is is just me?(28 Posts)
Sorry, new to this and may be a bit long and rambling as I don't really know where to start/where I'm going with it...
Background, been with OH a year, met his 2 x daughters 7 mths ago, moved into a house with OH 6 mths ago, 1 night a week/EOW started with kids 5 mths ago, I really do get on with the kids.
Since Christmas the younger one (8) has decided she doesn't want to stay overnight (previous reasons, fallout with sister (12) doesn't want to come if she is coming etc.) OHEX has made it ok for her to go home, she picks her up in the week and OH has to take her home at the weekend, then OHEX moans via text to OH that she was supposed to be going out/had plans but couldn't do anything because she was having 8yr old back, OHEX also quite often makes OH feel so guilty when it is not his days to see the kids and as good as demands he goes round and spends sometime with them that day (at hers) because 8yr old is crying and wants to see him, he goes round, all is fine.
This weekend has been a nightmare, started off well...8yr old came shopping on her own with me and announced that she is going to stay the night, which is all good, a couple of hours later falls out with sister, tears and wants to go home, OH manages to stop her crying and she is staying again, a little while later, kids fall out again, tears and 8yr old wants to go home this time I get her to come back downstairs, OH texts EX and gets no reply, eventually she texts back and asks him to keep 8yr old as she has made plans to go out, 8yr old is fine about having to stay, up early with me the next morning OH takes them both back early with presents that he has taken them to buy as its Mothers Day, kids fall out as leaving. An hour or so after drop off he gets a really shitty text about "what a fucking disaster that was", apparently 8yr old hates every one and only stayed because the mum wanted to go out (I think OH was supposed to act a bad parent and just say he wasn't taking her home rather than the truth - however this wasn't specified in Sat night text!) "the way she spoke and looked at me was awful" kind of thing.....fast forward to Tuesday...OH receives another ranty text about how he had not replied to previous text etc. etc and needed to go around so 8yr old could see him...by this time 8yr old hates everyone, when he goes round, EX then goes off on one about him spending time alone with his children (I do regularly leave them to it for this reason, OH is keen for me to do stuff with them, as I am now part of his life) and how the 8yr only does stuff with me because she "goes along with it to keep OH happy" (at no point have I ever asked them to come with me, they ask and I always say you need to ask dad).
Another time OH on his none weekend said he would pop round and see the kids for an hour (he quite often does this when it is not his weekend as he does miss them) turns up and EX goes out...two hours later he is texting her to see how long she is going to be...
Next week, EX has said 8yr old is staying because she is going out.
I think I am really asking for advice on how to deal with the EX as my OH and I had a huge row this morning regarding how controlling she is over the whole situation and her "you should do this, that and the other with the kids when you have them" and her tip toeing into our relationship.........
I have seen previous posts where comments are about, what do I get out of it, does he pay his way etc. We have a great time when his EX is not involved in anyway, and we have a great time with the kids when the EX is not involved and we both contribute
I think so, I think she has also clicked on to tears get her her own way
You moved in very quickly. It's very hard for an 8 year old to process things and you need to be supporting her dealing with her fears. She'll be feeling very vulnerable and be worried about her position. Your DP needs to talk to her about how she feels and help her understand that he isn't walking away. If she's not ready for overnights, you need to make plans. It isn't fair on the EX if she has to keep cancelling her plans because your DP isn't coping with a vulnerable child.
I'd be furious if I was his ex to be fair. She is getting messed around. He needs to be firmer with the 8 year old.
My OH daughter has tried the I want to go to mums after a fall out and he tells her she's away, or she can't.
Its never easy between two homes but its not fair on the mum and its not doing the child any favours
Your DH needs to pull on his parent pants and get firm with his daughter. Kids fall out with siblings all the time, they don't get to go off to another house, they have to deal with it. He has set precedent by contacting the ex every time. He needs to stop. It isn't his exes problem if the kids fall out at your house. It's their fathers, he has to parent them, not palm one off on their mother for an easy life.
Thank you for your comments
Stewie...She was staying overnight, she goes home when she does not like the sister in that moment, or because mummy is on her own, OH has spoken to the kids at length regarding him leaving etc..he certainly isn't walking away from them and does everything he can to make sure they are happy when they are with him. Regarding cancelling plans, there were none, EX is the one that says she can go home if she doesn't want to stay
Donajimena...I don't believe the ex is "being messed around". OH did say on Sat that the mum was out and got grief for that too
OH lets her go home as he does not want to upset her further by saying no, he would much rather she stayed
Your oh needs to pull his big pants on and deal with his daughter not let her go home every time she falls out with her sister. Seriously you don't see why that would annoy and mess about the ex?
Why is your partner telling his daughter what mum is doing and telling her mum to out so can't have you? Surely she is entitled to do whatever she wants when her child is with dad and dad needs to tell his child it's dad time to have you. I wouldn't be happy being made to be the bad guy and not surprised if she was annoyed she got attitude from the daughter on the Sunday.
sorry but I really can't see the ex doing anything wrong.
If the girls have a falling out while they're with their mum, does she ring your OH to ask him to pick one of them up?
Yes, like I said, he goes for the easy option.
Parents don't get to opt out of parenting to avoid upsetting their children. Seriously. Grips are required.
He needs to remind the 8yo who the adult it. She doesn't get to go home if she has a strop. If he only has the girls for the night EOW then I suspect the ex looks forward to having a break regardless of if she's going out or not.
Yes it doesn't matter what his ex is doing with her childfree time. She could be spending it in her pyjamas for the entire 24 hours. It's none of his business and unless there is an emergency situation he shouldn't be contacting her. He needs to deal with parenting issues during his contact time by himself.
Your OH cannot be dictated to by an 8 year old.
I would be fuming if I was the EX, she is entitled to her own free time.
What if your OH had full custody and there was no EX on the scene? You couldn't send the child home then.
This needs to be nipped in the bud, or god forbid what she will be like when she gets to the teenage stage.
Im a step mum and your oh sounds similar to my dh. He needs to do all parts of being a dad which includes dealing with fallouts not dumping on his ex and blaming her for why he can't do what his kids want. His kids need to know they have a. Dad and sometimes that means being the bad guy who doesn't do what they want and who makes them do homework. The problem is your oh. I'm sure his heart is in the right place nutEme as my dh: feels guilty so doesn't parent.Esmee got it spot on.
It shouldn't be an option for 8 year old to leave OH's house. He is the responsible parent for whatever the agreed stay is. It's his responsibility to deal with the arguments between 8 yr old and 12 yr old. He needs to be firmer but unfortunately has made a rod for his own back by letting her know that he's too weak to deal with her.
What would you think if you were about to go out with OH for an evening but suddenly couldn't be the two kids had had an argument at the mums house so she'd brought one of them over to you to separate them?
When me and dh give eachother free time from our own dd I spend mine watching daytime tv sometimes and he goes dancing. Both free time is ewually important not his because it involves frienDs. Even a cup of tea on my own is more relaxing, so important to have downtime.
What happens when the girls argue at EX house. 8 year old doesn't demand to come to yours does she? Your OH needs to lay down some ground rules and she does not get to go home. She is trying to divide and conquer. If he does not sort this out now it will only get worse
There's nothing wrong with him going to see them when it's not his time. EOW for ONE night is nothing and in fact, this could be part of the issue. It's too sporadic for the younger one to get used to.
Does the little one have her own space in your house? Why not make a big effort to make it seem more like home? Is it a nice room she has?
I think this your relationship has probably moved very fast for an 8 year old. You met her and her sister and them moved in with her dad a month later? I can see all the adjusting is coming out in other ways, sounds like she is trying to get more attention all the I'm going, I'm staying, I'm going stuff.
OH needs to be firmer if she is at his then she is at his. Also popping around to see them when the 8year old is making a fuss is only encouraging her to make a fuss. Maybe he should have a regular weekday evening to pop round, so she would have something to look forward to instead of having a tantrum to force him to come around? That would probably make the Exs life easier too and then everyone would be a bit happier maybe.
But it's not just the dad saying she can go home and making it happen the mother is telling the 8 yr old (and probably the 12 year old) that she can come home if she wants.
I think your OH and Ex need to discuss this properly. Either she can go home when she chooses or she can't. All this back and forth is her decision.
I know siblings can be difficult, but bloody hell they sound like a dramatic pair. I think they need some involvement to reduce these falling outs.
It sounds like the 8 year old is feeling vulnerable and the lack of clear boundaries from your OH, and it sounds like also her mum who are allowing her to decide where she sleeps just because her sister is annoying her won't help. She needs to know where she stands. This is really an issue for your OH and his Ex to sort out, but of course it affects you and I would be telling him he needs to step up and take charge. The 8 year old might not like it at first, but in the long run, it should make her feel more secure to know that her parents will make these decisions and can both take care of her, even when things get tricky.
I only became a stepmum to older teenagers so have no experience of this exact situation but am not sure would be happy with my DH going to his exes house on her demand to spend time with his DCs. She is an ex (and so is he )for a reason and it does sound a tad controlling using the kids to get him to come round and spend time at their ex marital home. Or does she usually go out when he arrives ? Why doesn't she just let him have more days/nights with the kids at your house if she wants him to see them more than he does ?.
As others have said though I do agree with exw must be annoying having a child brought back at the drop of a hat or being blamed for when the child stays when she doesn't want to.
Siblings fight, bicker and argue, it's one of the most trying parts of parenting more than one child. Your oh needs to be a parent and deal with these arguments. Is each sibling responsible 50% of the time. Or are the girls manipulating things so one child gets to be one-on-one with dad while the other gets one-on-one with mum.
Does your oh ever say no to his ex's sudden requests? If it's not convenient then he needs to say no or call/FaceTime instead. If he can accommodate the request then great but if he can't then he can't.
I think it depends on how the mum is saying that she can come home if she wants though. To be honest it's incredibly difficult as a mum to tell your kids that no, they can't come home, and if she's said it once then it may have stuck because home is where the eight year old feels secure.
Also, she may not have plans because she can't make plans because she knows that her ex might bring the eight year old back at any moment. This means that she is a full-time single parent even though the kids do sometimes spend time with their dad.
If she's insisting that your DP spends time with the kids at her's and she then goes out I suspect that it's likely because A, she knows then that she can go out on her terms because the kids are safe with their dad and he can't bring them back, and B, to reduce your involvement.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with the partners of parents being involved with their DC's, even to the point of taking them out alone etc in fact unlike some comments I've seen on here I think it's a healthy approach. But only if it's as part of that relationship, and not if it's because the other parent is deferring the parenting to the new partner, which sounds like what your DP is doing here. And reality is that you've been together for such a short time and you moved in together so quickly after meeting the DC that there was never any time for them to become used to the new dynamic before they were forced to be a part of it. The ex is forcing him to be a parent by insisting that his time with the kids is spent in their home where he can't run away from it or defer to someone else. She likely knows what kind of parent he is (and isn't) and as such this has likely been an approach which worked for her in the past.
He needs to step up and start parenting his children properly. The eight year old needs to be told that no, she's not going home, and actually this is as much her home as her mum's, and the both of them need to be firmly told that the level of bickering is not acceptable.
And your involvement needs to reduce a bit. While you're prepared to take the eight year old out on her own and to have chats with her about staying there overnight he doesn't have to deal with it. I'm not saying withdraw, but you need to be more of a united front where these are his children and he is the main disciplinarian, and confidant, but you are his partner and therefore his support, not the other way around.
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