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Edie's picture

I dont know if i'm posting this in the correct place? Not sure how to do this stuff yet!!! I'm a complete newbie here. I came across this site and have been struggling for a while, so thought i might get the support here that i feel i am struggling to get at home. I've been with my partner 4 years and living together 2. I have two children from a past marriage and my partners daughter who's almost 8 and comes every other weekend for 3 nights. We had to go to court to get this arrangment as my partners ex has done everything you can possibly imagine to stop us forming a family together. I have formed a lovely bond with my step daughter but i constantly have the feeling something is not quite right. When she comes she is constantly wanting all the attention, which i understand as she is bound question her dad spending time with us and not her. However, every single time things don't go her way she cries with no tears and more recently she has started to have full blown temper tantrums if she can't have her own way. She has told me they are worse at home and said she shouts at her mum and her mum calls them her hairy fits. She will constantly say she has tummyache if she doesn't like what's for dinner, and then cries for mum if we say she has to eat it, to get pudding. At first we believed her and then as soon as she didn't have to eat dinner she was back out in the garden running around. No tummy achy. Now we stick to our guns and say no, she has to eat dinner. She tells us things that don't add up at home and denies if she's been naughty even if we see her doing the naughty thing. If we point this out she will blurr what she has said and then the (no tears) crying starts again. She comes across quite arrogant and angry when we have to be firm, wont look at us and shrugs her shoulders before screaming. She has talked to me about how she gets away with things because she is mischief but cute and has told me she does sneaky things.I dont know if this is made up to get attention or true. I tell my partner but then i am told she is only 7 and i'm attacking her! I'm not. I feel awful. I feel like she is either getting away with too much at home or something is really up. During lockdown we have been in contact through skype daily and her mum set her up with a box full of all the memories of the day she was born to show us, including the cards to my partner and his ex. Then that weekend she sent her to us with her baby clothes and my step daughter asked us all to close our eye and said " you might remember me in this dad, but you won't Edie" It felt really painful. I bring this up with my partner and he gets very defensive and i become the problem. When we first got together the ex sent her with photos of them as a family and said they help her feel safe. My partner says if it keeps happening he will contact her but i think it should be squashed now. Should i have to have this sort of stuff happening? Or am i not being understanding? I worry about my step daughter a lot but am starting to dread the contact. I get panic when i think about it and feel detatched from everything and spaced out. I dont want to resent her but since lockdown she has been home with her mum all the time and it shows. she is like a double at times. Even says the same sarcastic sayings and sassyness. I keep desperatly trying to see my partner in her. The only thing me and my partner fall out about is the situation with his ex and daughter. When we fall out it is really bad though and causes a rift that takes ages to heal, we are currently hardly speaking and i feel so upset about it. I dont know whether i need to try harder to ignore my feelings or i should pull back and let him deal with the behaviour. I dont want all this to come between us. If anyone can give me any advice i would be really greatful. This blended family stuff is harder than i thought!

tog redux's picture

Welcome.

You are about to find out from all of us where the REAL problem lies - your partner. Yes, he should be shutting down BM's "family memories" that are meant to make sure you know who his REAL family is.  He also should be parenting his daughter, listening to your concerns and not excusing bad behavior because she's "only 7". 

Edie's picture

I have been starting to feel like i'm being unreasonable. I find the "family memories"  and i think this was done to tell me that they are his real family but i keep thinking am i just jealous and is that making me paronoid. I have an older son who was a bit defiant growing up and i had to be on the ball as a mum. So i think i see the behaviour stuff for what it is. 

tog redux's picture

A BM who tries to block access to a child isn't one who is going to turn around and send along baby clothes to play nice with her ex's new partner. She's trying to create problems in your home, just indirectly now, because she got shut down in court from doing it by withholding the child.

You're not being unreasonable. 

Iamwoman's picture

Hi Edie, and welcome!

You are not alone.

You are being completely reasonable.

Please read the forum posts on disengagement as it seems you would benefit greatly.

In the meantime, draw your personal boundaries and demand they be respected. You have a right to be respected and treated with decency.

As for meals, let your BF cook for his precious poopsies.

SD sounds like a narcissist in the making, and surely it's BM catering to her. As your guy is telling you, this combined with your BF's reluctance to parent does not bode well.

Remind yourself regularly that SD is not your kid and therefore not your problem. You didn't make her. She is BF's responsibility. Being in a relationship with him doesn't automatically register you as his free nanny, chef, and partner in misery.

You do you and make yourself happy.

If that means taking a girls night out or saving your shopping for SD visits so you escape her drama, then do so.

Edie's picture

I do feel like i need some boundaries as when step daughter not here we are very chilled, my two children are older (17 and 12) and very laid back. So it's very different routine when step daughter comes as she wants constant entertaining. I can remember mine being younger and they would play by themselve happily and i would dip in and out of play. But every 5 minutes it's "whats next" "What are we doing after this". I have to say we are just poodling about today at home. Then it's "i'm Bored". She has lots of toys here but isnt interested. Just wants constant one on one. She wont play anything competitive though. We were playing twister and she wanted to play so we used the mat individually. I think she can't cope with losing. Wont play board games at all, if we suggest it she asks to play just for fun and not against each other. Sorry if im rambling. Your advice is really helpful. I have been questioning the narcissist thing myself. It worries me that i am dealing with something that may get worse and i worry about my 12 year old daughter as they grow up. She is the most timid and caring person. She already feels bad if she doesn't want to play all the time. SD already tries to leave her out asking her dad to turn laptops around so my daughter cant see the screen.