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I just want peace.

amyburemt's picture

  How many times have I said those words over the past years? But it seems peace and so called "regular" life are an illusion. 

  My sd16 has a 4 month old girl. We were beside ourselves when this happened but tried to focus on her future because other than doing something stupid she is a very smart person. The baby's dad is an idiot. He is almost 18 and very manipulative. He is also extremely controlling. On the other hand, my sd is graduating high school a year early with a full scholarship to a college for mathmatics. Her bf aka baby dad, has no aspirations whatsoever. He has no boundaries, no curfews, no chores at his house just to give you a little more understanding, he also has anger issues. He fully will tell you he has anger issues and he also acts like a 2 year old at times. 

  About a month ago my sd received paperwork that she was being taken to court by him to establish custody etc. They supposedly have a close relationship but he didn't tell her this was coming. She forgave him. My dh told him he is not welcome at our house until the court case is finished. He told him that court creates adversarial situations(as we all know!) and he has to protect his daughter. Since then, he bombards my sd's phone with text messages full of hatred. He has texted sd over and over that her dad is a F***tard. He gets mad if she doesn't respond right away to her messages if she is doing something else(we have a farm) and then bombards her phone. He is pushing her to seperate from our family, move in with him, etc. He yells at her when he doesn't see her. (btw he works at a store and she will go see him at his house on his off days) but even when she does it still isn't enough. 

  My dh and I have no idea how to balance having a 16 year old with a baby and all of this. She may have had a baby but she is still only 16. 

She sees that he has something wrong with him but yet, she continues to try to have this totally twisted relationship with him. We have told her before that just because you had a baby with someone doesn't mean you HAVE to stay with them. And that him being so ignorant to her isn't fair to the baby. 

  Anyway, like I said before, we have a farm. There are 3 teenagers in our house and they all take care of a different group of animals. This guy has been filling her head with phrases like "you should be taking care of "our child" and "our family" instead of doing what your dad wants on the farm.  This week she has started telling her dad she wants to get rid of her animals. He has told her no. My own viewpoint on this is that we are financing her lawyer, we have each been through our own custody battles(his lasted 10 years and cost 75k) and that if she can't do something like feed and water her animals each day then she needs to get a job and she can pay for her own lawyer. I am also completely worried about the control this guy has over her. It's this continuous cycle of anger, then a honey moon phase, then her doing what he wants, then anger. The way he talks to her, it has sooo many red flags. My dh and I have both told her we are worried about the way he talks to her. My dh asked her last night, what do you do when he talks to you this way and she said" nothing". He asked her what she wants as far as her future with this guy and she said "I don't know". He asked her a bunch of other questions to which she just said "I don't know". He told her he was going to give her some time to think and then talk to her again. She's the kid he is really close to and he's not understanding her evasive behavior. I told her this morning that hes upset and she should talk to him because he doesn't deserve more drama. (you can read my previous posts for that!) This is a man who will do anything to see that his kids and my kids succeed and realize their aspirations of going to college and being successful at life in general. My DH is a really awesome person and a great parent. 

  This girl has gone from being a confident person who will stand up for herself to being a robot. Now I know that having a baby at 16 can cause all sorts of emotional issues. But I don't get this hold this guy has over her. My gut instinct is that in the future he will be an abuser of some sort wether emotionally or physically. He does it now verbally. If she doesn't answer his texts right away he gets mad. He texts her literally every few minutes unless he is at work. She sees him 3 times a week or so when he's not at work, yet that is never enough. My dh monitors his daughters phone and she knows this and he is going to print off the conversations and give them to the lawyer. Me, I just want peace in my house, no more years of lawyers, and kids who can have healthy happy relationships. 


lieutenant_dad's picture


1) Save the text messages and get an RO out on the guy. With SD being a minor and her BF being 18, he'll likely get into far more legal trouble if he violates it. 

2) Block his number from her phone. If he wants to contact anyone, he can contact another adult regarding his daughter - aka, your DH. And he can do that via text and/or email.

3) Get SD into counselling. She is 16, in an abusive relationship, and she has a kid. Her dad is bombarding her with questions that she truly may not have answers to. She is likely on a path to burn out, and BF is offering a life of no responsibility. That is VERY appealing to a tired, burning out teenager who is not equipped to handle adult life.

4) Have the attorney send a cease and desist letter to BF.

Right now, you and DH can do a lot to protect SD. Your DH needs to tone down the "what are you going to do with your life?" and up the "I'm here to help you get through this rough patch". Counselling for him and SD would go far, and her having an outsider help her recognize that she is in an abusive situation might help. Try contacting your local domestic abuse shelter for more help. Your SD, unfortunately, isn't the first teen to find herself in this mess.

amyburemt's picture

I completely agree with everything you said. I will pass this along to dh with your permission. 

beebeel's picture

Well you accuse the BF of being controlling, but your post contains many instances of your DH being the controlling one. Yes, she is his minor child, so I understand some of it....but! She made the very grown up decision to have a baby, so daddy needs to let her sort some of this out herself. 

She should be working at a job rather than helping on a farm that won't benefit her or that baby in the near term. 

The baby's dad is no catch at 18? Weird (sarcasm). He is doing the smart thing by having his rights established by the courts, and your DH banishes him from the home where his child lives? The only one creating an adversarial situation is your DH. Because now the baby's dad can only see his child when your DH allows his daughter to go there, right? Who is controlling again? And you are shocked this young man isn't a fan of your husband? 

"Peace" would be much more likely if your DH would let his daughter navigate this situation she created without him controlling everything. 

amyburemt's picture

the baby's dad does see the baby. they switch her off every other week and then also rotate tuesdays and thursdays so neither one has to go the full week without seeing her on the week they don't have her. My dh is trying to get her to keep her eye on her future and completeing high school and college instead of throwing her future away and working at mcdonalds for the rest of her life and to also have the ability to be self supporting.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I will agree that SD needs to get a job and possibly give up the animals on the farm. She needs to start bringing in money and understanding how not far a poor income will go. That may boost her to keep her nose to the grindstone, so to speak. Paying for everything for her doesn't help her realize just HOW expensive parenthood is, and she needs some skin in the game to help make it really real for her.

I also agree that it is smart of BD to establish his rights through the court, and SD should be taught to be equitable in sharing parenting time and responsibility with BD.

The rest, though? If these were two fairly equal teenagers who were both working for a better life for their mutual kid, I could agree. But if BD has been abusive and controlling, and he is at/near 18, he has the potential to derail SD in a lot of ways. DH has two years left to protect and guide his daughter. Her making one adult-level mistake shouldn't mean she is on her own to deal with other adult-level problems. She doesn't have the skills or means to do it as a minor.

Disneyfan's picture

Based on the BF's behavior, the OP's husband did the right thing by banning him from their home.

If the the father wants visitation, he can take his loser behind to court and establish it that.  At the very least the courts will give him EOWE.  

There's no reason why he HAS to spend time with the baby IN the OP'a home.  

amyburemt's picture

and when she is currently at school I watch her on the week that she is here and on the week she is at her baby's dads house the grandmother there watches her. Once the kids come home from school they take over. My dh is just trying to get her to college and then they have various daycare options there for the week she is at our house. 

ESMOD's picture

I agree with most of what everyone else is saying.. I did want to chime in regarding her request to get rid of her animals.

I am assuming that these are not the "family income" animals and personal pets per se.. maybe a horse or two that she rides.. 4-H stock etc?

If that is the case... YES... of course selling her animals is probably a good idea.  She has a child to care for and should be putting her efforts there.  Now, that doesn't mean that your DH can't expect her to still contribute some amount of chore work for the farm in general... but specifically caring for her animals?  She sounds like she has a lot on her plate between baby and school.  Giving up "pets" should be ok for her to reduce load is a reasonable thing for her to do.  Should she also be made to get a job outside the home?  Well.. realistically what will that do to her ability to do well in school and what will that mean for those who have to care for the baby?  Honestly, I think dad wanting to focus on her getting that education is a top priority because it will set her up for a better life.



amyburemt's picture

are actually part of the farm's income. (hogs) and also income for sd. She gets a percentage of the hogs that go to the processer and then a percentage goes towards taxes and hog feed. I agree that college should be her focus as that will enable her to support this child if the dad decides to walk away. 

SteppedOut's picture

If she recieves some income (and helps financially on the farm) by caring for the animals, I agree she shoukd continue. That way she is not having to commute to work (extra expense on low wages) and is on-site when she has her child. 

I know she is having a rough time with her boyfriend... but she is doing a lot of good too. Hope you can help her stay on the right path. 

marblefawn's picture

Be very careful -- it sounds as if SD could tip either way (toward BF or away from BF).

Try to see it from her point of view: she's into this guy, she has a baby with him, she's only 16, and he has a dangerous hold. She is probably overwhelmed at the turn her life took. If you can just show her that her life can get back on track, she'll probably grab that and leave the BF behind.

The way you show her that is to get her to college. If you can just get her to college, she might realize what a "f***tard" this boyfriend is, but she needs to see how great other boys are to know this guy is a loser. She needs to see how great life can be with an education, being around others her own age who haven't screwed up their lives with loser boys and babies. She needs to see people her own age forging careers through education. She needs to see this huge mistake doesn't have to sink her whole life.

Get her on birth control.

Don't interrogate her about the BF (because she probably genuinely doesn't know what she wants right now). If you push too much, she might lean his way and will be lost. Don't address BF at all unless you think she's in immediate danger.

Don't watch her kid so she can be with him -- if she sees him, she must take the kid and realize how crappy life will be if she chooses him. She must get a feel for losing her future at 16 so that she grabs the opportunity you're offering her to get it back through college.

In fact, don't babysit at all except for her to go to school or work. She needs to get a taste of what life will be if she skips college and works at McDonald's.

You're at a crucial point. If she can get to college, she can leave behind all this mess she made and feel as if her life is back on track, like the others with whom she'll be taking classes. (She will never be like them now, though. It won't be easy for her to date college guys when they find out she has a kid. But she can at least be in that atmosphere and see potential for her life that she probably can't see clearly now.)

I'd speak privately to the lawyer and let him know your aim is for her to move on with her life without the BF. Let him or her know the BF is overbearing and possibly abusive. The lawyer should know that so he or she can plan a court case with that in mind.

Just because she has a baby, doesn't mean she isn't responsible for her chores around your house. Don't let her off the hook with the animals. She has to see what a hassle being a parent is so she doesn't end up with more babies. College will look like a vacation after she's had a kid for a while, but you can't make it easy for her.

amyburemt's picture

after the child was born was to put sd on birth control. a long term one. I agree this is a critical point and it's so hard sometimes to find that balancing line.

marblefawn's picture

In SD's case, maybe it's not too early to take a weekend to go see a college or two. Let her sit in on a class, eat in the dining hall. For most high-schoolers, it's a thrill to know that's in their near future. Even if you just walk about a campus, it might put her mind in a different place.

If I were in her shoes, I'd feel pretty defeated at this point. You might make a special appointment with a college so she can see the childcare facilities too, if she's going to use it for childcare. To see there's a path that doesn't include the BF might get her psyched for the next step in her life.

Show her the positive of leaving this guy behind rather than asking where the relationship is going. Everyone likes a carrot!

amyburemt's picture

My DH is taking her to one of the colleges for their meet and greet day next month. We are trying to stay one step ahead, but it's so exhausting! 

amyburemt's picture

sometimes it is good to hear those words. I thank you for that.