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I can't cope with dsd full time. What now?

(59 Posts)
Onthedoorstep Thu 15-Jan-15 22:47:11

We've been living together for six months. It was 50:50 care but now dsd is living here 90% of the time.

The house is small. I am an introvert. I cannot cope any more. Every day is a drama.

What now? I don't know what to do next. I could ask DH to move out. I could ask him to tell her we don't want her 50:50. That seems wrong. If he moves out then I don't think she will want to live with him so much. Then what?

What now?

ArsenicFaceCream Thu 15-Jan-15 22:49:31

How old is she?

How did the arrangement change?

Any other DC?

gamerchick Thu 15-Jan-15 22:51:49

How old is she?

Thumbwitch Thu 15-Jan-15 22:53:00

Yes, how old is she? Why has the arrangement changed? Do you generally get on?

Onthedoorstep Thu 15-Jan-15 22:53:38

She is 16. She doesn't get on with her mum.

I have two younger children.

ArsenicFaceCream Thu 15-Jan-15 22:56:49

You sound very stressed. flowers

What do you mean by daily drama?

Is she i her GCSE year? What are her plans after that?

Is your DH not easy to talk to?

Tryharder Thu 15-Jan-15 23:01:05


How would you feel if your DH came to you and said that he didn't like your children and therefore they should go and live with their Dad or you should all move out?

ArsenicFaceCream Thu 15-Jan-15 23:18:25

If you really can't bear it (whatever 'it' is, rightly or wrongly) it would be better to get it over with. But as Try says (implies), I would expect that to wreck my marriage, if it were me.

PerpendicularVincenzo Thu 15-Jan-15 23:19:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thumbwitch Thu 15-Jan-15 23:31:15

OK, so 16 is pretty full-on as ages go, but do you get on well with your DSD?
You can't, in all fairness, ask your DH and/or her to leave, that's just unreasonable. I'm quite sure that lots of parents (including my own, back in the day) would like to be shot of their 16yos, but it mostly just doesn't happen, people have to learn to deal with each other.

Is she generally respectful and helpful, or what? You really need to put more detail if you want more specific help.

Onthedoorstep Fri 16-Jan-15 07:33:38

Truancy, terrible behaviour if anyone visits, coming into our bedroom every night saying she can't sleep, upsetting the younger children - she isn't well (mentally) and she is getting help but I am just becoming so withdrawn and unwell myself. I don't know what to do.

I also have no control over her (obviously) and her parenting - DH is far more laid back than me.

I think the main thing is that she has no friends and so we are all she wants to talk to - all the time. I am an introvert and just can't cope.

A friend has suggested that I stay in her spare bedroom a few nights a week. I might start doing that. But it all seems unsustainable.

bexster5 Fri 16-Jan-15 07:38:30

Sounds absolutely frightful. I'm so sorry for you.

Whilst you don't have control over her or her parenting you should be allowed to have control over how YOUR house is run. So to that end can you talk to DH about some house rules? If you can't talk to him about that then the whole set up doesn't sound sustainable.


MinceSpy Fri 16-Jan-15 07:41:16

You need to have an honest conversation with your husband and tell him you can't cope and he needs to find a workable solution.

MythicalKings Fri 16-Jan-15 07:41:52

A serious talk with your DH is what I would suggest.

Then a talk with his DD about boundaries and the need for privacy for everyone.

And a lock on your bedroom door so she can't just wander in.

SoupDragon Fri 16-Jan-15 08:02:47

I don think you can put all of the blame onto your SD and DH. Part of the problem is you (and I don't mean that how it sounds!!) because you are an introvert.

You need to find a way to all live together as a family with all the compromises that entails. Everyone needs to make compromises in order to live as a family and working them out can be hard.

ArsenicFaceCream Fri 16-Jan-15 08:02:50

If she has MH problems, then she needs support and therapeutic input.

No wonder things are reaching crisis point if she isn't getting these.

You say 'truancy' is it more like school refusal? What is your DH doing about it all?

Bonsoir Fri 16-Jan-15 08:08:43

She sounds desperate for attention and a structured life.

I think you can - indeed must - explain to your DH that DSD doesn't need a laid back parent but a firm and supportive one. This of course means much more work for him.

Thumbwitch Fri 16-Jan-15 09:05:34

All right, so there are some fairly large issues there - but the biggest one appears to be her mental health status. What is being done for her? Does she have a health care programme? Is she on medication? Does she have a therapist, a CPN, any support at all?

Get that sorted first and the rest might become easier.

Thumbwitch Fri 16-Jan-15 09:07:43

Oh and I agree with whomever said that you need to be able to impose some rules on her, as it's your home. You cannot have no input into her parenting, if she is living with you nearly all the time - your DH has to allow you to help with the parenting.

HelloItsStillMeFell Fri 16-Jan-15 09:26:49

I feel for you. I really do. She clearly need to be given some boundaries and some house rules but she is your husband's daughter. You married a man with a child - you took on a package deal. You have to find a way through this. You cannot expect him to choose, you just cannot. She is going through a difficult time as teenagers often do (and as your own children may well do one day) and she needs and deserves her father's and your support. It is not fair to walk out on your relationship and to remove him from the daily lives of his other children just because he is being exactly the father he should be to his daughter.

I'm sorry, I don't know what the solution is, but the solution is not to expect him to hold her at arm's length or ask her to leave for you. Help him find her the help she needs, but don't make him choose between you and her, it's not fair.

And to give you some perspective I have gone through periods where I've felt overwhelmed, withdrawn and ill with stress over one of my own teenagers, so it's not a problem that's confined to step parenting. What will you do if it happens with one of your own? Where will you send them when you are feeling introverted?

PeruvianFoodLover Fri 16-Jan-15 14:24:21

You married a man with a child - you took on a package deal. You have to find a way through this. You cannot expect him to choose, you just cannot.

Why not? If the OP and her DP (are they married?) have fundamental differences in values regarding parenting, then it doesn't matter whether the child is his, hers or joint - she has every right to say this is a deal breaker for me; I can't accept your way of doing things and end the relationship if her DP is equally committed to "his" way.

It's not always possible to reach a compromise - particularly if there are children from previous relationships involved - but that doesn't mean that one party must concede and set their values to one side; it just means that the couple are no longer compatible.

Onthedoorstep Fri 16-Jan-15 14:50:32

Yes I took on his daughter but I am now practically a cater for someone who is mentally unwell and someone I do not have a mother's unconditional love for.

Also, despite us having her nearly all the time, all family liaison meetings are with her mum and dad. I am kept out of all of it but then I have to live with it day to day!

Petal02 Fri 16-Jan-15 14:50:48

I completely agree with Thumbwitch's comments - you just HAVE to be allowed to parent her. There's no way this is ever going to work if not. If you're not allowed to have any adult/parental authority over her, then surely that demotes your status to that of 'child'?

Petal02 Fri 16-Jan-15 14:52:11

Despite us having her nearly all the time, all family liaison meetings are with her mum and dad. I am kept out of it

That is outrageous and needs to be challenged.

Purpleflamingos Fri 16-Jan-15 14:57:11

You may be an introvert but on this occasion you need to step up.
You need to be involved with her mental health care.
You need to implement boundaries with dsd.
You need sleep.

I'm saying you need to step up for your dsd and your own children. Running away or asking DH and dsd to leave isn't going to resolve any issues or show your dc how to deal with issues.

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