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RE: I'm so upset and frustrated, sorry so v long again...

(6 Posts)
kiram Thu 04-Sep-08 21:48:04

This situation with my partner is really starting to get me down, more so than it has done in a while now.

My OH has always disciplined and controlled his children the way he does now, though he has calmed down a fair bit. About 6 months prior to moving in with my ex, I watched him lose it with his children big time, until then he used to shout/yell at them loads, smack and shake them and generally treat them in a way I found disrespectful to the children, but this time his ex had dumped them on us and said she no longer wanted them (she'd had a barney with her boyfriend and followed him up north). I can understand my OH was in turmoil with this but he lashed it out on the children, and I was mortified. So my OH?s ex can at times have a distinct effect on how he is with the children, as in losing it, but he has a short fuse with them anyway, which is why I am very cagey with him when it comes to my own children (two boys 3 and 4). He?s asked me why I won't let him into my children?s lives, and I tried to explain why, he took it as me saying he was a naff parent and a crap dad. I have tried to step back a little and let him into the boys lives and now it?s like I can't even parent my boys the way I wish to, OH says ?I?m not firm enough with the boys, I let them get away with things??? Etc, I feel like he's trying to take control. My OH also has a habit of issuing threats and not following them through or issuing silly threats to his children such as, 'I?ll take your games console away for a week' when its at their mothers house anyway??' . He dotes on his eldest son, who can do no wrong and at 14 struts around the place like he owns it doing as he wishes because his dad pretty much lets him. As for my OH 2 girls, he down on them like a ton of bricks, same as he is with my boys.

We could never sit down with his ex to discuss the matter, she says everything will be fine once she has her hubby back in the UK with her and that she won't have any need for my OH. She hates me with venom and dislikes the girls talking about what they have done with me when they've stayed over. Its difficult enough trying to discuss this with my OH, I by no means want it all my way but I believe in bringing my boys up differently and seeing as his children don't live with us then is there any harm in that? Maybe there is, maybe I?m being unfair, I don't know? He has said to me before that he knows what he is doing, he has been a parent longer than I have and knows that children just do things to wind us up and be naughty (I always thought it was because a child was angry, upset, scared, frustrated, wants some attention whether that be positive or negative, or can't express how they are feeling, am I right or wrong here?)

Its really hard for me, I was brought up in a loving family and I?m very much grateful for that. I expected that when I had children it would be the same for my family. I've not yet experienced that warm feeling as I had when I was a child of a family unit except for when I lived alone with my boys, then we were a family. My ex husband had little interest in our oldest and I due to his affair and my dreams of a family were cruelly blown apart whilst I was pregnant with our second. I'd just like to be a family if possible but how can that ever happen if my OH won't listen to me or hear what I?m trying to say? All he seems to hear is criticism which is by no means what I am doing.

I initially had problems with my ex husband, our views on parenting were very different too and being as I now didn't trust him it just made things a whole lot worse, but I got angry, I got on my high horse and let him know how I feel and slowly we've worked through our differences and we now respect one another?s views as parents, we've compromised, we talk together about the boys, any issues or concerns etc and we work with each other, not against anymore. He hears me, he talks with me, and he listens.

Every time I go to talk with my OH he immediately goes on the defensive, ?oh your saying I?m a bad dad, that I don't discipline my children etc? and he'll stick up for his ex saying she is a good mum when she has her head in gear. Well maybe she was a good mum, maybe she can be again, but as far as I see it she isn't being one right now! My OH can't hear what I?m actually saying, won't hear me and is listening and hearing the bits he chooses to then translating it into me wanting it all my way.

I really am at the point now where I want my own space back again, I love him but I?m beginning to feel I can't live with him. He's being too controlling in the parental department, and is behaving clingy and needy. I want a man in my life, not another child to raise!

He is very slowly starting to stand up for himself with regards to his ex, but she knows how to manipulate him big time. He even threatened her with taking custody of the children and/or reducing or cutting her maintenance the other day, but then she said she'd fight back and then she burst into tears (all this was in front of the children) and started saying to their children 'it'll all be better soon when hubby arrives' and turned to my OH and said 'if you take my money away then I?ll go bankrupt'. So he backed down. So now OH said he wants things to carry on as they are and if and when problems arise we (WE!!) will deal with them. So to me means an uncertain future (his ex has married a 24 year old foreigner, who she met online, met 6 months later and married on holiday, the children have never met and he's now their stepdad, which worries me a fair bit) which I?m now worrying about because of my boys, studies, my business etc.. Mine and my boys lives. To top it off he has told me that we are in debt and will need to be very careful with money over the next 6 months as he has no job at present and no income until his new business takes off.

At the end of the day, I worry about the effect of all this on my boys, I want what?s best for them - a happy settled life with routine with boundaries with laid down rules, with love and respect for one another. I'm feeling so confused, frustrated and generally unhappy and I feel I?m not achieving any of what I want for my boys (or for myself) because I feel so dragged down with things. I feel a real need for space and independence, I feel smothered by his neediness and clinginess and the pressure off of him for our love life to return. He wants the ?real me? back as he puts it, well as do I, I want to laugh, have fun and be the person I know I am, the one who felt a lively free spirit after my divorce. I want my man back!!

I want to talk to my OH, I want to tell him how I feel, but I know he?ll automatically go on the defensive and/or start saying ?oh you think I?m a bad parent, crap partner, you want to leave me, you?re bored of me, you don?t find me attractive etc etc??

I'm so sorry to go on, I haven't felt this way in a long time but all the same this has been building up for a long time, I can't concentrate and my mind is in a right muddle.

Many thanks again for reading

Sarah x

SammyK Thu 04-Sep-08 21:56:26

"At the end of the day, I worry about the effect of all this on my boys, I want what?s best for them - a happy settled life with routine with boundaries with laid down rules, with love and respect for one another."

I think you have your answer.

I think if you want to improve your relationship you should do this on your own terms. Step back from your OH and his probs, focus on your sons and maybe do relate whilst apart.

MadameOvary Thu 04-Sep-08 22:08:39

You want your own space back again.
You worry about his questionable parenting skills.
You worry about his effect on your boys.
You felt like a better family unit when you were on your own with your boys.
You feel like your OH is another child to look after.
This really sounds like you do NOT want this. At the very least, how can he be a committed parent and partner when so much of his energy is caught up in his toxic relationship with his ex?

I couldnt help but respond as your post reminds me of my situation. I dont live with DP and I prefer it that way. We see each other most days but it's me and DD mainly and it works fine. He is less keen but tough, the way I see it the happier and calmer I am the better parent I will be to DD.

solidgoldbrass Thu 04-Sep-08 22:15:25

Dump this man. He's a bully and a control freak of the type who could become dangerous. Are you really prepared to let him hit your children because he thinks that's 'good' parenting?

SilverSparkle Fri 05-Sep-08 09:58:03

Hi, i have 2 boys similar in age to yours and i have to say, if i was in your situation, i would leave this man. You don't fully agree with or respect his parenting style and you feel that your not fully being able to parent your own boys now....leave and be a family once again as you said you used to be, with you and your boys and give them a happy childhood as you had.


2rebecca Sat 06-Sep-08 09:14:45

This post is a bit confusing. You say in the first line "about 6 months after moving in with my ex I watched him lose it"
Why and when did you move back in with your ex? Is the "him" your current partner. Have you been going back and forth from your ex if you moved back in with him whilst still seeing current partner? Are you married to the current bloke, how long have you been together and do you have any kids together?
It sounds as though you maybe moved in together too quickly as you have differenting parenting styles and can't find a compromise. Can you move apart again and see how things go with the relationship when you aren't living together.
You sound as though you wish you were with your exhusband (? the one you moved back in with)

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