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Thinking of leaving my partner because his daughter despises me

(36 Posts)
OhBertha Sat 01-Aug-15 18:36:19

Met my DP on Match 2 years ago. We are crazy about each other, looking at moving in together in the next few months.

He has three daughters- a 17 year old, 13 year old and a 8 year old. He was with their mum for 23 years- she left him for another man 5 years ago. That broke off about 3 years ago and she had a breakdown- drinking, drugs etc and it was decided the kids would live with their dad full time.

I get on really well with his youngest two- but his oldest daughter outright despises me. Verbal abuse, throws things at me, refuses to be in the same room as me for prolonged periods of time and there have been times when ive had things go missing or theyve gotten broken.

Ive tried everything- talking to her, avoiding her, trying to get involved in things shes interested in, buying her stuff i know she will like. she wont tell us what the problem is

This has been going on for just over 18 months. I havent got a clue what to do other than give up and break it off from my DH.

DarkNavyBlue Sat 01-Aug-15 18:40:47

How does your DP react when she behaves like this?

pocketsaviour Sat 01-Aug-15 18:50:11

Given that this girl has watched her mum have a breakdown and use drink and drugs, I am guessing she needs help, and the problem is nothing to do with you - she would react this way to anyone.

I don't want to armchair analyse her but I'd guess it's mainly insecurity because she's afraid of history repeating itself. She has seen her mum get into a new relationship and then have a breakdown; she is probably subconsciously terrified of the same thing happening to her dad.

I don't know how to advise you, honestly. Has she had any therapy for the issues that must have arisen over her mum? Would she, and your DP, consider trying group therapy to try to resolve the issues?

OhBertha Sat 01-Aug-15 18:56:07

DP doesnt realy know how to dea with it. He keeps trying to understand, but she loses her temper and storms off. Hes tried grounding her, taking her car off her now she drives- nothing.

Maybe I need to suggest therapy to him so she can talk to someone. I dont know if this will blow into another argument though and her flying at me accusing her of being nuts etc.

shovetheholly Sat 01-Aug-15 19:09:15

I think 17 is probably the most unreasonable age that there is! Seriously, at 17 kids are capable of just about anything. It's like they are adults, and able to do all the damage of a grown-up, but they don't have the emotional restraints in place to stop them.

It sounds as though she's had a tough ride, too. It would be small wonder if she's terrified and a bit broken after having seen her mum that way. (Not implying that it is the mother's fault, just that it's a difficult situation).

I wouldn't give up on what sounds like a lovely new relationship because of this. It sounds as though the girl needs help, but she's pushing everyone away. I do think it might help for her to have therapy, perhaps initially with you and your DP in the room so that hostility can be worked through, and to avoid any imputation that she is the 'problem'. (It may well be that all sides need to listen a bit more carefully). Individual sessions for her could then follow if need be.

Atenco Sat 01-Aug-15 19:11:42

Sorry, no advice OP, but I think the oldest ones feel it worse because they feel responsible for the little ones too.

If she is seventeen though, one assumes she will be ready to be independent soon.

brokenhearted55a Sat 01-Aug-15 19:14:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 01-Aug-15 19:17:28

I think she needs therapy.

I wouldn't tolerate this but you can't control the girls responses to you so I would move out or avoid her at all costs.

Her past really isn't your fault. It's likely she thought her mum and dad had a chance at getting back together and she thinks you ruined it.

When is she 18?

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 01-Aug-15 19:26:29

If you leave the relationship you will be playing right into her hands. Keep on with the relationship but put your plans to move in together on hold for a bit. I'd avoid being in her company altogether. You're in a relationship with him, not his kids.

Squeegle Sat 01-Aug-15 19:39:37

I wouldn't end it, but I certainly wouldn't move in any time soon. Stay cool, but see how it goes, hopefully she will calm down if you can be patient...

paddymcgintysmum Sat 01-Aug-15 19:48:40

If she was say 14/15 then maybe, but at 17 she'll be forging ahead with her own life soon, so hang in there is what I say.

Is she in college or work and is she doing well? Does your partner support you against her nastiness? Is there an aunty or someone in the family she respects who could provide some insight?

Did anything happen 18 months ago? As you and DP have been together for two years, I take it she was ok for the first six months.

When you all go out as a family or on holiday, what is she like? Does she eat what you cook, allow you to do her laundry? What makes her throw things? No one just picks something up and hurls it. It must start with a row. Is she ok to the other children or just generally obnoxious with anyone, but more so you?

Sorry for so many questions but the picture was a little vague.

Iflyaway Sat 01-Aug-15 19:57:02

She is 17 and has a car? And treats the Significant Other in her dad's life like crap.

Precious and Princess comes to mind. Unless she worked and paid for the car off her own back.

Even is she did she has no business treating other people like that.

Yes, we all have to deal with shit in our life (divorced myself, LP) but I would not put up with this shit in mine, in DP, his kids, my DS and others who come into my house to have any of their shenanigans.

How does their dad deal with it is he a wimp cos of feeling guilt? or is he - and you - ready to see the other two follow their older sister as a role model...

Sorry if I sound harsh.

notrocketscience Sat 01-Aug-15 20:01:17

There is a book called how to talk so teens will listen & listen so kids will talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. I've found this series of books very useful.

FWIW I think you could carry on with your plans to move in with your DP. You've put up with her bad behaviour for 18 months and there has been no improvement so stop worrying about her feelings and put your relationship first. It could bring things to a head far sooner and you may actually get to the bottom of what is making this girl/woman so resentful.

Is she at school or college still? Does she have a best friend you could have a chat with? Is there a grandmother around who is close to her? Could she move in with someone else temporarily?

Wishing you all the best in a horrible situation.

OhBertha Sat 01-Aug-15 20:37:20

DP doesnt want to kick her out- and I get that. Its his daughter- but as he has said to her, he is running out of options. She sometimes stays with DPs parents- but they dont get involved. DP is an only child and she doesnt see much of her mums side of the family- but its always been like that.

She is at college, and has just got a job for the summer. Doing well and is a typical teenager I guess in that she goes out with friends, parties etc. DP is really easy going about this- he has said to her she can bring a small group of friends round to do whatever they do if it keeps them away from drinking in parks/town centre etc.

We dont go out as a family- she refuses to come. Likewise we are going to Lanzarote at the end of August and she wont come. We suggest things she likes (like last week we suggested a day in London to go to the mcQueen exhibition and although she was dying to go, she wouldnt go because it meant going with me)

She argues about the smallest thing- ill ask her how her day was and she will tell me "to shut the fuck up". She will scream abuse at me and if I ignore her thats usually when she starts throwing things about.

Her sisters are picking up on her bad language too now, which is sad.

FantasticButtocks Sat 01-Aug-15 20:49:06

Don't give up on the relationship (and give such power to her over your life) but don't move in. Not yet.

Get yourself this book and set your own boundaries for what you will and won't tolerate. Your DP is the one who needs to tackle his daughter's (probably temporary) behaviour.

brokenhearted55a Sat 01-Aug-15 20:49:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pocketsaviour Sat 01-Aug-15 20:57:01

I'd smack her mouth....I'll probably get flamed for that.

I hope you weren't serious... because returning verbal abuse with physical abuse couldn't be more wrong sad

Rebecca2014 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:59:51

She is nearly an adult and sorry but no one can excuse the way she treats
the poor op just because she is a teenager.

Your partner should be standing up for you, how is she getting away with being so vile? this is an parenting issue here and your very lucky his youngest two haven't started copying their sister.

I wouldn't leave because of his daughter, I leave because my partner is not protecting me and parenting his daughter properly. I kick my own daughter out if she was treating me like that on a daily basis.

FanOfHermione Sat 01-Aug-15 21:00:40

I agree. This is up to her dad to set the boundaries up. Has he ever to.d her that her behaviour is unacceptable? Has she ever been punished for throwing things at you or speaking to you the way she is?

How does she react?

YY to counselling (proposed by him. You have nothing to do with it) and for him to establish appropriate boundaries for everyone to follow. You won't be able to establish those wo his full support and him leading the way (rather than you leading and him agreeing it should be like this iyswim)

FeelTheNoise Sat 01-Aug-15 21:00:44

She's already violent towards the OP though! Her father needs to make sure this abuse stops

FanOfHermione Sat 01-Aug-15 21:02:19

And YY about leaving because your partner isn't protecting you nor is he prepared to put clear boundaries in place rather leaving because of her.

After all when this started she was only 15 yo.

paddymcgintysmum Sat 01-Aug-15 21:09:46

Oh my word! She won't go on holiday and neither to an outing.

I still wouldn't give up with your partner, but I guess you need professional intervention, of which I know nothing, if she's to continue living with you.

None of us can like everyone, least when we are forced to live with them. However, we don't throw things! Or say STFU. We find a way out of the situation.

I would never suggest casting a child out from the family, but she is so unhappy that maybe a house share with other students would suit her. It's amazing how fast they grow up when having to cope with utility bills etc.
It would also free the younger children from her learned behaviour.

It would have to come from dad of course.

" I know you hate it here and you're getting on so well at college, would you like to share a house with other students"? "I'll pay the deposit if you find somewhere you like"

cashmerecardigans Sat 01-Aug-15 22:12:50

I had a lot of this behaviour from my DSD in her teens. Fortunately her dad was really supportive of me so there was no playing off between us. Our relationship was a nightmare for a couple of years, only moved on when I changed my behaviour, so I stopped joining in the arguments and decided to try and be a grown up. Hard to do but I stopped playing,kept smiling and it was the best thing I ever did. We moved on and we now have the most brilliant relationship - she really is the daughter I never had. Hang in there - she sounds a bit lost x

wafflyversatile Sat 01-Aug-15 22:46:08

So at 12 her parents break up and she is living mostly with mum and new partner? - some bloke she didn't know from adam until then, I presume.
At 14 her mum and partner split up
At 14? she's living with her mum (as the oldest with two younger siblings) while she has a breakdown involving drink and drugs over weeks? months?
At 14/15? she goes to live with her dad
at 15 her dad starts seeing you.

Sounds like a pretty tough few years for such a young person. How would most adults deal with living with a loved one while they have a breakdown involving drink and drugs?

Maybe she needs her dad to give her lots of reassurances, lovebombing? (I have no real idea what this is but what I think it must be seems like a good idea) and I would go with being understanding about how much shit she's had the last 5 years and trying to get her some therapy.

wafflyversatile Sat 01-Aug-15 22:49:07

I think it's a bit much to expect a child to emerge from those 5 years at 17 and suddenly be expected to behave like a well-balanced grown up about it. Most grown ups would struggle.

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