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Am I being unreasonable? Long. Step son. Driving me crazy.

(106 Posts)
wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 16:25:24

Hi all smile I have been on here when my boys were babies, but it was ages ago. So, new name and saying hi. And just need a vent.

My OH has a son, 7 year old, living in another country with his mother. His mother is a bitch (a lot of problems re visitations, general nastiness, bitter divorce case - she took everything).

We live in Latvia (he was the one who moved here to be with me), his son lives in Netherlands (2 hour flight away).

When we were ok financially, I had no problems with him going to see his son every 2-3 weeks for a weekend, which would costs with flights and hotel sometimes anywhere from 300 to 700USD, sometimes he took him to his parents, so was saving on a hotel. Also, he was coming to us on holidays.

Now... For the last year and a half,we are struggling. BIG time. We have 2 business together:
1 is distribution business, which bring somewhere from 0 to a 2000USD max for now (before taxes, so actually less). From that we pay our rent and some utilitities. That is all it covers.

2 is our 2 restaurants.

One is going ok (but still we just about manage to break even), second is 7 months old and still is in a huge minus every month (it is normal for a restaurant not to get profits for a while).
Every day is a struggle. With staff, with working hours, we have NOT had a break for over a year (and I am not even talking about a holiday, didn't have that in 3 years). In a restaurant business you must be on place every day. Because a lot of the times one of the staff can't come in, is ill, etc. etc, so you have to cover for them. We both work 6-7 days a week.

But the worst is money! We have put all our savings, sold house, borrowed from my mother to make it work. And I believe we can make it work (although some days I curse the day we even started it).

And we struggle with everyday private bills.
We have no luxuries. No extras. My mum pays for our car and my health insurance. My mum and ex support my boys from previous relationships.
We buy cheapest food privately. I stopped my beauty extras (I colored my hair brown, so I don't have to spend money on doing highlights, don't go to hairdresser, don't do nails... Etc.etc.etc.). We do not have family days out (only going for walks). And I think very hard about using car unnecessary (like going to the seaside, which is 30 minutes away).

We live managing our saving (gone now, I have 60$ on my bank account) and that little, what one restaurant brings ( max 300$ a month). And it's to cover food for 4, petrol, and basic necessities.

With ALL THAT, he was not able to see his son much lately. Last time he saw him was 7 weeks ago. Considering our financial situation, we can not afford even that.

I am pregnant now. And working has been hard - I am still doing that. I have to deal with a HUGE stress every day managing restaurants. He helps a LOT.
I have been feeling super sick, super depressed about business. My health is not great. One of us MUST be available 24/7 if something happens. And lately, on call was he.

THIS weekend his son has a catholic confirmation. On Sunday. And he decided to go.
As he feels guilty about moving to another country, he has no consideration for me in these matters. If I even try and bring the subject of him not going for a bit now, considering the whole picture, he completely blows off.
My arguments such as there are a lot of men, who are in the army, work on oil rigs, etc. and are not at home much either, do not work.
If he feels he must go, he must go!

And it drives me CRAZY! I know... He is his son. And I respect that. When money was no issue, I did not mind that at all.
But now it is. If he goes, rent will be paid late, or I will end up asking my mum for money again for food (I will never forget the humiliation of standing in a supermarket with 4$ and thinking what to buy to feef myself and my 2 boys, as he went off to see his child).

And it is not only money. Stress. TONS of work to do. My pregnancy. I physically can not work for 14 hours anymore. And in a restaurant business one must. So if he goes now, I will have to do it. And I am scared. I am scared that I will overdo it and baby will die.

He is a good man on the whole. Despite all the financial troubles we love each other. And I am happy with him. We went through some very horrible times together. And now, privately with us it all is fine.

Just this thing.

Am I being unreasonable that I think that he should just toughen up for a while. Accept that he can not see his son for another 2-3 months while business goes at least more stable?

Or I am the biggest bitch in the world?

Polyethyl Tue 19-Apr-16 16:32:03

Why should a 7yo child suffer because of your choice to start a non profitable business and get pregnant?

Smartiepants79 Tue 19-Apr-16 16:37:51

You have you're win children? Imagine if someone said to you " oh, you can't see them for 2 months, we can't afford it' would this be ok for you? Try a bit of empathy. He wants to be a good father and obviously misses his child.
I'm afraid his son should be a high priority. Money needs to be set aside to facilitate this relationship.
How cany you afford another child if you can't afford contact with the ones yOu already have?
I understand that this is very difficult and stressful for you but his son needs to be as important as all the other children in the family.

CookiesNookie Tue 19-Apr-16 16:40:02

You said it yourself he is a good man. What makes him a good man. He is obviously a good father. So why try and change that.

My ex lives 20 minutes from my house and no longer see my 8 and 5 year old unless he is "shamed into responsibility" by his parents.

Let him be a good father as he could leave you and then you will be stuck with 3 businesses, kids and his baby. What if he moves back to where his 7 year old lives. Would you expect him to see the baby regularly.

So no difference at all between your kid together and his son.

RudeElf Tue 19-Apr-16 16:46:13

You cant afford for him to see the child he has yet you thought it a good idea to create another one hmm how is that going to work? Who is going to feed and clothe the new baby? Who is going to care for it while you work 14 hours a day?

wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:01:09

Thank you for your replies.

About the new baby: he has fertility issues, we both have, and did not think it could ever happen naturally. Was a surprise. But still a happy one.
So, yes, with getting pregnant now it is a fucked up situation.
But I am not worried about taking care/feeding/clothing baby - I am thankful he/she is on the way. I will have my maternity leave. And yes, I can survive buying things 2nd hand this time around.

Starting a business was our JOINT decision. Not just mine. And he was well aware of all what comes with it.

As I have said, when there were no financial problems, no pregnancy, I was fine with him going away EVERY two to THREE weeks, for 5-6 days to be with his son.
Now situation changed. Is it wrong of me to expect of him to accept that fact as well? And bear it for a while?

As me not seeing my children. It is his question to me too. And I will answer exactly the same what I did to him - I would NEVER move to another country from my kids. Never. They stay with me 70% of the time. So, yes, unfortunately it was his choice to do so.

ScarletForYa Tue 19-Apr-16 17:11:17

I think you're mad going into such a risky business when you can't afford to.

Business is a choice. Children should come first imho.

wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:13:13

And re business start up and being unprofitable.

NOT a single business project I know brought profits straight away. Hence it is a private business. Not a paid job. Starting something new is always a struggle and any success can be achieved only with a very very very hard work. What was exactly what we have set on doing.

RudeElf Tue 19-Apr-16 17:19:33

i was fine with him going every TWO to THREE weeks

How generous of you to be fine with him seeing his own child hmm

is it wrong of me to expect of him to accept that fact as well? And bear it for a while?

Yes, he has a child. Whether he is poor or rich, he has a child. You expect his child to forego his relationship with his father for the benefit of your business.

I would NEVER move to another country from my kids

But you chose to be with someone who did. You chose this situation. You chose someone who maintains his relationship with his child differently than you do, you dont get to dictate that he does it your way now.

RudeElf Tue 19-Apr-16 17:20:57

Is he paying child support for his child?

PrettyBrightFireflies Tue 19-Apr-16 17:28:07

Lots of people who'd like to set up their own business can't, because they have financial responsibilities that they can't absolve themselves from.
In your DPs case, his choice to move so far from his DS came with the financial responsibility to ensure he could afford to visit frequently enough for his son to maintain a relationship with him. So, maybe the business was a luxury he couldn't afford?
He has also committed to other financial responsibilities since he split with his ex - a new family, and a baby on the way. He can't afford all of those things. He has to make choices.

You say you'd never leave your DCs to be with a partner in another country - yet, it is something you have supported him to do, and chosen him to be the father of one of your own DCs, too.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 19-Apr-16 17:29:51

Unfortunately you can't just be fine with it when you're feeling you can afford it

Kids cost money every day. Visitation costs money every time

wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:31:58

Rude, there is no point being rude smile

Yes, I am fine with it. I am not ecstatic. I respect their relationship and NEVER EVER stopped him from seeing his child. I completely decreased all extra in our household, so we could allocate the money for him to be able to do that.
Now situation has changed. `Dramatically. And for the next few months it will be tight. Very. Should improve after a few months. And I will be fine (yes, again, just fine, not ecstatic ;) ) for him to go and see his son as often as he wishes.

It is not MY business. It is ours. Which in theory, should provide for our family, his son included. If it gets neglected now, no one wins.

Child support. When we were not struggling financially, yes, he was. Last time we paid a couple of months ago. Now we can not afford.
Do consider his ex took everything, and he was left (I am not joking) with a suitcase of his clothes. So she is not badly well off.
So, OUR business doing well financially is important also for that reason - being able to take care financially for his son.

RudeElf Tue 19-Apr-16 17:36:24

So 3 (you have 2 boys?) children between the pair of you all being fed and clothed by other people? (Your mother, your ex and his ex) And you think its a good idea to bring another baby into the mix? Who will feed it? You have $60 in your bank account. You cant feed your own children. He cant feed his. You both need to give your heads a wobble and gt rid of one of these businesses. You cant afford to have 3 businesses.

wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:36:45


Exactly. Choices. He HAS to make choices. And a sensible choice for now, I think, is to say to yourself. Situation sucks. What I can do to improve it? Suck it up for the next 3 months, work super hard, make sure restaurant start working the way it should (with a summer season coming it must), and when all is well, I can be a better father to my child - see him more and provide more.

I that not right?

RudeElf Tue 19-Apr-16 17:38:00

So would you accept not seeing your children for 3 months to work on your business?

KnotNora Tue 19-Apr-16 17:39:39

You are going to get your arse (quite rightly) handed to you.

He moved away from his son to another country. I should hope he does feel guilty. I should imagine that's why his mum is such a bitch hmm

BabyGanoush Tue 19-Apr-16 17:40:42

I think: good on him, he has his priorities right.

He has to be there for his son

It is a GOOD thing that he is!

wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:41:35


We decided to give it a deadline till the end of summer. If 2nd restaurant does not go, we ARE closing it.
And yes, we are thinking about selling it now, to stop all the headache. But we are not quite ready to give it up quite yet. Too much invested in it just to stop, when I can see the finish line.

About kids.... Until very recently, we were the ones providing for them. Sport lessons, music lessons, skiing holidays, general holidays et, etc, etc.
Unfortunately now situation is the way it is. And we are working VERY hard to bring it back to where it was.

I was used to earning my own money since I was 16, so this is VERY VERY new and VERY uncomfortable for me. And never had ANY money problems.
So now I am doing all I can, to get it back where it should be.

PrettyBrightFireflies Tue 19-Apr-16 17:42:53

womba - I think a better choice would be to seek a more reliable form of income. If you give up the non-profitable restaurant, you'll have time for him to earn an income in a different way alongside running the profitable business.

Expansion can come when you've got fewer financial obligations.

Choosing not to see your DCs is a last resort, back against the wall, option, isn't it? There are lots of other options that can be chosen instead.

PrettyBrightFireflies Tue 19-Apr-16 17:45:14

But we are not quite ready to give it up quite yet. Too much invested in it just to stop, when I can see the finish line.

Not quite ready to give it up, but you are asking him to turn his back on his DS. I know from experience that a break in contact can result in perms at estrangement. Are you really willing to risk your DSS losing his dad, because you don't want to give up your dream, yet?

RudeElf Tue 19-Apr-16 17:46:13

Ok so you were managing very well until you took on the new business. Now you arent and it is at a point where you cant feed your children. The new business is the problem, not his travelling to see his son. The business is what must either go or adapt to solve this financial issue. His relationship with his child must not. Ever. His child is not a financial inconvenience that can be put on the back burner until things are better. Your children's needs are the bills that get paid FIRST every month before anything else. That is a non-negotiable cost of being a parent. The business must suffer the consequences of not being viable. Not his son.

wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:48:28


I accepted it when I set up the first restaurant, working 7 days a week, 18 hours a day. For 5 months. I saw my kids when they were in bed and during breakfast.
I cried every night and was throwing up from the way from work back home from exhaustion. But I did it. And now that place (first restaurant) is in top 10 of our city.
It stopped generating good income since we moved to a bigger premises 1 month ago. It should pick up by the end of May again.

As for being there for his son...

Am I the ONLY one who thinks that LONG TERM the best option to be THERE for his son is to WORK hard NOW, for a short period of time (I am not talking years, I am talking 3 months), to get financially stable, so he CAN take a better care of his son??? And be able to see him more?

Uptownfuckuup Tue 19-Apr-16 17:50:02

I'm sorry but you can't afford the children you have separately and now you are bringing another child into the world and his child has to go with out ?!

your mother and your ex support your children but what would you do if your ex had a oh who was pregnant and he couldn't then support them

wombat57 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:54:26

As him generating any other income....

Well. I am not going to go into too many details, but getting a well paid job, for him, is close to impossible here.
First of all - we also doing the distribution business. Which is his idea. His baby. Dropping it now just to look for another job is not an option.
Second, we live in Latvia. Average wage here is around 700 Euros. No. I am not joking. With his qualifications, he can get max 1500-2000 Euros per month. It is nearly not enough for our family.

So, believe me, we DID think hard and long on the subject, best case scenario for us is to get existing businesses going.

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