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Crystal7's picture

I'm new to this and I have read several books and I feel like my situation is a little different. If someone could give me book ideas that I can relate to that would be great. 
I have 2 kids ages 18 and 7. Mainly concerned with my 7 year old as my 18 year old is at college. My 7 year old bio father has not been in the picture for over 4 years due to abuse issues so I have 100% custody.
Our families get along very well. My fiancé is a good man and he really is trying as am I. We both want to be fair and do what's right for our family. It's been hard on My fiancé  cause he has 50/50 custody with his ex of his son who is 10 years old. He has always been the active parent. His ex and him have a good relationship and she is a good mom.
My issue is that I feel like my daughter and myself are put on hold for 50% of the time when his son is with his mother. We can't even order pizza without waiting for his son. He is always saying let's wait for my son to make lasagna, to go see a movie etc. 
Now what about small vacations like weekends at the lake or beach? Or even a week? Is it unreasonable for me to think of taking a vacation when my fiancé son is with his mom on vacation? Or course big vacations like going away on a plane to visit somewhere I would insist on my fiancé son to go. But a week or weekend trip to the lake I wouldn't see as such a big deal especially if his son is a a big vacation which requires a plane when he is with his mom. 
Last year my fiancé took his son and meet his mom at her lake house and they stayed there for a week without my daughter. I was working and my daughter was being moved from sitter to sitter watching her. He never asked to take my daughter even for a night up there. It bothered me a little bit but I understood it as a good bonding moment between him and his son. 
Any advice would be great. 

Thanks, C

Siemprematahari's picture

My personal opinion, I don't put off sh!t for nobody. If his son isn't there that's not my problem I'm not going to STOP doing something like ordering pizza, go out to the movies, or take a trip because his kid isn't there and is with his BM. If you share this sentiment you need to communicate it with him because its not fair to you and yours. I can see this being a problem now and in the future and if you don't come to some understanding on this your relationship will suffer. 

You shouldn't have to stop your "life" because the kid isn't there. 

Gimlet's picture

I would be so annoyed if I was told that I couldn't order pizza unless the 10 year old was there.  Nope.

He clearly feels fine to take trips with just his son, what's stopping you from taking your daughter on a trip, OP?  You don't need your husband's permission or presence to do so.

Crystal7's picture

Going on a small vacation with my daughter is one thing and I would agree but my fiancé has the summers off from work so he would probably end up going or staying at home. But this past Christmas my fiancé son was with his mom and my fiancé was sad wishing his son with with us and not fully enjoying our time together. I can understand missing your child, but moping around when my 7 year old is excited about Santa and everything I'm just scared he would do that on a vacation if his sone wasn't with us. My fiancé ex takes their son to Arizona multiple times a year so it's not like he is missing out on a small lake vacation. 

Gimlet's picture

So let him stay at home if he can't bring himself to go without his son and you enjoy your time with your daughter.

All of us who are divorced miss our kids from time to time, but putting life on hold and moping about it isn't healthy.   Your fiance's son has a good mom too, so it's not like he's missing out.  Part of divorce is splitting holidays.

Your daughter shouldn't be shortchanged because Captain Sadpants can't get it together.

P.S. order yourself a damn pizza whenever you want!  And I mean that nicely.

Crystal7's picture

I thought I was being selfish to a point but at the same time I thought it was ridiculous that my fiancé would even say let's wait for my son to be here before we order pizza. It's such a small thing. Why would it matter? 

Gimlet's picture

Nope, you're just a normal human being who wants to order a pizza, because it's delicious and comes right to your door.   

Asking you to put your life on hold because his son isn't there is beyond ridiculous.

tog redux's picture

Yeah, I don't get the whole "life stops when my kid isn't here." Especially in this case, when as you said, he has a good mom, so he's probably doing fun stuff with his mom when he's over there. It's not like she's keeping him locked in a dungeon and feeding him gruel.

Just go ahead and order the pizza, or make the lasagna, or plan a trip for you and your kid - and he can refuse to participate if he wants. 

ESMOD's picture

He is fine taking his kid on a trip without you and your daughter.. why can't you do the same?

Now... I could see the occasional situation where you think about making your SS's favorite meal.. and he is going to be there in a few days.. why not wait to make his favorite meal when HE is there.. and maybe make your DD's favorite meal instead.. 

I'm not saying that life has to stop though.. because obviously... life goes on at his mom's.. they are ordering pizza perhaps going on trips themselves.. 

I think it should be fairly organic and not obvious that you are "saving" all the fun stuff for when he isn't there.. but that's the way it goes when your parents are split up.  Sometimes you will miss an activity in one house or the other.

Crystal7's picture

Is it unreasonable to think it's ok for my daughter, myself and him taking a vacation while his son is taking a vacation with his mom? I'm not talking about a big vacation because I agree he should definitely be included just an hour drive to the beach or lake for a few days type of vacation.  And I totally agree that waiting to make my fiancé sons favorite meal... lol but it's steak and me and my girls don't eat steak lol.

and it's not like I don't want to include my fiancé son, I do love him and we get along very well. Everyone does. I just don't like feeling like my daughters life and my life is on hold and I can't think of any other way than me and her just being on hold when his son is not there. 

Crystal7's picture

I have talked about the food issue with him and while he agreed with me the pizza issue came up again last night. so going on a vacation I'm assuming would be a heck no. But I don't know and I will talk to him. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being unreasonable. 

Gimlet's picture

You are absolutely, positively not being unreasonable.

He, on the other hand......

tog redux's picture

Then go without him. Why does he get to decide if pizza is ordered or vacations are taken? Go with your daughter - it will show her good relationship skills and that it's okay to stand up for yourself. You don't have to be rude about it:

You: Hey, want to order pizza?

SO: No, let's wait until SS is here.

You: OK, well, DD and I want some so I am going to order it.

Ursula's picture

Your kid shouldn't only be getting a 50% life just because the skid is with their mom.  I'm sure skid is doing fun things when with his mom also. 

susanm's picture

Hold off on ordering a pizza?  FFS, it's PIZZA....about one of the most common foods on the planet.  What exactly are you allowed to eat when his kid is not with you?  Saltine crackers and water???

Kes's picture

No way put your life on hold because of your DH's stupid attitude.  

Mandy45's picture

Oooo no way seems like one set of rules for your daughter and you and another set for him and his son. Nip it in the butt before you get married and stand up for yourself go no i want a pizza now and I'm ordering it now what do you want?? We leave son some he can warm it up.  When he get here. 

Dont put your life on hold because he waiting around for his son. 


Thisisnotus's picture

Ugh!! I can relate. It is not so extreme here that it dictates what we eat when’ skids aren’t here.

 But anything beyond a basic meal would be out like a pizza place with an arcade.....dh would think his kids may find out. 

I have no real advice because this issue sucks. It’s easy to say oh just go on a trip with just you and your kid....but I know you want dh there.

i even tried to get strategic the week after Christmas when we were both off of kids here and DHs kids on a week vacation with their mom.....i told dh let’s go away for a few days....he just ignored me and refused to acknowledge.....and it’s because his kids wouldn’t be going.

im trying a new approach next time skids are on vacay with mom....I will just tell him we are going and when and where.....if he goes he goes....if not he can stay home and pout while every other person in this house is at a vacation location 

Kmh89's picture

When DH and I first started dating I was young (23) and I of course wanted him all to myself, especially on vacation. My family goes on a beach trip every summer. We took his kids the first summer I had moved in and I was in living hell, just too hard to blend everyone together. We also took an extended family trip to Disney World that summer (again, almost made me hate my favorite place). From then I made him go on vacations without them. Told him I felt we were only living a half life and that I was a second-class citizen (haha still my favorite way to describe my role as a stepmom). His guilt for having fun without his kids is still contentious. We now take them to the beach since having a son together. I just try to ignore them and enjoy my own vacation. We’re taking our son to Disney this spring and husband is so bent out of shape that we aren’t taking SS and SD. Calls me evil stepmom and has planned a trip the following summer to make it up to them. Even tried to leave our son, who will be 4, at home with grandparents. The guilt is unreal. I have no real advice, just hugs and support for you!

Rags's picture

As you have figured out, life is 100% of the time. Not 50% of the time.  As you have also noticed, your DH does not consider you or your daughter as being 100% worthy of sharing his life while he clearly values himself and his son as 100% worthy.

This is not  an easy discussion to have with him but it is a conversation that has to happen.  

Use his week long trip with his son to his parent's lake house as the example of what about his philosophy is intollerable going forward.  He cannot be tolerated to devalue your lives while maximizing life for he and his son.

This is discussion will likely have to be a "shut up and listen" session rather than a full blow discussion.  He in all liklihood will not like it and he will get defensive.  Him being defensive should not be tolerated and he needs to either discuss it like an adult or keep his mouth shut and listen.  It is up to you to manage that during the discussion.

No more denying you and your child Pizza, enjoyable activities, weekend or week long trips, etc..... because his son is with the BM.  Inform him that if he insists on making this his hill to die on that you will find a true equity life partner that adds to your life and the life of your children as you add to his life and the life of his son.

My wife and I had our version of this discussion a couple of years after we married. I have no BK's.  My wife brought SS-27 to our marriage.  He was a week shy of 2yo when we married.  The SpermClan had 7 weeks of visitation per year (5wks summer, 1wk winter, 1wk spring).  My wife would not do anything while SS was on SpermLand visitation that she thought he would enjoy.  I got tired of missing trips with my family or enjoying activities with just the two of us.  After tiptoeing around the topic for a couple of years I finally just informed her that I would no longer put our lives on hold while SS was in SpermLand.

It took a couple of years for her to participate without being upset but I kept to my position and gave her the choice of either participating or not though I was doing it with her or without her.  Once she let herself, she learned to enjoy our activities while the Skid was gone.

I did adopt the position that if we did something that we felt that SS would really enjoy that we would do it again when he was home.  Some things he was interested in, others he was not.  We did several things again whe he was with us whether he really wanted to or not because we wanted to do it.

Good luck.

SM12's picture

A.  You are not being selfish 

B.  You should make plans to do what you want with your child anytime you want

C.  Your DH can either stay home or get happy and go along.   Maybe plan a day trip with you and your DD to see how DH reacts.  If he is a butthead without the Ss then you know to not invite him next time.

My DH pulls that “we have to take YSS” a lot now.   I get around that by planning trips during times I know YSS can’t go.  Or I plan it when DH can’t go so I don’t have any issues with YSS being brought against my wishes.   

My BS is moving across the country and DH is already making plans to take YSS with us when we visit.  That will never happen.  I refuse to pay an expensive plane ticket to drag him across the country and ruin my visit with my BS.  I will plan it when I know YSS can’t go. 

Hastings's picture

I'll echo everyone else and say you're not being unreasonable at all. Your fiance is. Your lives don't stop just because SS isn't there. And your daughter certainly shouldn't be short-changed because of it.

I get that he misses his kid and is very sensitive about not slighting him or making him feel left out. It's part of Guilty Dad Syndrome.

I don't have to deal with this much with my DH, thank goodness. He believes firmly in "adults only" travel. He'll take SS9 on a solo trip about once a year but the rest of the time, he wants it with no kids. I don't have any biokids myself. DH has talked to me about my family gatherings. He's said he'd rather not go if there's a get-together when SS9 is with his mom. No problems with my going. But there are a lot of kids there and SS9 usually has a lot of fun playing with them. So, if there's a get-together without SS9, it brings up some negative feelings for DH. Misses SS9. Feels sorry SS9 is missing the fun. Starts to feel resentful that a gathering has been set for when SS9 isn't there. (We've had talks about that one. DH is an only child and still has trouble grasping the whole "in a big family, you sometimes have to schedule when the most number of people can be there and sometimes someone is left out" thing. Nothing personal. Everyone in the family has been left out at one time or another.)

When it comes to food, we do save SS9's favorites for when he's with us. But there are also plenty of foods SS9 doesn't like (first kid I've met that hates mashed potatoes) that we love and we always have those on weeks SS9 is with his mom. So, no one feels annoyed or deprived. Sometimes we'll try a new recipe when it's just the two of us and, if we think SS9 will like it, plan to do it again when he's there. But a week-on/week-off schedule means not waiting a long time. And, as I said, there are no other kids involved.

It's required some understanding and flexibility on both our parts. But it sounds like your fiance is taking things too far, really.

Have you asked your fiance how he would feel if the situations were reversed? If his son was being denied solo small trips or just ordering pizza one night all for your daughter? If you do have more conversations, I'd be sure to start with empathy. "Honey, I know you feel sad when SS can't be with us for something. I know you miss him. I would feel the same way. I love SS, too, and would never want him to miss out on a big trip or his favorite meal." Then move into the "but..."