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DDs don't like my boyfriend.(38 Posts)
I've been with my bf for over 18 months. We met online and really fell for each other. We weren't expecting / looking for something long term but it just felt like we found something really special.
For background, I have DD1 (17) and DD2 (14) and separated from EX DH 3 years ago and he has DS1(12) DS2(9) and DS3(7) and split from his ex 2 years ago. My ex lives a long way away by choice (8 hours drive) and so he doesn’t see my DDs very often and really takes no part in day to day parenting. They visit him for 3-4 days a few times a year or he takes them away for a few days.
Everything has gone so well for us that we started to talk about our future together, living together, marriage etc etc. He met my girls quite earlier on (as they are with me all the time) and I met his boys around about 10 months after we met. We have introduced the children and this summer went on holiday all together for a week. My problem is my DDs, especially the older one. She says she doesn’t like him – hates him in fact. She can’t understand what I see in him, thinks he’s rude and hates him being at our house. We have talked about it many many times – she thinks I am wrong to have him at our house after she’s told me she doesn’t like it.
I have asked her why she doesn’t like him. She says she doesn’t like his political opinions (he’s quite conservative). She thinks he has bad table manners (some truth in this but it doesn’t bother me) She says he isn’t interested in her (I disagree as he has tried really really hard to engage her in conversations and helped her with homework etc.)
I really don’t know what to do. I am terrified that by continuing our relationship, I could ruin my relationship with my DDs and risk them feeling that I have chosen him over them. On the other hand, could I lose a really fantastic relationship at a point when my DDs will both be gone off to university in 3 years’ time and I already spend most evenings / weekends alone while they are out with friends / working / in their rooms.
YANBU. Unless he is doing something offensive to her, generalised dislike isn't a good enough reason for you to end a relationship where you are completely happy. She will have to make more effort or ignore him.
Is your DD just asking not to have him over, or for you to break up?
Have you asked which specific conservative views bother her? Some men use conservatism as a cover for the exact kinds of misogyny that, if you become the wife of this man, could have serious impacts on your daughters' futures. Is there a possibility that they are worried he will limit their choices based on their sex?
I wouldn't break up with him if you are happy in the relationship, but I would actively minimise their time together, and I wouldn't consider moving him in/moving in with him until they were off at university.
I agree with Rue and also wonder if they feel protective of you and just want you for themselves (even though they spend most of their time with friends/in their rooms?)
I'd just carry on seeing him if he makes you happy, stop asking the girls why they don't like him, they probably don't even know why themselves and see how things go
Hope all goes well for you
I would also see him outside the family context and definitely not live together until girls have grown up (at least 18).
What is the rudeness that your DDs see that you presumably do not?
My fiancé and I are waiting 2 years before we live together (from the point we decided we wanted to) until his youngest is at uni. We get on with each other's children and the children get on well together. But it is a big thing to unilaterally completely change their home environment and we are waiting. It's frustrating for us, but they come first.
Could it be that she actually doesn't dislike him as much as she says she does - but is exaggerating it to try to prevent him moving in? Even if you haven't mentioned it, she'd guess it's going that way.
At the moment, can she wander around in a towel after a shower, that sort of thing? I would have hated a strange man moving into my home at her age! I'd hate it now. Perhaps she'll be happier about him if she knows that's not happening.
It's fine for her not to like him - a shame, but fine. I would try again to get to the bottom of the why she doesn't, and also reassure her that whilst you have the right to a relationship, she has the right to live without a strange man whilst she's a child.
She's wrong about not having him at your house - I would compare it to her having friends over. You'd only ban someone for good reason - not just for not particularly liking them. You are allowed to have a boyfriend.
But - at 14 and 17, they can be left overnight - so are you making sure that he's not with you all the time?
They also might be worried about him moving in and there being 3 boys younger them then moving in. I can't see many older girls wanting younger boys moving in part time. And 3 of them? Would you be asking your girls to share a room and have someone in one of their rooms? I'd be saying I didn't like him too, if I was worried about that!
It could be that, it could be they are young and selfish and don't want to share. Just be careful that you don't dismiss their opinions though - is he rude to them? What do your friends and family think of him?
Do you think it's really all about your DP, or could it be related to his sons too? At 17, she probably doesn't have much time for three primary / pre teen boys - do you think she could be worried about sharing her home with them?
What does your younger DD think?
You were a 17 year old girl once, OP, surely you can empathise with her?
I would also be interested to hear what it is about his rudeness and conservatism she doesn't like, tbh. The bad tables manners speak for themselves.
I also agree with Cabrinha that whilst you have a right to a relationship, she has the right to not live with a strange man whose presence will impact on her and how she lives her life.
My children are 10 and nearly 18. I'm single and there is no way I would even entertain moving someone in whilst there is a teenager in the house. I was already 18 when my parents split and had left home for university by the time my mother started dating, but I saw the way those men 'beat their chests' around my brother and I wouldn't want that for my children.
If this is the big special relationship of your life then there shouldn't be any hurry to move in together/get married. Right now, this is still their home. Yes, he should visit etc and stay over from time to time but if she objects strongly (and her sister objects to a lesser extent) he shouldn't live there.
I'm a bit worried that part of your justification is that you are alone most nights, especially when you're not tied to the house by young kids.
Your dds are nearly grown, personally I would hold off on plans to live together until they are adult. It's not long in the scale of things.
And that she says he is rude and disinterested - maybe, like the table manners, it doesn't bother you cos you're loved up. From her point of view, she might be uncomfortable in her own home. The perceived rudeness toward her would certainly give me pause.
When I was 16 my mum had a boyfriend that I couldnt stand, couldn't really put my finger on why at the time but he was very 'I'm the man', tried to be really nice to me in front of my mum and everyone else but just ignored me when there was no one to impress around and just came and went like he owned the place.
It's hard because you have the right to have a relationship but I just remember really not wanting to go home incase he was there, and the second I could I moved out to university and I didn't move back even for the holidays
My future SD had a hard day at her new sixth form the other day - shifting friendship groups left her on the periphery of some bitching, and an A level class that day had been really hard.
My fiancé said the next morning she ended up sat on his bed for a half hour let it all out chat, a cry, and a cuddle.
She likes me, but there's do way she'd have knocked on the door and come into his room if I'd been there.
He said later "I'm glad we decided not to rush this".
Even before you live together, don't underestimate the effect on them of him staying over.
If you were in a flat share and your flat mate moved in a boyfriend, especially one you didn't like, wouldn't you think of moving out?
Well put by cabrinha. Particularly the point about being comfortable in your own home, after showers ect.
I would have been very uncomfortable with it at that age.
Also quite a crude thing to add but make sure they cant hear you dtd.. My mum tried to not let us hear but it was disturbing still!
If he loves you and will wait before doing the living together thing, you'll be amazed by how quickly time flies and your girls have grown up.
If he isn't prepared to wait a few years, seeing you regularly but not actually living together, then it's no great loss really.
Totally agree with Cabrinha. I went away to university and was being bullied by my housemates. Came home 3 weeks later. Mother asked me in front of her new boyfriend I'd only just met if I minded if he stayed over. I said no. Of course I fucking minded. I wanted to talk to my mother. God knows why I bothered to even think she'd give me any emotional support. I was still under the impression at that age she cared about my feelings. But that's what we expect from our mothers. My mother is a full blown narcissist btw but I hadn't discovered that at 18.
I'm not saying break up but I think you do need to take it slowly if they're struggling to accept him and unpick the reasons as to why. They've already lost their father in some ways. Don't let them lose you as well. It's hard at that age. My father died when I was just 16 and my mother didn't get the emotional parenting. I've slowly parented myself. I think you're going to have to juggle being a good mum with your needs in this relationship.
I think children come first regardless of age. I'd hang fire on the moving in bit & marriage. It's only been 18 months, so no rush. Enjoy your time together, look no further ahead than the next date & enjoy each other's company & hopefully that'll strike the happy medium here. Hope your eldest starts to warm to him
I agree with the others. Hang back on moving in. Also I wonder if it is related to feeling some resentment and issues about her own father, and anxiety over what's best for you.
I also have teen girls and if they said they felt uncomfortable I would not have the man in the house because that wouldn't be fair.
It is hard but ultimately you could damage the relationship with your daughter by trying to force things she doesn't want, however unreasonable you think she may be, it is her home and she has the right to feel comfortable.
It sounds like your daughter still needs your support even age 17 and she needs it more than your BF needs you sticking up for him sadly, that's the way it is! You can still be with him, but don't pressure your daughter by having him round. It's ok to not like someone. I don't like my BIL really
I agree with another poster about something being innapropriate. I think you need to trust your dd on this. Kids pick up on things we don't. I think you need to ask her without him being actually in the house.
The more I think about this the more I think you should take your DD's warnings into account.
So you are happy that in front of your kids he is rude and has poor table manners?
Thank you for all the replies. It is really great to hear your thoughts.
We are not planning to move in together for a good few years - very likely not until after DD2 has gone to Uni. He is absolutely happy to wait till it's the right time for everyone.
He comes over and stays on average one night a week, sometimes he might stay on Friday night and be around all day on Saturday but that is not often, maybe once a month.
Interesting point about his conservatism but no, he is definitely not sexist, or racist, but not always the most PC. He has a good, professional job and lots of friends. He really cares about my dds and is starting to get upset that they are quite hostile towards him. He had a fairly unpleasant step dad in his teens and really hates the idea that he might be making the girls uncomfortable in their own home.
I absolutely do empathize with them and I remember finding my own dad intensely irritating when I was that age - to the point where I would leave the room if he came in (poor Dad, he never did anything wrong!)
I have never heard him say anything rude to anyone, and he's certainly not inappropriate so I am struggling to understand but I am not disregarding her feelings. Table manners, well that is a thing. We're in Canada where I have noticed quite a lot of adults are the same, but how could I ever bring that up? He'd be devastated.
To the posters who mentioned that my DDs might be worried about 3 boys, yes I think you are right and also they are very sad and feel abandoned by their own Dad.
He has met all my friends here, but we really don't spend a great deal of time with friends as our time together is so limited. I think I might encourage that because it would be good to get more of an idea of what they think of him. My family are all in the UK, though my parents have met him and thought he was nice.
What exactly does "not always the most PC" mean?
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