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Unreasonable or not...

(43 Posts)
Pickles4005 Sun 07-Jun-15 17:18:22

Does your OH do the decent thing and discuss with you first whether it's ok for his children to come and stay or say yes to EW and tell you afterwards?

yellowdaisies Sun 07-Jun-15 17:49:46

When they come as per usual routine then he doesn't need to ask, obviously.

If they're coming at other times we have a general agreement to ask each other first if possible (I have DC too). But if a quick answer is needed, then DH can say yes it should be OK, and then check with me afterwards. I expect him to check our online family diary first.

Ours are old enough that the requests are most often coming from the DC/DSC themselves these days, and they're also old enough to leave home alone, which does make life a bit easier.

Savethesm Sun 07-Jun-15 18:26:17

In the very old days no.

Then I had a rant and he started saying "I'll check with SM"

That happened once and dsd and her mum least the plot.

Then he started saying he'd check the calendar which they obviously knew meant he was he king with me but they couldn't argue.

Then she got older and had a key and just came and went as she pleased.

Now she never comes hmm

Whereisegg Sun 07-Jun-15 18:51:24

No but due to his after school commitments it's sat am - sum pm weekly.
The only thing that varies is if he will be needing tea on Sunday before dh takes him home.
As he is a bottomless pit a strapping 12yo, I really need notice with regards to food shopping.
I have given up asking now as I rarely get a definite answer so just shrug and tell dh he will need to go to the shop if there's not enough in.

yellowdaisies Sun 07-Jun-15 20:46:55

savethem - I think that's a really useful tip to say he's checking the calendar, rather than checking with his OH. I used to get quite pissed off with my ex when he said he would check with his DW, and would then come back to me saying she thought it was too much/couldn't cope with 3 nights in a row/demanded a swap or just doesn't like having those bloody kids around

Checking with your DP that that particular night suits OK is fine I think. But I got pretty cross that my ex felt his DW had a right to object in principle to anything outside the usual routine. It was nearly always because of my work I'd be asking.

Savethesm Sun 07-Jun-15 21:34:29

From a sm's point of view, Yellow, I would never have said no. But him asking me rather than telling me saved our marriage.

It's just not normal for the other adult in the house to not be consulted when there will be a change to the routine.

Melonfool Mon 08-Jun-15 00:09:23

Took me a while to train him, but now he almost always does. Now and then, usually if I am away anyway, he won't. Or if it's short notice, bit he'll usually at least let me know by text if dss is going yo be there when I got in.
We had too many nights when I got home from work with plans in my head to go out, watch something or have a certain thing for tea which then got scuppered by dss being there. I never mind him being there but I mind if I don't know because it's my home and I should know who is going to be in it.

Also, we have a calendar so he has to check that too.

yellowdaisies Mon 08-Jun-15 06:58:36

savwthem I understand completely the difference between asking and telling. (I'm a SM too and I appreciate it). But I do also think if it's to work then you need to say yes unless there's a good reason not to. If you start saying no because you're not in the mood, or just don't like having them around much, you'll cause a lot of friction between your DP and his ex, so he may then avoid asking you to avoid the conflict.

Serendipitymuppet Mon 08-Jun-15 08:11:12

My OH has got better, after a lot of explaining about how it was nice to know. But in practice you can't really say no.

They just wander in and out now the are all older. It does mess with shopping and cooking, but it's better they feel they can do that.

Pickles4005 Mon 08-Jun-15 08:48:01

Our time is very precious, like many people we work full time, I have a DS too who is with us f/t. We never have child free weekends but this one was to be different, we were going out to lunch etc. Sounds boring, old, nothing special but it's different to our normal routine and I was looking forward to it. He knew that too. Then last night he tells me we had the SD's staying for wk end. My heart sank. I'm gutted. He never asks, had the conversation so may times before and always get the same outcome

Wdigin2this Mon 08-Jun-15 10:38:34

Pickles, that must have made you so b****y angry! My DSC are all grown, but there are occasionally situations where we have a plan to do something nice/special, but one or other of them (one in particular) has a drama which entails DH dropping everything and rushing off to the rescue! Or, we're in the middle of a situation with friends and he gets THE phone call...it's always a case of 'It'll only take a few minutes' but normally I'm sitting there trying to ignore the fact he's been away for over an hour!! OK, it happens much less often now, because I've explained over and over, that our time is as important as his DC's, and they're grown up people who can, and should sort out everyday minor problems...just like the rest of us!!!

lizabeth0607 Mon 08-Jun-15 11:20:32

My partner will always ask, mainly due to the fact that it is my home, plus he has three children and there will be a huge change to my food shopping that week if they stay longer than the weekend smile

Pickles4005 Mon 08-Jun-15 11:28:58

No point in trying to calmly explain to him or get cross because he just doesn't get it. I just feel completely empty, feel the same today as I did last night and I just don't know what to do?

Wdigin2this Mon 08-Jun-15 11:51:08

Oh Pickles, I wish I could wave a magic wand for you and everyone struggling in this situation!! Yes, they're his children, and he doesn't want to say they can't come/stay over, and I can see his dilemma! But, if you're not having much time alone together, he can't go on accepting his EW's request to have them outside of normal time, without Allowing for your plans! And before I get shot down for suggesting having his DC is not important...of course it is, but every household has to have some kind of system, or chaos ensues! What about if the next time you've arranged a night out together and presumably your DS is away for the night, if suddenly he says his DC have to stay over, you say....'OK, but I still want to go out, so I'll ring my friend to see if she wants to go for a meal/film'? And actually do it...even if you have to go see a film by yourself! Playing games, I know, but if you've tried everything else....!

Savethesm Mon 08-Jun-15 15:02:14

What your DH did pickles is unacceptable. Unless the child were in serious need. Of course it depends on reasons but why does his ex wives plans take precedent over yours??

ThumbWitchesAbroad Mon 08-Jun-15 15:06:59

I think it's rude in any situation to upset plans like that without first checking with the other people involved in the plans! and if he does it routinely, never considering you, then I completely understand why you are pissed off and feeling "empty" - perhaps somewhat unloved and second-rate too?

I also would go out for the lunch, without him but take your DS anyway. Let him have his time with the SDs and you enjoy your lunch out.

Serendipitymuppet Mon 08-Jun-15 15:28:13

The real problem is the lack of any say in a situation, things have got a lot better as my husband's kids have got older, but still I feel like mine is the voice least likely to be heard.

Got step son coming home from Uni in a couple of days, finished uni and had a long term plan that may or may not come off. But has no plans to work until he finds out about that. So could be months of him sitting at home. I get no say in that at all....

catsmother Mon 08-Jun-15 16:23:36

Now admittedly this has, as others have experienced, become less of an issue as the stepkids have got older and my partner did always use to ask me ..... but .......

..... there was only ever one 'right' answer to being asked about a last minute change of plans, so TBH, I felt it was all lip service anyway.

Yes ... it does depend on the reason, but I hated feeling that our plans came second best to his ex's, and unless they were ever ticketed plans, DP's attitude was always that they could be postponed. To me, it wasn't quite so simple - ticketed or not, plans are generally looked forward to, and/or actually needed (e.g. if you'd been working extra hours and needed some down time to relax) - and then of course there's the additional issue of cost ... a couple of extra kids' meals wouldn't break the bank, but add in £70 of petrol, put 'entertainment' and it's not quite so simple. I'd also have to re-jig meal plans very often and/or buy extra stuff they'd eat as they're quite fussy.

Added to which - while I'd get a load of sulks and possibly a row if I dared to say that actually I'd been hoping for some chill out time and could he perhaps say no 'this time', DP had no such hesitation if he, specifically, had plans which would be disrupted by an unexpected visit - e.g. if he had something with 'the lads' planned. Then he'd have no problem saying no even if his ex did whinge and call him a crap dad etc. I used to remind him of this on the comparatively rare occasions I objected to last minute additional contact which didn't go down well but I won't have hypocrisy going on and accusations of 'not wanting' his children when it was different for him.

Pickles - what does your OH say when you reminded him you had plans and asked why he presented you with a fait accompli ?

Oh - and if you can, go out without him anyway (if you want obviously) - do something nice for yourself even if it wasn't what
you'd hoped for originally. Don't have him ruin the weekend and expect you to play housekeeper too.

JakieOH Mon 08-Jun-15 18:33:06

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. My OH always checks with me if his exw asks him to take the children out with usual times. It is my home too and it is just rude to make plans without discussing it 1st. This wasn't always the case but he realises now that it is unfair not to check with me first.

There have only been a few occasions where we said no, she didn't like it and would make my partner feel guilty but we can't live our lives based around her social life and ever changing schedule smile these situations are not always about the children, no matter what anyone says. If it means changing plans I would want to know why she is needed us to change plans I.e if it is work or something that's cropped up etc. Saying that it's only been an issue a few times, we are pretty flexible really.

It sounds like he is taking you for granted, I would definitely be having a conversation about it if I was you x

Pickles4005 Mon 08-Jun-15 18:44:13

I haven't said anything to him, no point because he genuinely believes that what he has done is correct and that every time his exW asks then he sees no reason why we cant have his DCs. Excuses on the past have been everything from we had nothing planned to I thought i told you, to exW is entitled to a life too.

In my head it's about manners, we are two adults him and I making decisions not him making them and then expecting me to be okay with them. Chances are I would say yes, I've been a SP so know how tough and tiring it is, just wish that at times it was repaid and that saying no doesn't hurt.

We've been married for less than 6 months, we should still be in our honeymoon periods , I get that real life has to happen and having children already does mean give and take but not at every given opportunity

Tryharder Mon 08-Jun-15 19:41:25

His XW is entitled to a life, Pickles.

I would be very pissed off if I asked my XH to take the kids because I had to work and he said he had to run it past his DP.

They're his DCs as much as mine. No one asks me if I mind looking after my own children FFS.

If

Pickles4005 Mon 08-Jun-15 20:04:35

Tryharder - I totally agree with you, well done for pointing out the obvious. I've been there done that so know just how hard it can be but I have a life too and to make our marriage work we have to have time together too. It's got nothing to do with her working so I don't know where you have got that information from. You are totally missing my point

Savethesm Mon 08-Jun-15 20:10:23

tryharder - if you had plans with your husband, and your ex was due to have the kids but asked you to have them at the last minute... are you saying you wouldn't run it past your husband first? You'd just present it as a fait accompli?

I do think it's best not to awaken the beast by saying "I have to run it past stepmum" but my husband and I will always check with each other before changing plans for any reason at all. Child related or otherwise.

Add to that a step mum who is already feeling downtrodden and second rate and you've got a breakup waiting to happen. First wives like to believe that divorce is more likely for a second marriage because they aren't strong marriages, but the reality is that it's this kind of crap that breaks down the relationship where all normal sense as regards how two partners treat each other goes out of the window.

Wdigin2this Mon 08-Jun-15 20:10:52

Of course his EW is entitled to a life as well, and I have to say, the women I know in this position have at least 2 if not 4 child-free weekends each month! If it's a work thing that's come up, or a really unavoidable situation then yes the DF should step up if he can...but that doesn't seem to be the case here! If an access plan has been agreed and drawn up, then naturally each household will make life/social plans accordingly, it's not fair to then expect DF and his new partner to just drop/change their plans, especially at the last minute!

Savethesm Mon 08-Jun-15 20:13:14

Catsmother also makes an excellent point about how these men can quite happily say no when it's a solitary engagement that they have! The belief seems to be that "Couple time" and "family time" are one and the same. When it's not your kids (and quite often even when it is your kids!) this just isn't true.

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