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to want DP and DD's relationship to change?

(133 Posts)
princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:49:51

DD is almost 6, DP and I have been together since she was 2. She used to really like him and the three of us got on great and were very happy. DP and I had a baby together 10 months ago and for the past year or so he and DD have been bickering a great deal and I'm really fed up of it and want it to get back to how it used to be. In my opinion, they're both at fault but more so DP - DD is rude to DP and doesn't want to spend any time with him. She is extremely clingy to me, even following me to the toilet rather than staying in a room with him. This morning I needed to do some work so he was taking her to school and she started crying and saying she wanted me to go too, I explained that I needed to work today so I could have a day out to the seaside with her tomorrow and she said she'd rather miss the day at the seaside so I could take her to school. DD loves her baby sister but in my opinion DP causes problems in their relationship. If DP has the baby, he'll bug DD to stop what she's doing and 'help look after' DD2 because DD2 loves DD1 and is very entertained by her. He constantly tells DD1 to hurry along with things because she's 'making DD2 cry' and I don't think DD1 should be made to feel responsible for DD2.

This morning, DD1 came into our bed for cuddles and DD2 blew a raspberry at DP. He said 'oh DD2, you cheeky monkey!' and tickled her so she giggled. DD1 then blew a raspberry at him and he told her off for 'spitting in his face.' I appreciate that a raspberry from a baby is different from one from a 5 year old but he could explain that to her rather than snapping and moaning at her, making her feel rejected in my opinion and starting the day on a sour note. DD1 then came and sat in the bathroom with me while I showered because she didn't want to spend time with him.

I think part of the problem is that DD1 resents DP for not doing enough with DD2 so that DD1 and I can have time alone together. Yesterday, for example, DD1 got sent home from school as she wasn't feeling well. She wanted to curl up on the sofa and read with me like she would've done before we had DD2. I gave DD2 to DP but we'd only read one book before DD2 started fussing and wanting me. Rather than distract her/take her somewhere else to play, DP just sat there waiting for me to take her, then started turning on all her noisy toys so DD1 couldn't hear the story. She asked for a cuddle last night and DD2 started moaning and she said to DP: 'Mummy has DD2 all day every day, can you not just have her for 2 minutes so I can have a cuddle with my Mummy when I'm poorly...!' DP still says he 'doesn't understand' why DD1 has changed towards him but I think she's spelling it out, to be honest.

He wants to do everything as a family, he even follows DD1 and I to the bathroom while we brush her teeth - usually resulting in a baby whinging through it or else hanging off me. When it's just the children and I, DD1 is much happier and accepts that things are different because of DD2 and has no complaints. But when DP is there she gets frustrated that she can't have time with me because I also have DD2. If that makes sense? AIBU to be fed up with this situation and want it to change? Or is it normal for partners and non-biological children to have bickering relationships like this?

olgaga Fri 26-Apr-13 09:56:47

Your DP sounds very immature. Your DD1 is only six, and now has to share you - it's a big adjustment. Instead of helping, your DP sounds like a complete nightmare and I'm not surprised your DD1 doesn't want to spend time with him alone.

Short of parenting classes/family counselling I have no suggestions but hope someone will turn up with good advice for you.

Have you actually spoken to your DP about how he treats DD1?

Justforlaughs Fri 26-Apr-13 09:58:26

I can't comment on all DPs and non-biological children, but it sounds similar to my own situation. I could never decide whether it was because DS1 wasn't my DHs biological child or just because they had different personalities. Drove me mad and I'm afraid that it has taken a long time for them to get back to a good relationship. Probably not much help, but thanks I feel your frustration and pain.

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:59:17

He does try to be nice to her - like yesterday we went to the park and he said 'I love coming to the park with you guys when I'm not at work' and she replied 'I love coming to the park with Mummy and DD2.' She always misses him out of things, like she'll say 'I love you Mummy, I love you DD2, I love you pet1, pet2, pet3 etc' but not him so he feels rejected too.

weeblueberry Fri 26-Apr-13 09:59:54

In my opinion, they're both at fault but more so DP - DD is rude to DP and doesn't want to spend any time with him. She is extremely clingy to me, even following me to the toilet rather than staying in a room with him.

She's six.... hmm I'm not really sure you can even gauge blame levels when one person is an adult and the other is a small child...

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:01:09

Justforlaughs - that's the difficult thing to work out, isn't it? And then automatically DP thinks anytime she's horrible to him that it's because of something her DF has said (though he doesn't say that to her) - it's just one long cycle of wondering what could be different.

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:02:44

weeblueberry - if she is rude and horrible to him, that is her fault, her age is irrelevant.

BlahBlahBlahhh Fri 26-Apr-13 10:04:15

I wouldn't read to much into the partners/non bio children thing as in your case it doesn't sound like that's the issue ( the fact DP has tried to include DD1 when he's holding baby and commented about baby being entertained by DD1, sounds like he's making an effort with her and trying to include her). As you say, your DD is spelling it out, quite simply, she just wants a bit of mummy time. Sit down with DP tonight when little ones in bed and tell DP that. Let him know its nothing to do with him not being her real Dad. Maybe you could say...Saturday mornings are our 'girls time' and do something special together...could be simply popping to a local coffee shop and having a hot chocolate and cake...maybe removing yourself from the house where you can't be interrupted might help. Good luck, I have a 6 year age gap and both my DS's have the same DSIL has a 6 year age gap and is in same situation as you, living with D2's dad....we've both had same issues though so don't think it always boils down to the step dad thing x

olgaga Fri 26-Apr-13 10:04:59

She always misses him out of things

She is extremely clingy to me, even following me to the toilet rather than staying in a room with him.

Have you tried gently exploring with her why she is feeling this way?

EmmaBemma Fri 26-Apr-13 10:05:13

Her age is far from irrelevant.

BlahBlahBlahhh Fri 26-Apr-13 10:10:55 is entirely normal for a child of 5 to be like this when second baby comes along. I wouldn't read too much into it for your own sanity smile

DoJo Fri 26-Apr-13 10:11:49

weeblueberry - if she is rude and horrible to him, that is her fault, her age is irrelevant.
I find this comment very sad - if she is being horrible to him, it's probably because she is testing his love for her now that there is a new baby on the scene, not because she is trying to hurt his feelings. Her age is relevant, because as far as she is concerned everything she once felt sure of has now changed, and instead of reassuring her your partner is making her feel as though she is second best. If there is a problem in their relationship, it is up to the adults to fix it, not the 5 year old, and I hope you find a ways as it sounds like you are ending up in the middle which is an unenviable position.

Justforlaughs Fri 26-Apr-13 10:12:31

I like Blahblah's advice about Saturday morning girlie time. If that works, why not try introducing DP and DD time on a Sunday for an hour.

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:12:40

Emma I meant that her age is irrelevant with regard to her being rude and horrible. You can't say it's someone elses fault if a six year old is rude. She knows it's wrong to be rude and isn't rude to anyone but him, therefore it is her fault. Blahblah - he is sort of trying to include her, but is also relying on DD1 to entertain DD2 when she's busy doing something else because DD2 is happier around DD1 than just him. He works some weekends, so there can't just be a set time for DD1 and I but it's the day to day things that she wants time with me for without him following us around. Olgaga - Yes I've spoken to her about it. She just says she loves me and wants to see me. She does tell DP she loves him too off her own back, but seems to pointedly miss him out of things in front of him to hurt his feelings.

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:15:22

She was like it with him before DD2 was born though. She has always been like it to a degree, but it seems to be getting progressively worse over time. Justforlaughs - she doesn't want to spend any time with him at all and would cry at the thought of it sad

pumpkinsweetie Fri 26-Apr-13 10:16:44

I feel your frustration, i have a similar situation between my 10yo dd & dh. She has got to that age pre-teen where she does get lippy from time to time but instead of just giving her a warning, he always has to turn it into an argument.
My ils fuel the situation as when he has been round there is almost seems like he picks at her when he returns home, they are toxic people and have said things in the past about my dd.

He went round pils yesterday and seems to be very shouty today and has caused dd to go into school crying and to make it worse she is on a school trip today. I feel like absolute shit from dropping her off in such a state and I'm so peeved with dh.

Maybe you should look into whether your pil are doing any stirring to fuel the situation because it took me years to find out most of his behaviour is down to them. At the moment im finding my dh very immature and quite frankly if it carries on, he's out. His parents can put up with it for a change.

BlahBlahBlahhh Fri 26-Apr-13 10:19:33

Is her real Dad in the picture ? Just wondered if there is any animosity now baby number 2 is here. Sorry if that sounds nosey, don't mean it too

Heinz55 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:20:12

It's a similar situation in my home. Only DD is Dh's own. DH bonded so much more with DS and even now 4 years later dd and dh clash - they would do anyway but it is exacerbated by his easy bond with DS. DH works hard at his relationship with DD but they are both prickly with each other and DD would rather be with me. In her case she thinks it's because DS is a boy - not true but relationships are complicated and I think in our case DH was never ever firm with DD, letting her away with murder but now if she plays up around DS he has no problem correcting her. She won't take his attempt at discipline - too little too late type of thing. This probably isn't helpful to you but I suppose I wanted to reassure you that it happens in full biological families too. I try to be supportive of DH re DD but I want to clobber him sometimes and remind him that she is still a child!! I am awfully sorry for your DD1 as in our experience the relationship between DD and DH has not improved and I find myself on DDd "side" all the time- the age difference between my children is similar to yours.

DorisIsWaiting Fri 26-Apr-13 10:23:52

Is her Bio DF still around?

Is that she is feeling conflicted and torn by something that has been said to her (by him or school friends i.e. he's not your real dad).

TBF Your DP seems to be very much at fault tho' maybe taking your dd1 out for Mummy time would help (him dealing with dd2 and dd1 getting quality time).

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:26:40

Definitely not down to PIL - they love DD and she loves them. She sees her DF every fortnight and we get on fine, though she would rather stay with me than go to contact. Thanks for that Heinz, good to know it happens in biological families too (though not for you, obviously! And I hope it gets better for you.) I can identify with the 'too little too late' thing regarding discipline, at first he was trying to 'win her over' and was super nice to her but he now tries to take up a co-parenting role with me and she won't accept it from him. Even still, I'm much stricter with her than he is but she'd still prefer to be with me. However, he purposely winds her up. For example, she hates carrots and he constantly says he's making carrots for dinner etc. Just little things but he knows they annoy her so why say them?

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:29:59

Her DF has always told her that DP isn't her real father (and obviously she knows that too from me) but he doesn't say anything negative about DP as far as I know. I will make an arrangement to do something with just DD1, it's just difficult as he works most weekends and it's the day to day things (like bedtime stories, reading her reading book to me, baking etc) that she would like to do just with me.

skippedtheripeoldmango Fri 26-Apr-13 10:32:32

He's the adult, she's the child. He's responsible for his relationship with her, not the other way around. he's responsible for solving problems, not her...him solving the problem win an adult fashion sets a good example for DD1 on how to deal with relational problems/issues. She's dealing with it as a child from a child's POV and she needs to be listened to. Perhaps he does too but ultimately this is his issue, not hers.

mumofweeboys Fri 26-Apr-13 10:41:14


Would it be an option for dp to do an activity each week with dd1. Perhaps riding bikes together or swimming.

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:42:13

But what do you suggest he does mango? He tries to be nice to her but when she responds badly he then gives up and leaves her to be moody or is petulant and bickers back.

princessj29 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:43:45

mumofweeboys - she will not do anything with him. She'd rather miss whatever trip/activity it is than do it with him. If 'made' to go then she is upset/sulky and doesn't engage with him anyway.

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