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Ending a relationship because of their child

(66 Posts)
plusonefail Sun 01-Jul-18 14:30:52

I feel like a horrible horrible person for even feeling like this but I can’t help feeling this way.

I’ve been seeing a lovely man for about 9 months. We are great together and have such a good time when we see each other. I love him and he loves me and I could see us having a future together...if it wasn’t for his 8 year old daughter.

I have tried so hard to like her but she is, without fail, rude, demanding, disobedient,bad mannered and really difficult to be around. I have a slightly older daughter myself so I’m well aware that kids aren’t perfect and can be challenging, but her bad behaviour is relentless. Every time I see her I go in really positive and try to find things to like about her but it’s like she can’t help herself but to act the way she does. She’s been very spoiled which is DP’s fault and he admits it. He also admits that he’s been very slack at disciplining her and setting good expectations for her behaviour. He has main custody of her so if I was to live with him, she would be around nearly all the time.

I honestly couldn’t be more upset with myself for disliking a child this much - she behaves this way because it’s what she’s learnt to do so although she makes poor choices it’s not really her fault. But my blood boils when I’ve been around her for more than a couple of minutes and it’s so hard to hold my tongue. I’m scared that if I moved in I’d become this awful wicked stepmother figure, getting angry with her all the time. It would be a miserable way for me to live and not fair on her either.

It’s not a case of thinking that my own child is perfect and her not measuring up - DD is a lovely girl and generally well behaved but like all kids has her moments. I really feel that if DP’s daughter behaved like an average child and was challenging some of the time that I’d be fine with it.

I know that I should probably walk away but the thought of giving up such a lovely partner and possibly future because I don’t like a child seems ridiculous and horribly intolerant. I can’t put into words how difficult she is though.

OP’s posts: |
littlemisscomper Sun 01-Jul-18 14:33:59

Talk to your partner about it? Maybe a blunt conversation would give him the kick he needs to set some boundaries and improve his parenting.

swingofthings Sun 01-Jul-18 14:39:39

It is not ridiculous at all. He comes as a package and if you don't think you'll be able to share your life with her too, then it is just not going to work with anyone. Successful relationships are not just about love for each other, there are other factors that come into play to make it work, and a child is a massive big one.

I think you are doing the right thing to walk away. It might seem wrong at this stage, but ultimately, it will be much easier for everyone to move on than to pretend all is fine to end up stuck all living under the same roof, driven by resentment and unhappiness.

DeathByGlamour Sun 01-Jul-18 14:42:42

I also don't think you are horrible. Better to have these doubts before making any big commitments to him. You need a cards on the table talk, and if he can't or won't change things you will have to decide what to do.

Candypinkstars Sun 01-Jul-18 14:45:02

I also didnt continue a relationship for similar reasons. My son is older by quite a few years. The guy had two kids that were very young and a hideous relationship with his ex to match.

I just couldn't see it working. The bad outweighed the good and it would have been over a decade until both were 18 and things would change. They come as a package and if you go in expecting it to improve that's naive. You either go in as it is with no expectations or leave it. Changing behaviours is a long term process. It would be ongoing and long term. I couldn't deal with it.

Candypinkstars Sun 01-Jul-18 14:47:14

You'll also lose respect for him in the long term. When it doesn't change and if you move in together it will impact you and make you unhappy. Or more unhappy than now. If you feel this way now it won't get better as time goes by. This may sound negative but just being honest.

BlokeHereInPeace Sun 01-Jul-18 14:48:53

Best to figure it out now rather than change the girl' life in a bigger way and both hate the situation. But talk to him first to explain why, as other potential partners will probably feel the same.

Guardsman18 Sun 01-Jul-18 14:49:12

You haven't been together long and she's not going to be 8 forever.

It just seems a shame to split up when you get on so well together.

category12 Sun 01-Jul-18 14:50:11

It's for the best to end it, yes.

SandyY2K Sun 01-Jul-18 14:52:02

Walk away from it.

FinallyHere Sun 01-Jul-18 14:55:54

This doesn't by any means make you a horrible, horrible person.

Your priority should be your DD's life, then you own, DP and his daughter further down the list, until you decide to live with DP and his daughter. What would be like for your DD? Not much fun I would guess.

It isn't horrible to not want to share your home with a spoilt brat, no matter where the blame for the spoiling rests.

Desmondo2016 Sun 01-Jul-18 14:56:01

It's a really hard conversation to have though isn't it. 'I like you I just don't like your kid'. It seems a real shame of the relationship is generally ok. However you also need to prioritise your own daughter... How does she feel about the potential step sister?

fluffyrobin Sun 01-Jul-18 15:08:47

I think you are being perfectly reasonable in admitting it op!

A rubbish dad is so unattractive anyway, whereas men who are good dads are the opposite.

If his instinct is not to make sure his dd has good social skills in life then he is setting her up as a loser in life and that is tragic.

Your priority is your own DD and well done for not inflicting his dd in her life.

Many men and women are so selfish putting their own sex lives and needs over their DC's and forcing their DC into sharing an environment with people who are awful role models and blighting their upbringing in doing so.

I'd be blunt with him before walking away though because he is going to ruin her life if their are no boundaries, no discipline, no expectations and no responsibilities for being kind and considerate.

plusonefail Sun 01-Jul-18 15:10:26

I’m sitting here crying my eyes out because you’ve all been so nice. I spoke to my friends about it a couple of months ago and they absolutely roasted me and said I was awful for not liking a child and that they’d be horrified if someone they loved didn’t like their kids. It makes me feel less of a bad person to see that others think I’m being reasonable, so thank you so much.

I’ve spoken to him about it a couple of times (so difficult). Unfortunately he thinks the sun shines out of her backside and just tells me that I’m not seeing her at her best...but she’s never any different! Apparently she likes me a lot but you wouldn’t think so because she behaves so badly whenever I see her. I honestly think it’s deeply ingrained behaviour that won’t change now no matter what I do. All I see is him spoiling her and making excuses for her and letting her walk all over him. I don’t understand how such a lovely person who I adore and respect in every other way has allowed his child to become like this and let’s her rule the roost.

To whoever said she won’t be 8 forever - I’ve thought about this but the way he is with her I 100% foresee him acting the same way with her while she’s university age and beyond. I’m so sad. I wish it wasn’t like this.

OP’s posts: |
plusonefail Sun 01-Jul-18 15:12:48

Oh, and my daughter doesn’t like her. She doesn’t understand why she behaves so badly. It’s wearing for both of us not even being able to, for example, go for lunch somewhere without her having a tantrum, wandering off around the restaurant, using awful table manners, even rolling in the floor on one joyous occasion! She’s 8! I wouldn’t expect that from a child half that age.

OP’s posts: |
Candypinkstars Sun 01-Jul-18 15:14:15

You're not a bad person.

Your second post confirms- this will not change. It will get worse over time. Run now before you are in any deeper and it's harder to leave.

You are definitely NOT a bad person.

lifebegins50 Sun 01-Jul-18 15:14:18

Not horrible at all but realistic.

I think over time your respect for him will fade and you will be so annoyed that he allows her behaviour.

There must be some benefit to him tp not correct her? Or he has zero insight which is also a concern.
Have you said anything before?

plusonefail Sun 01-Jul-18 15:20:39

I think he’s just fallen into the trap of wanting to make his child happy, and to make her happy he’s given her everything she has ever even expressed a vague desire for (I have never seen a kid with so many toys etc - she has stuff lavished on her constantly) and has let her do what she wants and not disciplined her. He’s failed to see that to make a child happy you need to teach them to regulate their emotions, set boundaries and make good choices. I’ve spoken to him about this and while he sees it and agrees with me he’s not prepared to stop the constant gifts and has painted himself into a corner with her behaviour because she now expects to be allowed to behave exactly as she wants and knows that tantrums get her her own way so she just continues and continues (for hours) until he gives in.

OP’s posts: |
Prawnofthepatriarchy Sun 01-Jul-18 15:21:28

There's nothing horrible about you, Plusone. You're an adult. And a realist. Let's face it, it's not about his DD, it's about your DP. He's a bad DF and if you and your DD have to live with him it's not going to be good for anyone.

I'd say it's time for ultimatums. Either he starts behaving responsibly and works with you to create agreed boundaries and standards or you end the relationship.
And point out that no one's going to want to stepparent his DD if she behaves like this. She'll be a metaphorical millstones neck moving forward.

Sistersofmercy101 Sun 01-Jul-18 15:25:30

This must be so difficult for you, I'm sorry. You say that you love him but that you find his daughters behaviour repellent... But his daughters character and behaviour are the direct end result of his parenting and his behaviour... So in the long term how could you have him around your own dd, how would you start to resent and be repelled by his standards of what he believes are appropriate - in a way his dd's behaviour is a mirror of all his faults (I'm certain they both have positive aspects and attributes too!!) but she's his 'tell' and at the start of any relationship we show our best sides but as time goes on we show our normal balance... And I'm sorry but I think you'd resent and dislike him long term due to parenting values being at total odds. Good luck OP. flowers

Desmondo2016 Sun 01-Jul-18 15:34:23

My best friend has been with her gorgeous lovely man for 8 years and they're finally moving in together for this reason. The 10 year old daughter is now an 18 year old, off to uni. My friend was very open from the beginning and it worked for them. Financially they could afford 2 houses and stayed together/holidayed together when they could.

FizzyGreenWater Sun 01-Jul-18 15:39:48

Walk away. It won't improve by much - he would have to be prepared to do a huge amount, and I think you know that isn't going to happen.

It won't end well so please - walk away before you waste any more time.

Tragic indeed.

Hoppinggreen Sun 01-Jul-18 15:40:43

I don’t think you should say you don’t like her, it’s her behaviour you Dont like. (Which isn’t entirely her fault ) but it won’t improve if her Dad won’t tackle it and it’s not fair to expect you to deal with it so yes, I think you need to break up with him.
Chances are you would break up anyway if you lived together and his child’s behaviour started to cause arguments

WhoWants2Know Sun 01-Jul-18 15:54:30

I'm never sure about issuing ultimatums, because if people don't change voluntarily, then it's can become a bone of contention later.

I would be more inclined to present it as a done deal and focus on the root cause- his parenting is the reason your relationship won't work.

Candypinkstars Sun 01-Jul-18 16:01:04

Who wants to know is spot on

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