My daughter doesn't want my bf in the house(22 Posts)
I've been divorced for 2 years and separated for nearly 6 and hadn't been out with anyone until 9 months ago when I started seeing someone. I was planning on telling my kids soon at a good time, but a couple of months ago my daughter (16) found out by mistake. She was very upset that I hadn't told her about him but has completely refused to talk about it ever since, even to other people (her friend who went through a similar thing herself has tried), and has told me I must keep him completely separate from her life and she doesn't even want to know I'm seeing him.
I tried to tackle it recently, saying he was coming round and she was welcome to stay in her room or go out but should at least be respectful, and she went out and refused to come back until he'd gone. We had a heated text exchange and she ended up staying at a friend's house. I have tried again two weeks later as he is coming round tonight: I mentioned to her that her dad had said she was welcome to stay at his while my bf was at our house, and she is going there tonight (the first time she's stayed the night there) but is upset about being "kicked out". In a slightly rash moment I told her she was giving me emotional blackmail and I was entitled to invite people to my house who I enjoy spending time with. I regret this but wonder if I should apologise, as I feel in turn extremely guilty for putting my own feelings ahead of hers, and indignant that she's making it so difficult for me to have a life.
We have always had a very close relationship and I can understand her feeling of betrayal that I hadn't told her, and also how she might feel that our very close family is being invaded by someone unknown, but now she has said that I'm forcing him on them (unfortunate turn of phrase!) and that she has no choice but to leave the house when he's there because she doesn't feel comfortable. I've been seeing him for only 2-4 hours a week, and want a bit more time with him to hang out and not be watching the clock. I have my children almost full time and my daughter doesn't sleep at her dad's when the boys do once or twice a week. The boys (10 & 13) are being really understanding and giving him a chance even though the 13yo has found it hard, and I think my youngest is starting to like him. But my 16yo is a closed book, unwilling to negotiate or even meet him despite being very angry with her brothers when they are stubborn and refuse to try new things! (I know it's not the same...!)
I'm completely at a loss what to do next and know that it's good for her to be distancing herself from me emotionally at this age, but it feels like she's being physically torn from me. I know I can't let her dictate my life, but I'm also worried about the damage it might do to her.
I'd appreciate honest opinions, be as brutal as you like!
Was she hoping you and your ex would get back together?
Does she have her friends round? Has she got a boyfriend? How would she respond if you said you didn't want her boyfriend to come anywhere near you? Surely, even if she doesn't have a boyfriend yet, she can see that's completely unreasonable.
When I opened the thread I thought she'd be really young, but sixteen? She's being very unreasonable. Has her dad tried talking to her? And why hasn't she stayed there before?
My honest opinions is that your daughter will be leaving home in a couple of years and it's really unfair of her to behave like this. You are entitled to have friends over and entitled to a life that isn't just being her mum.
The way you are handling things seems OK to me. She says she's upset at being kicked out, but you haven't kicked her out have you? She's been given options (Stay in own room, Be with you and your BF, Go to dad's house) and she's chosen one.
When my DD was 14 she took a while to get used to my new partner and was hostile for a while. I made it clear that I would decide who gets invited to spend time in my house, but that she was not being pushed out and was welcome to spend time with us both. Now, several years later, they get on really well.
She is being very unfair.
My friend is going through a similar situation with her 18 year old but at least she will be going to uni soon.
Does her dad have a new partner?
You are entitled to have a partner and some fun.
Thanks for your replies.
We have talked about the fact that my ex and I won't be getting back together and she has often asked me why I ever married him. She has a very difficult relationship with her dad which is why she doesn't stay with him, although I hope this can allow them to get closer, even if it is by bitching about me! I have asked her how she'd feel if I didn't let her boyfriend come to the house and she said "I'll do what you do and never tell you about any boyfriends I have anyway." This is very uncharacteristic of her, she tells me everything and normally knows when she's been unreasonable and is very quick to apologise (although has always been stubborn about the way she views things), but we seem to have reached a stalemate here. I am usually the one to help her through difficult emotional times, and she can't come to me with this.
Her dad claims he talked to them about the possibility of us meeting other people when he found out I was seeing someone, and I'm fairly sure he's done this because he has a girlfriend himself, although has not told any of us this (he just had the snip - QED?). He has been unusually positive about me starting to go out with someone so I hope he'd be positive about it towards her, but I couldn't guarantee it.
It sounds to me like she's pissed off that you've lumped her together with her little brothers and had thought you had a sharing confidences type of relationship. So it's about the 'deceit' (as she sees it) rather than the fact that you have a boyfriend.
Have you explained to her the reasons why you hadn't told them earlier?
I haven't been given the chance! I'm sure she'd be a lot happier if she'd allow a conversation about it - for a start we both have our separate lives in different places and have no plans to ever move in together. But every attempt I make - even on a long car journey when she couldn't escape! - she shuts it down immediately. The only times she has asked me anything have been in frustration and anger.
I think you're right though, she definitely seems very unhappy about the "deceit" and again, if I could explain that I've always seen him during work hours (I have a very understanding boss and always make up the hours) and have never lied to her - when I say I'm working late it's possible that she thinks I am actually with him...
Maybe she does? I'd take her out/sit her down and ask her how she proposes you're going to move forward on this, given that you're not going to dump your boyfriend. She's not being fair on anyone in the family - not just you but her brothers too. It's horrible living in a home where there's a tense atmostphere
Maybe you're pussyfooting around her too much?
What would happen if you said, "You know what, I'm fed up of this. I was married to someone who wasn't very nice to me and when he left I worked really hard to make sure everyone in this family was happy. I've just met someone who's really nice to me - I don't know whether it'll last, but I do really like him. We're not thinking of living together, we just enjoy going out together. I didn't tell you at first because it wasn't serious and I didn't want you to worry. I'm sorry you found out that way but I was going to tell you very soon. However, I am an adult and I'm not doing anything wrong by going out with a man every now and then. I'm not deserting you or ignoring you or treating you badly. I get lonely sometimes and like having a friend to chat to. Now we can either talk about things like adults or you can act like a child. It's your choice."
is it that she feels betrayed because she found out rather than you telling her? While I agree that a sixteen year old shouldn't be able to dictate who you see and when, I also think that at sixteen the same kind of rule of not telling for several months shouldn't apply, she is almost an adult, and should be mature enough to be trusted with the idea that her mum (or dad) might go out on dates and even start seeing someone, even if you hadn't been ready to introduce them at that stage. and it should never have got to the stage where she found out rather than being told directly.
If you've previously had a close relationship she most likely feels that you aren't as close as she previously thought because you didn't trust her enough to tell her you might see other people. this isn't a small child who needs to be protected, and I imagine her saying that she wouldn't tell you that she has a boyfriend is her way of wanting to make you see how she feels.
Talk to her. Ask her directly what her feelings are, with the understanding that she can say anything to you and you will listen to her without reacting.
It's ok to tell her that your partner will be coming round anyway even if she is not happy with the idea. But I would also tell her that you want her to be a part of your life and that the fact you are now in a relationship doesn't change that.
All good points and I LOVED your rant, ImperialBlether. Might just cut and paste that into a text...!
Seriously I wouldn't allow her to dictate these things to you.
You have spent 16 years raising her. Your time now plus if you give in now I think you will make a rod for your own back in the future.
She's 16,almost an adult,she doesn't get to dictate to you.
Update: My daughter stayed in the house while he was here - I have no idea why she changed her mind as she's still not talking to me but it's a step in the right direction and hopefully it wasn't as terrible as she'd expected. I behaved like a total teen and went to my bedroom and hung out with my bf there. I almost expected my mother to come in and make sure we weren't lying down!
Oh, and she tidied! I like to see that as some sort of message, even if she was thinking "I can't possibly let my awful sloven of a mother show her true messy self to a stranger."
Time....give her time...She will come round and sounds like progress has been made already, don't let her tell you how to live your life, don't hide in your room with the new man she needs to feel it's normal for him to be around the house.
Make her welcome and included in things, she needs to learn your an adult and she can not dictate to you. Simple fact is in a couple of years she will be too busy living her own life to care about yours.
Don't worry it will come good.
Thanks, that does help a lot. I'm exhausted, it's been a difficult couple of days as she's gone with her brothers to stay the night at her dad's, and I haven't heard anything from any of them, even my elder son isn't replying to my texts. We're getting ready to go to a festival at the weekend so they'll have to perk up eventually.
It's never bloody easy, is it, Jsal!!! God, can you imagine if you didn't answer their texts? Don't send any more; leave it up to them.
Have a great time at the festival.
She is trying to manipulate you here: maybe jealous a little that your attention is on someone else, maybe wants her own boyfriend, maybe freaked out imagining the two of you doing stuff. Basically being a selfish teen. What if instead him coming around to the house all of you did an activity together like a hike, a movie, etc. that would give her another perspective on him. Also talk to her and ask what is it that really bothers her about this situation. She needs to be reassured that she will always be number one to you.
She's old enough to not behave in such a way; maybe you should talk to her about it and explain if she ever wants you to be welcoming to her boyfriends than maybe she should be to yours too.
The fact is, she's just going to have to get used to it; maybe all arrange a family activity doing something that she enjoys and invite him along?
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