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Need help with dd and dh really need to change this

(63 Posts)
Ledkr Wed 12-Mar-14 08:11:37

Ok so dd is 12. I've been with my dh since she was 5 prior to that I was a LP to her and her much older brothers after my xh left me when she was 8months.
Her dad was pretty inconsistent with contact until I put my foot down and he now sees her every Sunday for a half hearted half a day along with his family of dp and two nearly three girls.
She looks forward to seeing them and I am very positive about it all.

She has really never been nice to dh.
He is an amazing step father. Comes for a. Loving close family and has really put time and effort into dd.

She rejects any attempts of kindness or conversation and is what I describe as "scathing and dismissive" it's as if he makes her cringe and she appears to hate him.

Despite this he has continued to be steadfast in her life.

He always makes an attempt to chat to her and ask her about her day etc.Hes the one who will be in the sea mucking about while I'm sunbathing on holiday.

He helps her with her homework even if she's being rude to him all the way through.

We have a little girl of 3 and as was delighted when she was born and adores her.

Dh was very careful not to leave dd1 out and went out of his way to make her feel included.
After she was born and dh and dd went home he even made a little bed up in our room so that dd1 could sleep up with him as it was late and obviously it had been a long exciting day.

It pains me to watch how she treats him.

My sons and my mum have all spoken to her about it.
I have stay her down countless times and spoken about it, all she says is "he winds me up" or "I'll try to be nicer"

Personally I think dh is too soft with her and that is why she has no respect for him.

As time goes by I can see this is affecting the whole family.

Last night for the first time he and I rowed about it.

She was off school with a headache but he had let her have her I pad all day (which I wouldn't have) and told her that I'd be back form work at 6 and she'd probably have to turn it off then hmm wtf?

Later she kicked him while we were all sitting on the sofa (I have no idea why, it was weird) so he challenged her on it and she was cocky.

So I turned off the tv and told her to go to bed (it was nearly bedtime) she started with the crying and saying no but I just repeated to go to bed and went into the kitchen.

I could hear dh saying "go to bed, come on you've been told" which did sound quite goady which just made her worse and after she'd gone up I said to him that I thought he was winding her up (although I can see why)

So he got really angry and shouted at me, this is literally the first time in 7 yrs I've seen him lose his temper.
Dd would of heard this as she was above us in her room.

He apologised later but I now feel we have reached the point that we need to seriously tackle this.

Any suggestions would be welcomed, I'm desperate.

dunsborough Wed 12-Mar-14 10:05:00

I assume you asked her why she doesn't like him? What did she say?

If she has no valid reason, then you have every right to let her know that her rudeness is unacceptable.
And give her consequences for her rudeness - like you would if she was rude to any other adult.

NurseyWursey Wed 12-Mar-14 10:09:29

go to bed, come on you've been told isn't goady at all. No wonder your husband was annoyed, he's been trying and trying for all this time but is still the bad guy in her eyes, then you come out with that.

MysweetAudrina Wed 12-Mar-14 10:12:42

I dont see what was goady about that either. It sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to say to her especially when she had been told. Is he not allowed to discipline her?

Floggingmolly Wed 12-Mar-14 10:14:00

I would have taken what he said as backing you up, putting on a united front confused. It wasn't goady in the least...

mumblechum1 Wed 12-Mar-14 10:16:12

Agree he wasn't being goady at all.

Don't know what to suggest other than possibly family therapy?

StabInTheDark Wed 12-Mar-14 10:16:14

I completely understand how tough it can be when a step-parent comes on to the scene as a mum of three who separated from my DH five years ago.

But from your post it seems like he's been in her life for a very long time now but the resentment etc is still there. Have you had a proper talk about it? I know it's only been five years for me, but sometimes my DDs feelings about their dad will still bubble up and become manifested in the way they behave.

If she's just being stroppy, I would agree with dunsborough in that she needs to understand there are consequences to her behaviour and that it won't be ignored. It won't work if he is a soft touch with things like the ipad because she will learn to abuse this.

You both sound like you're doing a brilliant job, by the way! These situations are never easy!

StabInTheDark Wed 12-Mar-14 10:17:46

Would second the idea of family therapy- definitely worth looking into.

LegoStillSavesMyLife Wed 12-Mar-14 10:18:50

I didn't sound goady to me. It sounded like he was backing you up, without trying to provoke her.

TBH from what you have written it just sounds like he needs your support. Barring any underlying issues she shoudln't be allowed to speak to him as she does. You should support him. If he is nothing but the loving kind and generous step father you describe then she should treat him as such and you should expect it of her.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Wed 12-Mar-14 10:24:31

I don't think he was bring goady either. You should have stayed in the room and supported dh when she kicked him. That was not on. Why did you leave him to challenge it by himself ?

You think he is too soft with her but when he backed you up, you thought he was goady confused

I'm confused why he made a bed up in your room when him and dd went back, was you all there?

Amateurish Wed 12-Mar-14 10:32:30

He wasn't being goady, he was backing you up and trying to follow through with your discipline. Why did you leave the room and go the the kitchen, without making sure your DD went to bed like you told her too? You said you thought he was too soft, but then rowed with him for enforcing what you had said...

Personally, I'd be operating on zero tolerance for any disrespect of your DH by your DD. And always a united front with your DH.

CailinDana Wed 12-Mar-14 10:38:37

What has your dd said about the situation in the past? Could it be that her poor relationship with her own father has something to do with it?

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 12-Mar-14 10:48:44

From what you've written, I would imagine that he's a gentle man who hasn't insisted on being respected by her. Fine, for a passive kid, but for a feisty teenager this isn't working.

when she is behaving badly, I would, shoulder to shoulder to DH, say, 'that's not acceptable' and make a consequence.

He's easy to behave badly towards, I imagine - a. he's not going to disappear like her dad, and b. he's soft!

AndiPandi Wed 12-Mar-14 10:50:02

Am I the only one that thinks making up a bed so she could sleep up with him when she was 9 years old and you were presumably still at hospital with new baby sounds odd rather than nice? Sorry I don't mean to imply anything untoward here but I don't think that was a very wise move on his part to be honest. Particularly if they have never been that close. Other than that, I agree with the others that step-parent is a very difficult role and you seem to be inconsistant with thinking he is too soft on one hand then accusing him of being 'goady' when he is backing you up. I second the zero tolerance on disrespect and work together on that united front. Good luck.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 12-Mar-14 10:52:32

He IS soft.

"He helps her with her homework even if she's being rude to him all the way through."

Why? The least someone can do when I'm helping them is be polite.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 12-Mar-14 10:58:26

I feel a bit sorry for her actually. Clearly she's never liked him (groundless or not) and yet she has to share her entire childhood living with him because you chose him.

I suspect that as an adult she will look back and feel sad for the wasted time and how she treated someone who was so kind to her.

You can't make people like each other just make it clear that rudeness will not be tolerated. She may never like him. It's just sad for all involved really. Any chance her Dad might be putting the boot in?

Twinklestein Wed 12-Mar-14 12:56:43

I agree Andipandi, I wouldn't have wanted to share a bed at the age of 9 with my own father let alone a bf of my mothers. I think that's bizarre.

Maybe she did too, and feels unconciously she wants go repel him in some way.

OP, have you ever sat her down and asked her why she dislikes him so much?

Twinklestein Wed 12-Mar-14 12:59:43

She may, of course, be acting out with sf the anger and hurt she feels with her own father, but does not feel secure enough with her own father to express it to him directly.

thegreylady Wed 12-Mar-14 13:01:52

they didn't share a bed he 'made up a little bed' in the room so she wouldn't be on her own.

AndiPandi Wed 12-Mar-14 13:09:13

I can't imagine that DD would have wanted to even share a room with her Dad at 9 (or DS for that matter), let alone a step-father she doesn't seem to particularly like! At the very least this is likely to have made her feel uncomfortable. Did the little girl ask to share a room or did the OP's DH make this decision himself? Was she given a choice? Just sounds odd to me given the child was 9 at the time, might have been more appropraite at age 2-4 maybe but 9?!!

Twinklestein Wed 12-Mar-14 13:13:31

Sorry I meant share room not bed.

Twinklestein Wed 12-Mar-14 13:18:10

I just don't think it's appropriate, the OP has said he seems to makes her daughter 'cringe' and 'appears to hate' him. Having to share a room with someone you feel like that about is not fair.

AndiPandi Wed 12-Mar-14 13:30:19

I agree Twinkle, that's why I'm asking if the child had a choice. Sounds like OP has listened to DH's point of view on this incident and is seeing it as an example of DH being lovely to DD but I am curious if she has stopped to think how DD might have felt in that situation? But I acccept I don't know the people involved and could be completely off track. I really don't want to point fingers or suggest anything untoward but sometimes it is more diificult to spot other people's point of view when you are involved in the relationship. OP might not have stopped to look at it from her DDs point of view?

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 12-Mar-14 13:35:32

I also can't see the goadiness.

I do think you need to get to the bottom of why your dd feels so uncomfortable and upset around him though.

You need to have a proper conversation and not let it stop with monosyllabic answers and 'I don't knows'. If that continues I'd be trying therapy to get to the bottom of it. It's too important to just clamp down and try and make her behave, as maybe there's something serious going on for her.

And after this resolve whatever issue it is and reset the family dynamics to a healthier way of being. But you can't do that unless you know why it's happening.

I'd suggest him not being a push over would help, clear boundaries and a united front from the grown ups. Perhaps more alone time with just you and her, or helping her come to terms with her father... But all of these are guesses as you don't actually know what's going on

PrinceRogersNelson Wed 12-Mar-14 13:40:07

If she genuinely doesn't like him then him constantly trying must feel very suffocating for her.

It seems to me that he needs to give her space and stop forcing himself on her so much and she needs to stop being rude and treat him with respect.

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