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What's the answer? Should ds see his dad on his own?

(15 Posts)
EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 11:18:19

I've posted before about my reservations about ex's wife, who ds (9) has only recently met. I'd heard (from ex, as well as other sources) that she isnt very kind to his children, because she is jealous of them (he told me this, that she has some 'issues' and they don't visit him any more - they are much older, late teens/20s).
So I hesitated to let ds go to their house, instead of his dad coming here or taking him out alone. But I let him go and the first two times, he said he had a great time, she was really, really nice and he liked her a lot.
I was puzzled but great, it was working out. He only goes once a month for a few hours.

Anyway this last weekend he went for the third time. I was upset, as his dad has a drinking problem which has 'resurfaced' in the last few weeks, and I felt odd about letting ds go - but his dad was sober on the day so I sent him off happily.

He told me today that his dad's wife wasn't very nice to him this time. Nothing awful - but he said, he doesn't really like her any more, because she wasn't pleased to see him, ignored him, and told him off because he put his feet on the sofa (wearing socks) confused

In a way I'm relieved that she's being like I was told she is - I get nervous when people seem lovely, and you know they are not always like that, so I was almost waiting for him to be on the receiving end of the other side of her. And I'm glad that it wasn't too bad for ds. I don't know the details of what happened with the other kids.

I'd be happy for ds not to go any more, especially if she makes him uncomfortable. But he says, he can just ignore her - kudos to him for that. I told him it's up to him, and he has to do what she says but yes, don't take any notice if she isn't very friendly.

I just feel that it might be better if ds sees his father elsewhere as she clearly has done the 'meet and greet' bit and now she doesn't really want him around. Which is fine - he's not her child, I don't expect her to love him.

What would be the best option? Ds likes seeing his step-sisters who are also much older than him, and it's exciting for him and his dad is always very good with him - very positive and so on. But should I say no? Or maybe let him go there occasionally?

I just feel that he doesn't need a negative adult around him when he's seeing his father - who has only been in his life for about 2 years anyway.

Thanks for any input.

Kaluki Tue 06-Nov-12 11:32:40

If it wasn't for her back history I would say that you are being a bit unreasonable. I was overly nice to my stepchildren when DP and I met because I wanted to make a good impression and wanted them to like me, but now I'm no longer overjoyed to see them (!) and I too tell them off at times for lolling around with their feet everywhere as they are part of the family now and as such are treated the same as my own kids.
You can't really stop him going based on the above though and if he is prepared to give it a bit longer and ignore her if she isn't nice then good for him. It shows what a mature and sensible little boy he is.
Good idea to keep an eye on her though and as long as your ds knows he can come to you if he isn't happy with the situation that is all you can do.

EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 11:40:30

Thankyou for such a balanced reply. I guess those are my thoughts too - I don't want to jump the gun but it addens me to think she might make him feel unwelcome, and knowing she has done it to others before him just makes me sad, but no, it was nothing dreadful this time - just, I think he felt a bit like she didn't really want him there.

I totally get that you have to be fair and normal with your step children, I would be too - shout when required, no shoes on the furniture, etc etc. But socks?! If we had that rule my children would never enter the living room! smile
Maybe it is just the rules there.

His dad always wants him there though so it balances out a bit. I will do what you say and keep an eye.

Kaluki Tue 06-Nov-12 11:56:44

I agree about the socks but maybe she is houseproud and I guess she has every right to be. Maybe she isn't used to having young children about or doesn't know how to interact with them. We all have our funny ways though - I make everyone take their shoes off indoors, but at home the sdc don't have to. Its just a case of different houses different rules.
I know what you mean, I'd hate the thought of my dc being somewhere they aren't wanted but as you say his Dad obviously wants him there and that is the main thing.

EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 12:07:31

Yes, that's isn't a big deal. More the way she said it I think, and acted towards him in general like he was a nuisance? He seemed to take it Ok though.

I'll have a word with his dad and see if he'd be happy to alternate visits with coming here.

Thanks again Kaluki x

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 06-Nov-12 12:16:33

This reads more like Your issue that ds at the moment - if he is happy enough with dad and SS then let him go but ensure he let's you known if that changes.

Tbh I find your glossing over of exes alcohol issues concerning - at the end of the day that's far more worrying and you don't know if her mood was related to that. He was sober that day???

EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 12:19:51

Yes you're right, it's my issue atm - I don't want it to become his iyswim. I think I will just wait and watch, he is happy enough at present. I'm just being PFB smile

The alcohol thing is a concern and I had a thread about it last week, after he rang me drunk. I'm keeping tabs on that as well. As long as he is sober when he sees ds, that's the main thing - I'm not talking to him outside of those times though, if he can't be sober.

And he knows if he turns up drunk he'll be sent home - I did this last year when it happened. I'm quite hard line about it...he's functioning, mostly. I'm not comfortable with it but I'm trying to be reasonable.

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 06-Nov-12 12:26:06

Eds been there (re alcohol and ex), hard work!

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 06-Nov-12 12:27:15

Hit post - hard work but those issues were resolved a long long time ago and I am glad I persevered - DCs relationship with dad is excellent.

EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 12:28:08

smile thanks....yes it is. Once a month though may be manageable. I am wondering why I persuaded him to get to know ds after 6 years' absence now.

He tends to hide behind her - if she puts the kids off coming, it's not his fault if he never sees them? That's one thing I'm concerned's passive aggression, it makes him feel better if he has an excuse for non commitment.

Really complicated to figure out. But I won't be answering the phone to his rambling nonsense any more.

EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 12:28:36

Ah! well that is really good to hear. Maybe we will get there!

Kaluki Tue 06-Nov-12 12:53:17

Well that is classic alcoholic behaviour I'm afraid. Nothing is EVER their fault; they love to have a scapegoat.
Been there, got that TShirt sad
You sound like you are doing everything you can and your son sounds lovely.
Maybe the stepmum should be pitied for putting up with a 'functioning' alcoholic because that is a life I wouldn't wish on anyone tbh.

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 06-Nov-12 12:56:16


I have been wondering if the stepmum is carrying the can for the dad tbf.

EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 12:57:51

Yes, there is a lot to it that she doesn't even know about (serial infidelity for example). She is screwed up, his words not mine - I don't know her - and he's definitely screwed up, and they apparently 'understand each other's failings' which is why they stay together.

I don't know...all a bit desperate really, I'm glad that ds has a life away from it, even though I'm far from a perfect parent. Thanks for the vote of confidence, I'll keep on keeping on, and I hope he continues to tell me what happens when he is there as I know I can't trust what his dad says.

Thanks again x

EdsRedeemingQualities Tue 06-Nov-12 13:00:30

Yes I am sure that he set up the situation to be exactly this - he gets to pretend he's a great and sad father and misses them so much, while choosing her over the kids every single time.

But then because she is like that anyway, he can say 'nothing to do with's her...she's got issues' sad

It is transparent, I don't think he knows how obvious it is tbh. you both guessed right straight away! So I have to tiptoe between not overreacting (giving him his freedom pass from seeing ds, because she isn't being nice) and underreacting which just submits ds to unhappiness.

Blimey, it's never simple is it when drink is involved!

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