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Ex DH has basically ruined DD's life by being a Disney dad

(84 Posts)
CocoAndRose Sun 20-May-18 18:13:29

I've name changed for this as it will probably be quite identifying.

I have a DD who is 20. I split from her father when she was 11 months old as he was emotionally abusive and also became physically abusive when she was born. He told me when I split up with him that he would do everything to ensure that DD hated me when she was older and that he would do everything possible to make life as awkward as possible for me.

Over the years whenever she has seen him he has stuck true to his word, as have his family. He always let her do whatever she wanted, whether that was to sit in the bath for 8 hours, eat nothing but chocolate for 48 hours, or wear a swimsuit and no coat in the middle of winter! He would never make her brush her teeth or have her hair brushed, and would tell her to do naughty things when she was with me, such as "always run off in shops when mummy is paying at the till".

As she got older he carried on with Disney dad and also constantly would run DH and I down to her (I met my DH when DD was 3), and tell her that my other DD and DS weren't her real siblings . He also still encouraged her to do naughty things and just be generally disobedient, and of course because she was allowed to do anything she wanted at her dad's house, she refused to take any notice of any rules at home and at school. He told her that "education is for snobs" throughout secondary school and to muck around at school as school is for fun and the main thing is that you're happy. He has also always told her not to go to university as it's "for snobs" and "useless".

She did ok at school, but nowhere near as well as she could have done as she is a lovely bright girl. She then went to college to basically muck around and has so far done three different courses in three years and failed them all as she just mucks around. She also, upon leaving school, moved in with her dad as she didn't like us having rules at home.

So now she is 20 and has a very, very part time job in a shop (I'm talking 8 hours per week or less), and just spends the rest of her time dossing around at her dad's house. She has been spoiled by him and has quite a bad attitude and just doesn't want to work and wants everyone else to subsidise her. I've tried to help her find other jobs, or to try to find a suitable college course but she doesn't want to as life is for having fun apparently! I've suggested she goes travelling but he vetoed that and then she didn't want to go after he gave his opinion!

I'm just so fucked off with the whole situation. Ex has basically ruined her life really. Like I said she is a bright young lady and could have a really good career or could go travelling and really see the world, or even just have a full time job.

I'm just so angry about it all!

HuckfromScandal Sun 20-May-18 18:15:32

I think that it’s a bit of a cop out to blame her father entirely.

CocoAndRose Sun 20-May-18 18:18:01

I don't think that's very fair Huck. I'm at my wits end about it.DH and I have done our best, we really have. And my younger DCs behave in a totally different way despite me parenting them the same way in which I've always parented DD.

thousandpapercranes Sun 20-May-18 18:19:24

She’s now an adult. Leave her to learn from her own mistakes.

Dollius01 Sun 20-May-18 18:20:11

Well she's going to get a shock when he gets bored of subsidising her, isn't she? Then maybe she will get a reality check. All you can do is be there when it all ends in tears, really. Does she know he was abusive?

YouAreNotImportant Sun 20-May-18 18:22:13

She spent a very limited amount of time with him growing up by the sound of it. So she spent the majority of her time with you. Why haven't you had any influence?

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 20-May-18 18:22:32

Leaving it until she is 20 is a bit late to do anything about it now. She is an adult I would suggest she pays board at a reasonable rate not a rate linked to her current wages might encourage her to get a decent job.

CocoAndRose Sun 20-May-18 18:23:07

I honestly think he will never get bored of subsidising her. After all he's been constantly trying to get one up on me for the past 19+ years.

She knows that sometimes he wasn't nice to me but I've tried to speak badly of him as little as possible as I didn't think it was fair to make her feel like piggy in the middle so she doesn't know the true extent of the abuse.

Gemini69 Sun 20-May-18 18:23:36

OP she will sadly learn the hard way.. that her Father has played a very long cruel game with her life.. and his wise ways are in fact the road to nowhere... He Wins.. but She loses.. there is nothing you can do now except wait until the penny drops.. flowers

CocoAndRose Sun 20-May-18 18:23:51

She doesn't live with me ineedamoreadultieradult and believe me I have tried to do things about it over the years but nothing has worked long term.

43percentburnt Sun 20-May-18 18:24:49

I wonder when her attitude will begin to annoy him. If she is now living with him permanently he may get sick of her attitude, especially if it affects him directly.

Why did he say no to travelling? What reason did he give her?

Dollius01 Sun 20-May-18 18:25:49

You really think he will want her dossing at his and demanding money from him for the next one year, let alone 15, 20, 25....

Just make sure you don't allow her to do that with you but that she knows the door is always open if she wants emotional support.

I highly doubt it. And if he is happy with that, well best of luck to her.

Like the others said, it is too late now. She is an adult and has to realise what's right and not right by herself.

BabyBed Sun 20-May-18 18:25:57

Sounds like he couldn't control you so he had a go with your DD and has been quite successful. Insanely frustrating I'm sure, but she has had your influence too and with maturity she might start to see daddy dearest in a different light.
On the positive side, 20 isn't the end of the line and if she sees sense she has a lot of years to do what she wants. You just need to be there for her when the time comes.

StormcloakNord Sun 20-May-18 18:29:43

I'm struggling to understand why you left someone who was emotionally and physically abuse towards you but then continued to let your daughter have contact with him?

OllyBJolly Sun 20-May-18 18:30:20

I think that it’s a bit of a cop out to blame her father entirely

I think you're looking for someone to blame for your daughter not being the adult you want her to be. I'm a single parent, and I did/do find myself blaming DCs' dad for their failings. Then I remember that they spent far more time with me so I'm equally, if not more, responsible for the adults they have become.

She's 20. She has to live with her life choices now.

Bluelonerose Sun 20-May-18 18:30:35

Op I have no advice but am offering a hand hold as my 7 year old ds2 dad is always doing shit like this.

Thankfully my in laws were on my side and helped me stamp it out but I'm sure there are still some sly digs.

annandale Sun 20-May-18 18:31:48

Sorry to sound like your xh, but if her aim is to enjoy life, is she doing so? Does she look happy?

I totally agree with you that this is no way to live life and she is not making her way in the world. It seems likely she will get extremely bored and will either pull her finger out at work or will find a partner and have a baby.

In the meantime, there is nothing you can do except absolutely love bomb her. Be your most smiley self around her, be sure that she knows she is good enough just as she is, look happy to see her whenever you do and try to enjoy her tales of whatever fun she is having. She has chosen your xh's path for the moment and there's nothing to be done about it.

DuchyDuke Sun 20-May-18 18:32:18

She’s an adult now. Stop blaming his parenting and start blaming her for her own bad decisions. I see this with my cousin who also comes from a broken home - both sets of parents blame each other for her failings instead of her.

CocoAndRose Sun 20-May-18 18:34:37

He vetoed travelling saying its a waste of time

Mrskeats Sun 20-May-18 18:35:40

Why allow contact with an emotionally and physically abusive man? Genuinely puzzled by that. The wearing of unsuitable clothes in winter etc amounts to neglect. I would have just moved away,
It’s a bit late now at 20 you just have to hope she sees the light. Horrible situation I know and your ex sounds like a psychopath. Who wants to treat their own child like that? Utterly bizarre

LolaLolaAndMe Sun 20-May-18 18:35:41

Olly do you think her dad's behaviour has been good then?

To who asked if she's happy, no she's not particularly, she often moans but doesn't want to change anything

CocoAndRose Sun 20-May-18 18:36:11

Bloody name change fail too. Great.

winsomebutlosemost Sun 20-May-18 18:36:27

20 is still very young. Lots of people have awful childhoods and make their way in the world. The good bits of parenting will have had an effect too and when she gets bored of dossing and having no money I am sure she'll find her path in life or something that excites her enough that she really wants to do it. We don't stay 20 and senseless forever.

I would stop subsidising her though, and if Dad wants to, he can be your guest!

Thingsdogetbetter Sun 20-May-18 18:37:35

Even without having a twat for a father (mine was great) I messed around at school and uni. Totally wasted my 20s with parties and bad choice boyfriends. My parents did the same as you, always trying to find me jobs or courses. Fell on deaf ears and I resented the emotional blackmail of disappointment that the concern was wrapped in. Didn't care what job I had as long as I could party.
Now I'm a teacher with a great dh and spend my Sundays on country walks and garden centres. Takes some of us longer to work ourselves out than others! Lol
Remain a good influence but don't show disappointment and disapproval. But don't pander to her financially or emotionally. Don't tell her she's ruining her life. She's only bloody 20! She has plenty of time to come good.

mumtoaboywhosgreat Sun 20-May-18 18:37:49

To those saying why allow contact with a physically and emotionally abusive man it's not always so simple unfortunately. Unless the physical and emotional abuse is towards a child and proven in court... you just don't get that decision as an option.

If it's all directed at the partner not the child sadly he still has a right to access

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