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Dh & my Dd are not speaking to each other

(11 Posts)
Chocoflakes Thu 27-Feb-14 07:50:52

I'm so sad right now.

In hindsight we should have researched how to let dh step parent, as it is now, dd18 thinks dh is a control freak (past issues with her father being one) and dh wants to be the head of the house ( not in a controlled way just respected and appreciated)

I found some good advice online about how dh's role 'should' be, in that I have to be the main discipliner and he backs me up, all taken on board by dh very well.

But they both just ignore each other now and I'm in the middle. Dd told me that she doesn't give a damn about her step dad and he could leave tomorrow and she wouldn't be bothered, I thought/had hoped she respected him as a decent human being!

Not sure what advice I'm after, if any but just wondered if any others have had similar and come out all OK in the long term?

JeanSeberg Thu 27-Feb-14 07:54:35

What's the relationship history here (between your husband and daughter)? How old was she when you get together and have they ever got on well?

You talk about being the main discipliner - how much disciplining do you have to do with your 18 year old?

ElenorRigby Thu 27-Feb-14 08:05:17

Head of the House?? He said that?

Chocoflakes Thu 27-Feb-14 08:13:18

dd was 14 when we got together, I have Ds 16 now, dh has ds13 & dd11.

when we all met it was great, all children got on well and had weekends all away.

when I split from exh I gradually became more assertive towards dd, she's quite the controlling type herself, and then when dh moved in this continued (for some reason I'm scared of saying no to her and always think how things will effect her 1st) she didn't like it but I could stand my ground.

I know looking back to the past year I have let dh start conversations re tidying up after herself etc because he is much better at articulating himself against an argument than I am, I would become flustered, and she twists things around.

they always got on before, each start conversations and she'd ask advice, be jokey, she would even tell dh things about school or something before me.

Chocoflakes Thu 27-Feb-14 08:17:30

no he didn't say that. we both have equal input into how the house is run, have the same views on child rearing etc.
we both want respect.

ElenorRigby Thu 27-Feb-14 08:27:50

Ah OK sounds like your DD is the problem then.

I have no experience of teenagers sorry confused
Maybe you could post in the teenagers forum

brdgrl Thu 27-Feb-14 09:56:43

Hi there. I have been on the other side of this, being stepmum to teenagers.
I've been through the peak of the teenage strop with the elder one, and yes, we have come out the other side OK. Just in midst of same with the second one, now. I will let you know in a year how it turned out! I am encouraged by knowing that he and I always had a close relationship before now, that we managed to get through this phase with one already, that strife with teens is common enough...it is hard, but it sounds like you and your DH are on the same page, so that's worth a lot. Consistency is important, and most of all not letting it come between the two of you.

Theoldhag Fri 28-Feb-14 10:02:33

I did a double take too Elenor at the 'head of house comment' shock

Thing is op your dd is now an adult, if she chooses not to like your dp there is very little you can do about it. Your dp should be the more mature person however and ignoring your dd is rather childish. I would talk to both of them together and tell them that as adults you expect them both to be at least civil and polite to each other as they are living under the same roof. Ignoring and creating an atmosphere is not the adult thing to do and it gives the children that are living with you a bad message.

brdgrl Fri 28-Feb-14 11:35:34

I don't agree, oldhag. They are not three peers living in a shared flat together.

It also isn't reasonable to find that the DD is "an adult" (no, at 18 she is as best in the process of becoming an adult...which is far more than a legal status) but also argue that allowances should be made for her immaturity. Sure - adjust expectations based on immaturity - but also adjust privileges and boundaries based on the same immaturity!

An 18 year-old child living at home, and the joint head of house (and no, I have no problem with that term at all, my DH and I ARE the heads of house!), don't have the same status, frankly. That doesn't mean that DH should act badly, either. But what it does mean is that the way OP deals with their behaviours should be different. Not a shared talking-to like you would to naughty children or flatmates who aren't getting along. I can tell you, I would be very unimpressed if my DH delivered a speech to me and DD together about his expectations of behaviour.

OP, can you clarify something - are they actually ignoring each other - as in pointed, not speaking - or do you mean that they are civil but not interacting when not strictly necessary? And how long has it been going on like that?

mamalovesmojitos Fri 28-Feb-14 11:45:04

I think you should do more of the disciplining, of course your dh will support you, but while your dd is feeling sensitive about all the changes in her life she might respond better to her step dad taking a step back. It's hard for everyone, and it sounds like if her bio dad was very controlling that her childhood hasn't always been an easy ride.

Be firm but fair, let him take more of a stepdad role rather than a dad role. Don't accept abuse from her but if she needs a little space and is just keeping a frosty, but civil silence, then cut her a little slack. I've been in her position. It was very hard for me and I got very depressed.

Fwiw I'm 30 now and have a fantastic relationship with my dad. Built on years of getting to know each other and arriving at a healthy respect. It wasn't always unconditional love, but in some ways our relationship is all the richer as it developed naturally and we learnt a lot about each other. It's an authentic relationship built brick by brick over time. Best of luck.

anklebitersmum Mon 03-Mar-14 13:26:38

Has something 'set her off' recently? Sounds to me like everything was OK and now suddenly it isn't.

I'd have an 'adult' chat with her, involving DH of course and try to nip this 'not talking routine' in the bud. If she's picked up on the fact that DH has become the primary disciplinarian of late perhaps she sees the sulkiness as an alternative to the arguing she'd do with you and hence getting her own way?

House rules and a united front seem the way forward here. And don't flap about text books implying you 'did it wrong'. If you see nothing else on this forum it's that there are no hard and fast rules.

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