Christmas & adult daughter - not sure what to do(80 Posts)
This is going to be long (so that I don't drip feed), so you may want a cup of tea... or wine (I know I do right now!).
DD is 20 and away at uni. I am single parent to DS 14 and in a relationship to a truly lovely guy (9 months so far!) he doesn't live with us but is here most of the time and will be moving in shortly. He will be spending xmas with us.
DH left in October 2015 after a 20+ year of abuse (psychological, emotional you name it he did it all but hitting us). DD hated him, wouldn't speak to him, she went to uni in London which is a long way away from us to get away from him.
Over the last year DD has changed, she has had mental health issues and become very nasty towards me. She blames me for leaving her father, she blames me for not leaving her father, she blames me for leaving the family home (could not afford to stay there it has now been sold), we now live in a 2 bed bungalow, perfect for DS and I but obviously she doesn't have a bedroom to herself. She comes home from uni for about in total 6 weeks a year (if that, I'm possibly being over generous). In the summer when she came home she spent a lot of time with her father (who before she refused to speak to and told me he scared her). She said she has forgiven him (which is great if she has but am confused how she has gone from having a panic attack when his name is mentioned to living in his flat with him!).
So... she's coming home next week for xmas. Said this morning will your DP be there? I want it just to be you me and DS and the dogs. I said yes he will be 'what for xmas eve and day' yes he will be 'what? xmas day early morning' yes he will be.
She doesn't want to have to share a small house (dig at me for giving up family home) with a man (dig at me being in a relationship she wants me single). Now... DS LOVES DP, he has turned our life around and shown us there are good men out there. When I collect DS from school first words are 'is DP at home'. It is a serious relationship and we hopefully have a future together.
DD making me feel very guilty, wants to spend time with me alone - already said we will do what she wants together, current arrangements are going out for coffee and a church service she has requested just her and I go to. We are also going to midnight mass just her, myself and DS. Have said we will do what else she wants to but she hasn't made suggestions yet.
Xmas day the entire family will be here so it is not just us and DP, there will be 11 of us altogether (all my family not his).
She is making me feel guilty. I'm at the point now of saying this is what is happening, you are an adult, you can deal with it or not. Your call. My mum who has just taken a phone call with a rather upset me has said it is about time I looked out for myself for once as have done everything for everyone else for ever. She loves DP and has seen how he has transformed our lives and she feels DD being a little manipulative.
DD shares a room with DS when she is here, we have just replaced DS bed with a futon high bed so DD can have as proper a bed that I can do (after she refused to sleep on the sofa bed I bought her as uncomfortable). I understand it's not ideal her not having her own room but I'm self employed on a very low income and could not afford the additional £150 a month it would cost to rent a 3 bed for her to stay in it for such a short period of time.
I would love your opinions on this please (if you've made it this far!). Thank you xx
So your marriage ended at the end of 2015...and you then had only a year or so of being single before meeting your partner who'se now moving in after only 9 months?
I'm not surprised your DD is upset. You got a house with no place for her too!
Believe me if I could have afforded a 3 bed house I would have gone for one. We live on very little money and having a 3 bed is totally out of the question. Plus we have dogs which it is difficult to find rented that will take animals (I rent from someone I know).
DH may have left in October 2015 but we had been living separate lives probably for about 10 years. Divorce grounds state how he was not part of our family but chose to live his own life within our house.
You have respected dd choice to live with her df, she needs to respect your choices also. She is an adult, you don't need to pander to her.
Your ds sounds like he is happy with your relationship, you too sound happy, don't let dd make you feel any guilt for that.
You have made plans for just her and you, she can share your Christmas day with ALL your loved ones.
She is jealous and feels pushed out.
I think you need to have a good chat with her- adult to adult. Explain to her why you only have a 2 bed house. Tell her that you are proud of her attending Uni in London. Tell her that your new partner makes you happy and that you love him. But also explain to her that she is and always will be your daughter - the one you love to the moon and back! And however cramped, there will always be a place for her in your home.
Make sure you do some family (4) as well as the the other planned things. Maybe s trip to the cinema or theatre? So conversation can be about the film as an ice breaker?
No wonder she's unhappy - you've to somewhere with no room for her, when she doesn't have a home if her own anywhere else, and now you're moving a partner in who you've only known for 9 months. Your poor DD.
As pointed out previously it was not an option to get a three bed property. Last winter DS and I had no boiler - we had no hot water, no heating and no shower. Ex-DH although still owning half the house refused to have any input and help sort the boiler he didn't pay child support either (a whole other story), there was NO way we could get a 3 bed. I have a conservatory here with her sofa bed (which she refuses to sleep on as uncomfortable).
I know that this is being raised as an issue but what could I have done about this?
I do reiterate how proud I am of her (which I am, she is the first person in my family to go to uni) and am happy to do what she wants when she is down - cinema, whatever she wants to do.
Oh and it was DP that went and collect her in August when she was down, when she was half an hour late after the time she said and stoned out her head on weed - she liked him then. She also liked him when he was running around making her hot drinks and preparing her food. She also liked him when we were playing board games.
As for the three bed I'm really intrigued as to what you think I can do about that.
Your relationship with your boyfriend is very intense for only 9 months in. I think I'd feel the same as your daughter tbh.
I met my now dh and had adult dc, certainly didn't move and give them a bedroom when they weren't living there!!
Believe me I wasn't even looking for a relationship but I'm not going to turn down something as good as this due to the time it is etc that I've been single.
Well it seems by a majority I'm in the wrong here... which is interesting but I asked for opinions and I got them!
Whilst I agree with others about the relationship possibly loving quickly, I really don't think you've done anything wrong on the house front. If you can't afford bigger then you can't afford bigger! Siblings sharing rooms isn't the end of the world, especially when one of them is hardly there.
I disagree that you should have got a 3 bed. She’s moved out, and because of divorce you’ve had to downsize. If she still lived at home, that would be different, but she doesn’t.
It sounds like she’s not happy that you’re not dancing to her tune. She’s a grown woman, she can sort her own plans out.
As for the new partner, why shouldn’t you be happy in a new relationship? Timings don’t matter and MN is notoriously intolerant of new relationships, so I’d ignore criticism of that too.
Your DD is probably worried to death about student debt. She just wants you to tell her she will always have a home with you. Make time to give to just her as she is away much of the year and probably misses that. Tell her you want to do a Mum and daughter day and just the two of you go shopping, lunch out, get nails done etc. not on Xmas day but soon after before New Year. Surely your new partner can take a back seat for a few days whilst she is home, and it is still her home even though you have no room of her own for her and she has to share her brothers room. It must seem to her like your new partner is more welcome than she is. Glad you are making new life for yourself but please don't dismiss her concerns.
You’ve had a hard time here op. You raised your children whilst suffering daily abuse.
Watch out that your daughter is indeed replicating her fathers behaviour towards you. His attitude to you is clearly rubbing off on her.
You have bought her a sofa bed and sound like a loving mother.
To hell with posters saying you’ve moved in too quickly! You go for it - you totally deserve it! As does your son
I don’t think there is anything you can do about the 2 bed thing. If you can’t afford a 3 bed then you can’t and there’s nothing that can be done about that but I can also see that in your dds young mind (without the experience of divorce and money behind her) that she will feel pushed out. I think you may need to sit down with her and explain really clearly that you would have moved to a 3 bed if you could have afforded it. It may sound obvious but you may be taking it for granted that she understands.
I agree with the others that 9 months into a relationship after divorce where children are involved is incredibly quick to be thinking about moving in etc. It really is the heady honeymoon stage and I think it would be wise to slow down and take things very, very slowly indeed. Your marriage might have felt dead to you for the last 10 years but I would imagine your dc had no idea of that. So all of this will be very new and raw to them.
DD has her own house in London which she shares (including her girlfriend with her) she isn't in halls.
Continually reiterate I will always make room for her here as is her home as well. Like I said I am happy to do what she wants when she's down and will see what she fancies when she's down I know she's worried about money and have been helping her where I can but I am limited there myself. Believe me I would have loved a bigger house but it's not feasible.
DP can take a step back and is happy to, be can spend time with DS who has been sorely let down by the xmas arrangement with his father (yet again another story).
QuiteLikely5 she is replicating some of her father's behaviours.** My mother was horrified when she last saw her and had to bite her tongue.**
Despite this I have never changed my behaviour towards her.** I have always done everything I can for her which also makes me think she's used to getting everything she wants when she wants it.** I always did that to make up for her father's behaviour.**
I can understand her feeling disappointed about all the change but she is behaving like a much younger teenager
toddlerabout it in my opinion.
At 20 years old, with her own life at uni, she needs to be able to see things from your point of view too.
Do you think there's any chance that you've been tiptoeing around her asking what she'd like to do to make up for it etc, and that that's created a feeling of being a victim in this for her. Or maybe the split with her dad happened during what should have been her teenage rebel years (meaning she didn't get a chance for lots of drama about nothing, everything was already very serious) and she's making up for it now.
I'd go out to a pub (grown up, as opposed to childish cinema etc that your relationship has consisted of before) for a serious talk about how valued and loved and part of the family she is, but that she's too old to be stropping about bedrooms and your boyfriend.
And lastly, could you get a big squishy mattress topper for the uncomfortable sofa bed as a nice gesture to back up your message of her being wanted and welcome.
I don't think you are in the wrong at all she needs to grow up to be honest and stop being so selfish and self centred.
As to sleeping arrangements do you thing DS would sleep on the sofa bed? Might be worth asking him if he is prepared to share his room with his sister he might be prepared to camp out in the conservatory for Christmas.
Your daughter is having problems accepting that your life has moved on now, and as she is far away and comes home only occasionally, she hasn’t had time to build a relationship with your DP. This is further complicated by the apparent shift in her relationship with her father, whom she is no doubt seeing in a different light now that you have separated and you aren’t around during her visits to him.
I think she is struggling to find her place in the cosy family unit you have created with your DP and her DB who loves this new man. The lack of a room, in her eyes, is just the proof that she doesn’t belong like she did before.
At 20 though, she is old enough to understand the financial constraints you’re under, and also to take on board the fact that her father isn’t helping. You sound like a caring mother, keep on showing her you love her.
Just seen your later posts, OP. And realised I didn’t answer your question about Christmas.
Your DP sounds very nice and understanding. You don’t mention how far away he lives. Could he go home on Christmas Eve when you and your DC go to midnight Mass, and then join you mid-morning on Christmas Day to give you a bit of time alone with your children? It would be a small compromise to make your DD feel that she is being considered.
If it’s not possible, then she’ll just have to make the best of the situation. She is an adult and should be capable of seeing that your happiness is as important as hers.
He could go home and originally he was spending the day with his family but DS wants him here so much all arrangements have changed.
I had tried to broach the subject of Christmas with DD previous but she just ignores me (we talk by text as she says she's too busy for phone calls). It had got to the point where arrangements had to be made as getting rather close now timewise!
DS excited about sharing a room with his sister so suspect he won't want to sleep on sofa bed in conservatory but definitely something I can talk to him about.
This sounds almost identical to what happened in our family. My parents split when I was 18 and my step dad was on the scene and moved in very quick. I admit I was a bitch when home for weekends (I stayed at uni in holidays once they got together as I preferred it there). It was just such a huge change, after the trauma of the split (it was really messy) it just felt that nothing was the same and because I was over 18 I had to deal with it.
I should have been more mature but it did just feel so awful, I couldn’t be myself in my own home and it was just not nice.
I realise your son is a child, and your daughter an adult. But it sounds as though you have been putting his needs over hers.
HE wants new DP to be there. DD doesn't. His want trump hers.
HE doesn't want to sleep on the sofa in the conservatory, is that the same sofa you bought expecting your DD to sleep on?
Moving anyone in with your family after nine months is a massive risk. Everyone can appear nice for nine months, and citing a 14-year-old (who has recently lost a father figure) liking someone as a testament to your new DP's good-nature is foolhardy. 14-year-olds, especially recently traumatised ones, are not always a good judge of character.
Of course, you won't listen to me, and why should you?
And your DD is a grown-up and she's not behaving like one right now.
But just make sure you're aware of these things, that looking from the outside-in, we can see, that might not be in plain sight when you're in the throes of a new relationship.
I feel for your DD, I don't think you've done anything wrong but even as an adult you need to be able to feel you can rely on your parents. She may have a place to live at the moment, but she is presumably living off a student loan, she must be worried what will happen when she graduates if she can't get a job straight away. I know you have said she always has a home with you but perhaps with the new man on the scene she is worried that she doesn't come first anymore. Does she know him well enough to trust him? I would suggest they spend a lot more time together before he spends the night as a family over Xmas.
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