This isn't going to work is it?(22 Posts)
Put your foot down. She can not have a say what goes on in your house. Time with dad alone can be as dimple as bath time or bed time story it does not need to be the whole time. You live there you are not a lodger that needs to be shunted out. Yout dp needs to stand up for you as a family.
Jan45 - they are children responding to the situation created by their parents - that is disney dad and angry mum.
It is not their fault - the adults need to grow up, not the children
Catsmother is spot on.
I'd be tempted to show your DP her post, OP.
Totally agree this will eat away at you, at your relationship with your partner, at your kids' relationship with their step siblings, at your relationship with your kids too - they must resent this at times too, and wonder why you aren't helping them out of it.
It's so difficult, but someone has to step up to the plate.
Occasionally in moments of frustration I have found it useful to state loudly and clearly, 'I live here. This is my home.' Which means that my emotional well-being and needs and values have to be taken into account. Yes, I'll show some flexibility when step-children are around, and I will be very aware of what they are bringing into the situation. But I can't/won't deny myself or cease to exist.
You can't have a "blended" family when some of that family are given preferential treatment and/or have a disproportionate say in what goes on. It's totally unfair, and, as Highjinx says, the other children in the family, as well as yourself will feel increasingly resentful as time goes on.
The bloody ex sounds like a spiteful, bitter bitch TBH who clearly sees her children as being more important than the others in the family. However, she can be as vile as she likes - it doesn't really matter so long as she's handled appropriately - which your DP's completely failing to do. I do understand the fear of losing contact thing but if he has any conscience at all regarding the family as a whole he needs to call her bluff and do what's right for everyone. He may think he's doing what's "best" for his kids but actually he's teaching them how to be spoilt demanding brats by giving in to what they demand and ignoring their rudeness. How the hell can he justify doing that - not to mention spending money you don't have on the kids who shout the loudest ? Presumably, the rest of the family go without - either essentials or treats - in order to fund this ? Again, how can he live with himself ? ....... I actually think what he's doing is very very selfish because HE doesn't want to miss out, because HE doesn't want the backlash from the ex or his kids. He wants a quiet life for himself and sod everyone else.
What he should be doing of course is correcting his kids about their attitude. 7 years is a serious, long relationship and should be respected as such. His kids don't get to opt out or effectively exclude the rest of you. There's no way you or your kids should leave or hide away each time they come - this again reinforces that they're more "important". He certainly shouldn't be spending money you can't afford - and what he does spend should be distributed fairly. If there isn't enough for particular "fun" things then tough - there are plenty of fun things that are free or don't have to cost the earth. Why are they somehow more entitled to have (expensive) fun than your children ?
So yes, the ex will kick off if he stands up to her and it may not be pleasant, but sometimes doing the right thing isn't always easy. He does of course have the option to go to court for contact and self-rep the minute she withdraws contact. There must be a long record of her demands, and I doubt a court would be particularly impressed with a mother who only allows contact when it's arranged exactly as she demands - or else. Sure, it'd be nice for him to spend 1 to 1 time with them every so often but this should be when he chooses, not when she dictates - and he should also ensure that similar 1 to 1 time is spent with his other kids. Definitely not this them and us thing - apart from anything it's also preventing a healthy sibling relationship to be established.
And if he won't address this - frankly, this fall in line comment is bloody insulting and pathetic - how exactly ? ..... well, I'd be thinking very seriously about your future with him. How dare he treat your kids as 2nd class citizens and how dare he condone you skulking about in your own home as if you'd done something wrong ? I might feel I'd be better off without all that stress and insult, and feel relieved I didn't have to encounter his spoilt kids at all.
I would be concerned about the message that all the children involved are getting here about what is acceptable treatment of others. Your DSD's should not think they can arrive somewhere and dictate how everything is going to be while they are there.
Also your resentment of the situation will only increase as your DH's ex continues to make you and your children feel unwelcome in your/their own home. Your DH has to find a way to resolve this.
How old are the DSD's? How would they react if their mother stopped them seeing their father.
TBH from her viewpoint I think she doesn't like the idea of the girls belonging an extended family, that and the fact that it grates on her that DP has found happiness elsewhere.
I think I'm going to have to seriously lay it on the line with him though. I'm sick of walking on eggshells with situations involving DSDs. I wish he could see the bigger picture. He's so focused of trying not too upset her too much in fear of losing the girls that he can't see he's segregating DD, DS, and I (and my two other Ds's).
At the minute it feels like a three way relationship - DP, I and Ex. She's obviously always going to have a place in his life somewhere but does she have to be at the centre of everything.
It seems rather futile to me; I'm scared to parent my DC's in case I lose the opportunity to parent them in the future.
Surely, if a parent absolves themselves of the responsibility to actually parent their DC's, then there is absolutely no benefit to the DC's of contact between parent and child?
I don't think the ex will be 'happy' until you have moved out and ruined whatever happiness you had together. Is she single? Not that that means much, my DH ex still can't stop interfering and she's re-married.
DH has however stood up to her in recent months, but unfortunately she has now started on the path of 'no contact' once they relocate in a month's time. Oh accept of course for 2 weeks in summer when she wants to go on holiday with her husband. Apparently DH can have DSS then if he wants him.
DP seems afraid to say too much to the ex in case she stops access
And this seems to be the crux of the matter in so many step families. The ex gets away with murder because the father is terrified of losing access. I wonder though, just how many bitter women would back down if the man called their bluff ? However most men are too scared to risk this. I really feel for you, OP.
That's the thing, I'd quite happily like to enforce some ground rules. Manners being the first. DP's issue is he knows ex will withhold contact if the girls go back and tell mum that dad set this or I set rules. Her response to me setting rules would be that they don't have abide to any rules I set as I don't have a right to and don't need to be listened to as I am not their family. It's how she works. Actually I know if DP and I both set ground rules ex will encourage the girls to actively go against them just to cause problems.
It is ridiculous, and your DP's disney approach will not help at all. The DSCs and their mum are totally in control of what happens at your house. This isn't fair or right. It certainly isn't fair that your two boys have to go and hide away from the tense situation. I don't actually think it is fair on the DSCs either - they are being given too much control for children, adn they probably don't really realise the damage that is being done.
Looking at this harshly, I'd be tempted to say what another poster on another thread I've just been reading has said - "you are not welcome here with that attitude". Not that the child is not welcome, but the attitude is not welcome. But that could blow up in your face, and visits might stop - sounds as if mum would allow that in your situation? I am guessing your DP wouldn't take that line.
I think you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and whatever you do, you can't win. Unless your DP and you discuss, agree some rules, enforce them (both of you) and stand up to your DP's ex's control over what happens in your house.
I don't envy you
I seriously wonder what is wrong with these ex women, you always hear about the men being bashed but honestly where does their common sense go and they seem to be able to get away with practically murder! To hell with mum said this and mum said that, when this child is in your home, is a different set of rules - your ones and if she doesn't like it then tough. These kids seem to rule the bloody roost and they are kids telling us what we've to do!!! Aaaargh, I'm frustrated now haha.
I agree Jan, totally frustrating. I think it's part of the reason I could relate to NADM's thread. Their mum has such an influence on them and feeds them so much bull about DP no longer loving them because of our children. It's ridiculous.
Welcome to the frustrating world of step parenting haha. Sorry, that's so annoying and I actually don't agree with you leaving YOUR home for this child, new arrangements need to be made that suit everyone, and that includes you, this is your home, don't let her or her mum dictate when you can be there or not.
UC, if I'm honest he is very Disney with the girls and has admitted himself that maybe he does it through guilt. He seems afraid to say too much to the ex in case she stops access.
Their mum has always been very vocal about what DP does with them on his time. I think a lot of the girls feelings are generated from her. When they're here I often hear the 'well mum says this or mum says you can't do this, or mum says we are doing this with you this weekend. On the weekends DP has them she has to phone each night too to say goodnight and find out what exactly they have been up to on that specific day.
My two boys see their dad EOW but on the weekends they are home they tend to hibernate upstairs themselves to take themselves away from tense situations which I know isn't fair on them either.
I remember your post on NADM's thread.
How does your DP think it will all fall into line eventually? If you go away for the weekend whenever your DSCs come to your house, you're totally giving into the ex's demands, and things will never fall into line surely? Sounds like there is lots of jealousy on your DSCs' part.
How is your DP with his DCs? Is he Disney dad, or does he set boundaries? The way they spoke to you when you came home is unacceptable IMO, and should be tackled. Easier said than done I know. He sounds like he totally copped out by saying "it was your choice" to go away or not.
How much do you think is the DSC's actual opinion, and how much is it fed by their mum? It sounds as though they have been encouraged perhaps to develop these feelings.
I think if I was your DP, I'd be sitting down with my kids, and telling them that you are there, you are staying there, and they need to accept that you, DD and DS are part of the family.
How do your other DSs fit in? Do you ever have them as well as the DSCs? It must be a nightmare to work out logistically.
Thanks Dizzy, I agree they need time with just dad. But I feel pushed out of my home because of how ex dictates it. I mean she has nicknamed my ds 'runt.' Is that really necessary?
We've been together 7 years. Things with the ex have always been difficult but even more so since DS has arrived. I don't think things can get much worse.
You all need to sit down and sort something out properly. How old are all the kids? A balance is necessary, time just with their Dad and time with you all. And the ex should really have no say on what happens during the time the kids are at yours, it's not up to them. Good luck.
Things at home aren't too good at the moment. I think I posted in NADM's deleted thread about DP's ex insisting that DP's time with his two DD are just the three of them. She doesn't want our two children (DD and DS) included despite being siblings and certainly doesn't want me included either.
So I suggested to DP maybe if I took our two kids and myself off to stay at my mum's on one of the nights he has them then it would be just the three of them as my 2 ds from a previous go and stay with their dad EOW and I'd also get to spend time with my mum.
DP said it was my choice. So Friday that is what I did. I came back on sat and DSD1 said: 'What are you doing back this is my time with dad!'
To cut the long story short she cried the place down because we were back, shouting at DP that when DD, DS and I are there he doesn't love them as much because mum says.
I spent most of Saturday holed upstairs out of the way.
I'm at the end of my tether with it all. Ex insists that DP take them out to do fun things all weekend too minus us. It has become a huge financial strain on us as they constantly expect to be doing something.
I've tried broaching it with DP but he keeps insisting it'll all fall in-line eventually and ex is going to have to accept we're also part of his life.
I don't see it somehow. I feel so deflated.
Join the discussion
Please login first.