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Visitation

Kisanmisme2's picture

     Okay so we pay CS for every other weekend and some vacation. Which is totally the deal and understood. However my skids are SD17 and SS15 and I feel for that age, due to extra groceries and things, we need some notice for the summer visits and it is respectful. Now SS15 originally wanted to come the 26th-1st and his daughter we told that during the weekday DH worked so she said the weekend after which is the 29th. The days arranged for and I accepted.  So then SS15 a week later asks to come over as soon as he gets back from his vacation at his grandparents, which is 2 weeks sooner than we originally planned. WTF and SD17 says she's coming over the thursday before the weekend which is now 4 days.  I flipped.

      We coordinate, make plans and these kids have no regard for our schedule and DH hates telling them no.  He feels his kids should feel welcome to come over anytime. They are almost adults, it's getting to the point that they should schedule time over here since it takes planning (if it's going to be outside of the custody agreement.) I told DH that he is taking time off work for SD because she's pretty high maintenance and it's not going to be on me. SS15 plays video games for hours on end and locks himself away in our extra room. So if he's gonna warehouse his son, I am done nagging. I am resigned to the fact that we may end up supporting these children are pretty set in their personalities and attitudes. They are not mine, I have none of my own. So DH thinks I am only this way about his children, but my family or friends never just invite themselves over last minute. Am I overreacting or should they be allowed over at anytime? I mean I know if it was a emergency cicumstance or immediate need fine. In the end he told SS15 that the 18th would be better... only 1 week extra and he couldn't tell SD no, so I had him take the days off work.  He seems a little bitter but if they are going to interrupt the schedule than it can be on him. Thoughts?

Comments

Winterglow's picture

I think you were perfectly right to insiste he be there for his daughter and not to expect you to do it. Visitation is for her to spend time with her parent, not with you. And tell him to quit the sulking and resentment - he expected you to just deal with their presence (and probably throught you'd be thrilled about it), time for him to plaster a big smile on his face and start looking forward to his daughter's visit!   

lieutenant_dad's picture

This isn't really a matter of who is right or wrong, but more of what is respectful.

It's not wrong that your DH wants his kids over and for his kids to view his house as their house. It's not wrong foe his kids to view his house as their house, and being minors, they should have access to their home(s). It's not wrong that you'd like notice of in-laws stopping by (which is what SKs are), especially when it greatly increases the visit time that they'll be there. 

I don't think the SKs are being disrespectful here. To them, as minors, their dad's house is their house. It's the other place they live. They're not going to see the big deal with "coming home". Your DH, however, is being pretty disrespectful by just agreeing to everything without talking to you first. But, I can also see where he doesn't see the big deal about it since they're teens and shouldn't need anyone to watch them, cook for them, clean up after them, etc (and if they need those things, DH needs to be the one to handle them).

I think there are two ways this needs to be approached: addressing DH's lack of communication, and addressing the needs that he'll have to cover/figure out.

"DH, my issue isn't with the kids being here. My issue is that you have made a decision that impacts our household without consulting me first. Since I am in charge of our food budget and grocery shopping, I now have to redo these items, which takes time. Your decision has cost me something, and I don't appreciate someone else spending my resources without my consent. I also don't appreciate that you make decisions then get mad at me because I take offense at having my time and resources being dictated. I know you say you'll just do it, but then you get frustrated at me because now you have to take on the extra work that your decision made. If you want to be disrespectful to me, then you need to take full responsibility for the fallout. If you're going to make unilateral decisions for this household, then you need to plan on taking on the added responsibility. I will work with you when we communicate, but when you cut me out, don't get mad that I have an adverse reaction. You put me in a no-win situation, and that is unfair. Had you consulted me, I either would have agreed to what you proposed or we would have discussed it to find a happy middle ground. Instead, your actions have upset us both. This cannot continue."

Note that if you're going to say this that you need to be truthful. You need to be flexible. Yes, I know CS gets paid for X amount of overnights, but an extra week a year isn't going to so drastically change CS that it's worth fighting about. Be flexible (which it sounds like you will be) so that DH can see his kids. While you see them as nearly adults who need to schedule time with Dad like they are adults, your DH likely sees them as his kids who are about to fly out on their own, and he wants to spend as much time with them as they'll allow before that happens. Finding some sort of compromise that allows for a heads up when they want to come over mixed with letting them come over more is a good idea.

Kisanmisme2's picture

I suppose most of this is that we live in an apartment that is 1000 sq ft and only has two bedrooms total. DH currently works from home and I am at home as well. So thats 4 adults in a two bedroom place for what weeks? ugh So SD17 either sleeps in the bed with SS15 or she sleeps on the couch. It's cramped and uncomfortable and at their age shouldn't they be weening off the every other weekend? IDK all ss does is play video games for hours on end and sd wants constant entertainment and that means things she can post on her social media. I totally agree with everything that has been said. He did confer with me about the visitation so the only problem is that we don't agree and we did end up compromising with his son. He just can't say no to SD. So I am making him spend the vacation time while she's here. Sometimes I wonder if I had my own children how much my opinions on these matters would be different, but DH and I have different viewpoints when it comes to children. This often causes conflict but he is codependent with his chlidren and I don't have that unhealthy tie so in the end it comes down to compromise and sacrafice.

lieutenant_dad's picture

A few things to further chew on:

1.) Your SKs need their own rooms and space. A bit late now at their age, but 1000 sq ft and 2 bedrooms was never enough room. But, that's not a you problem or an SK problem. The need to provide space for the kids falls solely on your DH's shoulders, and he failed. His failure now causes you stress and his kids to be uncomfortable (as I'm sure they don't like sharing a room or having to sleep on the couch).

2.) Less frequent visits as kids age really depends on the parent/child relationship. My dad and I did not get along when I was a teen, and I had a job and boyfriend. I stopped overnights at my dad's house when that happened. My brother, though? He wanted to spend all his time at our dad's house. My OSS came to every visit (and lives here on breaks now) because he loved his dad, it was more peaceful here, etc.

Parent/child relationships, family dynamics, and parental expectations greatly shape visitation. I would look less at the visitation schedule and more at the relationship between parent and child. A 17 year old who sticks to their visitation schedule but visits friends, holds down a job, gets good grades, etc is a healthy kid. One that sticks to the visitation schedule but requires their parent to entertain them, feed them, etc is not. Visitation isn't the problem in that second scenario, just like it's not the cause for producing a good kid in the first.

3.) Your DH seems to have an unhealthy relationship with both you and his kids. He can't tell them no and he doesn't respect you as his partner. His behavior sounds very selfish and needs to be called out. His response to that criticism should also shape how you move forward in this relationship. Don't blame the fact that he has kids, or blame the kids, for his selfishness. That is solely a DH problem that he needs to fix.

Kisanmisme2's picture

Yeah besides this place being too small, which we are working on, our ability to communicate and to negotiate properly is something that is lacking.  We both are in recovery and are doing the most to have a healthier relationship. We go to small groups for support and for hurts, habits and hang ups and I go to therapy group. We used to go to couples therapy and we try exteremly hard so that things stay managable.  I guess I see them as a bit too dependent on what they get from momma and papa.  Someone here told me what warehousing is and I totally agree that for most of the time he's either disneyland dad or warehousing.  I really wish I was disconnected from the situation but it triggers me. I hope that things change in my heart.