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DSD playing parents off against each other & I am caught in the middle

(11 Posts)
mistressmiggins Mon 23-Feb-09 12:35:00

Started a thread 6 mths ago saying how happy I was that DP & his DD were moving in....well, they moved in but by Xmas, DSD left to live with her mum. DP had custody (undisputed) for 3 yrs prior to moving in with me - then suddenly his exW wanted her back.

She made life here very hard and in the end we had to let her go to live with her mum.
It was probably because her mum has no boundaries, lavishes DSD with clothes & things, lets her stay up late & now every time she returns from a weekend in with us, her mum is straight on the phone txting DP - usually something vile about me.sad

DP has started hiding texts from her or lying "to protect me" but having been a cuckholded wife via text, I hate mobiles and find trusting him hard while he is lying about what she is saying.

It frustrates me that while he is happy to discipline my 2 (and so am I) he is clearly not man enough to stand up to either his DD or his ex.

It's just miserable. I am scared to say anything to DSD when she is here, as she just sulks & then reports back to her mum.

He is now talking about not seeing his DD anymore cos she is lying about us but that is not what I want, especially as he will end up regretting that & resenting me.


prettyfly1 Mon 23-Feb-09 13:32:27

Oh god Mistress Miggins,as the step parent of a sulky dss and bitchy ex w myself I fully sympathise. I think you are right to encourage him to see her. Would it be worth him seeing her for a day at the weekend without you there to start with whilst their relationship is repaired. I have a son of my own too and ex w is a nightmare for allowing dss to do what he wants and us having to really discipline him when he is here, but we are fortunate enough to agree on the rules. He certainly should not be hiding texts, particularly knowing how you feel about it, so i think you should ask him to tell his ex wife to refrain from any abuse about you and he should refuse point blank to allow her air time. You are his partner now and he should absolutely stand up for you and your rights in his life. ONe of which is not to be abused.

mistressmiggins Mon 23-Feb-09 14:42:38

I am going to explain how hurt I am by him allowing her to abuse me via txt. The trouble with him seeing DSD separately and just for the day, is this is exactly what DSD wants - she hasalready told him she wants to just spend time with him going shopping or to the cinema. How is that teaching her that she cant have eveything she wants every time she throws a tantrum? How does that teach my 2 DCs that good behaviour is rewarded?
I am sure his entire family blame me for DSD going back to her mum after 3 yrs - in fact DP's family are now being nice to exW even though when DSD was living with DP, they were positively spitting poison at hersad

I feel if his family had been more positive about our relationship, DSD may still be here.

It just gets worse not better.

When DSD is not here, we get on fine as a family, but we all miss her & look forward to her coming to stay....then it ends in a sulk & subsequent txts.

prettyfly1 Mon 23-Feb-09 15:35:06

mmm. But at the same time, perhaps all the change has been very difficult for dsd. It was pretty much just her and him for the three years before you came along and she may well need some time on her own with him to maintain the bond she feels she had. She is a kid so is acting out.

MayorNaze Mon 23-Feb-09 15:43:52

consistency. your house, your rules. your routine. perhaps plan days by the minute if you have to to ensure everyone knows what is happening when. ask your dsd what she would like to do. explain that you will all be spending x amount of time together as a family, then her and dh perhaps can spend x amount of time just them *if she is good, nice etc during family time*

ignore all negative communication from the ex.

it sucks, i know, but consistency consistency consitency in your approach is paramount.

prettyfly1 Mon 23-Feb-09 16:03:51

But, I do think you need to remember that your partner chose you, but your stepdaughter didnt. It may be that it seems like everything in her life has changed and she gets no say in it, particularly if she is a teen when girls are prone to being angry anyway. It sounds to me like she just wants time with her dad and while i do agree with mayornaze i am not sure rewarding her with time with HER dad is appropriate. I think time with her dad one on one, provided the others get the same sort of attention, would sort the problem out and also cut off the power source his ex has at the moment. I know you desperately want to be a family but it doesnt happen instantly and everyone has to want it and maybe she doesnt. Drumming "we are a family " at her will make her rebel deliberately and if he cuts her off it will show her that you definately are not a family.

prettyfly1 Mon 23-Feb-09 16:06:47

Also, and i know this because I am guilty of it and trying desperately to stop, there is a tendency to be far harder on a child if you know the other parent is not instilling discipline, almost like compensation. That isnt fair either and of course a child will choose to be where its easiest and they get spoilt. Doesnt mean they will see it the same way when they are older.

mistressmiggins Mon 23-Feb-09 16:19:27

The time together thing doesnt work
when they moved in, I suggested they spend time just the 2 of them, which they did, but it just made her demand more.

Also how do you do 1 on 1 time without it being a treat like cinema? Surely then he just becomes funtime dad which is what my 2 have when they go to my ex's.
She is older than my 2 so she gets time in the evening when they play on WII together or play board games.

I think it is just the fact that I believe in tidy(ish) rooms, discipline and not handing out money for nothing. We took her shopping for boots Sat and but she found nothing she liked. We promised to take her to another town next time so we can get boots. When she is with us, she seems happy, but as soon as she gets home to her mum, the texts start and a fortnight later, DSD is txting her dad saying she doesnt want to come.

Surfermum Mon 23-Feb-09 18:43:39

This is spooky MM, I was only thinking about you last night and wondering how you are getting on. I nearly posted on the missing mumsnetters thread!

I'm so sorry to hear that she ended up living at her mum's. I was going to say that I didn't think it would be a bad thing for her to have some one to one time with her Dad, but it sounds like she is getting plenty. I agree with prettyfly about how much things have changed for her and it must be hard for her. I wonder if she is just pushing the boundaries but also feeling all sorts of things she doesn't know how to verbalise? And I wonder if being at her mum's is REALLY what she wanted and she regrets moving there.

Do you think she actually is going home and saying stuff to her mum, or is her mum just making things up just to have a go about? It's a really difficult one to deal with, and from my experience things like this stopped happening when dsd's mum started talking to us and things improved and we were able to present a united front.

mrsjammi Wed 25-Feb-09 15:20:46

Message withdrawn

edam Wed 25-Feb-09 15:28:14

I was a teenage stepdaughter and time on my own with my dad would have been VERY precious to me. But I would have died rather than tell anyone how I felt. Partly because I was a teenager and partly because I was so insecure following the bitter divorce and a new stepmother arriving.

Suspect your dsd is pretty mixed up. And it's really, really hard for her to be caught between her parents - she HAS to side with the parent she's with, otherwise she probably fears even more rejection.

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