You are here

Confused about fh...but more so, just how much skids is too much???

lil_teapot's picture

I've gotten things lined up as far as realtors and what not goes. I'm making plans to move out and are getting all my ducks in a row. So now, fh wants to work things out...he wants to go to counseling. He initiated it and said that even though I initially didn't want to go he was still going to go for himself to get himself right. So I told him I'd go. Our first session will be on the 24th.
Meanwhile back at the manor, the skids are taking all fh's time. Now, I have never, ever complained about how much time he takes them...and he does have them every single day for at least part of the day. And I never tell him not to take them/go see their activities. I can say in my heart of hearts, I have been the best stepmother-to-be that I could possibly be. I have treated his kids like my own and never, ever done anything to make them feel unwelcome or uncared for in their own home. The same however can't be said how I've been treated by fh. I feel like he makes time for them at the expense of us. Their sports always come first, their lives and petty demands always come first...I knew that going into this and I was ok with it. But when I ask for my tiny crumb of time(like him coming with me to see my mom) I expect him to honor that since I give him that kind of respect and don't hassle him about kid-time. But he doesn't give me what I need--which is time. And now while he's trying to fix our relationship, his time spent with the skids is increasing. Instead of dropping them at their game and coming home for dinner with me, he's staying for part of the game so we get like 20 minutes together before he has to go to work. It's not fair to me.
I hope y'all can tell me if I'm being unfair or not because he's trying to make me think I'm being unfair or demanding. I don't think it unreasonable that he scale back the time he's spending with his kids because is isn't the same, it's increasing. I've never asked before, and the only reason I ask now is that our time together has started to decrease even more...and nobody asked my opinion...nobody asked me if I minded if he spent less time with me.
I feel like since we got together, I've been on a diet as far as his time is concerned. There's only a certain allotment of it I can get because of all of life's stuff. I have been ok with's the breaks of dating a guy with kids. My exH didn't have a kid so we were free to spend as much time together as we wanted...which was alot. But I knew fh had kids so our time would be somewhat limited and I've been ok with that.
But now, instead of it being a diet, it's become a starvation diet where I barely get any time and I feel like I'm emotionally starving to death. In fact, I would say things have become more like emotional anorexia...I'm not getting anything to emotionally fill me up from him. I feel like I get absolutely no time what so ever...I mean, how do you live and love on 20 minutes alone time a day?!
It feels unfair of him to do this to me...for him to want to fix things while giving me even less of his time. But he's making me feel like I'm being unfair by asking for his time. I feel like we're stuck in this stupid record groove going over the same thing over and over.
I try to do TheRules and let him go and do whatever w/o complaining and whatnot, but then he complains that I "don't care" or I "must obviously like being alone". But it's just b/s...I hate being alone but I would rather not show him that I'm starved for his attention. I understand now why affairs happen...I feel emotionally deprived and I'm not even married to him.
I just don't know how to get more time from him w/o him being angry or saying I'm demanding...and I don't know how to let him do what he wants w/o reacting because he's killing me inside whenever he's gone and I'm left all alone. I'm ok with being alone and I do like my independence, but I don't know how you build a relationship w/o actually spending "time together".
So does anyone have any advice? Am I a bad person for needing more time than I'm getting? And if he wants to work things out, why is he giving me less time now? I just don't get it....


Sia's picture

are being unreasonable at all and I dont think you should let him make you feel guilty! You have gone above and beyond and I dont think you should put anymore effort into it. Ball's in his court now!

tooyoungforthis's picture

My husband does this thing that when we are fighting that he will bury himself with my SS's so as to avoid having to deal with whatever we are doing because I won't fight in front of the kids. He did the same thing with his ex wife. Perhaps your fiance is actually very upset about whats going on with your relationship but is choosing to not let himself stop to think about it.

Also at one point I was very involved in my SS's sports and found that going to games and watching with my husband was a great way to get a little extra face time in.

You really do need more alone time though but I think you need to tell him that straight out and he needs to work on finding gaps in his schedule for just him and you.

lil_teapot's picture

is what I've felt and tried to get across to fh. How we behave shows the boys how they are to behave with their s.o.'s when they're old enough. My trying to have a communicative relationship with fh should trickle down to the boys, where they see a healthy relationship where two adults can disagree and be emotional but still love and respect one another...but I fear that we're failing.

KittyKat's picture

When I was a single parent (years ago) running around with sports, etc., I had no time for a relationship. That's why I WAITED to get involved, because I knew I had no time to offer to anyone else on a regular basis. Of course, my kids were WITH ME 95% of the time (XH worked weird hours, including weekends, so I was both "mom and dad")

So, although I DO AGREE that he needs to be present at MOST events (they DO grow up quickly...), I AGREE even MORESO that he needs to MAKE YOU THE TOP PRIORITY IN HIS LIFE.

Quick own SISTER divorced her H (long story, but the "prince charming" she left him for didn't pan out as expected....), so she continued bugging XH to be present at all kids events, etc.
When he remarried, he came to most events, but then stopped coming on his "off weekends" (which ticked off my sister to NO END....she didn't "want him" anymore, but still expected him to "be" where she thought he should be...just crazy).

It took time, but her XH basically told her that, on his ON WEEKEND with the kids, he would do whatever he had to do. On HER weekend, he and HIS NEW WIFE would do what THEY WANTED, and I applaud that. My sister tried to paint him as "selfish, uncaring father" when, in reality, he was doing exactly what she wanted (or so she said) when they divorced...GET ON WITH HIS LIFE.

Some of these BMs (like my own sister, to whom I no longer speak) are just NUTS, and I think it's THEY who won't let go. STILL, you need to hold your ground and make sure you are treated as THE PRIORITY.

After all, when these kiddoes grow up, with whom is he gonna spend the "rest of his life??" Sometimes dumping them and giving them a taste of what it would be like WITHOUT YOU is the best medicine...I'm sure he'll come crawling back, but, WILL YOU WANT HIM BACK???

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-Eleanor Roosevelt

Anon2009's picture

DH and I go to a lot of sporting events for the kids. Does your ex-brother-in-law go to championship games and stuff, and other really big events, even if they're on his weekends? Ordinary soccer games, I can understand missing those, though. If an ordinary soccer game fell on our weekend when DH was NCP, we didn't go. But for stuff like open houses at school, sports championship ceremonies, holy communions, etc. we went to those. Even if they did fall on our weekend. But I agree, I think it's BMs like the one in my situation and your sister that won't let go. It's sad because they are the ones who divorced our DHs because it's what they wanted. The spouse needs to be the priority. If the BMs can't be adults about that fact and do what's best for their kids by being polite to us and our husbands, we can't control that.

KittyKat's picture

My sister started entering her son, especially (he's now 11) into all kinds of weekend baseball tourneys, basketball tourneys, etc, and just expected her XH to DUMP everything and BE THERE because she thought he should..

Sorry, if SHE chooses to do that, then I don't think my XBIL should have to change HIS plans to suit HER plans. Period. She dumped him, her new relationship didn't turn out as planned, so she had to throw her "energy" back to H, IMHO.

She also tried to guilt ME into coming to these "tournaments"...again, if this were SUPER important, sure I'd be there...but for a little league marathon (sorry, been there, done that with my OWN kids...neither of whom pursued baseball/softball after age 12). I'm not going to drive 4 hours to watch him play game after game because she has no one else to convince her that he's a "star"

It's a control issue, pure and simple. I'll probably catch hell for this one, but many people think their kids are going to be the next Michael Jordan/A Rod when they're 8 or 9 and they show some degree of talent. My sister is one of those people. And, believe me, if her "new relationship" were GOOD, she would be doing none of these things.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-Eleanor Roosevelt

lil_teapot's picture

I've tried saying that to fh are we gonna be when the boys are off to college and onto their own lives? I've tried to get him to understand that if we don't build a solid foundation now, when they leave we'll have nothing...we'll be sitting across the breakfast table, two complete strangers with nothing in common.
I feel very strongly that my leaving will inspire him to make changes, but I think if I leave I won't want to return...he seems to have a pattern of being a good partner when you're dating him and living on your own, but once you're living with him he goes back to his usual patterns including taking for granted.

northernsiren's picture

I don't know, maybe it's well past this, but the only time SD and FH spend without me is when he picks her up and occasionally when he drops her off and I'm too lazy to go. I've always gone to her sports events, her school events, etc. and I've never felt left out, not for a second.

Now that she may be coming to live with us full time, FH asked if I minded if like once a month he took SD out to dinner or something, just the two of them. I have zero problem with this, in fact I encourage it, and I said so, but as long as he makes time for me in the same way, going out on dates, things like that, even if it means leaving SD home alone for a couple hours (she'll be 15 on the first, so it's totally reasonable) and he agreed with me 100%.

I know your situation has deteriorated a lot, and maybe in your heart you can't bring yourself to do this. Maybe you're not even welcome, and for me, that's just so sad to think. I know if SD treated me remotely like some of the skids here do, it would be an entirely different story, not to mention your FH, and his behavior.....

I wish you all the best, whatever your choice!

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

Anon2009 's picture

DH does the same thing with each of the SDs- takes each of them out to dinner, spends time with each of them, etc. I think this is great, but I made sure to tell him that we'll be doing things as a family and things with just the two of us as well.

lil_teapot's picture

him take the kids wherever he wants by himself...if he wants me to go, he'll invite far, he's always invited me. The problem is that we dont' get any time for ourselves. We tried to have a night alone a bit ago but the boys wanted to come...which to me seemed an obvious manipulation to interrupt and assert dominance in the relationship in order to show that they have 'ownership' of their dad and I do not...but I didn't say anything negative...fh actually told them they weren't welcome to come. I should have let it stand, but the way he delivered it was inappropriate and wound up making me look like the bad guy for no reason other than to make himself look I talked to ss's and told them that we could all do a family dinner the next night, after our anniversary--so we could have alone time and we could do stuff as a family.
The thing is I resent it now that I do things like that because the skids aren't fair with me in getting their dad's time, and their dad isn't playing fair either. I just feel fed up with being the bigger person, and always having to be the calm voice of reason and logic. I have a tiny little part of me that's screaming "mine mine mine!!!" too...sometimes I need to take care of me too, ya know? I don't think fh gets that.

sarahbernheart's picture

my FH and I have a date night EVERY Friday and it is all about US, we do not answer our phones or call anyone, all the kids mine and his and even my mom knows to not call and she will leave a message! We have been doing this for over 4 yrs now!! maybe try something like that. If the kids are aware in advance then no one's feeling should be hurt. hopefully

"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one."

KittyKat's picture

We do the same thing, Sarah..

FRIDAY is date night...unfortunately, with the holidays and other interruptions, we haven't done "date night" for a while; hence, we are a bit out of "sync"...

To remediate this, we are making THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY "date nights"....same thing, it is OUR TME (years ago, the adult SDs would be in a panic, but they have truly BACKED OFF), and we are looking forward to it like two "crazy teenagers".

EVERYONE deserves "date night", kids or not.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-Eleanor Roosevelt

lil_teapot's picture

but we always get boned out of it. something always goes wrong or upsets the apple cart so we never get to follow through. I blame fh for allowing the problems to get us off track, and I blame myself for not insisting that fh follow through with plans.
I really want to pursue this idea though...I think it's just what I need.

now4teens's picture

Hey, kids do take up time (a fair amount) but there HAS to be time for the two of YOU as a couple. If there's not, then WHY would you be together in the FIRST PLACE????

DH and I set up our custody schedules so that, on most occasions, my boys are with their dad and his girls are with their mom on the SAME WEEKEND. AHHHHHH!!!!

And when they were younger, we DID go (and still continue to go) to some of their more important activities and events when we have a "child-free" weekend. But for the most part, these weekends are reserved for OUR TIME TOGETHER. It just has to be. I demanded it in the beginning, otherwise, what was the reason for us to be a MARRIED COUPLE???

I don't "live" for the children- I live for "me" and for the two of us together. I make us the priority, and DH understood and quickly adopted that attitude as well. And believe me, it has served us well.

"If you have never been hated by a child, you have never been a parent."
-Bette Davis

lil_teapot's picture

That's what I keep saying...why the hell do I want to be here? It's like why am I going through all this crap if I'm not going to be getting couple-stuff out of it?! I mean, I love his kids, but really ...all the crap I have to deal with from them and doesn't seem worth it all to have to be their adult-guardian-future-step-mom-lady if they're all I'm getting! I hope nobody got offended at that because I love these kids, I really do...but I want a HUSBAND...that's the point of the whole relationship with skids routine. If I wanted kids I'd go have my own.
I would love to make fh reserve time for us, but he just isn't entirely cooperative. His solution is for me to go to hockey with him and watch his kids...oh joy!...I get to go to hockey where it's freezing, watch his kids play hockey, where his ex-w/bm will be there with her cryptkeeper bf(who bm was having the affair with)....and of course all their joint hockey friends will be there with their wives, gf's and so's...really, is that the kind of adult fun time I'm supposed to be into? I gotta say that's a big N-O on that

Really-ImTrying's picture

that marriage is THE priority and the kids are secondary. I'm not trying to judge anyone at all, but that would NOT fly with me. My kids are a priority as is his child. That's not to say that we don't value our time together, but when I had children, I did so with the understanding that I would be doing whatever I needed to do until they were grown. When I married someone with a child, I expected the same attitude of him. If our kids are at their other parents' for the weekend and have a ball game or whatever, DH and I are there.

We certainly make time for "us" when we can, but it's often in stolen moments here and there and the occasional date night. I guess I just figure that if we had children together this is how our life would be. We would have our kids always and would never have the EOW off that we do now.

I have to say, I'm a little surprised at this attitude. Maybe I'm misreading it? Or maybe it's because our kids are still relatively young (although they are 11, 8, and 7)? Maybe your custody schedule is full time (as in NO breaks)?

I certainly don't think that demanding a "date night" a couple times a month is asking too much.

now4teens's picture

with 2 exes who are absolutely USELESS!

we have the boys FT (except for EOW) and sometimes not even then.

We have then girls 50%. and had the oldest SD FT for over 1-1/2 yrs.

And when the girls aren't with us PHYSICALLY, it's high-drama, because BM is USELESS and DH has to parent via CELL PHONE or in the driveway of BMs house!

So when we DO have a "Child-free" weekend, you bet your sweet bippy it's OUR TIME!!

As far as we're concerned, his ex and mine are nothing but glorified babysitters (and his ex gets paid a shitload of money to do her job!)

We need "OUR TIME" to recharge our batteries. To be able to truly appreciate all the reasons WHY we are doing all we do in the first place! Wink

"If you have never been hated by a child, you have never been a parent."
-Bette Davis

northernsiren's picture

I think the idea is that at the core of a family, is there is the marriage. (not to say that a single parent and their children are not a family, but you know what I mean). It is through that marriage that stability, safety, security and support for children is provided. If the adults are not taking care of the foundation of the family, this marriage and each other, the children suffer when that relationship fragments and the family falls apart. So if you are really putting your kids first, you should do it by putting the marriage first.

Parents who become distant from each other, do not take the time to communicate, to love each other, and support each other, grow apart, and run the risk of the family dissolving, which ultimately, is going to affect the children in far greater ways then telling them on a regular basis "this is mom and dad time." Despite the kids age, it would not hurt them to know that after 8:00 pm they should be in their rooms, reading, doing homework, or whatever, while mom and dad have adult time. This is a precedent of respect that should be set at an early age. Children need to see that you both respect your marriage, and each other, so they will do the same as members of the family.

This topic is an especially sensitive one because my ex and I broke up over children that did not even exist. My issue was that we had major problems in our relationship that he did not work to rectify in any way. His solution was to have kids. I refused, because I knew if our marriage was not a priority now, and me and my needs were not a priority to my partner, they never would be, and I would always come last, because I loved my husband, and I knew I would love my children, but I also knew that I would grow to resent a situation where I was no one's priority.

I am now with a man with a daughter, and I know he would do anything for her, but not at the expense of our FAMILY, i.e. all three of us, and that means the relationship the two of us have too. Because we are all respected and honored for our place in the family, there is never a conflict of who loves who more, etc.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

lil_teapot's picture

and fh doesn't get it. He had one marriage to the boys mom that ended in disaster. They all went through hell because of it. I've heard stories about how it was living all together after her affair came out, and how they separated and lived in separate houses while divorcing but still trying to keep up a good front for the was very sad and hard on everyone.
What I don't want to have happen is the same crap again because fh cant' get his sh*t together. We're already going down the same path with the same fights and behaviors...I can see the end coming but fh is clueless no matter how I try to fill him in.
I told him if I was to leave the boys would feel bad...and fh agreed and said he doesn't want them to suffer again like they i said they dont have to suffer...I dont want to leave, i want to work it out but it takes TWO. FH has been trying but if these issues aren't fixed I won't be staying no matter who hurts because honestly, I am the one hurting here. I feel bad for the boys but they have 2 parents, if I'm gone I'm sure they'll be alright...I'm sure they'd miss me as I'd miss them, but nobody should have to live a miserable life like this.

KittyKat's picture

We also have five "kids" together; however, NOW 4 of them are well into their 20's (not to say there isn't "drama", but they certainly don't need our undivided attention anymore), and my BD is 16 which also means she has her OWN agenda and doesn't need us ALL THE TIME.

H and I were BOTH single parents for a decade (what a coincidence) and, like 5Teens, H and I were both "mom and dad" as the other bio parent was basically useless.

SO, in OUR CASE, it is OUR TIME, dammit...I remember all to well the days of soccer tournaments, sleep over parties, etc., where "I" was not even a FACTOR in anything...the kids came first.

And, I think that's the attitude you're hearing from ME, anyway, when I say relationship FIRST. I didn't think it would happen, either, but "kids" DO GROW UP and move on. It's important to nurture the relationship you have with your spouse, too, so that the day doesn't come (as often happens in long term marriages) when you are finally "alone" and realize the ONLY THING you had in common WAS the kids...

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-Eleanor Roosevelt

now4teens's picture

It would be a really sucky thing if, after all those long years of living only for the kids, they finally grew up and moved on with their lives, and then the two of you discovered...

you were strangers who didn't like each other.

My DH and I plan on growing old together. In less than 4 years, his youngest will be going off to college and then it will be just the two of us. If we don't foster our relationship now and instead keep placing the kids as a top priority, in 4 years, there could be a TON of hurt and resentment in our marriage.

And I'll be damned if I'm going to let that happen after all we've been through!

Don't get me wrong. It's not like we don't take care of our kids- WE ARE the good parents here! We're the "homework" parents, the "activity" parents, the "home & school" parents, the "get me a tutor" parents. We're the "help me with my college decision" parents. And we're the "we're going to pay for your education, too" parents.

So on top of it all, it's even more important why we have to take care of "us", too. Wink

"If you have never been hated by a child, you have never been a parent."
-Bette Davis

Really-ImTrying's picture

I was reading a kind of pouty, pay-attention-to-me attitude that kind of turned me off. I absolutely agree with what you're saying about nurturing a healthy realtionship with your spouse. Both of our exes are very much "don't want the kids to interfere with our two weeks without kids time". That bothers me a great deal, because that's not parenting, that's like volunteering as a playmate every other weekend. H and I have firm rules about bedtime, not interrupting adult conversation, etc. Thanks for clarifying, ladies!

KittyKat's picture

by setting bedtimes, etc.

Even when I WAS a single mom, my two kids KNEW that, after 9:00, it was MOM time. I would help with homework, do whatever, but I needed to unwind. I would go into my room and just relax. (Of course, if one of them were ill or had a serious issue, that was different). But, that didn't happen often.

When H and I first hooked up, his ADULT Ds had NO BOUNDARIES and thought it was OK to just call him at all hours and if he didn't answer, well, I was the "bad one". I soon set them straight with the "after 9:00" issue. Oh, it met with resistance at first, but they soon came to realize (and H, then BF appreciated it!!) that ALL people need BOUNDARIES...unless it is IMPORTANT, you don't call after 9:00...I'm out the door at 6:30 AM for work each day, and that's just the way it is. If they were going to harass their "daddy" over it, then "daddy" could go live with them. (Problem solved :D)

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-Eleanor Roosevelt

bellacita's picture

when they are happy and in a supportive partnership. if the marriage isnt core, like NS said, then why get married? why not just have kids out of wedlock and try to co-parent?

not trying to be a smartass, but really...we all got married for a reason, and its likely NOT JUST to have kids.

"Given the right reasons and the right two people, marriage is a wonderful way of experiencing your life."
~the late great George Carlin