DOES MY FUTURE DH RESENT MY DAUGHTER?(8 Posts)
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My DP and I have two "children" between us. His DD is a grown woman, mine is a pre-teen and lives with me. His DD lives with him!! We are planning to move in together in the next year and hopefully get married but his DD won't be part of the living arrangements - I should say at his insistence, not mine.
My DD means everything to me and I put everything into my relationship with her to make sure she is polite, well-adjusted, has access to a good education and just generally try to help her make the best decisions. All I want for her is to be given opportunities to be the best person she can be so she can go off on her own life journey when she leaves school. Generally speaking, she's a good child, clever, respectful, funny and nice to be around. She is, however going through puberty and her personality can do a back-flip overnight turning her into a screaming banshee and it's hard to put up with. Thankfully it's the exception rather than the rule!
The problem is my DP doesn't seem able to say anything positive about my DD but quickly jumps on the bandwagon if I mention that she's being particularly difficult. I assume he compares our two children who have had completely different upbringings with different family scenarios. His DD is a product of that upbringing and I am sure he and his ex-P did their best. She's not a bad girl, she's funny, warm and engaging but is a low achiever mainly as daddy always picks her up and sorts everything out when it all goes wrong.
My DD just come 3rd in her whole year in the end of terms exams and is absolutely delighted, as am I. The only response I got from DP was that she should have come 1st given the money I pay for her school.
It's not the first time I've noticed his attitude and I am going to discuss it with him but not sure how to tackle it. He's good at denial but my gut tells me I need to resolve it before I put more into our relationship. I would say I love him very much and we are very compatible if it wasn't for this one problem. Unfortunately, it's not one I'm prepared to compromise on and I shouldn't have to avoid telling things because he's resentful and jealous.
It does sound rather from your post as if you are comparing the two daughters a lot - in your head at least.
Not clear what your DP is doing that suggests he resents her, but I think you can't realistically expect your DP to be as proud of her and how she does as you are. Especially if she's doing better acadmically than his own DD did. It sounds rather as if you blame him for his DD being a "low achiever" - if your DP senses that, then it can't be very easy for him to share your delight as to how well your DD is doing at school. He may be a bit jelous of all the opportunities your DD is having at her fee-paying school that his DD didn't.
And if you're complaining about her, he may of course think he's being supportive if he agrees with you. Maybe best to have a moan to someone else instead if you don't want him to join you in it.
I would put her first-she shouldn't have to live with someone who doesn't like her. How much do they do alone? Do they have a relationship that doesn't rely on you?
Unfortunately, it's not one I'm prepared to compromise on and I shouldn't have to avoid telling things because he's resentful and jealous
Hard though it is don't compromise. In my case it was 'love me, love my DS' we came together-for life.
Does DP's DD have a relationship with her? How do his wider family react to her?
Itsraining, you do sound as though you aren't terribly supportive of his DD, and that you compare your DD and his. You say "she's not a bad girl, she's funny, warm and engaging but is a low achiever" - of the four things you say about her, two are negatives. She isn't bad (you don't say she's a good girl, which would be another way to put this). She's a low achiever. Although you say she's funny, warm and engaging, those qualities don't sound as though you value them very much. Do you put a lot of store by academic achievement? If I was your DP and I read your OP, the message I would get is that you feel your DD is more rounded, more intelligent and more capable than his. No-one wants to hear that! If your DP is picking up on this, then I'm not surprised that he reacts this way.
If I were you (and I mean both of you here), I'd try very hard to stop comparing your two daughters.
Perhaps your DP wishes he could have afforded to give his DD all the advantages that you are so clearly giving yours.
Definitely worth a conversation with your DP, but I wouldn't jump down his throat if I were you, as he may feel that you are ramming your DD's achievements at him, whilst criticising his DD for being a "low achiever" - guaranteed to put any parent's back up...
I have had this situation at home very recently... you have to accept that your DP is never going to feel as proud etc of your DS as you do and vice versa. What you can ask for, and I think reasonable to expect, is a kind word, support, encouragement etc. But, you need to also do that about his DS. When you live together you are going to find it hard when he criticises your DS - but this is bound to happen - do you think he will have the right to pull her up on household issues? if not - then you will clash. You need to compromise. I've found I take my DP "telling off" my DS much better now that he's balanced that out with positive stuff. I did have to raise it with him though it didn't come naturally - and I think in most cases it doesn't.
Thanks for all your comments. All of them have some relevance to my situation.
I love my DSD like she's my own and am very supportive of her, perhaps trying too hard sometimes to help her make positive changes in her life. I can't compare the two of them because as I said previously, they've been brought up very differently.
As for being focused on academic achievement, I absolutely believe it's my duty as a parent to provide my child with the tools to be the best she can be. However she ends up in life - as the worlds greatest academic, or as a road sweeper - it'll be because she's done her best and I'll be proud of her. As I am of my DSD but know she's capable of so much more and of making better decisions. Unfortunately, the only good decisions she's ever made are the ones my DP has made for her.
They're both good girls, but different. My DP can't hold it against my DD because she's bright and that I'm proud of that, can he? I always look for the positives about my DSDs decisions and often have to calm the waters between the two of them. Occasionally she makes her dad promise not to tell me about aspects of her life as she's embarrassed.
He can't wait to be out of it and has finally persuaded her that she should be trying to make it through life on her own, with her own bf, friends and family. She is close to her mum and her step-brothers and is very popular with her peer group. My DP has finally realised he can't control her situation to make her the person he wants her to be. She is who she is and we will always help her when we can and pick up the pieces if it all goes wrong.
Maybe I just need to be more aware of the way I say something and re-enforce how much I'll help my DSD if she needs it.
Maybe you are investing too much in your DSD's life, and expecting your DP to do the same with your DD? Like Fooso said, your DP is never going to feel as proud as you of your DD, although kind words and encouragement would be good! No, your DP can't hold it against your DD that she is bright - of course not! - but be wary of expecting him to be as excited as you in relation to her achievements. That may come in time of course, but don't expect it necessarily - so long as he doesn't belittle her achievements. Maybe she is achieving things he always hoped his DD would, but didn't.
Whatever the case, you said DSD is a grown woman now - so perhaps you and your DP need to take a step back and stop judging her decisions. Let her make her own mistakes, and clear up after them. She'll learn far more that way than if you always pick up the pieces.
I think you will have to consider and discuss how/if your DP is to be involved in disciplining your DD when you live together. Personally, I don't see how he could live with your DD but not be able to do any discipline, although I know others disagree. I say this from the point of view of a mum and step mum - DP and I both discipline all of our children, although the "big" chats are generally left to the relevant parent to have.