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Is it wrong to want ONE thing with DH that doesn't involve SS?

iamlosingit's picture

I already have a feeling everyone is going to say "this is your fault; you knew he had a kid".  If that is going to be your response, please move along.  Trust me.  I know he had a kid.  What I didn't know was how "leechy" dh and ss would become the older ss got.  It creeps me out.  Plus, I'm tired and I had a $hitty birthday.  Let me vent, please. 

  SS has now started sitting in the front seat.  I don't know when this started.  He is very short, barely can get on the rides at the amusement parks.  Now our state doesn't have laws on child age for sitting in the front, but majority of websites pushes for 13 and up.  He isn't even 11.  I don't know why this bothers me.  It was my birthday yesterday and I happened to be with dh when he went to pick up ss for visitation. (Yay...visitation on my birthday)  SS immediately runs to get in the front seat and sees me there, scowls, and gets in the back.  When it was time to drop him off, as soon as dh started his vehicle (remote start) ss ran outside to get in the front.  I wasn't going with for drop off, but I'm praying this doesn't become a stupid issue of "who gets to sit in the front" as soon as it's time to go.  Kids sat in the back when adults were in the vehicle, that's just how it always was when I was younger.

Peeve number 2:

DH and I either go camping over July 4th weekend (if it's visitation) or we go to my cousins cabin (if no visitation). 

It depends on the visitation rotation.  Thanks to the holiday schedule+regular schedule this year, we have ss for over a week straight.  I'm already dreading this.  SS hates camping.  DH swears ss loves it.  No dh....ss "loves it" for about 1.5 days, then it becomes "its too hot/buggy/smokey/I'm bored/are we leaving yet/when are we going back to YOUR house/etc" or a "how much $ are we going to spend on ss to make sure he is constantly entertained".  I always have to make sure the campsite has wifi so ss can get bored/hot/tired and sit inside the camper playing computer games with a fan 5 inches from his face.  Love spending $45+/night for the kid to sit indoors.  If he wanted to do that we could've stayed home.  The ONE time we rented a site with no wifi...ss literally sat in dh truck with dh cell phone plugged in and burned through the data for BOTH our cell phone plans in one day. (Thank god Dh has his own phone plan now).  When I brought up our limited data plan dh said "ss is bored, what am I supposed to do, tell him to sit there and stare outside?" This campsite had three HUGE playgrounds filled with kids ss age playing.  SS didn't even bother checking it out, and dh didn't encourage it.  When I tried suggesting we walk to the parks to check them out, I was met by a "nah"...no matter what I tried to do.  Dh tried "catch", mini-golf, bike rentals (lasted 10 minutes, ss didn't like the bike) everything under the sun...but as soon as his attention wasn't 100% on ss it became a whine-fest of "daaaadeeee when are we going back to yoooooouuur house?"

Anyway, DH couldn't find a site this year.  I left the planning up to him because I told him we had no money for camping this year. He swore we did.  Needless to say, if you don't have a site pre-booked in March for July 4th, good luck finding a vacancy.  DH started looking around April 1st, sure enough, nothing is available.  It also doesn't help that we can't even pick up ss until 4p.m. on July 3rd.  Most campsites require "holiday booking".  Example, 2016 visitation I had to book the campsite from July 2nd to the 8th even though we couldn't pick up ss until the evening of the 4th due to the schedule.   So I wasted money on 2.5 days that we weren't able to be there.  Plus by the time we picked up ss, sat in traffic for hours thanks to rush hour, and actually arrived to the site it was dark. We were setting up with flashlights while ss sat in the truck and complained non-stop about bugs and being too hot.

I'm getting off topic.  So Dh was talking to my cousin about how he "can't find a campsite this year" and my damn cousin suggests "why don't you guys bring the camper up to our cabin for the 4th this year?"  Great. Just great. 

Some things about the cabin: it is old.  There is no internet.  There is nothing "in town" to do.  When Dh and I go there, we relax, sunbathe, drink, listed to music, play poker with the neighbors, go golfing, etc.  It isn't this "action packed weekend".  There isn't even a TV so ss won't be able to play his video games. (how much do you want to bet that we will be bringing SS' flatscreen from his room?) None of our cabin friends have kids ss age, they all have kids now in their mid-twenties with very young kids of their own.  The other reason it bothers me? That is "our spot".  That is literally the only thing dh and I have e/o year that DOESN'T include ss.  We can't go to a restaurant without taking ss, if we go to a campsite on a non-skid weekend we MUST re-book the following weekend so ss can see it.  My life doesn't revolve around ss.  Add this on to the 'front seat" thing and I'm just feeling overwhelmed that soon this spawn will be taking over my life the older he gets instead of maturing and learning life skills and, oh I don't know, actually making friends and having sleepovers like a normal kid? Not relying on adults for constant entertainment? 

Peeve 3:

Dh bought "me" a sound bar sound system for my birthday.  I didn't ask for one.  I asked him to pay the f'ing bills.

  First thing he did was set it up in the living room to watch a movie that SS wanted to watch.  Laying side-by-side on the couch with ss wrapped in a blanket because ss was "cold" and wanted to 'snuggle' (*GAG*)  Gee honey...thanks.  I love when men use your birthday as an excuse to get something they want.  I spent my birthday on our porch reading, being ignored by everyone.  My dad was the only one who called.  My brother drunk dialed to wish me a happy birthday...then turned it into wanting dh and I to go to his dr appointment in a few months to discuss his next care plan..

I know I sound petty and stupid.  I get it.  But it just sucks that every year for DH birthday it involves going out to eat, camping, drinking, taking time off work, grilling, grocery planning, just a week-long celebration with or without ss-...then my birthday comes and nothing, and my family forgets.  For all they ask from me; my family sucks. 

Comments

Bunny2's picture

 

 

Talking from standpoint of former SD, and currently still married to my kids' real dad, (no step kids) but:

Ok, on issue one: NO. Get husband to tell his son that unless there is only ONE adult in car, kids sit in BACK. I don't let MY kids do different, and they are MINE. 

Second issue: Nothing wrong with a kid free weekend here-and-there. It's FINE, and he would be SO BORED that you all would be miserable. 

Third issue: If a kid will snuggles, let his father ENJOY it. Nothing wrong with that, and it goes away SO FAST... 

Fourth: Your fam-- including hubby-- were being selfish on your birthday, yes. 

 

For the most part, you DON'T sound petty. You sound REASONABLE about your own self-care. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Because you aren't a step parent, you're missing the nuance as to why snuggling was a problem.

Even if her DH only had his kid EOWE, so 52 days a Year, DH has 51 days that AREN'T his wife's birthday to snuggle. He has 51 other days to watch a movie SS wants to watch.

It isn't always about the kid, and parents have to model the behavior they want their kids to exhibit. In this instance, DH had the opportunity to teach his son that his wife's birthday is important and should be celebrated by all just like DH's and SS's are. DH and SS SHOULD have gotten her a cake. They SHOULD have taken her to dinner. They SHOULD have let her pick the movie. And DH SHOULD have snuggled his wife and made her feel special.

There are certain things that cannot exist in a blended family that do exist in an intact family. However, those things should relate to KIDS and PARENTING, not new spouses. If you are divorced, you're going to miss field trips, certain "firsts", actual holidays, etc. It's the burden of not being physically in the life of your child.

However, if you CHOOSE to move on and marry another, as a parent, you still have the responsibility of treating your spouse as your top priority (whereas your kids are your top responsibility). It is unfair to marry someone then put your marriage and your spouse on pause when your kids are over. You HAVE to form a new life, not try to keep the old one going, and that includes NOT excluding or hurting your spouse on their birthday. That means telling your kid NO, we can snuggle tomorrow or right before bed. That means telling your kid NO, the birthday girl gets to choose the movie. As a parent, you are responsible for integrating your two lives into one. When parents fail to do that, you end up with kids who think they rule the roost and SPs who want to pull their hair out because they are constantly being treated like a plaything versus a permanent fixture.

iamlosingit's picture

wait wait sorry....I should've been more specific.  It wasn't the fact that they were "snuggling" I have nothing against father/son affection ...it was how they were snuggling.  They were spooning.  Grown man and child spooning.  Is that normal?? I'm being dead serious because I've never seen anybody spoon with a child that wasn't around toddler age.

Bunny2's picture

Ok, you didn't clarify that... That's WEIRD. (In the first post you just sounded like them snuggling AT ALL made you wanna puke.) If kid was a girl, there would be "suspicions". But from everything else here -- he sounds like a dick anyway. 

iamlosingit's picture

makes me want to puke because that is how they "snuggle".  Lately Its either ss lays on top of dh or dh is spooning ss.  Other times ss is just draped over dh like a fungus, feet in his lap, head in his lap, hanging off him when he's standing there,(daaaadeeee???) just odd "snuggle" behavior to me.  The 'dadeee' thing is a new thing this year too, baby-talk was always odd but now its "dadeee?" this and "dadeee?" that.  Reminds me of how some here have described "mini-wife" syndrome...and it's even worse/more odd to me because he's a boy.  They get plenty of "one-on-one" time together when ss is here, not sure why the behavior is happening.  It's not like we just started dating, its been years.

DaizyDuke's picture

Yeah, very weird for an 11 year old to want to spoon with his dad!  My BS8 stopped wanting to lay on the couch with me a year ago.  And I've never seen him lay on the couch with DH except when he was like maybe 4 and not feeling well and I had to go to work. 

Bunny2's picture

Actually, I said flat out hubs was being selfish about her birthday and she was RIGHT to be mad? 

Iamwoman's picture

Iamlosingit, you don’t sound petty or stupid AT ALL.

Adults get the front seat. Period. In our family, we set a rule long ago that the eldest in the car rides shotgun. Usually that’s me. DD is next in line, the. OSS, then YSS. Anybody who says “that’s not fair!” gets the speech about how life is not fair, and to respect your elders, even if it’s an older sibling.

As for your cousin’s cabin, I would simply say hell to the no to DH and SS. You do NOT need your SS and your DH’s “no boundaries Disney dad” parenting style to ruin your one place of peace. Tell DH and SS to camp alone somewhere while you go to your cousins cabin alone. Peace out. Can’t find a campsite? There is free camping in national forests.

As for your birthday, that was a truly crappy gift from DH. Does he even care about you at all??? He is not only being selfish in regards to you (his wife who he should adore and do anything for and certainly teach his own son to respect you), but he is teaching his son to disrespect adults. This is a bad situation all around.

It sounds like you need some alone time and need to let DH and SS enjoy their daddy/son marriage. After teaching DH this lesson by ditching him on the 4th, you can discuss your feelings with him. If he loves you as a husband should love his wife, then he will step up and parent his son and try to make you happy. If he keeps revolving his life around SS then you need to decide if you’re ok with always being second place in your DH’s eyes.

One more thing: None If is here like to listen to that stupid phrase “you knew he had kids... blah blah” Yes, we knew, but we expected our DH to parent them, and we expect to come first in our husband’s life. Always.

ESMOD's picture

Gahhh... this guy of yours..

Kids should sit in the back seat.  There are safety issues involved but even when they get to the age where it is safe for them to ride up front... adults always get preference.  Print out an article that explains the safety aspect.. tell him that you think he is being reckless with his child.

Re the camping....  I may wrong but money is super tight right?  Well, if that's the case it sounds like a staycation is in order over the 4th.  I know you can go to your cousin's cabin but you honestly know that will cost out of pocket money that you don't have. 

Look, I understand wanting alone and adult time.  I think it would be counterproductive to take the kid somewhere when he has no interest in it.  Your DH thinks he likes it.. your DH doesn't pay attention.  Bets on that the vacation will require some expensive outing since it's so boring at the cabin.

Merry's picture

Have you talked about the birthday "gift" with DH? That was obviously something he wanted and while you might enjoy the quality sound too, it sounds like it wasn't important enough to you to spend money on it.

Will DH insist that you all go to the cabin with SS? Where SS will annoy not only you but all the other adults? I would take a separate car so that DH and SS can bail when the inevitable bored/hot/buggy whining starts.

My SS and DH also were "best buddies" and there wasn't enough oxygen left in the air for me, I swear. I remember that awful feeling of being second place to a teenager/young adult. I finally told DH how left out I felt, including specific examples of when I actually WAS left out. DH was at first defensive in all the ways imaginable -- he didn't know, SS/DH didn't mean it, I'm too critical/selfish/whatever, the thing/trip was really intended for ME, and on and on. As I excluded myself more and more from their relationship and activities (and found my own fun), DH figured it out. DH still thinks SS is all sunshine and joy, but I don't have to be around it if I don't want to.

Dovina's picture

I hear you and happy belated birthday. Sorry it was ruined by your selfish DH and SS (sucky son).

For your DH next birthday, get him a blender or a toaster, something that "we" need.

Go out with friends and celebrate your birthday this weekend while DH cuddles up with SS. Make yourself scarce, in time DH will notice. As for the cabin, no way!! Sounds like this kid is never a happy camper (pun intended) and its not fair he ruins this for your family.

NarcissisticSkids's picture

Sounds like the bratty kid is in charge- he belongs in the back seat——-it is on your DH to put him there....I am so sick of these dads being wimpy weasels when it comes to their kids!! I turned 60 this year, and to me, a birthday is a big deal....My DH ignored me all day, obviously, I was not a big deal to him, so I had MY family over to grill burgers...Take care of you- nobody else will-

Goodluck's picture

 When YOU are not riding in the car SS can sit UP front. But when you are there you sit beside husbands. OMG OP I am so sorry. This is sooooo wrong. DH is not teaching his son the order. YES there is a pecking order,,spouses then kids.

Yup if you dont confirm RV reservations early for summer  you can forget about it. I have an idea. Dont you think it would be wonderful for dad and son to go camping for daddy son time over the 4th? You can ask a friend to go to the shore or just book a night or two at a swanky hotel. OR stay at home, have cocktails and enjoy the peace,

Is it wrong to want ONE thing that ss is not involve...no it's not wrong. It is actually normal.  In intact families parents have events, areas, and time without kids. BUT when it is dads visitation, its dads visitation and none of us should interfere with that.

It may be time to find a Family and Marriage Counselor with a PhD behind their name. Have a few sessions so the good DOC can correct your husbands behavior reminding him of your place and his sons place are in two different locations FOR good reason. ALSO dh is failing to remember his son IS watching him on methods to treat his wife when he marries.

HUSBAND / WIFE

Kids

About you Birthday gift..omg part of me is laughing and the other part is not. He picked it out becaue HE wanted it for himself. So on his birthday go buy something YOU want and will enjoy. No harm no foul. ALL in fun.

About family forgetting your Birthday...When my Mother forgot my Birthday at age 87, I knew it was the begining of the The Long Good Bye. Its sad when siblings forget and I know it hurts. I am sorry. Sad

 

iamlosingit's picture

Though internally I was seething at the "gift" I did laugh too.  The worst is he used his damn credit card to buy it.  Can't put our utility bills on credit with some companies.  The damn thing is so loud and our living room is so short...every time he watches something with it-he turns it up...the pictures fall off the walls and my poor pup runs upstairs...I turn it down to a normal level...as soon as I get up-back up it goes...*crazy* I'm waiting on our neighbors to complain.  Dh and ss can't go camping because every campground within a 50 mile radius has no vacancies.  Yes, state parks exist however there are no "activities".  There must be a pool, things to rent, a camp-site store, all sorts of on-site entertainment when camping with ss or we don't go. It's more "glamping" then "camping".

StepMamaBear6's picture

It would never occur to my husband to let a child sit in the front while his wife sat in the back. I would hope your DH would agree that his wife's place is next to him. 

Did you tell your DH you did not want the sound bar?  And then take it back and get something you want?  If not, then you are a doormat, not a life partner.  There are nice ways of doing something, but you don't have to keep a gift you do not want.

I would remind DH that the cabin is not kid friendly and that you do not consider going to the cabin with SS to be enjoyable.  Plan a different vacation or stay home.

As to SS cuddling with dad, they want to cuddle for such a short period and 10 is still young.  Let them cuddle.  But make sure you have cuddle time with your SO too.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Spends a limited amount of time with you. Certainly, you can find adult things to do when the kid is not with you.

The camping trips sound as though they are even less fun for the kid than for you. You say that in the past you have gone to the cabin in non kid weekends for the 4th; so it sounds as though you do manage some non kid trips.

Your husband does not sound like much of an event planner. You sound as though

You enjoy planning celebratory activities. That may simply a personality difference. You should restrict your planning to events that give you pleasure to plan but for which you do not expect reciprocity.  Do it only if it gives you pleasure to do it.

In your husband's case, it might be helpful to give him a list of items or activities that you might like for your birthday.  A non-planner type might appreciate that kind of input.

Let the kid cuddle with his dad. Surely, you can find plenty of time to cuddle with your husband when the kid is not there. The kid is getting older and won't want to cuddle with either parent much longer.

 

 

lieutenant_dad's picture

See my response to Bunny above.

OP is not her husband's mother. If he can't manage to figure out cake, dinner, and movie night for his wife, he shouldn't be married or raising a kid. That's not hard to plan. I agree on the giving him gift ideas so you don't end up with something crazy. However, her DH put ZERO thought into her birthday. He asked her ZERO questions about planning the trip. He gave ZERO ducks about how any of this would make her feel even though she has expressed to him before her feelings about camping with SS, etc.

He is clueless as a husband, and no, hr shouldn't get a pass because his kid is over. This is about basic adulting and being a good spouse. His duties as a husband don't end just because his kid is in the picture. If he would like for his whole life to revolve around SS weekends and trips and snuggles, he can do it alone.

iamlosingit's picture

The camping trips sound as though they are even less fun for the kid than for you. You say that in the past you have gone to the cabin in non kid weekends for the 4th; so it sounds as though you do manage some non kid trips.

Not saying we don't have non-skid trips, we do.  E/O year. My complaint is this is the only place we have NOT brought ss that is and always has been adults only, and now ss is being thrown into the mix.  If he is bored at a campsite filled with father-son daily activities (mini golf, crafts, basketball, arcade, tube rental, paddle-boats, fishing, etc) it's going to be a non-stop gripe-fest when we go to the cabin. 

The camping trips sound as though they are even less fun for the kid than for you.

 SS does have fun- as long as he is being entertained 24/7 by dadeee, as soon as the activity stops the whining starts within minutes.

Cuddling-

not against it, but it is creepy to see a grown man spooning with a 10.5 y/o. on a couch or a child well beyond the toddler years laying on top of parent like a baby and using "baby talk".  Plenty of other ways to be affectionate.

hereiam's picture

Your husband sounds like a jerk. More and more, every time you post.

If you don't want to take SS camping, then just don't. You don't have the money, anyway, so just don't go. And it's not wrong to want one thing that you and your husband do as a couple, without his son.

The birthday gift was a selfish act, on his part. My DH always gets me gifts he thinks I will want. I have to be very careful about seeming interested in something, because even if I don't want it, if he thinks I want it, he will get it for me. He NEVER gives me something for the home or something that HE wants. That is just rude.

Then, he and SS enjoy your gift, and ignore you!

More and more, I just think this is not the man for you and you are never going to get what you want out of this relationship.

ishouldrun's picture

Hugs Iamlosingit been there, done that, still doing that five and one-half years later.  It doesn't change for these dads they are so desperate to be their kid's "best friend" that they can't/won't be a parent.  If you bring it up to him he will just say "but I want my son to want to spend time with me, not just because he has too" ugh I sat in the backseat one time because I didn't want to go full-on meltdown in front of a large group of people, got out of the vehicle and immediately told SO if that ever happens again I will drive seperate or call a cab, hasn't happened since so the look on my face must have showed I meant business.  It's not only about respect but its the skids way of showing you where you rank and seeing if dadeeeee will go along with it.  We are now at the stage where SO is paying "ransom" in order to get his spoiled brat to even call him and its not working.  I wonder everyday when SO will finally wake up and realize that his kid does not give two shits about anyone but himself.

 

TwoOfUs's picture

I had the weird, front seat issue for a short time with OSD. I think, often, SMs don't stand up for themselves right away because they're so in shock...and expecting DH/others to treat them like normal adult humans would be treated in the same situation. It really catches you off guard the first time that DOESN'T happen...and then you've accidentally set a precedent and it becomes more difficult to change the dynamic later. It's a trap! 

In my case, the first time OSD rushed to 'grab' the front seat when I was going, too...I just laughed and said: "Uh. Nice try but I'm going, too...so hop out." DH responded that OSD was all buckled in and everything...wahwahwah. So, in shock, I climbed into the back with his other two kids. This happened a couple more times after that...not a long time, maybe 2-3 times over the course of a couple months. Then, one day, I walked out of the house to see DH and skids waiting for me with OSD in the front seat and I walked right back in, choosing to miss out on the trip rather than suffer that humiliation again. DH texted me asking what was wrong. I simply texted back: "I will sit in the front seat as your wife, or you'll take your kids out as a single dad." 

He texted me to come out, OSD was in the back where she belonged...and it never happened again. Still, the fact that it happened at all is unfathomable...or would be to anyone who hasn't suffered the degradations of stephell. Similarly, I've had his family and BM put his kids on pedestals in weird ways...giving them the better room/bed or _______ so they'll 'feel special' Gag me. 

 

TwoOfUs's picture

I had the weird, front seat issue for a short time with OSD. I think, often, SMs don't stand up for themselves right away because they're so in shock...and expecting DH/others to treat them like normal adult humans would be treated in the same situation. It really catches you off guard the first time that DOESN'T happen...and then you've accidentally set a precedent and it becomes more difficult to change the dynamic later. It's a trap! 

In my case, the first time OSD rushed to 'grab' the front seat when I was going, too...I just laughed and said: "Uh. Nice try but I'm going, too...so hop out." DH responded that OSD was all buckled in and everything...wahwahwah. So, in shock, I climbed into the back with his other two kids. This happened a couple more times after that...not a long time, maybe 2-3 times over the course of a couple months. Then, one day, I walked out of the house to see DH and skids waiting for me with OSD in the front seat and I walked right back in, choosing to miss out on the trip rather than suffer that humiliation again. DH texted me asking what was wrong. I simply texted back: "I will sit in the front seat as your wife, or you'll take your kids out as a single dad." 

He texted me to come out, OSD was in the back where she belonged...and it never happened again. Still, the fact that it happened at all is unfathomable...or would be to anyone who hasn't suffered the degradations of stephell. Similarly, I've had his family and BM put his kids on pedestals in weird ways...giving them the better room/bed or _______ so they'll 'feel special' Gag me. 

 

StepMamaBear6's picture

I feel outraged for you and this happened years ago.  Seriously, what was your husband thinking letting his CHILD sit in the front seat while you sat in the back.  Oh the disrepect!  I can't even fathom.