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Feeling defeated

Nikkijean's picture

Hi there, Im Nikki and new here, searching for any advice, input or suggestions on this nightmare I've taken on. I have never blogged before, so here goes.

  A little over 3 years ago I began a relationship with a single father who has a daughter, she was 4 at the time. He is her only parent, her mom got involved with drugs and eventually passed away from OD. I would never wish that loss on a child or father. Although they had already separated a while before this, it still had major impacts and loss for them both.  The daughter was 2 at the time of her mom passing.  We live in a small town and knew them all. Anyway, I was fully aware of the bond they had together and very sad that he now was a single full time father, mother, money earner, housekeeper and all he was suddenly made to take on alone. When we first started dating he expressed he was looking for someone to help him raise his daughter, help her grow into a beautiful and confident person and show her things he had no clue about, and to be a women figure in their lives. I was more then willing to take this on. I cared deeply for him and respected him so much for doing all he had so far, and trying his hardest to be the best father he could. I also cared for his daughter and she enjoyed me and my company. I was happy to be there and to help them both. I knew how close they were and I thought it was great. It was for a couple months in. Then i started to notice that she was in total control of absolutely everything. Which i ignored for quite a while, until it needed to be brought to attention, after all, he wanted my help and help raising her to be the best she can. Right?? It was so much more then I could ever imagine. If we went out to eat, she decided where, if she wanted to leave somewhere before we were ready to leave, we left immediately. If she didnt get her way every single time it was a complete nightmare. She would throw a tantrum, scream, cry, everyones world revolved around making her happy at any cost. She decided when they ate supper, what was for supper, how much she was gonna eat, which was barely nothing and so much waste. But there was no arguing without a complete meltdown to come. I was extremely taken back and shocked by the control this 4 year old had. And the fact that everyone in the family on both sides found it easier to make her happy, then to raise her with respect, manners and learn discipline. I myself having older children who were definitely raised in a extremely different way. They were to be respectful, use their manners, care about others and their feelings, to be honest, take responsibility for their actions and to earn what they wanted, cuz thats how the world is. And not to expect to be handed whatever they wanted, that it had to be earned. They were spanked as children, been sent to their rooms, electronics taken away, grounded. Told no and no meant no. Well this was a whole different world i was so happy to be a part of.

Needless to say, it didnt last long without me speaking up. If i was wanted there, no way was i going to be ruled by a 4 year old, and ignore the way she managed to always get her way.  And the behavior she used to do so. If dad ran out of juice in the morning and she had to have something else instead of what she demanded, it was like something i had never seen before. The complete meltdown, screaming, crying, throwing herself on the floor, refusing to get dressed to leave, ignoring him, banging doors, stomping feet. I was in total disbelief. He would never raise his voice to her, never tell her that behavior is unnecessary, never try to attempt to correct it. He would just say she needed time to cool down. What? Over juice? You allow her to act that way and treat you that way and slam her door as she would stomp into her room? I am very sympathetic and sorry that she has had such a loss in her life, but at 4 years old there was a chance to reign it in and teach her different. Not let her assume that cuz she has lost someone so important to her, she is allowed to walk around and treat people like shit if she didnt get her way.  It was unacceptable to me. I was not having a part of that or encouraging it in any way. She had daddy wrapped around her finger and she knew it. Needless to say after about 6 months of us dating, living seperatly though. Her dislike of me started to show. If they were at my house for supper you finish your supper or get no treat afterwards. My kids would sit at the table till there plate was empty, and if you didnt like it, to bad, it was supper. Eat it or go hungry. Her rules didnt apply at my house, my rules did. She became very clingy with her dad, in a weird way. She wanted to act like a baby, be the boss, yet act like a teen also. When i stood my ground and refused her a treat cuz she refused to eat the little baby portion she had for supper, she looked at me like i was pure evil!  Her father tried to make excuses for her and justify it. I stood by the rules i made my kids follow.  I ended up catching him sneaking her a snack behind my back. When i questioned him on it, it was turned to be my fault and treating her different than my kids.

After that there were little things i noticed more and more and began to see the way she would sneak around, intentionally delete shows i had dvrd to watch, and lie straight face about it without a thought. I'll fast forward a bit, although her behavior still continued. After about a year dating, i was not going to jump cuz a child demanded me to. She started to see that i had a little more say and control. We left somewhere when we were ready, not when she demanded. Going to public places was not an option anymore, because it became miserable and ruined everybodys mood, when she didnt get her way. Her father and i made an after school chart for her to follow and have structure instead of her telling her dad what she was going to do. I received alot of dirty looks, ignored many times, and never shown respect by her, unless she wanted something. It was a slow change which i knew it would be.  But as her dad and i got closer, she made sure her thought of me was known. And still had daddy wrapped around her finger. I wasn't there all the time, so things were handled differently without me there. She was the boss then and dad let her be, and ignore the chart we made up. Well that turned into her lying to me about finishing her school work. Once again, when brought up it was somehow my fault. He did tell her she had to apologize to me. It took her 2 days to do it. I knew we had a huge problem in the making. Yet i choose to continue because i had faith and love for them both. I began to realize that both of them were very similar in getting what they wanted when they want it. And no concern for how it affected or made anyone else feel. They got their way and that was all that mattered to them.

By this time I have moved in their house and was always reminded that i was the 3rd wheel in our relationship. If i pointed something out or tried to improve something, i was shot down, ignored, or at fault. But i wasn't giving up, this is what he wanted from me, help, love and support. After living there for 6 months, the behavior and disrepect continued. This was the house that her mom, dad and her shared together and it was the daughters domain and i was shown that alot! It was a negative, gloomy, depressing atmosphere. So we bought a new house, a fresh start for the future and no princesses having a feeling of ruling her domain anymore. That fresh start didnt last long, in fact it became worse. She would lie to me, disrespect me and treat me like an object with no feelings. Her feelings and happiness are all she cared about. When i would call her out for lying, I was the one who suffered. Dad would take her side, and be mad at me. I would take her after school to help him out, to have her lie, disrespect and purposely do things to upset me. I had to point out the hurt i felt for action to be taken, instead of him supporting what he originally asked me to be there for. Instead of teaching her to respect me and be honest with me, he found someone else to watch her. I learned then and there where i stood in our relationship, and the treatment he thought i deserved for giving my all. It got to the point where the daughter would act like i was invisible to her. It was whispers of daddy, daddy, daddy, all while she stared directly at me. I felt hurt, pushed away, unwanted and totally heartbroken. He not only let her think it was ok to treat me like garbage, he enabled her by taking her side, finding another person to watch her, making it my fault, and causing fights between him and I. While the person who should be taking responsibility and being disciplined for her actions, sat back and smiled about it. I explained how this was putting a wedge between us and beginning to destroy us, but he chose to just not see it. It was easier to hurt me then to teach a child to respect, be honest, take responsibility for your actions, have consequences for the act, to consider other peoples feelings.

The respect i had for them started to fade quickly. I tried many heart to heart conversations to explain that i cared for her as much as i cared for my own children, i treated her the same as i did my own, i wanted her to grow up to be the best she ever could, and i never wanted To or could replace her mom. I wanted to be there for her to have somewhat of a women figure in her life and not miss out on opportunities or experieces that other moms and daughter have. I felt like i had connected with her and made an impact or progress. For it to go right out the other ear and not change a thing. Once her dad allowed her to see the impact her behavior towards me had on our relationship and the arguments it caused between daddy and me, with no negative impact on her. She ran with it. I became depressed, unhappy, felt like a failure, belittled, unappreciated, and couldn't understand why i deserved to be treated the way i was, when i never gave them anything but my all and never treated them this way.

I asked for help, shared my feelings, hurt depression, heartbroken,  and that i was sinking and spiraling out of control and it wouldn't end in a good way. Needless to say, my feelings were not important enough, or cared about by either. The only feelings and happiness they cared about was their own and didnt matter whose they hurt to get what they wanted. I warned that i would be moving out many months ahead of time if i felt the same way. Like they were superior to me, deserved to be treated better then they treated others. Like a sense of entitlement, like the world owes them,and cuz life was unfair to them, they can go thru life and treat people like objects or possessions, not like humans with feelings and emotions.

I moved out in April, then dad realized i was not joking, i was serious. By this time i have lost all respect and love i felt for him and resent him and his daughter for continuing to hurt me and watch me hit rock bottom, when they were well aware of it. Now he wants to fix and be the man who will never let me be hurt again in my life and is the only one who will show me respect and care i deserve. Wow! I lost my respect, my happiness, felt like my heart was ripped out by 2 people, intentionally hurt, any positive feelings i had they ruined, start my life over again, depressed, lost my dreams of the future and lost myself. When i gave my 100% and he decided to now give his 100% after i moved out. The daughter still gives me the dirty looks when i stop over there, but she stands right next to daddy so he doesnt see it. She still has no respect for me and never did, and i have zero respect towards her. Neither of them deserve my respect, or trust. They had it and lost it. My youngest is 2 years away from graduating high school. And then my hands on parenting is kinda done. My kids never treated me the way i was there, and there is no way i would take another 10 years of my life to parent a child who has no respect or care for anyone but herself, and learned it all from her daddy, cuz he is the exact same as her. I have told him i honestly and sadly cannot even stand to see his daughter without feeling angry. I have lost all my feelings and respect for him, and there is no undoing the damage they did. And it totally changed me as a person. Who destroys and breaks a person down to the absolute lowest I've ever felt. Then wants to fix me and build me up?? 

Now he is very annoying, driving past my house, stopping in randomly, watching when im gone trying to find myself again, then he will nonstop bug me till i get home. Still managing to consume my time. Because hes not with me. Accusing, assuming and still being disrepectful to me. Its sad i feel like i have to hide in my own house, because u never know when hes just gonna show up and exhaust me with the same conversation hes been trying to push me to see. Instead of giving me space to heal and find myself again. Its still my fault to him, because i am refusing to accept and see the love and respect he suddenly has for me. They are the ones who lost a person who gave her all and best she had to give them. They dont deserve me. Sorry its so long, had alot to get off my mind!


Saint_Gus's picture

Restraining order- might seem extreme but cut your losses. You know you deserve better. Even if he changes, he'll go back to how he was. Find someone worthy of your love and attention.

Kes's picture

Welcome to the site!  

I'm sorry I cannot possibly read this very long block of text with no paragraph breaks.  Pls post your story again, if possible, make it a bit shorter and punctuate! 

twoviewpoints's picture

Welcome, Nikkiejean.

I'm going to start by appearing to be rude.... but would you please either edit your current post into paragraphs , or repost breaking it down (you can delete multiple posting).

I don't mind long posts. Hey, when one vents and/or a need to tell their history , that's what the site is for. Let it all out, LOL.

Unfortunately all I see is a wall of text. Many members, myself includng will not take the time and effort to try and wade through .


Curious Georgetta's picture

Reasons. This one did not work for reasons related to your dissatisfaction with his parenting style. There is no reason to be angry with anyone when your goals and outlooks are not compatible. You do not blame others for not wanting or sharing your outlook. 

If you are unhappy  it is because you were not compatible; not because either of you were right or wrong. You had issues that you could not reconcile.

The stalking problem is easily resolved by obtaining a RO.

Move on with your life. At your age, if this is the first time that you have  found a relationship that was not for you, then you are fortunate.

Dating is a discovery period. You dated and discovered that this relationship was not for you. Nothing to be angry about there.

beebeel's picture

Nope. Nothing at all. There's never a reason to be angry about someone being disrespectful to you. What a joke.

queensway's picture

I am convinced that CG makes these nonsensical remarks to get a rise out of people. You are right it is a joke. After all the hurt this woman felt in this relationship it was more than likely it was anger that made her leave. Anger is an emotion everyone has when they feel disrespected. Well maybe not CG.

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

Did you actually read all that? If you did, I don't see how this is your response.  There is WAY more here than some differences in opinion on how to raise a child.


OP, you have every right to be angry and to feel used.  This man is doing a great disservice to his child.  And I agree with the other poster about a restraining order.  He shouldn't be following you around or harassing you at home. It sounds to me like he is very much like his daughter, spoiled and determined to get his way at all cost.  It sounds like you dodged a bullet!

Nikkijean's picture

Cg this is not about blaming others or being angry about goals. I was helping him on his outlook and goals. That he obviously lied about, and just used me to try to achieve them by myself. While he sat on the sidelines watching put my best effort towards it. Or i should disrespecting, belittling, and making a fool out of me by encouraging them and made it hell for me to do alone.

Not to mention raising a child that will never respect, appreciate or care about anyone but herself. I tried my best and gave my all, so i can be happy with myself. Its their loss and what they are molding for the future issues that will inevitably happen, thats my gain is not having any part of it!

ntm's picture

She essentially has a child form of PTSD. She needs very connected parenting in order to recover. This doesn’t mean permissive parenting, but it’s not how you raised your kids. If she is to get better, her father needs to do a lot of research on early childhood trauma and connected parenting, and work very hard at implementing it. She is like a Russian orphan right now, mad at the world and scared to death. She feels that if she doesn’t control everything, she won’t survive. In her lung fe, you would be the nurturing enemy. It is rare to find a therapist qualified to treat this. 

I’d pass this information to her father, but stay out of his life, because raising a child with this level of trauma is a long difficult unrewarding road. 

futurobrillante99's picture

It was tough to read without paragraphs, but I plowed through somehow.

We have something in common. I also moved out of the house I shared with my spouse in April. I bought a small house and I don't regret it. We sold our house in May and he filed for divorce in August.

Naturally, I cannot diagnose your former SO on very little information, but I see indications of narcissistic behavior from his child and from him. I suggest that you read up on the traits of a narcissist. They have similar behaviors but their behaviors can vary in intensity.

I'm pretty sure my soon to be ex husband is a covert narcissist (not the grandiose, full of himself, thinks he's the best attitude). My stbX is self deprecating, but it's one way to get ego strokes when you put yourself down and others tell you you're awesome.

The key think is they lack empathy. Everything is about THEM and they can't reallly put themselves in your shoes or see how their behavior hurts you or things from YOUR point of view.

Narcissists can fake being loving, but they really see people as useful. How can YOU benefit THEIR life? My stbX is divorcing me because I am not longer providing any financial perks and made him seeking therapy as a condition for us being together. He initially considered it, but did a 180 and said he wanted a divorce.

From your post, it sounds like you two never married. That's good. Did you contribute at all to the household?

And I must note that when you started dating him, he said "I'm looking for someone to help me raise my daughter." Red flag.

I think we alll expect to be loved, respected and cherished in our romantic relationships, but this dude voiced a priority for someone to help raise his kid.

When I read my stbX's dating profile, one of his first comments were how his 4 sons were the MOST important thing to him. Red flag!!

In my profile, I talked about ME and about 3 paragraphs down I talked about how my 3 kids were the most interesting young people I knew. I talked about who they were, not that they were my world. Barf.

I assume you're anywhere from 35 to 50 from the ages of your children. I'm 51. My kids are all grown but my youngest son is 22 and has Autism. He lives with me part of the week so he can walk to his first job ever. The rest of the week he lives with my first husband. My stbX (2nd husband) didn't want my 22 year old living in OUR house because he was sure HE couldn't handle his Autistic traits. Whatever.

My son is so much kinder, more considerate and caring than his sons. I was recently bedridden for 10 days with a medical issue and my DS22 ran my house for me. He fed the cats, cleaned their litter, made simple meals for me, did the dishes, and took the trash out. I didn't have to ask him to do a thing.

My 3 adult kids respect me and are caring, considerate and kind people. The older two (DS28 and DD25) have lived away from home since they left for college and have been self supporting. My DD25 is living with me temporarily while she searches for a new job.

My point is, I'll wager we both did a good job of raising good kids.

Your former SO is NOT doing a good job of raising his daughter and while I think it's probably best for you to walk away, if you are entertaining the idea of staying with him, I would insist on therapy for all 3 of you, but mainly that little girl. And you should try to find someone who has stepfamily experience and knows what a mini-wife is. If your former SO refuses, I would seek therapy for yourself with someone who knows about narcissistic personality disorder and how you can set and enforce boundaries or exit the relationship without getting hoovered back in.

And I promise you if the little demon child is not checked, she will turn into a full fledged monster in her pre teen and teen years. Read posts here. Some mini-wife/demon girls continue this behavior into adult years and middle age.

Areyou's picture

I’m glad to hear that you left. In time he will accept that it’s over. I tried to break up with my SO this weekend and it didn’t work. Closure is so hard to reach when you love someone. Stay strong.

queensway's picture

Welcome to this site. I hope you will get some help here.

I read your bio and you are 39 years old. You have so much more living and loving life ahead of you. I do believe life has its road blocks. We get into relationships that really are not for us. Like yours with this man and his daughter. And we get stuck there and keep trying and trying only to find out in the end we have zero left to give, When we reach that point there is no return. It is over. For some of us it hurts. For some of us it is a relief. But for all of us when we gave so much of ourselves and it did not work out it is time to move on. You can not change the past. Leave it there. After reading your blog you learned a lot about yourself during your time with this man and his daughter. Even though it was a terrible time for you "YOU GREW YOU LEARNED". You became strong enough to get out. Good for you. This relationship will never change no matter what he tells you. He is a man who will always put his daughter first. He showed you that over and over. You lived it. He never saw it. Now he thinks he does. No I don't think so. He is not that deep of a person because if he was he would have seen it when you were telling him your true feelings when it was happening. He just doesn't get it.

You said in your bio you love honesty. Living with the truth is what keeps us happy. You will make it through this time in your life. You are already on your way. Good luck.

Step-girlfriend's picture

I'm glad you left, and only wish you had found us sooner. You would have gotten some honest advice and told to NOT move in with him, which may have saved you some heartache. However, it happened and you learned. Step life is HARD, even when the parent actually parents. When they don't, it's nearly impossible.

I would tell dude that you are telling him for the last time to please leave you alone- the love is gone, and you are moving on with your life. Tell him to stop "stopping over", stop calling, stop texting, and that you are serious. And then stop going over to his house as well. If he doesn't listen, the next step will be a Restraining Order. It is one thing to continue to talk occasionally after a breakup, text here and there, etc....but stopping by unannounced is more into stalking territory.

Harry's picture

Your SO is living in his own world,  He wants a babysitter and sex slave.   He will never change.  You have to do what is best for yourself.  You have break all contact with him.  Just don’t answer him back on text or phone calls. And don’t answer the door.   He can’t even gaslight you anymore.  This happens a lot just read these boards ! 

Your not the first person this happen to and not the last.  You are a good person !!

Ispofacto's picture

It was hard to read the post without paragraphs but you story was so similar to mine, I had to keep reading.  If the BM was a drug addict, it's likely the child was not very bonded to her anyway, she might actually have an attachment disorder.  But the main crux of the problem is she is a spoiled brat, and if your ex BF didn't see it, he never will.  Stay gone, he doesn't care about you, and can only pretend he does for a while before resorting to his usual behavior.  Tell him to quit stopping by, file an RO if needed.  Find yourself some healthy people to spend time with.


CLove's picture

Run far and fast. I am so so glad that you removed yourself from an extremely toxic situation. You were being used and abused and the fact that he is claiming "a change of heart", shows his narcissitic personality. She gets it from somewhere, right? The girl, losing her mother was hard, but you know what? That is no reason to treat you with disrespect. I hope that you get a restraining order! Get that man out of your life completely.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Contact your local police department. You may have enough evidence to file charges on him now for stalking. After you get the restraining order, call the police the first time he violates it. It does you no good unless you follow through on filing charges. Document every time that you can remember that he has contacted you or driven by your house.

Get a new phone number, but keep your old one so you can document every time he calls. Quit talking to him or responding to him in any way. Stalking can escalate to violence. Buy the book "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Beck and read the sections on stalking - there is lots of helpful information.