How much effort is too much?
I've posted b/f about how my DSSs, now 14 and 13, no longer want to visit as scheduled EOW. (They usually cite wanting to do some activity with their friends.) DH has tried to accommodate them as much as possible, taking them back early, going to their town (4 hrs away round-trip) to visit a few hours in lieu of visitation. The situation has gotten worse and worse, to the point that the last visitation, DSS 13 LIED to DH about needing to go home on Saturday, a day early, to DECORATE AT CHURCH, which actually wasn't taking place until Sunday! (Yes, I "get" the irony that they lied about church!) EOW we go through the same "what ifs" of whether they're coming or not, holding our breaths afraid that DH will get a text or e-mail message (never a phone call) canceling. (A couple mos ago, DH got a text saying they weren't coming when he was less than an hour away from their house!) We can't make any plans because we never know if the visitations are really taking place, so EOW my life is in limbo and we are agonizing over whether we get to see them or not. My DS 7 breaks down in tears every time he learns they are not coming. Things are always sad around our house when we find out they are not coming after we expected them and planned to do this thing and that.
I told DH a few weeks ago I can't take the inconsistency. Absent an emergency, we need to be able to plan on the visits. He promised he would have a meeting with BM and DSSs and ask them to come up with a visitation schedule they could live with. Then he promptly failed to do it. My DH HATES confrontation and conflict and will do anything to avoid it, which BM and DSSs take full advantage of. He said he hates to "agree" to any schedule that gives him less visitation. He also said he has to "satisfy himself" that he gave as much effort that he could, even though they are lying to avoid visitation, and DSS 14 acts like he is MISERABLE the whole time when he is forced to visit--he stays in his room, speaks only when spoken to, and then only in syllables, etc. I go through phases where I think he should just tell them to let him know when they want to see him again and then I think he should just make them come, no matter how miserable they seem. I don't know what is right.
I am at a my wit's end. I feel like I am in a no-win situation. When I told DH recently I am getting tired of our life being up in the air EOW waiting to see if they are coming or not, he said something sarcastically to the effect that, before too long, they won't EVER want to visit, so then it won't matter. Am I wrong to ask for some consistency? What should I do here? Just keep my mouth shut and EOW open in case they do come until, as DH says, they grow up and don't want to come anymore? Any thoughts on what DH should do? Thanks for letting me vent!