Not sure what to do....(20 Posts)
Hello, totally new to this! Read a few posts on here via a google search looking for support so thought I'd try a post on here myself.
Been with my partner for nearly 2 1/2 yrs now. He has a daughter aged 9yrs and I have 2 sons aged 9yrs and 12yrs. We tried to do everything sensitively and slowly regarding meeting the children etc and I think we did. However, over 2 years on and I'm feeling as though the relationship will end, mainly because of how my partner is with his daughter and how she behaves.
I am thinking it may be best to walk away. Problems are multiple....different ideas on discipline (me quite strict, him and his ex no discipline!). Constant attention seeking from his daughter, pretending to be ill every day, ringing her mum crying whilst at our house while appearing totally fine! She rings her dad crying about her mum and everything thing else when not here. Has her parents running in rings! My partner spoils her and clearly feels guilty, but I don't believe that not having clear boundaries and allowing children to manipulate helps anything.
We have argued over this, in fact this is all we have ever argued about. He gets angry with me, sees everything I say as critical, and went so far as in July to say he was thinking of ending our relationship to concentrate on his daughter (he lives with me and my sons so would've been devastating for them also).
Now at stage where I darent say anything about her, or the situation. He's talked about me bonding with her which I have tried really hard to do but she is only interested in her dad, constantly hanging off him, stroking him. And I'm left treading on egg shells with my sons looking on at this whole situation.
Final straw this weekend when my partner found out on Sunday night after she had gone home that she had text her mother twice saying she wanted to go home with crying faces 😰 His daughter said nothing to us about it, seems perfectly ok!! I asked him what he said to his ex and daughter and he bit my head off. Can't carry on like this...feel like I'm waiting for him to end things because daughter needs him, when I think he needs to sort things and stop being manipulated.
Sorry, long post and bit of rant. I am a nice person, and I have tried really hard...and I love my partner and he says he loves me, but this situation is just not working. Very sad. Any advice welcome...
I think you know the answer - sadly.
Can not criticise him for putting his DC first, as so many people say this on this forum.
To be fair, it does sound a nightmarish situation. My dsd was texting her mum like she was having a horrible time because she didn't get birthday presents on other DSDs birthday and felt left out! That said, DP and I have very similar parenting styles, with DSDs, my DS, and our DS and DD. I think, sadly, it sounds like you're going to have to split up for your sake and your kids. It's not fair for them to be held to ransom by a situation they can't control. Wish I had a different answer, sorry.
Sorry but I do not think this situation can work if you live together. My husband and I have very different parenting styles and the only way it works for us is to maintain two separate homes. However, our children are much older than yours and we have an end in sight to them living at home. We have tried living together and nervous breakdowns were nearly had by all...having to keep feelings to yourself is very wearing and no way to live, in my experience.
Like OliveGreen, my OH and I have older children (teenagers and young adults) and have kept our separate homes. Also his teens live with him full-time, so that's different from the usual scenario, too, I guess.
I think seperate homes and meet when she's not there is the best thing for the moment. Revisit in a couple of years.
My ex had a dd in the middle age wise of my 2x dd. We split due to him being a lying twat but the best bit was that I never had to deal with his bratty kid and her dm ever again!! Walk away and reclaim your sanity. Your sons will thank you before too long I bet!! You are living half a life and you know it.
It sounds like you have a totally opposite view of this child and trying to find somewhere in between is going to be very hard. You seem to see everything negative about her, he seems to only see the positives. You want him to see the negatives and tackle it, he wants you to see the positives and embrace them.
Frankly, not sure how you move forward if you can't find a compromise. You are probably both unaware how you come across to the other. Worth considering counselling?
I think it'll fail unless you and her father are exactly on the same page, as my marriage did one year ago.
I loved my wife desperately, but when her daughter just decided to hate me for no reason whatsoever, ignore me, verbally abuse me ( F words, C words) etc and my wife did nothing to stop it and wouldn't communicate with me about it, I could do nothing. I put up with it from 14-21 years old and it only got worse, so I packed my bags and left my beautiful home, my gorgeous wife and that life behind - it was that or the railway line!
Unless you and your husband communicate and plan your responses and are unified I fear you'll end up like we did....and at 9 years old it'll get worse before it gets better.
BTW we tried counselling both together and separately, but my wife always said that SHE was so hurt by what I did to her by leaving that there was no going back - I guess the reality is that she simply loved her aggressive and manipulative daughter more than me!
As has been said...you know the answer here!
My DH and I got together when all of our DC's were grown, so we never had any of them living with us, (conscious decision on my part, to never look at men with young kids!!). My DSD is needy, entitled and clingy now...god knows how she would have been when younger....it would not have worked for us, I know that absolutely!
Sorry, but I don't think it will for you either, if you want to continue in the relationship, you'll need to live separately for the foreseeable future!!
Thank you for your replies...
Tried to talk to my partner but I'm wasting my breath, he isn't interested in my feelings, only those of his daughter. No future in the relationship.
I'm very sorry for you, OP. I think you should let him go.
I'm sorry that it's not worked out, it must be very difficult for you. I think you've gone as far as you can go, you can't fix things on your own.
I know it's no consolation to you, OP, or to you, ManOfKent, but so very often these combined relationships simply cannot and do not work, for all sorts of reasons, under one roof.
I do think that it would be worth having counseling and even a trial separation. It is a terribly sad situation. Yes his daughter is probably pulling on his heart strings but at her age she will have no idea of the serious long term effects on her and her parents. Her Dad is in danger of not being able to have a future relationship at all, and his daughter is learning how to manipulate which isn't going to be good for her long term ability to form healthy relationships.
I did have similar issues, however even 2 years is very soon, and unfortunately if there is a rift and division like yours, your partner is not mature enough to separate out being able to be a great Dad and a good partner. Basically he's not really in charge here, but you are not going to change that very much at present.
If you lived apart but carried on a relationship, do you think that this may help breath a little relief into the situation?
ManofKent that is a heartbreaking tale. I don't think some parents are strong enough to be able to say to their kids, I'm a good parent and I love you but you can't be horrible to my partner.
But to be fair, it can be the other way around, some men are not strong enough to tell their partner that they need to stop acting like it is their role to set boundaries.
It almost always come down to different views about disciplining. SM wants to impose more disciplining rules that partner, SC knows this and doesn't see why they should adhere to rules that their dad are not bothered with (nor their mum in most cases) and therefore reacts with attitude to SM demands. Partner/dad stuck in between, wants to support his partner, but doesn't agree with her discipline. SM wants him to deal with child, child wants him to tell her to back off!
Manofkent that's such a sad situation, but I think you were very brave to end it!
Not Sure I'm sorry for you, it must be hell living your life at the moment. Is there any possibility that you could live separately, and carry on seeing each other on a date night basis? If you could do that, maybe he can concentrate on his DD when he's not with you, and get her passed this phase in her life!
I appreciate your kind words. It's been by far the worst thing that's happened in my life to separate from my wife because of the hatred of someone who's NOT my wife. I guess many might think "Oh, he MUST have done something", but if I did my step-daughter hasn't told anyone what it was – not her mother, her father or her grandparents or friends, and I certainly don't know. My wife and I genuinely love each other, but we've not communicated at all for two months now since she firmly drew a line under us ever working things out.
She did suggest that we sell the house and live separately until her daughter left home, but I waited until I was 48 to marry for the first time and I wanted it to be a proper caring, sharing, loving marriage, in 'our bed', 'our house', not having a house that was bought and paid for and then taking out a £250k mortgage because my step-daughter has issues that everyone recognised but nobody did anything about! And it was a wonderful marriage …but it all fell apart because of the stress her daughter put on our relationship.
I felt wretched most of the time by my wife's inaction – surely the problem only needed resolving once and we could all live a happy life?
Anyhow, on her daughter's 21st Birthday my wife arranged, with her father, a big Birthday lunch for her daughter – didn't tell me, didn't invite me, and the whole of her family of 16/17 people went out to lunch on the Sunday without me. I came close to ending it the following week and a week later packed everything up and left. I was destroyed by my wife's betrayal and that of her whole family. My wife was so distraught that I'd done that to HER that she has never been able to forgive me for leaving her like that. Neither her or ANY member of her family, to whom I was a really good son-in-law, brother-in-law and uncle gave any thought to what my mental state must have been to leave as I did, and apart from my wife not one of them has been in contact me in the intervening 13 months.
I have no children of my own and hoped for the opportunity to be a great step-father even if I couldn't be a dad myself. I tried so hard; was so happy for the first 4-5 years, but then the step-daughter hit 14 and it all started.
So, sorry if I hijacked Pixie's post, but the problem with my marriage was CAUSED by my step-daughter, but it's my wife's lack of strength; her ability to stand by and watch the 'love of her life' be horribly abused and bullied by her own daughter, but still do nothing; and her unwillingness to resolve it that allowed it to go on and on.
So, Pixie, my advice would be NOT to fight your step-daughter, because you'll never win (and she's not the real problem here), but to deal with the REAL issue, and that's her father!
I'm getting there, but I've never before been hated or bullied by anyone in my life and it's left deep scars. It's not even like the bully in the playground where the teachers might protect you and you're allowed to fight back – I could do NOTHING, and it's cost me EVERYTHING.
Sorry if I sound like a whinging 59 year old idiot – that's a bit how I feel still…..but life WILL go on.
Finally, I should say that I don't even hate my step-daughter any more – I did, and that was an emotion that was new to me and I had trouble dealing with. But I now believe that my step-daughter is one of the 4% of people who are sociopaths – and I just can't bring myself to hate a person who may have mental health issue – God knows, I KNOW about them myself now and I'm still taking the anti-depressants one year on.
Really sad too that my wife said to me about 4 months ago "None of my family LIKE 'her daughter' – they love her because she's family, but none of them like her'. How terribly sad that any mother should know that about their own daughter and not try to deal with it for the sake of the daughter – isn't that what parents are supposed to do?
Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.
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