Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

DP and me and DSD

(17 Posts)
WaitingForMe Wed 28-Aug-13 05:24:55

Could you try to see DSD as an extension of your DP? I'm a stepmum who also hates to be touched - I flinch and have told people in the past "please refrain from touching me" (yes, they look at me like I'm a freak).

But because I never wanted my stepsons to feel rejected I worked really hard to class them with DH who obviously I'm happy to be touched by. Rather than look at it from a perspective of boundaries, I tried to concentrate on them being qualified by me as being within my intimate circle. I was choosing to spend time with them and could choose to leave but that choice required contact. So in the early days if it all got a bit much I left. It meant I tied being with them/DH to physical contact. And this continued to a degree once we lived together - I'd run errands and once went to stay with my mum to avoid a weekend with them (I missed them).

Not sure if this will help but it worked for me. Good luck.

waltzingmathilda Wed 28-Aug-13 04:20:41

I am like the OP, I cannot abide physical contact. It hasn't damaged my adult children. I couldnt stand them crawling all over me either. Stop with the armchair psychology, the child has a mother and a father to provide physical comfort and some of us hate our personal space being invaded, no matter how close emotionally the person is to us. We all have the right to our personal space.

TheDishwasherFairy Wed 28-Aug-13 04:07:50

Thanks all. I'm genuinely not trying to be cruel or anything. I know how it must look to her but, honestly, it makes me so uncomfortable. I've just always been like this. There's a colleague at work who always touches my arm when she talks to me and I have to really try not to flinch. Just like with DSD.

CBT might be worth looking into. I think the reason I don't mind DP touching me is because I 100% trust him to respect my boundaries. Children don't so that. They come into your space when you don't want them to and won't leave you alone when you want them to. Same with over tactile colleagues and friends. I've had to shout at my best friend before because when she's been drunk she gets very cuddly.

I realise I must sound very weird. But it's just the way I am.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 27-Aug-13 23:38:53

That's ok Andro.smile

What does remain is a 5yo whose physical advances are repelled by the (now disappeared) OP and how that should be dealt with.

Andro Tue 27-Aug-13 22:04:36

DioneTheDiabolist - cruel was used by someone else, I responded to a couple of different things and didn't make it clear which bit referred to whom. I just lumped all the bits together for speed.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 27-Aug-13 21:24:31

I never said the OP was being cruel or rejecting of her DP's DD.shock

What I did was point out how important touch is to a small child and how children interpret the rejection of their touch. This is really important to their development and (IMHO) if the OP cannot overcome her aversion to the physical overtures from this child she should take a step back and rethink this relationship. She may want to think about how her discomfort will impact on any DCs she has and if she should seek help for these issues or simply walk away from this relationship.

QueenofallIsee Tue 27-Aug-13 17:05:59

Its OK to show affection in your own way OP, there is no rule that says cuddles are the only way to go - I would imagine that your DP has no problem with cuddling as he is so set on it so there is no chance of a feeling of neglect with your step child (cruelty would be a word thrown around by people with no concept of what actual cruelty is FFS).

Andro Tue 27-Aug-13 16:41:30

Try/you're being cruel and rejecting/can you swallow your discomfort

Claustrophobic; the clue is in the name that OP may be feeling more than a bit 'uncomfortable', phobias differ by degrees and putting pressure on a person doesn't help. Saying that OP is being cruel is a vile accusation, I very much doubt she chose to have personal space/physical contact issues.

OP, you need to have a frank discussion with your partner - I'm sure between you you'll be able to come up with strategies.

Is it mainly the hugs and climbing that you have trouble with? Would you be better able to cope with her sitting next to you and you maybe putting an arm around her shoulders or would that still make you feel bad? CBT or family counseling might be helpful either - depending on what symptoms you have if/when you can't escape physical contact.

absentmindeddooooodles Tue 27-Aug-13 15:01:12

^^ yy to this. My ds would be devestated if his dads newgf was like this.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:51:17

Try. She's a little girl. If you are not physically affectionate in return when she climbs in your lap you are being cruel and rejecting.

absentmindeddooooodles Tue 27-Aug-13 14:49:11

You need to tell yoir dp exactly what youve said here. I understand that some people are not tactile or physically affectionate, but really feel you may need to make a bit of a compromise. Shes 5. She needs cuddles and affection and physical contact. No need to go overboard with it but a hug now and again wouldnt go amiss. Shes going to climb all over you and cuddle etc, totally normal and expected at that age. My thinking is if you make an issue of it at this age it could really alienate her. Could you swallow your discomfort for a few years? Easier said than done I should imagine, but if tou could at least compromise you will have a better foundation for youe future relationship with her. She wont be so touchy feely when shes older.

Thumbwitch Tue 27-Aug-13 14:44:35

What have you said to him about your issues with it? You must tell him what you have said here, but after that, you have also to accept that she's 5 and she will see any rebuff of hugs or attempts to sit on your lap or hold your hand as a sign that you don't like her, regardless of how else you behave.

My DS1 climbed onto my lap today. He just wanted some reassurance and cuddles. It must be hard for your DSD if she wants that and you can't give it to her; can you manage even just a short hug?

JohFlow Tue 27-Aug-13 14:44:14

It's perfectly fine to express your affection for her in other ways than physical. I agree that you should tell your DP what you have written here. Maybe you could agree on ways to show affection that she can recognise and feel treasured with. You could tell you that 'when I do ..... I am showing how much I care for you'. Some people are just more physically reserved than others. A small hug every now and again (just for her) would also help.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 27-Aug-13 14:43:27

OP, children need cuddles and physical contact and often feel rejected when they are not forthcoming. Is there anything that you can do to get over your discomfort? How long have you been with your DP?

AgathaF Tue 27-Aug-13 14:38:27

How long have you known her for?

clam Tue 27-Aug-13 14:35:05

Tell him. Say exactly what you've said here.

TheDishwasherFairy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:17:35

DP wants me to be more affectionate with DSD and I don't want to be. It's nothing to do with DSD, we all get along great and our family relationship is good. But I'm just not particularly touchy feely and find it quite claustrophobic when she's all over me (she's 5). I don't really do physical affection with anyone except DP, I'm quite self contained. I don't like it when friends hug me for too long, etc.

DP keeps going on about it and I'm feeling more and more uncomfortable like I have to force myself to behave unnaturally. I sense it's got the potential to become An Issue soon if it's not resolved. What should I do?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now