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Is DH taking advantage of me?

Silent14's picture

I'm super annoyed right now and DH thinks its totally unjustified. I don't know how to explain my feelings to him. Hopefully you all can help me figure out why i feel this way.

This is the 4th skid weekend in a row that DH is working late (he mainly plans his own work schedule), just a couple hours, but still. SD15 will arrive at our house around 4pm. DH will be home around 6 or 6:30. He just assumes I'll take care of dinner since my kids are always here too. He doesn't ask if I mind. He doesn't ask if there is anything he can do to help. He just assumes I'll cover it. Now SD is 15, it's not like she's little and needs a babysitter. Why does this make me so annoyed??

To top if off, DH will come home, talk to sd15 for a bit, and then go to the gym. He figures he'll have all weekend to spend with her. But seems to me that he avoids spending time with her.


skatermom's picture

What is SD doing that's annoying you specifically? I know just their mere presence is annoying, but just wondering what is she doing?

Silent14's picture

SD isn't the one annoying me. It's that DH is here less and less for his parenting time and just assumes it's fine. Am I overreacting?

Aniki's picture

I would feel taken advantage of. What if you and your kids had plans? Are you now supposed to change your plans to accommodate SD? If you and your kids were not home, what would SD do? Sit around and wait for DH? Cook herself dinner? Or would SD have to wait for DH to pick her up from wherever?

I do not skid-sit and it is not my responsibility to feed or tend to the skids. If I were in your shoes, once in a great while would not be an issue, but EVERY weekend? Nope. Not okay with that.

Dovina's picture

There is a reason he avoids spending time with her. He just expects you to be the buffer, and yes he is taking advantage of you.

hereiam's picture

Why does she even come over that night, if he gets home from work 2 hours after she arrives, and then goes to the gym? Surely, that feels weird to SD, that he comes home and then just leaves her there with you.

He is being very inconsiderate and is taking it for granted that this is okay with you.

queensway's picture

I get it. You would like him to consider your time like you consider his. You feel taken advantage of because he never ask you if you would mind. He never says thank you when you do this for him. Sure you are home but it still is just nice to feel appreciated. You feel it is a lack of respect somehow. Maybe next Friday night make plans to get out of the house. You need a break.

CLove's picture

I myself have been conscripted to take care of Munchkin SD11.5 while SO goes fishing or does his sidework. He justifies it with saying that it is beneficial to our household, and it gives us bonding time together. So I do what I can to help out. This is my situation.

From my vantage point DH is taking advantage of your babysitting skills, house making skills, and dinner making skills. He needs to be what Rags calls "your equity life partner", and pony up with some of his own skills. And I don't mean the baby making kind, either.

My SO will retreat to his man-cave sometimes. There are times when I sort of entice him out, like I created a "movie night thing" for after dinner, where each of us takes turns picking a movie for us all. When the weather gets nicer, I will organize "together walks" somewhere close by in nature. No excuses.

Your DH gets to go to the gym and he makes his own schedule. How wonderful for HIM! You should really sit him down, and articulate that you need him to make time for SD15. And ask him, BEFORE his foot is out the door for gym "hey honey bear, can you help me out with dinner tonight?" You must ASK this man for what you want, he obviously needs this.

DaniellaR's picture

" He justifies it with saying that it is beneficial to our household, and it gives us bonding time together."

I love when men think this is something women want to do after a full work week. DH tried to say this once when he thought he was going to leave his spoiled kids with me for a week while he went to work. I literally laughed at him when he said he thought I would want the chance to 'bond' with his kids. Why would you assume that DH???? Because I am not busy enough, because I don't struggle already, trying to find the time to bond with my own kids?? Because I don't work and go to school all week and have ALLLL this free time to sit at home and bond with my two children (one a toddler at the time) and his 2 kids that were never parented and stuck up their mommas butt. Who wouldn't want to sign up for a week of skids skyping constantly with their mom, talking about their mom 24/7 (the woman does nothing, literally just sleeps all day and watches tv, hasn't had a job in decades), being rude as hell, refusing to eat anything other than lunchables, constantly waking the baby up, reporting back to their mom, etc etc.?

Men are idiots. How many get childcare dumped on them and a happy woman smiling at them that they are excited they will get time to 'bond' now? I can't think of one instance where my DH wanted to bond with my oldest son. Not one. Yet I was expected to bond with his daughters, who lacked manners, the oldest who wouldn't even look people in the eye and talk due to her 'anxiety' issues she is in counseling for....blamed on DH of course. DH did bond with my youngest, but she is funny as hell and will engage with anyone (extrovert). He does definitely treat her differently than his bios though, DH doesn't see it but I can definitely see the differences. I hate how stupid men are and how it is just assumed that women will do the childcare. I'll stop with my rant, about to leave and force DH to do some childcare for his own child. I am tired of doing most of the childcare, housework AND bringing in the majority of the income.

MurphysLaw's picture

If your DH lived by himself, what would he likely do with his daughter? Meaning, she is 15, at 15 I think he would give her a key to his house, she could make herself a sandwich, he’ll be home soon he would probably bring home a pizza...
I think he would probably have her invite a friend over to keep her company or maybe take her to the gym with him? Then out to dinner.
I like to cook, and I have started to make a few meals when requested by just as easy (for me) to make enough for 4-6 people as it is for 2...if the skids eat, cool...if they don’t, whatever...leftovers.

I think you’re feeling upset because your husband didn’t ASK you to “look after “ his daughter but just assumes you will. That’s rude.

MoominMama's picture

It's because he is taking you for granted. Difficult situation when you have to be there/cook etc for your own kids anyway. I think men can be blind to this stuff. If he just put a bit of thought into it and thanked you, brought you some flowers/chocs etc for doing it once in a while i'm sure it would make you feel a lot better about it.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I am willingly raising the Skids full time. But if DH just ditched I'd feel taken advantage of too. I don't cook if I don't want to. Definitely don't just watch them. BIl and SIL used to ditch their heathens with us without asking and I got fed up with that too. Even if you're willing, that doesn't mean that common courtesy dies. You may be willing, but I understand, you just want him to show you the courtesy of actually ASKING you and not just assuming.

DH loves the girls and likes spending time with them, if he just vanished in the evenings I'd probably be beyond pissed (also I LOVE the gym, so if that cut into my gym time I'd be even less pleased, LOL)

You're just feeling like he's not offering you courtesy and just expects you to go above and beyond no matter what's going on. I'm so sorry Sad Have a chat with him, or just refuse to make dinner for a few nights.... Because honestly I've done that, just gotten sick of cooking and said NOPE!

Valkyrie's picture

What bugs you is that DH cruises in and out whenever it suits him. He is free to do what he wants but no worries because you'll be there to do the adulting for him while he cruises off to the gym. You feel taken for granted because you are. This would drive me nuts as well.

Stepped in what momma's picture

I totally agree with Valkyrie. Seems that he takes you for granted. I would make plans with my kids next time and not be there and forget to tell him. Why does she even come if he isn't there to see her?

advice.only2's picture

When I disengaged from SD I told DH that anytime he was out of the house after work SD would have to be out of the house also.

DH had to start figuring out if he could take SD with him or find her alternative places to be. This drastically cut back on DH just up and "doing his own thing" whenever he wanted.

I always had to plan ahead with the kids if I was going to be gone, and DH took for granted that he never had to, he just assumed I would always be there. Once I started making him accountable for his kid he started realizing what an ass he had been.

blueskies4me's picture

Put your damned foot down. Take your kids out before the SD is due to arrive. Then tell your “d”h his user ass has to be home for his kid and feed her etc. You’ve quit being the unpaid skid babysitter.

Peanut575's picture


So you get to do all the house minding & child rearing while he gets to do whatever the eff he pleases? That’d tick me off too. Make your own plans, do your own thing, and when DH notices that the things you used to do aren’t being done anymore, you can tell him you thought you’d take a page out of his own book.

Personally I feel badly for your SD bc her dad is making it pretty clear to her that he’s got no interest in spending time w her. Any reason he can’t go to the gym in the morning or at lunch?

wildstang's picture

She is 15. She doesn't need a babysitter or a cook. She should be developing independence skills.

Sounds to me like this isn't about her at all. It sounds like you actually feel angry and resentful that he is exercising his personal independence and you wish that you could also.

Cover1W's picture

My DH was out tonight with a friend, rare occurrence. He let me know ahead of time.

I didn't know SD11 wouldn't be here, but cool. I don't cook or clean. SD14 has been home since 3:00, four hours before me. She did nothing but put a frozen pizza in for herself, didn't empty dishwasher or dishrack (mosly her things from last night). DH left his stuff out too. So my experiment with leaving MY stuff out too started tonight. If only I initiate cleaning I'm out of it. The kitchen and living area is a mess. Not my issue.

Many conversations have happened about this with DH and I'm done talking.

Old sm's picture

He is taking advantage of you being the adult around the house. My husband has been like that since we got married. He was running off doing this and that b/c he knew I'd take care of things. And yes, it'd piss me off to no end. Even 20 years later, he still does it but I've learned to live past it now.

In the end, those, it has bitten DH in the ass b/c his lack of parenting has made him the parent that none of the kids will come to when there's a problem. I know more about our children, their lives, loves, disappointments and challenges than he does and it drives him nuts when they walk past him and come to me with an issue like he doesn't even exist.

Karma sucks sometimes and it will bite these absent parents in the ass someday. Be proud to be the responsible parent. If things go south, you know you can handle anything bc you've learned to do it without him anyway.

bananaseedo's picture

He is and he isn't- because you too CAN get up and 2 your thing-even if w/kids-of have SD15 watch them. Trust me when I say this- you much rather, like 1,000 times over that he is a NORMAL dad in that he's letting his kid entertain herself of be w/out him-he's here dad not her boyfriend.

Given the amount of guilty dads that spend their ever waking moment adulating their princess 'daughters', a man that isn't afraid to still live his life during parenting time is a HUGE turn on in my eyes.

Again, he's doing the right thing- no SD is stuck up their dads buts and going on dates at 15 in intact homes??? Hell no! The scenario you present is very much an "As IF'- as if you were in an intact/nuclear home-dad goes out moms w/the kids. But then MOM should ALSO go out for girls nights 1 a week and HE gets to stay and watch the kids.

In a 2nd marriage home-you can both take turns watching kids and getting some MUCH DESERVED ME and FUN time w/other adults/friends/doing a hobby, etc- your dh's approach is healthy and creates healthy boundaries with his kid instead of being enmeshed and treating every skid weekend like a mini-vacation with mini-spouse. If he doesn't 'ask' then you don't -and that's ok. It's more of 'I'm going to see the girls tonight'- it's implied he stays w/my teen boys. Did it when they were younger and we then keep it now too that they dont' NEED him here at all. He's just a homebody though. We both know the importance of trying to parent 'as if', of adult time, of 'me' time to be well balanced adults. Your dh has his balance, you need to find yours -matter of factly-it wasn't even a DISCUSSION w/DH that I had times to myself. He knows I work my ass off and deserve it.

So like now, my boys are 16-18- he stays home w/the boys and most of the time the dog-sometimes I take the dog though. There are times I walk out w/pup and then detour to my girlfriends house and never tell him I'm leaving lol- he was happy building a fire in the backyard-he deserved a break from pup since he has him all the time. The boys were here, I came back he had cooked them something and had some soup made on the stove.

You both should take me time and fun time for yourselves. DH and I chose to share me time and kid duties 'As IF' we were an intact home since they were young. I would take that route, it's MUCH better then scenarios in here, trust me.

Acratopotes's picture

Take control Hon, you are to soft and DH is taking you up on that.

Now you sit him down and you tell him, if you are not here your children will not be here, they ignore me when I ask them to do something, thus I'm not their babysitter, Either they see me as the other adult and follow my instructions or they stay with BM till you are at home, and if you go off to the gym you take her with......Make it clear, SD is not your responsibility, she does not come over to visit with you, she's there to spend time with her father..

Why is the schedule not followed, seems to me like BM is dropping off SD when ever she wants cause DH said yes and you are stuck with the kid.
Start a new hobby, something you can do during the evenings when DH is not there and SD is dropped off....

but he's taking advantage of you and you are allowing it, only you can change this

Solidshadow7's picture

SD is 15 years old. That's old enough to stay at home by herself and old enough for SD to figure out dinner for herself as long as some kind of reheatable meals are provided, or just some frozen stuff with directions printed on the package, or even the makings of a sandwich. I don't think I would expect a 15 year old to be able to cook a meal completely from scratch, but I would hope SD can use a microwave or heat up a TV dinner or a frozen premade skillet meal by herself. By 15 I was being left alone at home with young siblings, and I was even being left alone in other people's homes with their small children to watch. (I babysat.)

This means that technically, you don't NEED to be there. DH isn't actually expecting you to do anything differently, you don't really need to accommodate for SD at all. Based on this, no, I don't think he's taking advantage of you since you don't even need to acknowledge SD's existence if you really don't want to. I mean, okay, sure if you're already going to cook basic societal expectations and normal hospitality would say that you are required to provide an extra plate for SD, but really that's all about politeness. You can simply not cook for her and as long as there is something she can make herself, you're not neglecting her or anything. I mean, its mean, sure, but my stepmother used to do stuff like that to me on a pretty regular basis and I lived with her and my father full time when I was a teenager, my father was never home. They kept some frozen precooked chicken breasts and rolls in the freezer for me so I could never claim they were starving me-- as mad as not being invited to dinner made me.

It seems many people have responded that DH should spend time with her on his parenting time, but for some reason nobody expects full time parents to spend time with their kids ALL THE TIME. I don't think it's weird for DH to go to the gym while SD is there, because nobody would think it was weird if SD lived there all the time either with the BM or with an uninvolved BM and dad went to the gym on a weekend. It's just something people do. I think that treating a skid like a special weekend visitor leads to Disney parenting and further weakens his parental authority over her if he needs to accommodate for her because ANY time he has with her is "special."

All DH is technically doing is treating SD like a normal kid. She can stay home by herself, she can fend for herself if no parents are around to cook for her, and her father can go about his normal life as long as she's not somehow being neglected or endangered by him going to the gym without her. If you didn't exist, your DH's evening would look exactly the same. If DH was still with BM, they might BOTH go to gym and leave SD and that would be considered completely normal.

Given the circumstances, its impossible you are being taken advantage of since nothing is being expected of you, or even really asked for. Which is probably why DH didn't really talk to you about this.