need some perspective, please...(13 Posts)
Hi, everyone. I am an avid lurker, but post rarely. Following Karmabitch's thread, I thought I may ask for some advice also.
BF and I have been going out for 2.5 years. We are preparing to move in together. We each have 3 children- I have 2 older teens and a primary school child, he has a 20 yo and 2 older teens.
His oldest has taken a serious dislike to me right from the start, before she could even have known anything about me.
She is awful, I'm sorry to say. She is deliberately rude. She screams, she has tantrums. She swears at me, she has tried to physically attack me more then once, she has threatened to kill my kitten. She does this to other family members as well, btw, not only me, but I am her favourite hate subject. I have no idea what I may have done that she hates me so much, it is disconcerting.
When she and I are at BFs flat at the same time, she makes sure she takes up all the sofa space, so I can't sit down unless I sit in the office chair. She behaves as if I intrude into HER house (she lives with mother btw)
She seeks the attention of everyone at all times, and wants to control what every member of the family is doing.
She, in particular, insists that they continue to have regular "access" time- twice a week and every Sunday (!), and also insists that I am not allowed to be there. At all. Ever. The other 2 are actually not bothered either way, I actually get on great with his youngest. But she gets her will.
Occasionally, I will be asked to come over, as "it's a good weekend to do something together, as DD is not here this Sunday", so I can see his other two kids. If she finds out, she screams at BF,and accuses him to "sneak behind her back" and tells him that I am not allowed there when it's "our time". According to her, I'm not allowed to see him on Sundays, even if they are all away, he is supposed to sit home alone, as it is "our time".
Remember, she is 20!
I have tried to speak to BF about this many times, about the fact that he allows her to do this, to disrespect me and him, to threaten, to assault, to control. He says she is a nice girl really, apart from these outbursts she can be really loving and kind, and it will all fall into place, and give it time.
He really does not get that after her behaviour for over 2 years 1) I don't think she is a nice girl, she is a spoilt, indulged, childish, attention seeking brat 2) that I need him to set her some boundaries as to how she is allowed to behave, and to punish her for bad behaviour 3) that his refusal to side with and stand up for me is very hurtful, and clearly tells her (and me!) that she is allowed to behave like this.
I don't know what I expect from posting here, just need to rant, I guess. I am SO fed up! Not sure if I can last, I suspect she will still insist to see him every Sunday when she is 35, and I will still be excluded.
He says she is a nice girl really, apart from these outbursts she can be really loving and kind, and it will all fall into place, and give it time.
That says it all really, doesn't it? He sees his 20 year old DD as a "girl".
I can't imagine that he's worth putting yourself through this for, no matter how wonderful life is the rest of the time - surely you deserve more respect from the man you are choosing to share your life with?
I would think very carefully before moving in with him, he shouldn't allow his dd to treat you like that, and if he does....... Do you really want your children witnessing that?
he absolutely sees her as a child. Also his other DD, age 16. When she had a bad flare of eczema recently, he called HER MOTHER to ask her what to do. FFS, she is SIXTEEN- ask her, she KNOWS!
I actually think a good deal about this is the mother, they are being kept deliberately immature, too young for their age, still very dependent. The middle one, while truly a nice girl, is very clingy (one of my DDs described her as "sticky").
He is otherwise lovely- very respectful, loving, generous, easy going etc. I am very reluctant to let him go after 2 abusive relationships prior, feels as if I have struck gold, except for this one issue. Which is becoming more of an issue.
Don't want to let her win, splitting us up is absolutely her aim.
Dreams, we were going to move in together the beginning of the year, we have delayed it now until autumn, and I have put my foot down and insisted on counselling, so have put us on a waiting list with Relate.
Yes, feels disrespectful to me. He gets upset and is very apologetic for her behaviour, but refuses to do anything about it. Very scared she will not see him anymore.
I myself and his parents think there is no way she would carry out that threat, she knows which side her bread is buttered...
Oh dear - she may be 20, but she's still a very hurt and possessive 'child'.
She may well be a nice girl, but this behaviour is not nice.
He does need to get a grip on this and strike a balance between his relationship with his child and how she is allowed to behave around you. If she and you can't get on and be in the same place then perhaps he needs to arrange to see her 1:1 somewhere else.
I think adult children can still be very irrational and damaged around these kinds of set-ups - which is not really your problem - but you could help her longer term by encouraging your partner to address this issue more productively. Frankly, after 2.5 years, if he won't, then perhaps you need to think about whether this is how you want your life to be.
I could be in a minority here - but I think quite often children from divorced/separated parents do revert to a more child like state when confronted by the uncomfortable realities of new relationships and set ups and the 'usual' rule of how people should behave at 16, 17, 18 etc get rather mixed up.
I'm in my 40's but a short period of time with my (divorced, remarried, highly dysfunctional) Father is enough to propel me swiftly back to my truculent teens...
oh, lol- I know what you mean. Same with myself and my father, who is very much like yours... and I'm very late 40s!
she unfortunately does behave like a child at times, but not only to me- she has these outbursts with everyone in the family, they are horrible, but entirely home made by both parents. For years BF used to go and collect her and take her to his when the mother could not cope with these outbursts, effectively rewarding her with intense 1:1 attention.
He still tries to calm her down when she has one. Their interaction is totally dysfunctional- what she craves most in the world is attention. What he craves most is calm/ peace. So, he gives her what she needs in order to get what he needs, and does not see that he makes a rod for his own back, as, the more attention he gives her(calming her, talking her down), the more she does it, as it gets her what she wants...
OP, we're about the same age and with a similar situation.
Even-though I had nothing to do with parents splitting up, dsd took an instant dislike to me, dss not terribly emotional either way but we get on fine (also recently moved in 50:50).
I was treated with utter disdain and contempt by a 12 year old, which hasn't really changed much, but at 16 she has learned her dad and I are married and staying married.
I also have experienced abusive relationships and my recent asking relationship advice on mn opened my eyes that I found myself in yet another ea marriage!
My dh acted in some very disrespectful ways towards me, mostly out of fear and guilt regarding contact with dsc.
counseling has taken care of a lot of issues and we are continuing along that route because bad habits can creep back easily.
Good luck with your own plans in that direction. You need to be quite specific about the hurts being caused so that the therapist can get a clear picture.
My dh was man enough to take the advice given, I.e solid boundaries between adult team and children. Taking care of couple NEEDS goes before WANTS of children, adult or not.
OP, you need to speak to your bf about this before moving in together. At 20 she is adult enough to know better and at least be respectful. She doesn't need to LIKE you but she needs to learn the art of being civil.
If you are to be a permanent figure in her dad's life this needs to be addressed between all three of you. Frankly, if he's too Disney, can't correct her on her behaviour and remind her to be civil then he isn't worth it.
You need to think long and hard if he allows this to carry on because from what you say - he's sending out signals that it's fine for her to speak and treat you like shit.
oh dear, I feared that would be the answer. I know that not correcting her gives her permission to continue.
He sort of says he is going to punish her, tells her she's not allowed this, that and the other (usually loan of his place for the weekend), and then goes back on his word.
Sometimes I think the real test of how good a relationship is if you can work through contentious issues. If things are good when the issues are easy, does that really tell you anything? If you feel respected when you are dealing with difficult issues even if you end up compromising (as your partner should too). Being fobbed off to avoid his causing short term troubles with his kids is cowardly and not respectful to you and will only cause long term issues between him and his kids.
thank you theredhen - being fobbed off is exactly what it feels like. Her will goes, over everybody elses- his, mine, even his other children's wishes take a back seat when she has a meltdown or even for fear of a meltdown. There are things the whole family just does not do for fear of upsetting her highness. When I first went out with him, the whole family, incl BF and his ex, were walking on tiptoes just to make sure she didn't explode. This has now improved somewhat, she gets challenged a little bit, but still present.
Short term avoidance of trouble has caused all this!
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