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SS, weekend visitation and flu-like symptoms

14 years ago

Hello all! I have a situation that I could use some advice with. I'm a newlywed, a new stepmother, and a Christian, so if anyone can offer a more seasoned, experienced perspective, I'd appreciate and welcome it.

BACKGROUND: I'm a mother of 3 who recently remarried to a wonderful man that has 2 children of his own. That being the case, I have 2 new stepchildren (they live with their biomom during the week & my husband has visitation every weekend, so they are with us each weekend. My 3 live with my husband and I and have visitation with their father (my ex-husband) every other weekend.

SCENARIO: My SS has been ill over the past 5 days with flu-like symptoms. He has a dry cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, headache & a fever. His biomom kept him home from school several days last week as a result of the sickness. She also apparently took him to the doctor early last week (before the onset of fever), and she was told to keep him home until he was feeling better. Apparently, he felt better on last Thursday and went to school, but on Friday he was worse than ever, and the high fever started. On Friday, despite my expression of concern about my SS's symptoms, the current swine flu outbreak, AND my suggestion that we forego this weekend and instead have his son come over for 3 additional days toward the end of next week after he got better (i.e. have him come over this coming Wednesday and stay through the weekend), my husband made the decision to have my SS come to our house for visitation as normal.

As I stated earlier, I have 3 children that live here in the house with my husband and I (and this past weekend was NOT their weekend to go with their dad, so they were here at home with us). During the weekend, my SS's symptoms persisted, and he refused to stay quarantined in the bedroom. Instead, he was up and around playing video games, coughing without covering his mouth, sneezing into his hands (not consistently washing his hands) and laying around in everyone else's bed. Any time I asked him to wash his hands or went behind him with a Lysol wipe to disinfect game controllers, etc., I could tell that my husband was getting upset with me for "making a big deal".

THE PROBLEM: It's my perspective that my husband's independent decision to bring his son over and expose not only my husband and I, but also my 3 children PLUS two other neighborhood children that were over for a sleepover was irresponsible. Furthermore, I think that because his biomom has no other children at home, that it would have been much wiser to allow the sick SS to stay with his biomom this weekend and give him the opportunity to really rest and recuperate (at least he would not have had the temptation of all the other children and the party-like atmosphere to deal with). The fact that my husband disregarded my concerns is really the more fundamental issue. I believe that my husband allowed the guilt that he feels over the fact that he no longer lives at his son's primary residence (although he will not pursue shared physical custody) and his desire to spend time with his son regardless as to any consequence to overshadow the need for he and I to establish a unified decision. And if our marriage stands any chance at success, we must be able to provide a unified front in all circumstances and situations!

OUTCOME: This morning, one of my 3 children woke up with a dry, hacking cough, and I have a sore throat and headache. I really hope we're not coming down with the flu!

WHAT I NEED TO KNOW: Am I being unreasonable? Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Or should he have been more reasonable?

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