Am I jealous of sd? And is that totally ridiculous?(12 Posts)
Myself and dp have had a rough ride with dsd (15) who has basically made it very difficult for us and our relationship for the last 6 months, not helped by dp's disney dad behaviour.
Over christmas, I had a couple of melt downs, as I felt it was all about her and not winding her up. Having explained to dp that I felt like I was second best and that dsd ruled the roost, he has listened and the situation has improved no end.
But I found myself thinking last night, and am ashamed to say that I think I might be jealous of dsd. Jealous that she is dp's number 1 priority, and keeping her "calm" is top of the agenda. Jealous that if she wants him to, then he will do just about anything for her, or try to, to make her happy.
Now I do realise, that she is his child and maybe thats just me, but I don't feel like that towards my children. Of course if they were in trouble, I would fight for them, all the way. And I do my best to make them happy etc etc. But I do'nt do it at the exclusion of everything else. Is this wrong? I mean, if i want to invite a friend over for coffee with me, then I bloody well will, I do'nt ask my kids permission first. Or if I want to cook my favourite dinner, then I will, I won't not bother, just because its not my kids favourite. I guess I sound like a right cruel cow, I'm not at all.
Does this make any sense at all? And what should I do about it? Is this why sd winds me up so much?
The other thing that doesn't help is that she knows that she is higher priority than me and she knows that she can throw a strop or temper tantrum, or turn on the water works, and that can be effective at getting him to change his plans with me.
I have totally disengaged from her, and currently have zero contact with her, at her request and also to keep my sanity. This is good in one sense as it means I don't have to get caught up in her latest drama, but it also means that my time with dp is limited, as we can't be together as a family (she lives with dp fulll time).
Any advice from other more experienced step mums?
I've been a step-mum for a decade now and I wouldn't still be with my (now) DH if I was in your position.
I take your point that you don't allow your children to rule what you do and don't do and you work together as a family unit. However your DP is prepared to allow his DD to control what he does and doesn't do.
If he's not prepared to change that your options are a) wait until she's old enough to move out / move on, but then be prepared for a rocky relationship with her for ever; b) Park this relationship up and move on. c) try and get together and sort this out - but to be honest you're onto a bit of a loser there as she's not going to want to lose her position of superiority and he's already shown that he's not prepared to rock the status quo.
I've had my rocky periods with DH and DSD - mainly due to DH being an arse until he worked out that there were 3 people in the relationship and even if DSD came first during their contact time, it didn't mean he could be a knob to me. These were ironed out in the first year or so while we all 'bedded into' the relationship.
Your DP isn't going to do this and if I was in your shoes I'd move on. Fast.
In the US they refer to this as 'spousal status' - Your DP has given his daughter the status of a spouse in his life.
Unfortunately, it's unlikely to change even when she is an adult - he will still cancel plans with you if his DD asks him to, and go running to make sure that she is not inconvenienced in life, regardless of where she lives or who she shares her life with.
It's perfectly natural to be jealous when he is lavishing his DD with the emotion that should be exclusive to a partner - he has absolved himself of the responsibility of parenting her, so it is inevitable that you no longer perceive her as his daughter but as someone with whom he considers equivalent to you in his life. If he was parenting her as a DD then she wouldn't be a threat as you and she would have very different roles in his life - neither more important than the other, but different. At the moment you are both in the same 'category' - and she sees you as a threat as much as you see her as one!
Disengaging may help you cope with the feelings of jealousy, but your DPs behaviour is eroding your respect for him as well - I think you have to be honest about your relationship and whether he has the qualities you respect and admire in a life partner
Thanks nadm. Very wise words.
To be fair to dp he has started to make changes and I hope these continue.
Maybe in truth this is why it feels so important to have figured this out. Because actually this is the root of the problem.
I am jealous of their relationship because that is the relationship i want with him and I guess I am worried that there isn't room for 2 relationships like that in 1 family
Oh shit.... This is exactly it.
Dp and dsd are like the parents while dss is the child. I that's it. I that's why I can't get my head around it at all.
So now what?
You're not jealous, you're resentful that this girl is not treated properly by her father whilst you are trying to bring up your kids properly.
You need to try and get him to change. Dsd is just playing the game with cards she's been dealt by her father.
Dp needs to keep a balance between the two relationships instead of making one a priority over the other. Afterall, you are his partner and she is his child. He needs to make clear to dsd the difference between the two relationships. If he shows you affection or plans to spend time with you, that does'nt mean he loves her any less. He just cant love you the same way because like I said, two very different relationships. A lot of things he would do with you he wouldn't do with her. You need to nip this in the bud otherwise she will never have any respect for you or acknowledge you as her father's partner/wife and neither will he. I personally would'nt tolerate that and would make it known.
Hi first time posting so please excuse the mistakes,
I have been in the same situation for the last 10 years so I know exactly how you feel, my DH has a DD of 13 who lives with us 50% of the time, whom he has always confered 'spousal status' on as well as being a Disney Dad. For example waiting on DSD hand and foot when she is with us, using the same terms of endearment, if we have a weekend away on our own then DH takes DSD away for a weekend just the two of them, DSD is asked what she would like to do each time she is with us, they have meals out together just the two of them in nice restaurants it goes on and on.. I have tried to explain how his behaviour and this relationship makes me feel but he just can't seem to get it.
I decided about two years ago that if I wanted our relationship to work I would need to find away to handle this and make it work to my advantage as my DH is a great person. The weekends that DSD is with us, I make plans of my own, so that when DH tells me that he and DSD are dong XYZ together I can say 'thats fine, I'm doing XYZ' with my own kids (DS 20 and DD 19), or family or friends. I realised that I was the only person who was getting upset by the situation and I needed to change my life to make me feel better. DH can hardly moan if i want to spend the weekend with my DD who is away at Uni, or go and see friends who live in another area of the country as he has arranged plenty of these sort of things for DSD and himself.
I hope this helps
Flora, your situation sounds horrendous and I really feel for you. Whilst I'm pleased you've found a way to cope, I still think your DH's relationship with his daughter sounds extremely skewed and unhealthy - and a text book case of "spousification.". From what you've said, you and your DH spend 50% of your weekends apart, while he "courts" his daughter? This would never happen in a bio family.
Sounds very weird to me tbh. I couldn't cope with hat situation either. He sounds like he needs to step back a little to see exactly what he's doing and change his behaviour. That said, if I've got on with doing ur own thing and u enjoy it now, uve got a good deal too. I guess it's how long u can continue to put up with it.
Flora, I must admit I felt so sad when I read your post. I agree with Petal, it would never happen in a bio family. I know that you say your DH is a great person but is he really so great if he's neglecting you like this? You sound like a nice person and you deserve better. Your husband should be someone who enhances your life not someone who makes you second best like this. I must admit, I find it a bit peculiar that he takes his daughter to nice restaurants and uses the same terms of endearment. These are things that he should be doing/saying to his wife. It must be very hurtful for you. I was in a similar situation for a long time (7 years). I accepted at an early stage that when DH's children were with us (EOW and once in week) they would take up the majority of his time but tbh it was complete spousification with both of them really, he didn't really have any interest in me at all. I got to the point that I couldn't live with it any more and told him I wanted a divorce. I actually did mean this, it wasn't an empty threat and I had taken steps to find accommodation, solicitor etc. DH could see I meant this and he begged me to stay. I was sceptical but thought I owed it to our 2 DCs to give him a chance. While he does still have a Disney tendency at times, things did actually improve beyond all my expectations. This was nearly 4 years ago, overall we're very happy now. If things hadn't of changed I would of left, I couldn't of lived my life like that any longer, I would of rather been on my own.
Hi op and all in similar boat. Been there, still am... Can recommend Patricia Love's book on emotional incest, found this on mn. Things improved after dh realized damage he was doing, mostly to dsd, my anxieties never received full attention. Until now, because I insisted on couple counseling, and dh finally apologized for treating me like a slave for the first years together. I could rant as much as I wanted, he was determined to create a better home for dsc than ex, blah blah. Now we have household chores for everybody and I feel like a real person.
Almost anyway. I am going to ask for another apology at next counseling session for inappropriate relationship to dsd I had to endure. Call it closure. I feel it has to be a bit public or its insincere.
Having said that, dsd, now 16, is still a very sexualised girl, neither parent prepared to actually parent, e.g. telling her about appropriate clothes, priorities etc. it sickens me how she feels entitled to having every whim satisfied by pouting and flashing boobs, here, at her mum and stepdad's, at school... I cannot tell if her behaviour results from parents being her bffs or if its genes, hormones? I teach teen girls and have never ever experienced a girl like this. Am baffled and frankly annoyed. Jealous? I hope so, because then its up to me to change, if not, don't know how this will pan out...
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