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At a loss with dh, whatever next?

(12 Posts)
Celticcat Mon 15-Apr-13 07:50:12

Hi all, this may be a tad long...
Thanks for all support in the past. Going through a tricky phase with dh!
Dsc and ds (teens and preteen) are fine, dss settling nicely into his 50:50 routine (weve been together nearly 4 yrs), no worries there atm.

Dh and I have been going to couple counseling for a while, it just seems the more problems we're trying to solve the more pop up.
I was happy to have dss move in as we now seem to have a fairer system, my ds lives with us, sees his dad eow. The boys get on great.

Typical jaw dropper for me: before shopping, we engaged the kids to suggest evening meals we all enjoy, I had cooked different things for ds and myself as lp, same as dh. Then dh gets in a strop with my ds for not liking all the meals he cooks, which dss enjoys. Ds then suggests a meal he likes but then dss says he hates that, but that's not a problem apparently.
And today at breakfast with dss dh asks him if we are stocking all the food he likes? Would he care for something else maybe???
I don't mind indulging kids, mine was always a fussy eater so I'm used to going that bit further to make them happy.
What I don't get is the mounting snarky behaviour towards my ds.

Dh has taught dss to be a tattletale (just like himself, blush )this usually involves incriminating ds for incredibly mild infringements I would not blink at. Thankfully this has not impaired the boys friendship.
I realized early on I would be the one to parent ds, excusing dh lack of real empathy because he could not parent his kids as much as he wanted.
Fair enough, I disengage, or try to, when his kids need discipline (but as they are his kids they are perfect anyway and so don't need this..).

I know this reads as pretty paltry stuff, but tension is mounting.
Dss wants his own room now as he sleeps in a kind of anteroom to ds bedroom, with a secluded corner for bed etc. which is bigger than ds room and used to be the playroom. Again, fair enough. He wants the room we use as guest room and which his sister (16) uses when visiting (I choose this word because she has issues, will never move in here and is away as an exchange student atm). Dh totally against this as may insult dsd, the favored child of both parents and burdened with the entitlement that comes with it.
I'm also happy to build an extension, but dh initial plan shows a really nice room for dss and an awkward setup for ds. It's to that we will be using this, it's his frame of mind that I baulk at!
I'm speechless.
It seems to me the more counseling shows he needs to modify his selfish behaviour, the more he acts out against ds. Unconsciously perhaps. Or, how much more am I going to complain about before its obvious I'm the bitch and he's the pussywhipped victim of his own good nature?
I have no family anymore to talk to, friends already suggested counseling, which we are doing. Thanks for reading!

Celticcat Mon 15-Apr-13 07:53:24

Sorry, spelling: its not that we will be using this....

Fairy130389 Mon 15-Apr-13 21:35:56

I know this is not the view of everyone but I feel that you should both parent both kids. would you stand for that crap if they were both yours? you need to be on the same page with things... otherwise these issues are going to get you. Perhaps you could all sit down and consider plans for extension together? that way nobody is being sidelined with a 'difficult' bedroom... but I think you need to be clear to DH that both boys are equal and will be treated at such. Also, call me a wicked step mum but 'are we well stocked enough??!!!!' you are not a bloody hotel!

(Sorry if I am projecting - have just had barny with DH so probs not feeling very forgiving!!!)

Kaluki Mon 15-Apr-13 22:55:38

I agree Fairy.
How would he feel if you treated his dc like that?
And why keep a room free for DSD who won't ever stay?
Sounds like you need to put your foot down here!

brdgrl Mon 15-Apr-13 22:55:52

Sorry, I think I am not clear on what the living arrangements are - you have one DS who lives with you full-time and one DSS who lives with you 50%? Is there another SC too? Can I ask ages, too?

(sorry, just trying to get a picture of it all, especially as regards bedroom distribution.)

What is the counselor like? Is it helping?

brdgrl Mon 15-Apr-13 22:56:39

Sorry, I know there is DSD too, but I mean is there another living with you?

Celticcat Tue 16-Apr-13 07:29:39

Hi, thanks for replies.
Yes, my ds, 15, lives with us full time.
My dss, 12, has come to live 50:50.
My dsd, 16, only visits according to rota, eow and Tuesday overnight. She is living abroad atm, with gps.
The boys live upstairs in converted attic, literally, as have their pcs there, but ds has small bedroom with door at end of this long space.
Dss has been fine up to now in a cornered off part of bigger "playroom", but approaching 13 we fully appreciate his need for privacy at night.
Dsd uses larger guest room, downstairs. Needless to say, we don't have "guests" staying overnight, only mil and fil for a fortnight once a year as they live on another continent, and then dsd uses couch in "playroom."
The underlying problem is that dss is well aware his sister gets preferential treatment, dh adores her and refuses to parent her in any way. This is backfiring massively atm but that's another story...
Dss asked immediately he moved in for her room, quite fairly I thought, because its empty!! It will continue to be empty for fairly long stretches in the future too, as dsd has told her bro when he talked to her about it (he stayed with her and GPS briefly) she has no intention whatsoever of moving in with us too. (Her disdain of us is physically measurable!)
Have also asked ds if he'd let dsc share upstairs and move downstairs as he's growing by the foot atm and attic room may prove too low soon! But he loves his tiny room, more reason for me to feel put out at dh plans to ruin it!
This is going to be one long headache... wine

Brdgrl, If you've seen the film Ruby Sparks, I'm Ruby, dh is Calvin. Counselor is great, btw, I feel heard and understood. Dh is obviously mystified...
Fairy, gave dh taste of own medicine and asked him to bring home strawberries for dessert, ds favorite! Of course he shared with dss, but dh can't quite get his head around others receiving special treatment. More wine

Kaluki Tue 16-Apr-13 12:48:37

The obvious solution here is for DSS to move into DSD's room.
Your DH is going to have to agree to this - any other way is ridiculous!
Why does all common sense fly out the window when SC are involved????

Petal02 Tue 16-Apr-13 14:34:30

Why does all common sense fly out of the window when SC are involved?

Why indeed – this situation would never arise in a ‘together’ family.

step2two Tue 16-Apr-13 14:38:19

i agree all common sense does go out the window, ss needs to be in that room and dh needs to accept that if his daughter isnt staying there is no point keeping her room. When i left my dads house at 14 due to not getting on with his partner he tried to keep my room as it was and i made it plain that i was not coming back. it was unfair on my stepbrothers who shared and in the end it was me that urged him to stop keeping my room because there was no need. it will be the same in this house if sd decides she doesnt not want to go between the two houses then the 2 other dc will get their own room i would not keep a room empty

brdgrl Tue 16-Apr-13 14:55:43

Your DS should stay in the room he has now - he is eldest and a teenager, and if he is happy in his attic space, he should be allowed to stay there but with the added bonus of not having the younger boy living just outside his bedroom door (as it sounds here, that anteroom should be a shared space for the kids but not a bedroom - would it work as a sleeping spot for DSD in the hypothetical that she returns for mere overnights some day?

Or - better maybe - since an extension is already under discussion, how about a small extension which can serve as a guest room - and DSD goes there if she comes to stay; whether she stays for a short time or a longer one. Of course, if the extension is lovely and DS wanted that instead, I think he should have that.

It seems to me that whatever rooms are available, the first choice goes to DS. Second choice to DSS. DSD who is there least often gets third choice.

Our three (18 year-old DSD, 15 year-old DSS, and 3 year-old DD) live here full-time. DSD got first choice on the grounds of being eldest. DD is in a tiny box room on grounds of being youngest.

Next year, though, DSD is choosing to live at home and do a foundation year. DSS is being offered the option to swap rooms with her, as he was promised when we moved in that he could have first choice when DSD left school (although I think he will want to just stay where he is as his room has been done up and is quite nice for him). When DSD goes away to uni the following year, she will lose her big room and have just the box room to stay in when she comes home, as the kids who live here all the time will have the more suitable rooms. (I know it is not the same situation, and DSD will be an adult while your DSD is still a child - but the point remains that it is common convention to give oldest child at home first choice, and it is just common sense to use rooms for people who are actually living in them.)

Celticcat Tue 16-Apr-13 15:43:26

Thank you so much everyone, I'm of course especially delighted as your comments totally reflect my own thinking!
Yes, the anteroom was always meant to be shared, the small bedroom was originally bedroom for both boys as they were 11 and 9 when we moved in together. But as dss was so understanding and obliging when ds asked for more privacy at 12, I feel utterly compelled to honour his wish now that he has turned 12 ( and I'm very fond of the little chap).
I'm actually appalled at dh and the lengths he will go to for dsd (covert emotional incest was an issue I thought had been dealt with a year ago...) while openly disregarding dss (although he once told me he had only wanted the one child, exw had insisted on a second child).
The talk of extension may remain talk as we've got an estimate (!?!?).
On the plus side, dsd told her bro he was welcome to her room, apart from her dislike of dh and me (no obvious cause, except perhaps solidarity with mum?), she is a very reasonable and intelligent girl.
Wish I could say the same of dh.
Will definitely bring this up at next counseling session if its not resolved in the next fortnight. I think this may be more symbolic than anything else.

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