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Should I give it one last go?(58 Posts)
I am currently separated from my DH, we have been together 7 years. I have 4 dc, 2 from exdh and 2 with dh.
I know being a step parent can be challenging and one of the reasons I left was because I don't think he treats dc's 1&2 fairly compared with dc's 3&4. DH does not agree with me, he thinks he treats them all the same. He has a very constrictive parenting style which the dc don't like, my dc2 is a typical 9 year old boy so very cheeky, forgetful and challenging, DH can't cope with this and in my opinion seems to get infuriated with him, I think he picks on him and dislikes him, DH swears he loves ds.
Anyway I initially left DH in June then gave it another go, quickly regretted it as nothing has changed so left him again in October. Since then we have been seeing each other more and more, he has agreed to attend a parenting course with me to both be on the same page.
Another of our issues is money. I have been advised on MN before he is financially abusive, basically insisted I pay half of all bills but all of childcare and most shopping while he saves his money. We have spoken and agreed if he were to move back home all bills and normal expenses would come out of a joint account and we would both have equal disposable income in our separate accounts each month. This is what I asked for and he agreed to it, however he then said my fuel should come out of my money as I always forget to claim mileage at work (it would be about £2 per week!), he wants to cut down on the shopping bill etc.
He also said our privately rented house doesn't feel like his home anymore, we have a 3 bedroom house with 4 dc, I managed to find another house who would accept our dog and also had 4 bedrooms meaning my 10 year old dd would no longer need to share with her 2 year old sister, it was bigger in general but lacked the garage we have now which is basically full of stuff that could be distributed elsewhere, the house is £50 per month more, DH straight away ruled it out as he wants to save money not spend more, he says dd doesn't need her own room and he wants a garage still. He then finds a house out of the school catchment for £25 less than we are paying now, its smaller too and we are already bursting at the seems in our house.
Sorry to go off on a tangent, I just don't know what to do, I struggle with the 4 dc alone but then when he is there sometimes it feels we all have to be careful what we say or do, he's grumpy when my 2 dc are around most of the time. They have both picked up on it, ds is upset that his own dad can't live with us.
Any advice would be great!
I couldn't stay with someone who I felt doesn't like one of my dcs.
As for the other issues, he doesn't sound much like he's trying hard to be more understanding. The house argument is ridiculous, your dd is old enough to need her own space and I wonder if he's dismissing the needs of his step child and continuing to treat them differently again.
Obviously only you can decide but you've already recently given him another chance and he didn't change, you still have a number of issues with his attitude while he's on his best behaviour, so no I wouldn't go back and risk disrupting the kids again.
Imo you won't struggle on your own when your self worth and mental health are back to top form. Which they will be before long after you ditch the dodo. .
Seems to me he is 'saving' for a life on his own when you see the light further down the line. . .
See that light now and start enjoying All of your kids and not having to defend one of kids against this horrible man.
Just don't do it OP, he's already affecting your children's mental health, if you say he treats yours differently that's because you have noticed he has.
He also sounds a bit of a control freak and not open to compromise, for someone who wants to put things good again, he doesn't sound invested, so don't you invest any further in him; put your energies into your kids, they are far more important than this stubborn grumpy man, not good to have him around children, he sounds like he can't tolerate.
No don't do it! I struggle with my dh's attitude to my ds and that's his biological son and the ONLY reason I ended up giving the benefit of the doubt and now we're divorcing over it. I'm afraid if I thought my dh didn't treat my ds nicely he would be history.
When he is not here in the evenings my 2 eldest dc stay downstairs with me before they go to bed, the house feels more relaxed, if the little dc are up in the night or come into my bed that's ok. When he is here in the evening dc 1&2 have to go upstairs to my bedroom and entertain themselves until their bedtime as DH needs time to himself after a hard day at work. It just feels like they are in the way to him, I don't know if I'm being unreasonable though, they go to bed at 8.00 so it's not like they are up all night !
Posted too soon
If my youngest 2 are upset in the night or unwell I can't bring them into bed if he is there, he gets really annoyed and ends up shouting so I usually end up sleeping in their beds with them and they are his own biological dc!
He says he loves us all and wants to make it work but I don't see it with his actions. I just don't want to regret anything.
He's not a person who will change OP, he's always going to treat yours with less tolerance, you know this already, was the reason you have split with him twice now; I know you probably want to be with him but there's kids here who are being affected by his negativity towards them; you will regret if you continue to allow this to go on.
Date him, wait until the kids are older, he may find them less annoying then.
That sounds horrible for them... don't put them back in that position. Our house is the same, much nicer and less tension when he is not here and kids behave better too.
Don't doubt yourself
Your dc have to go upstairs when he gets in from work as he can't have them around during the evening?
Seriously, if that's the case then don't go back. The other issues should not be deal breakers because with compromise and goodwill you would resolve it, but I suspect there isn't genuine compromise or even goodwill.
From your last update I'm not sure he is treating the older 2 differently. I think this is exactly what you should expect him to be like with your younger two. He doesn't sound like he really wants to be a dad, he want's the old 'kids should be seen and not heard' of having them around (for whatever reason) but not having to deal with them.
Or have I read too much into it? Does he spend time with any of the kids doing things? Does he help out with the younger 2? Getting them up and dressed, ready for bed? If he's so fussed about the food shop then he can do it can't he?
Personally I think he sounds like a tosser. I'm sure he has many good qualities that aren't listed, but no amount of rose pettles will make shite smell like anything other than shite.
He says that he's changed, that the finances will be shared equally and then the first conversation that you have is how he is backtracking on that. And what the hell good is a house that is out of your catchment area for school?
His priorities are himself, money, and then further down the line come his own children. You and your children are rock bottom.
Yes he does help with dc, baths, bedtime gets up and gets them dressed. He does do nice things with all dc, swimming, bike rides, he taught my ds1 to skateboard.
There really doesn't seem to be anything by way of positive benefit to giving this another go. He's already setting out all the terms and conditions including a house move. He's flexing the reins again, isn't he? The kids are happier with you and them as their core family. Why would you want to risk damaging what is still part of the recovery process for you and them? Of course it's hard with 4dc but he really isn't going to be the relief and helpmate that you would wish for.
His actions are the things to watch and see for real what's going on in his head. You separated for good reasons. Those reasons are still very much there. Very much who he is now, even when he says otherwise. He wants an easier life and if he can manipulate you he'll get it at your expense in every way.
Your DH sounds a lot like my own father. Moody, irritable, doesn't like kids (should be seen and not heard at all times, and preferably not even seen if that's possible), a tight arse, selfish, says what you want to hear then goes back on it afterwards, controlling...
My mum kicked him out when I was 14. It was like a lead weight had been lifted. By the time I was 18 I stopped seeing him altogether as he never changed - it was still everyone else who was in the wrong and was oblivious to his own many many faults.
He's still very much involved within the home, isn't he? Does he basically just leave to work and sleep elsewhere? Sorry, our posts crossed and I was surprised to read your last one. It's not that he shouldn't be involved with dc of course, but actually in the home so much? How separated are you? I'm just asking that, not commenting on it.
From what you have said nothing has changed, his views or behaviour are the same
Therefore the same will happpen again. You will be unhappy.
Your DC from your previous relationship are banished upstairs every evening because he needs time to himself????
Poor, poor children. Why are you even with this man? What a terrible thing to do.
He left in October, we spent a lot of xmas together and decided to give it another go but whilst living separately. I didnot want his living here again at least until he has been on this positive parenting course, I'm kind of pining all of my hopes on it changing his attitude towards the kids and our family as a whole.
He seems to have taken this giving it another go as a green light to come and go as he pleases and take charge of decisions in my home again though, I keep challenging him on it and he just says I don't care what he thinks and he's not allowed to say anything.
The other evening he came over after work to see the kids, he said he thought we needed to work on our own relationship not just his and the kids, he started making stuff up about me saying no to doing anything together and massively exaggerating the truth for example I went to the cinema once last year with my sister, he wanted to go together but we couldn't get a sitter late enough to watch a film nor could we agree on a film to watch, he threw this back at me saying I've been to the cinema 3 times with my friends but I refuse to go with him, I pulled him up on it but he still insisted I did!
A parenting course will not change the fact that he's intolerant of children, especially other people's, doesn't necessary make him the devil in disguise but it will make your own children anxious and on edge, is that really what you want, just to keep a man happy?
Sorry to be blunt, you've done it twice now and are thinking a third time; again, not fair on your children, stick to where you are and maybe in time as they get older and less annoying, it might be possible.....from your last post it just sounds like neither of you are happy living together with all the children, a parenting course isn't going to change that, you will just be third time deja vu.
From your posts this is all about what he says and wants. He decided to come and go as he pleases. He said this was you two working on your relationship. You challenge him (good for you but endlessly futile and draining) and his responses are hostile, petulant and nasty. You know this is "it", don't you? This is him on his best behaviour too. This is who and how he is. Do you choose this - again? Someone above suggested sort-of dating again. Difficult when he won't effectively negotiate a film you could both tolerate. Might give you an insight into your own feelings and wisdom if you allowed yourself to get ready for a date where you met him elsewhere, got ready, did all that going out stuff. Would you feel happily excited or would you be dreading it?
It doesn't strike me that this man has ever really left in the first place. I suspect you're the only one who thinks there's a separation going on. He's just fine tuning how he resumes his life with you, all on his terms; probably even more so than before.
Oh god. He sounds horrible. It sounds like everyone is on constant eggshells. The poor kids. They're going to grow up thinking this is normal.
In a word NO!
Why would you put yourself and your children back into that situation? You're out, stay out.
I think I would be dreading it tipsy.
I feel so weak, I was really strong in the beginning despite having just had surgery. I was letting him come over to see the dc as he was staying at his mums, I feel like I have mislead him but then I also feel like he has tricked me by being more reasonable than normal at times and also making me see his side of the problem and I get reeled back in. He is unreasonable about the kids, money, time etc etc, it's difficult when my dc3 keeps saying he wants daddy
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