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Need to vent about Disney dad!

(9 Posts)
TwoStepsBeyond Thu 25-Jul-13 21:38:23

Not sure what I expect from this thread, as it all seems quite petty, but I can't talk to DP about it, as he won't hear a word said 'against' his precious DDs so I am just stewing and hope to hear some of your tales of woe to make me feel better!

DP spends a lot of time with me and my DCs while his are with their DM and has recently taken it upon himself to have a quiet word with mine when they step out of line, not in a parental way as such, but just as another adult, telling them they need to step up and try not to make my life harder. They all take on board what he says and respect him.

When I have words with his, they get all tearful and go running to him, making it seem that I'm some kind of monster for daring to tell them not to do something (I usually include my DCs in the 'telling off' for equality and fairness.) He says he knows I wouldn't be mean to them, but by their reactions he'd have to be a saint not to think badly of me!

I try really hard to teach my DC some boundaries, not to interrupt, not to whine or you don't get what you're whining for, that money doesn't grow on trees etc. He also expects this level of behaviour from my DCs but he gives his everything they ask for, and plenty that they don't, even after saying no, he will give in and doesn't see anything wrong with that. He literally can't say no to them, to the point where I question plans because he has told them something different to me, just to avoid saying no to them, only to have to tell them something different later.

I find I'm losing respect for him as a parent and as a man, each time he indulges them. It makes me feel like I'm too hard on my DCs, I end up feeling guilty, doubting my own values and motives and I resent spending time all together as I see the imbalance and I end up feeling like shit, but he seems to think its all rosy. He does pay for lots of stuff for my DC and enjoys being with us all, so it's not all one-sided, but I just find it so frustrating that I'm trying to teach mine to grow up and take responsibility while he is backing me up and then babying his own.

Sorry, rant over and I can't even give specifics because it would be too identifying in RL (I'm THAT sure that nobody else with kids of the same age would consider treating them the same way!)

Please just tell me I'm not alone and give me examples of things that will make me think "it could be worse!"

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 26-Jul-13 10:25:39

No, just me then?!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Fri 26-Jul-13 10:28:06

I know from other threads that you're certainly not alone - but I think you are selling yourself short and deserve far better.

You say you are losing respect for your DH because of his behaviour; does he know that? Would he consider relationship counselling? How much value does he place on your partnership?

My DP was a DisneyDad - I gave him a choice; learn to parent and have me in your life, or continue to wear Mickey Mouse ears and I won't stick around.

We did parenting workshops together, had a family support worker help us and together we developed as parents and a couple.

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 26-Jul-13 10:46:46

Thanks China. From the odd discussion I've tried to have a talk about it, he is not open to change hmm and just turns it around to how my kids behave and that he doesn't think we parent them so differently. I know I could never live with him because of the differences in the way our DC are expected to behave, but he's happy with that as he thinks it wouldn't be fair on his DCs if he lived with us full time and they were only there half the time.

He feels bad that he doesn't see them every day (he has them 50/50 though) so he thinks there's nothing wrong with wanting them to have everything they want when he's with them. He and ex both treat the 5 yo like a baby and that makes the older one want to be babied too, as she doesn't get half as much attention as he sister.

I've tried to help my DC to be independent and grown up from an early age, dressing themselves, getting their own drinks, but knowing that they have to ask for snacks etc. He also seems to expect a lot from my 6 yo, getting impatient with her if she's upset, whereas his get cuddles and attention for crying and being unable to do things for themselves.

witchofmiddx Fri 26-Jul-13 19:23:11

This is one of the most challenging aspects of my relationship and one I find irritating beyond measure. I wish I had wise words for you. The fact that your dp says he does not want to live with you as that would be unfair to his children is a red flag in itself to me, as he does not even begin to see you as one family, he is only, purely, thinking of his own dcs. My dh often tells my dcs off whereas he would not dare his own. I think I have become super-sensitive to it now, even getting upset when he shows more affection to his own (which is only natural I suppose).

I strongly advise you not to even think about taking the relationship to the next level as without resolving it, it would be in your face even more.

UC Mon 29-Jul-13 09:24:44

Twosteps, this sentence

"*I know I could never live with him because of the differences in the way our DC are expected to behave, but he's happy with that as he thinks it wouldn't be fair on his DCs if he lived with us full time and they were only there half the time*"

sums your problem up for me. Big red flag. You are way down in his priorities.

If he (and his ex?) both "see nothing wrong with wanting them to have everything when he's with them", I can only imagine how that's going to turn out.

Agree with Witchofmiddx - I don't see how this relationship could move forward on this footing - unless you are happy to live alone until both sets of children leave home. But even then, he may have a reason not to.

I'd be having a serious talk with DP if he behaved this way. To be honest, I'd probably be getting out of the relationship.

TwoStepsBeyond Mon 29-Jul-13 09:40:50

It does seem sad to me that our relationship is such a big part of both of our lives, but his kids' opinions still trump mine. I suppose at the moment he feels no need to live together, as we spend 4 nights a week together at my house, where he has the privilege of feeling very at home whilst also being a guest (so not expected to pull his weight domestically! He helps, but nothing like the level that a proper live-in partner would be expected to.) He has the best of both worlds, and somewhere to escape to if either of us need a break (not necessarily a bad thing).

To be fair, I don't mind the situation staying as it is, its more his reasoning behind it that bothers me - to know that we will not get married or live together for at least 10-12 years feels like a real limitation, despite being happy to have our own space currently.

We did have it out at the weekend and nearly split up over it, both saying some things that probably got out of hand, but I feel like at least it has cleared the air a bit - I noticed him being a bit firmer with his youngest this weekend, I'm sure he wouldn't admit to having changed the way he deals with her, but to me it was totally different, less tolerant of her whining and more tears on her part, which is not ideal, but perhaps will show him why my DD seems to cry a lot, because she doesn't always get her own way!

I know that if our relationship ends, this will be the cause, which is a real shame because in every other way we are so well matched and when the DCs aren't involved we are perfect together.

UC Mon 29-Jul-13 11:08:13

Sounds like he has it rather good. Too good to change it.

It's all down to what you can accept and live with OP. It can work if you don't live together, I know a few couples for whom it works very well. But only you know if it will work for you. Good luck.

TwoStepsBeyond Mon 29-Jul-13 20:15:01

Thanks UC. I can see it working like this pretty well for the foreseeable future, I think we both have a good balance, plenty of time together and some time with our own DCs, its just that the time with all of us together put a huge pressure on us all.

I think as time goes on we will see how 'comfortable' he gets - he certainly does appreciate how good he has it and since things have sunk in a bit he has said he will do what it takes to help me to be happy with things.

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