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My Partner Hates My Adult Children

(73 Posts)
LisaP Mon 27-Dec-21 05:26:31

Well I don’t know if hate is too strong a word but she doesn’t like them.
I have three adult children and four grandchildren.
I divorced my children's father after 10 years of marriage. Have had a few partners since but have now been married for 7 years.
My children are 34, 32 & 30
Recently my middle son had a relationship breakdown and came to stay with us for about 6 months. He then found a job and somewhere to live, not far from us. He may come over once or twice a week for dinner.
When he lived with us my partner hated it. Would continue to ask when he was leaving.
He is a nice guy. Polite. Quiet. But a bit messy.
She felt like her home was not her own.
Anyway. Long story short. I invited him for Christmas rather than him being on his own. Plus, I wanted to.
He came the day before Christmas Eve - today , Boxing Day, out of the blue, she came upstairs slamming doors with a face of thunder.
I asked what the problem was. And he said she wanted her home back. She felt like her life was being taken over.
My son hasn’t done anything at all. He bought his laptop so he could work and has mostly been in his bedroom working.
In the evenings we have been watching a series of movies together. Everything has been relaxed. Or so I thought.
It’s every single time one of children comes over or comes to stay does she have issue with them coming.
My eldest son told me she made him feel uncomfortable and unwanted in the house.
I’m coming to the end of my rope now. I want my relationships with my children to continue but she is making it very difficult. I’m constantly caught in the middle trying to please everyone and it’s very tiring.

Peasblossom Mon 27-Dec-21 11:14:58

It sounds like you’d be happier living apart, since neither of you is happy with the way things are.

Do you have enough funds to rent somewhere while you sort it all out. Maybe move in with your son for a bit?

It doesn’t mean the relationship is at an end. You’ve tried living together and it doesn’t work. But apart might bring back the love that was there before.

Take a leaf out of Gagajo book. 🙂

Redhead56 Mon 27-Dec-21 11:17:15

It’s would be better for your health to be in your own space and see your family whenever you want. You simply cannot live with hostility when your family are around it’s not fair. It’s too much to expect you are a supportive mum you can’t change and why should you.

Blossoming Mon 27-Dec-21 11:21:48

She sounds narcissistic, jealous and controlling. So many red flags. I think couples counselling may be worth a try, but if it were me I think I’d end the relationship.

AmberSpyglass Mon 27-Dec-21 11:22:24

Honestly, it’s not worth the hassle with her. It doesn’t sound like it’s working - you have your priorities and she doesn’t like them. She knew you were a package deal when you met, but it sounds like she was hoping to change you.

Chewbacca Mon 27-Dec-21 11:22:42

It would be a deal breaker for me.

Katie59 Mon 27-Dec-21 11:23:37

It sounds like jealousy, she wants you all to herself with no competition for your affections, you are probably going to have to choose between her and your children.

She is trying to be the dominant partner maybe it’s time to assert yourself.

TerriBull Mon 27-Dec-21 11:25:39

I think it's a deal breaker, as you say "I had three children when we met, I still have three children" My husband had two children from a first marriage when we got together 37 or so years ago, I've been lucky in my relationship with them, and the grandchildren that have come along. I know that is not always the case, nevertheless they were there first. They can't just go away and it's a fact, adult children do boomerang back to the family home for various reasons, I had those two children stay with us from time to time before they established their own homes and then our own two have been backwards and forwards at different times also. I a have our own fairly young grandchildren stay every other week end so I know what it's like to have your home taken over, but I also find there's a heightened sense of pleasure when peace and calm is restored.

Your son, as you describe him, doesn't sound too much trouble of course it's important adult children clear up after themselves, all that needs to be ironed out and as a courtesy, try and agree Christmas arrangements and overnight stays with your other half beforehand. However, if she won't countenance any visits, then I'd say you're stuffed and you have to put it to her your ongoing relationship with them is non negotiable. I see you have been together 7 years, so she must have been used to them being around in the first place but it seems she is increasingly losing her rag of late, I think you need in depth discussions around that. I would put it to her "don't make me choose because, as a mother I will choose them" . You don't say whether she is a parent herself, if not, she may not fully appreciate the mother/child bond. The last thing you want is to end up estranged from your children it will be a massive source of resentment and could quite possibly ruin your relationship with her anyway.

Sometimes 2nd time around relationships with baggage work better when each party has their own home and can retreat there alone in times of stress. I think that's the only workable scenario for some with adult children. I do know one couple who have managed to keep their relationship going very well but with separate homes and exclusive times with their own grown up children and grandchildren without melding the whole lot together. That works for them. Horses for courses and all that!

I wish you all the best in sorting this considerable dilemma out.

AmberSpyglass Mon 27-Dec-21 11:30:20

Also - and I’m saying this as a gay woman - it might be that she sees your children as remnants of a straight marriage and finds it threatening or just really at odds with how she wanted her life to be. I’ve seen it happen and it’s really unfortunate.

VioletSky Mon 27-Dec-21 11:32:25

I actually think your partner doesn't hate your children and is not jealous... Doesn't like change, doesn't like routine disrupted, has social anxiety, understands she has a problem but cannot stop herself protesting disruption to her life no matter how seemingly minor to you...

I think she sounds like an adult with undiagnosed autism

Urmstongran Mon 27-Dec-21 11:36:46


She sounds narcissistic, jealous and controlling. So many red flags. I think couples counselling may be worth a try, but if it were me I think I’d end the relationship.

Me too.

Dinahmo Mon 27-Dec-21 11:44:33

LisaP I've read the first page - one thing you don't say is whether you discussed your son coming to stay with you both before he actually came. Just reading your comments, it does appear that your children treat the "joint" home as just yours. That's unfair. She should have a say in when they come and for how long.

Sarnia Mon 27-Dec-21 11:47:04

She must have known you had children when you got together, surely. You all came as a package.
Sit yourselves down and be calmly honest with each other about every aspect of your relationship. When you have those answers you can go from there.

TerriBull Mon 27-Dec-21 11:47:11

I see from a subsequent post she hasn't had children and isn't maternal, but is happy for grandchildren to come and stay, interesting! because depending on their age they can cause more disruption around the home than a quiet adult working away in the bedroom on a laptop.

I think, depending on our age, you don't say how old you both are, some increasingly like to retreat into the peace and quiet of the home, I can empathise with that, but you son staying for a couple of days was a fleeting visit, maybe she fears him moving in again. As for "I do too much for my children" well join the very big club in that respect. You kind of have to live the whole parent experience to understand that one! and she's very much on the outside looking in and not fully appreciating the family dynamics.

Grammaretto Mon 27-Dec-21 11:53:58

It isn't easy but from what you say your DW has no or very little experience of sharing her space with anyone besides her one and only.
Did she come to the marriage with no "Baggage" at all?
She sounds naive treating your AC as unwanted guests.

I have several friends who are in a similar boat with their new partners' AC.

The lengths these AC will go to to get and keep their parents' attention are astonishing.

They resolve it by keeping the warring parties apart as much as possible though in one case the angry jealous teenager insisted on living with them in their cosy love nest with her baby half-brother.
They had family therapy but according to my DF the wicked stepmother it didn't resolve a thing. What actually resolved it was the teenager found a boyfriend and interests away from home.

Nezumi65 Mon 27-Dec-21 11:57:31

If she hasn’t had children does she just think that adult children have zero ties to their parents? Or it could be as Amber said and that they are a reminder of your previous life. She could also be narcissistic, or autistic or introverted. In many ways it doesn’t matter if there’s a reason, you just need to find out whether you can come to an agreement that works for both of you.

I think you’ll have to talk to her. Explain where your line is - for me any attempt to control access to my children would be a final straw but we will all have our own lines.

Nezumi65 Mon 27-Dec-21 11:59:00

It’s not that unusual for a teenager to still be living in their parents home Grammaretto?

LisaP Mon 27-Dec-21 12:19:31

I am not the type of person who just tells someone what is happening.
We had a conversation prior to Christmas about my son coming and she was on board with that.
Just like every other time one of my children comes .. we have discussed it prior. It’s only when they are here does she bring up that she’s not happy with them being here.
Then she makes it pretty obvious that they aren’t welcome. Slamming doors, sighing and giving everyone the silent treatment.
I do have a daughter too. Same treatment.
I don’t think for a second that she hates them. I did say that’s too strong a word for anyone.
The hardest thing is being caught in the middle trying to keep everyone happy.
I have started to go to my eldest sons house to see him and the grandchildren alone. She is happy with that.
It’s just a hard one. She knew I had three adult children. She knows I enjoy my relationship with them. And she knows I don’t want to lose that. She also knows it’s hard for me in the middle.
Some more talking needs to happen I think.

Forsythia Mon 27-Dec-21 12:28:41

She may have accepted them while she was dating you and not understood the reality of family life. Sounds like jealousy to me but what do I know. Come what May, you can’t carry on like this. Is she worth it? Only you know the answer.

Nezumi65 Mon 27-Dec-21 12:33:23

It doesn’t sound like you’ll get the happy families you want. How would you/she feel about you (for example) going to stay at your sons for Xmas while leaving her behind? If it would work for you both could be a solution

storynanny Mon 27-Dec-21 12:50:28

That’s really sad. I knew before you even said it that she didn’t have any children. Once a parent always a parent .
Me and my husband have 5 adult children between us and grandchildren. I would say I’m closer to his daughters than he is to my sons but we both totally respect they are the most important things in the world to us.
Having said that, we do talk to each other first before planning stuff with them. Obviously emergencies aside that is.
I knew instinctly that I would never be able to be in a relationship where one of us would have no idea or experience of the difficulties and pleasures of having brought up children.
That probably sounds very harsh.
Do you really want to be on tenterhooks every time there is a conflict of interests? What is going to happen when there are grandchildren running around your home?

storynanny Mon 27-Dec-21 12:53:29

Ah sorry just seen you have grandchildren already

storynanny Mon 27-Dec-21 12:54:22

I guess grandchildren are one step removed as far as she is concerned and they are unlikely to be needing so much attention and time from you?

Kittye Mon 27-Dec-21 12:59:23

I don’t know why you are with her, she sounds a jealous, self centred controlling person. My children would always come first no matter what age they are. You sound like a nice person, you deserve better

Grammaretto Mon 27-Dec-21 13:14:29

Sorry Nezum I didn't make it clear. Her own mother had custody of the 2 teenaged DC after a bitter divorce, so she, the teenager, was actually demanding to stay with her DF and his new partner and ended up helping nobody, not even herself.
I visited once during that time and the hostile and miserable environment was palpable.
As an aside - this was years ago. The "new" family are no longer together and the DF is on to his third relationship with even more DC. The teenager has long since grown, and has her own family.....

rosie1959 Mon 27-Dec-21 13:31:09

You don't mention how old your partner is OP unless I have missed it, but sighing slamming doors and silent treatment sounds very juvenile.