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Just wanting to vent really..and ask for ideas

(8 Posts)
Incrediblemeee Sun 16-Dec-12 14:37:59

Hi Dizzy, we have recently experienced the same, only we wanted to go to Ireland in the off season; my dss (12)has been asking to go with us for ages as I have family there and my ds and now dh come on a regular basis. It would have been perfect timing as dsd does not want to come to a small town in ireland and would be abroad as an exchange student, and we had actually been promised this date by dss mum a while ago. Now just before booking dss says in a strange voice he is going to see cousins at that time. But could we go in summer when he is with dad for 3 weeks anyway, meaning mum can't interfere with dad plans for those weeks. Unfortunately as cm is so high for both dss and dsd we can't afford all of us travelling at summer rates, so I already said no to that. I also feel dss should figure out by himself who is the controlling one without any one of us pointing out the obvious. Sad, I know, but I too am tired of power games and the only way to stop them is not to let ex know her actions bother us in any way. Her kids will grow up despite her... And maybe we will all go next year instead at the time it suits us?

ladydeedy Sun 16-Dec-12 12:57:15

Yeah I think you have to not give her the power to some extent. We ended up having to change the way we did things because of DH's ex. as a previous poster said, if he proposed anything to her this gave her ammunition to disagree and say no but she would never propose anything herself.
We also found that the more notice one gave the worse, as she realised that if you're giving plenty of notice then that means it is really important to you and it gives her loads of time to f*ck you about and will thrive on it. Example : DH's parents golden wedding anniversary do. It meant travel, two nights in hotel etc and we had months and months of notice. DH;s ex revelled in saying maybe, maybe not, I'll let you nearer the time. She would do the same with dates for holidays etc and if we wanted to book to go abroad she could not bring herself to agree to anything.
With this trip I would be tempted to play it down (where are you travelling from?) and say, we're going, but let us know by [date, say one week] if DSS is ok to come as we're going to book flights and will not make any changes after that date etc. And if she says no, he just doesnt go. And explain to him why.

PoppyPrincess Sun 16-Dec-12 11:27:23

I agree you should ask DSS if he wants to go, explain that if he doesn't that's fine but you could do with knowing so you can make final arrangements.
I think asking about whether he can use his phone is pretty typical of a 16 year old, I think at that age they just don't get excited about anything, or at least don't show that they are.
It does sound like the ex is trying to have a hold over your arrangements, it's the only power she's got over your DP and she'll enjoy it as much as she can for as long as she can.
If she doesn't confirm dates soon I'd be tempted to say ''we're going on this date and returning on this date, we'd love for DS to come''.
Although the trouble with that is its then giving her a license to say ''no'' it's difficult, I'm not sure what the best way of dealing with it is.

DizzySometimes Sun 16-Dec-12 05:51:04

Thanks mummytime.

Re: the activities and the dinner table - my husband takes his phones with him all the time (partly because of work), so he doesn't feel that having a phone all the time is a problem, whereas I think that you can actually live without them! I don't think it's fair to set that restriction on DSS, when I know DH won't comply either! I guess I'm not very confident, still, and don't feel that I can say DSS can't use his phone (especially as his dad will not be without his), but I do think it's getting out of hand. I have asked for no phone use at the table, and it gets taken notice of sometimes....but not always, and isn't really enforced. I do communicate with him via both fb and text, and know that his dad does too.

As for the trip, I will ask DH to ask him if he really wants to go. Phone access might be tricky, but we'd organise something to do with the internet. If he doesn't want to go, for whatever reason, that might be an explanation for why his mum is delaying giving DH an answer one way or the other.

Thanks again.

mummytime Sun 16-Dec-12 05:35:44

I think with a 16 year old you have to be blunt. So do something with them and say that for that hour or two there is to be no phone etc.
I would also see if you can also communicate with them via Facebook/text.

It is also perfectly reasonable to have no phones at the dinner table.

As for your plans get DP to ask him clearly if he wants to go, but do see if you can get him some phone/Internet access if he does.

DizzySometimes Sun 16-Dec-12 05:19:04

Thanks HKnight. I don't know what the reason for it is, but it's really disrespectful and annoying, to boot. I'll try not to let it bother me - there's nothing I can do about it, right?

The more I think about it, the less sure I am that DSS wants to go - the first question he asked about going to the UK was whether his phone would work there, and he seems to spend most of his time using his pc/ipod/phone when he's with us. I imagine this is standard teenage behaviour, to a degree, but when I see how much effort his dad puts in, trying to get him to interact, and the disinterested response that he gets, I almost can't bear to see it happen.

Thanks again for the reply.

HKnight Sat 15-Dec-12 21:48:44

Hi Dizzy, I sympathise I really do. I have experienced similar, my DH ex just has to have the last say on everything, and cannot let us just get on with contact time. Anything we try to arrange is such a massive drama, and she can never agree to something DH suggested. DH involved solicitor in the end, she's sort of agreed to better contact time, but won't commit in writing. DH started organising christmas in June, and well it's still not sorted and we are trying to get it right for 2013. Personally I think my DH ex is jealous that my DH moved on and re-married and that DSS actually wants to spend time here and has not been turned against his father despite some of the things she has not so subtley said to him.

My advice is to not get your hopes up, and if it happens it happens, that way huge disappointment can be avoided. It would be nice for my DSS to be here for some of Xmas but we have other family members to see and we can always skype him. It's not the same I know but what can we do?

DizzySometimes Sat 15-Dec-12 21:22:34

So..normally, I try to be pretty relaxed about stuff (with varied success) and detach, detach, detach, but I'm finding it tough and wanted to get it out.

We're currently planning a trip to the UK next year. We're all really looking forward to it, and my husband contacted his son's mum a month or more ago with possible dates, so we can discuss it with family members and get time booked off at work (family members are all around at Christmas, so this would be a good time). Fast forward to yesterday, and my stepson's mum says that the date is alright apart from 'one more thing that she has to check'. Now, this annoys me for a number of reasons, not least that my husband is really flexible when plans change at the last minute re: contact (2-3 days before we're due to have his son, as an example, and he replies as soon as he can). He's given her plenty of notice to check, and the fact she doesn't know suggests that these dates are fine, and I feel she's just using it as a way to control what we're able to do, and when. I know this is probably unfair, but it annoys the hell out of me. Does anyone else feel this way? Husband doesn't want to push it as he feels she may then decide DSS can't come at all (even though he'll be 16 and really wants to go) - apparently she has form for this. Unfortunately, this annoys me even more as I don't see why he should pussy foot around her about this - it just gets too much sometimes. I can just see this going on and on (probably because I remember how long it took the two of them to organise a passport for this trip).

Any ideas for how to detach? I think I would care less if it wasn't something we're all really looking forward to, and I feel that my husband's ex is controlling even this. I know that my husband has to organise this, and I can't do anything about it, but I just get so tired of feeling like I have no ability to organise things. Help!

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