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really cross over something trivial....or is it?

(22 Posts)
harrap Sun 21-Aug-11 17:32:37

this seems petty but I could really do with some perspective.

yesterday i was planning to take DS to my mother's. I had told her what time I was leaving and DP and I had a discussion about what time he needed to bring DS back from an activity. I wanted to leave "no later than 2". DS needed to be back in time to have his lunch etc and we agreed- infact DP said- in that case he would bring ds straight home. In which case they would have been home by 1-1.15.

By 1.30 no sign of them and DP's phone switched off. I was worried and annoyed by turns.

They get back at 1.50. I said, "I thought we'd agreed I'd leave by 2". No apology he just said, "Oh I really don't know where the time went, we came straight back." (as if the universe had somehow speeded up time)

In fact they hadn't come straight back but had gone to the library.

This is the second time this has happened- last time I took DS to my mother's again DP brought him back late so I have to ring my mum and tell her we wiil be late, that time at least he acknowledged I had been waiting around and apologised.

Again recently we were two hours late to my sister's because DP was finishing work and didn't allow enough time.

I'm still fuming about this but- as he says I left at 2.15 rather than 2- no biggy- but I wouldn't do it and if I did I'd apologise. I think he is dozy and preoccupied rather than deliberately ignoring my arrangements but I'm losing patience.

Isn't it just common courtesy to think about other people's arrangements? I don't think he'd be quite so casual with other people.

I feel pissed off out of all proportion to the actual harm. I feel really angry every time I think about this.

Anyone else had anything similar? What petty things in your relationship drive you mad?

Mitmoo Sun 21-Aug-11 17:49:41

The last time my ex took my son he told me it was an 8 pm pick up until my son told me a couple of days before it was 8 am and he'd miss school.
Then when he was away got my son to tell me they weren't coming home on Sunday but Monday evening leaving me with an unauthorised absence to deal with. School were very sympathetic as they could tell I wanted to kill my ex on the spot.

Don't worry about minutes, you'll stress yourself out. I spent that weekend on here trying to keep myself sane.

harrap Sun 21-Aug-11 18:00:33

True but why is it annoying me so? I did really lose it when he seemed to be blaming the universe generally and I feel bad about losing my temper and still annoyed by turns. Why oh why can't I just calmly state my point of view?

garlicbutter Sun 21-Aug-11 18:54:23

I don't know confused You seem to be saying your annoyance was over the top. Were you spectacularly horrid to him? Has he said why he didn't apologise?

I'm time-blind but at least I apologise grin

harrap Sun 21-Aug-11 20:27:09

no nothing spectacular but I did lose my temper and that always makes me feel in the wrong and his explanation for not apologising seemed to be that he lost track of time....and that was what really annoyed me... oh gawd I need to stop obsessing now this is a bit pathetic.

pickgo Sun 21-Aug-11 20:41:02

Maybe because he has treated you with such casual disrespect?

As you say he wouldn't do that to anyone else. FWIW I can see why you'd get very angry when he didn't even apologise, particularly when he's got form.

If I were you were I'd make it a rule not to wait - just go on your own and leave him holding the baby so to speak.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sun 21-Aug-11 21:38:25

But he didn't lose track of time, did he?

He needed to come straight home but went and did something else instead.

I'm time blind too - but that means I underestimate how long things will take and imagine I can travel faster than a speeding bullet.

Adding in a extra activity is different - he had an arrangement with you and he deliberately chose to do something else and leave you hanging.

And he had form for making you late for family occasions.

I'd want to know what was up with that.

NormaSnorks Sun 21-Aug-11 21:51:24

DH does stuff like this too...

I had to take DS1 to a music class for 2 p.m. DH said he needed to take the car to the garage, but would be back in time to look after DS2. Knowing what he is like, I said, OK, but you MUST be back by 1.30 to give us time to get across town.

At 1.40 I am trying his phone (not answering). At 1.45 I decide I will have to take DS2 with us, so start telling him to get ready/ shoes on etc. At 1.50 I am running around locking back windows and doors (which were all open, as I was expecting DH back). At 1.53 I get both boys in car and start reversing off the drive... and YES... there (at 1.54) is DH pulling in, making strange 'what are you doing?' faces.... at which point DS2 wails that he wants to stay at home now Daddy is back....

DS1 ends up being 10 minutes late for his (expensive!) music lesson/class and I am all hot and bothered and stressed.

It's the lack of respect for other people's time that annoys me...
And the implied 'control' that it gives DH over me... the idea what whatever he is doing is more important than my arrangements...

You need to have it out with your DH.... say, "when you do this... it makes me feel... Is this what you intended?"

germl Sun 21-Aug-11 22:09:41

My DH does this too and it drives me mad. For example, he used to take DS over to see FIL and stepMIL on a Sunday afternoon. We usually see my GPs and family on a Sunday (something that has been happening since before I was born!) at a sunday tea thing, so I would say to him "Don't forget tea, you'll need to be back by quarter to 5". This would give him 2 or 3 hours with his DF and DS would have a great time, but he would ALWAYS end up arriving about 5:15pm....not terrible, but then DS wouldn't eat and would create stress where there was no need if he had just left his dad's at half 4!

I think it annoyed me soooooo much because it seemed like he just didn't care about anyone else - my nan who had put effort in to tea, or me because I asked him to be on time. In the end I had to say to him how it made me feel and he now goes in the morning.

OP - it is because you were clear and open about what needed/wanted to happen, and he didn't seem to take any notice, that you are cross. I don't know what to say other than tell him a time he needs to leave to make sure he is back in time.....but then you would seem like you are infantilising him. I've had to do this with DH though and I hate it. I am usually laidback about timings, but it's when he is likely to just trample over long running arrangements, or cause massive delays that I have to step in.

harrap Mon 22-Aug-11 08:23:33

thank you, thank you... I shouldn't need my feelings to be validated (the reasons for that go back to my childhood) but I do and you've been really kind to take the time to respond.

glasscompletelybroken Mon 22-Aug-11 10:41:08

My DH does this. he says I am obsessed with time but he has made me more so with his total disregard of it! If we are going somewhere I spend all the build up to it stressing because I know he won't leave enough time to get ready/get there etc. I have told him endlessly that it is important to me to be on time for things and that he is causing me to be anxious and keep on at him to get ready but he just says I should relax and not worry so much!


I don't know what the answer is - I've started telling him we need to be somewhere half an hour before we actually do but I think he will catch on to that and factor it in to his time plan!

cyb Mon 22-Aug-11 10:50:08

So you know next time to allow extra time for his faffing about

mamas12 Mon 22-Aug-11 11:20:04

How direspectful.
Tell him the next time he is late for something you will leave without him (even if it means him paying for a taxi) and he will have to deal with the consequences. Upset dc involved.

SheCutOffTheirTails Mon 22-Aug-11 13:12:17

He wasn't faffing about, so making allowances for that won't help.

(even if you are prepared to be the kind of mug that "makes allowances" for being treated like shit)

He decided to do something else that guaranteed that he would be late. He made that decision in the full knowledge that it would inconvenience you. And he's got form.

Make allowances for passive aggressive point scoring at your peril.

garlicbutter Mon 22-Aug-11 13:15:21

the next time he is late for something you will leave without him

As one of life's laters, I agree with this. I don't expect other people to mess up their own lives for my inability to estimate timings. If a taxi were involved, I'd expect to share the cost (or pay it.) My mistakes are my responsibility.

I have to say I don't understand why Mr Harrap decided to squeeze in an extra activity, nor why he didn't apologise. But I'd still leave him to it in future.

Sorry to hear it triggers bad memories for you, harrap, that's even worse! sad

pozzled Mon 22-Aug-11 13:21:22

The thing that strikes me the most is the lying- he said they came straight back when he had actually been to the library. I'd find that incredibly rude . Even if he did 'forget', he should have apologised straight away and told the truth.

He seems to think that your arrangements are unimportant, AND that it's acceptable to lie to you so that you won't make a fuss. Doesn't show a lot of respect.

natwebb79 Mon 22-Aug-11 13:28:59

After lots of ridiculous rows with my other half over his shite time keeping, I've learnt that nothing is going to improve his sense of how long things take and so I just tell him he needs to be back an hour before he actually needs to be. Since I've been doing that we've lived in blissful harmony smile

garlicbutter Mon 22-Aug-11 13:41:20

Very wise, natwebb! blush

Gay40 Mon 22-Aug-11 13:41:29

Same here natwebb79. I learnt a long time ago that everyone in the world has annoying habits and ways of going about things. If it's a dealbreaker then you don't continue the relationship, but essentially you can't change people - you just learn how to work round it.
I do the "shifting the times around" with DP, but not all the time because she'll get wise and start factoring it in.

SheCutOffTheirTails Mon 22-Aug-11 14:08:21

the next time he is late for something you will leave without him

How on earth was she meant to leave without him? He had the child.

She was bringing her son to visit his grandmother, so until her son was returned to her, she was unable to proceed with her plans.

I'm the world's biggest apologists for people who can't manage their time, and happily work around them and expect people to work around me (as long as I'm not too rude), but this is something else.

The only way to work around this situation is to ban this man from taking his child out on a day when the OP has plans involving her son, because he can't be trusted to return the child on time.

It wasn't just the OP that was inconvenienced - a little boy's day was buggered around with too.

He was deliberately obstructive of her plans, and as pozzled points out, he was dishonest about it.

Seriously, I'm a bad timekeeper from a family of appalling timekeepers. I'm an expert in working around people who tell you they'll be there in half an hour when it's an hour's drive and they still haven't had a shower.

But this (I will say it again) is something else.

He is using their son to make it difficult for his partner to see her family. It's subtle, but it's working so far.

He may not be aware that he's doing it. But it needs to be tackled for what it is and not mistaken for bad timekeeping and accommodated as no more than a bad habit.

mamas12 Mon 22-Aug-11 15:37:17

Actually I agree with shecutofftheirtails It is a subtle form of isolating you from your family.
Take her advice

Is he generally late? Does he often try to squeeze in one more activity because there's just enough time? If yes, then I don't think it is about your family. If it only happens when you are visiting family then that is a different matter.

My DH has been late when we are visiting my family but he has also been late when we are visiting his (we even missed a flight to visit his brother because of his lack of time planning). I'm with those who give a meeting / back home time in advance of the time I actually need.

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