Is this my breaking point?
Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, DH comes storming in to our bedroom and declares "I'm going to switch SS's room to the back room. It's too light in his room." Now, SS was not with us last night, so I'm not sure why this was coming up last night.
Some back story - our new house has four bedrooms. Of the three that are not the master bedroom, two are the same size and one is slightly bigger. When SSs saw the house, they fought over who would get the bigger room, so I told DH I thought we should put them in the rooms that were the same size. The third room is currently a storage area, but I plan to make it into an office. There is a streetlamp in front of the house, so the room SS is in, is not 100% dark at night, but this is the same SS who used to require that we leave the hall light on outside his room and who needed a nightlight when he first moved into this room. He's also never had a problem falling asleep or staying asleep in that room.
DH insists he is going to move SS's room and I say "no, we'll just put curtains up, we have blackout curtains that we bought for our room that were too small, but they'll fit in his room. We just need to get a curtain rod." DH then tells me that he'll just hang a blanket up in front of the window instead, because he doesn't like the curtains I bought. I told him that I don't want to hang blankets up on the windows because we don't live in a frat house and also that I'm annoyed that he showed his children how to hang blankets up over their windows because then they dislodge the top of the blinds.
He then launches into this whole tirade about how I have to make all the decisions about things for his kids and how unfair it all is. How I was the one who refused to get them queen beds (they are 11), how I didn't get them pillow top beds (they stay with us four nights a month and again, they are 11, do they need pillow top beds, they have the same type of mattress that DH and I have), how I picked out their bedding (MIL gave me the bedding in their rooms because she had two sets of twin bedding from the family cabin that is now being rented out), how we didn't buy them any more furniture, because I don't want to buy it for them and on and on and on.
Mind you, I asked for his input when I was buying beds and other things for our house, but he wasn't interested in making any decisions at that time. The only thing he said he was that he wanted queen-sized beds. I said I thought those were unnecessary. He didn't do any research or find me queen-size beds in a comparable price range, so I was still left doing the research, placing the orders, and making sure everything arrived on time. The one thing I refused to budge on was getting his children queen-sized beds. I think that twin-sized beds are fine for them and money is tight, right now. I mention the money issue to DH and say that, that's fine, if he wants to spend extra money on beds, we can spend less on other activities for his kids.
DH claims that he always had a queen size bed growing up and tells me I only want twin beds because that's what I was used to growing up. Mind you, MIL gave me the two sets of twin bedding before I had even purchased beds for SSs, so she assumed we would be getting twin beds, not queen beds, which according to DH, she bought for all of her children. This causes a big fight and he tells me that he's just concerned about his kids being comfortable. I ask him, "so, did your children have queen-sized beds when you were still married to BM?" Of course, he has to say no to that. I also point out to him that his brother's kids sleep on twin beds and that his kids have twin beds at BM's house (I know this, because they used to share a room, which based on the size of BM's house, was not big enough for two queen beds; now one of them sleeps in the "loft", which is not big enough for a queen-sized bed).
I told him that I'm sick of him making this about me somehow wanting to shortchange his children. He loves to tell me that I'm always competing with his children, but really, he's always trying to force things on me for the sake of his children and then acting as if I'm just being mean or I'm not participating in "our family", if I point out that we can't afford something or if I say "that's fine, do whatever with your kids, but I'm busy, so you can go without me". He apologizes a bit and says that maybe he's being a bit unreasonable, but I know this conversation will come up again.
He and I have had this discussion so many times before, where I feel like he just wants me to step into the empty role in his old family, instead of working to create a new family together. I also feel like I've shared ad nauseam with him, how I feel like we aren't partners when it comes to his children, because he feels as if his feelings or desires should trump mine, because they are his kids.
I understand it's difficult to be a divorced parent and it's probably difficult to let go of the "happy family" you had envisioned for your children, but c'mon, don't force me to step into your old life, so you feel better about your divorce. When he decided that we should get married, he should have also decided that he was willing to build a new life for himself, a life that would include his children, but wouldn't revolve around them. I've said this exact same thing to him so many times and we also had this conversation many times before we were married - about how I would need their to be an "us" outside of his children and that I would need us to be partners in order to feel happy in our marriage (two things that don't seem unreasonable for any wife). I'm not sure how else to articulate that for him...