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I said the wrong thing!!!

(24 Posts)
gingina Sun 05-Feb-17 17:46:17

Today I just mentioned in passing that the DSC might not be coming to us every weekend when they are 17/18 and have their own lives. Meaning that they can call the shots and see us when it suits them.

Anyone would have thought I'd said they were going to leave him forever and he's never seeing them again!!
Now he's sulking and pouting because apparently I don't understand how he feels!!
He loves his kids and his time with them and will encourage them to stick to the arrangements as long as he can!!!!
Give me fucking strength!!!!!
I only meant they will be independent!

Bluntness100 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:48:24

How old are they now and what prompted you to say it please?

swingofthings Sun 05-Feb-17 17:59:07

indeed, depends on their age. It could happen sooner or later too, but yes, seems like a slight over reaction!

gingina Sun 05-Feb-17 18:00:43

They are all teens from 13 to 17 (his are 13 and 15 and mine are 13 and 17)
It just came up generally as we were talking hypothetically about moving in the next 5 years or so. So by then the youngest will be 18.
My point was that school won't be an issue and they will be able to visit on a more adhoc basis and shock horror it might not be EOW by then!

lookatyourwatchnow Sun 05-Feb-17 18:08:29

Well it's true. Your DP is being an arse

flumpybear Sun 05-Feb-17 18:09:36

It was probably your delivery that was wrong!

esiotrot2015 Sun 05-Feb-17 18:11:19

my friends ds, 19, still goes to his dads all day Sunday

they watch sport together, eat pizza, seems to work for them

OneWithTheForce Sun 05-Feb-17 18:15:07

Did you say it with a slight "how fucking brill will that be" edge to your tone? grin

user1484226561 Sun 05-Feb-17 18:15:36

the problem is, it would be normal if he had full residency to expect that you would still be under the same roof as your children at that age, and even if they spend their time doing other things with other people, you would still see them in between social engagements.

user1484226561 Sun 05-Feb-17 18:17:16

did you actually raise that as a factor which could effect where you move to? It wouldn't be a great thing to say, no, if you suggested they would no longer need space, or that distance from them needn't be a something to consider

junebirthdaygirl Sun 05-Feb-17 18:22:15

Have a friend whose two children still have lunch with their dad every Sunday probably 20 years after they first separated. It's hard for any of us to plan for when our dc won't be coming and going so much.

DustyBustle Sun 05-Feb-17 18:28:17

I understand what you meant, but Step situations can mean that comments like this can be misinterpreted and you become the ogre. Words of encouragement will be taken as criticism for example.
I would just let it drop now, you are right though, things should be allowed to evolve as they grow.
I have more quality time with my adult step children now they know they can come and visit when they want to rather than what the contact schedule dictates.

gingina Sun 05-Feb-17 19:10:52

I actually meant that we might see more of them but he took offence. The fact that I said it a few hours before he took them home to their Mums wasn't great but I honestly didn't mean to annoy him.
The area we live in is very expensive but it's near all the kids schools. When they have left school (and can drive) we can move somewhere cheaper.
No hidden agenda at all.

Petal02 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:33:21

OP - I had many similar conversations about DSS, and my DH reacted the same as yours.

gingina Sun 05-Feb-17 22:19:38

It's crazy! I hate the tie of the EOW contract but it doesn't mean I don't want the dsc here.
I am looking forward to the time when all the kids (mine too) can be free to see either of their parents when THEY choose and everyone can make plans like normal people.

Petal02 Sun 05-Feb-17 22:36:37

We had a very strict access rota right up til DSS went to uni, it was like DH/DSS couldn't comprehend any sort of relationship that wasn't tightly structured. I often wondered how this would morph into an adult relationship - and basically without a rota to dictate things, they're now practically estranged (DSS is now 23). There haven't been any rows or falling out, but they never learned how to have a relationship on a 'free will' basis, and DSS was so brainwashed into believing Thou Shalt Follow The Access Rota that things fell apart without it.

gingina Mon 06-Feb-17 13:27:24

That's so sad
I wonder if that is what DP is afraid of - that they won't come if they aren't forced to.
Thing is I'm sure that's not the case. They adore him and seem to enjoy being with us.

fallenempires Mon 06-Feb-17 13:47:54

I know exactly where you're coming from and that it wasn't meant in the way that it was interpreted!I would imagine that as the NRP who is fully committed to their dcs any thought of them not seeing their older teens may cause considerable distress.
However it is important to realise that the dcs need to be allowed to go off and do their own thing,independence is vital and should be encouraged.
If their relationship is strong enough anyway which you say it is then there shouldn't be any problems!I speak from the pov of being both a RP and NRP.My eldest teen lives with Dad so I see him when I see him so to speak,it works well for

WannaBe Mon 06-Feb-17 20:04:38

Tbh I don't think there's a way you could have worded it which wouldn't sound like thinking that the DC wouldn't be spending as much time there. Which obviously they might not be, but in truth it's impossible to know, but also very hard to contemplate, especially given he's the NRP.

Reality is that even though all parents see the kids less as they grow up, even if they're out all the time they do invariably go home to their house to sleep/get washing done etc, whereas if they're only seeing their dad on a schedule it's inevitable that growing up is going to disrupt that and they won't likely come back just to sleep etc

Also, it's impossible to really know what the future holds. I am the RP, and I have suggested that once DS leaves home I will be in a position to move to be with my DP who lives three hours away from me, on the basis I had assumed that DS would probably go to a university not in London where we currently live. However, although I had said it, I was always a bit defensive when my DP has talked about it, because it feels like he is counting down that time, and i have remained open to the fact that things can change, although realistically I can't really afford to live here but do so because of DS/eXH/school etc.

However, DS has recently decided on a different career path, and the universities he would have in mind for this would all be in London. As such I now know that realistically I can't just sell up and move once he leaves to go to university because his home will always be here, and if he remains relatively local it stands to reason that he at the very least will come home on occasions. And as such my future with my DP is back on hold until .... well realistically no-one knows any more.

I think that there are so many issues with this TBH. Firstly the fact that things are happening on such a strict schedule means that there doesn't seem to be the thought of flexibility which there would be if the DC were spending time there, also the fact that it is always referred to as "contact" is, IMO, a barrier to normalising the time they spend with the NRP.

Could you suggest that the DC be more flexible with the time they spend, and have an open house type approach where their friends etc are welcome there and as such they feel it's more home and your DH feels that they're more of a permanent fixture rather than just his kids he only sees eOW?

How far from their mum do you live? Do the children need driving back and forth or could they start having more flexibility to come and go on their time/under their own steam?

gingina Tue 07-Feb-17 19:12:35

Thanks for the replies
We are a 20 minute drive from dscs house.
Both my D.C. go to school here and it's a ridiculously expensive area to live. Like you wannabe I have always planned to move when I longer need to be in walking distance of the school. DP moved in with me and has always known this is the plan.
I get that he wants to always see them regularly but he has been tied to the contract for so long he can't contemplate a time when it won't be in place.
I'm sure when all the DC are at an age when they want to go out they will call the shots and visit when it suits them.
My point was that when they can drive themselves about they can visit us wherever we live and whenever they like but he always takes it the wrong way

Petal02 Tue 07-Feb-17 20:19:45

as the time they spend with their dad is referred to as contact, this is a barrier to normalising the time they spend with him

That is a VERY insightful comment. Right up til DSS went Uni, DH referred to his visits as 'access' and, IMO, it really skewed their relationship, completely infantilising DSS.

And I'm sure that DSS, quite rightly, now considers himself too old for access visits, but as 'access' and 'seeing Dad' are irreversibly cemented together in his brain, i''m convinced this is why DH doesn't see him any more.

I would advise NRPs to encourage a little flexibility as the teenage years pass, so that a more age-appropriate relationship has chance to develop.

Wdigin2this Wed 08-Feb-17 10:16:58

Eeeek! I can imagine the circumstances!
Being absolutely honest, are you looking forward to the time when they just come over, like visiting adults, staying for an hour or so, then disappearing......wouldn't blame you if you are, but it's not how they or their DF sees it, nor I suspect, the majority of posters on here!
I think, like most divorced dads, who don't spend the normal household time with their kids, he feels guilty...therefore wants to compensate. But, if the plan was always to move away as soon as school wasn't an issue, then he's going to have to honour it, but maybe try to make it as easy and painless for him....women are much better at these things than men!

gingina Wed 08-Feb-17 11:35:28

Being honest - yes, I am looking forward to the time when our lives aren't dictated by the every other weekend rota and when we can just make plans without having to check which weekend it will be first. That doesn't mean I want to see less of them though. It's the unflexibility of it which bothers me. DP gets on a lot better with his ex wife now but they still both stick to the contract to the letter which is fine at the moment but it must surely evolve when they grow up.
It's like how you kind of look forward to when your dc grow up and you can have your own life back. It doesn't mean you don't love them or want to see them, it's taking a step back and letting them be independent.
He's got over himself now though and I think he does get what I meant.

Petal02 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:22:53

Gingina - I could have written your last post. It was the inflexibility of our arrangements that drove me up the wall, and I could never see the point of an access rota for an adult. At some point, 'access' has to turn into 'normal visiting'. But DH, DSS and the ex were all adamant that the rota had to be adhered to precisely, and if we ever had DSS for even a few minutes less than contracted, we had to do extra the following week. Although interestingly if we had him more than prescribed, we never did any less the following week .......

The rota dictated our lives, and if DSS hadn't gone to uni, we'd probably still have the access rota now. Which would be very unhealthy.

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