feeling overwhelmed(22 Posts)
Backstory is that DP and I met when I'd been single 2 years, he'd been single 15 months. Both of us have 2 DC. None shared. All the kids are little, mine 3 and 5, his 4 and 8. The youngest three are boys.
DP proposed in June, and moved in officially in Nov. We've been together 2 years. No plans to actually get married at the moment. I feel like it was more a statement that we are both committed to each other when we got engaged, than a countdown to a wedding.
Since DP has moved in I'm really struggling. I was driven and independent as a lone parent and I'm finding it really, really hard to consult another adult on every decision. In many ways it feels like the fun is being sucked out of our relationship by the need to discuss money, downtime, even things like bedtimes etc seem to end up with us bickering now. I'm feeling pretty drained.
It doesn't help that DP is spectacularly shit with money. Way more than I realised. So I'm carrying the can for us in a way I didn't expect to. Over Dec this has ended up with me in my overdraft to the tune of £600 which may not seem a lot to some, but I have literally never been in my OD as a lone parent and it really pisses me off, mostly because DP seems to think it's a fine way to live, and I don't. But because he doesn't see the problem, he doesn't have any motivation to fix it. Also, his youngest, the 4yo, is going through a hitting stage which seems exclusively directed at my youngest, the 3yo.
The combination of feeling unsupported by him financially and my little one getting hit 4-5 times a weekend when his DC are here are making me stew with resentment now. I feel like life was easier before, and honestly, I'm tempted to suggest he moves back out and be done with it.
I'm not sure how much of this is stuff we should work through, and how much of it is me struggling to adapt to living with a partner again. Did other LP's who moved in with a DP feel so cross about having to negotiate everything again? Am I the only one who feels totally pissed off about not being in control of my own household anymore?
Maybe I'm being unfair. But I really feel horrible right now and I don't know how to talk to him about it constructively. Especially the stuff about his son being so nasty to mine. I've actually gone as far as taking my two out and leaving him home with his on a weekend, just to stop it happening. So it's not like he doesn't know how I feel or that I have simply let it go on without intervening myself. It simply doesn't change and I'm worn out by it all tbh.
I should say I have brought the conversation up several times, both about money and about discipline. He either says he'll do something specific, but doesn't, or gets deeply offended and ends the conversation by telling me I'm being unreasonable.
He is very good at being offended at the moment and pretty crap at seeing the bigger picture. The more times I raise stuff and get dismissed or fobbed off, the less patience I have. Which is making the conversation even trickier to have because I just want to tell him he's being a selfish arse (not very constructive really).
I won't bother saying how lovely he is in other respects. Obv I am with him for lots of great reasons. This isn't the sum of the man. It's just a very frustrating pair of issues that come with an otherwise lovely guy. I'm sure he could write something about me that wouldn't make me sound like a fabulous DP right now either... that's half the problem!! Seems like we're stuck in a crappy cycle!
Not sure what advice I'm after or if I just needed to vent. Just... aaargh. 'Blending' is fucking hard work.
I feel like life was easier before, and honestly, I'm tempted to suggest he moves back out and be done with it.
I would in your shoes.
I am a lone parent and i am 100% with you on the independance thing. I would really struggle to live with another adult, let alone their DC. Especially with such a massie difference in styles wrt money and parenting.
In your shoes i would ask him to move out and go back to just seeing each other as before. You dont have to call off the engagement (but can if you wish) but i think its clear he isnt going to change (the money issue would be a deal breaker for me, sorry). Do what you need to do for you. It cant be a happy home for anyone when you are so stressed.
Agree with RudeElf - money issue would be a deal breaker for me.
I'm starting to think it's a deal breaker for me too and it's really upsetting me. I feel a mix of anger, frustration, sadness and resentment towards him most of the time. To me, it seems like he cannot take responsibility for himself as a grown up or for his children. It's not an attitude I can live with and I'm pretty sure that if we continue as we are, the relationship will be over anyway, because it can't be happy when one of us is losing respect for the other person, can it?
I am really in the crap here, aren't I?
Exactly how do you have that conversation with your DP and survive? Can you? Has anyone <hopefully looks around for a brilliantly happy 'we managed to go back to living apart' poster to pop up on the thread>
Well I guess the question is, do you want to survive?
Would you be happy with a live - out "boyfriend" forever? I presume nt, or why move in & get engaged in first place.
So then the question becomes 'at what stage of your life will having a feckless husband who doesn't mind debt and can't discipline his kids become acceptable?' Again, I suspect it won't (or certainly shouldn't).
I suspect I can't see the wood for the trees right now. I am so 'in it' and so tired and so emotional, that I can't work out what's him, what's me reacting to him, and what it is that I want in the long run. Let alone whether I can have what I want in the long run, with him (in any form, live in or out or whatever). I want to hit the pause button, or rewind. Pace myself a LOT better than we have done. word of caution to anyone in the honeymoon phase... it passes!!
Well you dont have to decide the entire relationship in one go. Its ok to say "living with you isn't working out, i want to go back to living separately"
Then when you are separate agai you will be jn a better position to see whether it was just living together tha was the problem or if it is actually the whole relationship. We know for sure that living together isn't working so remove that element and you have the relationship itself. It removes the confusion about what is causing the problem.
I just can't imagine how I go about that conversation, without screwing up the relationship anyway? How do you say to someone, you rock and I love you - except for the bits of you that make me so irritated I'd like you to not be here all of the time. Please.
How do you have that conversation and rescue the relationship at all?
The problem like so many times read here is that you rushed it all. You fell in love, imagine all the wonderful aspects of being sharing your life with the person you are in love with, and idolised family life with a big brood. Unfortunately, you didn't take into consideration that going from where you both were to becoming a big united family was going to take massive efforts to make it work.
Adjusting to the change was always going to be tough, but if you'd given it more time, you would know each other better, trust each other better, and be more comfortable communicating and compromising with the mutual established love taking you through the ups and downs.
As it is, your writing says it all, it is about your kids and his kids rather than the issues you are facing as a family.
I don't think your relationship is doomed, but it is going to take even more work and efforts to make it work and you might not be strong enough as a couple to make it through.
Unfortunately hindsight is 2020 and actually, I suspect none of us make decisions about our lives and our children's lives without putting a huge amount of thought into it. The fact that we can't see into the future means sometimes we get it wrong. I'm not sure if you meant to offer advice in your post swingofthings, but I can't see much other than judgement - which isn't terribly helpful really.
Is your dp's financial situation a temporary thing? I'd be concerned about his lack of empathy towards your overdraft. Stuff like that really stresses me out, so I'd expect my dp to be understanding and giving me reassurance that he'll be contributing to help pay it off.
if finances is "the" issue can you take control of them? My partner was shit with them too so I had him transfer all but what he needed for petrol, personal cell ph etc into my account weekly and paid all the joint bills, rent etc.
I had him write it all down and work it out
You were not ready to share your life/home with another adult...let alone his DC! So now you're finding out all the things about him (and his DC) you don't like and can't live with! I'm definitely not judging you, but you know in your heart it isn't going to work out like this...there's too much weighing it down. If you could revert to living apart things may settle and you could try again, maybe when the kids are older? Not an easy conversation to have with someone you love, but perhaps you could base it more about the children's needs, saying you love him and want it to work for everyone, so perhaps you rushed into things more quickly than all of the DC could cope with!
I think you just bite the bullet and say that you now realise this is too much too soon and he needs to move out.
I don't think it's going to work with your different attitudes but by asking him to move out he's going to have to listen to what the issues are and make a decision on whether he is prepared to compromise at all.
I didn't mean for you to feel judge, it wasn't my intention and I thought my last words was actually encouraging, but as you stated, you can't wind time back and start again, so you have no choice to pick things where they are, that is having to learn how to communicate in a way that suits both of you.
What you'll never know if whether if you'd got to know him better before moving in together, you would have never done so, or whether you would have got to know each other better and manage to find compromises so you would find yourself in the situation you are now in.
Only you can decide if you are prepared to work harder on the relationship or whether you think that he isn't the right man for you after all.
Put the brakes on just for now. You both have different ideas on money matters and it will always be a source of argument of not sorted. It's really not in for you to be in debt because of an other adult. He's is getting quiet a good deal here isn't he? What benefits does he get being with you?
The children are small and there are many, many years ahead for them and you. Think long term. Is this salvageable? What is it you need for the next year, next 5, next 10?
If your DP won't start a conversation, you need to do something. Get a plan.
I recall your early threads many years ago and sad to hear you have hit a problem with your dp.I totally understand the loss of single parenting as I felt the same but actually over time came to appreciate my dh's input.Blending the families takes a massive effort so I wouldn't expect a resolution yet but you should feel listened too.Does your dp take action when his son is hitting yours? What is his response? If he is passive then I think you have an issue..its very common for non resident dads to turn a blind eye to their children's behaviour and it sometimes only gets worse, especially if the dc's know they can get away with it.My husband & I agreed the house rules and agreed they would be applied to all children.Its not 100% but we have managed 15years together (with almost grown children) so something must be right.
However you deserve to be with someone who has a similar financial outlook, its highly stressful living with someone who gets into debt as it forces you to be the 'parent' .Its one of the factors as to why my 1st marriage ended, I had to be the sensible one when sometimes I wanted to be looked after.It changed me as a person, from fun to anxious and always stressed about the bills.
You sound like a great mum so the decision to move in together would not have been taken lightly.What are his housing options should he move out? If he values your relationship he should be able to recognise its not working.My concern is that he could use the relationship ending as a way to force you to continue.Listen to your gut instincts.Don't fear this relationship ending as you are deserving of someone who will share your values. If this door closes another will open.
thank you everyone for replying. I'm sorry I was so sensitive swing. I hope that I can give a happier update - when I posted I failed to mention that I was working on about 4 hours sleep, because my youngest simply does. not. sleep. It's gone beyond a bit tiring, to actually shaking my ability to function. The crazy thing is, when I'm so freaking tired, I forget to take account of the most obvious thing: I am SO. freaking. tired! The temptation to 'simplify' my stress suddenly becomes almost an obsession and I get intensely negative.
DP has handled this week beautifully. After me having a meltdown and saying I can't cope (and suggesting we downsize the house, rewind and start over etc - eek!) he has taken everything I said seriously. On top of that he has done the school/nursery run for my lot, done all the cooking, sent me to bed at 9pm and done all the night wakings with my youngest. He's done the lot with grace, despite me saying what I would have found quite hurtful things based on my stress/lack of perspective.
Now that I've had two good nights sleep, I can see that the financial thing is a temporary situation not a permanent one - he isn't feckless, we're in transition (he moved in only a few months ago, lots is still settling). He does deal with the hitting, but it will take time (as all phases do) for us to consistently work things out on that front. And I think my lack of tolerance is directly linked to my lack of sleep. The fact the boys bicker and fight is pretty much standard for their ages. On a good day (when I've slept) I am so much better able to cope. Which should point out to me that my DS is equally as much of the problem, if not more, as his behaviour is causing me to freak out with exhaustion!
If only we could see the wood for the trees when it's such hard work, hey? I feel pretty bad today that I put all the blame on him, and thought the solution was to go back to where we were before. It's way harder to take a look at myself and take responsibility for what I need to sort out than it is to hit the eff it button and run...
Bottom line, stepping back from myself for long enough to appreciate how much DP is committed to making this work, has been an eye opener. He is all in. And I owe it to him to take better care of myself so that I can cope with the huge life changes we're all going through.
I know this thread is a bit old now, but I would keep an eye on the financial issue.
I shrugged off bad signs of zero financial responsibility and dishonesty early on in a previous relationship and those initial red flags ended in deceit and theft some years later, not to mention misery along the way in much the same way as newname says.
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