DD jealous of dp and our relationship

(25 Posts)
OhWesternWind Fri 04-Apr-14 15:23:13

Sorry, this isn't a step parent issue as we're not married or living together, but I thought you guys might have some experience and good advice to offer.

The situation is that I have two children, dd age nearly 12 and ds age 8. I have been with my dp a year after spending two years on my own with the children after I separated from their father. They have no contact with their father due to his abusive behaviour and it has been difficult for dd in particular. She has had issues with behavioural problems going back a long time before I met dp.

Anyway, the current issue is that she does not want me to have anyone in my life apart from her and at a push her brother. She is resentful of my friends but most of all about dp. We are taking things slowly because of the children, only see each other twice a week and one of those nights we will go out somewhere so we are not around the children, but we do tend to have a weekend day together and have been doing some nice things together with the children eg cinema, ice skating, stuff the children are involved in choosing. So this means that dd sees me on my own five nights out of seven, sometimes more. She has plenty of opportunity to spend one to one time with me but chooses to spend most of her time in her room alone.

Dp has always been very good with both children and he has a lovely relationship with my ds. He is very patient and even tempered with them and hasn't pushed things with dd. But dd is horribly rude to him, will ignore him or call him cheeky names, and her behaviour generally is really poor. She doesn't like dp coming round at all and refuses to join in now when we have anything planned.

I think part of it is hormones, part of it is her general unhappiness and behavioural issues and part of it is jealousy about me having a dp.

Can anyone help me to deal with this please? The situation is bad for everyone involved and I think we are at the point where we can't go on like this. It is really getting me down and for the first time dp has said he's not coming over tonight because of dd's behaviour.

Malificentmaud Fri 04-Apr-14 15:42:25

That's really sad. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.

How firm have you been with her? Personally what I would do is sit down with her and explain that you love her very much but that it is your expectation that she is polite to all adults whom she comes in to contact with and especially because this man is important to you and kind to her and her brother.

Do you feel you have done anything wrong? I don't. She has you to herself more than most children do.

Then if she doesn't change her ways she will be punished the same as with any other broken rules. Privileges withdrawn etc.

The only thing I can suggest is if your DP could do something with just her every now and again? Also, if you did something one on one once a week without her brother.

The bottom line is that in 4-6 years time she'll be off living her own life and you will have a lot of years ahead of you. are you going to allow this good man to be pushed away and set aside your own happiness?

alita7 Fri 04-Apr-14 15:53:13

your children come first... and if she had a good reason to dislike him I'd say leave but she sounds like she wouldn't be happy whoever else you were spending your time with, even her brother so you won't win. I think you should continue with your DP, you deserve happiness.
you need to talk to her, surely she has friends and hobbies that make her life good - say you need these things too or you'll end up sad all the time. tell her she makes you happy but so does DP and you deserve both and her brother also gets along with him and wants him in his life. If it comes to it tell her she is selfish and say that if she can't be nice to your friend (dp) then any friends of hers you will ignore and not feed if they come over or anything like that.
she sounds like she is still struggling with what happened but she still needs to learn how to behave.

OhWesternWind Fri 04-Apr-14 16:09:16

Thank you both for your replies. I do feel really sad about it Maud and that dp and I have really tried to do things right here with regard to the children.

I have problems with dd's behaviour in general. She has been seeing CAHMS about various issues and I know there are some deeper problems. But recently she has been getting worse and she is very difficult to deal with and to control. She has very little that she cares about in life. Sadly she doesn't have a lot of friends Alita as she has some difficulties socially and doesn't make friends easily due to her behaviour.

I really want this relationship with dp to work out. He is a wonderful man and apart from the issues with dd everything is so very good.

I am going to sit down with her tonight and have a good talk along the lines you both suggest. I was also thinking of offering a reward (bribe!) for good behaviour to see if that will make the difference. I'm not prepared to let her push dp away. What you said about her being gone in a few years is exactly what I think, Maud, and I would be devastated to think that I had lost an amazing man because of dd's behaviour.

Thanks again for your replies.

Malificentmaud Fri 04-Apr-14 16:19:11

Sounds really tough. On MN there is a lot of talk about this illusive "putting your children first" quality that we should all have. It's rarely obvious to see what that means in practice.

I sacrifice a lot for my DD (and my DSD incidentally) and that is as it should be. But I am a big believer in "happy parents, happy kids" and also in the fact that we all deserve happiness. Maybe putting your DD first is to give this relationship a real try and give her a supportive and loving step dad as well as a father figure for your son. Modelling a loving and respectful relationship where you stand up for your partner and stick up for each other is good for children... even if they don't see that at first.

But it sounds like she has some real problems. I'm not surprised she hasn't automatically accepted this new person.

Don;t be over generous with the reward wink

alita7 Fri 04-Apr-14 20:08:00

you hit the nail on the head maud. It also sounds like she gets lots of days out which she might not of had otherwise. She might hate him now but in 5 years time she might have a great relationship ship with him. I agree that given the way her father was it is super important for her to see all men aren't like that and to see a loving relationship that isn't abusive otherwise she could end up in a cycle of abuse when she's older.

OhWesternWind Fri 04-Apr-14 20:35:16

You two speak a lot of sense and it's a new perspective for me to think of my relationship with dp as being good for dd. But it is, you're right, it could be really positive for her in the long run to see a good relationship.

Our talk was pretty positive, and she apologised properly with no prompting. She also said she didn't have an issue with dp, but that she didn't want a replacement father and that was how she saw him taking us out for treats. I said no, he wants to be your friend, that's what friends do, go out for the day together. Non- negotiables have been reiterated as no violence and a polite attitude to adults. Not too much to ask but only time will tell.

I'm feeling more positive though and really appreciate your perspectives and words of wisdom.

Malificentmaud Sat 05-Apr-14 08:04:17

Glad it went well grin keep checking in won't you x

shey02 Sat 05-Apr-14 09:05:48

Glad it went well. It's a work in progress though, keep on top of it and make sure that you do the disciplining. You and dp sound like a fab team and he a man worth fighting for. As a team and a couple in a loving relationship, you are very good role models for your children and I really hope that you can work on dd's attitude for the best. There seems no reasonable, rational reason for her taking out her behaviour on him so, do NOT, fall into the trap of feeling guilty. You deserve your happiness with dp, he deserves some appreciation and respect and your children will reap the rewards of a happy home life.

maggiemight Sat 05-Apr-14 10:28:24

I think it is hard for a DW with a bad DH to understand the feelings of the DCs to that DH.

I hear ex wives trashing their DH's and think poor DCs. The relationship between DCs and their parents is v different from that of DP and the other DP. All the adults in the picture might agree that he was a drunk/ waste of space/ abusive so needs wiped from their lives, but he was their father, part of them in a way.

My DF was an alcoholic, it's not nice to know and live with the fact that your DF is an utter failure in life, a waster who didn't care about you or not how a good father should. And a humiliation.

Don't know what the answer is but I was brought up when things were never discussed with DCs which prob made things worse. Perhaps some kind counseling would help DD deal with this replacement Dad (in her eyes) who maybe flags up her own DFs failures and her disappointments in him.

Needadvice5 Wed 09-Apr-14 11:14:53

Really feel for you! I could have written this post myself but nearly 3 years on everything is settled and most of the time we are all happy and get along brilliantly.

Stick with it and be firm with your dd, she's not the boss! Your dp sounds very supportive and I'm sure ot will all work out!

purpleroses Wed 09-Apr-14 16:02:19

My DP's DS was 11 when I met him and very difficult with me at first. He used to refuse to be in the same room as me and said I was a witch shock. His siblings were fine but his DS is a child who finds any changes difficult. DP was firm with him about politeness. He had to join family meal times, to be polite to me, etc and I reminded DP always to make sure DSS knew when I'd be there so his DS wasn't taken by surprise. And DP also make more effort to do things with just DSS and to emphasise to him that lots of things weren't going to change. I took things quite cautiously with him, and tried to show an interest in the things he was into but generally let DP lead what we were doing as a family - so he would pay, tell the kids what we were going to do, etc, even if I'd had a say privately in what we decided to do, so it must have seemed that I was an appendage to their family rather than another parent. It seems to have worked - 4 years on I get on great with him now.

If your DP gets on well with your DS you could let them spend a bit of time together whilst having some one to one with your DD. I think my DSC all appreciate that having me around does also mean they get more of their dad's time when they need it as I can help out with the others.

LyndaCartersBigPants Wed 09-Apr-14 16:28:03

Glad you're feeling a bit better about it.

Fwiw, I'm with Maud. There's a lot spoken about the DCs coming first, but actually sometimes when they are being unreasonable, you shouldn't allow their whims to spoil a perfectly good relationship. It is important for you to have a loving man in your life and your dd should be happy for you.

If she is worried about him trying to replace her dad then I can understand why she might need a bit of reassurance, but she also needs to know that you are an individual with a life and your own needs, not just an extension to her, there to provide for her every desire.

OhWesternWind Fri 11-Apr-14 08:53:00

Thank you all so much for your input.

Shey yes it is very much a work in progress, two steps forward and only one step back I hope. Dp is absolutely wonderful, so is dd, and I do so hope that they can come to have a good relationship even if that's not going to happen imminently.

Maggie I know that dd struggles with a lot of questions about why her father treated her like he did. There are no answers, sadly. She's had counselling on and off for the last three years but she really doesn't like the process and is unwilling to talk or open up. I'm finding it very hard to know how to help her with this one.

Your point about my dp showing up her father in an even worse light is a good one. I also think that fathers as a general group have a very negative image in dd's mind due to her past experiences, in fact she finds it difficult to relate to men full stop, but I am hoping that time will show her that men like that are a tiny minority.

Needadvice thank you, it's so reassuring to know something similar has worked out, same with you Purpleroses. My dd hates surprises too so I think I will make a point of discussing our plans with her in advance. I had been leaving it until the last minute to avoid moaning and complaining but I think that might have been the wrong strategy. Dp and ds already do a few things together eg getting the shopping in (they are both keen cooks so like to do foodie stuff) but sadly dd often doesn't take the opportunity to spend time with me by myself. I will try and encourage this more.

Lynda thank you too. Dp is really important to me and I hope dd will come to realise that just because I love him it doesn't mean I love her less. Dp has become kind of a father figure to my son, but ds is that much younger and has really taken to dp. He (dp) doesn't see his relationship with dd like that at all, more a friendly interested adult, but to be honest that is more input than she got from her father even when we were together. A good relationship between them would be beneficial to all of us, will keep working on things.

Thank you all so much, it's really appreciated and good to know I'm going vaguely in the right direction.

22honey Mon 21-Apr-14 14:22:31

Sorry, but has anyone on here given any thought whatsoever to the fact the DD SHOULD be coming before the mothers new relationship, and she might do well to give her DD some real support and help to get to the bottom of and resolve her very obvious issues, rather than being too busy chasing a new man.

Sorry but it sounds exactly like my childhood experience, dad was apparently a controlling twat and they split when I was 9, this affected me, my feelings and behaviour very badly yet my mother (who I do love by the way) saw it as being more important to find a new man to give all her attention to, rather than help and support me to come to terms with the split, massive life change and barely seeing my father anymore. It was nothing to do with money either as both parents had a decent job and Dad paid lots of maintenance. I was so lacking attention, missing the role of my father in my life and what I needed at home was being neglected as I was just expected to be happy with everything and put up and shut up, I ended up being sexually exploited in prostitution and raped several times from being 12 years old to about 17 after running away from a home I could not stand anymore. Stepdad wasnt abusive, my mother just wasnt interested and cared more about keeping up her relationship with him. She had no time for me emotionally whatsoever (but you can bet I never went without anything materially so she could convince herself I was being looked after appropriately). I hated being at home because I had problems no one seemed to give two shits about, I was seen as being 'badly behaved' and 'unreasonable' when really I was just lost, confused and needing some PROPER parental support. Oh yeah, and we all went on those fun days out with the new stepdad and it did absoloutely nothing to resolve all my bad feelings.

This attitude 'the child is not the boss' and that they are 'being unreasonable' for merely showing their feelings in a way they believe might get noticed is absolutely disgusting. No concern here whatsoever for what the DD may be going through mentally (not to mention she is probably hormonal due to her age) and emotionally, its all about how shes 'pushing away' the OPs new partner. She is probably feeling confused and sad. Such absoloute selfishness on this thread, and by the way, 'happy parents happy kids' is not always correct, especially if the parent is so 'happy' they fail to see or do anything about how unhappy their children are.

22honey Mon 21-Apr-14 14:27:15

My mother added to the already massive feelings of abandonment I had from my father and the split, by abandoning me emotionally for her new man. And that hurt and ruined my life, so it makes me very very angry seeing parents advocating this sort of thing, all because they think their right to 'be happy' and have a new relationship trumps all else.

MeMyselfAnd1 Mon 21-Apr-14 14:33:32

"How firm have you been with her? Personally what I would do is sit down with her and explain that you love her very much but that it is your expectation that she is polite to all adults whom she comes in to contact with and especially because this man is important to you and kind to her and her brother. "

Absolutely agree with that. It is about respect, to other people, her mother and her brother.

Meow75 Mon 21-Apr-14 14:56:25

22honey, I'm sorry your experience as a child was so poor but do you REALLY see so many parallels between your situation and the OP's DD?!?!

Cause I don't. The OP clearly cares about the welfare of her daughter - seeing CAMHS, for example.

Do not make her feel guilty about trying to have an adult relationship that will hopefully sustain her as her children get older and become more independent. She is a mother, yes, but that is not her whole being. She deserves to be happy, and this involves having a partner to share life with, if she would like one.

Malificentmaud Mon 21-Apr-14 14:57:13

22honey I am sorry all of that happened to you.

I do think the advice OP has been given is based on what she has said and how she has written. She doesn't come across as someone who would abandon her child or neglect her needs. Which is why I personally think the advice she's been given is safe. In this circumstance.

croquet Mon 21-Apr-14 14:58:15

OP can you see yourself moving in with DP?

Just to counteract 22Honey's experience I lived with my dad and he wholeheartedly committed to a new 'stepmum' too when I was little. I was really upset at the time, and raged through my teen years (but never left). But it has actually given me a lot of stability now, and I am so grateful - it's made me normal in my relationships and not in some weird oedipal bind with my parent. Think of the long game OP -- she will hate the loss of her special friend (you) now but it will be good for her long term, if DP is trusted to stay with you.

I thought the other day of only children my age (30s) with single parents -- they have such a special bond! But none of the parents relationships with anyone new ever lasted, and none of the 'children' have got married/had kids. They're too close.

Anormalfamily Tue 22-Apr-14 07:33:55

Croquet is spot on, I think.
Had been a lp for 8 yrs and my ds 11 was more than pleased when I met dh2 to take the pressure off him! He was beginning to take an interest in girls and wanted to hang out with friends, but mummy was being overprotective... Then along came dh and there have never been significant "words" or bad feelings between them. When ds was older, around 14, I talked to him about our time alone and he felt I had including him too much in decision making, I.e. The special bond.
Thankfully he was able to laugh about it and enjoys our new family.
On the other hand, both dh' kids still harbour grudges towards us because dh effectively ruined that special bond they had had with him. He insists he was the prime carer and eventhough nannies were involved, he took over parenting after work, not mum. And after their divorce he was alone for over 2 years and saw them VERY regularly, despite paying massive over and above maintenance, he still seemed to be the prime carer when we met.
We've had a year of counseling where he was told to parent and not befriend his children, his chummy behaviour made them compete for attention with me and my ds (complex because the kids get on really well, similar ages) but at 13 and 17 his dc act much younger around him, as if their emotional development was arrested around the time their parents split (6 and 10). Btw, BOTH their parents do the best friend thing! unfortunately their mum is worse than dad at this because he has me to keep him on the straight and narrow, but I don't know how much longer I can hold out

prawnypoos Wed 23-Apr-14 07:04:08

Firstly, your DP is very lucky that you recognise your DD's behaviour and realise that it IS out of order. Pers

prawnypoos Wed 23-Apr-14 07:09:37

Firstly, your DP is very lucky that you recognise your DD's behaviour and realise that it IS out of order. Personally I think DP sounds like a great guy and perhaps you should throw caution to the wind and go for it. Having a "two parent home" will probably benefit her in the long run and it sounds like your partner has the right attitude towards her (regarding the not coming over due to her behaviour- it's tough when you're obviously disliked by DSC even if your partner is supportive, he probably just needed a break) you need to be happy and DD needs to learn that the world doesn't revolve around her whilst at the same time realising that she has plenty of opportunity to spend 1:1 time with uou

OhWesternWind Wed 30-Apr-14 15:58:43

Thank you all for your messages, I didn't realise people were still posting on my thread smile

Things are continuing to be difficult with dd, whether or not dp is round or not. I am worried about her behaviour towards me and her brother which is really getting out of hand. We have an appointment with CAHMS on Friday though so I am hanging on til then.

This really is causing me enormous stress. It is very difficult for everyone involved - me, dd, dp and my ds as well. I don't think I am coping at all well with this situation at the moment. Dp is finding it difficult to be around dd - he would never say this to her but she is very challenging to him and rude, and anyone would have enough of it.

Croquet I would love to move in with dp but that won't be for a while (years) yet if it happens. We've talked about it in theory and we would both love to, but the time isn't right at the moment.

Normal I want to loosen the bond dd has with me - that sounds awful but she wants a very suffocating relationship where I don't see anyone else, no friends, no dp, and just sit around waiting to be with her when she wants me (!). Not great from my point of view. Of course I want the bond to be there, it's vitally important to both of us, but it needs to be balanced by both of us having other relationships and friendships.

22honey - I am sorry you had a bad childhood but it's not the same as our situation. I am not spending my time chasing after a man. I have a stable relationship with someone who I see around twice a week. That leaves a lot of time for dd to spend with me, but she does not want to. And I am doing my utmost to get help from outside agencies for my dd. I want all of us to be happy, my children, me and dp. How the hell is that selfish? I think you are projecting a lot of your own issues onto my situation. I am trying to do my best here but I can't see why I should give up the chance of happiness here with my dp. I haven't gone straight from one man to another, I was single for eighteen months before I even started dating again and focussed all my attention on the children to help them get over the breakup of the family. Sorry but I wish people would think sometimes before they post about the effect they might have on people.

littlegreenlight1 Wed 30-Apr-14 22:20:43

Hi
I dont know if this is relevant at all, but Ive been through two major break ups with firstly my childrens father then a long term bf who did live with us.
When exh left, my dd was 8 and she reacted horrendously to ANYone who came near me other than family. I had a lot of friends around (always have done) but any male one (and I mean just friends, already existing, no one new friends) was shouted at and sent packing.
When exbf left around 18 mths ago, it was ds who reacted so badly, he was 13 at the time and was so so rude to any man. I have one very dear male friend who the kids are more than used to and my ds stood at the top of the stairs one night screaming at him to get out (he was fixing helping me with a broken lock on the front door (I am a feminist honest!)

I explained on both occasions, and at very different ages that it is absolutely ok to be upset and angry but, there is a certain level of respect to be given to people - people that are good, decent people and that treat you correctly. My male friend helping with the lock was just a mate and still is and always will be, and the same as a family member (we have been friends 10 years) and any other person they come in to contact with - should deserve respect. I wasnt asking my ds to do anything else, just behave how he should in that situation (I already said its ok to be angry about the other issues).

I guess thats all Im saying. Aside from your happiness (which for the record, I think youd be crazy to give up) there is a seperate issue here which almost defnitely encompasses behaviour and hormonal stuff that youve mentioned.

Dont sweat it too much, things will work and if youve got such a good relationship as you describe then your DD WILL come around and it WILL all work out.

smile

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