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Defensive child. Help wanted

Jeh93's picture

I been with a woman for 4 months now and she has 10 year old daughter who's very attached to her mother(mamas girl). She does not like her father at all as she witnessed him beating her mother when the little girl was young. I help them out alot with Bills,groceries, etc. Everytime me and her mother talk or discuss an issue the little girl decides to back her mother up in every possible way(choosing her side) and her mother even tells her to stop getting into adult buisness. Is this normal for a young child to act like this? Like all defensive and choosing mother side? Not trying to start a fight conversation but I'm new at being with someone with a kid. Any tips or advice for me so I can avoid complications?  

Phoebe333's picture

You sound like a very generous person. Can you have the adult conversations when the daughter is not listening and busy with something else? 4 months is still a very new relationship. Watch for red flags. 

susanm's picture

You said that the mother tells her not to get into adult business but the child continues to do it.  Does the mother give her consequences for her behavior in a real effort to make her stop or is it just lip service?  Does she actually treat her as a girlfriend and confidant at a level that is inappropriate for a 10 year old?  This is something only the mother can put a stop to but she has to actually want to treat the child as a child and not her buddy.  If she can not do that, you are in for a world of hurt in more ways than I can possibly describe in this relationship.  Get out now and do not look back.  Let some other guy be the sucker that finds himself stuck supporting a household where Princess runs the show.

tog redux's picture

Lots of concerns here for me: Is the story about the father true? Why isn't he paying CS? Does he have visitation rights that the mother allows the daughter to refuse? Why are you helping her pay bills, why can't she pay them herself with income and Child Support?

Kids like this act this way with their parent's permission. She allows her to be up in your business and overly attached, likely because it meets HER needs (your SO's).  This is called enmeshment, and it's why I'm wondering if bio dad is really what they say he is, or if he's been pushed out of the girl's life by your SO (sorry to accuse your SO of lying - it happens, make sure you don't blindly believe everything she says about her ex). 

As for "taking sides", the kid shouldn't be in the argument at all, period, and your wife needs to ensure that.

SteppedOut's picture

I agree with tog.... dating four months and you are helping financially? Yikes. 

I do not like questioning abuse, as I have been in 2 abusive relationships. It happens far more frequently than it should. 

But, it's always a good idea to follow up on grand "poor me" stories that quickly follow with you needing to provide financial support. 

Child support doesn't always happen for a variety of reasons (however a lot on this site have different experiences), but she should be able to support herself and her child without your regular help. 

tog redux's picture

Yeah, I just keep an open mind until I know more.  I would never accuse them of lying. Claiming abuse is a great way for manipulative women to get themselves taken care of as the "poor victim", and having experienced that first-hand with BM, I don't believe everything anyone tells me until I know them better, or I have some third party proof.

Unfortunately, parental alienation happens because of stereotypes about "abusive men" and "deadbeat dads", so I always want to question a bit; even if in my own head. (On the other side of the coin, men who alienate use stereotypes about mothers who work not caring about their kids, etc).

I'd also want proof that she tried to get child support and he's not paying, or whatever is happening (I do know that some people evade support orders).  Most of all, NO ONE should ask a dating partner of 4 months to help them with their bills.

susanm's picture

I don't even know how that conversation would sound.  "Thank you so much for the dinner and movie, John.  I had a lovely time.  By the way, my electric bill is due.  Whould you like to pay it directly or give me a check?  It is $233.28."  ????  

STaround's picture

If he has been violent, did she ever get an order of protection?  Does she need one?   Has she filed for CS?  If not, why not.   A lot of questions that need to be answered, and it is way too early in your relationship for you to be supporting her. 

Harry's picture

You will always be the third wheel. In this relationship.  SD will control everything.   You will just be an ATM for both of them. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

with that information. I am however a parent and have had much professional experience with children.

As I see it , you have 2 major red flags blowing in your breeze.

You have only been dating this woman for 4 months and she has already introduced you into her daughter's life. Secondly, you have only been dating her for 4 months and she is accepting financial support from you.

If this woman is the type who seeks out rescuers, it.would not be surprising.that her daughter has moved into a role of protector and defender.

Tread lightly as you go forward in this relationship. Give serious consideration to the nature and types of interactions and expectations -both overt and subtle - that you are encountering.

Good luck as you go forward. 


Gimlet's picture

I agree with you here, CG.

It sounds like the daughter feels responsible for protecting her mother.  

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

Wait till little girl goes to bed to discuss any important stuff. Then she shouldn’t bring it up in conversation unless mum has told her after the event, which means mum is treating her more as an emotional crutch and friend, rather than as her child. It could take a while to work things out in that case. 

Rags's picture

Why do you tolerate this kid's presence when you and your SO are having adult discussions?

It seems to me they the solution is simple.