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My Partner Hates My Adult Children

(74 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.

denbylover Mon 27-Dec-21 05:49:46

What an awful situation. I don’t know how this will be resolved with your partner as you and your children are kin first a foremost. You don’t say how enjoyable the relationship is when your children are not around, but the anxiety that must be felt when one or more of your children want to spend time with you their Mum, has to be worrying. I wouldn’t like to be putting up with her moods, ok it’s her house, maybe time for you to get your own place, somewhere you have more freedom, because as I read it, you don’t have that at your partners house. I fear this situation is not going to change if nothing changes. Good luck.

LisaP Mon 27-Dec-21 05:55:23

The relationship is absolutely fine when we are on our own.
It’s ‘our’ house not her house.
She likes things to remain the same. Doesn’t like change. And doesn’t like her life to be disrupted.
I told her ‘he is only here for the Christmas period’
Her response ..’I don’t want him taking over my life. I’ve shared my life with your kids at some point. If it’s not one it the other’
Well I’m sorry. I had three children when you met me and I’ve still got three children who aren’t going away any time soon.
I’ve been awake all night (she slept on the sofa) throwing the word Divorce around in my head. Obviously I don’t want it to come to that but I will not be made to choose. They are my children.

Sapphire24 Mon 27-Dec-21 06:03:11

Wow! I could've written this in the sense that my son has also had relationship breakdown, is staying with us for Xmas. He is also coming to stay with us for a short while, as circumstances are he is also looking for a new home and job. He sounds very similar to your son in that he's polite, quiet but his room is a bit untidy.

The massive difference is, that whilst we all know it's going to be an adjustment for all of us, my husband has been nothing but supportive about the situation.

We like our quiet life and routine, but as we see it when your kids need help, you do what you can to support them.

From what you say, to me it comes across that your partner could be jealous of your relationship with your kids.
Have you discussed how they make your kids feel?

I really hope you find some resolution.

LisaP Mon 27-Dec-21 06:08:18

Yes. We have discussed how this makes my children feel. She says nothing when I try to talk about it.
She says I do too much for my children. And I probably do but that’s my choice.
She’s never had children. Didn’t want them and there’s nothing maternal about her. Although she’s ok with the grandchildren coming to stay.
I think she has some kind of social anxiety as she’s just not good with people. She has no real friends of her own and is quite content sitting at home doing her own thing.
I lovd my relationship with my middle son. And I will not let her change that.

denbylover Mon 27-Dec-21 06:18:14

Hi, and neither should you ever be made to choose! I reiterate, I don’t see how this is to be resolved without a huge turnabout from your partner. She’s drawn a line in the sand so to speak, you quite rightly want to see and spend time with your children without having to navigate her moods. Your partner is with someone with children, Mothers and children come as a package, adult children from time to time visit and spend time with their parent. You must have the freedom to have your children visit without this carryon from yr partner.. Heck, as above I do wish you luck

Blencathra Mon 27-Dec-21 07:01:48

Whatever age your children are they are your children and you had them first - she knew that you were a package. I would always put my children first and would make that plain to her.

Sapphire24 Mon 27-Dec-21 07:05:12

I really feel for you and especially at Christmas having to deal with this.
As Denbylover said, without a massive turnaround from your partner, there doesn't seem much else that you can do.
Sadly, the behaviour feels very controlling to me and it's something I would not tolerate.

rosie1959 Mon 27-Dec-21 07:15:29

OP I am presuming your partner has no children of their own because if they had had they would understand the bond between parent and child
I can offer no solution but nothing or no one would come between me and my children and your partner does sound a little unreasonable and jealous.
We had our own son come to live with us after a marriage breakup he stayed a couple of years and we did gently get him to find his own place but he was welcome at all times and always will be.

Lauren59 Mon 27-Dec-21 07:17:31

I would not tolerate a partner who didn’t like my adult children. It would ruin the relationship for me.

She can’t stand to have him visiting for four days? I think she needs to live alone.

Anyone who marries a partner who already has a family should understand that those bonds are for life. Apparently your wife didn’t understand this.

Shelbel Mon 27-Dec-21 07:26:13

Maybe some sort of family mediation or therapy might help?. Your wife is putting you in a very difficult position. Did she always feel this way about your family?

LisaP Mon 27-Dec-21 08:06:47

Thanks everyone. You have confirmed what I have been thinking.
She didn’t always feel this way. At least I don’t think so.
Look. My children have been quite needy over the years, each with their own issues and needs. What kind of parent would I be if I wasn’t there for them.
I will not let anyone come between the relationships my children and I have built over the years.
She just doesn’t like anything to change in her own self limiting bubble.
She will either have to find a way or find the door. Because this is her issue, not mine.

M0nica Mon 27-Dec-21 08:12:51

When you met, formed a relationship and married, you had children that were clearly an important part of your life, so it was quite clear you came as a package deal. Did you never discuss this when you were going out together and contemplating marriage? Does she feel insecure and see your children as a threat to your relationship? In a way it is the behaviour of someone who wants to control the relationship and exclude your children.

I confess I get really irritated with people who cause a problem, won't discuss it and then usually follow that up by complaining that every one keeps blaming them for the problem.

If she doesn't want to talk about it. You have got to spell it out to her, quite clearly: you and your children are a package, you had them when you dated, you had them when you married and you have them still and nothing has changed and nothing is going to change. It is up to her to discuss the subject or take part in couple counselling on the issue.

BlueBelle Mon 27-Dec-21 08:24:11

Unfortunately you both have different outlooks you are a mum and believe that a mum is a mum for life (as I do) your wife has no children and is probably very jealous of your relationship with your children which she will never have or understand
So you have to sit down and have a very honest talk she needs to know you are not walking away from your children, and if they want to visit they will always be welcome and she has a choice she can go away for the weekend, week or whatever time frame they are coming for, or she can stop moaning and look upon them in a more friendly way ( if she loves you she will make an effort) or the third option is you can part
You say she felt like her home was not her own but it isn’t hers you say quite clearly it’s a shared home not belonging to one or other
I had one live in partner who was very very jealous of my three grown, but not fully flown, children, He acted like a spoilt child and once when I served my son his dinner plate before him, he went off to bed !!!
Needless to say although we staggered on for a bit it eventually ended, although through something else completely ?

lemsip Mon 27-Dec-21 09:02:52

get rid of her, it will never work and will ruin your wellbeing.....

eazybee Mon 27-Dec-21 09:22:34

It is painfully obvious that your partner is jealous of your relationship with your sons and she is trying to make you choose between her and them. And I think it is obvious too that you have almost decided which is the most important.

From what you have said your partner seems insecure and possessive and unlikely to attempt to accommodate your family relationships. If it isn't your sons it will be your friends, although you have admitted you do too much for them. Sorry, but you also come across as rather inflexible and uncompromising: 'she will have to find a way or find the door', 'it's her issue, not mine.'

Actually it is a joint issue, but I don't think either of you is capable of resolving it, so best to end the relationship as amicably as possible.

Itsnell Mon 27-Dec-21 09:26:25

How awful for you. You’re going to have to make some serious decisions about this. She can’t be allowed to dictate whether your children are in your life or not. - it’s bullying and controlling.

I have 3 adult step children., they don’t live with us but they need their dad and I do my best for them. I knew when I met him that his children were part of the package. I sadly don’t have any children but I treat my nieces and nephews as like my own and I would fight for them and they are a big part of my life and nobody will change that.
I do my best for my DHs children and grandchildren- sometimes they annoy me when they stay with us but I keep it to myself as it’s my issue for me to deal with.

Life is too short for you to spend it living like this and walking on eggshells in your own home. If your wife can’t and won’t accept your children in your life then thing will have to change. Ok maybe you’ll feel lonely on your own but better that than bullied and controlled in your own home.
Good luck

LisaP Mon 27-Dec-21 09:33:48


It is painfully obvious that your partner is jealous of your relationship with your sons and she is trying to make you choose between her and them. And I think it is obvious too that you have almost decided which is the most important.

From what you have said your partner seems insecure and possessive and unlikely to attempt to accommodate your family relationships. If it isn't your sons it will be your friends, although you have admitted you do too much for them. Sorry, but you also come across as rather inflexible and uncompromising: 'she will have to find a way or find the door', 'it's her issue, not mine.'

Actually it is a joint issue, but I don't think either of you is capable of resolving it, so best to end the relationship as amicably as possible.

You don’t know me. You don’t know if I’m inflexible or not. I’m not by the way.
It this IS her issue. She has to find a way to handle this. She even admits that.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 27-Dec-21 09:48:30

I couldn’t live with someone who made it clear to my adult son (similar age to your eldest) that they didn’t want him around. If I had to make a choice then the partner would go. There is something very special and unique about a mother’s love for her children. This woman is incredibly jealous, selfish and insecure. People like that don’t change. Please don’t end up with unhappy estranged children to satisfy her neediness.

Cabbie21 Mon 27-Dec-21 09:51:46

My DH handles it by opting out of social occasions involving my adult children, so yesterday I spent the day with my family and he stayed at home quite happily. Similarly his daughter never comes to our house, but I am quite happy for him to go and stay at hers.
We have made lots of compromises over the years, and some sacrifices too, but our children are still an important part of our lives.
I hope you can reach a compromise,

Shelflife Mon 27-Dec-21 10:23:42

You are in a very difficult situation and sincerely hope you can resolve this. Your wife must understand that your AC are and always will be in your life. I think making herself scarce when they arrive is a sound idea. Having said that I agree with Germanshepherdsmum that you must never become estranged from your children to please your wife. Couple counselling may be the answer , if she refused that idea - I fear you have your answer !!! Good luck.

Coastpath Mon 27-Dec-21 10:25:04

I don't think your partner hates your children LisaP or at least I didn't hear that in any of your posts. I think what she hates is your children coming to stay.

Is she an introvert? I see signs of that in your description of her - no real need for friends, didn't want children, doesn't like change, wants her house to be a haven, can't relax when there are people around. I recognise this as these are traits I share.

As an introvert I really need my home as I want it (perhaps selfish, but I'm a grown up, it's my house and I know what I need to stay on an even keel). Home alone is my haven from the world and the only place I can truly relax and be myself. I have stopped having overnight visitors (even one night) as I am on alert, tense and scratchy all the time they are here and it is exhausting for me and I'm sure not very pleasant for them.

You don't think she hasn't always felt like this, so perhaps the Covid isolation has made her realise how much of an introvert she is and how much she likes her own space. Perhaps she's just got a bit older and tuned into her own needs.

When you got together your children were already well into adulthood and she could reasonably have assumed that, whilst they might come to stay for short spells, moving back in for several months was unlikely. Perhaps she felt that because she loves you, she could handle having people around now and then for short stays. Maybe your son's six months stay has revealed her boundaries and your son's recent stay has reminded her how unhappy she is when her haven is taken away from her by visitors.

You obviously love her and your children and want them all to be happy. Are there ways you could work around this to meet all your needs. Could you have an agreement that your children will only stay one night at a time, and when they do she could arrange to be elsewhere or have something (a hobby or project) to do in another room for some of the time they are there so she can retreat into her haven? I do hope you can resolve this.

GagaJo Mon 27-Dec-21 10:32:36

I have a DD myself, and a DGS who lives with me. I say this to qualify myself as a parent.

BUT. I don't get on with my blokes adult DD. He has 2 children. A DS and a DD. His DS is no problem. Lives his own life, independently as an adult.

His DD however, has always exerted herself to make sure she is the main person in his life, even when she doesn't actually want to spend time with him. I think she sees me as a threat. I have no idea why. I don't want to prevent them from spending time together, ever. The one time we tried to live together, she went out of her way to force me out again. I'll never try that again.

He isn't aware she does it. OR if he is, he's in denial. She is his beloved and he can see no wrong in her I'm not saying you're in denial LisaP, but it is possible you're oblivious to the implicit challenges of your children to your partner.

I've adjusted my expectations of my partner. We live apart and now I'm not a threat to her anymore, she has more or less discarded her DF, other than needing him in emergencies, for occasional financial aid. The sad thing about this is that it is him that has suffered from it. I'm fine. He is very lonely now.

Obviously, as the parent, it is up to you what you do. But I do think expecting your DW to put up with adult children living with her for months at a time is a bit much. Totally different if you live apart from her. You're not wrong for wanting to do it, but she isn't wrong either for not wanting them there.

If in every other way, you and your wife are happy, why not just live apart?

V3ra Mon 27-Dec-21 10:56:14

A few thoughts going through my mind...
Had you discussed the plans for Christmas or did you just tell your wife you'd invited your son?
Does he help round the house, eg load the dishwasher, take a turn preparing a meal, share the work load?
Do you think your wife would be similarly jealous if your children were daughters?

It's very interesting that you say she's ok with your grandchildren coming to stay! Do they come without their parents?

Our three children have all needed to move back home for varying lengths of time and various reasons.
My Mum always said we do too much for them. Well having had parents who rarely put themselves out for us, we are happy to do so.

I hope you can resolve this LisaP as it must be heartbreaking for you and it sounds like it's making you quite angry now.

harrysgran Mon 27-Dec-21 11:07:40

What an awful situation to put you in she sounds jealous of your relationship with your children . I totally agree you should be there for your children a serious talk is needed as you are looking at a pretty miserable future if the only time you get along is when in her little bubble and she has you all to herself I can't think of a more miserable existence