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Different attitudes to money and DCs in long-divorced parents

(8 Posts)
dequoisagitil Sat 19-Jan-13 23:29:23

I reckon they will come to see the true value of what you've given them vs what he does. Possibly not until they have children of their own, 'though.

They will remember the times he's let them down, but they let him away with it because maybe because he's unreliable and will withdraw if challenged? You, they know, will always be there for them.

It's not fair, 'though.

But be confident about the choices you made & proud of the start you've given the dc - and start making the most of your life for yourself now.

Walkacrossthesand Sat 19-Jan-13 23:28:00

Thank you, bigbird and dione, for your comments. I do manage to enjoy myself, I've got great friends (and incidentally I know my DCs value my sociable nature) and a range of interests which I've managed to keep going over the years - I just need to keep this in perspective and take a very long term view!

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 19-Jan-13 23:10:22

They may be legally adults, but they are still very young.

They will come to understand the love and values that you taught them when they start having to be financially independent and have children of their own. In the meantime let them enjoy the pressies (they won't last forever) and keep on instilling the values you hold important at home.

And maybe now that they are that bit older, you could free up some time and energy for you.

You have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for your DCs. Now it's time to start taking care if yourself. And enjoying yourself.

Walkacrossthesand Sat 19-Jan-13 22:58:09

I suppose part of the problem is that the really difficult times were when they were too young to know about it, and they seem to forgive him for so much - eg there were a couple of years recently when he didn't make time to have a summer holiday with them, so I didn't get my summer 'breathing space', but he managed to go off on nice trips with GF - that seems to have been forgotten/absorbed. They've seen the worst side of his GF, and they don't like her, but they like the stylish, minimalist house that she insists on, even though there's never food in the fridge for a meal, but don't seem to value what I offer which is family meals and a homely home where they are prioritised over the washing up and keeping everything tidy. They are seeing first-hand 2 very different ways of living, which I suppose is a bonus!

bigbird80 Sat 19-Jan-13 22:30:27

They are old enough then for some gentle home truths about how you struggled/ continue to struggle while he waltzes in like a bloody rich pied piper whenever it suits him. I am not suggesting calling him a fucker etc and bad mouthing their DD but they need to know the reality of him leaving you for that other bitch ( delete profanities as necessary) to get on with things BY YOURSELF.

Walkacrossthesand Sat 19-Jan-13 22:25:51

Dcs are late teens/early 20s so still young really. I've never wanted them to feel that I resent them (because I don't of course), or to badmouth their DD, so no, I guess I haven't been honest with them in that sense.

bigbird80 Sat 19-Jan-13 22:15:40

How old are your DC? If still in teens they are still immature as fook. They will be selfish and have no concept of money until they are out on their own two feet paying rent etc. I know it seems like a long time to wait but EVENTUALLY it will hit home just how tough it has been for you. Are you honest with them about the reality for you versus 'darling dad'?

Walkacrossthesand Sat 19-Jan-13 22:09:45

I'm posting this in 'relationships' rather than 'divorce and separation', where most of the posts seem to be about newly divorcing people. I've been divorced for almost 20 years, my ex left me when our DCs were very small for another woman that he's still with, she has 2 grownup DCs of her own. Contact has always been regular, although I would say I'm the one who has been the 'backbone' - he took holiday with GF whenever he wanted without checking whether I could have the DCs over the time he was away, and on more than one occasion when they were young I had to cobble together childcare/change my plans because I'd made plans for when I thought they'd be with him, etc. I'm lucky enough to earn enough to be financially independent but it's been hard work and I've remained single - probably because working and raising the children took all my time and energy. Ex has always tended to be more lavish with spending on the DCs - they know that if dad takes them shopping he'll buy whatever they want (eg buying expensive clothes that only just fitted when they were growing fast, so they lasted no time at all), whereas I'll look for value for money, do they really need X, they'll have to justify it more etc - there's definitely a flavour of 'if we want something we'll go shopping with dad & he'll buy it for us'. Along the way I've had to be quite tough with him sometimes when he's splashed out on something and then asked me afterwards if I'll pay half - essentially I say no, I'll only share cost of things you discuss with me first, and he then accuses me of being stingy, so I dislike having conversations with him about it. As they get older the purchases get bigger, and I'm struggling a bit with the whole 'attitude to money' business. The oldest two have both made comments about me limiting the amount I spend on them for presents eg at Christmas time (I look at ensuring they all have about the same value of gifts, carefully chosen, whereas he just gets them what they want regardless of cost). Eldest DC is very much a 'daddy's girl' and quite materialistic, I'm sure she feels I don't love her as much as he does, because I don't bankroll her as much. I feel it's important that they learn the value of money - which they won't from him as he just buys them stuff. I realised recently that it does hurt a bit that they have no concept of how hard it's been for me all these years, being deserted when they were little, being on my own, organising my life around the needs of the DCs in a way he never did - friends always said that 'they would understand when they were older' and all I see now is 'lovely generous dad, mean mum'. I look into the future and see this continuing, with wedding costs etc, and just feel really fed up. Any wise words please?

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