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Dealing with a widowers teenage daughter

(17 Posts)
datingawidower Sun 15-Jan-17 16:10:00

So glad to find this discussion board!
I have no kids of my own, but have been dating a widower for a year who has 2 teenage daughters. The 17 year old is lovely, the 14 year old is a Jeckle and Hyde character with everyone around her. We are thinking of moving in together, and have just been on a one week away holiday to test the waters, particularly with the 14 year old.
We booked a very expensive villa, and we have both been at their beck and call all week (both in action and financially). To say it has been a horror holiday would be an understatement!
The 14 year old told both my partner and myself to F off on several occasions, she also calls him by his first name rather than dad in a sarcastic tone, which I find incredibly disrespectful and hurtful to him. She was on her phone 24/7, including when out to dinner even when asked not to be (and don't even get me started on the meltdown incidents that occurred when a venue didn't have wifi!!) and was only ever happy for the first 10 minutes of going somewhere while she did a 'photo shoot' and then became sullen and abusive again.
We gave the girls the best room with ensuite in the villa, but she wanted to use our bathroom as it had a bath, and each time threw my things on the floor, which got soaked in the process. She also barged in shouting on several occasions to our room early in the morning without knocking, which as we were sleeping seemed an invasion of space. (Most days she didn't wake up until 10, but these episodes would be around 6am)
I am at the end of my tether, and have no idea what to do. I am a teacher, so am used to dealing with teenagers, but this is different. I am gentle and kind with her, and always put the girls first.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

pepperpot99 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:04:03

No advice really but my dad was widowed when I was 13 and I really spiralled out of control. I would have absolutely hated a new woman in my life at 14. You are doing all the right things and you sound lovely but you must accept that the children have lost their mother and, like it or not, see you as an interloper. Sorry but having been through losing my mum at a young age I can see their pov. It's going to take time.

corythatwas Sun 15-Jan-17 20:06:46

My idea would be to distinguish very firmly in your own mind between what is actually rude and disrespectful, and what is just a different way of doing things.

Plenty of perfectly functional and well mannered families do use first names for parents, so if this is just their way, you really have no right to come barging in and decide it is disrespectful.

Otoh telling anyone to fuck off is rude and disrespectful under any circumstances.

Barging into your room sounds like she might be uncomfortable about her dad having sex/replacing her mum. Doesn't give her the right to do this, but might require tactful handling by her dad rather than you.

Otoh

alafolie29 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:08:35

How long ago did their mother die? (Out of interest, not that this necessarily makes a difference)

WeAllHaveWings Sun 15-Jan-17 20:31:52

I remember my niece at that age who also had some difficult circumstances and she was a nightmare, lashing at at those she felt safest with. It improved when she was 16/17.

I think while the 14 year old needs stability and her dad to herself he must prioritise that. Moving in together just now might not be the best idea.

Isadora2007 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:39:09

It depends on when the man became widowed as that plays a huge part.
Also thinking it's not about you or even him but her. She is angry and fucked off at the world. Her mum is dead and that's a huge thing at any age but even more significant for a teen. She will see her dad as moving on and perhaps resent that he can have another wife but she cannot have another mum.
How about grief counselling or family therapy for you all?

pepperpot99 Sun 15-Jan-17 21:02:40

Absolutely spot on Isadora.

datingawidower Mon 16-Jan-17 00:44:30

Thank you for all the advice, it is greatly appreciated.
Her mum died three years ago, but had been ill for a long time, so I completely understand that the illness and loss of her mother has had an enormous and detrimental impact on her life, and so always deal with the outbursts with patience and kindness, and try to be as supportive as I can. In a good mood she refers to him as dad, the first name is used only in anger.
I am certain after the holiday that moving in together is not an option currently, but wonder if things will ever settle, or is this likely to be the measure of our long term relationship? I guess to context that a bit more, I hoped at some point she could see me as an adult in her life that was her friend. The thought of continually being hated is aweful.

datingawidower Mon 16-Jan-17 00:47:00

I forgot to say, I have also suggested counselling to my partner when we were away. She has had this previously, but struggled to engage, but he is now organising some more to see if t may help.

TreeTop7 Sun 22-Jan-17 16:05:28

I feel for her, I really do, but he met you two years after the bereavement and that does not seem like indecent haste. You've done nothing wrong.

I hope the counselling goes well. Give it time.

Allthebestnamesareused Sun 22-Jan-17 17:49:00

You sound lovely. Hang on in there flowers

Scarydinosaurs Sun 22-Jan-17 19:33:58

Have you considered that the barging in and using the bathroom/throwing your things on the floor could be her confusion about her place in the family if you are the new 'mother'? Even in a subconscious way she could be trying to assert herself and is just trying to prove to you (and herself) that she will always be more important than you to her father?

Does she still do 'stuff' with her dad without you there? Do you do things with her separate to her dad?

It sounds as if she is very insecure (the 'photoshoots' the need for wifi, the fuss about the bathroom) and is acting out. She obviously needs really clear boundaries and isn't feeling very safe at the moment.

Fabellini Sun 22-Jan-17 19:41:03

The photo shoots and the need for wifi are perfectly normal (if slightly irritating) teenage girl behaviour. The shouting and disregard for your possessions might be completely normal, but might also be as a result of her feelings regarding her dad moving on.
I agree that counselling is probably the best plan if you can find someone she can engage with. My ds has found it has really, really helped him to deal with the death of dh, his dad.

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Jan-17 19:46:26

The photo shoot sounds like most teen girls

The being hateful also sounds like she is jealous for a number of reasons, your taking her dad away or replacing her mum.

None of this is your fault, life goes on

Is there anyone that can talk to her apart from you and her father?

TSSDNCOP Sun 22-Jan-17 20:18:30

Are you his first significant relationship after his wife died?

I think there's no way to predict her reaction, it's just not possible to try and legislate her grief. It does sound as though counselling is the way to go.

Does she have an auntie or godmother too-someone that's "hers"?

You sound very lovely. Slowly, slowly but don't let her mx up her bereavement with bad behaviour. Dad will need to put his foot down from time to time too.

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Jan-17 21:06:30

The photo shoot sounds like most teen girls

The being hateful also sounds like she is jealous for a number of reasons, your taking her dad away or replacing her mum.

None of this is your fault, life goes on

Is there anyone that can talk to her apart from you and her father?

Aquamarine1029 Mon 23-Jan-17 19:01:04

Don't even consider moving in with him until this situation is worked out. Your life would be a living hell.

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