Being alone in a relationship ... longish. - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-27-2011, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that's a kind of odd thing to say - but I do totally feel like this. I have 2 kids. GOOD kids. I don't just say that because I'm mom.  Both get good grades, do well in school, have good friends, and basically do what they are asked.  Minus the dumb kid stuff - rooms not clean, leaving a towel on the floor, waiting til the last possible minute to get chores done - they aren't bad kids.

 

My BF is great with them. He doesn't have his own children and has very little experience with kids.  There are times though, when I feel like I cant' go to him to gripe - you know, "parental griping" - because he doesn't understand i"m just venting.

 

There are days when i feel like he's picking on the kids, or the kids are picking on him and both put me in the middle. I know my daughter will "work" the system. 

 

there are just days I feel pulled and tugged and yanked and smushed and poo'd on.

 

I want to grab all three and go, "DO YOU REALIZE I'M THE ONLY ONE IN THIS HOUSEHOLD WHO IS TRYING RIGHT NOW???" 

 

Then other days I watch them playing and joking from the kitchen and think, "damn I've got it good".

 

The other issue is since the CS order came out about 6 mos ago - their dad has gone MIA. He's not even tried to see them. I had to force him to see them on Father's day.

 

I feel like I'm stuck in the middle trying to keep all the boats afloat most days.  :\

 

 

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Old 09-27-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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How long have you and BF been together? DH & I had a bit of an adjustment period when we first moved in (about 6 months after we got together) He didn't have kids of his own, but of course that rarely stops anyone from having an opinion (nor should it, really) I found that I needed to explain the reasoning behind a lot of my parenting decisions so that he'd understand. It can be frustrating, it feels like preemptively defending yourself, but if he thinks complaining = asking for advice it can be a short-cut to getting some support/words of encouragement. 

 

One thing that I think a lot of people who don't have kids really don't get is that kids need a lot of repetition before they learn something. The irony is, you're going to need to remind him that "Kids need to be told something about 500 times before it sinks in" about 500 times before it sinks in.

 

Their dad... don't push it, he knows where you are. It doesn't do the kids any good to see him once or twice a year, they need to know he's reliable. If he's not it's better that they learn that, too, as hard a lesson as it is. Do you know his email address or have any way of contacting him? When the kids say they're missing him, let them write him an email (help them if they need it) My XH doesn't respond to the kids emails, so they've pretty much stopped asking to send them, but they know that they can tell him what's going on in their lives any time they want and they know I'm not keeping them from him. Tough, tough thing for them to know, but you can't really protect them from it anyway.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing that I think a lot of people who don't have kids really don't get is that kids need a lot of repetition before they learn something. The irony is, you're going to need to remind him that "Kids need to be told something about 500 times before it sinks in" about 500 times before it sinks in.

 

This is actually kind of hysterical, and I've often caught myself going "Wait, why can't he see this because he's ... oh....wait, nevermind".  :)

 

We've been together 3 years.  Kids moved in a year and a half ago, almost exactly.  It's been a transition - and the giddyness I got from gettign my kids back full time was somewhat tempered by his lack of knowlege and experience and patience.  It was a harder transition for him than for the kids or myself. He's a little self-centered - though not in a bad way. He's just never really had to consider others before making basic decisions.  He's trying all of it and accomplishing most so I cant' really complain. Well, i do sometimes, but it's venting. Lately though I just keep my thoughts to myself because they seem to make him think I'm criticizing.  *sigh*

 

The kids have tried emailing their dad and he doesn't respond. the older one is better with it, though I think she's internalizing.  The boy is 8 and he's just confused. He'll say, "we haven't been to Dad's in a REALLY long time" and his voice is flat and sad.  Breaks my heart.  I want to throttle my ex sometimes.  Well - most times but DEFINITELY during those moments. 

 

I tell him his father loves him and that i love him and my bf loves him and when he asks why his dad isn't around I reply that I don't know, but I know for sure it's nothing he did.  Other than that, I'm at a loss.

 

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Old 09-27-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Yeah, it sounds like it's just going to take time. Living with kids is a big adjustment... DH & I have lived together 2 years, but he's also a school bus driver and so had some experience with kids when we got together. Ugh, one thing about that was, when a kid is misbehaving on a bus they have to comply very quickly because it's usually a safety issue... he had to learn not to bark orders for things like "Put on your coat." or "Clear your plate."

 

I tell my kids I don't understand why he didn't respond to their email, sometimes people act in ways that don't make sense to us and there's not a lot we can do about it. What we can do is change how we think about it... don't send an email to get a response, think of it as letting him know how you're doing. If he answers, that's a bonus. Are the kids in contact with any of his family? My kids see their paternal grandparents and have a connection to their dads side of the family through them. As frustrating s that relationship can sometimes be to ME, I think it's helped them a lot.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 09-27-2011, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No - no contact with his parents. I tried around Fathers day and my XMIL sent me this:

 

 

"Our family has been through so much tragedy and grief and when you took control of DD and DS last year you certainly added to it.  It has become more than we can bare at our ages."

 

My XFIL was more kind and only wants whats best for the kids, however he won't stand up to his wife. SHe's forbidden me from even picking up or dropping off the kids at her house. The reason she's mad? I left her son.  They are a strange pair, mom and son.  

 

So it's my SO's parents that fill that void. My parents live out of state - and my brother is nearby. So they do have some family - albiet not blood.

 

i like the explanation you gave and maybe next time my son asks or says something I'll use yours.

 

thanks!

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Old 09-27-2011, 10:11 PM
 
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That's to bad about the ex in-laws. I had sort of the opposite problem, they re-established contact about a year after the split, in the form of a card mailed to the kids (3 and 6 years old) telling them they'll pick them up at 10AM and have them back at dusk on Easter... I called their house and told them they can't take the kids for the day because it had been so long since they'd seen them, but I'd bring the kids to the park to visit them for a few hours. I told them they need to talk to ME if they want to arrange a visit with the kids, and they continued trying to mail the kids directly and take them for hours, so I continued to say no and arrange park visits. They brought the kids new bikes to one of the visits, then took them away at the end and said the bikes would stay at their house, and the kids could come there to play with them... I didn't trust them (and I'm very cautious with them to this day) and was very reluctant to let the kids out of my sight at visits.

 

They started threatening me with court within a few months of the first visit and eventually we got there... they basically wanted visits that would increase basically to shared custody! The end result was a court order that specified the exact amount of visitation I felt was appropriate for the kids (6 hours once a month) The kind of order that we have, they basically can't take me back to court unless there's a significant change in circumstances (like we move far away) or I stop letting them see the kids. Things have settled down a lot as long as nothing messes with the plans (like when DD got a concussion or DS got invited to a birthday --literally the only times I've rescheduled in 3 years-- they go off about their 'rights' ) things go well. DH and I think of it as a free babysitter and go to a movie or out to lunch when the kids are with them. 


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 09-28-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KeyboardCowgirl View Post

There are times though, when I feel like I cant' go to him to gripe - you know, "parental griping" - because he doesn't understand i"m just venting.

 

This is not uncommon with men, in general.  They tend to have less need than most women, of the social convention of bonding by sharing grievances (even small ones) and receiving commiseration, sympathy and/or reassurance.  

 

You share a petty complaint with him and are really just looking to be reminded that you have a teammate - that he cares how you feel and what you think, and that you're not alone.  Meanwhile, he thinks he's being your teammate and supporting you, by going out to solve the problem.  You told him where the dragon was, and he's going to go out and slay it for you!  (Or, as it were, be harder on your kids because he thinks they're making you miserable and that you want them to improve.)

 

It sounds like you do "have it good"...you just have to remember to make the effort to see his actions for what they are:  not a failure to like or get along with your kids, but his belief that he's responding to your stated needs.  I.e., he does care about what you need and is trying to provide it; he does care how you feel and and tries to make you happy.  Just consider your audience (how he perceives and reacts to things), when you complain.  Surely, you behave with him in some ways that you wouldn't behave with your girlfriends.  Right?  By the same token, you're right:  you can't complain about the kids to him, the same way you would to a girlfriend.  

 

Many of us women are raised (by parents, friends, books or movies) to equate romantic love with perfect understanding of each other's every little nuance.  But a man and woman would nearly have to be the same people, to accomplish - or at least to sustain - such bliss.  And isn't the yin-yang - NOT being exactly the same - an undeniable part of the attraction?  I think, in the long run, learning to truly understand each other...to understand the intent behind each other's actions...is a better, deeper, more lasting intimacy than striving to handle things, react to things, and behave in exactly the same way as each other.  Enjoy the journey to get there!

 


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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I totally agree with the above-there are so many times I try to vent to dp (and he is the father of our kids) about the kids or really most things and he will try to give me advice or try to crack down on them when all I really wanted was some sympathy and a "yeah, that must have been hard" plus a hug.  I don't know if it is a male thing or just a personality thing, but it is frustrating! 

 

It is hard to get used to living with kids, especially when you don't get to see them in their sweet litttle baby phases before you are confronted with the larger version.  I defintely look back now and realize how stressed out I would get about little things dsd would do that are barely on my radar with dd and ds.  Also, I think I felt like I always had to be kind of at the top of my game with dsd (i.e. always play the game she wanted, make the food she liked, avoid boring errands, etc.) whereas with my bio-kids I feel less like I might be judged when I say you have to wait a few minutes to play xyz or you have to eat your dinner even't if it isn't your fave.  I have no idea if this is how your dp is feeling, but maybe it will be a helpful perspective!

 

Good luck!


Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
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