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Getting that classic push-back again....

RIP's picture

Here I am.

Back a month later.

After setting limits with DH about me having to do things with SD11 this summer....

SD's last day of school is next week. DH is infamously pulling her out of school a day early this week because it is more convienet for him & BM for her to miss yet....ANOTHER day of school (that makes about....10-12x this year for them just taking her out of school early). SD11 is with us 14 days a month for June, July, August, then goes back to school full time with her BM during the school year. SD is luckily going to be gone the entire month of July this summer to go on a trip with BM. (Phew. Gives me time to myself & to put together the baby room in peace, etc.)

Anyway, with me being 5 3/4 months pregnant with our rainbow baby, I am exhausted, overworked & dilligently keep my nose to the grindstone with money and prepping for my maternity leave in October 2023. I have had MULTIPLE (once a month for the past....2 years now?) conversations with DH stating, that when SD11 comes down to visit us, the priority & main reason is for DH to spend time with HIS daughter. That is the point of all of this. Here we are again.....she is coming down a weekend & he is upset with me about firmly putting my foot down about me not wanting/ needing to go to summer time events with them. My brother drifts car's at a local track & I told him I already made plans Saturday day & evening with my other pregnant friend & that Sunday I am busy all day with my mother, going to lunch & running errands for the house, etc. He ONCE AGAIN responds to my text about him and her spending time together with the cold shoulder & one word responses. He says he, "...just wants us to be a family....his ex-wife despised his daughter & that I used to spend all my time with her when she was younger 3 years ago....and now that I am pregnant & older (with a more intense & bread winning job) that I purposely put my work & myself before his daughter."  Well.....yes. Yes I am doing that. I am prepping for our DD who will be arriving early October. 

I am getting REALLLLLLLY tired of getting the guilt trips & making me feel bad about not wanting to be as involved with HIS daughter, because, "she doesn't want to spend time with dad.....she would rather spend time with you (being me....step-mom.....). This LITERALLY happens to me ONCE A MONTH, & it is getting OLD.

I want to think that my marriage to DH will work out. With us getting through losing our 7 day old son, and the other life trials we have gotten through together...that this will work....but. In regards to SD11....I feel like me not wanting to be an active part of her life....will end our marriage. I think that more & more with every single month (after these talks) he just..."forgets about our previous talks" or is hoping that I change my mind....



CLove's picture

You can counter with "this is my time to enjoy my pregnancy, youve done this before and I have not..."

Or "This is your time to bond with your daughter and I KNOW that she would enjoy your attention, we can plan some time all together AFTER you spend time!"

I saw this happen with SDnow17 and Husband. Dads just really dont know what to do thats fun with their girl children. Husband would take them shes into her friends and shoppig and video games.

RIP's picture

I've been using the "Grey Rock" method with BOTH DH & SD11. It seems to be working more with SD11 than DH at the moment. I have just started to physically separate myself from them both when SD is in town (leaving the house, making plans, etc.)

Noway2b1's picture

My DH knows I don't really enjoy seeing/spending time with his adult kids. Nor do they really want to hang out with me. Yet, he feels a need to go back to facilitating a relationship with them and I. I think truly he wishes things were different he does love the idea of "family" time. Hell they barely give him the time of day. I did facilitate many get togethers in Years past. I made the decision at the end of 2019 I was done with that. 2020 cemented it. He still occasionally will invite me or try to coerce me to do something with them, I just stick with grey rocking and even occasionally pretending I've got other plans I'm waiting to firm up. Not exactly a falsehood I've always got or could have something in the works lol

Survivingstephell's picture

If he is this disinterested with SD what makes you think he will be involved with your baby?  Call him on it and tell him to prove he can be a good dad by upping his game with SD. You are stepping back to give him the room to do it.  Learn the term weaponized incompetence.  That's where you are manipulated into doing because he doesn't.  Don't fall for it.  He is perfectly capable of it.  The guilt is just a ploy. Put it right back on him.  

RIP's picture

I am already mentally preparing to be primary caregiver (physically & emotionally) for DD due in October. He can tell me otherwise when it comes to DD, but do I belive him? No. BM took SD away from DH at less than a year old to move across state to be with the man she cheated on DH with. I can already tell you that. The latest excuse I hear is this, "Everytime I get her (SD11) she changes....she is turning into her mom." (In which DH absolutely despises BM). I literally just told him, "Sounds like a personal problem. You should have been more careful with who you impregnanted then..." 

And no. I don't feel bad saying that to DH. He & BM both suck at parenting. Period. 

I told DH it is NOT my job to save her (SD11) from her lifetime of instability & neglect. 

Noway2b1's picture

Most men like this have no problem defending "my child" when the step parent has an issue with the step kids. Including the famous "you just don't like my kid" most people don't dislike likable children so make your kid more likable. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Stay firm and stay the course. It's going to take time for your H to stop testing your boundaries and accept the new norm. Of course he's being whiny and manipulative, as life was easier for HIM when he could dump his kid on you. Boo hoo.

I think you're being very smart and implementing changes in a healthy way. Just be prepared for your H to keep testing your boundaries for weak spots, as old habits die hard.

Dogmom1321's picture

Yes to this! I have totally disengaged, but DH still tests me sometimes. I took DS2 to the pediatrician yesterday for a check up. He said "while you're there, can you see if you can schedule an annual physical for SD13?" I looked at him like he had a third eyeball. Then he said "nevermind." I simply followed up with "BM should schedule that, don't you think?" And ended the conversation lol. 

RIP's picture

Once DD is here, I will have little to no interaction with SD. DH knows this & TBH...I think SD knows that my interest in her will be at a zero & is basically coming to that now. BM doesn't do anything for SD11 or her sister as it is appointment wise & DH doesn't care enough to schedule her well-child checks or dental check-ups as it is (this was all my job) but it has already stopped. SD11 is on her own at this point (as sad as that is to say, b/c BM & DH don't care-- so why should I for a child that is not mine?) It does sadden me that her own parents have never & will never fully take care of her the way a child should be. But again, it is NOT my job to save somebody else's child. I have for the last 3 years of her life, but now...with my own child on the way, it has changed.

Dogmom1321's picture

Good for you! Yes, once I accepted this mindset by stress about SD13 went WAY down!

Dogmom1321's picture

When I was pregnant with DS (now 2) SD had zero interest in hanging out with me anymore... nor did I with her. She seemed resentful of the thought of a little brother and I wasn't going to let her ruin my experience. We naturally drifted apart and SD (now 13) had no choice but to start asking DH as her default. 

I think all DHs live in a fantasy land where they want their wives to play Mom to 'their' kids while they reap the benefits of basically not parenting at all. Then reality sets in... Whether your DH likes it or not, you will be too busy with your newborn to try to juggle SD. He will have to step it up and start parenting his own child. Those responsibilites don't fall on you and you no longer have the time/energy to even entertain it. 

RIP's picture

SD11 knows that I am a very hardworker & make a good living ($ wise). She knows that we are in our own home because of me. I KNOW that SD11 is already resentful of DD due to her already getting baby gifts, her own room ready, endless attention, etc. SD11 just got her own room this year (due to BM never having a stable home to live in, so SD11 has always had to share her room with her little sister there) & DH never having his own place until now. The resentment will just grow---in which, DH is going to have to deal with. 

I have made it very clear to DH that it is strictly him & BM who need to take care of SD11, not me. They can no longer ask me to buy her food, clothing, toys, etc. (in which i used too) but refuse to do any longer.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Gads, he's being a total poopie head. Sounds like he finds the title of Dad more appealing than the actual role. SMH

Have you told him it's beyond old and you're tired of the guilt trips and whining? What an unattractive quality in a partner. Ish.

la_dulce_vida's picture

"DH, why are you pressuring me to spend time with your daughter? Is it because you do not enjoy her company? I don't have a problem with her, but I am busy with my own interests and priorities. Are you uncomfortable giving your daughter quality time with you?"

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Stay the course. You sound so much happier than you did when you first posted. It sucks for SD that her parents suck, but the pressure to entertain her and be her primary caregiver was killing your mental health. The fact that your DH could care less tells me that you can't trust him to do what's in anyone's best interest but his own. You have made great strides from where you were in your first post. Taking care of yourself and your baby, in addition to working a "primary breadwinner" type job is more than enough. 

Lillywy00's picture

Of all the times for a man to be like 'yes dear' regardless of their pissy moods and unrealistic expectations it should be when you're pregnant and risking your life to birth their seeds. I would have zero tolerance for pushback from anyone in my household while I'm pregnant.

Him and his daughter would be sleeping in the basement and/or I'd conveniently be travelling (even a staycation) the entire summer (if I were in your shoes)

Also, it seems a common theme for a lot of single dads with kids (who for their own faulty decisions) struggle majorly and seek out an unsuspecting 'nurturing' woman to help them raise their kids. They will use ANY tactic in the book (including guilt trips "my poor daughter is going to be left alone and she gets scared easily", forced babysitting "oh im going to run to the gym. watch my kids. bye!", etc.) to get you to comply.

If you want to appease him to maintain peace in your home then agree to a family outing AFTER you deliver - tell him to book a trip to Disney Land or some family friendly event that he shall drop money on for stressing you about it during pregnancy