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Too close father/daughter....

(92 Posts)
AnnaClaudia Thu 18-Apr-13 20:47:50

Three years ago I met a new man after separating from my partner of 20 years. I welcomed the fact that he was a lone parent of a teenage girl. As the years have gone by however I have become increasingly uncomfortable with their relationship. He seems to treat her as a partner, rather than a daughter.

He takes her to the pub with him, (they share wine when at home), lets her dress extremely provocatively and seems proud when men ogle at her. When they are sitting on the sofa together they are draped over each other like a courting couple. She is now 16 and almost too old to rein in now. He has admitted he will never say "no" to anything she wants, allowing her to entertain various boys in her room, let her boyfriend stay over on numerous occasions (on the sofa) when she was 14. I got up early one morning to find said boyfriend in her room, so said it was either him staying over or me!

If I try to protest about her behaviour (I have 5 children of my own so have a lot of experience of parenting) he wont listen and gets angry. I was brought up away from my father so have no idea if sitting entwined with your daughter stroking her arms/ legs is "normal", though dont remember any of my friends being like this with their fathers when I was a teen. She gets angry if we go out as a couple and dont invite her, so we have to go to pubs which allow under 18's. He admitted they talk about things when alone that fathers and daughters dont usually discuss - I was afraid to ask what!

Am I right to be concerned or am I just envious of their closeness as I never had it with my own father?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Apr-13 21:17:18

You love someone who you feel behaves in an inappropriate way with his daughter?

gobbledegook1 Thu 18-Apr-13 21:19:24

Sounds like their just very close to me. Could you be a bit jealous?

Sitting 'entwined' seems a bit odd and OTT but not nessiserily the stroking part. My Dad always stroked me (my back & arms) from being a baby as it soothed and calmed me and its something I've never grown out of loving and would often sit next to him (not 'entwined' though) and get him to stroke my arms even as a young teen as I found it soothing, would even get my mum to do it for me when not spending time with my dad (they were divorced) she would curse my dad for it as it was the bane of her life but he didn't mind doing it. Its now the bane of my DP's life!

She talks to him about stuff parents don't usually talk about doesnt also strike me as that odd just very close, I had quite an open mother and prob spoke to her about a lot of things my peers wouldn't dream of discussing with either of their parents and I hope my son will be able to do the same with me when hes older, would you be as concearned about that comment about if he was her mum or she was a son?

Is the girls mum in the picture as you don't say? If not maybe hes just over compensating.

HazardLamps Thu 18-Apr-13 21:19:40

If he comments on how you parent then hey, it sure as hell works both ways! Maybe you need to make a deal with him, that you won't comment on his parenting if he doesn't comment on yours?

You could of course start taking your elder child with you each time you have a dinner date or trip to the theatre? wink

Portofino Thu 18-Apr-13 21:19:54

You go out for 3 years with someone whose teenage daughter turns up on all your dates, and you love him, even though you think he behaves inappropriately? Dump him and phone SS.

LightAFire Thu 18-Apr-13 21:20:30

Agree with Ginger that on a thread can't really comment on the physical closeness aspect - some families are just like that.

Ehric makes an excellent point re child being treated as an adult too - sounds very plausible.

Agree also though with the (several) posters commenting more on the he isn't allowed to do certain things without her consent. The parenting issue is up to him, but the relationship you have with him is up to you, and here YANBU. You can either discuss it with him and see if you can negotiate a better arrangement, put up with it, or walk out. I guess it depends on how happy you are apart from this issue?

whois Thu 18-Apr-13 21:20:36

I don't think what you've described is bad in itself. My dad and I are pretty tactile, well sit on the sofa holding hands, he used to stroke my leg if I was sitting with my legs curled up. Some families are quite tactile, some aren't.

CognitiveOverload Thu 18-Apr-13 21:21:07

It does sound a little envious. ..is there anything thay really makes you think their relationship is abusive?

Portofino Thu 18-Apr-13 21:21:12

If you have 5 kids I would expect you to know much better.

AnnaClaudia Thu 18-Apr-13 21:21:44

Not Boxy no. Cognitive, she has her mum and family but lives with dad as mum went abroad, though is back now. Im trying to be patient and understand them, and the fact that they have a different relationship to me and my children. Cant help feeling the uneasiness though.......

CognitiveOverload Thu 18-Apr-13 21:25:07

Why the uneasiness? You need to think about this as objectively as you can...is there something you need to be concerned about or is it just different to your experiences? If you are really worried, perhaps speak to a professional in a abuse charity?

pigsDOfly Thu 18-Apr-13 21:26:58

I think he's BVU. It does sound as if this precocious young woman is jealous of your relationship OP and he's enabling her to have control over the whole situation. That's why their relationship is unhealthy, their lives are too wrapped up together. At 16 she should be separating from her parent and wanting her own life.

And getting angry with you for wanting to have an adult relationship apart from his little princess is, I think, sending you a very strong message I'm afraid.

AnnaClaudia Thu 18-Apr-13 21:30:02

Cognitive, maybe I am envious, but if so because he treats her as his partner and me as a hanger on. When she is not around he is ok, but soon as she arrives Im pushed to one side. She is rude to me and he doesnt challenge her. I would never let my children be rude to him in the same way. I do wonder if he just keeps me hanging on so he's not lonely when she goes to uni. If I thought for certain their relationship was goint "too far" I would have been long gone, so deep down I dont think I think that. I worry about the way she dresses, that she may give off the wrong vibes and be attacked. Other people in the pub have made comments, so its not just me I suppose.

CognitiveOverload Thu 18-Apr-13 21:31:36

Rereading your post it really sounds as if she is very needy of him. Understandable. But like others habe said...she is 16 and needs more confidence to be independent. Is she lacking in confidence or self esteem?

sunlightonthegrass Thu 18-Apr-13 21:32:23

I lost my mother in my teenage years and yes, it is normal to an extent for a daughter to step into that role - just as boys to single mothers can sometimes be the "man of the house."

However, there is nothing sexual in it, it is just the way things balance out.

To be honest I admire this man for putting his daughter first - my dad certainly didn't when another woman came on the scene.

Your presence can break up that intenseness but I do think at the moment you run the risk of putting her nose out of joint and annoying him, to be blunt, especially if you come at it from the "I have five kids so I know EVERYTHING about being a parent" (I'm not saying you are necessarily but it reads a bit like that on here - sorry!) The truth is, everyone's families are really different and you're not an expert in anybody's child but your own.

LightAFire Thu 18-Apr-13 21:32:41

It's good that you don't really think there is anything dodgy going on - but it concerns me that you feel he just wants you for when she is gone and you are still putting up with this. I think you deserve better!

AnnaClaudia Thu 18-Apr-13 21:33:00

God no, she has endless amounts of confidence, loves being the centre of attention, insists on it infact, lol.

CognitiveOverload Thu 18-Apr-13 21:33:11

It sounds like possibly they are scared of losing each other...small steps...if she is going to uni that will help broaden her horizons.

CognitiveOverload Thu 18-Apr-13 21:33:52

If she is so confident. ..why so needy?

CognitiveOverload Thu 18-Apr-13 21:34:52

Sometimes seekong attention is due to insecurity rather than confidence.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 18-Apr-13 21:35:22

OP it's funny isn't it...my DHs best friend in the world has a 16 year old daughter and I've always felt uncomfortable around them because they drape on one another...but I realise that other cultures (they're not British) do things differently....we're uptight in the UK....some people from the UK are less so...is it possible they're just not what you're used to?

sunlightonthegrass Thu 18-Apr-13 21:36:07

And you know, as for this "discussing things fathers and daughter wouldn't usually discuss" - who decides that, I wonder? Who decides that you ONLY discuss personal and/or sexual matters with the parent who is the same sex as you? What if you don't have that in your household, if you have only one parent or are the opposite sex to a same-sex couple?

If he is comfortable and so is she I just don't see the problem - I have had to bring up stuff like that with my dad as my mum wasn't there and I had no grandmothers or aunts or sisters I could do the "girl talk" with. Sorry if that makes people uneasy but I'm certainly not going to change a close relationship with my only surviving family member because it elicits disquiet.

Lottashakingoinon Thu 18-Apr-13 21:36:39

God no, she has endless amounts of confidence, loves being the centre of attention, insists on it infact, lol.

Hmm these words of yours ring alarm bells...this sounds (sorry) a bit bitchy and in any case loving being the centre of attention can just as often signal lack of self esteem/confidence rather than too much of it.

CognitiveOverload Thu 18-Apr-13 21:36:49

Dressing provocatively could be interpreted as seekong acceptance. ..

sunlightonthegrass Thu 18-Apr-13 21:39:00

Or, dressing provocatively could just be because she's a teenage girl, she's (probably!) got a slim attractive figure and all her mates wear the same?

AnnaClaudia Thu 18-Apr-13 21:39:23

Sunlightonthegrass, I dont feel I know everything, far from it, thats why Im on here! I have told him many times I dont mind coming 2nd, think the problem may be he takes that too literally, lol. Ive stuck with them because I dont believe in bailing out without trying to sort things. Im from a broken home myself, and have a step mother who I appreciate very much. Thanks everyone for your comments and help. Watch this space!

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