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Should I step back from DD2's controlling relationship?

(30 Posts)
Sasha506 Tue 10-Jun-14 08:57:30

Sorry this might be a bit long, but I could really do with a bit of perspective on this. I have 2 DDs, one 27 and one 24. They have never really got on, even from children. DD1 lives with us and we're supporting her financially while she is saving money. DD2 left home some years ago.

DD2 recently ended her two year marriage after her DH repeatedly emptied the bank account, spent the money on drugs and junk food for himself and borrowed a huge amount of money from his mates (saying it was for DD) then repaid them out of her bank account! Eventually the rent was so late that they were thrown out. They have a 15 month old daughter. She started dating someone else who at first seemed okay - had a job, seemed to care about her and DGC. We scraped together the deposit for a flat for them (put ourselves in debt in the process but we wanted her and our GC to have a roof over their heads). In the last couple of months, though, the new partner has turned into a total nightmare. He has called me a f***ing bitch and my husband a f***ing t**t. He has started turning DD against us and told her that we are the problem and always have been. He seems to be trying to control everything that she does - her friends have all but vanished and she only socialises with his family. She was trying to stay friends with her ExH for the baby's sake but since the new partner threatened ExH with physical violence, DD and ExH are now at each others throats and fighting each other for custody. We have banned him from our house and our street since the violent display was outside our house. Apparently the new partner has ADHD and his parents lost control of him when he was about 5 - he hardly went to school, ran with gangs, drove cars illegally, smoked weed etc etc. His job is on the line since he threatened a colleague at work.

Is there anything I can do? I have battled depression for years and this has kicked it off big time. DD1 has had enough of DD2 and told me in no uncertain terms to step away but I really wanted to keep up a relationship with DGC but I can't cope with being around the new partner and DD2 seems to think that the sun shines out. She says she feels loved and protected, but all I can see is a controlling, unpleasant thug. Worst of all she has now announced she is pregnant again. Apparently new partner's attempts at contraception failed miserably.

Should I back off for the sake of my own health or keep trying to support her even though I seem to be public enemy number 1.

So sorry for the long rant!

MissThang Tue 10-Jun-14 09:04:12

I would say yes, I think you should step back. Nobody can tell dd what to do and nobody but her can take the steps to get out of what she's in. Tell her you love her and are here for her, that's all she needs to know. The husband will continually be exposed for his nastiness as long as you do not react to it. She will see the light at some point., believe me. Just say I love you dd, I'm here for you and dgc and I will always support you, but I need to take a step away from this because my health is just going downhill. Your dd is an adult and even though she will always be your baby, she needs to work this out on her own. You sound like a lovely mum thanks

diddl Tue 10-Jun-14 09:07:14

I would say help her ex get custody if possible!

LondonForTheWeekend Tue 10-Jun-14 09:13:06

Step Away? Are you kidding? She has gone from one awful relationship to another and you think this is the time to turn your back on her. That's what he wants you know.

You keep telling her that You are unconditionally on her side, every day, every time. You ask her "how did it make you feel when he shouted?" Then say "Is there anything you want to do about it at the moment?". Your job is to build her up so that she has the strength to get out of this.

Can I just ask why you are contribute so much financially to DD1 and so little to DD2.
I think your older daughter encouraging you to walk away is absolutely reprehensible, and I hardly know which one of you should be more ashamed that she has made that comment.
Maybe it is time DD1 moved out to make way for DD2 who needs those resources much more urgently.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 10-Jun-14 09:21:14

There's nothing you can do for your DD unfortunately and your DD1 is right, for the sake of your own health, you have to take a step back. Doesn't mean dropping contact. Your DD2 needs to know that you are still there for her rather than her partner succeeding in completely isolating her from support. However, if you believe your GC is at risk of harm from this man you could potentially alert SS or the police.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 10-Jun-14 09:23:09

@London... DD2 has had a flat deposit and DD1 is living with the OP saving up for a mortgage. I think both are getting financial support in different ways.

Sasha506 Tue 10-Jun-14 09:34:18

@London - we have been supporting DD2 for years - paying her bills when ExH took all the money until we ran out ourselves. We had our 2 DDs late in life and we are both retirement age but we have to keep working as we are still in debt. Don't think I could have supported her financially any more really - maybe I've done it too much because she certain takes me for granted

LondonForTheWeekend Tue 10-Jun-14 09:34:28

Cog, I saw that but think if you compare the actual £ value I those two things that DD1 is doing a lot better (depending on how l

LondonForTheWeekend Tue 10-Jun-14 09:34:52

Sorry ... Depending in how long she has been living at home

Lweji Tue 10-Jun-14 09:36:15

Sadly yes, you will have to step away.

You can do it slowly, but she may feel you are abandoning her and feel that she can't reach you when she's ready to leave.
Or you can simply tell her that you can't put up with this man and what he does to her and that you will be there for her when she needs it, but you can't be around him.

Sasha506 Tue 10-Jun-14 09:36:16

@MissThang - thank you but it doesn't feel like that at the moment!

diddl Tue 10-Jun-14 09:39:39

Just reread OP-scrap my post!

Doesn't sound as if either parent should have custody of your GC!

I think that all you can do is let her know that you are there, but step away.

Sounds as if both daughters take the piss tbh.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 10-Jun-14 09:40:52

She has made poor choices. But she is an adult and has no obligation to keep in touch. If otoh you go no contact will you stop worrying? Plus her current partner "wins". He is jealous of your relationship so will continue to trample on boundaries and persuade her you're the controlling ones.

Whatever DD1 thinks, her DSis should know you are not the enemy.

For your own MH it is advisable to step back, don't pressure her or run him down when you do talk to her.

If you suspect that DGC is at risk contact the authorities.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 10-Jun-14 09:42:22

My sisters Ex, who the nutter is getting back with, is like this. I've told him that if she stops contact with us altogether and we can't get in touch with her I'd have no issues at all with kicking in their front door.

She sees us every Friday now.

I need her to know we are there for her if/when she opens her eyes. We don't put too much pressure on her because we worry about her stopping contact of her own accord because of it, it's more a case of "If you can't say nothing nice...." We make it clear to her that what he does/says is not normal and she doesn't need to tolerate it but we don't go on and on about it, iyswim.

Sasha506 Tue 10-Jun-14 09:42:48

@Lweji - I told her exactly that yesterday and got a full blown rant about how I was a bitch and it was all about me me me. Got really upset and had to ring off in the end. The sad thing is that our relationship used to be quite good. I would have had her and DGC back home but she has declared in the past that the last thing she would ever do is to move back home with us. Feel like a failure, really. I don't know why she is so attracted to these jerks. She thinks she can "rescue" them and change them but it never works, of course.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 10-Jun-14 09:45:52

There's a fine line between financial support and being a soft touch, sadly. Some people will take everything you give them and a bit more besides. Doesn't mean they like or respect you as a result. Quite the opposite in fact.

Suggest you give your DD2 her space, respect her choices & allow her to stand on her own two feet but stay close enough that you can keep an eye on the treatment of your grandchild. There's a thread on this board at the moment linking to a Womens Aid guide on how to deal with someone you suspect is in an abusive relationship. You might find it useful

Sasha506 Tue 10-Jun-14 09:48:23

@Donkeys - I don't think DGC is at risk at the moment but I am keeping a close eye on the situation. DD sees his parents more than me and I think if she or DGC had marks or any problems we would hear about it. They are pleasant people but completely useless as parents imho. If anything happened in that direction I think DH would be round there in a shot

Sasha506 Tue 10-Jun-14 09:51:15

@Cogito - thanks, I will take a look at that

Needadvice5 Tue 10-Jun-14 09:52:53

I'm so sorry that you're in this awful situation, I don't see how you can take a step back, you have got the poor Granddaughter to think about.

Does Dd2 realise what an awful situation she is in?
The sad thing is that you probably don't know half of what is going on, the little one could be at risk from this man and your Dd needs to protect her from him.
I would think about informing SS, maybe it will be the kick up the arse your Dd needs.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 10-Jun-14 09:54:42

"Feel like a failure, really. I don't know why she is so attracted to these jerks."

There's one school of thought that says that parents have much less influence in the behaviour of their DCs than is popularly believed. We pass on some values and we can set expectations but core personality is something a person is born with. I expect you can still see aspects of your DDs as very small children in them today.

On 'jerk selection'... some say that DCs are influenced by the closest adult relationship they experience i.e. their parents, and will repeat abusive patterns believing it to be normal. Is that relevant to you? Alternatively, if the closest adult relationship they experience is a good & happy one, they can go on to assume that everyone is basically a nice person and the abusive jerk is just a nice person with (fixable) problems.

I would expect the real reason your DD2 chooses unpleasant men is that she lacks self-esteem or confidence. You make her sound very independent on the one hand but she happily took the money for a deposit and that's not the action of someone who is truly happy being independent. She knows they are unpleasant but stops short of telling them to get lost for fear of being alone again.

diddl Tue 10-Jun-14 09:54:56

" and got a full blown rant about how I was a bitch and it was all about me me me. Got really upset and had to ring off in the end. The sad thing is that our relationship used to be quite good."

That's why OP needs to step back.

MrsWinnibago Tue 10-Jun-14 10:07:16

I have to say I agree with stepping back. When I think about how much my parents knew about my relationships in my 20s and my financial status, I have to say that they knew nothing.

Nor should they have.

DD is an adult now and while you can support to some extent she needs to cope herself.

Isetan Tue 10-Jun-14 10:12:27

The financial support you have given thus far has only enabled DD2 to lurch from one abusive relationship to another. Let DD2 know that you love her but can not watch this latest relationship car crash from too close a distance. DD2 is an adult and that means that she's allowed to make poor choices, you can only intervene when those poor choices effect her children. Keep an eye on your grandchildren and report any suspicions to SS.

Look after yourself because she and/or her children will need you.

MiniatureRailway Tue 10-Jun-14 18:12:21

I agree with London.

I was in an abusive relationship as a teenager and my parents didn't know how to deal with it. In fact my mother sent me back to the home I'd previously shared with the abuser and told me I couldn't stay with them any longer because she had no insight into the situation and was annoyed that I had text him back when he contacted me threatening to kill himself. hmm

Your daughter needs you. She might not realise it yet it she does and she will. Everything London suggested is spot on.

MiniatureRailway Tue 10-Jun-14 18:14:22

Sorry for appalling grammar and punctuation, I'm on my mobile.

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