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Step dad overstepping the mark?(37 Posts)
I posted this in chat last night and got no responses. I think my husband is overstepping by shouting at my daughter. We've been together for 7 years but only lived together for 18 months. He came back after his stop and said that he felt low down the pecking order in our house, ie after my daughter. Shouldn't she be my first priority before him? She's having a hard time with her dad as he has a go at her for minor stuff, to the point where she barely wants to see him. But I don't want her feeling like she's being got at here as well.
Also he said that I'd shouted at his kids in the past so what's the difference. I haven't. I may have been a bit sharp with them after asking them to do the same thing for the millionth time (something he should've been telling them, not me. And yes, I made that point to him).
Don't want to ruin the entire weekend but am lying in bed still feeling pretty mad. Both of us thinks the other is in the wrong.
*t's Saturday night and I'm in bed at 9.30. Had a row with husband as he snapped at my daughter for no reason and upset her. He's been a grumpy bastard all day and I'm especially sensitive to her needs at the minute as she's getting a hard time off her dad. So husband fucked off out in a strop for an hour and has come home all apologetic but I honestly can't be arsed with him. This is my second marriage and it really shouldn't be this hard. Was really looking forward to a nice Saturday night in with some fizz and a movie but here I am in bed early. Feel like the weekend has been wasted.
Cheer me up with what you're doing this fine Saturday night. Or alternatively tell me you're having as shit a time as me.*
She told him to sit down for dinner as we were waiting to eat and he was fucking around with his phone.
@chocolatesaltyballs22 how old is your daughter and what was the tone of how she asked him to sit down?
Was it a polite “please can you hurry up, we’re all starving” or an annoyed “for God’s sake you’re keeping us waiting!!!”
The reason I ask is I have the same issue with my youngest SD. It’s not what she says but how she says it, she uses a tone that is rude and at times speaks to me like I’m shit. It’s horrible.
But at times when I’ve pulled her up on it my DP has said “she only asked where her shoes were” for example, in her defence. She may have only used the words “where are my shoes” that is correct, but she banged loudly on my bedroom door and screamed it at me when I opened it. So yes she did only say those words but the inference and rudeness in her tone and body language is what made it unacceptable behaviour.
You say she’s having problems with her dad, that he’s constantly telling her off... be honest with yourself for a second, could it be because she is being bad mannered and rude? Are you the soft parent who doesn’t pull her up on her rudeness and excuse it under the guise of “its normal/ she’s hormonal / she’s tired”?
I am a mother of two also (DP is not their father, from my first marriage). I understand your protectiveness over your DD but you’ve known this man for 7 years, you’ve loved and trusted him enough in all this time to stay with him and want to marry him... so what’s changed?
The same with your DD’s dad... has he always been harsh on her or is he actually trying to instill some discipline because she’s being rude at the moment?
No one likes to think think their kids are being out of line, I know I don’t. But if she is you’re doing her no favours wrapping her in cotton wool from two men who love her and maybe are recognising her unruly behaviour.
he was fucking around with his phone
Regardless of what he was doing, he doesn’t deserve to be spoken to like that. I understand you’re angry now but were you also using that sort of language or tone at the time? Was your DD mimicking you?
Maybe your DH picked up on that also and got cross.
It's a fair question but no, she's not rude or stroppy. Ok she has her moments like any teen does (she's 16) and I'd be the first to reprimand her. What she said was in a joking way and he over-reacted because he was in a mood. The situation with her dad is that he's controlling and manipulative. She normally has a good relationship with her stepdad and that's why she was so upset that he'd snapped at her. It's not usual for him but I still can't help feeling angry when she's going through lots of crap with her dad. She's been in tears with us many times and called to ask to be picked up because of how he treats her (eg not wanting her to see her friends and expecting her to do boring stuff with him, basically treating her like a child).
Sorry this is a bit of a drip feed but I have posted about her dad in the past and didn't want to rehash it all, but it's relevant.
Poor DD. Sounds like she has a useless dad and now this man who is now living in her home has decided he should be your number 1 priority. I would be protecting my DD first and foremost....
@IfYouWannaComeBack - no, I didn't ask him to stop fucking around, although I was thinking it. When he sat down I said 'you shouldn't let X wind you up' because I knew who he was texting. He took this as me trying to tell him what to do, instead of concern for how it was impacting his mood.
Do you have any opportunity to have a break from each other. Sounds like our house, if we don't get any time apart. Just little things start to niggle and we know it's time to have a break, a bit of space is often helpful.
Can you plan a day out, just you and DD for some quality time together.
Shouldn't your DH have been helping you not messing around on his phone (honest question, not trying to stir it, but does he do his fair share or leave it all up to you?)
@daisychain01 we have a girls day coming up in half term so that's sorted. He does pull his weight in the house. Sometimes he has to be prompted as he's easily distracted, but he's really not all bad. We don't argue often but when we do it blows up into a huge deal and I struggle to move past it. Like I said, he was apologetic when he came home but I struggle to accept his apology when I'm still angry.
Would it help if you explained to DD (with DH not around) that DH is having a hard time at the moment, that X is winding him up, etc? My DD is 16 too and responds quite well to that sort of thing. They're old enough to have some appreciation that adults too have bad days, and might be snappy over something very minor.
I don't really feel like excusing his grumpiness if I'm honest. Person in question who he was texting always winds him up about the same thing and he just continues to engage - his fault.
He yelled at her once - or is there more back story to come
@chocolatesaltyballs22 I’m guessing it’s his ex wife he’s texting
I don't really feel like excusing his grumpiness if I'm honest
You don't need to excuse his behaviour, you just need to provide some sort of reasonable explanation that a 16yo can absorb and deal with. The aim is not to embroil your DD in the tensions you may have with your DH but rather to somewhat calm the situation and express any frustration with your DH to him alone, so it doesn't become a battleground.
First of all, you said he'd shouted at her but later amended it to snapping, and say that you have basically done the same thing with his kids. So it does seem like a double standard.
Aside from that, I think your problem is probably that you view it as "overstepping", rather than just "being mean".
Most people in any family will at some point lose their composure and snap at someone unfairly, but usually we just apologise and say why we were in a bad mood, and move on. It sounds to me like you are holding it against him for excessively long because he is not her dad and therefore you feel he doesn't have the right to speak to her. After seven years I do think he should really be as free to speak around them as anyone else in the family and I would feel pissed off too if you overreacted because you don't think he has the right to speak.
So dinner was ready, DH was texting, DD took it upon herself to tell him to get to the table and he shouted at her. Standard stuff really. I may well have shouted at her too. Then when he sat down you told him not to let your DD wind him up. Was this in front of your DD?
TBH, although her DF might not be the father you want him to be, picking her up from his because she can't have her own way is very undermining and you're playing right into her hands. I know when my now adult DD was a teen she would often try to pull a fast one with me or her DF (my ex) by phoning and crying. Neither of us would give in to her requests. She admitted once she was a proper adult that she was just trying to pull the wool over our eyes and would play the 'my dad / mum is being awful to me' card when she couldn't get her own way.
Basically you're saying your Dh should not challenge your DD. Sorry, but you're wrong.
It’s not his fault her dad is crap and she shouldn’t be taking her grumpiness with her dad out on your partner. It’s also not her job to tell him off about anything. He’s an adult, if he wants to play on his phone and eat a cold meal that’s up to him? Had she made the dinner?
It’s not about who comes first. Everyone in the household should be treated kindly and respectfully. In what you describe you feel in the right to berate his DC and step in when you don’t feel he’s doing it right - bit rich but depends on the specifics - your DD feels entitled to pick on him about not rushing to the table and he responds snippily. You seem to be holding him to a different standard than yourself and your DD and I don’t see how that’s fair.
Your partner of 7 years has told you that he feels he is low down in your pecking order (I.e always last). You follow that with shouldn't your child always come first?
1) when he said this to you, did you give him the emotional headspace? As in did you sit with him and ask him why he feels this way and what it is that is happening that makes him feel this way?
If you did, what did he say? If you didn’t, why didn’t you?
2) No, children should not always come first. At the expense (consistently) of other people’s needs in the wider family. At 16 she is not a small child that requires a high level of attention in so much that a toddler/ younger child does. I say that whether it is a traditional 2.4 family or whether it’s a more complex ‘blended’ family.
In your shoes I’d be seeking to understand. Not be understood.
I think your daughter’s difficulties in the relationship are separate and do not mean she can’t tolerate (what sounds to me like) unfortunate moments of snippiness in your home (we all have off moments) - it sounds like he came back apologetic so I don’t see the big issue. She isn’t a small child, she is big enough to know adults don’t always behave brilliantly.
I think maybe dd’s problems with her dad are resonating a bit much with you (maybe left over stuff from your marriage?) meaning you aren’t retaining perspective. Yep I would be seeking to understand what’s up with your DP to make him say what he did and iron that out. To still be still huffy about it after he apologised seems OTT.
I think some of you are right. I still have issues from my first marriage and it makes me over sensitive. Thanks for your replies.
He apologised. That's accepting he was wrong...so I'd let it go.
Did he apologise to DD?
I take it the whole family was waiting for him before starting to eat? How would he have reacted if you were all waiting for her?
He should not be taking his issues out on her, she is a child struggling with her dad and while this doesn’t mean she should get away with murder, it does also mean that her home needs to be her sanctuary.
Personally I believe that the needs (not necessarily wants) of the child as they have few choices and are generally powerless which they should be as... they are children. This includes emotional well being.
I hope he apologised to her, explained why he was pissed with her so she knows what she did wrong (if anything) and that everyone can move on.
Yes, he apologised to her.