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Daddy/Daughter Enmeshment

NoThanks's picture

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SubstituteMommy's picture

Daddy is left with no life aside from picking up her pieces.

That last line describes my SO's future with SD9. He is setting himself up for a life of loneliness and disappointment. I am starting to realize and accept that it is his problem, because I will be happily living my life far away from him and his problem causing spawn.

Thank you for sharing this article!

tog redux's picture

Wow, that does describe, to a T, the SD mini-wives discussed on here.

"Daddy's girl" is the opposite sex equivalent to a "Mama's Boy", but society judges Mama's Boys harshly while thinking being a "Daddy's girl" is cute and endearing.

My SS20 is a Mama's Boy, and BM has totally crippled him, in much the same manner that's described on here, except with boys, there is the added need of "taking care" of their mother.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Do you think enmeshment is much more common than people realize?

NoThanks's picture

Enmeshment seems to be fairly common with COD and guilty dads. But some of this seems to overlap with NPD symptoms. I wonder how much of a factor that also plays. 

tog redux's picture

I think enmeshment is common - especially with personality disordered parents. It's often mistaken as "closeness", and the people who are enmeshed think it's wonderful, generally.  They have no idea what a toll it's taking on them.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I think a lot of the issues i witnessed stem from an entire personality disordered family. Every male member has multiple BMs and kids with severe issues, and daily drama. In fact, i think they become bored when there isn't a crisis and seek it out. They make bad decisions over and over and don't seem to learn from their mistakes. And it seems to go back generations.

I've come to the conclusion that a lot of the men we read about here have some type of personality disorder and that's why their lives are so dysfunctional. But then the aspects of their personalities like love-bombing attract new victims, and when the honeymoon phase ends, they post here! Not all are that way but enough that it's a pattern. And for those with DH's who are fairly normal, there's a BM who is personality disordered!

I mean, i don't want to try and think every a-hole has a diagnosis, as some people are just selfish jerks. It's just something i've been noticing and researching. The more you know, the more you can protect yourself!

NoThanks's picture

Dude, I think you're right!  I could not figure out my ex's behavior for the life of me. It wasn't until a co-worker mentioned a family member that was a covert narcisst, that it all made sense. It was a heavy epiphany but it all made sense. His behavior with me, the narc supply dynamic with the SD. All the pieces fell in place and I realized all the fuckery had a name. Now I need to figure out why I keep dating and/or attracting these types of people. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Narcissists can be very attractive at first, with the love-bombing. Or the extreme closeness they seem to crave. Enmeshment can even seem endearing at first. It was for me. I was like "what an amaaaaazing dad, all he sacrifices to be so close to his kids! I bet he will be an amazing boyfriend too!"

Lol. 

NoThanks's picture

Yep, me too! That was one of the things I was bery attracted to about him: He's a great dad. So dedicated to his kids. 
 

What a sham...

Simpleton21's picture

Ugh, same here, I thought his closeness and protection of SD was so endearing.  Now I find it so disgusting and just a big sham. 

SubstituteMommy's picture

I'm another one who falls into that category. I thought that his extreme love and affection toward his daughter were signs of great parenting. Now I just find it to be obnoxious and gross.

NoThanks's picture

Right?! I would always say that SD didn't care about others. They were merely resources to her. 

Iamwoman's picture

This should be considered a form of psychological child abuse just as is alienation.

For those of you who have to deal with this nauseating mini-wife syndrome... do you think it would resonate with your DH at all, if you printed this article and left it on his pillow for him to read?

Simpleton21's picture

This is my DH and SD to a T!!!!  I sent him the article immediately because he always acts like I'm blowing the way he treats her out of proportion.  Watching him follow her around like a lost puppy all weekend while she behaves this weekend is the biggest TURN OFF ever!  I hope it resonates with him but I doubt it.  He'll probably just get defensive and mad that I sent him this about his precious little snowflake.  Every behavior mentioned in this article is regular behavior for my SD.  It is sickening!

Dovina's picture

They get defensive because they do not want to face this. Its a taboo subject much like emotional inscest , because thats what it is. 

Simpleton21's picture

Yep and exactly as I expected he got defensive and offended...he just responded "interesting".  But today when he wasn't over being pouty about it he said to me "acting like I treat my daughter like a gf without sex is disgusting and not true".  I agree it is disgusting but you do indeed treat her this way!  Ugh, this is like the millionth time I have tried to get this point across without being met with defensiviness.  I give up.  He will never change because he doesn't think it is happening/true.  I'm strongly considering divorce (this is just one of the reasons).

NoThanks's picture

These dads are in denial. My ex was the same. If your DH doesn't think he behaves like this then why isn't he the say way with the bios? My ex had a whole other kid, same mom, and he didn't act like this with him. In fact he was awful to him at times. Total favoritism. I really hope he doesn't end up with severe emotional scarring. 

Simpleton21's picture

My DH is in complete denial.  He seems to have really convinced himself that he treats my ODS and our shared bio the same.  He does not at all and it is total favoritism and him treating her this way b/c she is a girl.  It is going to backfire in a big way.  Our shared YDS is to young to notice his different treatment but my ODS sees it.  He even told me, "I really like/love DH when SD isn't around but he is so different when she is there". 

SubstituteMommy's picture

OMG! My SO does that, too! He insists that he treats all of the kids in the house the same. He most definitely doesn't, which is fine, but why insist that you're doing something that you're not? LOL! It's heartbreaking to know that your oldest son notices the difference in your DH's behavior when your SD is around because you can bet that your shared son will eventually notice, too. Dads and girls are just way too much sometimes. It's seriously barf-worthy.

Simpleton21's picture

Yeah, they are in major denial when it comes to precious widdle snowflake demonic brats!  At first it was heartbreaking but SD and ODS are both 13.  Now ODS just knows to stay away from SD and to expect that she will be treated differently by DH but I will stand up for ODS if needed.  It is definitely disgusting how they turn into ball less wonders when their widdle babies show up (and my SD is not widdle at all anymore)!

SubstituteMommy's picture

I just read the article to my SO and he got super quiet. SD is only nine years old, but the article literally describes her! He admitted that much, but he denies having any part in turning her into that. Ha! So funny!

Simpleton21's picture

SD had just turned 7 when I met her and she has been this way since I met her.  The red flags were there but I ignored them because of "love" but the love is fading watching this sh*t show carry on forever. 

SubstituteMommy's picture

There were many warning signs before SD9 started to become like this around age eight (and she will be ten in October). I have no intention of sticking around to watch the sh*t show much longer. I definitely do not see things getting any better.

NoThanks's picture

I wonder the same thing. How many would have an epiphany after reading this? And how many would just gaslight and some how blame their wife/gf for pointing this out?

Simpleton21's picture

We could do a survey.  I will tell you my results....no epiphany just gaslight and blaming and acting like I'm sick for thinking this is true.  I guess my eyes and observations are lying to me?!?!

NoThanks's picture

Simpleton21, this was my exSD to a T as well. It's such a disgusting thing to watch. I have so many stories of her acting completely shitty and self-absorbed and him just eating it up with a spoon. One of the last things I said to him was, "Good luck with your mini-wife. No self-respecting woman is going to stay with you." I must've been right because he we've been broken up for over a year and he sent me flowers recently, lol. 
 

Another thing I realized in my healing journey this past year was that they are both narcissistic. Her, overtly and him covertly. They feed off each other for their narc supply which probably makes the enmeshment that much worse. 
 

Did your husband reply to the article?

Simpleton21's picture

Yes, it is disgusting and a turn off and I'm ready to make her my exSD also. 

It went as I expected.  He responded "interesting" and then was pouty and quiet all evening (little mantrum also a turn off).  Then today when we were arguing he said that it was disgusting that I think he treats his daughter like a gf without sex and it isn't true at all.  Whatever, denial is strong in this one.  This isn't the first time I've brought up her being a mini wife.  I just now see it won't ever change because he is okay with it and doesn't think it is happening.

OMG, you are so freaking right.  Lately as I have been standing up to the guilt/manipulation that DH likes to throw around I have definetly noticed that he is a narcissistic person as well.  They definitely feed off of each other for attention.  It is so gross.  I won't spend the rest of my life this way.

Trying to Stepmom's picture

She cannot tolerate boredom, being alone or having to think deeply about anything in her life.

This is my SD14!

She expects to be entertained and tells us she never gets bored at BM's (yeah, because you sleep half the day and then do whatever you want).

She will follow DH around, especially when I'm around. If DH isn't around on some rare occasion, then she's fine going to her room to be alone. 

And any time we try to have any kind of thought provoking conversation, she gets all defensive or thinks we're attacking her. 

Simpleton21's picture

That line really resonated with me as well.  Also, my SD's behavior is just like you described. 

shamds's picture

and meet ups, they walk side by side with hubby pushing the stroller and renegade me to the back which i never tolerate and tell hubby to wait up so i can out something in the stroller and thats when i walk together with hubby.

Trying to Stepmom's picture

When SD was younger, she tried to worm her way in between us while walking, especially when trying to hold hands.  So I started going to the other side of DH or just walking close enough that she would have to go to the other side. Sounds kind of silly, now that I think about it. But it explains her behavior when she admitted (years later) to DH that she was jealous of me. We even said to her multiple times "You are his daughter, I am his wife. He can love us both." It sunk in for a moment. 

I remember vividly one of her mini wife moments. She was younger and I wanted to go to a local museum for the last day of a special exhibit. She threw an absolute fit about sitting in the backseat. (She was maybe 8 or 9, so technically she was supposed to sit back there.) DH finally let her sit in the middle in between us. Then when we got to the museum, she wouldn't get out of the car and eventually crawled into the backseat and tried to lock the door. The trip was not enjoyable. She'd be happy one moment and then when she saw DH and I enjoying ourselves, she would turn into a complete turd. 

I'm glad I got to see the exhibit, but it sucks that I will always remember her behavior that day. 

Simpleton21's picture

Yep, sounds familiar.  My SD still behaves this way at 13!!!!!  She basically ruins any activity or outing that I would normally have a great time with. 

I would have been pissed if my DH suggested she sit up front in the middle.  Way to give her exactly what she wants...seperation of you and your wife! 

My SD has always been jealous and in competition with me and my boys and one is her 1/2 brother.  It is so gross to me.  My ODS was excited to have a little brother and SD made it all about SD.  I remember when she first found out DH and I weren't moved in together yet (in the process of it) and SD was "so upset that she needed daddy and Simpleton to come talk to her so she didn't feel like she was being replaced".  I should have realized what I was getting into then and ran far away.  Ugh! 

TX2step's picture

For my DH as well. This never gets better.

Unsureofthis's picture

Wow how true and confronting at the same time - but what do you do about it when they simply cannot see it

NoThanks's picture

You leave if you can or disengage. I was able to leave since I wasn't married to the dummy. 

Simpleton21's picture

I've tried disengaging and that hasn't worked.  I may be married but I can still get a divorce.  It just sucks we have a bio together but I am at my wits end with this.  I'll feel like we make progress and he gets it only for him to revert right back to it and act dumbfounded when I bring it up AGAIN.  Like it is new news Dash 1

shamds's picture

daughters having no identity or self. Nothing individual about them. My eldest sd studied the exact same degree as her dad expecting he sing her praises which he didn’t. She lacks the basic aptitude to succeed in hubbies career let alone the professionalism and able to work independently and lacks critical thinking skills.

plenty of times she would dress over the top so as to compete with me. She is a brown skinned asian woman, i am a fair skinned caucasian and she would rock up paste ghostly white and dressed so over the top while i was my usual confident simple casual self. At one meet up she bragged how she and her younger sister were dresses so over the top expecting a response from hubby but it fell on deaf ears lol...

i put my foot down by the 3rd meet and told hubby i and my 2 kids would never be at meets not like this... so many enmeshment and disrespect issues

I told hubby how dare they expect i walk behind all of them like the servant whilst hubby is pushing our little ones in the stroller, suggested he married his daughter and go to her for sex instead since he had moved her to wife status. 

It grossed him out massively and late last year he told off the eldest she was out of line, that i am his wife and there will never be a day she supercedes me in authority regarding my kids. When i tell her and her sister that they are being inappropriate with my kids, to stop doing what they are doing, that they listen and respect that, they are not to answer me back and think they can parent my kids over me and my husband said he would 100% back me up!!!

sd replied with “i’m sorry if i did anything wrong” meaning she didn’t feel she did anything wrong. The result now is no contact for half a year unless hubby messages eldest sd. She controls any contact hubby has with the youngest. 

So messed up that hubby has to run things by his daughter, i told hubby i would never be put in that position... there is only ever gonna be 1 alpha female in our family and that is me!! Sd lacks the confidence to be one

MissTexas's picture

read an article (even a bit dated) that wasn't all about how SD's must be coddled, and the new wife must understand her feelings, but not vice versa. Dr. Sherry Campbell , the author, offers great insight and absolutely drove her point home for many of us. "She learns to control others, especially Daddy, with her false charm and selfish temper."  "She lacks the ability to regulate her emotions." "...so will never allow Daddy to have another woman in his life." "Out of guilt Daddy succumbs." "She is an obsessive self-promoter constantly boasting about her achievements." "Social media will be her favorite place to promote." "She is tragically empty..." I could go on, but you all have read it.  These are the ones that really stood out for this SD/enmeshed daddy dynamic.

Until society wakes up and recognizes ALL MARRIAGES are worthy of respect nothing will change. Currently it seems SM=Marital Road Kill. 

The divorce rate and "blended families" (yeah it feels like something went through the blender) have climbed drastically, the properly licensed and trained therapists in this area have not.

Thanks for posting the link. There is one (sorry I was not able to post the link) that is the polar opposite: "When You're A Daddy's Gilr These 10 Amazing Things Happen." Oh boy!

NoThanks's picture

Those really stuck out to me as well. They were every day life and so plain to see that it was hard to believe the ex didn't see them as well. The one point that I didn't think I'd be able to relate with was the covert erotica. But as it gave the examples of sleeping in dad's bed, using his shower, I was like, "Yep, that one too."  
 

I also appreciated that the article was raw and honest because it felt like somebody understood the depth of hurt and disgust this situation creates. You kind of feel cheated on but not quite. You see a man that you typically think highly of behaving like a powerless idiot. You realize you will never be your SO's queen because he already has one. It's such bizarre situation to be in. And even when you leave, like I did, you're still left with residual trauma that you have to work through. It's so damaging to everyone; even the little narc princess.  I still come on here to try to sort out my feelings and remember that Im not a monster for feeling like this. But I feel sad that so many are experiencing these issues. I really hope we all take the steps to take care of ourselves and heal; whatever those step look like. 

Simpleton21's picture

I'm glad you still come on here and help others! 

You just summed up how I am currently feeling so well.  DH looks like a powerless idiot when SD is around and it is such a turnoff and having had this conversation with him so many times and no resolution I also am realing I will never be his Queen and he will never father SD appropriately.  Any tiny bit of improvement seems to dwindle any time SD has a new "episode" of manipulation/guilt to lay on him.  It is so sick!

SubstituteMommy's picture

I feel like we have the same SO and SD because almost every comment that you made on this post is something that I could have written myself. I completely feel your pain! I wish neither of us had to feel it though.