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AIBU to be annoyed with DStepSon and his attitude?

253 replies

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 20:20

NC because I've seen the judgment and flaming some Stepmothers get for having any issue with DSChildren. Some advice would be really appreciated.
I've been with DP for 9yrs, 3DCs together, 1 DsS from his previous rship. DsS (age 12) lives with his Mum.
All children have always been treated equally, I love them all equally, and treat them the same, as does their DF.
The issue is, how to deal with DsS at the moment. We moved away 18months ago because of work and university situations (work for DP, Uni for me- commuting 4hrs daily was physically and mentally exhausting), so it made sense to move. DsS was aware of this from the start, that a move was the only way we could keep our heads above water.
We've tried our hardest to see DsS in this year, to the point we travelled the 3hrs back to our old town as arranged, arrived at his home and was told, "he's out, doesn't want to see you".
He ignores us all of the time, despite is really trying to talk and arrange to see him. He doesn't talk until until a week before his birthday, when he tells us what he wants...and then a few days before Xmas, and tells us what his DM is getting him, so we can " decide what else so he doesn't get two of the same".
He's largely ignored our calls and texts for months now, until Lo and Behold, a text three days ago, saying "It's school holidays now, when are you coming to get me?" followed by "You can take me to place, as it's near to your new house. And, "Mum wants to know when your coming, and where you're going to take me. Answer me"

We have always treated all four children to have respect and manners, and if he was here, he would be told off for blatant brattish attitude.

I'm just annoyed. He ignores DP and me for 11 months of the year, but when he thinks treats and presents are involved, he wants some contact and issues demands. We wouldn't take that from the 3DCs at home, are we meant to from DS who isn't here? I don't know.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

OP posts:
HoldYerWhist · 24/07/2015 23:06

So you could do it for uni but can't do it for the child you love like your own.

Be honest, you didn't post for help. You posted to bitch about this child you fucked off on. Just read your own thread title!

ADishBestEatenCold · 24/07/2015 23:08

"Were we meant to stay, despite the fact that DsS has a nice Mum, lovely home, and lots of extended family on his DMs side- while we live exhaus ted, risking losing our home because we end up unemployed and on benefits?"

Yes! Yes, you were. No caring parent makes one of their Children's lives worse, in order to make their own life better.

That's exactly what your DP did.

Yet still you don't see it. In fact, you seem to think you've tried.

MadamArcatiAgain · 24/07/2015 23:08

Hmm The thing I noted in your OP was there was a lot of 'we'[ , 'us' and 'our'. I think you need to step back a bit and let your DH be the one to communicate with his son and organise things.Do they do much together just him and his dad or are you lot always lurking?

Mumoftwoyoungkids · 24/07/2015 23:09

Ok - forget about whether you made the right decision or the wrong one. You made it. It's done. You can't go back.

All you can do is try and fix the horrible horrible mess that the decision has made and to try and convince your stepson that you do give a shit.

I have no idea why this wasn't sorted - if the only time you get to see him is the holidays then he really needs to know that seeing him is the absolute no 1 priority for the holiday. That you will pull out all stops to see him. That you are desperate to see him.

The texts to me sound like someone who is trying very hard not to let you see how much he cares as he thinks that you may reject him. Childish - yes. But then - he is a child!

So the correct answer is "when would you like to come. We would love to see you. Happy to come and get you any day. Whenever suits you and mum. Tomorrow? Sunday? Monday? So looking forward to seeing you."

DoJo · 24/07/2015 23:10

We moved, like thousands of people do. Were we meant to stay, despite the fact that DsS has a nice Mum, lovely home, and lots of extended family on his DMs side- while we live exhausted, risking losing our home because we end up unemployed and on benefits?

But these aren't the only two options - you could have stayed and found work where you were!

Having a nice mum and lovely home and extended family doesn't make up for your dad upping sticks with his 'new family' and dropping from regular, loving contact to barely seeing him.

And I'm not sure why you keep referring to being on benefits - would you have done anything to avoid relying on benefits if it meant not seeing your children for a year? You seem to be making a virtue out of your desire not to be on benefits whilst overlooking the fact that your step-son has been the only one to really make sacrifices in this situation as you and your partner apparently have easier lives now than you would have if you hadn't moved.

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:10

Thank you to everyone for their opinions and judgments
From the people who've actually stood back and tried to see both mine and DsS family side, thank you. Flowers
I only posted for hopefully some advice on how to handle a tense and hard situation. But the same people who said don't make out your stepson means as much as your DCs- they don't have also said, why didn't you make DsS as much a priority as DCs ...which one is it?
I can't do right for doing wrong.

OP posts:
Kikimoon · 24/07/2015 23:11

Why don't you try at least a monthly visit? Your dh could get the train there and back in a day and just meet for a walk and talk, or perhaps you have friends there so he could stay over to make it easier?

I'd ignore the rudeness and just address the issues as far as your dss goes.

MadamArcatiAgain · 24/07/2015 23:11

Also I think the commuting thing is a bit of a red herring. You were commuting 4 hours a day ie 2 hours each way, but now you live 3 hours away from the boy? Why have you gone an hour the other side instead of in between ?

AcrossthePond55 · 24/07/2015 23:13

My goodness, such vitriol! Parents move, it happens. If it's handled properly, the children are just fine. Would you all be saying the same thing about the mother if she had moved 3 hours away for her job or school and took the child with her, away from his father?

I think the only problem here was that DSS's visits to your home weren't calendared right away, either just before or just after you moved. As a result he's feeling a bit lost and unwanted. The 'gimmies' are normal for his age, it's just that when you see them more often there are other topics of conversation interspersed with the gimmies.

I'd suggest first figuring times in the near future when you can have DSS for a few days over the school holidays. Same thing for the rest of the year's school breaks. Then contact his mother and propose those dates to her. The adults need to work this out and then let DSS know when he'll be with you. I'd not plan anything special to entice him and I'd ignore his 'when are you taking me to XX', you don't want to go down that road.

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:13

mumoftwoyoungkids that's exactly what I did send!
I said I could come through today, and he said "I can't, come next week. Mum says Friday come and get me, and what will we be doing?"

OP posts:
AlfAlf · 24/07/2015 23:13

It sounds frustrating but I think you and dp should be very understanding of dss under the circumstances. 12 year olds are complex young people anyway, but there are a lot of extra complications at play in this boy's life.
I would gently pull him up on any rudeness, but make lots and lots of effort to keep communication open, between him and his younger siblings as well. His dad needs to instigate daily contact, and not sulk if he doesn't get a reply but try again the next day. A parent's love is unconditional.
You need to see him more often than just the holidays or you'll become strangers. Even if it's only one night a month, it has to be a priority.

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:14

Thank you accrossthepond* that makes sense.

OP posts:
shewillhaveherway · 24/07/2015 23:15

I have enormous amounts of sympathy for stepmothers - I am one and I find the mumsnet step parenting board to be often pointless vile to step parents.

But reading your post I have to say I cannot see how you managed to commute to your university (presumably daily - but however many times a week you went) but yet you (really your husband) cannot make similar arrangements to travel once a fortnight to get your stepson/his son? How did you afford the (daily?) commute to university as a family if you can't afford to cover the cost as a family once a fortnight?

He is now 12 - could his mother put him on the train and his father met him half way? At the very least surely the choice has to be the boy's. The travel to spend time ratio might seem small to you - but it might be of unimaginable value to him.

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:16

MadamArcatiAgain 'you lot'?? Hmm

OP posts:
DoJo · 24/07/2015 23:18

Why, when I'm trying, am I being flamed as I expected

Because you are seeing it as a problem with your step-son's attitude and not as a reaction to the decision you and his father made. If you had said 'my husband and I made a difficult decision which has turned out to be the wrong one for my step-son, how can we try to fix it' then people would probably have been more understanding, but you have fixated on the negatives of your step-son's behaviour whilst ignoring your role in it.

If it's handled properly, the children are just fine.

Really? Children go from spending half their time with their father and siblings to barely seeing them and they are just fine? Under what circumstances?

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:19

'You lot always Lurking' with all respect MadamArcatiAgain you must mean his brother, two sisters, and SM lurking about? Have a Biscuit

OP posts:
Aeroflotgirl · 24/07/2015 23:19

Op you are being unfairly treated on here, I would repost on the Stepparent board for more varied responses.

AlfAlf · 24/07/2015 23:24

across makes a really good point about scheduling visits. When I took dd1 to live far away from her dad, before a visit with him ended we had to have the next visit arranged with definite dates. Otherwise she felt bereft and in limbo when saying goodbye (and for hours/days after :()
You all need to tell him how important he really is to you, and then demonstrate it.

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:25

Thank you aeroflotgirl x

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SurlyCue · 24/07/2015 23:28

alfalf this is the point i made way upthread. Contacg should be planned for the year ahead so DSS knows when he leaves dad's at mid term break he will be back again at bank holiday weekend then again at the first day of summer hols etc.

AlfAlf · 24/07/2015 23:31

Well, then you made a really good point too Surly :)
It was a lesson we learnt the hard way. I had no mn then..

HoneyLemon · 24/07/2015 23:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:34

Thanks all. I'll do what I can and avoid MN in future as I'm obviously a witch Smile

OP posts:
HoldYerWhist · 24/07/2015 23:36

You're refusing to answer questions.

You bitched about a twelve year old child.

You pretended you wanted help when you were called out on it.

and avoid MN in future as I'm obviously a witch

If the Broom fits...

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:36

Exactly honeylemon we did what we thought was right.

OP posts:
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