Feel like giving in(5 Posts)
I've had enough of feeling like wicked step mum. Dp and I been together 3 yrs - I have 2 dc, he has 1. We've taken things slowly gradually introduced children built up time spent together and are now at the point where we're talking about moving in.
We have v different parenting styles. Whilst I'm not perfect I think I'm firm but fair - set boundaries and issue consequences if they're not followed but likewise give a good amount of rewards for good behaviour. Maybe some of my boundaries are a bit rigid - have set bedtimes unless v exceptional circumstances don't allow gadgets at dinner table will not tidy up after kids (they're 10 - 15 so capable of putting rubbish in bin and plate in dishwasher) and expect a little help with chores. Dp is the complete opposite. He'll do anything for an easy life - go get kids drinks when they say bring their things to them when they ask doesn't seem bothered if they don't say please or thank you let them stay up late etc etc. Not major things but it's causing real conflict because his son is very resistant to my boundaries. Understandable as he's not used to them, but Dp and I have spoken in the past and tried to reach a middle ground. I've compromised and tried to relax some of my rules but Dp still won't enforce any, instead deferring to me with any issue that comes up. Like when his son wants to stay up late he'll ask me if that's ok.
Now, my opinion is that if we're going to live together, he needs to be equally enforcing rules with the kids, especially his child as my kids generally accept the rules albeit with some 'it's not fair' type whinging. However, if he wants to defer to me then needs to let me deal with it without undermining me in front of the kids. For example if my eldest back chats me I might take his phone away for a period of time but Dp will say that he thinks I'm being too harsh in front of the boys.
This has led to my son back chatting him and thinking he can get away with it (I imagine he does when I'm not around) and his son lying and being deceitful to get around the rules - like hiding his ipad in bed so he can play on it after bedtime - or throwing tantrums and threatening to go to his mum's when he's told no. Dp has 50/50 access so it's not just one or 2 days a week this happens.
I just wonder whether it's worth carrying on if, despite my efforts to reach a compromise, dp has no intention of stepping up a bit. We're arguing more and more about this and it's making me have real doubts about whether us living together will work.
You want him to do it your way, he doesn't want to and to be honest I really would resent having someone constantly disapproving and trying to get me to parent their way. You think he's too soft he thinks you're too harsh, it's probably somewhere in the middle on both sides. Personally I wouldn't be in a relationship with someone who wanted me to impose rules or parent in a way I wasn't comfortable with so I would end it.
I personally strongly believe that a different views in parenting styles is almost inevitably a recipe for disaster in recomposed family because each is set in their ways and holding to their strong belief that their style is best, indeed, why adopting it if not.
Both OH and I totally agree when we first got together that we would only progress our relationship if we indeed shared the same vision of education, and that's with him not having children! That's because I am confident in my style and although prepared to listen and consider views, would not be prepared to be much stricter or much more lenient. Similarly, OH would not have been able to cope if I hadn't showed to be a disciplinarian.
Even sharing almost totally similar values and principles, the few differences have not always been easy to cope with, so can't imagine having dramatically different approaches.
Sorry OP, not what you want to hear I'm sure, but I don't know the solution as it sounds that your OH is going with the flow agreeing with you because he knows that not doing so could mean conflict, but then still holding on to his view and approach. I think you definitely need to hold back the moving in together.
Maybe write lists of both your rules /behaviour you feel is important and juggle things around on paper until you can reach a compromise? Involve the dc in this meeting and ask them which would be an acceptable list to go from as a family. If you can't sort it on paper you have no chance in reality.
To be brutally honest, if I were you, I'd hold off moving in together, for a few more years...yes I know you want be together, but would the conflict be worth it?
In my experience divorced dads who leave the family home, and have 'visits' from their children, do tend towards the DisneyDadding form of parenting! Then when you get together, you're always the bad guy because, whenever they want something (he knows full well) they're not allowed, it'll be, 'Oh, you'd better ask Justone about that....meaning he doesn't have to be the one to say no!!!
We have it in our house when both grandchildren visit and, as I said to DH....after all this time, you're still making me the bad guy?????!!!
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