight, take him to GP or paed and discuss with both of you there. so you can both be told whether is concern or not and whetehr you need dietician referral or not.

had a similar-ish issue with dd which ended up with both of us attending appt with GP - in which she backed up my views - and with dietician - who very cleverly worded her report as "the father is concerned about xxx" -rather than -"the parents..." because i managed to whisper to her "I am not concerned but he is!!" and she could see it was all about him and not dd.

sincitylover Mon 13-Jul-09 19:27:59

he's 8.

Yes taking him to gp is a good idea.

re the private salt I just don't think waiting over the summer hols will make much difference and would actually like to see whether it improves by itself over summer.

It has improved before hence him being discharged last time.

aseriouslyblondemoment Tue 14-Jul-09 10:22:01

really don't know how to answer or help here.
all i can do is sympathise as so much of this behaviour i can identify with as get it from my exh.
you know you're a great mum and your dss are being brought up in a loving and normal home environment
sadly tho you will always have to deal with exh as he's the father of your children
how you manage to actually stop him from undermining you and chipping away with his warped perspective and strange parenting views is another issue
do so hope that things get easier for you

ninah Tue 14-Jul-09 19:49:42

sin don't know what to say really just wanted to offer support. Agree it is maddening when exs provide luxuries when you are struggling with basics. All I can say is it sounds like you are doing a grand job, and keep on, your dc are well and happy, try not to take exs comments to heart. Gp might be the way to go, get an unbiased opinion and get him off your back. I'm guessing SALT is speech therapy? I would imagine your ds could do with a summer holiday first - or maybe he is more tense around your ex and his p, hence greater hesitation
this is such a nightmare situation, isn't it. Makes me grateful for my own ex's almost total disinterest sad

sincitylover Tue 14-Jul-09 21:58:48

thanks both - yes not surprised no-one knows what to say. Think my counsellor (counselling has ended now) didn't even know really what to say.

Feeling alot better today. I don't deny there are problems with ds2 but what gets to me is that exh doesn't ever seem to recognise any of the good things about him.

Similarly he always criticises me and never ever acknowledges how hard it is for me or that I am doing a reasonably good job.

I struggle to do my job and everything else that comes with being a lp as you all know about. I just about keep on top of things.

I've seen him do this before though when we first met, sort of bigging up his new life and dissing his old life. I could sort of see the incredulity is his friends eyes.

His father was also a 'boaster' so perhaps that's where he gets it from.

sunshine13 Fri 17-Jul-09 15:11:26

the answer to your question in short-- COMMUNICATE. Put aside your feelings for your ex and think of the child. Stop the blow outs (even if he riles you) and TALK!!

aseriouslyblondemoment Fri 17-Jul-09 20:08:58

sadly sunshine scl's exh is not one for communicationsad

sincitylover Fri 17-Jul-09 22:40:24

nice in theory sunshine - we do communicate and I always try to be the bigger person. However exh is emotionally abusive, slightly bullying and prob has aspergers so it's not very easy.

he is also highly critical of dcs both behind their back and in front of them.

The dcs are not present if we disagree.

Do you have experience of this sort of situation?

sincitylover Thu 23-Jul-09 10:44:53

update on this - dcs are on holiday with exh, his new p, nanny and their dts.

I sent message asking how dcs were, spoke to them on phone they sounded a little subdued.

Got txt from exh saying 'they are being a pain'

Then this voicemail message

' they are really badly behaved, arguing, rude selfish all their normal selfish self. Not sure what to do about their behaviour Not just boys their behaviour is despicable.
Friends are coming over don't want to spoil their holiday. They keep arguing, DS1 is spiteful to DS2.

Their behaviour is not normal. Am hoping it get's better. Hoping hoping that their behaviour will improve. Why are they so selfish and horrible. If they don't I don't know what to do.
Can't wait to get home I hate this holiday. Don't know what to do with them.'

I haven't replied - I doubt they have been like this 24/7 but you would think so from this message.

Is this abnormal to be so down on your dcs?

FWIW I have taken them on holiday 3 times and they have had their moments but overall not too bad.

Do you think his anxiety and general uptightness permeates through. He is still trying to make an impression on his new p and of course the dts are currently angels because they are still babies.

cestlavielife Thu 23-Jul-09 11:41:01

all behaviour is communication - they are communicating something.

you can surmise -but wait til you get them home and gradually tell you want went on.
v sad tho for them and hard for you

but hey maybe next time he wont take them and your dcs will be better off..

sincitylover Thu 23-Jul-09 12:36:43

I have since spoken to him and suggested that they might be picking up on his uptightness and 'putting on a front' as he surely will be. I would imagine his expectation will be very high and it won't be very relaxed there.

They don't particularly like his new DP I think.

I really can't do anything from here can I?

Once they're back I don't know what to suggest really - I have suggested 'family therapy' in the past but really don't know whether that's appropriate.

They get very good reports from school and at home they do fight alot. Siblings do?

It is very wearing being with them and there is a a 4.75 yr age difference.

abouteve Thu 23-Jul-09 18:30:45

I'm no expert in this but it sounds as though your exh doesn't have a very good relationship with your DC's. He should be doing everything possible to make sure they feel secure and enjoy this holiday, not sending text's like that, he must know it will upset you. All children can be draining we take that on when we become parents.

He should also be sticking up for his own above all others not despairing of them because he wants to make a good impression on this new partner, her family and friends.

He is their father and he should be able to dicipline them effectively and confidentally whilst making sure they feel loved and wanted. Not critising them.

As for the luxuries, give him a list of what they need in future if he wants to buy things for them, freeing up your money for the neccessities like food and rent.

I expect if he was to not take them on holiday again they would feel wretched and left out of his new situtation.

I would discuss waiting until school is back for the SALT and by all means take your DS1 to the doctors together to discuss his diet and whether there is reason for concern. Hopefully you DS's self esteem wont be damaged if he is within a healthy weight.

Gosh it's a difficult situtation, but deal with one step at a time.

notevenamousie Thu 23-Jul-09 18:31:37

scl - I think they are definitely responding to him and whatever pressures are there from him and his new family situation. And also, it sounds like he is just very negative. He seems to be insinuating it is your fault they are like this, when it seems fairly clear that it is something that happens with him.

If he loses interest (my ex does this periodically, when he claims dd is "difficult") then in the long run, your dc will see him for who he is. However hard it is in the short term for you and dc to have an adult to deal with who cannot take on his right responsibilities.

Janos Thu 23-Jul-09 20:17:18

scl - I can't really add much to the excellent advice lots of people have given you here on this thread but i have enormous sympathy for you as yours and my XP sound very similar indeed.

I'm sure I've mentioned that before..anyway!

Am convinced also that my XP has a personality disorder of some type. he has to be the 'winner' in all things no matter what the cost to anybody else, including his own son it seems.

Sadly, I think there is not much you can do apart from carry on as you are doing. I do feel for you as you sound like such a warm and loving mum and these men are so bloody DRAINING to deal with.

sincitylover Thu 23-Jul-09 20:49:30

thanks all makes me feel alot better.

Also saw mum of ds1 friend tonite and she knows my dcs well. Says it's just how children are and her two (boy and girl) often

sincitylover Sat 25-Jul-09 14:27:10

Well unfortunately had to speak to him again today. I was actually hoping just to speak to ds2.

Exh comes on phone and says their behaviour is despicable. They need psychiatric help etc etc I said that we will all need to have 'therapy'.

Thing is he doesn't regularly mix with boys of their ages. To me they don't seem to be much different to other boys of their age.

Just to demonstrate how vile I think he is he said with disgust that they had to put cream on ds2 legs because he 'is so fat'. I have had that problem too also when I was normal weight - must be a family gait ie if you walk in a certain way you will rub legs together. He also said ds2 eats so much and is such an unhappy child and always wants to be cuddled FFS

He doesn't seem unhappy to me tbh and he is a very affectionate child. Perhaps he is unhappy/uncomfortable in new extended family situation.

Exh said he wants to come home (dss haven't said that) and holiday is awful. BTW he used to say that when we went on holiday so who is the common denominator.

I have taken them on holiday three times since we split - twice alone and once with a friend.

They had their moments but on the whole we all enjoyed ourselves (beginning to doubt that myself exh is such a headfuck)

I told him to lighten up, and if it really was that bad he shouldn't take them away again.

What can I possibly do from here anyway and surely it's not my problem to fix atm.

I do believe he is even trying to be emotionally abusive to me from a distance.

3seater Sat 25-Jul-09 14:34:23

I think that family therapy would be a very good idea, it would help you all think about what is going on and why and it would also give your dc a 'voice' - I don't mean to make you feel worse but it seems likely that dc are going to pick up on such negativity doesn't it?

sdr Sat 25-Jul-09 14:55:40

Be very careful about going down the family therapy route. You seem to feel that exh is the problem not the kids. My DB and I got dragged around family therapists as kids because my father had 'issues'. All that happened was that DB ended up resenting him and father still has same issues.

We had some concerns over DD's weight a couple of years ago when she was 10. Spoke with GP who felt it was only minor, diet was fine and we'd just monitor it. And slowly it has improved. Kids are all built differently.

sincitylover Sat 25-Jul-09 16:22:22

tbh I don't think it will ever happen as he has shied away from individual counselling, relate and any help for depression since I have known him (which is 19 years).

I just think you have got to be pretty heartless to complain about an 8 year old needing to cuddle you!!

I think he also has aspergers (exH) which might explain some of it.

I just want the boys back now.

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