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I'm really angry with him

(19 Posts)
davidbrentslovechild Mon 10-Mar-14 16:33:18

Every weekend, when my DSD (11yo) comes to stay my DP ignores me. This weekend was a classic of this. She arrived at 3pm and he did not utter one word to me for two and a half hours, even though we were all in the same room.

My DS came back from his dads house at 4pm on the same day and he too was ignored by both of them. In the end he just went up to his bedroom and did not reappear. I went up to see him a few times but he wanted to stay in his room.

What was even worse was that it was obvious that DSD did not really want to have a conversation with her dad. She got her ipad out as soon as she arrived and it was basically him chattering relentlessly at her whilst she gave him one word answers at best. I could tell that he was getting more and more angry about it but he was creeping around her, trying to get her to talk to him. Eventually she went up to her room.

He then sat on the sofa for about an hour in complete silence. I got one word answers out of him when I tried talking to him. He then said that he felt ill. The atmosphere was horrible. He was pissed off about his daughter not wanting to spend time with him and then pretending that he was ill to cover up how cross he was, rather than discussing it with her.

He then shouted at me, told me to leave him alone (because I was trying to have a conversation with him) and went into his daughters bedroom, where he stayed until 9pm. He then came downstairs and fell asleep on the sofa. He did not come to bed at all.

The next day when my DS got up all he got was a "morning" and then complete silence until his DD got up, when all of a sudden he got his voice back. He came nowhere near me until he had taken her home yesterday evening. Then he lay all over me on the sofa.

Every weekend is variations of this and it's making me really cross. I feel like an outsider in my own home and my DS is obviously sick of it too. If I try and talk to him about things he just flies off the handle. We have six months left on our jointly rented home and I am wondering if I can make it until then without losing my temper.

purpleroses Mon 10-Mar-14 16:47:04

That sounds tense for everyone. What happens if you try and join in the conversation, or initiate a bit of conversation with him and his DD? If he's failing to get much out of her, maybe you could help lighten the atmosphere a bit and at the same time get yourself included in the conversation so you don't feel cut out?

davidbrentslovechild Mon 10-Mar-14 16:53:26

It's very hard to describe the change in the house. It's not DSDs fault. She is a child. She is a bit rude sometimes, she mimics what you say and she sometimes speaks to people like they are stupid, but I think that's normal and probably due to hormones!

It's like he can't have a conversation with anyone else if she is there. I find it weird just watching them. He's like a puppy who wants some attention and it is plainly obvious that she just wants to go to her room and watch tv or play on her ipad. He chatters incessantly to her, question after question after question and so on. If I try and enter the conversation he either blanks me entirely or gives me a one word answer and then goes back to asking her endless questions. It's very hard to try and describe to someone else but makes the atmosphere in the house very unnatural and almost oppressive.

CuntyBunty Mon 10-Mar-14 17:10:17

What do you get out of the relationship with him? He sounds bonkers.

springlamb Mon 10-Mar-14 17:20:06

What would happen if you said something radical like "me and both the dc are going to the cinema when ds gets back from his dads and we might get a pizza afterwards, you up for that?". Having first checked of course that dsd would like to see the film.
It's like he doesn't see the four of you as a unit, or perhaps he thinks his time with dsd has to always be full-on, one to one Quality Time.
How do ds and dsd get on? Or how might they get on if DP's behaviour was not so odd and didn't send them both scuttling to their rooms?

SoftlyTiptoe Mon 10-Mar-14 17:44:51

Could he be worried that DSD is maybe losing interest in him, so is overdoing it trying to compensate? Obviously in the wrong way though. Even so, he shouldn't be taking it out on you! I'd attempt to cut down on the iPad time - he's never going to have a meaningful conversation with her when she's got an iPad to play on! Maybe suggest going out altogether, even if it's just for a meal? Or bowling or something? I know with some kids the harder you push the questions, the less likely you are to get a response, but if you take them out and do something with them, they're much more likely to engage.
He definitely needs to do something about cutting out half of the family though. Where does he think that's going to get him?

Russianfudge Mon 10-Mar-14 18:18:21

I think that it's a tough time for Dads when their DDs reach this stage, they feel like they are losing them and rightly so - I think it's needed for girl's to push their Dad away a bit.

What is important is that he doesn't push you away, and also that he handles it like any other dad in a "normal" together home.

If he doesn't, he will make you feel alienated and will create a Disney relationship between himself and his dd which believe me YOU DO NOT WANT. (Did I say that loud enough? wink

How long have you been together? Is this a new thing relating to the stage she is reaching, or dos he have "disney" tendencies? Does he have guilt around the split? Do you get the impression that Mum is belittling him to your DSD or making a mockery of the time they spend together?

I would get him in a good mood and tell him you've noticed how hard it is for him with his DD reaching the stage where she isn't Daddy's little girl anymore. Do you have some anecdotes about your own experiences with your Dad at that time? Share these and let him know it's normal.

Tell him you want to support him through it and ask him not to block you out because it makes you feel the way his DD makes him feel.

Then plan some low key, low cost but interesting things to do as a four. They have to not be anything unnatural or over the top or allow dsd to feel she is being bought because that is a slippery slope! But I would say 50/50 time just chilling out at home (where he leaves her to her own devices and gives her space) and time doing things together.

We fell in to a bit of a pattern of DH doing something with his DD, and me doing something with mine. When his DD started to reject him, he started to resent my relationship with my DD as he didn't feel a part of it. He admitted to feeling jealous when he saw how close we were and didn't feel inclined to join in with things we did. Thus, he pushed himself further away and became more alienated. Both of his key relationships were breaking down and he was alone. Added to this, DSD's mum was playing every alienation trick in the book as DSd drifted further and further away until ultimately she disappeared for six months after a big unnecessary row between the two of them. It was a minor disagreement really but the excuse she'd been looking for to detach completely.

DH became so desperate that he compensated by dreaming up all these exclusive (and expensive) Daddy-Daughter dates in an attempt to "win her over" and make their time together enjoyable again and it was just horrendous. I ended up feeling like the OW, and that he was having an affair! And DSD just became more and more entitled to having daddy all to herself at the expense of all his other relationships. Then she'd drop him the minute she felt like it and he became dreadfully depressed. And I wasn't prepared to just be picked up when he had nothing better to do so I started living my own life too. It was a horrible time but we have had counselling and we all handle everything much better now. He doesn't block me out any more and if he has an episode where DSD is being awful, he will come to me and we'll either laugh or cry together about it. The counsellor pointed out to him that whilst we have a duty to put our children first when they need us. Those children soon fly the nest and they don't look back, so we have to put our partners top of the tree. What I had to do was show him he could trust me to put him first too, which means that sometimes I have to forgo time together if DSD turns up after an argument with her Mum and needs a hug, or if she wants to come to the cinema with us etc. What changed after the counselling is that he started to ask if I minded, and gives my feelings equal weight to his DD.

Had that not changed, we would definitely not be together. And DSD would be... well lord knows what a horrible brat she would have become if all that pandering and princessing had continued!

Sorry, that was a bit of an essay. But if I'd have known then, what I know now, I could have saved a lot of heartache.

mymiraclebubba Mon 10-Mar-14 19:15:51

My dp hasn't been through this yet but you have my sympathy!!

I think all you can do is force the conversation with him and point out that he either steps up or you ship out

Xalla Mon 10-Mar-14 19:41:47

Jesus, I hope my DH / DSD don't go through this when she gets older...

I can identify with the man-sulk / poor-me thing though. I think most of them take it out on their nearest and dearest when they're feeling shitty. My DH does it brilliantly.

We may not be the stronger sex but we're certainly the toughest shock

I'd echo the bit about cutting screen time and increasing group activities.

daisychain01 Mon 10-Mar-14 23:07:00

To an extent, I can feel empathy for your DH, DBLC, it must be awful to not see your child for a while and when she does turn up, she's got her face stuck in an iPad screen, while he is desperately trying to connect with her, find out how she's been etc.

Actually, I think its blood rude, and that's where I part company with him - I don't think he should be tolerating that behaviour.

If he lets it happen on a regular basis, it becomes a disrespectful and engrained pattern of behaviour. A bit of old fashioned discipline wouldnt come amiss.

Meanwhile he's taking things out on you, that's shite as well! I agree with the other poster, less screen time, and if you can get involved in some activities it may change her attitude.

daisychain01 Mon 10-Mar-14 23:08:47

Sorry the other poster being Xalia.

Couldnt see for looking, typing on a bloody iPad grin

davidbrentslovechild Tue 11-Mar-14 07:59:55

Thank you for all of your responses. He won't do anything to upset her, never mind actually taking her iPad off her.

She frequently tells him off and answers back and he either pretends to be frightened of her or he says something like "please don't shout at me" in a child like voice. It's like she is the adult and he is the child. It's a bit strange.

We have been together for almost six years and it's definitely got worse as she has got older. It's like he is petrified that she won't want to come if he actually parents her.

KashewK Tue 11-Mar-14 11:01:56

My DP was a bit like this and still is to a small degree, talking to DSD(also 11) like she's 5 on the phone for example hmm

However he has generally seen the light and will not pander to her. For example if she missed an access visit 3 years ago he would have panicked. A few times now dSD has not come and he's accepted it without drama.
His eye's are also opening to her shortcomings and her reign as princess is thank goodness coming to an end.

If he was behaving like your DP is I'd be looking for the door tbh.

Russianfudge Tue 11-Mar-14 11:10:00

In that case you need to sit him down and tell him what's happening and what you expect from him.

It's a nightmare and if he isn't planning to change then you're all going to be miserable

davidbrentslovechild Tue 11-Mar-14 12:16:59

I must admit that I just don't get the way that he is with her. He turns into someone else when she is around. It's like we are two separate families within the same house. For example when both children are in bed he takes her a drink up. He doesn't ask my DS if he wants anything. But if I take drinks up then I do it for both children, not just mine.

He can sit in complete silence with my DS and he doesn't try and make conversation with him. This weekend my DS got up first on the Sunday morning and he said hello to him but then he did not speak until his DD got up. He then chattered away to her and hardly paused for breath.

Obviously I try and cover this up by talking to DS (who is 9yo), but it is getting to the point where I feel bad about leaving him on his own in, say the living room, with my DP, because there is this awful silence. During the times that his DD is not with us, my DP talks to my DS completely normally.

KashewK Tue 11-Mar-14 12:19:30

I'd think about getting out. Your son deserves better.

Mygoldfishrocks Tue 11-Mar-14 12:31:42

You won't change him. I can sort of understand his feelings but he's being rude, disrespectful to you and creating an atmosphere in your home.

I'd try one last cards on the table effort. But really, with a little boy yourself to consider, I'd be thinking about binning him off. It's not normal behaviour and you've put up with enough now

Russianfudge Tue 11-Mar-14 13:21:30

He's feeling disloyal to her if he talks to his stepson in front of her. Bizarre but that's what's happening.

This has reached pretty serious levels. He needs help from someone outside of the two of you.

Do you love him? Is everything else good? If so, and he will get help to change then I think it's worth working through. Bury outcast go on like that. It's not fair on your son.

haveyourselfashandy Tue 11-Mar-14 17:36:23

Why are you putting up with this? It's weird.
Get out and take your ds with you,poor lad.

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