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Loooong phone calls between SO and SD23

caninelover's picture

So I am disengaged from SD23 and SO is supportive.  I am also supportive of SO maintaining his own seperate relationship with SD23. 

Over the 5 years of our relationship, while SD was away at college, SO and SD would have long phone calls about once a month.  I mean LONG - 1 or 2 or sometimes 3 hours.  I thought is was odd but SD is needy and it was only once a month or so,  I was fine with it except for one time when SO and I had plans to go to our complex jacuzzi after his call, which went on for 3 hours.  Of course at that point it was 9 pm on a Sunday and I had to get up early for work the next day, so I laid into him about being considerate of other people's time and he needed to cut that phone call off after an hour if we had plans - even if they were just casual plans.  He agreed and has been doing so ever since then.

So Saturday we were home and I made a nice dinner for us - homemade, fresh pasta and some veggie sides.  He said at 5 pm he and SD23 had arranged for a catch-up phone call, so I said fine no problem.  Now we don't have a set dinner time but typically eat between 6 and 6:30 pm.  So 6 pm rolls around and they are still talking.  It gets to 6:20 and SO finally heads downstairs.  I was a bit perturbed and reminded him that the phone calls are fine with me but boundaries need to be respected, and dinner time - which for most people is between 6-8 pm - should be respected.  He agreed and apologized, and said he tried to end the call at 6 pm but needy SD brought up some important topic (he didn't say what - I've told him he can talk about SD but not about any complaints she has related to me or the house as I am sensitive about those topics) and 6:20 was the earliest he could get her off the phone.  I said ok, but going forward the calls need to be managed better by you (SO) as he knows this is SD's pattern, to drag out the calls because she is super needy.  He said yes, apologiezed again, and did seem to get it.  Going forward he will not be on the phone with SD during our dinner time.

Saturday night and SD23 has nothing else to do but be on the phone with Daddy for hours - unsurprising but still shouldn't affect our adult time together.

tog redux's picture

There is not one soul on this earth that I could or would talk to on the phone for 3 hours. He needs to set better boundaries with her in general. 

caninelover's picture

I know, me too.  I talk to my parents on the weekends but it is 15-20 min (even shorter when I was 23, lol).  He talks to his Mom about once a week and it is also about 15-20 min. 

I agree about better boundaries but since SD23 lives in another city this is the only real incovenience anymore (we kicked her out so her stuff is gone from our home) so I roll with it (disengaged - not my circus, not my monkeys).  But SD needs to learn to leave us alone when we have our time (as I do when they have their phone calls and occasional visits) and we always eat dinner together most nights.

caninelover's picture

I asked that question once.  It is mostly SD yammering on with her world of stupid pointless drama.  She has painful period cramps so suddenly she is self-diagnosed with all kinds of medical conditions from Dr Google, she argued with this or that professor (or now this or that boss or co-worker), this or that roommate drama, she did something nice for this or that friend and now this friend 'owed' her back but didn't deliver, that other friend is so annoying she got into text or social media war with them, why does everything cost so much, etc.  She wants to travel but never does, she wants to re-connect with family on her mom's side but never does but continues to complain about it all endlessly.  She is trans so she complains that no one uses her proper pronouns and why aren't all bathrooms, signs and forms gender neutral.  This or that celebrity said something on social media and now she is hating on them.  That's the synopsis of what goes on (most times its an hour - if it goes longer I know there was signifcant drama that month but simply don't care to ask or know what it was).   Like I've said she has no real friends so he becomes her 'friend' time. 

They don't really talk about life or any substantive matters related to SD23 becoming an adult which is why SD23 is still so immature.

tog redux's picture

Next time, don't remind him, or wait for him - just eat without him. Go to the hot tub without him.  He needs to learn how to shut down her yammering. 

caninelover's picture

I get your point, and normally I'm happy to do stuff on my own, but to me our dinner time is sacred 'couple' time and I refuse to allow SD to encroach on it.  There are plenty of other hours in the day where she can yammer on and he can listen to the yammering, just not mine and SO's dinnertime together.

tog redux's picture

I was thinking that if you eat without him, next time, he will pay attention to the time better. 

caninelover's picture

Yeah I get it but he did know the call was running long so he was paying attention but he lets SD drag it out.  Kind of like if you say 'gotta go' to someone and they say 'ok' but then keep on talking.  He definitely does need to be firm with SD and not allow her to keep dragging out the call.  Saturday evening is date night, not parent-child night.  And there more time he spends with his adult child during that time, the less incentive the child will have to seek out friends or a social life of their own.

Missingme's picture

No, he won't care if she eats without him and goes to the jacuzzi and that's what's eating her, too.  I don't blame her on either front.  I call my folks daily, but I never have I ever talked for 3 hours!  Weird.  

Kaylee's picture

ughhh....this reminds me of ex's 23 yo (going on 16 yo) daughter, texting him throughout the day with stuff like that...

She is bleeding from "down below" and it's so painful, no one appeciates the pain she is in..

She is so tired from her work (she works 4 hours per day, 4 days a week..

So and so has been rude an inconsiderate to her 

Her auntie has not answered her texts 

No one cares about her..


So much whining and self pity.

still learning's picture

^What tog said.  I've had to do similar with my DH when he gets enmeshed with first family drama.  "Nagging" or reminding him of the pecking order of relationships (spouse then everyone else) did nothing, but my absence, while he was carrying on with his drama, was noticed.  "What? Wifey is not waiting patiently for me to finish up?" Nope! this wifey ain't got time for your baby mama and skid drama! Love DH's company but I will not beg for it or stand in line behind skid. 

NikkiLE's picture

I agree. I love my husband's company too, but I will not beg or compete for it any longer.


Kes's picture

Agree with tog.  3 hours is bizarre in the extreme - he needs to set better boundaries. I'm surprised a 23 yr old wants to talk to her father for that long.  The longest my SD23 wants to talk to DH is about 25 minutes or so.  As Crocodile Dundee said "doesn't she have any mates?" 

tog redux's picture

I know, it blows my mind. I might catch up with an old friend I haven't spoken to in 15 years for an hour, but THREE? Dear god, doesn't she get tired of yapping? Doesn't he get tired of listening? It makes me tired just hearing about it. 

caninelover's picture

Also the funny thing is, after a 2-3 hour phone call, I would ask how SD was doing (back when I was trying) and he would say 'oh she is keeping so busy'.  Um, huh?  How busy could she be if she has a solid 2-3 hours to yack on the phone?

caninelover's picture

She is the type that has 1K facebook friends but no real friends that would visit her in the hospital if she were sick.  She is super-immature for 23 and still acts like a 14 year old so doesn't get invited to do a lot of stuff with other young adults (e.g. she doesn't drink, she is a super picky eater and is really cheap, she is a freeloader and will do stuff if other people pay for it - so needless to say she is not a popular date even for a group of friends her age as normal kids that age want to go out to bars and restaurants to socialize).  

She's also inconsiderate to live with so never gets along with roommates either (and her current roommates are slightly older than her, so definitely won't work - if she does get along with young people they are usually younger than her, like 19-20 and still in school).

JRI's picture

I get it that he is concerned and willing to lend an ear to a struggling child.  I also understand SD turning to Dad for a sympathetic hearing.  All that aside, she should be aware of taking up too much of somebody's time.  I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, you've probably pulled out your hair about her lack of awareness of boundaries.  My SD59 is, or was, similar.  She would call here at all hours over her faux and real emergencies.  I couldnt believe I had to actually say the words, " Dont call between 9 pm and 9 am". Even during daytime calls, it is almost impossible to get her off the phone.  A boundary crasher.


caninelover's picture

Exactly.  Luckily she does know not to CALL late at night but will text (like most kids her generation) the minute something pops into her head, even if that is at 2 am (though she doesn't expect him to answer back until the next day).  SO is a sound sleeper but I am at a stage in life (hello, menopause) where sleep can be challenging and I don't need to hear beeps all night.  I finally made him set the Do Not Disturb on his phone so it wouldn't ding between 9 am - 7 am so I could sleep undisturbed.

TwoOfUs's picture

Ugh. I've had to do the same thing with my DH. Not in menopause yet...but always had difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep...

Dumb skids will start these text threads with the three of them and DH and the phone will just start dinging like mad in the middle of the night...mostly dumb memes being sent back and annoying 

Thumper's picture

Very strange to say the least.

Are you 100percent sure he is talking to his 23year old daughter?????



caninelover's picture

Unfortunately yes.  They text back and forth first to settle on a time so I know for sure it is the toxic SD.

Merry's picture

It's good that when his rudeness affects you that you say something and he appears to understand.

Sounds like this is an ongoing irritant. I'd just leave him to his phone conversation and go do the jacuzzi soak or have yourself a lovely dinner without him, or whatever you and he had planned. SUre, you'd rather do those things with him but he doesn't have much of an incentive to change his behavior if you continue to accommodate it.

My issue was that DH could NOT ignore a phone call from his kids. They weren't three hour calls, but if we were doing anything, it became less important than yapping with his kid. We'd argue, he'd promise, he'd break his promise, we'd argue. FInally, one night we were out together and had agreed ahead of time "no phone calls." SD calls, he takes the call. After a few minutes I excused myself to the restroom but instead got in the car and left. I don't even know how he got home that night. Best natural consequence ever.

Rags's picture

This enmeshement is detrimental to your marriage.  Skid worshipping daddy needs clarity on this and to understand that it ends or it represents a major threat to his marriage.

There is no clear standard on engagement between a parent and an adult child.  But... from the perspective of the mate to that parent when it is inapropriate it is one of those you know it when you see it things.

For some reason many of these failed family progeny enmeshed semi-adults take any demand by threir mate to reduce their enmeshment  as an assault on their relationship wth their failed family progeny.  Dialing back the enmeshment to a reasonable level that does not detract from the marriage is lost on these failed family semi adults.

There are ways to accoplish both engaging with adult hids and minimizing the impact of that behavior on the mate and the marriage.

I have long used my commute time to engage with my parents, extended family, and friends.  It uses otherwise ineffective time to service relationships and preserves the time my DW and I are together for each other.

Failed family interface that detracts from or interferes in the marriage cannot and should not happen.  Ever.

IMHO of course.

caninelover's picture

Completely agree, Rags.  They used to talk during the week when SD was in school but now that SD is working full time, she is 'so tired' (another constant complaint) and only has time on the weekends.  And of course sleeps in on the weekends so isn't really functional until after noon.  Well, Saturday night is date night so that ain't gonna work.

Sandybeaches's picture

BUT, I don't think anyone has the right to tell someone how long they can talk to their child.  Flip the situation to you and your parent or you and your child, would you really cut them off and tell them you had to go?  Unless you were headed out the door to an event or there was a sound reason to cut them off if they have an issue or are just lonely I couldn't cut them off and honestly as much as the SK's drive me crazy I wouldn't expect DH to.  

Now granted I probably would have a hard time talking 3 hours but if my son needed it I would.  If the SK's needed it I would.  My DH is the talker making calls every day to his parents, kids etc..  I have no parents and I do talk or text my son every day or every other day. But it is 5 minutes tops.  Once in a while he needs to talk and it is an hour.  But if DH had a problem with it, it would be his issue not mine.

caninelover's picture

I did not say they can't speak or for how long.  I did say at dinnertime it is time to cut it off.  They can resume later, or the next day, or start earlier.  But it is not appropriate to hold people hostage on the phone at mealtimes.  This is common courtesy.  And yes, if I was on the phone with my parents talking over an issue for a long time, I would have non-issue if they cut it off to go eat dinner.  A fully formed adult has some level of impulse control and can actually wait.  If the kid is lonely, talking on the phone to Dad on Saturday night won't help that situation, it will only further enable immature behavior from the adult kid.

ESMOD's picture

Three hours?  That's a serious marathon

But on a serious note.. this may be an issue where you somewhat pick your battles.  these calls happen "every month or so".. so if I understand this correctly.. while they are probably longer than any human needs to make them.. they aren't frequent.. it's not a huge time suck from his life vs a lot of other kids that can't pick a toilet paper out at the store without mommy or daddy's opinion.

It sounds like these calls have interrupted other plans (as casual as your dinner time and jacuzzi enjoyment may be) a few times.

He also sounds like he is willing to try to make adjustments for you... he isn't telling you "you are being ridiculous" etc.. so again.. good.

He may, however, need to be reminded of things like dinner.  When he said he had an arrangment to talk to her at 5pm.. and you know that the calls go on... and you also have a nice dinner you don't want to be spoiled.. you could always say.. "hey.. I have dinner planned to go on the table at 6... can you call her after we eat?  He is giving you a heads up about the call.. so I think it's fine to gently push if the timing isn't optimal to things you have to get done or want to do with him.

He probably could be more proactive with his daughter too.  He could have said.  Love to hear from you, but I have to be off the phone by 6.. I have dinner plans.  Then as it is approaching that time he can say.. "don't forget.. I have to get off here in about 15 minutes... so we need to wrap it up.."

I think he probably enjoys heariing from her.. and it makes him feel good to be part of her life.  Just gently coralling these conversations to times when they don't outright interfere with your plans should not be a huge undertaking for him.


MissTexas's picture

could they possibly be talking about? If they talk EVERY MONTH for at least an hour, how many developments could have possibly occured in the last 30 days?

In today's digital world, there is social media, Facetime, texting, email, and the list goes on. Why must he dig in for hour after hour? Quality, not quantity should be the objective here.

If it is interfering with your marriage, then it's a problem, It's not like you're being irrational or unreasonable. If your plans are coming to a screeching halt because of THEIR PHONE CONVERSATIONS, then it needs to be remedied. 

I don't agree with if he's still on the phone and getting cauliflower ear, then go do your thing. NO. You didn't marry to do things solo. This is why it is imperative you and he reach an agreement, perhaps as to a specific day and time that will work. It is something that is expected then and not disruptive to the marriage.

Three HOURS?? I'm thinking of some road trips I've taken, and I could get there and back in 3 hours, and in some cases one way in 3 hours time.


Good luck.

marblefawn's picture

Have you gotten to the stage when he accuses you of coming between him and his family yet?

Or the next stage when he insists you won't let him call anyone because you're jealous of his time on the phone with others -- even though you only asked if he could call AFTER the meal is consumed?

How about the stage when he finallly utters the word "controlling" about you because you asked him to consider a better time for 3-hour calls?

I've been shown over 12 yrs of marriage that I literally could be bleeding out on the carpet and he'd step over me to get to his phone to call each and every single member of his family, no matter how inconsequential the holiday. I think he's a guilty people pleaser, and on top of that, he's full of shame after childhood trauma, so no matter how much I ever need him, he will also need to check in on everyone else to be sure they still like him! What a thoughtful guy!

As I think back over it, the signs were always there of where I fell and fall on the pecking order. He kept a lunch date with his daughter an hour away when my dog was in the throes of dying. When friends found out he took off for lunch and I was having trouble doing what needed to be done for my dog, they showed up and took me and my dog to the vet, who euthanized him. I never asked them, but they must have thought he was a piece of crap for dumping me in that situation with no support.

Nothing has changed, only now there's so much contempt in the marriage, no prisoners are taken. I think it's just over. But in the beginning, I have to just seemed like a phone call scheduling issue to me too.

Missingme's picture

That's sad, Marble.  You hung in there for quite some time and you're a strong woman for doing so. I hope you can find some peace during the remainder of the holidays and that you find more strength to do what you know is necessary in the new and shiny year!  All the best as you take yourself to life again.  

caninelover's picture

Hugs Marble - hang in there.  No it hasn't gotten there yet for me and I hope it doesn't but who knows.  He does seem understanding of my reaction to it.

caninelover's picture

So last weekend SO had a phone call on Sunday scheduled with SD23 at 4 pm.  SD23 texted right before whining about making the time later (probably because she slept most of the day and just woke up).  He texted her back that sure they could start later but he needed to be off the phone by 6 pm for dinner.  They started talking at 4:30 and finished around 5:30.  

I'm happy he did that and hope he keeps it up.

sleepymeg's picture

Do you think she's doing this on purpose? I mean I don't see a problem with talking to your kids who are away but there have also been times when I called my parents and they were busy and told me to call back. They definitely would've hung up after two hours.

My sister used to call home daily on her drive home from work whereas I'll go a month before my parents will text to see if I'm alive. SD obviously loves to talk but your SO needs to be more mindful of your couple time as well. I can't imagine it's three hours of info that can't wait every single week.

caninelover's picture

But mostly for her own convenience.  SD23 aka Bratty McBratFace loves to schedule the calls for Saturday evenings because she works during the week and is 'too tired' to talk after work.  She sleeps in past noon on weekends because she's 'so tired' from working.  After she wakes up on Saturday she eats, loafs around, etc so it is around 3 or 4 in the afternoon before she gets her rear in gear for anything.  She has no friends or life so her Saturday evenings are free - so she likes to talk to SO because she feels lonely.  

No objection to them speaking but it should it be at appropriate times - not Saturday evenings as that is our couple time.

Note, SO has kept up his end of the bargain and we haven't had this issue since.