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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:
Mumoftwoyoungkids · 24/07/2015 23:37

That's good that he's willing to come and you have a confirmed date.

Tell him Friday is great (it is!) and give him a couple of options of things to do on Saturday and let him choose. You can't make the visit full of trips to Disneyland but you can remember that he hasn't had a treats from his father for a very long time so he does deserve more than helping out with the tesco shop and a quick trip to the park.

You need to keep reminding yourselves - he is angry and hurt, he has the right to be angry and hurt, we may not have meant to hurt him but we did, this is our problem, we need to fix this.

Also - has your husband applied for flexible working so that he can finish early every 3rd Friday or so? Most decent companies would be very sympathetic to someone who had to move 3 hours away from their child due to a branch closing down.

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 23:42

mumotwo would be be able to apply for that as NRP?

OP posts:
WoonerismSpit · 24/07/2015 23:43

OP you are avoiding the question.

How did you manage to afford to commute this distance multiple times a week, if you are unable to afford to visit him once a week? Once EOW?

SurlyCue · 24/07/2015 23:44

Im thinking youre about to start your 3rd year of degree? So you'd be finishing may time next year? Quite honestly i would be using this time to both look for and plan for jobs back in the old town for round about that time. If youre doing a masters then same advice but for the following year. Yes you have made a decision you thought would work but it doesnt have to be permanent. Its ok to say "we made a mistake" and decide to go back. I'd be planning for your future, for the next 6ish years at least, to be where his son is and alwas has been.

SurlyCue · 24/07/2015 23:45

mumotwo would be be able to apply for that as NRP?

No harm in trying. Dont discount things before you try!

WhattodowithMum · 24/07/2015 23:47

I'd like to know too, WoonerismSpit.

I understand moving to keep a job when you have a family to support. It's not always easy to get something else, and no one can rely on benefits these days. They are rapidly disappearing. But the financial/logistical impossibility of EOW contact just doesn't add up.

HoneyLemon · 24/07/2015 23:53

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoJo · 24/07/2015 23:53

mumotwo would be be able to apply for that as NRP?

Anyone can apply for flexible working.

PurpleSwift · 24/07/2015 23:55

How did you manage to travel to uni frequently but can't manage to go and get step son EOW? Keep going, prove to him you want to see him, persevere

wannaBe · 25/07/2015 00:00

so, a couple splits and then one parent finds a new partner, has more children with them, and then moves away from the existing children to benefit their new family and the child left behind is being blamed for the attitude? And the op gets the sympathy? I don't think so.

Quite how someone can use the words "moved three hours away" and "treat all the children equally" in the same sentence is beyond me.

The child's parents are already not together, and now the child has to accept that his siblings come before him in the pecking order because they get to move with their dad and he doesn't, and yet he's the one who gets the blame.

Frankly if the child doesn't want to see his dad then the dad has no-one to blame but himself.

And nice emotive use of not wanting to live on benefits there. For the record I would think the same of a woman who took her kids away from their father, but reality is that you only have children for a short while, plenty of time to put yourself first when they've left home. Oh, and you do realise that if you and your h split then he will happily cast your children aside for any new family who might come along....

ungratefulfecker · 25/07/2015 00:11

OP's admitted it wasn't the best decision, but she's asking for help, not 'I could never do that to MY children' posturing. It's just putting the boot in FFS - sometimes human beings make bad decisions.

OP, how is your DP's job going? What do you think things will look like in a year? When will you be finished your degree and getting a new job? Would you consider moving closer soon? Can you learn to drive?

HoneyLemon · 25/07/2015 00:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

textfan · 25/07/2015 00:13

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Kitsandkids · 25/07/2015 00:20

My dad moved away from his 'first family' when he met my mum - and further away than you have. To be honest, as much as I love my dad (now deceased) I've never been able to fully understand, or really forgive, how he could do that. My parents did try and visit his 2 eldest kids, or have them visit us, every 6 weeks or so but I didn't have a close relationship with my siblings as a child because I was very shy. I actually made the decision to move to their home town myself 10 years ago and now we're very close. I just wish my parents hadn't chosen to move away from there before I was born.

The only advice I would give is to keep trying to maintain the relationship even if he doesn't seem keen. So have his dad ring him at the same time every day. Even if he won't talk, at least he will be aware his dad is thinking about him. I would write him letters and send him little ad hoc presents like stickers or a new pen - just little things to show that his 'other family' does care about him. And if he does pull right away from you in his teenage years don't worry too much - as long as he knows there's a place for him he'll probably be back. I don't have many memories of my eldest brother from when I was a child as we rarely saw him for a good few years. But gradually he started being there more often and he and my dad reconnected over some common interests. In the end, all 4 of my dad's children were there with him when he died.

AyeAmarok · 25/07/2015 01:01

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LeopardIsTheNewBlack · 25/07/2015 01:17

I have the wonder how many of the posters who are judging OP so harshly are step parents or step children themselves? I'm presuming that her DH pays some type of financial support to his DS so if he is unable so make ends meet it does affect not only his kids with OP but his DS as well.
I used to commute 4-5 hrs daily for work. It was absolutely awful. It wasn't that expensive because it was considered 'local' travel. However I was traveling to a major city with horrendous traffic and having to use multiple modes of transportation . I can actually drive to a lot of places much further from my home in three hours so that's really apples to oranges. I don't think it would be feasible for OP and her family to visit/ pick up DSS every weekend if it's 3 hours one way. That's 12 hours traveling over the weekend. What are the other three kids supposed to do?
However I'm struggling to understand why both parents didn't agree on a visitation schedule? DSS lives with us now but a couple of years ago he moved 2 hours away from us with his mum. We saw him every other weekend and mum and us Would meet at a half way point. This way instead of taking turns doing a 4 hour one way drive each party did a 2 hour trip.
It also sounds like DSS is old enough to start taking a train by himself soon.
I don't think OP has done anything wrong by moving but visitation needs to be arranged much much better!

HoldYerWhist · 25/07/2015 01:24

I am a stepmother.

SD has recently decided, for no discernible reason, to cut off me and her younger siblings.

I have been dreadfully hurt by her. My dc have been mistreated by her.

I'm still appalled by OP.

kali110 · 25/07/2015 01:44

Cometely agree with you AyeAmarok
You say that you get on well with dss mother and that she is nice, yet you seem to blame her for his attitude?
If you could manage to commute to uni how many times a week how can you not afford to pick a child you love like your own up eow?
This isn't his fault, it's no wonder he is acting out like this!
He's gone from seeing his dad a couple of times a week to a few times a year!
His dad leaves him, starts a new family and then moves. He's going to feel abandoned.
No wonder he's angry and doesn't want to see you at all.
He hasn't been treated equally if you wouldn't do this to your other kids.

kali110 · 25/07/2015 01:45

sorry hold Flowers

lunar1 · 25/07/2015 03:02

Why the hell are you studying in this situation? How can that be judged more important than a child's relationship with his dad and siblings.

He should be traveling a minimum of eow to spend the weekend with his son. How could the money be found for your daily commute but not contact.

How dare you question the reaction of a child to his family abandoning him. Everything you post is about yours and your partners selfish behaviour which there is no justification for.

Will you come back to bitch about your own children when they are old enough to understand what their parents are capable of? Because that might cause some acting out as well. How can they trust that or of them may be cut off at some point, which sibling might they lose next?

iamanintrovert · 25/07/2015 03:24

Poor OP! You need a tough hide to post on here :) I love how a poster further up told you off for saying that you loved your stepson as much as your others! Anyway, I don't think you're in the wrong. As "normal" families we shouldn't let important life decisions revolve just around the children - there's plenty of other things to consider such as money, jobs, the parents' needs etc. Yet on this board it often seems that you should plan your whole life around non-resident step children.

I think that you and DP need to get a bit tough and firm with DSS. Say that you all love him and want to spend time with him, and that these are going to be the contact arrangements (discuss with his mum first of course), and that you expect him to comply. Good luck :)

maybebabybee · 25/07/2015 04:05

Christ, some of the responses on here are completely hysterical and OTT.

That is coming from someone whose father moved to another country when I was thirteen.

OP, you are a bit short sighted to not understand why your DSS is behaving like he is, and you absolutely make more effort to make him feel loved and wanted, but I'm sorry I don't agree with pp who say you should have stayed in your home town if you were going to end up with no home and on benefits. Are those pp really suggesting that OP's other 3 children should have to suffer so they can stay near their brother?

riveravon23 · 25/07/2015 04:23

I'm sorry if this has been remarked on before but I really don't understand the following:

How come the OP and her partner could commute FOUR hours EVERY day for work/college, yet they can't travel THREE hours each weekend to see their DS/DSS, who of course is treated exactly the same as their other children (except they, of course, see their parents EVERY day).

RC1234 · 25/07/2015 04:25

Seriously some of you seem to have no idea on the kind of logistics and costs that it would take to have both parents doing a very long commute. To throw away several years of study is daft. I can totally see why the chap felt the need to relocate with the job because you have no idea how easy it would be to find an equivalent role where he was. That said the summer is a great time to reconnect. The father needs to take the lead and yes some alone time with him and the stepson is required. Then realistic contact plans need to be set in place and agreed by both parties. The OP and her family are trying to do this. I think that you also need to set up regular phone calls or letters in between visits if you can or something similar - it might be onesided but at least he might feel that he was constantly in your thoughts and feel less abandoned.

InHouseLawyer · 25/07/2015 04:29

we did what we thought was right

Do you now accept it was wrong?

It is so painfully obvious your DSS feels abandoned so you need to fix this ASAP. To start with you need to reinstate EOW. If that can only be done by you getting a job then that is what you must do.

You say you treat all DC the same but I simply don't believe that if your choice was uni or see your DC you'd choose uni. Stop being selfish.

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