DSDs inappropriate behaviour and DPs reaction(46 Posts)
Thank you for reading this and sorry if it's long! This could also be a AIBU issue, but wanted to seek views from other step-parents.
Just had a lovely holiday with DP, DSD (15 years old), SIL and her DH.
We were in a restaurant one evening when I noticed that DSD was sitting with her knickers very obviously showing. She had a very short skirt on and she was leaning against the wall next to her, legs wide open, and one foot up on the chair. She was clearly just relaxed and comfortable sitting like that, but I got quite an eyeful and anyone looking at our table could have seen. I very discreetly whispered that her knickers were showing; not in a telling-off way, just in a 'heads-up' way as I would with a friend or family member. No one else at the table heard me. She shot me the filthiest look I've ever seen, which slightly took me aback, and sulked for the rest of the meal. I put this down to embarrassment, but when she did the same again the next day I thought I'd better mention it to DP as she probably isn't aware of what she's doing. She also does this a lot at home, which I personally find a bit odd, but have left it up til now. I think it was the fact that we were in public that made me feel like I should say something.
I picked a quiet moment alone with DP to mention this issue and said it might be worth just keeping an eye out and gently reminding her not to sit like that as it's a bit inappropriate at her age.
DP's response: "So you're basically calling my daughter a whore?"
I was/am gobsmacked by this response. I have no idea where it came from as DP and I very rarely have arguments and I never have, or would bad-mouth DSD.
What do I do? I haven't mentioned it again but surely can't just let this comment go. I feel a bit hurt that DP thinks I could imply such a thing. I was only trying to look out for DSD's best interests. Or AIBU? Any advice would be much appreciated.
Massive over reaction by DP, what was your reply to his question?
I was so taken aback I think I just stared for a second then garbled out 'no, of course I'm not!' He then said 'I'll keep an eye out' very sarcastically. I almost don't think he believes me...
We have been together for 2.5 years and were friends for 3 years before that. A few weeks ago I would have been confident that we were a team and would have a great future. It's such a small thing but it's shaken my trust in him somehow
You need to have a conversation with him about this. Is there some background with DSD that would throw light on him being so defensive? What's your relationship been like with her?
Thank you all for replying.
DP has had sole custody of DSD (informal agreement with her DM) since she was 3, so they are very close. He has had two previous girlfriends who (apparently) didn't like DSD being around etc. He's very protective of her, but he's never turned on me before. I now feel like the enemy which is horrible. DSD and I get on fine. Obviously she's a teen and with the baggage from previous girlfriends it was never going to be a fairytale. We've had some jealousy and boundary issues, but I try to be kind, fair and supportive and we've managed pretty well. Previously DP and I have always communicated really well. Right now I feel like I've got everyone else's best interests at heart but no one's looking out for mine.
OP did you suggest she was flashing her crotch deliberately? I'd take it was a warning DSD thinks your getting too close. Red flag for me I'd get out.
Penfold - I don't think it was deliberate, and I never said so to DP. I think she's just a bit immature sometimes. Although there's been a lot of attention seeking behaviour recently.
She was probably mortified at you mentioning it if she was relaxed and not thinking about it. And he probably took your comment as suggesting she did it on purpose! I can understand that you were completely genuine in your concern for her but I think I can understand their reaction. Maybe it needs discussion all together and apologies from all?
Tootsie - yes I think she was mortified, poor girl. I don't think she's very self aware sometimes. I only brought it up with DP because the same thing happened the next day. I definitely agree it needs a discussion to clearly the air.
I also think it sounds a bit Victorian - "keep your legs together dear it's not ladylike". why shouldn't she feel able to sit how she's comfortable, especially in a relaxed family situation. At least she had pants on!
Do you think DP might be struggling a bit to accept his DD is growing into a young woman, no longer his little girl?
Who had the "periods" conversation with her?
It is a bit odd that a man with a teenage daughter should have such a response. I would have thought he'd be grateful for any pointers at this age.
I agree up to a point. In a private family scenario I don't think it's a problem, but in a busy restaurant it's probably time she started to act her age a bit more. It wasn't just a glimpse of knicker either, it was full gusset! Thanks for all the feedback, it's good to get different perspectives
Tootsie, if she was at home I'd agree but she was in public, I'd tell my much younger dsd the same thing.
I think your dp massively overreacted (even my jaw dropped) and I'd try to talk to him about where you are coming from.
Brock - I wonder if he is struggling.
She's growing into a really strikingly beautiful young woman and is going through a phase of wearing lots of makeup (which she doesn't need!), so she attracts attention (not necessarily lecherous). DP is realising this and gets a bit het-up about it sometimes; 'if anyone looks at my daughter the wrong way!' etc. But this is partly why I decided to bring it up in the end; he's so concerned for his daughter's wellbeing that I thought he would want to know something like this.
Her mum sees her every few weeks and they talk on the phone, so she has covered the period issue.
WhoGives - thanks for your post, I'm glad it's not just me who's shocked! I fully intend to chat to him about it, but I feel sad that he would think that in the first place. After the years of close friendship I know him pretty well - warts and all! - and have never been judgemental or mean towards him or DSD.
Your last post about him getting het-up is telling. Sound like his anger was aimed in the wrong direction
WhoGives - that's interesting, how do you mean? He's very protective, and she's very quick to tell him if she's had any attention - 'this guy was looking at me' etc.
I always take it as a huge red flag when anyone gets all "if anyone looks at my daughter" to be honest. It's controlling and strange behavior IMO, I know the whole "protective daddy" thing has been normalized but I think it's horrible.
I also find it strange that she mentions how much attention she gets, it's just a bit...odd.
I still do feel a little bit uncomfortable about the basic premise - that she should cover herself up because she's becoming older and therefore attractive to men. I guess I might say to my (younger) daughters to "sit properly" as they were in a restaurant so shouldn't be rocking about on chairs and leaning against the wall. But I don't know if the issue would be about pants on show per se. All I can say is that I don't think I'd have taken kindly to being told such a thing when I was 15 and perhaps her dad is seeing it from her perspective?
I see where you're coming from tootsie, but I think it depends a bit on why she's sitting so that her knickers are showing. If she couldn't care less about who sees her knickers, then great. But if she's not thinking about it, doing it accidentally and is actually completely mortified by the idea of people seeing her knickers, then the odd reminder to think about how she's sitting is surely a good thing?
I guess I approached it thinking if I was in her position I'd want someone to just say 'hey, your knickers are showing'. But maybe that's just me. At the moment she's going through a stage where she swings between acting like a 20-year-old one minute, and a 6-year-old the next. Which is what I was a bit like too at 15 . I don't think I'd have been so relaxed in a restaurant though, which is where I think Tootsie's comment about sitting properly at the table is really valid - maybe it just comes down to table manners.
But surely none of this equates to me calling her a whore?!
I'm sorry but at 15 I was shagging my bf and had pubes. I would of died for anyone to see me with my crotch out. You were right to tell her and to mention it to him, his being a dick about it doesn't make you wrong for raising it.
Of course you didn't and your DP was unreasonable. He seems to have a few red flags with respect to his weirdness about his DD's growing up and sexuality.
Did his previous girlfriends really not want his DD around? Or has he just told you that.
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