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paul_in_utah's picture

G'day Stalkers,

Looking back, it has been over 8 months since my last post.  Since then, I have gone back on the dating market, and have met a nice lady.  Things are going well  with her so far, but I have some definite concerns about her daughter.  I wanted to get the thoughts of the group about my situation.

As a bit of a primer:  the daughter is 17, and has a host of medical issues, including mental health issues.  She has been diagnosed with many food allergies, and has to be on a special diet.  She also has additional digestive issues, and GF is waiting on the official diagnosis.  It sounds like she may need to have her gall bladder out, and possibly other surgeries.  These issues are not any fun, but they are organic and can be objectively verified.  Dealing with them will be straightforward enough.

The "mental health" front is more of a concern.  First off, I know that depression and mental disorders are very real.  I'm not doubting that these issues affect a lot of folks.  However, they are much harder to verify than things like food allergies or a non-functioning gall bladder.  I don't have a defnite diagnosis for the daughter yet, other than generalized depression and anxiety.  She sees a counselor every week, and started taking an anti-depressant recently.  The source of the depression is vague, although she has complained about some of the usual suspects, such as being upset about her parent's divorce.

The daughter has has confirmed that she smokes pot regularly, although she supposedly stopped because it could interfere with her new meds.  She also has gotten CPS called on her parents over allegations that were later disproven.  As a result of this, dad doesn't want to be around her.  Lastly, until recently, the daughter's boyfriend lived with her and her mom (my GF).  GF eventually made the boyfriend move out, at which time the daughter started co-sleeping with GF to help deal with her anxiety.

So, this isn't my first trip around the block.  I"ve dealt with step-problems before, and I've read a ton of good advice on this site over the years.  I really care about my GF, and want to build a life together.  However, I don't know if that's going to be possible because of her daughter.  I haven't done anything rash, like moving in together, or combining our finances.  However, I do entertain the idea of moving in together in the future.  I am looking at buying a house next year, and if I do, it will obviously be in my name only.  If GF and her kids move in, they will be my guests, and not have any legal rights to my home.  

I guess my question for the group is this:  are there ANY success stories about getting mentally troubled teenagers to launch?  I've seen some stories of successful launches, but they usually involved "normally-abled" skids, not skids with major issues.  Even then, I know it's tough.  I have a year to see how things go (plan on buying in spring of 2020), but I don't want to permanently host a "shot-caller" skid like my GF's daughter.  And make no mistake, that's what this girl is now.  She calls all the shots in my GF's household, and GF is terrified of triggering an anxiety attack by standing up to her daughter.

I don't doubt that the girl has legitamate issues, but I am convinced that she embelleshes things, or makes up things just to get her way (such as needing to co-sleep with GF due to "anxeity," which means I can't sleep over any more).  GF thinks this as well.  I kind of think my GF just wants her daughter to launch so that she doesn't have to keep dealing with all of this, but I don't see that happenning any time soon.  She's not likely to graduate high school on time, and can't really work due to her medical issues.  College is not likely.  Short of finding a new BF (her current BF is a loser who doesn't work) to provide for her, I'm not sure what she will do.  She's set herself up with a very comfortable life with no virtually no responsibilities, and near total control of her mother.  It's infuriating.  

MurphysLaw's picture


The daughter will be living with mommy till she’s in her 40s.

Save yourself the headache & heartbreak, exit now.

Letti.R's picture

Too much hard work here.
Your SD has already seen she can successfully insert herself into your relationship and manipulate Mom.
Don't try to fix what you didn't break.
I would move on and be far more picky in future.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Hi, Paul. Welcome back.

The dynamic you've described is in some ways similar to your last marriage. Deep down, you must know this is not a sustainable relationship. You've listed some serious impediments to having a healthy, normal relationship with this woman. She's not even fully available because she's too busy being an overly permissive parent to her screwed up, nearly adult daughter. Cosleeping at 17!?! Letting the boyfriend move in and sleep with her minor daughter?!? This is very poor parenting, and I wonder what CPS would have to say about that. Also, once this skid perceives you as a threat to her comfy lifestyle, she's going to go gunning for you. Please tell us that you're never alone with this troubled girl? 

Since you asked about troubled teens launching, sometimes they do. But because they weren't given the tools to succeed and be independent, they often boomerang back, or they need constant $$ help, or they get knocked up and expect their parent to help raise the gskid. The mess usually never ends, and because the pattern is set of the parent being the rescuer, kids like this always run back to mommy or daddy. I have a SIL who lived off her father until he died. She's nearing sixty, and can't take care of herself. He was nearly flat broke from constantly bailing out his daughters.

Please stay far, far away from this trainwreck. There are many, many red flags flapping in the breeze. Find a nice, normal woman with a  track record of solid parenting demonstrated by adult kids who have successfully launched, and enjoy a drama free life. 

paul_in_utah's picture

You are probably right.  It just seems like it is always like this.  I always attract train wrecks.  It's not like I am doing on purpose, and it's not like I don't go after the "normal" girls you desribe.  They just won't go out with me!  It's not like I want to be with women like this.

I am trying to maintain a steady diet of Steptalk and MGTOW content until my feelings catch up with my brain.  If I felt like this kid was going to launch, I would really feel optimisitic about things.  At least I can easily walk at this point.  No financial or legal ties at this point.  

TwoOfUs's picture

MGTOW is a bunch of rubbish that ignores facts and science. But yeah...definitely stay here! 


paul_in_utah's picture

Men Going Their Own Way.

An extreme version of men's right's advocacy and similiar movements.  A lot of it is crap, but there are stern warnings and examples about getting into dysfunctional relationships.  Such as the on I am on the precipice of.

SecondNoMore's picture

Any time I hear of parents letting a child's (minor or adult) boyfriend/girlfriend move-in, that's a dead giveaway to me that there are not enough boundaries or standards involved. The other issues such as  co-sleeping and a very vague mental illness all sort-of speaks to the same stuff and it's crazy.

I've come to the realization that some people are so afraid to be alone that they'll settle for almost anything and after reading your past entries, I'm guessing you're one of those people. You were considering going back into a bad situation because nothing better had presented itself. I'm not even sure what to say about that kind of thinking. I think if you stay in this one you need to be prepared for your needs to take a backseat to the child's needs and it doesn't sound like there's much of a chance this kid becomes a self-sufficient adult. 

paul_in_utah's picture

You make valid points.  I don't want to be alone, and I find myself having to make a lot compromises in order to get into relationships.  Settling, in other words.

I would love to date a high-functioning, normal woman.  I spent 3 years straight looking, and found no one like that.  That's why I was thinking about reconciling with my ex.  In my view, a bad relationship is better than no relationship.  The stark reality is this:  either be with a train wreck woman, or be alone.  There's not a third option.

I am a nice guy who makes a pretty decent living for my part of the country, but am admittedly not the greatest looking guy.  This is why I end up with these girls.  They are settling too.  It's what happens when you don't have the options you would like to have.

tog redux's picture

Paul - get into therapy and learn to value yourself more. These women aren't "settling" for you, you are settling for them. Once you stop thinking your looks stop you have from having a "normal" woman, and resolve the issues from the other part of you that is attracted to train wrecks, you will find a high functioning woman who will think you are very attractive.

I don't even have to see you to know it's not your looks that makes you keep finding these women, it's something deeper and older and way inside, that needs to be dealt with (most likely related to how you were treated in your family growing up).

Instead of hoping this one will pan out, do some work on yourself and fix your picker.

SecondNoMore's picture

Paul, it makes me sad to hear that you think that being with dysfunctional people is preferable to being alone. That in itself is a self-esteem issue right there. Rather than wasting time and energy on this woman's crazy baggage, I truly hope you invest in yourself and get some therapy. 

Mountains's picture

A bad relationship is never better than not having one.  You deserve happiness and peace - and that may, for now, need to be found without a SO.  Tog is right - seek some therapy...I learned to be happy on my own for many years after my divorce before I met my DH.  

TwoOfUs's picture

My OSD was very mentally unstable and riddled with “anxiety” and “depression” and was an evil, horrible person who couldn’t even order for herself at restaurants at 16 because of social anxiety and was hitting, biting, and scratching her brother and sister and fighting for the front seat well into her mid-teens...and she became bulimic...

...And she hit the ground running, moved out of BM’s at 18 without being asked and never looked back. We currently have her on our cell plan and cover her car insurance...and we’ve given her a couple hundred bucks here and there for books and school supplies...but other than that she never ever asks for money and pays her own rent and college tuition after financial aid. 

Of course, DH and I strongly suspect a very minor case of Munchausens by Proxy on the part of her mother...and we think OSD realized what was happening to her and bolted as soon as she could. She hasn’t had a single sign of mental illness since she left her mom’s house. No anxiety. No depression. She’s regained about 20 pounds...and is in a size 4 again. She’s student teaching middle school...that’s how strong she is mentally now that she’s out on her own. 

Meanwhile YSD who was always a strong, bright, funny, social person...suddenly has anxiety and depression and is a bundle of nerves on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds (no input from us, of course, even though CO states BM and DH are to make medical decisions together). Etc. 

It’s like BM just replaced OSD with we’re really pushing her to move out and get launched as well.

Say all this to say...yes. It happened for us and I’m incredibly grateful. But our circumstances were quite different. It sounds like your SD may have Munchausens or some other malingerers condition herself...or at least she and your GF are codependent in the condition. Without someone pushing her out or her realizing what’s happening isn’t good for her and launching on her’re screwed. 


PS. Early on, I often felt sorry for BM...back when we were trying to co-parent...because she often said that she was “afraid that OSD would probably be living in her basement and unable to do much work into her 30’s or even later” because of her severe anxiety. I now recognize these statements as BM expressing her hope for her future relationship with her child.

hereiam's picture

Whether the girl embellishes or not, her mother will probably always want to be there for her and will always buy into her issues. 

Your GF may want the girl to launch but since she lets her control her to such a great extent, now, your GF is probably not going to be strong enough to MAKE her launch any time soon.

Sorry, I don't think this one is it.

Rags's picture

First, welcome back.  Next.. what the hell man?  Please, re-read your post from the perspective of providing advice to the person who wrote it.

What would you advise a man to do who is in a relationship with a woman who co-sleeps with her 17yo daughter?  What would you advise a man who is interested in an equity life partnership whose current SO has a disturbed nearly adult daughter who has just about a zero % chance of launching and even less of a chance of not being a long term interference in your relationship and life with her mother?  What would you advise a man to do who is contemplating a relationship with a woman who is at least 50% responsible for the screwed up state of her kid and who brings this proven issue and all related issues to the relationship?

You seem to have a penchant for rescue projects.  I too went through that phase of my life.  I got past the knight in shining armour penchant.  Not that other issues are not possible.  My XW was not a rescue project and that marriage crashed and burned.  An adulterous whore does not a life partner make. At least in my experience.  My bride of nearly 25 years was by all appearances the ultimate rescue project.  I knew that she wasn't.  And it turned out that I am  batting 500 of my selection of a wife.  I was right with the 2nd attempt.

Keep in mind that doing something over and over again and expecting a different result is the unofficial definition of insanity.  So, you may want to try something different in selecting your potential equity life partners.

Good luck.

Take care of you.