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Looking for a bit of advice - only child and new relationship

(6 Posts)
Hazelde Mon 04-Apr-16 16:10:23

I've got a 14 year old daughter. Her father and I divorced 5 years ago and he doesn't do any real parenting, sees her once every 4 to 6 weeks (he lives 3 hours away and my parents live a couple of hours away too, so she is mainly with me). Although I have dated, I have been careful not to introduce her to anyone until I knew it was going somewhere. I started seeing a lovely man 9 months ago and everything is going so well but my daughter did not take to me having a boyfriend well at all and in the beginning would cry when he came over and was quite rude, would send me texts asking when he was leaving and on one painful occasion when we took her out to dinner she just sat there looking away from us and wouldn't eat or drink. She has mellowed somewhat, he has been extremely good about it all and makes an effort and she is fine in with him coming over now but only speak to him really if she has a friend there but I am concerned about her lack of interaction and wanting to keep very much to herself. I'm very mindful of her feelings and finding this very tough and wonder if anyone else has had to deal with this?

She did visit her Dad over a number of years who lived with his new Partner and her 2 children (they have since split up) and had no problems doing things with them but just will not relent on doing things with my boyfriend.

I love my daughter very much and don't want her to feel pushed out but I also don't want her to boss me about as to when he can and can't come over which is what I'm feeling at the moment. She makes me feel very guilty about wanting to spend time with him. And I do make time just for just her and I. I have tried talking to her about it but she is quite adamant she doesn't want to interact. He has 2 children who have been very easy about everything, one is a teenager also. I'm just wondering how I can make things easier and how we can all do things together. At the moment he comes over and she stays in her room. We went to visit his family last weekend and she did not want to come and arranged a sleepover but I don't want her not to be included. I really am quite upset about the whole thing. I know it takes time and I'm trying to be patient. Anyone else had similar experience or can offer an advice in making things easier for her?

Namechangeofshame193 Mon 04-Apr-16 18:45:57

I'm marking my place as in a similar position. My DD was very rude and hostile to my ex and I have a new partner and am getting to the point I'll have to introduce them soon but I'm scared!! It's so difficult to balance your happiness and theirs. DD seems to want to spend time with me if she gets wind of a man (and there have been very few 2 in 10 years so it's not like she's had loads of men in and out of her life and I generally saw them once or twice max a week) neither lived with us either! However when it's just me and her she has no interest in spending time with me or even speaking to me. Also no contact with her dad.

HandyWoman Mon 04-Apr-16 19:14:19

I think that as long as your dd has the ability to make you feel guilty about this, the problem will persist in some way.

I would suggest you consider seeing a therapist to discuss what emotions are mixed in here. There's probably lots of stuff from (maybe unresolved guilt) around the issues with her father, bubbling away under the surface, for you. Guilt is never a useful thing to feel. I'd say try, if you can, to work through that.

If you can possibly get to a place where you feel secure in your bones, that you aren't being unreasonable by having an adult life alongside your role of a parent, dd will pick up on your self-assuredness and hopefully realise in the nicest possible, more secure way, that she has no power to influence your life like this. This will hopefully calm her anxiety. Sometimes with anxious teens you just have to walk the walk and show them by strong example, steadfastly that it's OK.

Today's teens seem to me to be under an epidemic of anxiety (I have one of my own and this observation comes first hand). They need strong adults being adults around them.

Slowdecrease Mon 04-Apr-16 19:46:37

OP same here, my Dd is 14 soon, she is often a bit posessive over me, she can be nice about my DP (18 months) but it's like she feels she can't be too nice and has to revert to being arsy - in short she treats him the same as she treats me - love/hate typical teenage stuff I guess. I think some of her posessiveness stems from a reasonable though unnecessary fear of losing the one stable parent she still has - me. On the whole I just let her be unless she's being particularly unpleasant but it seems to be working out ok, DP is ace and seems to know how to handle this despite having no children.

Hazelde Tue 05-Apr-16 12:17:42

Thanks for your replies. Helps to know I'm not the only one in this situation. I guess it's just a question of time. I've tried to put myself into her shoes as I know it must be difficult. I think there is a definite issue of jealousy over my time. She's a lovely girl and I want my boyfriend to think that too! He really has been so lovely and patient though. I do feel if she had a sibling it would be easier but who knows!

LeaLeander Tue 05-Apr-16 12:25:01

She was essentially abandoned by her father and now learning her true place in the pecking order of what is left of the family. Bound to be difficult. I would seek counseling opportunity for her.

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