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I'm I being selfish?(14 Posts)
I have been a step mum to two children for 5 years. Honestly it's been a challenge but they have been great and totally accepted me. When their half sister came along it just gelled is all together more. The problem is one I couldn't really have foreseen. My husband was basically abused by the kids mother. They never married but she forced him to stay and basically had control over everything he did. She was also very aggressive and manipulative. I know this is usually the other way round but I promise she was the abusive one.
Anyway now their son is a teen he's being challenging. And my husband is spending hours a day on the phone to her and every time he drops the kids she corners him for ages. He feels he has to be her support as they share a son. But he's suffering from major stress and depressed and hates having all this contact. Yet feels he can't (or won't) tell her to back off. He's spending time supporting her while I then have to support him and pretend I'm just fine with everything. It's exhausting. And talking to him about it just makes him more stressed. I'm totally lost with what to do. I didnt sign up to share my husband!
Can you do drops back or dothem jointly? Other than that he needs to just say no
Could he subtly drop the level of contact with her; so if she’s phoning every day he could eswnrially not answer, text her saying he’s busy and will call when he can then call the next day.
It’ll take a bit of time but she’ll get used to not being able to speak to him every day and unconsciously stop calling him so much.
The same with when she drops the kids could he be “out” and you answer every so often.
Yes thanks. Maybe I need to be more proactive to keep the time together limited.
It depends really on what they're discussing when they talk.
If they're co-parenting a challenging teen and discussing their son and how to approach the issues they're dealing with, then it's great that they're talking things out. I wish my DP had more opportunity to have those kinds of conversations with DSS's mother.
And I can see how that could stress your DP out, given their history, but that's how things are likely to be as long as he has a son with her. And that's not you sharing your husband, that's you being in a relationship with a father.
If they're not talking about their son, though, then you're within your rights to put your foot down.
What do you mean by 'supporting her'? Teenagers can go through difficult times that are emotionally draining for parents. It's part of je parcel. It's good they are discussing together how best to deal with it with consistency. Are you he is stressed because of her or as a normal dad of three children and one of which is a demanding teenager?
Thanks all for the messages. I just needed to vent. She spends two mins talking about the kids then another half hour talking about herself and her problems. I've never had a problem with them discussing the children. She does it with me too. All about her problems. Anyway. Its just hard sometimes. Thanks all
What are her problems that are not related to the children? Surely the conversations can be rerouted to stay away from these matters. You/your OH don't have to be her counsellor, but is this a cry for help hoping for more support with the kids?
Why do you have to pretend you’re fine with everything? That can’t be helping the situation.
DH is an adult. If he feels she is taking up too much time with non child related issues, he just needs to cut the conversation firmly and politely and then leave.
I have spoken to him about this now.
He's a great dad and knows that if he cuts her off or upsets her she will retaliate through the children. She has treated them appallingly in the past including kicking them out to live with us (which we will happily do). She is mentally ill but won't accept that and blames the kids and my DH for everything wrong in her life. Anyway we are mostly able to find a balance. It just been harder recently. I know there are two sides to these things but it's hard to hold it all together at the moment.
Maybe he can consult a therapist who could help him deal with his inability of saying "no"...I know that for these kinds of people, you can't just suggest to "set boundaries", because they can not do it. They need help.
I really feel for you - you could be describing my partner’s ex here too. I can’t really give you any advice as it’s an impossibly difficult situation but just wanted to say I feel you and I sympathise massively.