DP's anger at my disengagement(35 Posts)
Been with my partner for a couple of years now, he was single when I met him, ExW left for another man 8yrs ago. He has a daughter aged 16 who I tried to get to know and be friendly towards until last summer when I MC'd our baby.
He announced the pregnancy to his daughter at 6wks as he wanted her to be one of the first to know. I wanted to wait until 12 but he talked me round. I had unlimited shit thrown at me from his daughter, the ex and her family, I developed high BP and lost the baby 2 wks later. It may have happened anyway but they stopped harassing me after that and if they felt guilty, good!! I accept that at my age (early 40s) it may not happen again and I'm pretty sure I don't want it to anyway, given the circumstances.
There have been several incidents since of her 'pulling rank' over me. I don't want to be a bitch and itemise every detail, but basically any way possible that makes him choose her over me or ruining our plans.
I have never been nasty to the girl (although I fantasise about screaming at her to tell her how spoiled and entitled she is) and have chosen to completely disengage when she is around.
My partner refuses to confront her on her behaviour (she is never nasty to my face but he tells me what she says and does, as do other people.) He is angry for me for no longer interacting with her above a polite hello and goodbye.
TBH I love him but see no other option but to get out. I don't expect to be more important than his daughter but I should have a voice in the house we share.
Family holiday looming (with his parents and siblings, who I really get on well with but his daughter too.) I really can't handle a week away with someone who resents my living and breathing. What should I do?
Fackinell, sounds like you are having a hard time, my DH got mad at me 'disengaging' with his DS after I was basically expected to accept his bad behaviour saying I was making matters worse not better! makes you want to scream.
I know exactly what you mean he and she sound like a pair of sh*ts. People are so guilty about kids of separations/divorces they are often allowed to behave so badly. I think you should meet a new man.
Yes, it wasn't the best time last summer and the Exes DIL has since had a baby to add an extra sting to it all. Lucky for her nobody gave her any nasty shit while she was pg.
I was hoping I could grow to love his daughter back in the beginning but not now. At best I can hope to grow to like her if she outgrows all this. Still rather confused about what to do but will look into ft work anyway so I'm good to go. Shame because I love my job but an extra 300 a month would make all the difference.
Poor you. Fact is he loves her, you don't and never will. Neither of you will ever have the same perspective because of this but you should still be able to sit down and discuss a reasonable solution for all, perhaps you going away or threatening to go will help resolve it, I really don't know, depends how much you want to be together I suppose.
As rude as your SD sounds, the fault is with your partner for not setting boundaries for her. It sounds like you've done everything you reasonably can to try and fix this.
Sorry about the MC too. At that point he should have grown a backbone with regards to his DD. Appalling that he didn't protect you from such harrassment when you were at your most vulnerable. for you.
I so sorry about the pregnancy thing, I can't believe how they behaved that's awful.
It seems like he will never do what he needs too.
Yes, fortunately I do. It's a shame as he's fantastic in every other way. I will really miss him when I go. Thanks for all the good advice, folks.
It doesn't sound like he's ever going to change I would have to walk away from a relationship like that. Like you said it will continue into adulthood and you will live in a state of resentment, until it has gnawed away all your respect and affection for him. If the rest of the family are too afraid to take a stand, then you have to ask yourself whether you are willing to put up with this for the rest of your life or whether it's best just to cut your losses. It affects you more right now because you have to live with this day in, day out, but at least there are no blood-ties for you. You do have the option to get out before it grinds you down.
The others are hugely supportive and totally get where I'm coming from. They say things to me about how unhappy they are with her behaviour but will mention none of this to him. For example, Grandad has been in at her for ages to get a job and she won't do it. She says she's too tired. He is still waiting on a Christmas thank you too and asked if she'd received it and she replied 'yeah.' He then sat fuming and vented to his wife later but said nothing at the time. Nobody pulls DP up on it.
DP says that his style of parenting has worked fine for them over the years and she has given him no trouble (by getting what she wants.) he claims she is very vulnerable due to the split and gets easily upset. I pointed out that she is lucky to have a loving father (mine knocked 5 kinds of shit out of me) and saying no occasionally is not bad parenting. I'm going to get nowhere with this I think. She has zero boundaries and even when she does grow up this will all be repeated in a few yrs with grandchildren. She will demand he looks after them while she goes out and yet again he won't say no!!!!
She sounds like the product of a LOT of Disney parenting and your DP will have to do a huge amount of work to turn this around at this stage.
If he doesn't think there is a problem and is happy to continue indulging this spoilt little madam then you will have to walk away or it will kill your relationship stone dead.
Money aside, if you go and leave him to deal with her on his own maybe he will realise that you have a point. If he doesn't then you will know you did the right thing.
Another option is could you speak to his sister/mum/other family member and ask if they will have a word? He might listen if it comes from somewhere else.
He sounds incredibly obnoxious and dismissive - it's nothing to do with you what night she stays?! Seriously?! I feel angry just reading that!
You've tried talking, reasoning, compromising... It's not going to work. Take drastic measures!
At least others in the family know how bad she is. What a little madam, demanding her own room, new outfit etc. I'm amazed nobody else has put her in her place over that alone! I'd have told her she has to stay behind and doesn't get to come on the holiday - call her bluff!
Can you speak to those whose wedding it is and explain in very general terms that you are having problems, and whilst you'd love to attend the wedding, you don't want to rock the boat when DP's DD hates you and doesn't want you there. It doesn't take much imagination to understand that family dynamics can be tricky and I'm sure they'd be more reasonable than your DP and his DD over this issue. Good luck with it!
Thanks Twolittlemonkeys. It really would take a load off!! The family hol has a wedding involved which makes it slightly tricky. I don't want to look like I'm being difficult to his other family as I really do like them and don't want to jeopardise that. That said, I would love not to go!!
My partner's sister is going ballistic as my partner's daughter has said she needs her own room or won't go!! The sister's daughter is 2 yrs younger and it would have saved a fortune if they'd shared. The other girl is happy to but partner's daughter has put her foot down and said 'own room, new outfit or I won't go.' This means the other child needs her own room as they're one over on beds.
His daughter had a meltdown and demanded to go home last trip as there was no mobile phone signal. It took her Grandad to intervene with 'proper parenting' to get her to budge from the ground she had plonked herself down on. Thank God I wasn't there!! I'm not meaning to bitch, just give examples of the ridiculousness of the (non) parenting!!
You've acted so maturely and dealt with things in the best way up til now, and nothing has worked. I think you have to make the threat and carry it through. You will feel so much more peace if you have your own space. It doesn't have to mean the end of your relationship, but it will show your DP that you are serious and will not put up with him ignoring all your wishes and stropping when you don't dance to his DD's tune.
In your shoes I definitely wouldn't be going on a family holiday with his DD. Use that time to make a stand and show you will not be treated like a second class citizen, sort yourself out and create your own space free from all this contention. Holidays are meant to be relaxing not super stressful. All that negativity must be so draining. I bet if you move out you will feel like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
Thank you. Yes, my 'invisible book' contains not rules, but morals. Such as: somebody gives you a gift, you say thank you and keeping your shoes off the chairs/ closing your mouth when you eat. If you need something you say please and then thank you. Not 'I need to go, can I get money?' (On Sunday.)
My family are still waiting for a Christmas gift thank you. He asked her to call/text/email after I prompted, she said she didn't see why she should and he should do it then stormed out and didn't come back for a wk. he then said he wasn't going to push it as it clearly upset her. GAH!!!!!
I've given him ways of getting round her staying the one precious day we are off together like 'sorry DD if you're going out this wknd that's fine but Sunday won't work this wk as we have plans. How about you stay mon/tues/wed/thurs instead?'
It's not knocking her back but it's gives her a chance to change the plans without affecting ours. He basically said whatever night she chooses to stay is fine by him and nothing to do with me. bet it'd have something to do with me if the household suddenly lost £500 a month along with my departure!!
In all honesty i would leave. she is 16, im sure she considers herself an adult and in a few years she will be. even then you wont be free of this awful negativity all the while youre with your partner. he probably thinks its easier to tread all over you than to stand up to his spoilt, over indulged daughter. I couldnt live with my dp if i didnt feel like i had a voice and if he never disciplined his son. There are other men out there who will care enough about you to stand up for your basic right to not be verbally abused in your own home. Even on your own you will not have to tiptoe around anymore to avoid upsetting him or her.
You are both entitled to your opinions on parenting. When you live together both opinions should be taken into account. When you choose to live with someone both people in the relationship should feel listened to and understood. I think there is a lot if compromising to be done in step families!
It sounds like your partner wants his daughter and wants you but is scared to actually parent his daughter and to have a reasonable conversation with you. He's burying his head in the sand and I think he risks losing his daughter by his own behaviour and terrible approach to parenting.
You have every right to be listened to, his comment about your "invisible book" was terribly dismissive and insulting.
He has a right to want to parent his child but it sounds to me, that he's not parenting her just giving into her demands and that's actually very unfair on the girl.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Thanks, Ruthie. I will give it a try. We won't see her now till the wknd but I don't hold out much hope for any change. He says he will raise her how he wishes and my 'invisible book of guidelines' is not how he intends to do things.
Basically he tried to stand up to her when I was PG by telling her he deserves to be happy and the family breakup was not his choice, she shouted about how wrong our relationship was and how her family were so angry with him and hated me then stormed out in tears (and didn't come back for two weeks.) He is terrified of losing her and doesn't believe me when I say he never will.
She goes on about how great her mum's side is but has no idea her mother had an affair and that another close relative of her's (not on my partner's side) is a convicted rapist. He came around hammering on our bedroom window last summer at 4am shouting abuse because of our relationship!! Her perfect family are not so perfect!!
My partner overcompensates by doing everything for her and ignoring her behaviour. His family are all very respectable and totally disapproved of the family he married into.
I often feel I've wandered into an episode of Eastenders!!
You should sit down with him and one more time, calmly explain that her behaviour is unacceptable and if he doesn't back you up immediately, you will be moving out. Tell him this has to happen this week. If he doesn't do it, you must follow through on your threat.
A six month lease does seem slightly scary, but it might be very useful to have some time to make sure he actually means it, doesn't return to his old ways etc... Plus he will appreciate you much more when he can't take you for granted.
I know, Ruthie. I already do. My mum lives out on a farm (I don't have a car) and she's the only one I can feasibly stay with. It'll have to be a flat or nothing and I doubt I'll get a lease for less than 6mths. That's what makes it tricky...all or nothing really.
I'm def swaying towards going, right now. He's being lovely this evening but of course he would. He's never aggressive, just defensive and angry to the point he storms out to cool off. I know he knows I have a point but he will defend her to the hilt. She will never be in the wrong. FWIW her Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles are totally exasperated by her behaviour too. It's not just me.
I would be amazed if it took six months for him to see your perspective if you moved out. More like a week or two. Don't make yourself miserable because you feel sorry for him - you will end up resenting him if he doesn't stand up for you.
Yes, I agree with all of you. Taking myself (and my pet, who he adores) away plus the financial input which could go into a blissful flat for me sounds wonderful, but will devastate him. Im going to be selfish for once in the two years and I will look into working tax credits tomorrow to tide my pt job over till I can find full time. I don't actually want to break up but I need to have a peaceful space. What I pay to him would cover a one bed rental. I won't actually be worse off financially, probably better.
Even if I reassess in 6mths... I do want a baby but only if the child will be raised to have good morals and empathy for others. I loved all my Dad's wives/GFs over the yrs (yes he was a bit of a lad) and although I quit contact with him due to violence (he's now dead) I went out of my way to forge a good relationship with these women and we are still friends. I guess I'm upset that my little gifts and jokingly ganging up on silly Dad was ruined when his daughter found out I was pg.
Yes it's gross, dad has sex, somebody new lives in her childhood home but I have tried to pave the way to friendship. He says I should message her why I'm upset along with the rest of his exes lot. I have tried that with his daughter (as she is the only one i feel is the person i need to have a friendship with) and never even got a response. He says I should be the bigger person and see she's just an angry child. He says her visitations have cut down (her choice) and that he's now lost his friendship with exes family and that he has made sacrifices for me being in his life. My point is that while it may be a by product of me being with him, I certainly never instigated any of this.
OP - I have been there, and I highly recommend you cut your losses and leave him. IT IS NOT WORTH IT! Can you magine how life would be if you did have a child with him, Im agine all that shit with a baby to look after as well. How would you manage to disengage at weekends then?
Life is too short for that sort of shit and you need someone to be a life partner, not a source of aggro.
I think you should make some plans and go. He is being selfish and weak. Ask him if he is proud of her spoilt nasty behaviour because all she is/does reflects directly on him.
You aren't in the wrong and if he can't see that you should walk. It won't get any better until he opens his eyes.
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