Am I being a total bitch?(22 Posts)
I think i am. In fact im almost certain I am.
Dp and i got together almost 3 years ago. he lived 40 miles away from me, but not too far from his ex wife.
The arrangment when we met was that he had his 2 dc every tuesday, every other wednesday and friday-sunday fortnightly.
when he moved in with me he would go and stay with hsi parents (also not far from the x) when he had the DC.
I hated this as it meant that he was away such a lot of the time. It also meant that our two families rarely had a chance to get together.
So he bought the children back to mine and as he was made redundant and not working he drove them all the way back to school the following morning.
He is working again now and so can't take the DC to school in the mornings. To me this means that the midweek sessions need to be dropped as it just isn't possible.
However, he hasn't dropped them. The DC are continuing to stay with hsi folks midweek and he goes there after work, arrives at about 7pm. He puts them to bed and then comes home. He gets home at about 10.
I think the midweeks should be dropped.
Obviously he wants to see the DC as much as possible.
We are considering a move nearer to them but such things don't happen over night. If and when that does happen we can have them a lot more as we could work things like breakfast clubs or whatever and i could drop them to school.
But for the moment it is working out to be a very expensive hours contact session.
I am being really stubborn over it and it is causing a lot of arguments.
I can see his point.
But i can't help feeling that this arrangment is just not at all practical.
come and tell me how horrible i am. flame me into submission.
Nothing practical about step families so suck it up
Yes YABU. You are effectively making your DP choose between you and his children on these days. This will not end well.
I can't help it though.
In my defence though he see's contact as (rightly) the priority. But he does so over everything.
I have had serious gynea problems which may turn out to be cancer.
My last hispital appointment was on a tuesday. He still went to contac rather than missing that one hour for just one week so that he could be of some comfort to me and find out what had gone on.
Prebiously when he was not working he still wouldn't attend hospital with me as it meant missing a contact session.
Now I do believe that contact should be the priority in general, but surely there is some space for flexibility? The children would be with his folks who they adore and so their routine is not disrupted.
I can't help but get all over sensetive and emotional about it. Like I, and our family will never be as important as the one he already made with someone else.
<it is ok, you can shoot me now>
So, you're saying that you want him to drop seeing his own children midweek because it's impractical (for whom? You?) so he can ...... spend the evening with you and your kids instead???
You didn't exactly ask if you were being unreasonable, but Yes, you are!
The man is clear about his priorities as is his right. He hasn't mislead you in anyway. You just have to decide if you can live with it. If not move on.
Do you have children with your DP?
Of course his children will come first, because they are his children. And they are only little so they need him. It's really tough for children who's parents have split up. And as a grown women you can cope with being let down easier than they can. Yes even with your health worries.
This is how it is, and how it should be.
Actually I'd disagree, I think as a one-off he could have been with you that Tuesday if you were upset. That aside though, I don't think you should be asking him to drop the midweek contact, I think it's a little unfair to have established the routine, to suddenly stop it just because it doesn't suit.
What's their mum's situation? Does she have a partner?
You aren't being a bitch to expect and want your DP with you when upset and at an appt that could potentially have life changing news. But asking him to drop a day with his kids isn't reasonable, IMO. Asking him to be more flexible and be with you when you need him isn't unreasonable, though.
Actually, it sounds like he only sees them for an hour midweek, did he really refuse to come to that appt with you for an hour with his DC?
As others have said I think it would be acceptable for him to miss contact as a one off to support you with your hospital appointment but you can't really ask him to change his midweek contact as it's obviously important to him and the kids and so it should be!
He should not have to stop midweek contact because it is inconveniant to you
I am BU.
I think its a hangover from when he first moved in. some weeks he would be at his parents house for 2 days of the week.
It felt like we had a part time relationship. That I was only here when he wasn't busy elsewhere.
His wife had an affair. When they split the new guy moved in almost immediately. They both have very high powered, well paid jobs.
I think that that is part of DP's insistance that he see's the DC no matter what. That he doesn't want to be replaced by this flashy new guy who can buy his DC anything they want. (they are forever telling us of the expensive gifts they have recieved seemingly "because its saturday")
I am being selfish and unreasonable. Of course i am.
this step parenting thing is so hard. We want to start ttc in the near future and it is all going to get so much harder. I keep telling myself that if and when we move nearer the ex wife things will be easier, but of course that is bound to cause different worries.
I do try not to act like Maleficent honest.
Well - tough one.
Firstly, in the grand scheme of things, YABU but you know that, you said it yourself in your op.
HOWEVER - from a personal point of view, YANBU. Of course you don't appreciate playing second best to your partner all the time, who would? I feel for you.
This is why I would NEVER get with anyone who had kids again, it feels like your lives can never be complete because you're constantly having to "share" your DP with his previous life. It's awful. Christmas day, birthdays, new babies, holidays - nothing is simple anymore because half of him is dedicated to his previous life which of course is RIGHT - but not exactly easy to live with.
YANBU to feel fed up, can you live with it though? because it won't change. Personally I couldn't and I remember the feelings of resentment all too well.
how many children do you have?
I would really reconsider having your own children with him as it will make things so much harder and more expensive especially as you want to move
I would try to accept the situation as it is, surely one of the reasons you were / are attracted to him is because of his loyality to his children? you need to stop thinking of them as children he made with someone else but as your children too imo
otherwise you're going to be very unhappy
I don't think you're being a total bitch, no It is really difficult being a step parent.
FWIW, I think your DP not missing one contact to attend a hospital appointment with you is unreasonable. It is a good thing that he wants to see his dc's as often as possible - that's one of things that makes him a good dad and is presumably one of the reasons why you want him to be the father of your children in the future. They (and any future children) will always be his priority (and rightly so) but you are his partner and I think in extenuating circumstances as described above, he should have dropped contact for one week and attended your appointment with you.
With regard to the weekly contact I think you may just need to suck it up. Would he/you compromise with keeping the every Tuesday and leaving the every other Wednesday ? At least then he would get to see his dc's at least once per week and you would only not see him for one evening per week. Ca you not arrange something for yourself to do on a Tuesday evening so that you're not sitting around
stewing waiting around for him ?
I think the hospital appointment has upset you considerably and made you feel resentful about the midweek visit. The key to this will be discussing the situation with your dp and making sure he understands the impact of the decision he made.
Is his ex flexible and would she have accepted a change in day? From your initial post I would have guessed the issue is that your DP is feeling vulnerable about his children, he believes he might lose them to the new partner. That fear will be a major driver for his actions and I think if you can relate to that you will be more understanding. No parent can bear the thought of losing their children - even if it's not a very rational thought.
It is vital however that he does have a good relationship with his children. DH's ex was in a similar situation and tried to oust DH from the father role, DH was completely focussed on ensuring he saw his children (come what may and I also had a a hospitalisation situation!) . Years later however we're so glad he did keep that contact as his ex has gone through a series of husbands so the only fixed father role has been DH.
If you had children together, no-one would bat an eyelid about you getting a babysitter while he took you to hospital.
Sometimes kids have to learn that other things come up and that they can't always come first. In my opinion, that does them good.
However, I know the midweek contact seems a bit daft to you, but I think you shouldn't try and discourage it in general. Sometimes minimal contact is better than nothing at all and a week is a long time in a kids life.
If you had children together, no-one would bat an eyelid about you getting a babysitter while he took you to hospital.
True, but thats probably because children in that situation would get to see dad every day anyway.
Good point AmberLeaf but real life still goes on in seperated families too and sometimes that might means that things have to be re-arranged or cancelled.
Not ideal, I appreciate, but life isn't perfect.
Is there a contact order in place?
Your in-laws are very accommodating at the moment - but what will happen if/when they decide that they want to downsize/emigrate or just can't cope being responsible for children several nights a week? For me, this would be the reason to change the arrangement - it is entirely dependent on their support; I wouldn't want to place my own parents in that position, it's a very big ask.
I think there are two issues here. Firstly, a lot of separated Dads will uphold access arrangements, come hell or high water, and arguing (not matter how valid your point) will not get you anywhere. My husband has negotiated the most bizarre logistical challenges to see his son, and if I put up any resistance (eg: why dont you see him on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, saving yourself a 100 mile round trip), it just makes him more determined than ever.
So whilst I agree that your argument about midweek access is sensible and practical, youre banging your head against a brick wall.
The other point is your hospital appointment. As a previous poster pointed out, in a together family, no one would bat any eyelid about getting a baby sitter or sending the child to Auntie/Grandma/next door for a few hours to ensure your partner can accompany you to hospital, but in a step family, a comply different dynamic applies, and access arrangements have to be upheld regardless of floods, earthquakes, blizzards, civil unrest etc. Yes, its weird, mad and totally barmy, but that seems to be the way it is. Im sorry if I havent been very helpful, but having been a part time step mother for a number of years now, Ive wearily resigned myself to the knowledge that common sense and sanity have no place in access arrangements.
It's an emotionally charged situation, and very few men see the situation clearly.
Join the discussion
Please login first.