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Disney dh wants to go home to Disneyland

(27 Posts)
witchofmiddx Tue 10-Sep-13 11:38:53

I guess I just need to vent. Dsd 14 lives other side of country with her mother. Two weeks ago, Dh texted her to ask her if she would come & stay over Oct half term, as she is at boarding school so he only gets to see her in holidays. The reply? "Only if you take me & a friend to Disneyland". Dh was never going to show me that reply, but it came in as I was passing him his phone.

Now, we have 5 teenagers between us. We have always said that WE decide holidays, and the children don't dictate. Only last year my dd made a request and dh's answer was "I am not going to be told where I have to go". Fair enough!!

You can imagine what comes next.. Dh has now told me that HE really wants to go to Disney. He is desperate, clutching at straws, even willing to go to Florida at Xmas if that's what it takes.

Part of me feels sorry for him as if I say no he won't see her, a other part of me is furious. What do I do?

witchofmiddx Tue 10-Sep-13 11:47:27

Sorry typo another part

fackinell Tue 10-Sep-13 12:01:28

I'd simply say 'oh fantastic, all the kids are getting a choice now. I shall just go grab my DCs and the laptop and let them choose where we are going for summer.'

Why do so many men have their heads up their arses when it comes to parenting?

Kaluki Tue 10-Sep-13 12:05:20

I caught DP once buying a PS game 'for himself' (he wouldn't have a clue what to do with it) then he 'let' DSS play with it.
Fact was DSS had spent all his pocket money and wanted the game so DP bought it.
He often pretends something is his idea when in fact one of his kids has asked to do something.
A holiday to Disney is rather extreme and he will be setting himself up for more and more demands every time he wants to see his DD

sanityseeker75 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:09:01

I think no way!

If he gives into this then what is next? "I will come see you if you buy me a car, house, private jet?"

I hate the mentality of "I will grant you with my presence if you pay me to".

Feel sorry for him yes - that he has such an entitled little madam! But in no way enable this behaviour.

3birthdaybunnies Tue 10-Sep-13 12:10:16

I would have some sympathy with a father- daughter trip to Eurodisney, but basically sounds as if your dsd is wanting a walking wallet to finance her and her friend's jaunt. What would her mother say - is she trying to play them off against each other?

CaptainSweatPants Tue 10-Sep-13 12:12:27

It's up to him I guess
Can you afford to all go ?

fackinell Tue 10-Sep-13 12:21:23

Oh that's an idea, Captain!! grin
If you can afford to then say no to the friend but yes to a family trip and thank her for being a clever girl and suggesting it!!

theredhen Tue 10-Sep-13 12:28:15

Captain, so was it also up to op to decide if they went on the trip her dd suggested even if they couldn't afford it or no one else wanted to know?

Why is it up to op dh and her dd only to decide where they go in holiday when there are other people involved too?!

theredhen Tue 10-Sep-13 12:47:26

Not quite the same but dss did something similar about a day out before he completely disowned dp and refused to have contact.

Dss got his own way. Within 6 weeks he had cut all contact.

purpleroses Tue 10-Sep-13 13:47:14

Can he not see that he shouldn't be blackmailed? shock

Is he able to agree things with her mum so that she doesn't get any say in the matter? 14's a bit young to be deciding where you stay independently, especially if, say, her mum was going to be away or working long hours for some of the holidays.

If she backs down and apologises for appearing to be trying to blackmail him, I'd maybe suggest that the friend could come and stay with her and/or a day trip to Alton Towers or similar (wherever is near to you)

witchofmiddx Tue 10-Sep-13 13:57:31

Kaluki, dh has done EXACTLY the same. He bought himself a small car even tho he has one, and 'let' dss 'use' it when he passed his test, but wouldn't admit to buying him a car!!

His children are pay-per-view. He just can't say no. I have warned him that any future demands are discussed between us or else. The problem is all the income is dh's which although it shouldn't, to be honest makes me feel at a disadvantage.

Captain, dh would take us all but my point is why is she alone to choose where we go? And yes, they are fully encouraged by their mother, but don't need encouragement, to see dh as a walking wallet. We only got married 2 years ago, and I think he is finding it hard to have to justify his absurd spending on his children.

witchofmiddx Tue 10-Sep-13 14:25:15

Purple I think he's past caring what's right/wrong, and would rather buy their love than not see them at all. Your suggestion seems fair and reasonable, but dh would never dare to challenge her, and the word 'blackmail' would never be uttered, so no compromise there.

Of course what is really upsetting me is that my children genuinely love dh, wouldn't dream of asking for anything in return, but he ALWAYS puts his own way above mine. Perhaps that is normal, but it just makes me sad, especially as my children's dad chooses to play no part in their lives whatsoever

catsmother Tue 10-Sep-13 14:34:56

F****g hell Witch - I'm gobsmacked - well, I'm not really but I knew what was coming before I got to the end of your 1st post.

Stupid stupid man and vile brat SD (so burn me at the stake for saying so) .... 14 is well old enough NOT to blackmail her dad. This stupid pay per view thing - is this what's going to happen forever more ? What would he do if he loses his job, has an accident and/or some other calamity ensues which means his income is drastically reduced ? What does he think would happen then ?

And obviously a child shouldn't be dictating where you go on holiday. Fuck any notion of "it's up to him" .... NO, no it's not, it should be up to him AND Witch to make a joint decision about large expenditure and trips away. What he spends on this holiday may be something he can afford now but unless he's a multi millionaire, it must surely have some impact somehow on the family budget ?

And excuse me, what about his wife ? ..... is she invited on this jolly (assuming she wants to go) and what about the other children in the family ? Do they get to come too (if they want) or is there any nod to the fact that if one child gets treated like this they all should ?!

Honestly - even if I desparately wanted to go to Disney (which I don't but YKWIM) I still wouldn't want to go under these circumstances. I would however insist that he only goes if I also had the opportunity to spend a similar sum on me and my children - ooooh, and maybe their friends too. This isn't "just" about letting a spoilt manipulative little girl run the show but it's also about disrespect (to you), divisiveness and favouritism. It's bloody disgusting and however much I sympathise with pay per view kids (been through the whole obstructed/no contact thing) bribery is NOT the way to go. He's making a rod not only for his own back but also for the whole family ..... the other kids don't deserve to be treated like 2nd class children for a start and as they get older and as this continues, I'd be amazed if they don't become extremely hurt and resentful (if they don't already).

Can you imagine the cost of Florida Xmas BTW ? ..... and what about the family Christmas per se, or will that be ditched ?

witchofmiddx Tue 10-Sep-13 16:03:48

I was hoping for some of your advice catsmother! He is self employed but you are so right, you never know what life has in store. Furthermore, we need to move house shortly which for me is a priority, and have just taken all grandparents on summer holiday.. Enough!

He is quite happy for me & mine to go too, as long as everyone (ie dsd) is kept happy. Why do I need Disney I have the whole cast at home.

You are right in all you say, but I honestly do not know how to handle his desperation to make them happy. One of them already had no contact for a year with him due to not getting his way, and he's not risking it again. It's not even a guilt thing as ex had affair and left. Sorry to sound gloomy but no wonder so many second marriages fail.

catsmother Tue 10-Sep-13 16:50:24

If all of a sudden he's so keen on a family holiday (I'm relieved to hear that at least you're not excluded) then you and he should be deciding when and where - but you know that already.

Stupid suggestion - and it really shouldn't have to come to this - but how would he react if you said "okay SD wants to go to Disney - but the other kids also have their own ideas about where they want to go and so do I, so it's only fair that everyone gets to write down their destination of choice and then we have the next door neighbour (or whoever) draw it out of a hat". Surely, surely he couldn't object to that - and spoilt madam surely couldn't object either as she'd have the same chance as anyone else of getting what she wants. And definitely no friend - just not fair on the other kids.

(I would be so tempted to prime my kids with ideas for places SD would hate but then I'm feeling in evil stepmum mood today).

I do understand the fear of no contact thing - really I do. We had obstructed and sporadic contact for years - culminating in both stepkids huffing off for very long periods (longer than a year in each case actually though don't want to be too specific). Far far more "bribery" than I agree with was used to "win them round" (and boy did they take advantage) but DP is in no doubt how I feel about it and I think he'd not dare to do it again. In that respect it's one of the few occasions when having no money helps - otherwise I think I'd be putting my foot down a lot more often. In all fairness I don't think he'd ever allow himself to be quite so blatantly blackmailed over a holiday though - I do actually think if one of his kids was as grasping as that it'd go down like a lead balloon. One of them has been very thoughtless lately - not directly to us but to the wider family - and again, he's starting to be a bit more objective about it - he wasn't at all impressed, and told them so, which has resulted in radio silence but to his credit he didn't back down as he once would have done ..... I think perhaps the years of bending over backwards for them (often to our detriment) is finally sinking in and he's not prepared to be taken advantage of so much now.

It's a bit of a cliché but has he ever considered counselling to tackle his fear ? No doubt he thinks any sort of relationship is better than none but truly, how can you be happy when the only value your children place on you is as a source of stuff and money ? He must know deep down that's no sort of relationship and it can't help his self esteem - let alone your marriage. I'd implore him to do that with you for everyone's sake - if he carries on so blinkered and controlled there's a real risk to your relationship and family as a whole.

witchofmiddx Tue 10-Sep-13 17:44:09

Cats, if he had asked all the children to write down their destination of choice, I would have been really happy- not because I believe children should have a choice, but because it would've been fair. I remember one holiday dsd awoke hot in middle of night & told dh to crank up air con to mac, we all woke up freezing with sore throats.

It sounds like you have been able to rein your dh in and I very much admire you for that, i can only hope mine too sees the light one day. thank you for the idea of counselling, dh would consider that I think. Hard to find a good councillor though. There'd be lots to talk about!!

OldernotWiser47 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:50:55

I would second counselling. My DP is displaying Disney-esque tendencies, although almost a reformed character these days. Being a long time lurker an(and very occasional poster) here, I dragged him to counselling against much resistance- and he has admitted he now doesn't know what he was so afraid of, and is much better at saying no. Plus, it's a lot easier for me pull him up on it.

Marne Thu 12-Sep-13 11:02:36

This is the sort of thing my dsd would do, we have had problems with her asking for us to pay for a birthday party, in the end I threatened to leave dh if he gave in and payed £300 for a birthday party for a 14 year old.

She's playing him, I can see how he must feel (he wants to see his dd and wants to make her happy) but he needs to say no or god knows what she will be asking for next (a pony, a car??).

Though it would be nice to go to Disney it needs to be because you all think its a good idea, not because dsd has asked to go.

witchofmiddx Thu 12-Sep-13 15:33:51

Just to update, as dsd didn't get her own way immediately, she has told dh he's missed his chance (!!) and is going away with her mother.

The problem for us sm's is that these children correctly assume that without our wicked presence, their escalating demands would likely be met.

Petal02 Thu 12-Sep-13 16:14:56

Witch - how does your DH feel about "missing his chance" ?????

witchofmiddx Thu 12-Sep-13 16:50:15

Petal he says nothing. He becomes defensive and oddly quiet if I say anything that could be seen as criticism. I can't relate to that, as I willingly agree if one of mine is out of order.

Yesterday I had the audacity to suggest dss 19 is old enough to stick a wash on for himself. I might as well have been wearing a pair of horns.

Marne Thu 12-Sep-13 17:11:21

witch- she is being manipulative, she's a 14 year old and they are very good at it grin, tell your dh not to worry, i'm sure she wont disown him forever, she knows that you both care about her (which is better than her thinking you are a walk over). We have said 'no' to the step kids many times, yes they sulk for a while but they get over it. I'm quite close to my dsd, I talk to her most days, at least once a month she will message me and ask for something ridiculous that costs £££'s and 9 times out of 10 the answer is 'no' (if its something she really needs then we will pay for it if we can), she usually sulks for a day or 2 (sometimes longer) but she soon gets over it smile.

oranges Thu 12-Sep-13 17:14:59

get a job though - you are in a really vulnerable position if your children aren't his, and he is treating them differently to yours.

witchofmiddx Thu 12-Sep-13 17:41:38

Oranges if you mean materially then my children are treated exactly the same as their step siblings, but they are not grasping and don't assume anything. He treats his differently to mine in that he is literally terrified of upsetting them and losing them. He lost a close family member when young and he thinks that is where this fear comes from; I'm not so sure.

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