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Am I being selfish not wanting to go on vacation with girlfriend and her kids?

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  • Am I being selfish not wanting to go on vacation with girlfriend and her kids?

    Been seeing a woman for a year. She has two preteens that are disrespectful, demanding and into video games about 6-15 hours a day. Now she wants to go to Florida for a long weekend with the kids and wants me to come (we live in the North East). I really don't want to go because I know the kids will just want to sit in the hotel room all weekend, she'll let them since they run the show, and they hate the outdoors. I would love a long weekend at the beach in Florida and love being outside. Am I being mean to her or selfish if I tell her I really don't want to go and sit in the hotel all weekend while her kids watch TV and play games on their phones? Or do I suck it up and go instead of offending her? That would be the worst vacation and a waste of a weekend for me. She told me the last time they went to Disney they spent most of the vacation in the hotel room!
    Last edited by Jimherb; February 28th, 2018, 02:28 AM.

  • #2
    So her pre teen kids are relatively normal.
    Be honest with her. Say that you don't want to spend the entire weekend in a hotel room and suggest a compromise.
    No technology from 10am to 5pm or something that suits.
    But she has to agree to it and when she tells her kids it has to be her idea not yours.

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    • #3
      No, you're not selfish for not wanting to go to Florida. Perhaps you can have an agreement of some sorts and if not, opt out. Sounds boring should you go to Florida and you'll end up sulking.
      "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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      • #4
        Thanks, Maggimae. That's very good advise. I will tell her that. She'll know her kids will give her a hell of a time and make life miserable for those 5 or 6 hours a day. She'll never enforce that. So she may end up asking me to just stay home, knowing the kids will ruin the vacation if they don't get their way. This way I can be honest, I can offer a solution, then it will be her call. That's better than me saying no without offering a compromise.

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        • #5
          Thanks Chanelle. I'm not the type to sulk. I'd quietly suffer; but if I do that, it will probably eat at me and harm the relationship from my point of view. So trying to work out an agreement is a good idea.

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          • #6
            Where I come from kids don't run the show and that is not normal behaviour. Your girlfriend, you and her kids are out of whack and you sound incredibly dysfunctional. Have a chat with her and be honest about what you really think. It blows my mind that you would even entertain the idea of going anywhere with someone, apparently dating them, when that person/parent is not in charge. While you're out there instead of lying like a beached whale on the sand all weekend and being in your own little world, you might suggest doing an activity that engages the kids outdoors. I've been to FL many times and there is tons to do outdoors.

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            • #7
              Rose, thank you for your reply. I agree with most of what you said but you made some incorrect assumptions about me. I have a ton of ideas to keep kids engaged and active...I visit Florida with my own teenage kids two or three times a year, we stay active and keep moving from morning to night -- kayaking, swimming, hiking, amusment parks, water parks, aquariums, etc...I've been a scout leader, youth group leader etc and know how to keep kids moving and having fun. My kids never run the show and never play video games 40-50 hours a week... THAT is why I would dread going with these kids whose mother (yes, my girlfriend) let's them be like this. I love her but her parenting attitudes are definitely not in line with mine.
              Last edited by Jimherb; February 28th, 2018, 03:31 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jimherb View Post
                ..... I love her but her parenting attitudes are definitely not in line with mine.....
                I don't think you're being selfish at all. But, given what you've said and the fact that you wouldn't even want to go on a vacation to FL with her and her kids, why are you dating her at all? Is this just a fling? Because the long-term prospects with her and the kids are dim.

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                • #9
                  I agree with Pollon. Reading this thread, I couldn't help but wonder why you would even be dating this woman. Her parenting mode is not just about how she allows her children to run the show. It's about a serious character flaw of weakness that I'm sure manifests itself in other areas of her life as well.

                  Are you sure she is the right woman for you?
                  "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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                  • #10
                    Sounds to me like she gives her children the freedom she does, because she has guilt about something. Or she could possibly be competing for 'likes' to beat out what they're allowed to do at their dad's (?)
                    No 'good' parent brings kids up in an environment where they're allowed to what they want when they want. Everyone knows that that style of parenting is doing kids no real favours at all, because the world eats up and spits out enabled brats like that.

                    I agree with the group. When you're as passionate about 'good' parenting as you are, trying to make a relationship work with someone who isn't, will ALWAYS be a bone of contention between you that hinders growth (speaking from experience, and a female point of view)

                    She obviously will always put her kids first, and although it's not a competition (nor could it ever be) you're always going to come second to them. In your case though, it'll be her enabling behavior that will sabotage this relationship, along with your resentment towards them.

                    Maybe you should wish her bon voyage and get yourself back out there to find a woman who shares the same parenting approaches that you do.
                    The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe it's not his girlfriend either who's the problem.... It could be a product of their father who's not in the picture. Jim, sorry for coming across as if I misunderstood you. Kids are sort of like mirrors and they adapt easily if motivated enough. Do you feel like you know her kids well enough to spend time with them without your girlfriend present? For ie, your gf might not like water sports or boating but I do know most kids jump at any idea involving anything to do with water. You sound like you have experience being a scout leader and youth leader. It sounds like they would have a lot of fun getting to know you.

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                      • #12
                        Sarah, Rose, Pistol, Pollon -- I thank you all for opening my eyes and validating my feelings. You're right, it's about much more than this vacation with the kids. I am passionate about correct parenting and it kills me to see how these kids act and that she lets them get away with it. I was feeling guilty about ending it over the kids and how disrespectful they are -- but it's not really about the kids, it's her that allows that behavior. She does say it's out of guilt that she doesn't discipline them much at all. She comes up with this excuse that she always thought that, raising kids, she'd have a partner to help and she can back up the partner. As if she doesn't want to be the disciplinarian and wanted their father to discipline them but he's not in the picture. So she just gave up, thinking that they will resent her if she disciplines, I guess.

                        And it IS all about the kids with her. I can't tell you how many "dates" she cancelled because the kids don't want this one or that one to babysit, or she feels guilty asking her mom to help out again or whatever. One time, we had a date planned for saturday night, we were going to dinner. She cancelled on Saturday afternoon saying she didn't find a babysitter (I don't think she even tried). So she said, "you can come over and cook dinner and we can eat here" So I'm thinking, 'okay, she can't make the date work but she's offering a romantic home-cooked dinner at home. I guess that sounds good." So I asked her what she wants (I love cooking, she's not much of a cook. I don't mind). She responded with "Joey wants cheeseburgers and asked if you can make dessert with him later too!" -- No, I'm NOT giving up a date so I can cook cheeseburgers for her son and then spend half the night cooking with him. I thought that was completely rude and insensitive to cancel a date, then ask me to come cook for her son! I've cooked with him before, because I like cooking and he wanted to learn how. It worked out okay, but then he wanted me to cook with him EVERY saturday night. I had to put a stop to that. I'm not spending Saturday nights cooking with her kids and not spending time with her.

                        So, do I think that I can engage the kids in some fun activity outdoors in Florida as Rose suggested? One, they didn't enjoy Disney World and wanted to watch TV in the hotel instead! Two, I can come up with a lot of ideas but I'm not going to wait till I'm in Florida and make fun suggestions just to have them whining about getting back to the hotel or complaining it's too hot or whatever. Neither of those kids will barely say a word to me. The 9 year old can't even greet me and say hello when I come in, the 12 year old will say "hi" but won't engage in any conversation. I dont know if they are shy or uncomforatable but I think they are just wrapped up in their own little worlds and don't care what people think about as long as they have their Iphone games, videos and tv's!

                        She'll let the kids stay up on weekends until 2 a.m.! We get hardly ANY private time. She'll say at midnight "time for bed!" they'll fight and yell and she gets embarrassed so instead of disciplining, she'll give them another 30-45 minutes.. then they'll take a half hour to have a snack, then 20 mintues to get pajamas on and it's a good 2 hours until they are asleep from the time she tells them it's bedtime! I have teens myself and NONE of them are up at midnight!

                        So thanks for letting me vent and see this from your point of view. I do believe I need to talk to her and somehow maker her understand I am not rejecting her because she has two young kids, I'm not rejecting her because the kids are rude and disrespectful and I can't stand to see them act like that to her, But that I have serious concerns about how she'll let them run her life and if they can do this at this age, I can't imagine what they will be like when they are 16 and 17! I can imagine them living at home until their 30's because they have everything they want and will still be playing video games all day and all night! I have to somehow tell her that she has a serious character flaw without sounding too mean. But, you're right, this will go no where. It's her fault, not the kids -- they don't know any better because she wont' teach them.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jimherb View Post
                          Neither of those kids will barely say a word to me. The 9 year old can't even greet me and say hello when I come in, the 12 year old will say "hi" but won't engage in any conversation. I dont know if they are shy or uncomforatable but I think they are just wrapped up in their own little worlds and don't care what people think about as long as they have their Iphone games, videos and tv's!
                          That's ALL parenting. My kids are 19 and 22, and there isn't a STRANGER to them that's ever come to our home, that hasn't been introduced to them and received anything less than a welcoming greeting by either of them.
                          That shit starts when they're 3 !

                          Even after their dad and I divorced over 13 years ago, none of that slacked for us or them. He's a harder ass than me, but my kids can talk to me about ANYTHING, and most importantly, we didn't allow our divorce to be an excuse for them to fall into patterns that were going to lead them into being shitty people.
                          I can tell you (with a lot of pride and honesty) my kids are terrific human beings, trustworthy friends, and loving and supportive family members.

                          Go on with your plan. But remember, no matter how 'nicely' you put it, she's going to take offense, because you made it (in a round about way) about her kids.........which, as you say and we all know, is all on her.

                          Let us know how it goes !
                          The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

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                          • #14
                            Jim, I don't blame you one bit for feeling frustrated with this situation. But I think that when you finally decide to end this relationship, she SHOULD know why, so that she can perhaps not ruin another relationship down the road. I agree with you that this type of behavior usually ends in grown up 'kids' still living with their parents and being dysfunctional cell phone addicts. She needs to know that. I'm sure it won't be easy for you...she'll probably make a big scene and blame you for everything. You can depend on that. She doesn't seem capable of accepting responsibility for her poor parenting choices.

                            You seem like a terrific guy who deserves to have someone in his life who shares the same values. Good luck.
                            "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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                            • #15
                              Thanks, Sarah and Pistol. I appreciate your support. I am sure I have to talk to her about this and let her know, gently if possible, that her enabling these kids to control her life is destructive enough, but it affects my life with her too much as well. I feel like everytime she tells me we can't go out for a date because the kids only want certain people to babysit or they don't want her going then I become the babysitter, sitting there with her while the kids are playing video games all night. And now, with this upcoming trip, there's no way I'm going to take off work and go to a beautiful vacation spot and let those kids dictate what we do the entire time. Maybe this will be the motivation she needs to, sometime in the future, realize she has to take back some control and be the adult in the family. Not sure what I'll say but I'm working on it! I really can't see a future with her like this. I think she's sweet, beautiful, loving, affectionate, smart, funny -- but I can't work my whole life around what her kids want. The one thing she isn't is a parent with any backbone.

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