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Should I address this with stbx or no?

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gonnabe2016 posted 4/12/2014 18:53 PM

So DS was getting ready to play an online game that he had scheduled with one of his friends, when he re-appears and starts putting his shoes on.

Him: I'll be right back.
Me: Where are you going?
Him: I gotta run over to Dad's and do a coupla things for him (stbx lives down the block from us).
Me: Huh?

Of course, since it isn't stbx's *time* with the kids, he's out of town......and he apparently asked DS to *do him a favor* by taking down his trash cans and a couple other things that DS couldn't remember. I told DS that he wasn't going anywhere (my neighborhood instituted some new kind of silly rule where we can get fined if the trash cans are *out* too long )

But, WTH. My child is not HIS chore boy. I *sucked it up* when he got DS 'on board' for a daily 1.5 hour exercise commitment.

I don't ask for or expect DS to come over to my house on my *off* days to 'handle' MY shit (trash cans, mail, etc)....and I don't think that stbx be directly contacting DS to ask him to do these things. In an 'emergency'-type of situation? Sure. ("omg, I got an unexpected shipment and I know it's raining there....can you please put it in the garage?") But *just because* he's decided to not be around? No. This is *my* time to schedule. If he lived across town he wouldn't be asking for this. I know that, on its face, the request *should* be nobigdeal.....problem is that stbx is a total self-centered taker who takes 5 miles if he gets a millimeter.

I also can't figure out why he's worried about it *now* since he's spent the last 8 months or so being *gone* on his 'off' time and has only requested trash/mail service from the kids once or twice. The only thing I can think of is that it's starting to get *warmer* so trash cans left in the garage for too long start stinking. Which is also something I have to consider -- just because we are *here* and he is *gone*, I don't want my stbx to think that my DS is going to be 'on point' for handling these types of things for him (on *my* time) all summer long.

Address it with stbx now or wait?

nekorb posted 4/12/2014 19:04 PM

I'm anxious to hear the replies on this as I was pondering the what ifs of this scenario earlier today.

devistatedmom posted 4/12/2014 19:05 PM

Yes, I would address it, but I would wait until he's back.

"I'm sorry, we were busy. You cannot expect the kids to be your slaves while you are away. If it's my time with the kids, consider them busy unless there is a true emergency, and you contact *me* about it."

The only reason I think you have to address it is so he doesn't take it out on the kids. You make it that he can "blame" you for not allowing them. Not them ignoring what he wants.

gonnabe2016 posted 4/12/2014 19:12 PM

.....and just to add a bit of flavor to this predicament.
My other DS engages in a recreational therapeutic therapy and stbx sent me a text about a month ago to let me know that he had signed DS up for that activity on one of *my* nights because *he* had been handling taking him since the placement agreement went into effect and HE thought that I should *share* in that duty. Biggest problem with that was that the night that stbx 'took it upon himself' to schedule DS up for was also a night when DS is scheduled for a different therapy. I was telling stbx that DS was already for scheduled for therapy on the night that he had double-booked and he, in his delusional madness, was making it sound as if I couldn't *handle* it. "If you can't take him on that night, then just say so and *I'll* continue to handle it". Poor muffin. I ended up telling him that the night that he scheduled the therapy on wasn't going to work and that he needed to just *carry on* with the therapy schedule that was in place.

Kajem posted 4/12/2014 19:14 PM

I would address it with stbx. Then tell your son that if it's your time- it's your time. You don't expect him to take care of you, your stuff, or anything else because it's his fathers time. Dad SHOULD give you the same courtesy.

Courtesy????? What's that with these guys?


devistatedmom posted 4/12/2014 19:29 PM

I remember you posting about him taking it upon himself to double book the therapy. If you are the one that takes DS to most of his appointments, I would ask the therapists not to change any appointment times without checking with you first in the future.

gonnabe2016 posted 4/12/2014 19:48 PM

Then tell your son that if it's your time- it's your time. You don't expect him to take care of you, your stuff, or anything else because it's his fathers time.

This is kinda what I said to my DS.

My DS told me that he was doing it because he was *nice*. I told him that it was great to be a *nice* person, but that *nice* people had to be careful not to be taken advantage of. I *so* do NOT want to raise a *people-pleaser* child. I want him to be able to set boundaries and be able to say "no, that doesn't work for me" without being (co-dependently) worried that someone will be *mad* at him.

[This message edited by gonnabe2016 at 7:49 PM, April 12th (Saturday)]

tesla posted 4/12/2014 21:07 PM

Is dad paying him? Because when I was a teenager and ran down the block to feed a neighbor's cat, take out the trash, etc...I was paid.

Gemini71 posted 4/12/2014 21:09 PM

Sounds like you handled that one well. There is a fine line between being a polite, helpful, young man, and a door mat. Hopefully DS will see when Dad is taking advantage of him and will stand up for himself.

I would still recommend a reminder to XH that he is not to interfere with your parenting by 'assigning chores' to DS during your time. If DS wants to voluntarily help out a neighbor, you will allow it IF it does not interfere with DS's responsibilities at your home.

SBB posted 4/13/2014 01:17 AM

I don't know - I don't think I would address it if DS is happy to do it (and is of an appropriate age).

Would it piss me off? Yes. Would I do it? No. Not because it's Xs time but because they aren't my slaves and
I have lots of other people to help me out.

But there is a time when this stuff is not up to me. It's up to my girls to navigate it for themselves.

Plus, is it worth the drama? Will he stop doing it! Will you have to forbid DS from choosing to do it?

Follow the thought through. IMO you're showing him a new button to press.

crazynot posted 4/13/2014 01:40 AM

I agree with SBB. If your son is old enough to be asked to do this, he is old enough to make his own decision. Why argue about this stuff? My kids were 15 and 18 when we separated, and I decided then that every decision about their relationship with their dad would be theirs alone. Try to remove as much resentment from your life - and theirs - as you can.

cayc posted 4/13/2014 07:43 AM

This isn't really about your time versus his time, or allowing your kids to navigate requests from others like SBB is suggesting. It *would* be if you had a garden variety ex-husband whom you'd D for reasons other than he's an abusive, lying con-artist. It *would* be if it were a normal neighbor helping neighbor situation. It *would* be if you knew the request was coming from a Dad trying to teach his son to be helpful, to look after others etc.

The thing is it gets your back up because you know it's done with other motives in mind. I can guess at the motives but it doesn't matter. Your DS tells you what's going on and you *know* it's off, even if it's hard to articulate why.

It'd be so nice if you could go to that asshole and say, that's great that you're teaching DS to be helpful. Let's set up a chore schedule for him so he learns about time management or helping others or whatever. But let's be honest. You can't. We all know it.

Given that, I support you telling asshole no, and telling DS, don't be dad's unpaid snap to it lackey.

gonnabe2016 posted 4/13/2014 09:45 AM

The only reason I think you have to address it is so he doesn't take it out on the kids

He won't take it out on the kids. He'll take it out on me. DS does the exercise program that I mentioned over at his Dad's house (for various reasons) and there was one night that I told him that he couldn't go over there to do it (I had good reasons)......I don't even think stbx was in town......anyway, I got a text from stbx the next day telling me to stop micro-managing DS. (I didn't respond to his text).

I don't think I'm going to say anything to stbx about it.....for now anyways. It's not worth the brain damage. This is just who stbx *is* -- a person who does whatever he wants, whenever he wants and expects 'others' to handle the responsibilities of life *for him*. We were all put on this earth to serve him, dontcha know?

I'll just continue to keep an eye on it and deal with it from my end. If the request doesn't interfere with any plans, then *ok, fine, whatever*. But I'll be watchful of DS being manipulated or taken advantage of -- we don't have to shuffle our schedules around just because stbx won't handle his own shit.

(p.s. -- this is an issue for me whether payment is involved or not. Even if he's paying DS, it's still a problem because I can see it getting out of hand and DS isn't stbx's personal servant/butler.)

solus sto posted 4/13/2014 11:18 AM

I am in the minority, I guess. I would have no issue with my son walking down the block to do a favor for his father. He wasn't pulled away to spend a day of your time with the man; he was doing a quick chore, just as he would were your marriage intact, or if you asked him to at home. The proximity if your stbx fosters the kind of closeness often absent post-separation, and for the kids' sake, I think I would try not to be too inflexible about "his" and "my" time. (I fully own, however, that this response may be because my kids so rarely see their father.

Trac-fone is the definition of Give Him an Inch, and even so, this would not even register on my radar, unless it were part of a larger and escalating pattern.

gonnabe2016 posted 4/13/2014 11:54 AM

@solus -- if it is not stbx's *time* with the kids, then he is typically not in town. His new bedwarmer is long-distance. So, I'm not really seeing how doing *favors* for his dad is going to promote closeness or foster a relationship between them.

The 'becoming an expanding pattern' is one of my concerns. Stbx's assumption shouldn't be "*I* don't have to worry about it because I'll just have DS do it."

I will add that I'm unsure of the context. I don't know if it came as an outright request or whether it was more of a "hey when you're at the house doing your program, can you do <xyz> for me?"......and if DS is going to be there anyway, then it seems pretty minor, other than the fact that these are things that HE should be taking care of and not relying on DS to do, imo. He wants DS to run his dishwasher. I mean, seriously. Stbx couldn't have done that on his way out the door or when he gets back?

sudra posted 4/13/2014 17:14 PM

I know he's a total jerk, but let it go.

He's out of town and asked his kid to do him a favor and he was willing to do it without complaining. And it is his son, too.

I know there will be bigger things to battle with your ex over than this. Pick your battles.

Cally60 posted 4/14/2014 00:37 AM

He's out of town and asked his kid to do him a favor and he was willing to do it without complaining. And it is his son, too.

I agree. Dealing with trash cans is a time-sensitive thing. So if I were going away, I'd ask my son who lives nearby to come over and deal with mine on trash collection day, rather than have to ask a favor of a neighbor. I think it's a reasonable request for a parent to make of his offspring. Even a parent like your stbx, whose motive is suspect. For I don't think that your stbx's failure to act like a responsible parent should in any way prevent your letting his son learn the behavioral norms for caring and responsible members of a family.

But running the dishwasher for him is, in my opinion, a little different. It's less time sensitive and more a matter of convenience for your stbx. So if you think that your husband had an ulterior motive for that, then yes, tell him to not ask your son to do that again. Unless, of course, you think that your son was rather proud to have the responsibility of it and that the benefit to him, in terms of feeling responsible, all grown up, and so on, outweigh the unsavory quality of his father's motives for asking it of him.

[This message edited by Cally60 at 12:39 AM, April 14th (Monday)]

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