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AIBU- STBXH, my home, children's wishes

(17 Posts)
MsHaveNaiceHam Fri 20-May-16 21:20:11

STBXH left the family home some years ago when DC were very small. Since then, with supportive counselling (fab) I've realised that he was very abusive (verbal, emotional, financial). All of the "red flags" so often mentioned here.
For the sake of the children, I've tried to be ultra-reasonable, initally chasing him to spend time with them. Chased him for contact, bought tickets for him to school events etc.
In the last year he has moved overseas with his new squeeze "for work" although a highly paid professional here.
He returns here for "holidays" at Christmas and around the children's birthdays. Every time, I've invited him to our (my and DC's) home for parties, cake etc. So he gets to have a good sniff around- and is not loath to comment on decor, tidiness etc.
DC3's communion is tomorrow and STBXH is in the country for this and DC1's birthday.
AIBU to refuse to invite him and his parents into my home afterwards?
DC3 was a bit tearful when I said that Dad was not coming back to the house afterwards. DC1 was quite cross with me- he's hitting teenage years but Dad is still adored.

I'm torn between knowing that it is absolutely fricking ridiculous that he is in my home VS the children's wish to spend this time with him.

I know the answer is that I am NBU to want the privacy of my own home.
I don't get it as DC will send him random videos of cartwheels or their skateboard moves in the garden or their singalong to the Eurovision or whatever- so it feels like he is constantly seeing inside my house.

I don't think IABU but STBXH still has the capacity to make me doubt what would be apparent to anyone else....please re-assure me that I am not being selfish.

holeinmyheart Fri 20-May-16 21:35:58

Ideally it would be great to get to a stage of indifference to your Ex, but he hurt you grievously and I understand how you feel. Unfortunately he is the DF of your DCs and they don't feel the same. When they are older and more mature they will be able to make their own minds up and you will be surprised by how fair they may be.
So of course you should be reasonable at all times for your DCs sake. Knash your teeth and make a effergy of him and stick pins in it behind closed doors, but not to them or in front of them.
They will not remember your actual words or actions but they will remember how you made them feel about their Dad.

Horrible as he is, I think you should invite him to your home and try hard to get to a state where you don't give a flying F what he thinks or feels.
Just repeat after me under your breath, I am a wonderful Mum and I have been there for my DCs unlike you, you sack of shite. Smile sweetly and welcome his family etc politely......
I don't envy you and hugs as you deserve lots.

ManonCrempog Fri 20-May-16 21:36:43

Well YANBU but why don't
you all go out for a meal or something instead of doing atuff at yours? Because it is nice for the Dc to spend time with him, if they want to and he wants toZ

MsHaveNaiceHam Fri 20-May-16 21:58:02

holeinmyheart aw hell.....why do you have to be so bloody reasonable. You're saying exactly what I know I should do, and exactly what I don't want to do.
In fact, it's exactly what I have done every single bloody time for the last 4 years.
I'm tired of being the bigger person; I did think initially, that he would eventually calm down. But I have realised that the clown I now deal with is the real him.
I'll just have to suck it up again.

Manon one of the DC is autistic...going out for a meal is not a viable option. It would result in me running ragged for the duration, essentially missing out on every single one of the DC's happy birthdays, pictures etc.

STBXH does not acknowledge that DC2 has autism; the sole time he referred to it, it was to ask if I wanted sympathy from him. He has implied that the issue is one of poor parenting on my part- although diagnosed by 2 separate teams.

Gide Fri 20-May-16 22:20:17

Invite him, do the perfect smiling polite host whilst silently screaming. Do the whole 'Did you mean to be so rude?' <head tilt> thing if he makes designed to annoy you comments.

Hissy Fri 20-May-16 22:24:13

Have you considered stbx to be autistic? A friend of mine discovered her exh was autistic when her dd was diagnosed. She now sees that that he'll he put her through in life was his autism. He needed thugs to be a certain way, and she thought it was just him being bloody minded.
It's a blessing actually as she knows it wasn't that he hated her or did it on purpose.

Otherwise love, you need to tell age appropriate truth to your children. Don't cover this stuff up.

"There have been times when daddy has upset mummy and as a result, we don't live together anymore.

Mummy needs to have a bit of space, when daddy's in the house he makes comments that make me sad, and I need a break from that"

MsHaveNaiceHam Fri 20-May-16 23:17:14

Gide yes- that's exactly what I do. I try to breathe deeply and tell myself to be the bigger person.

Hissy I suspect you're right; that he has NO concept of the impact of his words and behaviour.

It's overlaid with being a spoilt mummy's boy who is was indulged to a ridiculous extent.

A bit like gide suggests; I try to cope with him by internally visualising him as a two year old who is not getting his own way so he has to stomp and throw the toys out of the pram.

Hissy Sat 21-May-16 00:03:30

I'm the biggest advocate for kicking an abisive arse out of your lives, and I don't think being together is a good idea for anyone.

Your h will understand boundaries so you will be able to explain that as of now, doorstep only. If he asks, tell him that unkind comments are not acceptable and you need him to wait at the door for now.

My friend now knows better how her exh brain works, knows how to frame things donthat he gets it.

Money, for example, he won't pay out to her per se, he'll fight and rail and refuse to engage. Present a bill or an invoice for it, he'll settle it No dramas.

Study autism and see if you can work out if he has it, and the. You may get the key to working with him to raise your dc❤️

MsHaveNaiceHam Sat 21-May-16 07:20:44

Hissy you may not get to see this...but ExH does not understand boundaries at all. Sadly.
EG-This is a man who had a tracker on my car "for the insurance" so could keep tabs on where I was until recently.

I'm sure you don't need the many other examples I can give.

There was advice on another thread here about being like a grey pepple- I've taken that approach without knowing that there was a name for it.
I am boring, don't disagree with him, I control my facial expression, never showing how aghast I am with his behaviour.

I spent years with your friend's approach- thinking that I was the problem, surely I could learn how to put it so that he would 'get it'.

If he wanted to get it, he would have by now. The sad thing is that he has no desire to get it; his only desire is to win.

Hissy Sat 21-May-16 08:30:09

Oh love, on not criticising you at all, I hope you don't feel I am. Just with the autism, it's potentially he has and therefore can't necessarily change in the same way a common or garden abusers can.

My ex was/is abusive. He has no issues or excuses other than he wants to rule and contol. I hate him. Our son doesn't like him either. We're delighted he's gone and will never ever darken our door again.

Trust me, I didn't say my friend thought she was the problem, but You know how it is, we feel if we just did this, or that, it wouldnkeepthe peace. What I say about her now is that she knows it wasn't her, nothing she could have done would have made a difference and the blessing is that she knows it's not even his choice.

It is comforting somehow. Knowing that there is a real reason for it rather than him just being an abusive monster.

Sadly in my case it's not relevant, I wish it was somehow cos the relief it gives to know there's a cause must be immense. Friend actually gets on better with him when she sees him than she has done their entire life together. He is still insfuriating, reorganising her entire kitchen one day for example when he was vision to see his daughter.

I think however her situation may not be entirely relevant to you.

The course I take is mine, he likes it/doesn't like it, not my problem. I don't allow him to pass judgement, I don't allow him to control or intimidate me any more. I am me.

Not the terrified, agoraphobic me he wore me down to. I'm The kicking arse and taking names me I always was. Just older. I literally don't give a toss what he thinks, I don't ask his opinion or permission on anything. He hates that, but he's abroad, has been for 5+ years and never did any of the heavily lifting. So screw him.

We just have to do what works for us. I sincerely hope that you can find a method that suits you. At least he's abroad too. Less interference and less poisonous behaviour with the dc.

Hissy Sat 21-May-16 08:31:13

Vision = visiting

Stardust160 Sat 21-May-16 08:35:48

My DS has his first communion in afew weeks they have a breakfast in the school hall and then we were coming back to my home to a spread for the adults and to cut the cake but I decided to just go out for dinner. I would never invite my ex and certainly not his mother and step dad( we have a poor relationship and have been NC with exs mother for years, it's been great) do they not have a party for them afterwards in the hall that your ex can attend?

holeinmyheart Sat 21-May-16 09:39:59

Aw I know, I know......but then it is so easy to be reasonable when it's someone else's grief.
I always know what to do as the horrible little naggy voice inside me tells me. However I haven't always listened to it and then I have been SORRY.
Your conscience is telling you the right path. So you have a choice say...bugger to it, or not.
I feel for you ......
Or alternatively grate ex lax on his and his families cup cakes and secretly know that you have caused them to have the shits all the way home. Just make sure you don't mix the cup cakes up. You will be unable to stop smiling. Lol

MsHaveNaiceHam Mon 23-May-16 20:17:44

I've recovered enough after the weekend to come back! smile

Hissy I must have come across as defensive- sorry.

Look, STBXH is v.v.v.v.v.v.v. difficult. I have tried and tried to be reasonable for the children's sake- the reality is that, if it were not for them, I would never speak to the man again. I would have moved away from here but I wanted to them to have access to their dad. Instead, he moved away.
Stadust...yes, in fact they do have a school party for children and close family. It's a lovely event in the school garden. DC is not able to cope with the noise and excitement sadly.

holeinmyheart very sadly I didn't read your advice until Saturday evening. Opportunity missed!

Hissy Mon 23-May-16 22:54:51

My ex slumped once, it was awful! I felt violated.

Then when he hadn't bothered to sort out his camera and therefore 8yo ds was staring off, playing with a pencil etc, he criticised and told him off for fidgeting. I told him that ds had nothing to look at, so of course he was going to look elsewhere other than the blank screen. He moaned that ds hair was too long. Prick.

The pièce de résistance was when he brought some alleged cousin to have a look at ds. I lived in that godforsaken hole country with him for three years... Not once had I met or heard mention of this cousin. So that was it. No Skype.

If you feel violated when he's in your home, then you have every right not to have him there. He can and should take the kids out, not your problem where. You have earned the right for some peace and serenity.

You can call the shots, and your dc have to see and understand why you say what you say and decide what you decide. They have to know the (age appropriate) truth. This will help them navigate life somehow.

It's not right to come into someone's home, make comments or snoop around. Whoever that person is.

Hissy Mon 23-May-16 22:55:11

Slumped? Skyped! Grr

Hissy Mon 23-May-16 23:03:10

If ex is difficult, just let him be. Stop trying to make him look good. Let him fail. You can't change him, and tbh the sooner people (kids included) realise that he is unreliable and not to pin too much on them the better somehow.

It's sad, but sadder for them to be under the impression that their dad is normal and then get let down when they really need him.

My ex told the most fantastic lies about me to try to rob me of the only friends I'd managed to keep (inspite of his best efforts to isolate me)

I said to him once "To make me look bad, you have to tell lies. To make YOU look bad, all I have to do is tell the truth"

That hit home, I can tell you.

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