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Choose between my daughter or my partner and my young son?

(18 Posts)
DK2016 Mon 04-Jan-16 01:39:32

I'm desperate, a Father that has spent the last 6 years fighting to help my 2 children from a previous marriage B(14 years old) and G(11 years old). last month I finally won a court order giving my children the stability they needed living with me, my partner (of 6 years) and my 18 month old son.
Unfortunately over the last 6 years my daughter has moved between my house and my ex-wife's 6 times, each time she has come to me it has been because of allegations of DV or neglect from her Mum.

Sadly my daughter has been suffering severe emotional issues which has been difficult for myself and my partner to deal with, this sadly caused my partner to have a breakdown and leave me recently.

She said she can't live with my daughter and unless she goes back to her Mum she will never come back even though she loves me and wants to be with me.

I am devastated, for so long I have dreamt of a family life and now my partner and my young baby boy have left I feel empty. On the other side I see my daughter needs me now more than ever, she has repeatedly said she will go and live with her Mum so I can have my family. I have repeatedly said no and tried to stay strong.

I can't describe the emotions I am feeling, I feel let down by my partner but also empathise with her, I feel so much love for my daughter but crave my 18 month old son so badly. My partner is refusing to let me have my son with my other kids yet only days ago before she had a breakdown it was fine. I feel so torn, like my partner has put a gun to my head and said "choose".

I can't sleep, am I doing the right thing? Should I just send my daughter to her Mum again and gain my son and partner? Although if my ex-wife were to do something even worse then my daughter could be in danger and I couldn't live with myself.


TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 04-Jan-16 01:44:44

That sounds like a nightmare.

Was there a tipping point where your partner felt like it was too much?

I think what she is asking is unfair as she knew your commitments to your children when she met you before she decided to go on and have a child with you.

VodkaValiumLattePlease Mon 04-Jan-16 01:51:47

You need to adult up and take care of your responsibilities, your daughter clearly needs you! You should get her the help she needs, contact her school for help and get her some therapy. If your ex partner won't give you contact of your son unless you dance to her tune you'll have to go through the proper channels and get contact

PaulDirac Mon 04-Jan-16 01:55:59

Hi, dadsnet doesn't get lots of traffic so you might want to try reposting this in the relationships topic.

I just saw your post and wanted to give a quick reply before going to sleep. Sorry you are in this situation. Your priority needs to be your daughter (dd), she needs you the most. Your dd is not something to be passed back and forth, how do you think that would make her feel?

I struggle to see just how badly an 11 year old could behave to result in your partner (dp) having a nervous breakdown. Did your dp have other mental health issues that could have lead to the breakdown. Otherwise she is coming across as pretty selfish. I could not be with a dp who refused to live with my child, especially if they knew the alternative for that child was putting her at risk. (Also is your dd allowed to live with her mum, given the violence?)

DK2016 Mon 04-Jan-16 02:00:46

Yes, we had a nightmare on my Birthday with my daughter being disobedient, my partner called the Police because it got so bad. I lost it and hit my daughter (something that shocked me!), it got to the point where I told her to go back to her Mum, my partner was very supportive of this, when I realised I had lost it I back pedalled with my daughter and "corrected" my wrong and told her that I didn't mean it. My partner lost it, it was very scary for all of us, especially my 18 month old who was visibly shaking with fear as she screamed so loud the town must have heard it! That hasn't helped my partner, she never wants to be in that position again (obviously). I accept she needs a break but giving me this choice is unbearable.

DK2016 Mon 04-Jan-16 02:08:08

We've been seeing a child psychologist for a few months now, we have the Early Intervention Hub involved, plus we were(I am) about to start a parents course on parenting troubled children. My partner has no mental issues I know of, she was bulimic in her youth. It is tough dealing with an 11 yo who won't do anything she's told to do (ie. have a bath, do your teeth etc) but it's even harder when she purposely pushes her brother (14yo) out of bed or breaks our property! Believe me it's tough!

Skzr1214 Mon 04-Jan-16 02:26:00

It's aright nightmare to be honest. But let's start with something you can focus on may be. I think your daughter seems like she does at times know that she has issues hence the offer to go back. I think best is to send her back and bring your partner and baby home. Every one in loved would be at a place for a few days where they can think straight and process it all. In the mean time issue a severe warning to your ex to not interfere or cause troubles for her daughter while she stays there. You can then set out to make some ground rules for all to follow. For example, what is allowed and what is not allowed when she is angry. This will give the impression she has the right to be angry (she is just 11!) and you get to set boundaries.
If this works out, your partner can observe too that (hopefully) positive results are coming and will stay put for more .
But for any of it to work, the first resolution would be for you to never get angry that way again. That's the biggest hitch I see here. Cry and scream however you like but only when you are not with either party.
I am so sorry for writing this and may be it sounds harsh to you and others. But I thinly you are the key here now. Good luck

TheXxed Mon 04-Jan-16 02:30:13

Did you daughter witness domestic violence at her mother's? Was your partner on the same page as you regarding custody?

TheXxed Mon 04-Jan-16 02:31:19

Was your daughter present when you partner lost it?

BaronessEllaSaturday Mon 04-Jan-16 02:51:25

From the age of 5 your daughter has been passed from one home back to the other again I suspect she no longer feels wanted anywhere it's no wonder she is emotionally troubled. She needs stability and what chance does she have of getting that with her mum? I would not stay with someone who wanted me to turn my back on my child especially in these circumstances.

TheXxed Mon 04-Jan-16 02:55:55

Also how hard did you hit your daughter?

fitforflighting Mon 04-Jan-16 02:57:57

I have both personal and foster child experience of behaviour like this but I feel for the girl to be honest. From her view she has been shifted back and forth for six years from a home you say is witness to DV and neglect and then she gets some stability finally and is still in constant fear you will send her back and told when she has been naughty she will be. Many children in this situation WILL be as naughty as they can to push the boundaries to see if you will be like everyone else and send them away too. Basically in her eyes she will feel not wanted by either of you. I am not really surprised she has issues.

11 is a tough age anyway , hormones can hit young and they can be a nightmare. Many threads on here and my friends in RL have children this age and are having the same shower, hygiene, messy, stroppy, argumentative, defiant, rude child issues.

Add emotional issues to that is harder. I know, I have a slightly older child with additional needs under Camhs and unlike a previous poster could fully understand how an 11 year old could drive someone to breakdown. Mine throws things at walls, pushes, breaks things, kicks and has massive meltdowns. It is bloody tough.

But your partner is being unfair. She is quite within her right to walk away if she cannot cope with it anymore but to ask you to send an 11 year old back to a dv and neglectful home which the court seems to agree is the wrong place is bang out of order. To your dd no one wants her and that will make her behaviour much worse. You have in her eyes proved no one wants her.

Presumably your 18 month old has a loving mother. Your 11 year old has nothing.

What did she do to get the police called.

PaulDirac Mon 04-Jan-16 10:28:55

I see what you're saying fitfor, but this is an 11 year old who has not been living the op and his partner for that long. I've seen people have breakdowns after suffering periods of immense stress but there is usually (ime) a background of other mental health issues or abuse.

PaulDirac Mon 04-Jan-16 10:29:33

I agree with Baroness's post.

vixsyn Wed 27-Jan-16 19:47:57

This is only based on personal experience, but hopefully it could help a little.

My partner was diagnosed with OCD as a child (around nine at time of diagnosis). This was a misdiagnosis to a degree as he also suffered with anxiety and secondary psychosis, which was missed by his doctors, as were signs of sexual abuse he had been subjected to by a grandparent. The "system" isn't always perfect. Have you talked to your daughter about her behaviour? Is she open to discussing it or is it a hot zone? Does she have any explanation for it?

You've not said this is what you're going to do so please don't take any offense: my partner's father repeatedly went to his psych and GP asking when he was going to be "fixed." He got very upset when they said they couldn't say and that it might never be "fixed." This led to my DP being regularly shamed for his compulsions, being told he was weird, that he'd have no friends and it was his fault he was bullied etc. MH problems are awful at any time in life but can be overwhelming and terrifying for children. She needs solidarity and support from somewhere in her life - you, her mum, school, at least one of them. Stability and understanding are underestimated tools of healing.

I can understand entirely how a child can cause extreme reactions and heartache in a family. My older half sister was put into foster care when she was seven, after she had made several attempts on the lives of family pets and me (her younger sibling). Sadly it happens, you're not alone and not a failure, even if her issues were caused by some event in her life assigning blame or guilt doesn't help now, and you can only try to make the best of the situation and do things right from now on.

Speaking of not being alone, does your daughter's EIH have a support group you could attend? It can help you understand better what she's going through to share some experiences with others, and of course could offer you a place to vent and share yourself. Perhaps, even if your partner isn't prepared to be at home with you yet, she might consider attending this sort of thing with you? It could help her understand what's going on with you and your daughter, offer her some support as well, and help her realise that your daughter is not an isolated bad seed but one of many who face these difficulties.

I can't imagine how painful it is to be separated from the one you love AND your baby boy. I don't know if appealing to her as a mother would help - should your shared son ever have issues, at least you would have had the experience to deal with it. Being a strong unit also shows all the children that they can kick off, get things wrong, mess things up, but that you're still there for them and still in their corner.

passmyglass Thu 09-Jun-16 17:37:08

This is an awful situation op, i feel for you. The main thing is to have a mindset shift: it is not up to your partner to make this work, it is up to YOU. You are the link between all these people, it is you that has to make this family a family. Yes, of course your partner has to cooperate and have a positive attitude to it, but she needs YOU to take the lead in making it happen, and reassure her that you (both) can. The crap that people spout about "she knew he had kids, she has to take them on and make it work if she wants him" is not helpful. Try thinking it as: you knew you had kids when you met her, you have to make it work between them and her". I know its not totally onesided and easier said than done, but it is really important to see it in those terms.
And as for your dd, (who at 11 i can well believe could be a handful but i feel v sorry for) it will do her no good to see that either she comes before your partner or vice-versa. That's not a good lesson for her. She needs some stability and to see that in a FAMILY, everyones needs have to be catered for, and no-one has to come FIRST everyone has to accomodate eachother. Good luck.

Scorpvenus1 Mon 17-Jun-19 12:26:02

Pack the daughter off and be there for your partner.

She gave birth for you which is a massive sacrifice so time to even the scores.

StrawCat Tue 23-Jul-19 23:50:53

Sounds like your daughter is playing everyone off against each other. My OH kids did that, the lies were so blatant that no one believed them. Had 4 years of shit stirring and now it's only the daughter that likes to try it on becayse "she wants mummy" words from a 17 year old she told her gran then told my OH.

It all boils down to attention.

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