Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

MIL has just adivsed me to threaten to leave DH...

(59 Posts)
WankingMonkey Sat 01-Oct-16 20:28:12

My head is so fucked up right now it is unreal.

In so many ways my relationship is good. I suffer chronic pain issues and DH does most of the housework and such as I am often in no state to do it myself. He does this (for the most part) without a word said. he is an attentive father to our children, if a bit lax on telling them off for things.

However, recently there have been...issues. Massive arguments about little things and such. And more recently, we have been arguing a lot about DSD. DH split from his ex before I met him but has been a steady presence in his childrens lives. They stayed with him 3-5 days per week (usually just weekends, but more if they chose to. And for pretty much the whole of the school holidays also)and he is responsible for things like getting them new clothes and such too. This continued when we got together (we didn't have any kids together then) I love them and (I think) they like me too. I try not to interfere too much as afterall they are not my kids and it should be down to DH and his ex to sort out any issues. However I do often need to tell them off when DH is not here, and sometimes when he 'ignores' behavior. This has never been an issue until recently. Their mother agrees that when they are in my house they go by my rules too, so this situation has not came around because of her putting her foot down or anything. I am actually quite close friends with their mother (I know that will sound so weird to people on here but it is true)

The issue right now is DSD. She is 12 and developing an attitude like teenage girls do. However, DH seems to have just started letting her get her way ALL of the time. She has recently decided that her school have said she absolutely has to have her own laptop and printer as they are only going to give out homework that has to be done on a laptop and printed out. I offered use of the computer but this is no good apparently. Now, I can see this is bullshit and no school would say she needs her own and such as many parents cannot afford this. But DH is lapping it up and now reckons we have to buy her one, tomorrow. She has moaned all night about not having it yet and I have had enough. We cannot afford to go spending on stuff she doesn't actually need just because shes coming out with some cock and bull story about her school saying she has to have her own. I doubt the school has even said her homework must be done on a computer but willing to let that slide, I just cannot get my head around him accepting her story and as such skinting us badly for the entire month just so she gets her own way. She has her own laptop (that we bought) at home with her mother. I have asked why she couldn't simply bring it over and use that but no, thats not an option. She says it is broken, I offer to get it fixed but thats no good either (no reason given) so basically...she just wants 2 laptops to herself. If anyone can see this as anything else please enlighten me? As I cannot make sense of her story at all.

Anyway, this was a bit 'straw that broke the camels back' after months of him letting her do whatever she likes and giving into her ridiculous tantrums. I did snap at him tonight which I am feeling guilty for but I am really at the end of my tether here and conversation doesn't seem to work as he goes down the 'why would she lie, are you accusing her of lying' route.

My main issue is the lack of discipline among the stepkids. My children are picking up on this and their behavior is getting the same. They are now violent with each other (after watching 2 DSSs 'wrestling' with each other) and DD seems to be picking up on the attitude and screaming if she doesn't get her way with stuff. And so on. Since DH lets DSC do what they like (within reason, stops them if they are hurting each other or doing something dangerous) I am often left to tell them to stop doing stupid stuff, and then I get 'oh just leave them alone' or 'they aren't doing anything wrong' from DH, or a 'I am ALLOWED" screamed in my face from DSD followed by stropping and/or crying for ages. I do not want my children to grow up like this..and I can see it happening as they are surrounded by other kids who act this way and are not checked for it. I find it very hard to tell my own off for something whilst 'allowing' the others to go on doing the same thing but at the same time I cannot just ignore the behavior from my own for fear it will get worse, along with not wanting kids who just ignore me totally. Which it will end up as... This situation seems to have crept up on us tbh as there doesn't seem to have been any issues until the past few months. he told them off when they did wrong. Had no issue with me doing so either, especially if he was out.

Anyway back to tonight. As I said shit kind of hit the fan over this stupid laptop situation. Me and DH had a huge row over it which resulted in me sitting in the kitchen crying into my cup of tea...pathetic right?

I should probably add at this stage that we had already been rowing over DSC because they had been going on fucking ridiculous and he was ignoring it and telling me to leave it. MIL tried telling them too and got the 'oh let them be' reply. DS started running riot with all of the pandemonium (he gets overly excited with a lot of stimulation) and basically the situation ended with DSD crying as DS had ran into her leg, and DH shouting at DS for this! Which didn't sit right with me at all. DS is 2 years old and will obviously join in when the others are running around and stuff, and him running into someones leg is hardly him being malicious or anything, it was clearly an accident. DH went on as if our son had purposely cracked her with a hammer or something rather than had an accident and I cannot stand to see my son treat in that way just because a 12 year old takes a strop.

So yeah, I was crying in the kitchen out of the way of everyone and MIL comes in. She has noticed a definite change in him recently too as he has started getting ridiculously short tempered with her too. I told her my concerns about my own 2s behavior that I think has came from them watching the others. Her advice was for me to offer an ultimatum. Either sort out his kids or I take ours and move out.

It seems so drastic though, but I honestly cannot deal with the situation as it is. I don't want feral children, I don't want to be telling my own to stop whilst they see others being left alone. I don't want to be effectively told off myself for mentioning bad behavior. But most all other ways, I guess I have the perfect relationship, its just this one sticking point. But its a huge one for me.

I don't know what I expect to get from this thread, I just wanted to write it all down I guess. Also any advice on how to deal with this..would be hugely appreciated. If he doesn't start saying no to DSC..then the situation will never resolve. I cannot have a conversation about it as he gets all defensive, claims he has done nothing wrong, claims they do nothing wrong..I am exaggerating, and so on. A few weeks back I thought I had got through to him and he promised change, but nothing has changed. But is this really a 'LTB' situation? I guess it has to be as its impacting on my childrens lives in a huge way right now, and on my own too. I am so confused right now.

OurBlanche Sat 01-Oct-16 20:38:51

Woah! You see all of those words? Write them on a piece of paper and give it to him.

Tell him you can't carry on with him sidestepping the issue, so here it is all written down for him to read and take it in without having to 'deal' with the person attached.

Give him a time frame and then leave him to it. If he runs out of time and does/says nothing, then maybe his DM has the right of it!

But you are right to want to discuss the situation, to deal with it as a couple... to recognise that there actually is an issue and that you can deal with it together

Good luck.

temporarilyjerry Sat 01-Oct-16 20:45:37

Only issue an ultimatum if you are prepared to carry it out. If it is impacting on your own DC, you need to have a serious talk to him when your DSC aren't around.


Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Sat 01-Oct-16 20:45:49

The only bit mil for wrong was that he needs to leave. She can have him back with her. . Your toddler can't be living in that chaos!! Held to ransom by a 12 yo is too much - and that's before she is even a teenager officially!!

SandyY2K Sat 01-Oct-16 20:46:42

I wouldn't issue an ultimatum in this situation. Her story about a laptop and printer being a must is nonsense.

No school would do that.

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 20:47:32

What does their mother think of this too? Because it must impact in her home.
I didn't want to read and not reply but I can see why this is incredibly hard with your own children.

I have a 14 and 12yo DD's and the elder one can at times be very challenging but with strong firm boundaries she is learning valuable life lessons. You can be a teen and me be bloody rude.

There must be some allowances for having somewhat disrupted lives. I do appreciate that. She's likely acting this way because she isn't handling having more siblings and not feeling very secure, therefore trying to get attention in all the wrong ways. She's probably angry with all the adults also even if it doesn't make sense. Kids need to know they are loved and special even though they can be little horrors but no one wants an adult child who is still a horror and it isn't a good start to her adult life to learn these lesson or the other children.

I can only think time apart might give you the space you need. Can DH stay with his mum for a bit? A bit of distance might calm there chaos and give you time to talk properly with him realising how serious you are

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 20:48:20

You can be a teen and don't have to be bloody rude is what I meant!

Funko Sat 01-Oct-16 20:59:07

Can't comment on the relationship but I absolutely will have your back on the ultimatum on kids behaviour and discipline.

Kids WILL be kids, and part of growing up and hormones means they will test and push boundaries, that's how they learn. But also kids, especially younger ones will copy bad behaviour and will pick up on different parenting styles and try to exploit them. You need to be on the same page.

One of the many reasons I am no longer with exh was due to his crap parenting. Was utterly hands off with all day to day parenting but would fly off the handle at my DS for basically none issues. Default was ignorance or full on shout mode. DS had utterly no respect for him from an early age. Because default was shout mode he would ignore it as it meant nothing to him. Alternately, DS knew exactly where he was with me and exactly how far he'd pushed things and how to correct himself and behaviour. God that sounds like I'm some kind of strict ogre. I'm not! Consistency, discipline, understanding and talking through the why's and whereforea of behaviour is key.

DS is nearly 11 now. He's an absolute star.. with occasional NORMAL bouts of vaguely bad behaviour. He occasionally comes back from weekends at his dads with a shit attitude and it just takes a 'look' from me and a pointed 'oh really' before he changes his attitude often to us both bursting out laughing cos he knows he can't do that with me. He still has no respect for his dad am sorry to say but he's still getting the same attitude from him as he did when we were together.

God I digress, point is, letting things slide or handling discipline badly doesn't do anyone any good. Not the kids and not the parents.

Find a calm moment and try and discuss it with your dp. Is it because he feels guilty about not being with his kids 100% of the time and doesn't want to ruin their time together by disciplining them? Something else?

I can tell you now, my son is happier at home with me and way better behaved. Kids who misbehave so much are generally acting up... ask yourself (or ask your dp) why they are acting up?

I do hope you can talk to dp and come to a positive resolution.

lizzieoak Sat 01-Oct-16 21:02:11

Is it possible for the women of the family (you, exw & mil) to sit the older ones down and lay down the collective ground rules? It sounds like the older kids may be dividing to conquer, so while you may not be able to change the way your dh parents, the kids could at least see that the majority of the adults are united.

IceIceIce Sat 01-Oct-16 21:03:22

Not a chance would she be getting that laptop. Can you transfer money somewhere he can't get it? We have separate bank accounts and if OH did this it would be straight in mine and I'd change my PIN. He absolutely cannot skint you just because his daughter is a spoilt brat.

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 21:11:56

You need to tackle why she is acting up before you have any real hope of solving things. I tend to find my girls hold onto their emotions and it comes out as anger and selfish behaviour when that's not really their personality. If he's over compensating for them being children of divorce/new family then he's not doing them any favours either. He's confusing this with guilt and kindness and ignoring the real problem and I wonder if you and the women could try get to the bottom of DSD's real feelings and whether that would help DP understand

WankingMonkey Sat 01-Oct-16 21:16:33

Wow thanks for all the replies so soon.

Is it because he feels guilty about not being with his kids 100% of the time and doesn't want to ruin their time together by disciplining them? Something else? See I thought it may be this, but surely if it was this then it wouldn't be a recent thing? It would have been him letting them off with everything ever since splitting with ex

I can transfer the money out now, but it will just maker a huge row tomorrow and I am honestly so tired and worn down by all of this I just can't be arsed anymore. But at the same time I can't have that much money spent on something thats clearly not needed. I created a mega tantrum when I mentioned speaking to the school about why they would say she needed her own laptop (as obviously I knew it was lies and hoped that would bring it out of her)

Their mother, when I have spoken to her about it, says they do not go on this way at home. She gets tantrums and such obviously but nothing like what we have here. Her brother is responsible for a lot of the childcare when she has them at home as she works a lot...and he says he has no issues either.

I know I would have to carry it out if I did threaten it. I don't think I could even cope on my own..given my health problems. I may be firmer on this matter if I didn't have it in the back of my head that I would fail without him. But again, its not right to put myself and the kids through this because of that...ugh such a fucked up situation

Me, MIL and his ex trying to sort this together would not work. He would see this as us ganging up and strop off I expect. He speaks to his mother like shite at the moment anyway so he is very unlikely to listen to her. That is also a recent development. I did think at one stage this change may have came about because he is depressed or something? As its just been a huge shift in attitude seemingly out of nowhere.

WankingMonkey Sat 01-Oct-16 21:21:37

DSD acting out..she sees everything you say as you attacking her right now, even just normal conversation. Rarely speaks to any of us, obsessed with her ipod (I have suggested taking the ipod away as punishment, as their mother does at home...that went down like a lead balloon with DH...) and pretty much only speaks to demand something. However, we get odd moments where she is 'normal' and actually speaks, and it doesn't seem anything is up. I honestly think she has just noticed a change in her dad and is exploiting that tbh. Can kids that young be manipulative? I think they can..

DH reckons this is a normal part of being a (nearly) teen girl..and to a degree he is right. Attitude and such is a normal part of growing up. But NOT to this extreme. I know this is more than normal growing stuff.

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 21:24:28

I think her behaviour is quite concerning. It's not just normal behaviour.

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 21:27:25

Also I think although she is being a horror placing blame on her is just going to make it worse. If she already feels pushed out by siblings and starting out at secondary school then being made to feel like she isn't wanted or is manipulative and a bad child will just make her more distant.

He clearly doesn't really know what to do and is over stressed? I would say that he sounds like he is stressed, possibly depression if this is out of character but you all sound stressed

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 21:29:45

When I said sort it out with the women I meant sitting DD down and talking to her about how she is feeling. She sounds angry

WankingMonkey Sat 01-Oct-16 21:41:21

Oh. No that wouldn't work either. Due to DH effectively scolding me each time I speak up, she seems to have lost all respect for me and now totally blanks me when I speak to her most of the time. She is the same with MIL. Her mother is already trying to find out whats wrong and so far has got nowhere :S Shes having no problems at school or anything, and her behavior is only terrible here.

I did at one stage think this may be a result of her going up to senior the behavior seemed to ramp up a lot fairly recently. But if it was this, again surely it wouldn't just be here? I thought she may be getting awful as puberty is approaching..but then it wouldn't just be here either. I considered the 'pushed out by siblings' but if it was this, surely it would have been going on for ages and not just starting now, and DH isn't paying her any less attention. If anything she is getting more attention for acting out, which in turn makes it even worse.

I honestly cannot see it as anything other than her sensing weakness (so to speak) in DH and manipulating things accordingly. I don't want to think this of her but I have tried looking at other angles and none of them make sense?

So in effect, the problem isnt with DSD as such, but in DHs attitude towards the whole situation. But if he is unwilling to see this like he seems to be, we have really ground to a halt...

Funko Sat 01-Oct-16 21:41:51

Yes kids CAN be that manipulative! It's amazing how quickly they can pick up on a 'weakness' and exploit it. Toddlers can do it! Clever little shits monkeys that they are smile

There's nearly always a reason for acting up. Always. All kids misbehave occasionally but to be consistently bad behaved is either something's up or entirely piss poor parenting. And I don't mean you, you've said yourselves they don't do it at home and this is a relatively new development for you so smacks of something up. Dp needs to get to the bottom of it.

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 21:48:59

12 yo girls tend to get this boundary pushing thing going on for sure. Secondary school can be stressful with pressure to feel like you have to have the same as other people so there could be that element. And resentment that there now there are more mouths to feed, there's less for her and yes she's exploiting his weakness to keep the peace by demanding things to prove she's top dog of the children.

But you describe an emotionally detached, angry child. I think it's tough being the eldest (sounds like she is?) and the pressure of annoying siblings. mine have a baby half sibling and DD12 resents her for crying in the night and everything revolving around doing baby things and talking about bloody babies all the time (it's not my baby)

I think if you can get back your relationship with her it would be the best start but also it doesn't sound like your dp is willing to actually discuss this so if you can't live like this then it is fairer on your small children to live in a happy calm household

WankingMonkey Sat 01-Oct-16 21:58:51

But you describe an emotionally detached, angry child. I think it's tough being the eldest (sounds like she is?) and the pressure of annoying siblings. mine have a baby half sibling and DD12 resents her for crying in the night and everything revolving around doing baby things and talking about bloody babies all the time (it's not my baby)

DS is 2. DD is 3. DSS1 is 8. DSD is 11. DSS2 is 13.

I am not sure she is annoyed by the younger ones either, as oddly enough in the rare times she communicates, she tends to go straight for them and start playing with them and stuff. She is also very affectionate towards them..whereas no one else (not even dad) get hugs and kisses from her anymore.

Shes being absolutely lovely right now too?! I am lost. I asked DH to broach the subject of the laptop again now that shes in a good mood. But she is still lying about it. I honestly do not know how he is believing it...unless he is not but still trying to keep the peace or something. Ugh.

mummytime Sat 01-Oct-16 22:01:53

It sounds as though he doesn't respect women. And this could be the root cause of DSD's behaviour.
If he treats all the women in his life with a total lack of respect, and she sees that, then the message she is getting is that he doesn't value her as a "woman" much either. So she is testing him by demanding "things" to show at least he still loves her that much.

But giving in isn't really valuing her either, and she knows it.

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 22:04:27

He's trying to keep the peace. He feels guilty.
I'm not saying she doesn't love her brothers and sisters but for instance, does she get to do things for her age that she would enjoy? What's family time like? Where do you go out? Time out alone with her dad?

Usually when mine really want something then the suggestion is that it's either a xmas present or they have to pay towards it.

Can you compromise with dp and make it clear that if she gets this laptop she won't be getting much else for xmas. She might change her tune. And stick to it

Myusernameismyusername Sat 01-Oct-16 22:05:33

Good point PP. It does sound like she is desperately trying to be the most important person to him out of all of you

WankingMonkey Sat 01-Oct-16 22:19:04

I'm not saying she doesn't love her brothers and sisters but for instance, does she get to do things for her age that she would enjoy? What's family time like? Where do you go out? Time out alone with her dad?

Family time is often just going to the park and out for a meal..sometimes I will take the little ones (and often DSS1 as he choses to stay with us) out for example to soft play and she and DSS2 will go elsewhere with DH...bowling or something they decide together. So no, she doesn't really get time alone with dad, but she does get time away from ours with dad..if that makes sense.

A lot of the time though, they all go out together. All the kids and DH. As I am either in too much pain to go out, or have taken morphine to try and get rid of pain. When he nips to the shop and such she tends to go alone with him though..but that doesn't count as 'alone time' really to me as its only an hour or so? He can't increase this realistically without seriously shifting stuff around as I struggle looking after 2..nevermind 4 so leaving them with me is not really an option. Also he would need to increase time spent alone with his other 2 boys...which would huff her as they were getting to do something she wasnt..

So we could do more alone time, and days out with just dad. BUT this would mean we had to sort out something with their mum so she could keep the other 1/2 at home for the day. Which wouldn't really work for her as at the moment, we have them whenever she is at work and if she wants to go out or just have a bit of time to herself. Also doing it this way would mean to be fair he would have to do the same occasionally with DSS1 and 2.

The xmas thing, sounds tempting but again, come xmas time I know he will give in as she will strop if the others get more than she does..even though the laptop would have been an early xmas box. Also we will be proper on the breadline if we do buy it this month. Which would mean NO days out..and more tantrums.

WankingMonkey Sat 01-Oct-16 22:21:39

It sounds as though he doesn't respect women. And this could be the root cause of DSD's behaviour.
If he treats all the women in his life with a total lack of respect, and she sees that, then the message she is getting is that he doesn't value her as a "woman" much either. So she is testing him by demanding "things" to show at least he still loves her that much.

This is an entirely new thing too though. I can see where you are coming from. He definitely is disrespecting his mother at the moment, and me (but only when DSC are here) but this seems to me to have come as a result of the behavior we are all having to deal with. So I can't see that the behavior is because of this..

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now