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Beyond irritating

(32 Posts)
Marilynsbigsister Fri 06-May-16 07:16:43

It's my brothers 25th wedding anniversary during half term. It's an afternoon party at a lovely hotel (afternoon tea) about 15 miles away. My 3 DSC will be staying with us. Children aren't invited. DSC are 12,14 & 16. My 14 and his resident 18yr old will be around.
DH loves my brother and SIL. but won't come as 'I won't leave the children unsupervised' .... I am spitting feathers, FFS they are not toddlers..and won't evaporate if left alone for 4 hrs.
He doesn't give a second thought to my DD 14 being left alone - to be fair neither do I - as she is 14 !!!!!!!. I even offered to get my eldest DD back from Uni to babysit, but that is not acceptable either because she will only 'be in the house' not actually entertaining them and they would be lonely. God give me strength should she be reading them fairy stories. ?

Is it me, am I unreasonable in expecting him to attend an important family event and to expect him to leave the SDC for 4 hrs in the afternoon ?

Btw I am not blaming the children here, their behaviour is difficult to cope with but imho the reason for it is laid squarely at the door of my DH and their DM for the ridiculous mollycoddling.

RidersOnTheStorm Fri 06-May-16 08:22:35

He doesn't want to go and is using the DCs as an excuse Go on your own and have fun without him.

MeridianB Fri 06-May-16 09:33:41

That was my first thought, too!

ImperialBlether Fri 06-May-16 09:36:05

How often does he see his children and how long are they there for? I could understand if he didn't see them often, but otherwise it's a bit ridiculous to think kids of that age would even want him (or any parent) around all the time.

Wdigin2this Fri 06-May-16 09:47:07

I agree, he just doesn't want to go!

CeeJay1012 Fri 06-May-16 16:30:59

Hi Marilyn,
I agree with the others that it appears he doesn't want to go. However (and this may be why sometimes my DP and I clash so this might not be the best reaction...), this is the type of thing that really winds me up. In every relationship, there are things that we are maybe expected to do because we are part of a relationship and it goes with the territory (e.g. family social events). However, in addition to the "normal" stuff, SPs - especially SMs - get a whole lot of "well, you started a relationship with a man with kids so you have to accept whatever often totally unreasonable crap obligations come with that" from EVERYONE and are more often than not expected to show the selflessness of parents whilst being constantly accused of being the opposite. And we do. Almost always. I therefore damn well expect that when the occasional thing comes up that requires DP's support of me and mine, that he does it without complaint and with love. Not just because it is what you do in a relationship (everyone has to make nice with their partner's family and friends) but because SPs go above and beyond every day and the very least I expect is for appreciation to be shown by an umcomplicated "sure, of course we will go to event X" the very few times I ask for it.
Therefore, if it is important for you to have DH there with you, I think you should tell him that it is so.
Good luck!

Wdigin2this Fri 06-May-16 17:06:51

Yes, absolutely, partners in these circumstances should support one another!! I'm sure Marilyn you do stuff with his DC/family that really, sometimes you'd rather not....but it's about putting yourself out for the other person! He knows that, but is using the DC as a get out clause, because he doesn't want to go!

Marilynsbigsister Fri 06-May-16 19:01:45

Hi Guys and thank you for all your replies. The obvious answer is that he is trying to avoid ..only it really isn't. He absolutely loves BIL and very fond of SIL. He is actually upset to be missing it. genuinely.

The reason for it is that the DSC are so incredibly infantile. (Think sitting on daddy's lap, thumb sucking, hair twiddling..arghhhh) and bashing each other. The problem is that they are so badly behaved that their older two siblings moved in with us as soon as the court/Cafcass would allow.

Their behaviour is absolutely encouraged by genuinely bat-shit crazy DM as she knows it is annoying, pisses me off and interferes with family life. I am the OW so can understand her anger to a degree but she is remarried AND it was over a decade ago...AND she was also having an affair with her current DH. - however, bitter doesn't begin to cover it and these two have indulged in competitive parenting ever since.

He sees this babying as 'his responsibility ' to the children. In reality it's more to do with not letting 'DM' get a chance to accuse him of neglecting them...their behaviour is appalling because it gains attention. My answer is, leave them to it. (With older sibling in the house) and we can be called should they actually damage each other. My view is, that if there is no one there to pay this nonsense any heed, then they just won't bother..

Marilynsbigsister Fri 06-May-16 19:07:10

God I wish they were like mono syllabic bedroom dwelling teens like the rest of them. (We have 6 teens in total plus a 20yr old and a 12yr old...the rest are 'normal'...out with mates, sleepovers here or away, in town, doing their own thing...but no. From Friday - Sunday they will be sitting on his lap or 5" away competing for his attention. Arghhhhhhhhh . They haven't arrived yet...time for another winewinewinewinewine

Wdigin2this Fri 06-May-16 19:30:20

Ahhh I see Marilyn what a pain for you! The thing is, these DC will probably never actually grow out of the silliness, and I reeaaaally feel for you with the clinginess! Have a few glasses of wine on me....and breath!

Wdigin2this Fri 06-May-16 19:33:26

....oh and by the way, whether he goes to the party or not, you should go anyway!

CeeJay1012 Fri 06-May-16 20:10:11

Hi Marilyn - feeling for you re: clinginess. Enjoy your wine and, as Wdigin says, go to the party anyway and enjoy some proper grown-up cling-free time...

GinnyMcGinFace Fri 06-May-16 20:24:32

There are a lot of children/young adults in your house. I know the behaviour sounds really annoying and I can see why it makes you want to scratch your own eyes out but you did say yourself that they compete for his attention. Do they get much time with their Dad without you or the other kids? If he doesn't live with them, it's understandable that he wants them to be entertained and happy, making the most out of their time with him. Is there a compromise there somewhere? Would he go for an hour while you stay longer? Step parenting is the hardest job in the world-parenting but with less gratitude and added politics!!

Marilynsbigsister Fri 06-May-16 20:51:45

They really don't have to live like this. They live 16 miles away. Rural but excellent transport links. They all take public transport to school so know how to use it.

My dcs visit their dad (who lives 20 miles away) as and when they/he fancy it. (Hey mum, going to see dad tonight, I'll sleep over, see you tomorrow) from age 11....

These Dcs see their df EVERY other weekend, without fail, regardless of illness, changing work patterns and even death !!! (Yes, they came over the day my DF died , It is literally set in stone : thou shalt not miss a contact week. Along with exactly half of all holidays, not a day more, not a day less.

I know I sound unreasonable but surely there comes a time when this prescriptive behaviour can stop... Mine see their dad as and when they fancy because they have a life !! My two eldest DSC see their DM as and when they fancy. One is at uni and the other is an 18 yr old, so he is out with mates most of the time. (But that's our opinion, apparently , reality is that we spend our time poisoning his mind and persuading him not to visit his DM)..

Wdigin2this Fri 06-May-16 21:16:43

I get Ginny's point about them competing for their dad's attention....but really, they're not toddlers are they? And as for the set in stone ritual of visiting, how is that even possible in reality...are you never away from home without them?! You are not (in my opinion) being unreasonable at all....and if you don't go to that party without him, I'll be very cross with you!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Fri 06-May-16 23:01:15

That is irritating. It's only 4 hours? Of course you should go, and using the kids as an excuse isn't fair. It's emotional laziness on your DPs part. I'd definitely go without him, maybe make it all evening and dress up nice, text him and let him know what a fantastic time he's missing?!

Witchinghours Fri 06-May-16 23:11:54

Perhaps the children are damaged by their parents splitting up and having parents at war. It sounds like a horrible situation for them. Their behaviour doesn't sound normal and you don't sound very tolerant of it, or kind.

Perhaps don't have an affair with a family man if you don't want to deal with his children...

Marilynsbigsister Sat 07-May-16 03:17:05

*Witching hours ...*hahahahahahaha really ? Is that the best you can offer ?
Obviously as the mother of 3 and SM of 5 for over a decade (2 of whom have lived with us* out of choice*) for nearly 5 yrs , I am obviously a nasty wicked deeply intolerant shameless hussy, intent on separating this man from his children and 'keeping him all too myself' !

You don't perhaps think that as I have been a feature in their lives since they were 2,4,6 8& 9 yrs old , I might just have done a fuck load of parenting/step parenting but find behaviour that was completely acceptable at say 8 or 9 yrs old, 'beyond irritating' at 14/15 ? and therefore come on here to vent as its a 'safe place' where other sp's understand the unique situations we encounter.

To drag out the old 'don't get involved/have an affair/relationship with a man with children if you can't be arsed blah blah blah.....' is lazy advice at the best of times and shows no understanding of step parenting, but when given to someone like me, who has wiped arses/mopped up sick/hand held, hugged, cuddled/listened to and loved these 5 as well as my own 3 for 10 yrs , then it's more than a little insulting.

The only part where I agree with you is that I do believe that these 3 and their appalling behaviour is entirely down to their parents using them as pawns in their endless point scoring against each other. The blame is laid entirely at their door.

To answer Ginny , yes I agree they need/want alone time with their DF apart from family time. I make a point of going out every 'contact Saturday ' 10-6 where I spend the day with my lovely elderly relative. Leaving DH and DSC to their own devices.

To everyone else, thank you for your input and allowing me to rant. Please be assured none of my feelings are made obvious to the Dcs/Dsc. I am definitely going to the party, my eldest is accompanying me and I am really looking forward to it. Until then, I will just sigh and get on with it in the hope that perhaps by the time they are 18,20 and 22 he may actually feel they are older enough to be left alone..only 5 yrs to go.......

Heavens2Betsy Sat 07-May-16 07:48:48

Well done witchinghours for being the first to roll out that cliche!! Give yourself a pat on the back hmm
OP it sounds horrendous. We have 4 in total aged 11, 13, 14 and 16 and we would happily leave them for a few hours.
You should go on your own and have a nice time but maybe you also need to have a serious talk to your DP about the way he treats you and his lack of parenting!

CeeJay1012 Sat 07-May-16 08:17:01

Marilyn - hugs!
Witching - really???? I too must have missed the part in the Self-Flagellation Stepmother Manual that stated that as "penance" for daring to love a man with children or for having the unbelievable cheek to actually want to build a life with him - and, of course his children - we must never, ever, ever feel (much less express!) the slightest level of frustration about anything. At what point do we "earn" the right to be human beings who feel a range of human emotions about what is an incredibly difficult dynamic? Like Marilyn, I have wiped arses, been vomited on, listened to countless interminable monologues outlining entire Scooby Doo episodes in actual time, hugged, cuddled etc etc etc and most of the time I believe it is worth it but sometimes it is frustrating. Marilyn has honoured and prioritized her DSC's relationship with their dad for more than a decade - even through the grief of her DF's passing when, in any "normal" family, it would have been expected for relatives to step in with the children so that she could have the support of her husband. And, as for the "don't have an affair with a married man" comment - did you read the part where the ex was ALSO having an affair (and they both ended up in happy marriages with their "affair partners" so it seems to me that the sensible thing to do would be to have the approach that "everyone is in a better place now so let's all work together to guide these children into happy, healthy, well-functioning, emotionally-adjusted adults")? Clearly no one covered themselves in glory (as people rarely do when ending a relationship - I know I have regrets about how I handled things in my marriage/divorce and can see, from the vantage point of more than a decade on that I was far from blameless, as taking responsibility for one's role in one's life and relationships is something mature people do) but it seems fairly obvious that the marriage was not on track for "happily ever afters" and decades of porch-swinging bliss with tea and cakes until that homewrecking hussy Marilyn ruined it all.
Marilyn - hugs again and have fun!!!!

Stardust160 Sat 07-May-16 14:35:14

Why are the DC not included in the celebrations if it's afternoon tea? They aren't little. Maybe your DH is unhappy they have been excluded from a family occasion.

Wdigin2this Sat 07-May-16 16:53:15

Witching Haha, seriously, can't believe you just typed that drivel. Of course in an ideal world nobody would choose to be in split relationships, but I think the OP has been clear about her (long time) role in these DC lives...she's probably done a better job than their DF! I know what it's like to be the one DSC come to with their woes. Although ours were all grown when DH and I got together, I've been a big part of their lives, and if I were in OP's position I would be annoyed too!

Stardust It seems there are no children invited to the party, (can't say I blame them either) which means no kids from any part of the family so why should the OP's DH be offended that his aren't invited?

Marilyn Glad to hear you and your eldest are going to the party....enjoy!

Marilynsbigsister Sat 07-May-16 20:05:28

Thanks so much to all the grown-up normal people out there who do not have chocolate box nuclear families.. and understand that you can both love your DSC whilst at the same time being deeply irritatedby them like ...let me think... Oh own dcs... !!!

Party was FAB ... No1 and I had a fantastic time. BIL & SIL sent leftovers home for all dcs.. No, no dcs invited except her grown up ones. My grown-up 'substitute' and her non paying baby granddaughter.. @ £40 a head for 80 people I completely understand. It was a lovely grown up,fancy, child-free get together where all adults could converse without distraction..

My own 14yr old, amazingly managed to cope without me..wink Her dad has decided not to sue me for neglect..

Appleand Sat 07-May-16 20:08:17

This is about your DP, not the kids, you need to talk to him.

Marilynsbigsister Sat 07-May-16 20:14:50

Really ? I never realised ...

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