AIBU to expect to be told...(86 Posts)
That my DSD will be with us full time for the next month? DH told me today and DSD comes tomorrow. We have 50/50 and her mum is going on holiday for 4 weeks so she is staying with us. DH says 'I forgot' which to give you some history is not a one off but a regular occurrence. I don't have an issue with DSD staying, we have a good relationship but I do enjoy my time when it's just us. We don't have any DC other than DSD. We both work full time but DH works shift work so I do a lot of looking after DSD. AIBU to ask that I be included in discussions? DHs DM will help up but she has been aware of this for ages.
Hmmm, his attitude is a bit odd if contact isn't at stake as that's what normally drives men to creep round an unreasonable ex. I wonder if there's an element of "face saving" going on ? .... what I mean is, for example, my DP sets great store in being seen as a "good dad". As I touched on above he really laps up the praise he gets from colleagues when he tells them he's had his kids for "extra" time above "normal" contact. Now, I'm not in your situation, because they live too far away for me to ever be placed in a position where I'd have needed to cover childcare while DP was at work as they'd have needed to go to school (but if they hadn't moved, I suspect I might have been pressured to help as you've been) but I've noticed there's definitely this tendency for some people to over praise DP as if, because he's a man, he's going above and beyond the call of duty for looking after his own kids! Frustratingly, it's often women in particular who do this. In your case, maybe your DH likes to give a similar impression so readily accepts extra contact as he then gets all the plaudits without actually having to do much of the additional work required. I also wondered if maybe he's being influenced by his mum - either because she shares his old fashioned view that childcare (for a child who isn't yours) is your job and/or because if SD is at your house, she (MIL) gets to see her more easily ?
Either that, or he is literally too lazy to be bothered to look into alternative childcare options.
As you say, the sex thing is very relevant. What woman feels turned on if she's taken for granted and treated like a drudge whose feelings don't matter - and can then automatically switch into sexy siren mode when required ? To be extremely blunt, you kind of end up thinking "well, I'm alright for a shag, but I'm not good enough to be treated with respect as an equal adult at other times". Doesn't make you feel very good does it ?
I realise this might not be the case for everyone, but even though access wasn't at stake, DH was terrified of rocking the boat with his ex, in case she took it out on DSS. I don't mean that she'd beat him (LOL!!!) but DH was aware that if he upset the ex, then the ex would moan at DSS about it, and DH didn't think this was fair. So whilst I could see his point to a degree (and bearing in mind DSS was in his mid teens by this time) we were still dancing to the ex's tune just to (over) protect DSS.
As I said in an earlier post, DSS has been at Uni for nearly a year now, so we no longer have 'access' but even with the benefit of hindsight, I'll never quite fathom the dynamics of DH/DSS/the ex; it was a toxic, ugly mess.
I'm in a similar situation to you OP at the moment.
I'm on mat leave with our 6 month old DD and DP and his ex seem incapable of sorting out her childcare between them without dragging me or DP's exMIL into the arrangements.
ExMIL has said no to the latest last minute request to step in and bail them out. So when DP turned to me, I said no as well. I have a tiny baby to look after, we have our own routine and stuff to do during the day. And moreover, I simply don't want to be the one stuck looking after two children while DP gets to have DSD extra and his ex gets to go in holiday.
I get the usual emotional blackmail about how DSD will think I don't love her if I don't instantly drop all my plans so I can do her school run every day for the next fortnight. But I'm standing firm. It's not about whether I love DSD enough to pick her up from school or not. It's about the assumption that my time and my routine isn't that important and ought to be changed at the whim of DP and his ex in order to accommodate what they both want.
As I said to DP, DSD has two parents, GPs and two uncles all within a mile radius of where we live and where she goes to school. They should be able to sort something out between them that means muggins here doesn't have to pick up the slack.
The thing I find is I never feel very comfortable in the house.. It's like having visitors u have to watch what u say about money etc. I don't wonder round in a towel and have to make sure paper work isn't around. It's nothing like it's your own kids.
Dsd likes to 'help' with meals which means mess and nothjngs easy or quick a month would send me nuts!
I agree Elizabeth - it's not that the child necessarily does anything wrong, but when they're not YOUR child, then they're a visitor, and you don't relax the same as if you're alone.
DapSplash - feeling your pain. I don't think I would stick around if DH emotionally blackmailed me in that way. Stick to your boundaries and good luck.
Update - DH as brought up the course without me mentioning it. BTW I didn't go with him to the info night. He has said he knows when I asked some weeks ago about his arrangements for DSD, he was dismissive. He says he needs my support to do it but not in terms of child care. In the partner sense.
The more things he says to apologise and make things ok, the more I realise he's been...I can't think of the term for it...when someone rewrites history to make you feel you're going mad or the issue is all in your head? What do MNers call that?
I know he's deeply sorry and desperately trying to make things right. But I feel exhausted. It seems that a few years of, as I described it to him, "being shit on and left to feel like it's my problem", have caught up with me. I can barely look at or acknowledge him. I feel bad, but that's just my natural instinct to help someone distressed. It worries me if I make peace at the moment, then my distress is again, secondary to his. I'm not sure what to do. He's asked me if I'll go to his mum's birthday on the weekend and I don't know. She is a contributor to our issues, in that she speaks poorly of me for not taking a 'mother' role. But, I don't want to not go and give further ammunition to divide us. The whole thing is such a head fuck.
I think it depends on your definition of 'making peace.' If this means forgetting the row that blew up, sweeping it under the carpet and moving forward - then that would make me enormously resentful. You would have made up, but nothing would have been resolved.
If, however, 'making peace' means discussing a mutually acceptable way forward, then that's a bit different. Although despite the discussions you've had since starting this thread, he doesn't appear to have come up with any solutions for future child care, it's all very vague, which (in the male brain) tends to mean "I haven't given this issue any thought" and "if I keep quiet it will avoid another row and hopefully it will all pan out ok without anyone noticing" - and that, IMO, is the issue you need to be tackling.
Thanks Petal. That is my concern. Other than him say "I promise it will never happen again", what exactly does he think "it" is? I've told him that when he said I should have told you what I'd organised, this is still incredibly disrespectful because it still doesn't acknowledge I need to be 'asked', not just told. I can see he hasn't worked out how to manage things in the future, and just wants them resolved for now.
When we go on holidays, just us two, we don't ask DSDs mum to cover our 50%, we make other arrangements. But he hasn't done this, he's accepted the entire month, which as we know, logistically requires me. I would feel it was more acceptable if it was reciprocal. She has also chosen to go away during school holidays which presents additional issues. Why would you go away in school holidays if not to include the child?
Any thoughts of me going to MILs birthday when I can't even look at DH?
What a crap situation..
It's easy to say walk away blah blah but it's easier said than done when u have years invested in something and people are making the right noises.
I've felt just where u are on many occasions thankfully things have settled down a little the last few weeks..
My OH definitely agrees to things as he's 'a good dad' in his eyes and maybe that's the motivation? If they dont actually have to do anything out of the ordinarily themselves they get all the kudos and we do it! My OH also conveniently forgets she's not my child so as u say and i find I'm not entirely relaxed when they are here effects relationship/ sex life etc they are oblivious. My OH loves saying he's doing the 'right thing' but he isn't i am as I facilitate it!
I've said it before in your position id be raging. Has he attempted to sort something out or does it all still hinge on u? If he hasn't tried to resolve it I don't know what u can actually do other than accept it or leave as if he's not trying now ur raging he never will... Would MIL understand/ help maybe she might step in? Mines a pain in the arse but she doesn't want her son dumped and dsd without some own whose done a lot for her...? Sometimes telling people helps they might not get the full story can't believe anyone wouldn't see why ur annoyed??
Re the birthday I wouldn't go unless uve reached some sort of resolution pretending might just add more pressure ..
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