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DSD's bloody phone bill - sounding off here so I can be supportive in RL

(34 Posts)
madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 14:36:07

A few of you will remember that the phone bill was what triggered the ultimate, or rather final, breakdown in DH and DSD's relationship. Also that since then (May) every phone bill has also been way over what it should be but that DH was scared to do anything about it. Well, it's happened again - only this time it's massive. He just text me and I thought we could talk about how to handle it tonight once he's had a chance to calm down but apparently he's already told DSD about it being so much and she is "sorry" and "understands".

WTF... she doesn't even so much as text him on that bloody phone. She ignores texts and calls from my poor little DD who is heartbroken by DSD's selfish behaviour. She gives sweet fuck all to DH, or anyone connected to him. But expects to keep being able to run up huge telephone bills and he'll just pay them... duh, of course she does because he WILL!!!!

I asked him how he felt about it and he said "Furious. But if I do anything I risk alientaing her completely" he's hanging on to the tiny scraps of a relationship that he has left by paying whatever she wants on the phone. She has unlimited calls and texts, and 750 online time. But runs up the bill by going over the online time (gets a text when she's close and has an app where she can check useage so no excuse) and by messaging pictures to her friends. She just doesn't care.

The tiny scrap of relationship he is holding on to is that she will respond to him if he texts her (a day or so later and with one or two words, usually negative ones) The only fairly pleasant conversation she has with him is once a month when he tells her that her phonebill is huge and she then manages to speak to him on the phone, and somehow persuades him to take no action.

It's a fucking joke. It really is. I feel so so so sad for him. I know there are days where I can forgive her and feel sorry for her for the difficult position she's in, and I know I should always feel that way given that it really isn;t her fault that she is how she is. But today I have no sympathy. She is a nasty manipulative little cow just like her mother and can go to hell for what she's put my family through. My DD is in therapy, my relationship is going down the toilet, and DH is depressed. Meanwhile she sits in her lovely big house with her "new" family and witters on and on about what a wonderful woman her mother is having "survived" such a cruel and unfair life yet still managing to raise two wonderful children. Never mind that she's actually had three children and had one adopted (which she conveniently forgets along with the fact that her new partner isn't DSD's real father), and that the third one is only a few months old so Christ knows what will become of it. I should imagine it will be the "scapegoat", poor little bugger.


NotaDisneyMum Tue 09-Oct-12 14:51:32


Your DSD is the way she is because her Dad is trying to buy her - I appreciate that is blunt, but its true.

I have said this to my DP in the past - and as you know, my DP did step up and parent her. DSD now has a lot more respect for him (after 18 months of no contact at all) than she has for her mum, who has taken the brunt of DSD's teen rebellion and has used (i quote) threats, bribery and yelling as a parenting strategy!

Until your DP can move past his need to be liked by his DD, he will continue to fail her sad

boredandrestless Tue 09-Oct-12 14:57:17

He should NOT pay the bill, or buy himself out of the contract.

He will have to pay for the rest of the monthly bills but not over that amount.
She will have the phone and can get a PAYG sim for it and her mum or other relatives can pay it - but your DH should not contribute to it as he will be paying off the contract. If he wants an "out" he can claim he couldn't pay the extra amount on the bill as it hadn't been budgetted for, so the network have cut it off, that it's out of his hands.

I'm assuming the contract can't be capped?!?! (Anyone considering getting a phone for a teen - tesco mobile do some very reasonable capped contract phone packages).

He needs to draw a line under the phone contract and cut it off.

She will not respect him any more for being a doormat she can use for a contract phone.

SecretNutellaFix Tue 09-Oct-12 15:03:55

DH should cap the bill.

Sod the tantrum from a spoiled brat. Or her mother.

She needs to have this behaviour knocked on the head. Your DH is making himself ill trying to hold onto a relationship that doesn't exist, that may never exist.

catsmother Tue 09-Oct-12 15:37:12

Everything everyone else said.

And I'm so very sorry your daughter's been adversely affected by this. All too often the effect upon other children in the family is either denied or ignored because the "first" children are considered the priority. Yet emotional blackmail, threats, lies and manipulation (from both unreasonable exes and their kids) can have a huge negative impact as you've found out to your cost. It makes me really angry (can you tell I have personal experience of this) and I'm afraid I've sometimes been at the point where I feel like screaming at DP "for FS, how about concentrating (for a change) all your efforts (instead of the crumbs) on the child you do actually "have", right here in front of you, instead of on the one(s) who are treating you with contempt and using the "pleasure" of their company as a stick to beat you with (i.e. threatening not to see you unless everything goes their way".

I've often felt - if you have to buy someone's company then what sort of relationship do you really have anyway ? Yes ... I can see the merit, of course I can, in attempting to stay in touch with a child when there's been contact problems, alienation etc., in the hope that one day, as they mature, they might wake up and smell the coffee so to speak .... but that shouldn't be reliant upon what they can get out of you, more a case of letters, calls, cards and so on which after all show a lot more thought and effort than throwing money at the problem. Imagine if this was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship ..... a woman who isn't really interested in the man at all, who can't be bothered to ever contact him for a chat, who never does anything nice for him, but he's besotted and desperate and in spite of most of his effort being flung in his face, still continues to send her presents - which she accepts - and then, when she asks for more, the bloke pays up without a murmur. Well .... the bloke's friends would think he was an idiot wouldn't they, and that if the only time she ever spoke to him was when she wanted something, they'd tell him that she was using him big time. Really, it's very similar here - and obviously quite tragic. Whatever he thinks, your DP does NOT have a relationship with his daughter. And if she walks off when he cancels the phone, that fact will be reinforced. Maybe, just maybe though, she will keep in touch when he cancels, and that would be very encouraging and something to build on. But without cancelling, he'll never know the truth of it.

boredandrestless Tue 09-Oct-12 15:47:59

Sorry my post wasnt very well worded.

He should NOT pay the bill by direct debit, and should then contact the provider and buy himself out of the contract early.

taxiforme Tue 09-Oct-12 16:09:08

Like others I can sympathise and empathise.

I don't think many of us have NOT been though this type of situation with DH/P and particularly their DDs. It could be a phone bill, in my case recently, it has been a ridiculously expensive birthday "treat" DH agreed to give my DSD2 without either of them considering the cost to others in the family or consulting me. I pulled the plug on it (its the good cop post) and am now the bad cop meany WSM. All because he could not bear not to give DSD2 what she wanted. Ridiculous.

My DH pays the mobile bill for his three DCs. This should be something that his ex pays TBH not only because of the massive amount of CM he pays her but that she controls their use of the phone at times and of course BOTH parents benefit from the very generous contracts.

Anyway back to you. How old is DSD and how much was the bill? Will paying it curtail other things? We had this only once with my feckless DSD2 who ran up a £150 bill one month- she was 13 at the time. The way we dealt with it was to say that she would have to miss out on £135 worth of treats and pocket money until it was paid back.

However, it sounds like there is nothing left that she has to give and this is the ultimate take. It appears that the ONLY relationship she has with your DH is the fecking phone. Cut it, tell her you are not going to pay it. Speak to the phone company. I doubt very much that they have not had this problem before and may welcome your action rather than end up with an unpaid bill.

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 17:36:18

Thanks guys. Dont know what I'd do without this board!!! Tricky thing is, he works for a phone provider so he gets a good deal on the contract. The one she has would be £42 a month and he gets it (and mine) for £21. Her comes in anywhere between upper £30s and £70. Mine never goes over £21 and I have a text addiction and MN on it use it for work a lot.

So he is tied in to the contract and they can't cap it. They can take away a service, ie. the internet. Which is what he did for one month that started all this horrible mess. But what he can't see is that the phone thing is irrelevant. She was waiting for him to do something that she could use as the reason to finally push him away. It could have been anything. Bu it has become symbolic for him and the whole scenario holds bad memories for him.

He needs to understand that the connection that he imagines exisits because of the phone is bullshit. But I don't particularly want to be the one to tell him. It's insane that the "relationship" relies on whether he pays her phone bill or not. He has used the girlfriend/ boyfriend analogy himself and said he would never ever let a woman treat him like that in a relationship scenario.

But this is so different anyway. It's not just about him being treated badly. It's about educating her as well which is his responsibility as her Dad.

I mentioned your situation more than once NADM and it was useful in getting him to see how his behaviour could manage the situation. But when I said your DH didn't see his DD for 18 months he was horrified!!! He can't see that even if he didn't see her for 18 years it would be better than this if he had a decent relationship with her at the end of it.

Personally I can't see her ever changing. She's a really nasty person right now.

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 17:45:46

Sorry I got so involved in my rant that i forgot to answer questions! She is 13, year 9. Paying the phone bill won't mean that we can't pay other things as such. We never have to worry about paying what we have to (I realise how fortunate that makes us) but we pay everything out at the start of the month and then adjust our other expensises accordingly. Sometimes there's just enough left for food and the odd lunch out, sometimes there's enough for quite a bit more. We're not hard up so I can't pretend that the extra £10 - £50 on her phone bill makes us go hungry or default on other things.

But to me it's a symbol of how shit the situation is that on top of the £500 he gives her Mum, and the £30 pocket money he gives her, he is just expected to handover the extra cash for a phone that she doesn't even use to stay in touch with him. Initially he bought her a phone (years ago) so she could contact him when she was at her Mum's and so her Mum could call her on it when she was here (the calls were constant) but it moved from a basic Nokia to an all singing all dancing Iphone4s (in the aftermath of her breaking/ losing three smartphones inthe space of a year) she now thinks it's her flamming birth right to have her Dad pay for a phone for her. When he asked her last time what she had to say about her lare phonebill, she said "well I think you should be giving me unlimited internet use anyway then there would be no problem"

I know the outcome of this problem lies in his hands, and he knows it too. He's not a stupid man... he's just heartbroken at the moment and can't see the wood for the trees.

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 18:12:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 09-Oct-12 18:28:43

when I said your DH didn't see his DD for 18 months he was horrified!!!

What about? His job as her Dad is to parent her - he's not doing that, so why does he want to maintain contact? Maintaining contact is something he wants; a desire a nice to have - there is no need for him to have that contact, and it is currently of no benefit to her and it is actually detrimental to your DSD to have a Dad who is failing to parent her - he is passively teaching her very poor life lessons.

Why does he think some women treat their boyfriends the way his DD is treating him? They have learnt that behaviour from other men in their life - primarily their Dads!

Your DP is putting his wants ahead of his DD's needs, and the needs of you and your DD.

Until recently, I was uncomfortable with the accusation from some that my DP chose me over his DD - but I now realise that he put his own desire to see his DD to one side in order to maintain his relationship with me. He would never have put his responsibility to parent her to one side for me - and has never done so.

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 20:15:34

Thanks NADM you are 100% right as always smile

Buuuuut.... Get this...! He has disconnected the phone! And with no input from me. He said she has taken the piss and if that's the only way he can have her love he doesn't want it!!!! I am gob smacked. And very sadsad. He is proper miserable.

catsmother Tue 09-Oct-12 20:47:28

Awww .... I'm sure he is very miserable. Quite obviously it's absolutely awful to be in the position he's in - where your own kids don't want to know you unless you have something they want. But he is doing the right thing - even though it hurts, and only by taking away the phone is he going to find out how she really views him. He might not get the answer he wants, and he'll have to effectively go through a grieving process if that turns out to be the case ... but, "at least" he'll know where he stands and can move on from that - rather than living in this kind of limbo where he's on edge, terrified of upsetting her, and not knowing how she really feels - but strongly suspecting it's not nice. Neither position is ideal - clearly - but it's healthier for him to take this stance, because he is actually also doing the right thing for his daughter. She might actually have to stop and think about her attitude, and about cause and effect, about taking but not giving etc. She might even clock on that she must have really hurt her dad for him to take this step - all good life lessons, which, if she takes them on board, will stand her in good stead as an adult. Let's hope all this does give her food for thought - and that that will eventually lead to a genuine reconcilliation.

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 20:49:58

Oh please god. I hope it goes some way to teaching her something about how you should treat those who care about you.

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 20:50:55

He also told her that he feels like nothing but a wallet to her and he wants more than that. She said she understands why he feels that way sad

NotaDisneyMum Tue 09-Oct-12 21:06:30

It certainly worked for DSD - it has taken 2 years and is still a work in progress but she has definitely learnt valuable lessons from DP despite not having contact with him in that time.

Yes, it was incredibly painful for him - his appeal to me when he finally made the decision to do the right thing was to help him stick to it when it got tough; he wanted me to be tough and stop him caving in sad. That was easier for me as my relationship with DSD was not as established as yours, and she also directly attacked me - which had an impact on my positive feelings towards her.

boredandrestless Tue 09-Oct-12 21:14:59

Wow am surprised but relieved he has cut the phone off.

I agree she will eventually learn from this but it may take some time.

Your poor DH sad. His current relationship with her is pretty non existent anyway and is unhealthy for both of them. He's done the right thing but it must be so hard for him.

Wow at £500 a month maintenance! shock I got £10 a week. envy If I were getting that amount I wouldn't be asking DS's dad for a bean extra (not that I do anyway).

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 21:27:31

Oh but bored it's not enough. Particularly now that she can't work (not that she ever did) because she's on maternity leave with her new partners baby - aparrently this is MY partner's problem hmm

I wish he'd ask me for that NADM. But yes it is different as I actually loved the girl. I spent every weekend and 2-3 week nights a week with her plus half of all school holidays for 4 years from 8 to 12 years old. I went through a lot with her from leaving work in the middle if an important meeting to take care of her when her first period started because it was on a "contact day" and Mum was too busy at home to drive 20 minutes, to bra shopping for her when her first bra was 2 sizes too small and Mum said bras are too expensive to keep replacing. I cared for her when she was beside herself, aged 9, after mum sent her horrendous post nose and boob job photos of her. all the time remaining completley positive about her Mum. I really thought I could do some good in that little girl's life and I was so wrong. But my sadness can only be a fraction of DH's sad

brdgrl Tue 09-Oct-12 23:43:59

I'm sorry.
But still very glad DP has taken the step to cut it off. Must not feel like progress, but what else could he do, really.

And maybe it will be the shock she needs.

madelineashton Wed 10-Oct-12 12:03:29

Maybe. She has taken it fairly well. I am hopingthat's notbecause she has decided it's better to go without the phone if it means that she can detach from him completely.

He hasn't heard from his ex since the holiday 6 or so weeks ago either. So she is clearly happy to just take the money each month and ignore the fact that he exists. It's what she's wanted all along.

I look forward (but also not, of course) to the day she is on the phone begging him to take their daughter when she goes off the rails and she can't cope. If that doesn't happen I will be incredibly shocked. And then of course it will all be his fault anyway. She's already staying out late and dating older boys and getting behind of her school work at 13... Hopefully she won't follow inher mother's footsteps and land herself pregant at 14. Although Mum would probably like that to complete the "mini-me" fixation. And oh the drama... what fun.

madelineashton Wed 10-Oct-12 12:07:06

And it can all be blamed on her being a child of divorce, like everything else is. Selfish Daddy leaving the poor helpless family all alone. Because of course there are no well-adjusted children of divorce out there whose parents just managed the seperation with the children at the front of their minds making sure everyone came out okay hmm

Cloverhoney Wed 10-Oct-12 13:16:18

God sorry to butt in but I find these threads so terrifying and depressing at times.

I'm putting in so much atm into raising my SC. It all gets taken for granted and people say to me "oh they'll thank you for it when they're older" but in my heart of hearts I know they won't. I'm so fed up with putting my own kids last because if I don't put my SC first BM will chuck all her toys of her pram and threaten DH with redution / cessation of contact. Then we'll have to spend a fortune on going to court, homelife will be stressful, DH will be miserable, our own kids will be affected etc, etc, etc.

We were going to get our SC's phones to keep in contact as BM says she'll only allow them to phone DH if he pays for the calls yet we know that if he does give her more money, she still won't let them call.

I'll let him know we need to get 'capped' contracts. If we get them at all....

FFS :-(

madelineashton Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:29

What a lovely lady she sounds clover Because we all know how expensive phone calls are these days hmm

So the message the kids get is that Mum places such little value on their relationship with their own father that she begrudges two pence being spent on a phone call to him? Nice.

What do these idiots hope to actually acheive. I mean, when their on their death beds thinking of what kind of parents they were and what kind of lives their children had, will they take comfort in "I'm so glad that I made it so difficult for the kids to call their dad when they were young, it was really worth the hassle. Showed him whose boss alright"


NotaDisneyMum Wed 10-Oct-12 15:45:17

I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that its not simply about control, though, because much of the behaviour seems to be unconscious on their part sad

DSD is subject to increasing pressure from her mum because she is choosing to see DP regularly - her mum gets shitty with her when she tells her that she's arranged to meet him, calls her repeatedly while she's with him, cuts her visits short by demanding DSD returns home for some reason or another and then accuses DSD of being rude and insolent when she tries to discuss things with her Mum (like getting a p/t job, going to college etc) - things that she has talked through with DP politely and maturely.

Yes, it's partly about control - but also, DSD mum has no frame of reference for DSD relationship with her Dad. DSD mum has treated DP in the same way as her own mum treated her Dad, with whom she had no relationship as a child and from whom she has been periodically estranged as an adult.
DSD mum genuinely doesn't understand what benefit there is to DSD keeping in touch with her Dad - especially now he has no income and therefore cannot financially support her. She (DSD mum) doesn't like DP, and she cannot understand how her DCs, who she has raised, could possibly have a different opinion to her own.

Far from being a conscious I'm going to prevent you from doing this because I don't want you to in DSD mums case, it is because in her mind, there is nothing in it for DSD, and DSD has no interest in her Dad, so why is she wasting her time seeing him?

mumsbum Wed 10-Oct-12 15:47:37

clover one of the mobile phone cos does friends and family nos you can call for free, I think its orange?? even if you are on PAYG.

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