DP's anger at my disengagement

(35 Posts)
fackinell Sat 06-Apr-13 22:19:19

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? hmm

brdgrl Sun 07-Apr-13 01:19:13

My sympathies on the situation, my stepdaughter was 13 when we met and I know a bit of what you are talking about!

You already know this but - your partner's attitude sucks. You've basically done the 'last resort' thing already, by disengaging. What else are you supposed to do? It is your home and you deserve far more than just 'a voice'.

I don't know how things have developed to this point, but if it were me, I would not be able to remain on the defensive, so to speak. You say your partner is angry with you...but maybe you need to get angry with him - have you put your foot down?

You are not asking for too much.

brdgrl Sun 07-Apr-13 01:19:35

I am very sorry for your loss.

fackinell Sun 07-Apr-13 09:29:09

Thanks Brdgrl, I have got angry with him and even left for a couple of days. I have said i intend to go back on the pill (he would be gutted but I can't risk my long term entrapment in the situation as it is) and informed him I'd rather be in my own flat where there will be no hostile environment. Last time he agreed that at least Sundays we would leave 'daughter free' so I was guaranteed to have the evening of my day off and actual day off to relax and be together. She has now decided she likes a Saturday night here and stays over, only on that one night.

I told him yesterday it was unfair as he was going back on our agreement and spent all night in the bedroom. He came through and had a verbal go at me. He said was he expected to say no to her? (God forbid!!) there are 7 nights in a wk and I'm asking for only one guaranteed for us. She lives only 3 minutes drive away and has 6 other nights to choose from. I realise now there never was any agreement, just luck that she hadn't decided to come round on a Saturday night.

I just feel that because she hasn't been told that putting rude comments on FB, blanking me when her dad isn't around and accusing me of 'ruining her life' (amongst other things) is unacceptable. Therefore, a fair bit of resentment has built up in me and I feel I'm expected to just forget about it all every time it happens.

I've told him I'd be much better off financially in my own flat as I'd get working tax credit. He (and therefore she) would be much worse off without the 3/4 of my wage that helps supplement the household (her lovely new room and all the takeaways and holidays they have together.)

The Exes family (she has other kids not to him) now completely ignore him because he's with me. It really upsets and makes me angry that they will accept his birthday cards with money in but not say thank you and tell their own children they are not allowed to mention his name. He is a total pushover to anyone but me, and I haven't done a single thing wrong apart from refusing to take their shit!!

fackinell Sun 07-Apr-13 10:12:38

Wish I could be a bitch about it as up so early today because I've riled myself about it all. Tempted to vacuum outside her bedroom and say 'hey, Sundays are all about cleaning here. Grab the mop!!' Considering she refused to carry a shopping bag in from the car, I'm thinking she won't be into cleaning days!!

Lol, go for it. No advice, but sympathy. My DPs oldest DD is the same, maybe worse. I have ruined her life, I have changed her dad, I am rude to her and shout at her ( apparently, not that I'm aware).
In "return" she feels entitled to scream at me, call me names, threaten physical harm, ignore me, etc.
We have been going out 2.5 years. So far, we don't live together, which makes it easier, but it means that every Sunday and twice a week his 3 have "access" with me totally excluded-the oldest is 20!!!
He admits her behaviour is not acceptable, but talks about the "toxic" relationship between her and I, and that I don't seem to like her, she's a nice girl really?
You think? No, I don't like her much, there's a surprise, and I will not engage in this. Mind you, she can fly off the handle at other people ( him, siblings, mother, boyfriend), so I'm sorry, but even if she is nice if she wants to, she is not a nice person.
Oh dear, sorry for the rant blush

fackinell Sun 07-Apr-13 12:32:40

Oh dear, Older!! That does sound worse. Poor you, but I envy you your own space. I find disengaging on a Sunday tricky as everyone is here all day. I really don't trust myself to be in the same room and keep my mouth shut about her evident dislike for me. It emanates from every pore from the girl.

I know this change of sleepover day is aimed to create friction and alienate me. My partner (sod the D) has just come into the bedroom to tell me I need to grow up. It doesn't matter how much I tell him how disengaging works (and that it will continue until he stands up for me and backs up my wishes), he just doesn't get it.

The alternative would not be pretty as I will verbally lose it with her for her attitude and then I will be hated for a reason. I refuse to give anyone ammunition to use against me in all this. My attempts at friendship have been thrown back.

I feel an argument brewing once she leaves. I'm trying to think of an excuse to not go on this holiday. May have to say work has cancelled my holiday request.

God, I wish I hadn't given in to my 'Don't date Dads' rule. I've seen it so much with friends. We don't have to do anything wrong to be the bad guys!! Annoyingly, I never wanted children till I saw how much he adored her. But I will not raise a precocious, entitled human being. I was raised with completely different morals and politeness was a huge priority. Hence why I can't bring myself to give her a piece of my mind, probably.

Whenever she is confronted about something (and it has to be bad for that), she just threatens to kill herself. A kid in school did that a few years ago (with undiagnosed depression) and she knows its the best way to get everyone to get off her case.

Lilypad34 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:00:37

When you know she's coming can you arrange to see a friend, or take yourself off somewhere like the pictures? I know you shouldn't have to it's your home but it might help relieve the pressure a bit. When my SD kicks off, I turn and I walk away (she's preteen) I am lucky enough to have my parents living 25 mins away, so I might pop by them until SD has gone to bed. You don't need to be disrespected in your own home and you already know this is something your partner should be tackling.

fackinell Sun 07-Apr-13 14:58:03

Thanks, Lily. Yes I have done that on occasion but my partner gets so arsey about it that it still causes huge arguments. She also changes the plans so often that i never have a chance to organise anything so last minute. I do live close to family but they're not on a work bus route (back-arse countryside.)

He's now stormed out and I have suggested I should leave if he doesn't want to even hear my opinion. He replied that my behaviour has been ridiculous this wknd, when all I have actually done is stayed out of the way as I told him I intend to, until he addresses the issues. I just can't get my head around why I am the bad one for not putting up with demanding and controlling behaviour aimed at creating a miserable as possible existence for me.

I'm going to see if I can arrange some accommodation till I can decide what to do next. I want to travel some more, maybe I should bugger off again. Yes, she will have won but then what am I actually winning in the end by staying. A Lose:Lose situation really...

ruthie2468 Sun 07-Apr-13 18:00:14

So, he wants everything on his terms, refuses to make any compromises or concessions, and then rants at you if you don't do as you're told?!

He is doing this because you are allowing it. He doesn't think you are serious about moving out - he thinks it is just an empty threat. If you are going to threaten it, you have to mean it.

I think the only way you are going to make him consider your needs is to actually leave - go and stay with family or friends, don't tell him where you are going but say you are not prepared to live like this. Don't break and contact him, wait for him to contact you. He will. And then he will treat you much better when he realises what he has lost.

Good luck!

flurp Sun 07-Apr-13 18:11:29

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.

willyoulistentome Sun 07-Apr-13 18:19:56

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.

fackinell Sun 07-Apr-13 19:04:10

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.

ruthie2468 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:42:38

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.

fackinell Sun 07-Apr-13 21:47:06

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.

ruthie2468 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:43:24

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.

fackinell Mon 08-Apr-13 01:48:08

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!!

theredhen Mon 08-Apr-13 07:45:05

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. hmm

Good luck with whatever you decide.

JumpingJackSprat Mon 08-Apr-13 07:57:44

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.

fackinell Mon 08-Apr-13 10:11:11

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. angry bet it'd have something to do with me if the household suddenly lost £500 a month along with my departure!!

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.

fackinell Mon 08-Apr-13 10:41:04

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!!

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!

ruthie2468 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:03:55

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!

flurp Mon 08-Apr-13 11:07:34

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.

fackinell Mon 08-Apr-13 11:25:28

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!!!!

It doesn't sound like he's ever going to change sad 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.

fackinell Mon 08-Apr-13 11:46:32

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.

hairtearing Mon 08-Apr-13 11:53:35

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.

sad 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. sad for you.

NatashaBee Mon 08-Apr-13 12:18:19

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.

Jan45 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:26:59

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.

fackinell Mon 08-Apr-13 17:39:17

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.

delilah89 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:11:52

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.

fubar74 Thu 26-Sep-13 17:17:09

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now