Considering leaving DH - I'm a barrier to his relationship with his daughter?(35 Posts)
I love my DH and he is very kind, we've been together 5 years. We get on really well, except that he has got very resentful of me recently.
DSD is 18, we used to get along fine but she saw me as taking over her role when I moved in. She doesn't do any housework but she talks to DH like her mother does - ie very bossy! Puts him down a lot. She lived with us full time but moved out 2 months ago to go to her mothers and apparently I am to blame. DSD told DH and her mother than it was because of me and that 'we were incompatible'.
It all came to a head when I asked her to clear up her mess (dirty dishes left all over the house) - normal teenage stuff - DH was at work so I asked her - in a reasonable way I thought. She went mad and told me to keep out of her business. I said that I was fed up clearing after. I usually try and keep a step back and let DH deal with most things, but I'm not a skivvy. I said that we all lived under the same roof and we need to cooperate.
I feel sad as I did used to make a big effort, listened to her when she was sad, took her out to cinemas etc, helped her with homework. I just always seem to be told to stay in the background where I belong. As she's grown older it's like she feels she can do what she likes in the house and totally ignore me.
Anyway, DH walked in and she ran up to him and told him that I was 'always on her back' and he immediately had a massive go at me! Without even listening to my side of the story.
He then said that DSD was very upset with me as she didn't want to go to her to go to her mum's (currently only once a month) - but to make up her own mind about when and where. I wanted a weekend with just me and DH to ourselves tbh, esp as she often gets the hump with me, even if it is only once a month. She gets on with her mum fine, but likes DH because he goes really easy on her and she can basically do what she likes.
To cut a long story short, DSD moved out to her mums shortly after, without either DH or DSD telling me. She has since refused to come around to the house 'as it is too awkward' with me there. DH sulks all the time and refuses point blank to talk to me.
I think it would be best to just call it a day with DH. I can't control how his DSD feels about me. I have never been mean. Never raised my voice to her. Tried to be sensitive. But I cannot take being resented like this. I want to scream 'it's not my fault!'. I eventually told DH and he is mortified, he said that he would hate me to leave.
He doesn't want you to leave but he's still shifting the blame for his dd acting like a brat onto you. Of course you are fed up. And he's not backing you up in any way.
Your dsd is trying to force him to choose between you. Does he realise that?
I'm dealing with similar and its frustrating. My dsd is 13 and refuses to come here because she says we are always shouting and its stressful. My youngest is being assessed for asd and can be shouty but tbh life is stressful when dsd is here, she causes arguments with my youngest and then blames her and for me life is easier when she's not about.
However she won't answer her dad's calls or return his texts at all which is hard for him and I honestly think that she thinks that if she continues to refuse all contact that he will finish things with me and choose her over me iyswim. I hate seeing dp so hurt but it's her that's doing this not me. And it's the same for you. His dd has chosen to leave knowing it will hurt him in the hope it will split you up.
Mycat - I feel very relieved in a way that I am not the only person to have this going on. I'm really sorry that you are going through similar - and have a child with ASD, you can't really have too much other stress going on to sap your energy really can you.
Honestly I feel pretty heartbroken about it. Frustrated too as I know DSD doesn't really realise her actions could hurt our relationship and DH so much, she's too young to know the magnitude of what withholding your affection to your Dad can do.
I feel very sorry for DH. I know that he loves me. But I do think DSD does unconsciously want to hurt us, and it has worked. I just don't think I can weather this out, have DH silently feel that if it wasn't for me he'd have a great relationship with his daughter. Which I suppose is true! I have to get out of the picture.
I'm so sorry as I think moving out might be the only way.I have a similar situation and it's seems incredibly common for daughters and dad's to have this dysfunctional relationship.Its further amplified if the parents are separated and there is a step mum on the scene.
Your dh however is the parent and sulking is an extremely poor emotional response or worse case a manipulative way to react.
I would give your dh a timeframe to start responding positively, if not then I think separation is the only way.Its not about dsd winning but your dh stepping up to parent.
Can you readily move out.Do you have finances to make it possible?
Yes I do think it would be good to move out. I told DH that it wouldn't be good for either of us with such a cloud hanging over our relationship. I fear it would always be there in the background. It won't be easy but I have some finances.
DH does still want to be with me, and will be devastated if I left.
But he can't see that he is giving his DSD the power to influence how he feels about us.
I've felt under a bit of a cloud for the last 2 years, his DSD has got more stroppy as a young adult and DH has allowed her to treat me with little respect. It's probably because he adores his daughter, I do get that, and gives her more and more as she grows as she had started to strop off to her Mums if he asked her to just tidy her room. So hard in separated families to avoid manipulation!
Wouldn't it be nice to live out from under the cloud that she and your dp are putting you under? To be able relax in your own home and not to have to worry about repercussions if you make a reasonable request of someone?
Get out, whilst the going's good ....this is never going to work!
She will always play the poor hard done by, daddy's princess and you will always be the Wicked Stepmother.....awful way to live!
If your DH won't present a united front with you it sounds like you don't have many other options to be honest. DSD behaved in a very similar way; DH is not the best at disciplining her, but doesn't blame me for her strops.
But... she's 18 you say? How much longer will this really be an issue for? The next year or two of her life will be when she starts separating her life from her parents and getting busy with her own thing.
If she's off on a gap year or to University soon, or getting a FT job, then she'll surely grow up a bit?
This isn't to say that you should ignore the issue with your DH. But I could kind of imagine that he is just enjoying the last bit of time he has with a dependant child and views it as too late to change his parenting strategies, since she's now an adult.
Or...could you just separate physically, ie; live in different homes for a while? You could sort of go back to the dating part of your relationship, but keeping your own peaceful (stroppy teenager free) zone!
Your DH could then see his DD any time in his home, on his own, and you can chill out in your home, and you two could be together in either home when she's at her mums! Or indeed, you could just get taken out and wined and dined a few times a week, and stay in hotels....very romantic!
She'll be off to uni/job/big wide world soon, so you could revert to normality when it's safe to do so! But you never know, you might prefer not to go back to the status quo!!!
"I wanted a weekend with just me and DH to ourselves tbh"
From her perspective, you moved into her home and made her feel unwelcome.
Give it time. You clearly came in her life and with it came some changes that had no benefit to her personally. It isn't so bad to adapt when you are 2, it's much harder when your 18. Maybe her moving to her mum is not a bad thing. She is an adult anyway, so your OH should have been used to the idea that it would happen sooner than later.
I would just let things settle and see if they get better. For all you know, now that she is at her mum, you might get along better...after time to let the anger/bitterness die down.
Thanks very much all of your responses.
My main concern is being the 'scapegoat' and blamed for this, I can see this stropiness on DSDs part going on for some time, with her and DP both united in blaming me for her leaving home for her mothers.
It could go on for years. I'm not sure that I want to wait around to see if either of them will actually have the decency to start to treat me like a human being.
I can see that they may well get over it at some point, and then treat me as if it never happened. I'm not sure I like living with any underlying tension and then just having to suck it up. Depressing thought!
There is also no room for my anger. DP sulks, DSD sulks and strops. But who actually behaved badly here? I don't believe it was me. Yet I'm supposed to not have any feelings myself. We are all adults now.
If I move out, but we carry on a relationship, I think I'd just feel like I'd been moved out by a stroppy teenager and I can't see feeling good about my DP allowing that to happen.
It sounds untenable to me op, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't
I'd feel like banging their heads together when they're both sulking, you appear to be the sole adult in the family.
I wouldn't wait to see if things improve, it might never happen.
I would go - and I would do so a little bit cynically, to be honest. If you move out, you're playing her at her own game and she will get to see that actions have consequences - ie her dad will be upset. Plus - it gives you a chance a) to take stock of things and how YOU really feel with a bit of distance and b) to see how your DH reacts and how well he steps up to the plate.
George the Third I was the only one to be made to feel unwelcome here. I went out of my way for DSD, but yes, the one weekend a month she went to her mums was a huge relief from her increasing rudeness towards me and gave me a tiny, tiny chance to have some time with my DP. If that was unwelcoming or unreasonable then I suggest you walk in my shoes for a couple of weeks before you even think of judging me. I'm giving up the man I love here. It's no easy choice.
I'm a bit tired of DSCs being given carte blanch to give a SM any amount of grief, without any responsibility for any pain, hurt or grief it causes anyone else.
This isn't you.
Don't let them both blame you for all this. And tbh it's not really your dsd 'fault' it's your Dh fault for letting this go on so long. He obviously let his daughter take on the wife/adult side relationship before he met you.
I couldn't allow any one to make me the scape goat. If you go and he doesn't fight for you and she moves back in - things were obviously not as solid as you think. If you go and he thinks 'fuck what have I done?' And works at getting you back would be a new start.
You can't have a new start while every one is blaming you.
Sounds shit but this isn't your fault.
So you told him you were thinking about seperation? What was his reaction? Or rather what was his solution?
I agree this could go on years. Particularly if she dislikes living with her mum and they will start rubbing each other up the wrong way sooner rather than later. She could return shortly and live with her adoring Dad for years to come.
Sorry to have vented a bit earlier, I think things have got to me. I can't really stay. Drastic at it sounds, blame is a big thing to have hanging over me.
I talked to DH recently. He was shocked and really does not want me to leave. However he says that his DSD was 'being adult' as she said that 'me and her just didn't get along', and that he admires her for being brave. I don't really know what to say to that. I don't want him putting down his daughter, but he is basically denying that there is a cloud over me, and I can see the blame will still be there.
But who actually behaved badly here? I don't believe it was me.
Of course you don't believe you did, but then they believe differently at the moment and you can't change that either. In the end, it's not about who is right and wrong, it's about accepting that you don't see eye to eye and don't get along. He might blame you because maybe he felt you should have made more of an effort, but could you see more blame there than there really is? He wants you to stay, so clearly it hasn't killed his love for you.
You seem to have made up your mind about going though and if you are not prepared to wait to see if things get better or fight for your OH, then maybe your relationship is not strong enough indeed to cope with difficult times.
swing the point is I'm being blamed here, being sulked at and DSD is refusing to come to the house because of me.
If there was, as you say, just different points of view, then this blaming of me would not be happening, and I would not have to leave.
So, my son at 15 threw a total strop at my partner for interrupting his life, my partner had higher expectations about tidyness and being more respectful within the house, there was a stand off, I heard my partners view, I spoke to my son, I understood both sides, I asked my son if he was happy if I wanted my partner to leave ? But to understand that meant that I was by myself and would be going forward or could he work with him, I went to my partner and asked him to let deal with any issues by telling me first, it took tons of communication but we got there, my son is 26 now, lives in his own house and considers my now husband his dad, your partner needs to support you but his child needs to understand boundaries, your partner needs to step up. We are great now, but if my son had said at 15 he wasn't willing to work with it I would have split up with my partner.
You'll always be second fiddle to his dd - and she's a hostile and competitive first fiddle! You know it. If you can, get out and save yourself more grief.
And it's very manipulative of him to sulk and give you the silent treatment and then act shocked when you say you're unhappy.
You say in your first post that you used to get along so what changed?
It sounds to me like a conflict of who rules the roost. From your perspective, you are the adult and partner, therefore you should be in charged and your OH supporting you.
From her perspective, all was going well and her and her dad got on fine, then you moved in, and at first, was happy with the way things were, but then gradually, decided that you didn't like her position in the household and started to impose yours.
From his perspective, he was a happy man, one who had a brilliant relationship with his daughter, and then fell in love with you. You moved in, he was a bit anxious about things, but everything settle well and you and her got along, so he was a happy man. Then suddenly things started to change, you started to be more imposing and the whole dynamism started to change leading to her moving to her mum.
So of course he is going to blame you as the way he sees it, all was fine until you started to want to change the dynamism of the household. Something had to happen though as you were not happy as things were, but maybe didn't go about it the best way.
You now think that because there is some blame being put on you that you should end your relationship rather than trying to work on it?
There's a difference between 'some blame' and becoming the family scapegoat.
I'll echo another poster here and say that I don't think you have a step daughter problem, you have a DP problem. If he cannot act like a grown up then yes, I cannot see how you carry on from here. You can't be the adult for two people. I do wonder if you could have been gentler in your efforts to get SD to behave better about the house, but it's hard to tell because it sounds like things had been coming to a head for a while.
Have you tried to have this conversation with DP? That he needs to step up and recognize his part in making this mess, and also his part in resolving it?
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