Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Partners Son

(47 Posts)
Houseseller Mon 17-Nov-14 19:30:15

Good evening all. Please can you give me the benefit of your experience regarding a situation I have with my partners son. His son split with his partner in July (she left him) and since then it seems whenever he has his 8 year old daughter he brings her around to my house so I end up feeding both of them and looking after her. I don't live with his father but we spend every weekend together. Before the split the son didn't want to spend much time with us. My dilemma is I am resenting having to be the childminder every weekend and sometime during the week. The little girl is a lovely child but I feel taken for granted. Not once has the son brought round a bottle of wine or a bunch flowers as a little thank you. I don't know how to handle this without upsetting everyone but I don't like feeling like this.

ninathenana Mon 17-Nov-14 19:40:19

I don't have any experience to share but I think your right in feeling taken for granted, especially when she is not related to you. Have you spoken to your partner about this. Perhaps he can have a word with his son. I think he's in the wrong too letting his son do this.

I hope you can come to an amicable solution.

I don't remember seeing you before so welcome to GN

Grannyknot Mon 17-Nov-14 19:52:33

house welcome if you're new.

That's quite tricky, but do you think he is seeking some nurturing and mothering for him and his daughter since the split? Do you feel appreciated by the little girl?

Perhaps you could make an excuse and say you're busy next weekend so that he gets the message 're you needing "me time"?

Houseseller Mon 17-Nov-14 20:10:24

Hi, yes I am sure he needs some nurturing as well as his daughter, I do provide it as much as I can but it's starting to wear a bit thin. I am very fond of his little girl but he doesn't come to me unless he needs me to provide a meal and entertain her. We don't tend to go out much at the weekends and the son gets his daughter to ring us and ask if they can come around, or he will text his Dad. I want to be supportive as he is not in a good place but there are limits.

Elegran Mon 17-Nov-14 20:31:51

Can you or your husband suggest to him that going somewhere would be nice for everyone - for him and his daughter and also (but not automatically) for you and husband? Perhaps your son could buy you all a meal out sometimes too. It is all very well coming home, and flattering that he still thinks of it as home, but it does put a lot onto you.

Houseseller Mon 17-Nov-14 20:40:17

Hi Elgran, he is not my son and I am not married to his father nor do we live together. He comes to my house. I'm afraid he is not a generous person so no chance of a meal, my partner gave his granddaughter £20 as she did well in an exam, the son took it off her and said he would put it towards her Christmas present.

soontobe Mon 17-Nov-14 20:59:42

Tricky. What does his dad say?

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 17-Nov-14 21:23:47

Why don't you tell your partner that you are fed up with it? Tell him that you only want to see them, say, once a month.

janeainsworth Mon 17-Nov-14 21:26:58

I agree with Elegran that it is flattering that the son wants to come 'home' to you, and trusts you to look after his little girl, and that the little girl must be happy to come to you too.

I think that you are probably a life-line for him, even if he doesn't realise it himself, not to mention the little girl. You don't mention the son's mother.

If the situation seems to be a burden, the least you can do is talk to the son directly yourself. It's your house, your rules, and if you go in a roundabout way, via the Dad (as his son does), then you risk more resentment and misunderstanding.

If you're happy to look after the child some of the time, tell him what those times will be. If you don't want them coming to your house at all, you'll just have to bite the bullet and say so.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 17-Nov-14 21:35:02

I think it might be different if you were married, or living together as a couple fulltime. But if you only see each other at weekends, I don't see why you should be expected to take on his family as well as him.

It depends on the relationship you have with your partner.

Could you spend some weekends at your partner's home, and let him provide for you all there?

Houseseller Mon 17-Nov-14 21:55:33

Yes Jane I am a lifeline for them but I used to look forward to spending my weekends with my partner and seeing his family from time to time. Now I dread the phone going as it's sure to be him. It would be nice if he went to his Dads during the week when I am not there but it won't happen. My partner loves his son and is worried about how he is coping so doesn't put him off. I suppose I am worried if I rock the boat it will effect our relationship. I know his son will always come first.

soontobe Mon 17-Nov-14 22:24:18

1.If the son wants to continue this, he is going to have to show some gratitude if you ask me.
2. It seems to me that your partner comes as a package with his son and GD.

It is up to you which way you proceed.
If you say yes to continuing to see your partner, I would make some rules that suit you as well as the son.
Such as, making a light meal at the weekend. Entertaining the GD involves watching films, that sort of thing.

janeainsworth Mon 17-Nov-14 22:41:13

Is there any particular reason why he can't go to your partner's during the week, Housesitter? Not prying, just wondering, as it would seem to be a reasonable compromise.

annodomini Mon 17-Nov-14 22:52:47

If you had 'caller identity' on your phone, you could ignore the son's calls. Couldn't you arrange a weekend away with your partner every so often, without any hangers-on?

FarNorth Mon 17-Nov-14 23:32:57

It seems likely that the weekend is when the little girl will be having 'daddy-time' but that daddy doesn't really know what to do with her so he comes to yours.

Would you be happy with the situation if the son did give you flowers and / or showed some gratitude? Or are you just finding it too much having them around so often, in any case?

I think you need to discuss it with your partner, first of all, to find out his views on the situation, before you decide whether to say anything to the son. If you explain that you are finding the frequent visits tiring, and ask for his help to decide what to do, I hope he will see your point of view.

Grannyknot Tue 18-Nov-14 07:33:56

far north that last sentence is spot on.

Riverwalk Tue 18-Nov-14 08:19:18

The son sounds rather selfish - no doubt when he gets a girlfriend he'll make use of her in the same way.

Many men with weekend access seem not to know what to do with their children.

shysal Tue 18-Nov-14 08:50:54

A compromise might be for your partner to stay at home on alternate weekends, and have the son and GD there. Then you should expect quality time as a couple on the other. I think you are being used - just because you are female it doesn't mean you should take on this responsibility! Dad will never learn to care for his daughter if he is allowed to offload the duty.
Riverwalk is so right about part-time fathers. My SIL knows how to give his 3 kids a good time (not). On the last occasion, they sat outside in the car for an hour and talked, then got sent back in to their mother!

Iam64 Tue 18-Nov-14 09:02:54

What a sad situation, one with which no one seems particularly at ease. In the middle of it is an 8 year old girl. I wonder what it feels like from her point of view. She's be trying to make sense of why her parents have split up, likely wishing and fantasising about her life returning to how it used to be. She's taken by daddy to visit grandfather's girlfriend in what sounds like a rather tense emotional environment.

When you say you end up being the childminder, do you mean the little girl's father ignores her once they arrive? Does he have staying contact with his little girl, and I do wonder why he doesn't take her to the place he lives in. She needs to know where daddy lives, to have some of her possessions there, so she feels at home.

It sounds as though you and your partner need to talk this through properly. I'm not suggesting it's your responsibility to look after this little girl, but it sounds as though someone needs to look at it from her point of view and encourage her father to shape up a bit.

Houseseller Tue 18-Nov-14 09:14:10

Hi thanks for all the comment
The idea for son to go to his dads would have no appeal to son as I am only a couple of miles away and my house is much more comfortable and convenient. If I suggest alternate weekends I am left alone with no company which I would hate.
Should he bring a bunch of flowers it would at least make me feel a little less used but I would still feel like a resource for him to use at his pleasure. It wouldn't be so bad if he came in a happy mood but he put on an air of a martyr sighing a huffing. He hates the tv programmes I like and makes it clear he would prefer something else. When I cook most of the time he doesn't like what I produce so I am left trying to make sure I cook what he likes. I am creating a situation for myself that gives him the power.

Houseseller Tue 18-Nov-14 09:19:16

Hi iam64, the little girl is given lots of love by me and there is no tension in the house whilst she is here. Father does sit back and let's me get on with it.
He does have her at home as he has retained the family home but it is just to put her to bed most of the time

Elegran Tue 18-Nov-14 09:51:25

You are not a doormat, put on this earth for his convenience. Stop making him so comfortable. If he is in your house he eats what you eat, watches what TV you watch. If he doesn't like that he can take himself and his daughter out to eat (and take you out as well sometimes)

Why is he sitting in your house doing nothing but complain about your choice of TV programmes anyway? This is his daughter. She is not your child to entertain, I am starting to see why this marriage foundered if this is how be behaved. Even if she were your own grand-daughter, he would still be the father responsible for her. Also, your partner is her grandfather, but even he is doing less than you do to entertain her as far as I can see.

Take a good look at what you want, then talk to both these men separately or together, and sort out your lives so that you get it. Don't put it quite that way, tell them that you are not as young as you were and it tires you to do so much and have a young child to look after so often (you seem to be doing the childcare)

Suggest things for him to do with her - like many fathers he probably hasn't a clue what children like to do. What facilities for children are there in your area? Perhaps you could spend a little time finding out, so as to spend less time doing everything yourself.

Take a look at your nearest Gransnet Local site, which will have a section of things for children. If there is not one near, get online and google the Local authority site for you area, which probably has a list of things, or just google your area and "children"

They are both very lucky that you are around and ready to step in as a substitute gran. Don't let him act like a helpless child himself.

soontobe Tue 18-Nov-14 09:59:50

Set ground rules for everyone concerned.
Ground rules that you like and want.
Then stick to them.

soontobe Tue 18-Nov-14 10:01:29

If you find they are not working for you in a few months, make a new set.

FarNorth Tue 18-Nov-14 10:10:03

Houseseller I am creating a situation for myself that gives him the power.
Don't blame yourself. He has pushed you into the situation with his passive-aggressive behaviour. You don't have to stay in it, tho.
Lots of good points there from Elegran.