AIBU to be cross about DH pandering to DSD, or a witch?(54 Posts)
That's it really... DH does EVERYTHING for DSD; all laundry, cooking, cleaning, wakes her up in the morning, makes her lunchboxes, collects her from everywhere at a drop of a hat. etc. He won't leave her alone in the evening because she doesn't like being on her own.
She has no friends - but I think these things are related: she is so 'entitled' and dependent and she gets cross with people for not 'obeying' her.
I am sick of it. I am refusing to cook for her and clean for her any more - I just leave them to it. It makes me dislike DSD and think DH is just a sap.
She is depressed - because of her lack of friends mainly - and is seeing CAMHS. So I think DH feels that he needs to look after her. But I just see it all as enabling more and more infantile dependent behaviour which makes her more and more unpleasant.
AIBU or a witch? Frankly I would like to like in a nice witchy cavern on my own at the moment.
DSD is 18.
She lives with us full time - and I have younger children. Her mother has said she can't bear to be with her so has 'detached'. I know this just adds to her sense of wanted to be loved/neediness.
Wow, no wonder she's depressed
Such an understanding stepmom!
Her own mother says she can't beat to be with her?? Wow that is shocking. No wonder she is depressed. I agre that you DH should be helping his DD to grow up and become more independent, but equally it sounds like she is in a bad place. Acts entitled but has no friends, mother shuns her. No wonder she's leaning on her dad so much.
She's 18?? No, YANBU. DH is not doing her any favours.
I find it VERY difficult when I have other children who will contribute, clean the house etc. but she will not doing anything because 'Daddy wouldn't make me' - and I am consequently the bad guy. Every. Day.
My nine year old will even make her cups of tea when requested and then wash up after her. Because she is 'scared of the hot water'.
Seriously, I might be a witch but I am at the end of my patience.
Has this got worse recently? Because it would drive me mad, was their relationship like this when you married him.
It sounds like they may have got themselves into a catch 22 with her depression and his response. The more he does the less independent she becomes and the less independent she is the worse her mental health problems will become.
The mothers response is shocking. But I don't think I'd want my younger children thinking this was a normal thing. How does your dh envisage helping her mental health? Are the things he is doing being advised by CHAMS because he really needs to follow their advice.
She clearly has issues but he isn't helping her in any way by pandering to her behaviour.
By acting younger and being needy and childlike she is being given the attention that she obviously desperately craves but it needs to stop for her sake.
Her mother is a twat.
DH seems to think she will leave home and it will all be magically fixed.
She won't let CAMHS involve the family at all, because her referral is largely about her thinking she might be a man which was the final straw with her mother. I think it is more a symptom than a cause, however.
I don't doubt she is messed up. We have tried everything - counsellors, therapy, family therapy, camps, but she refuses to engage with any of it for more than a couple of sessions. She likes CAMHS because it has a certain 'kudos' with her peers.
Yes he has always been like this with her and I think he is causing a lot of her problems.
It makes me dislike DSD and think DH is just a sap.
Does your DH know how you feel
about him as a consequence of his behaviour regarding his DD?
That might be the wake up call he needs. It's easy for him to carry on doing these things for his DD because there are consequences (from her) if he doesn't but no consequences - as far as he knows - if he does.
By highlighting that he can either pander to his DD or retain your respect, but not both, he can at least make an informed choice.
> Does your DH know how you feel
Yes he does. But in his heart of hearts, he thinks he is doing the right thing. That's what so difficult. If he had doubts about it, it would be easier. He thinks because he loves her, he is demonstrating this by doing everything she asks. He doesn't think that becase he loves her, he should be showing her how to be independent. Because she is so resistent to that, he won't ask it.
I think i would have to re consider my relationship pandering to 1 persons whims is detrimental to the whole family depressed people manage to live life without snapping their fingers and everybody attends to them your dh is not helping her 1 bit it sounds really stressful
I can't imagine the effect this girls behaviour is having on the other DC in the family, but I would guess it's extremely detrimental! Your DH needs to accept that his behaviour is adversely affecting his DD, and the rest of his family. If you carry on losing respect for him, it will split you up, tell him this and ask him to talk to you about the situation like two adults. Make a plan you're both happy with, and help this poor girl to gain the confidence to grow up!
You're not a witch you're fed up, but by being so, you might not be facing the situation in the best way. You wrote another post about your SD slagging you off to her mum, considering it unacceptable, yet that is exactly what you are doing here. The only difference is that in that what she said came back to her, hopefully what you are saying here won't.
The problem is that you seem to resent the attention that your OH is giving his DD that you don't think is acceptable. He believes that his daughter is ill and therefore trying to do what he thinks she needs.
In the end, as her dad, he can choose to do what he thinks is right for her, even if you don't agree with it, but it is HIM who needs to do it. It's a bit unclear who does what at the moment because on the other thread you were talking about you doing everything, but here you say he does.
By the way, I think his approach is wrong, but ultimately, she is his daughter, so as long as it is not you doing her chores, then you should let him get on with it and realise on his own that this is unlikely to give her the help she needs.
I had a DSD like this, and a DP. I don't think that there is any easy way to make this better.
Particularly if her mum has rejected her, your DP will be overcompensating. My DSD also rejected by her mum.
It is worth speaking to your DP but he will likely just get defensive. I'd take a huge step back, let your DP do whatever he feels is best, but you and your kids stop any enabling and take care of your own unit. As she is 18, it will soon be very, very obvious that she is not learning life skills, but it is for her dad and mum to face those consequences with her.
My DSD is now very immature - her parents just waking up to this and they are panicking that she will never leave home. She's now 20. Not my problem!
Swing: the problem is that because he does so much for her, I end up having to deal with it as well, eg coming home from work and clearing up mess, or she will say 'but dad would bring me a drink!' Etc so I end up doing stuff so I don't seem mean.
I am fed up yes.
What your OH seem to be doing for her is extreme. I expect he hasn't always been like that, so it sounds like he is reacting in fear. You say that she is under the care of CAHMS and is depressed. Has she made threats of self-harm?
The fear that your child could do something to end their lives has to be the worse situation to cope with and I can understand that in desperation, you would do anything to prevent any crisis as a priority.
Maybe your OH see his DD as someone very ill, and therefore who needs looking after like an invalid until she gets better. If that is the case, there is nothing you can do about it because putting pressure on him to do less is only going to increase his fear. What you can do though is have nothing to do with it beyond letting him get on with it. Don't clear up after her, don't do anything beyond what you are comfortable with and ride the tide until it gets better, either because she is better or she finally moves out.
Is there no support services dh could access? My DD has general anxiety disorder and I was able to get support for myself/dh that showed us the best way to support her ( which was the opposite of what I was doing) . Would your dh be willing to listen in those circumstances?
What happens when you talk about specific issues rather than the general issue?
For example making you dd (not sure if they are step sisters or half sisters) make her a cup of tea and washing up afterwards because she is scared of hot water...
She can't be that scared of it because she's happy to drink the hot drink and the washing up water is cooler than the drink. Plus it seems incredibly selfish to let somebody half her age take 'risks' that she is not prepared to.
Is your dh doing anything to help her do little things - so starting with washing up her cup in water that's the the same temperature as her shower so she shouldn't be scared of it.
I understand that he must be very scared (even irrationally so
- still means he has the fear) of his dd harming herself or worse but by the same token I guess she will be cast out of CAHMS soon into the scary adult world and hopefully he must want to do some things to enable her to be more independent.
Does she manage to make a cup of tea ok if she's home alone?
What would your dh do if your dd refused to make dsd or him a cup of tea because she had decided that dsd was right and she was scared?
Might be an interesting experiment for your dd to try and see what the result is - if dsd is genuinely ok and understanding or if she is annoyed that she won't get her tea. Might help to show if she is less empathetic and more entitled as to whether she is genuinely ill or expects to live without having to do any work!!
I understand! This sounds EXACTLY like my dsd (who's 21) I posted pretty much the same as you a while back and got completely flamed! It's so frustrating isn't it! Over the years things have just got worse and worse and she doesn't even leave the house now. I completely understand she's got depression but treating her like a 2 year old and doing absolutely EVERYTHING for her isn't helping, it's making things worse!
You're not a witch and you're not alone!
She just won't eat or drink most of the time if she is on her own. She sees people 'serving' her as demonstrating they love her, so if they don't, she isn't worth it etc. I understand that. However I do think it's a destructive behaviour to enable. DH doesn't see it that way. I suppose he is sort of still attachment parenting her and hoping she will gradually become independent.
It's hard really to criticise him when he thinks he is doing the right thing. i am starting to think we would be better off living apart.
Confuggled if I try to talk to her about it she immediately shuts down or is defensive in the usual teenage style. She just thinks I don't like her. This is becoming the case.
Living apart is what i eventually did! I moved out and live with ds, and he lives with dsd and dss (who's 22 and similarly does nothing but not to such extremes)
I go and stay then when I've had enough of it I leave! I go home and escape! My partner comes and stays a couple of nights a week too. Things have got worse with her since I left as I'm not there to give him "that look" so he just spends all day running around after them! However I'm not there to see it so it doesn't cause as many rows as it used to!
i am starting to think we would be better off living apart.
That's not the solution but as it's been suggested, have you looked into accessing support from organisations about how to cope with a teenagers suffering from serious MH issues?
It sounds like a very complex situation; your feelings are understandable but so is your H's response to his DD. You can see how his choice of response to her is not going to be helpful to her long-term and cause additional work for the household; he is reacting to the immediate concerns solely impacting on DSD- the rejection from her mother/anxiety/depression/friendlessness.
What would be enough of a change for you now in terms of DSD? Would your H consider tracking down some expert help for him to get advice of helping his DD?
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