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twinklinlilstar's picture

I am 24 and have been with my partner for 3 and a half years. We have been living together for 1 year and recently got engaged. My partner (who is 31) has an 11 yr old daughter who is in the first year of secondary school. We have her over every friday night and Sat day. I am in the final year of a degree and also work full-time so am having to undertake my work at weekends. A few weeks ago my partners daughter told her mum that she didnt want to come because it is boring at our house and that i dont make her feel welcome (she is very polite when we see her and showns no signs of being unahappy. She says that I always do my work and dont talk to her (which i do but she obviously doesnt undertstand how important it is for me to complete my degree as a child). My partner spoker to her about this and explained that i may seem distant at times but only because i am engrossed in my work. Since then she came round for a few weekends and everthing was fine. Last weekend she went back to her mum and said that i still dont make her feel welcome. This situation, we thought had been explianed to her and we thought she understood. Her mum has suggested coming round (who i have never met) and discussing the issues. In my mind this will make her feel 'put on the spot' and i think the mum will be doing all of the talking. I feel like this situation would be better rectified by me takng actions like spending more time with her etc rather than 'discussing' and we both certainly feel that the presence of her mum is unescary. However, my partners daughter has said that she wont talk to us without her mum there which is both hurtful and upsetting. My partner has asked me for advice and I have responded by saying his daughter is the main priority and if she wants her mum there then so be it, even if we don't agree. As it stands, they are both coming round tomorrow to 'chat'. Comments please...?!

BLUEEYES's picture

i don't understand why all these sd-ss always think they can run over us parents just because of a divocre yes it is sad,yes the parents need to wrok together to make it work and yes the kids should get a say in some things --but really who is a child to tell all of the parents what is what- they are too young to know right from wrong and making life long decissions as such... i think maybe if the child did have some one on one time with the sm she would feel alittle better maybe she really likes yuo (sm) and wants attention from you to get tot know you---maybe that is all it is...

LRP75's picture


My skids only BARELY appreciate anything I do for them in the moment, let alone afterward. I'm to the point that I don't even want to cook dinner for them, because they can't even offer up a sincere "thanks" and then 5 minutes afterward will be spitting in my face. Why bother?

As with the OP, I too am going to school. I graduate this summer. I have so much school work and other work to do - that I really just don't WANT to make time for the skids in my schedule. They are NOT enjoyable to be around AT ALL. I'd rather write my 30 page final than spend one moment dealing with the SD10 biting some other child in a McDonald's playscape or dealing the SS10 bouncing a %$&*@$% basketball off the ceiling and the walls and grinding leaves into the carpet on purpose.

My advice to the OP:

Make some time for the child. See where it leads. Who knows, maybe your relationship with her will become the exception to the rule and will become something you both enjoy.

I used to make time for at least ONE activity each weekend with my DH and the skids. My DH would let me know what activities that he had planned and when - I would pick the one that I could fit into my homework/work schedule. I explained to the kids that:

#1 They need alone time with the father. I have zero desire to interfere with their time with their dad. So although we can spend some time together as a family, they also will have time alone with him.

#2 I simply have other things to do and can't spend every moment entertaining them.

twinklinlilstar's picture

Thanks for all the comments guys. It does help to vent my feelings! Personally, I feel that I need to deal with this by explaining to SD that I am doing this degree and would love to spend more time with her but, at the moment, i dont even have the time to spend on myself.

Anyhow, got this silly meeting tomorrow which I am feeling so apprehensive about. Am i wrong to feel apprehensive about meeting my fiancees ex-wife? I just feel like i have a ready made teenager who resents me.

From my partners point of view, he wants us to 'be a family'. He says she comes to see both of us and not just him but i am finding it hard to form a maternal bond, as it were with SD. Does this make me a bad person?

I think maybe it would have been easier if I had met my partner when she was younger and therefore I think it would have been easier to create a 'bond'.

Hey ho, life goes on

LRP75's picture

"he wants us to 'be a family'."

Only in fairy tales does this happen.

"I just feel like i have a ready made teenager who resents me."


Just keep doing what YOU need to do to take care of YOU. The rest will fall into place.

Kilgore SMom's picture

Darco26-what you said is so true. In 2009 three years ago at Christmas BM gave ss4 at the time a wooden pocket knife. DH had just gotten full custody. We bought him a real 4 wheeler so he could ride with us and do fun stuff. Not including all the other stuff ss got. But that little wooden pocket knife has a special place in ss room. 2010 BM was in prison (She did 1 yr.) 2011 Bm is running from the law and didn't call or anything. SS is 7 years old now and hasn't heard from BM in 3 months.
In the car the other day DH and I were talking about winning to lottery. (Dreaming, lol)SS said if he won 3 million dollars he would give DH 1 million and KilgoreSmom (ME)1 million and he'd keep 1 million. That is the first time I have heard him leave his BM out or his half brothers. I hate to say it but it made me feel good that in some small way hes moving passed this need or obsession to please BM. Or hold something Bm said or gave him in such high esteem.

oncechoosetosmile's picture

She shouldnt be able to dictate you how to behave!!
Many children feel these days rejected and treated badly if they are not made the centre of the universe in their worlds.This is unreasonable.
I always try to be nice to SD7 , but I refuse to give her the 100% attention that her dad sometimes believe he needs to give her, eg after every word she is saying commenting "yes, darling", of course, babby" etc.
She talks a lot, actually most of the time, why always commenting on what she has to say especially if at times it is not really anything just talking?And not long ago she always demanded somebody to "watch her" or "play with her" when she was on her own(which was usually SO of course)At times it was impossible to have even a normal adult conversation when she is around since she always had something to say and interfere.SO is great though and he sometimes realises it now and tells her not to do that these days, but for ages I found it hard to find any emotional space when she was there.
Look, my problem is, that I believe that bringing up children shouldnt mean that everything and anything should be centred around the kids.I think it is unhealthy and out of balance.
When I was a child (and yes, my older sisters left long before me and I was a single child, too), my parents lived their lives and of course I was a part of it, too.But I was not a decision maker or got to judge them or other adults how they behaved towards me.It wouldnt have come in my mind to constantly ask for entertainment or attention, because I was independent enough to not need that.And I was far from being an exception! Nowadays, especially in guilt driven divorced families,parent put their kids in a fantasy land that they are allowed to rule and where they set the standards for their lives and the minor important adults that should serve them.....
To get this into balance, which will be also a helpful learning curve for SD , you need to step in- as long you are not unfriendly or mean to her, she should learn to get over it and accept that not everyone in her live will coddle her like her parents.Dont let them get away by judging you as a bad person, yo are friendly, but busy.They need to do a serious reality check.I personally dont think that this BM/SD -you guys conversation should even take place.SO could tell them that you are nice and friendly and thats it.Geez.Let us know how that went and stay strong!

GizmoBarnOwl's picture

I would take this oportunity to discuss your situation with BM, SD and your partner as a possitive way to make sure that you are all on the same page. Reasure SD that she is welcome in your home, but what you are doing is important for your future, and dispell any negative impact it may have on BM thinking you are excluding her daughter in some way.

Although the whole thing does sound a little dramatic, especially coming from a pre teen.... unless its BM whos causing the issue and twisting things, rather than SD?

As the meeting is tomorrow, there is not much else you can do other than try to take the possitives out of it and listen to any concerns and try to dispell them without giving SD (or BM) control of the situation.

alwaysanxious's picture

Sounds like this child has some real "center of attention" issues. If every adult isn't bowing down to her, then they are horrible. I'd keep doing what I'm doing and not worry about it. Its her problem, not yours.