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STRAINED relationship between DH and his Daughter

Dogmom1321's picture

I've posted on here a lot lately about how SD10 prefers BMs house. She has been vocal about it lately. Well DH finally confronted her yesterday on the phone when she called. 

She has her OWN phone at BMs house and free access to it. She never calls DH. She didn't call and wish him a Happy New Year. Literally, the ONLY time she calls is "Can I stay at Mom's another day/weekend/etc." SD10 called yesterday AGAIN with the same request. 

Well I guess DH reached his breaking point. He told me he just let it all out. "It hurts my feelings that you only call to ask if you can stay longer. When you are at our house you are constantly calling BM to chat, check on her etc. I never get a phone call. You NEVER ask to stay at our house extra, but EVERY week you're asking to stay at your Mom's. You have everything you could possibly want/need here, but because we have rules, you'd rather be at your Mom's because you get to do whatever you want (no bedtime, own cell phone, junk food, no helmet on skateboard, doesn't do homework, the list goes ON). We have 50/50 for a reason. I'm looking at for what's best for you." 

DH didn't tell me what SD had to say after that. I just let him vent and didn't ask any questions. Part of me feels good that the target isn't on my back... part of me feels TERRIBLE for DH because I know how SD treats him really hurts him... part of me is GLAD that he is seeing her for how she truly is. Is that terrible?

Question for everyone... do I offer input for DH? Do I just stay out of it since it's his relationship with his daughter? 

Side note: I feel like he's honestly doing everything he can. He has gotten her to the pediatrician for anxiety and ADHD medicine finally. He has gotten her a therapist to start counseling. I feel like he is at a loss for what to do... :/

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

If they are going to go to counseling let the therapist advise him. If you get involved there is always that chance DH will end up taking out his frustrations on you. 

CajunMom's picture

Knowing what I know now after 15 years in the high conflict step world, I'd stay out of it. While I believe we have the right to say things about stuff going on in our homes and affecting us personally (us meaning SMs), anything to do with one-on-one personal interactions between our DHs and their kids is their business. As Wicked said, it may end up backfiring on you and your DH blaming you.

Cover1W's picture

Similar issues here. I stay out because there's nothing I can do but be there to listen to DH.

We were just speaking with another relative who is going through a similar thing (a step parent seeing her partner have to deal with this alienation), and we all agreed there's not much we can do but the parent must always maintain contact with positive reinforcement for the kid, whether or not there's a response.

I.e dad should bring this up the the BM in writing. She may say 'who cares.' He has the choice of going to court too, but it still might not resolve it. The only thing he can do if the child still refuses, does she refuse to get in the car?, Is to say that he's sorry to hear that, he misses her. He could also explain the custody agreement to her. it's not the minor's choice.

My DH did all of this, sans court, but if BM won't support her seeing her dad and she does not think it's important then it may be a losing battle.

Read up on parental alienation.

Dogmom1321's picture

DH hasn't voiced he concerns to BM yet. But I definitely agree he probably should.  Last time this happened she just texted and said "Yeah, I can't convince her to go to your house." No follow up, no consequence for SD etc. I've read online that as kids get older, the other parent should be facilitating as much as possible. For example, "Okay, you're refusing to go to your Dad's, but if you stay here I'm taking your phone." Etc. I don't think BM does that AT ALL. She just goes along with it. 

Cover1W's picture

And that is PAS. Our BM not once supported DH when OSD started whining. Not once. She even believed a 13 yo over an adult (DH).

Copy and highlight those pages of the CO. Remind BM that this is court ordered so her father has parenting time (not just visitation!). And that he will be picking her up on x date. Start keeping track of when she doesn't come and what the excuse is.

Harry's picture

She has control of SD.  She has no rules, she has the fun home.  Most likely will go for more CS. In the future.

you must stay out of it or it will be all your fault.   They are going to counseling,  this should be worked out there.

Wilhelm's picture

I would strictly follow the court order plan. BM could be encouraging this poor behaviour.

Lifer33's picture

I don't know if it's possible to counter this pas stuff, even at court level. Dh here just went to mediation with bm for the exact same reasons, the level of ss phone emeshment and preference to be with his mum where he gets everything he wants... Well the mediator herself sat there and said as long as the child is happy, it's in his best interests etc...??!!!!  I don't know a nuclear family where its agreed that a child should be given all their own choices about where they wanna be, and get anything they want, to make them happy. But hey this is step/split family hell, and it seems even the professionals hired to sort it have that lop sided view 

Dogmom1321's picture

Wow, yes it seems PAS is so hard to prove.

DH confronted BM about all of her "extra" custody time lately that SD10 has been asking for. Immediately, BM blamed us having a baby otw. She said "I'm just telling you what ____ tells me about the baby." She is wanting to not go to your house because you don't give her attention anymore./ Like really? Yes, having a baby is definitely a big change. I can agree with that. But what about ANYTHING BM is doing as well to contribute to SD attention seeking behavior? She has a new boyfriend, that SD also complains about... but why is that not brought up? DH didn't even respond to BM about the baby. He just countered her "you don't give her attention" to well, I've talked to SD and have attempted to do ____ activities with her one-on-one. 

Idk what BMs motives are, but it's getting old. 

WwCorgi7's picture

We are going through a similar situation. My SD is older than your SD but it all started at 10. We started noticing how SD preferred to be with BM. It started with asking to spend more days or coming to our house late/ leaving early. She referred to her dad by name and called her step dad "daddy". She said they were her actual parents and what it boiled down to was parental alienation. We haven't seen or heard from SD is almost a year. She doesn't want anything to do with us also because we had a baby girl.

In reality, I think it was the years of her mom dripping poison in her ear that contributed. Also SD has zero rules and was allowed to participate in very adult behavior. We were labeled as the "boring house" for not allowing her to behave certain ways. At a court level nothing can be done. According to our state at 13 the kids decide and they can't be forced to visit. At the end of the day we know what happened and we are doing our best to let it go and move on with our kids together. We can't change SD especially when her BM encourages and supports her behavior. It is unfortunate and has been difficult on DH but we are doing our best to let go. Things are starting to move in the right direction. 

I'm sorry your husband is going through this and it is an awful place to be in. As a wife, it is also hard on you as well. I wish you nothing but the best. Congrats on the new baby as well!

Dogmom1321's picture

It's crummy for sure, but I'd love to hear more about your situation. It honestly sounds exactly the same! Did you and DH ever sit down with SD to address "the baby" directly?

So far, DH is only addressing it as it comes up. For example, SD came over yesterday and saw the new stroller. Immedidately "No fair, I didn't get one." DH said "You're 10, pre-teens need different things than a baby needs (and vice versa)" SD proceeds to argue "Well, I didn't have a stroller when I was a baby eitherrrrr." Literally. Anything. She has a comeback to DH for. She has made it into this "unsaid" competition. 

I'm sure some of the feelings SD is having are genuine, but I also can't help to think that BM is behind "planting seeds" as well. For example, BM texted DH. "She knows all you ever wanted was a boy and was disappointed you found out she was a girl." Um, okay, HOW would SD ever know that unless BM is telling her? Yes, DH has always wanted a boy, but he NEVER would tell SD that in a million years. 

You're right... it's so hard to see DHs heart break. He has tried so hard to make a better life for her, to raise her in, etc. And he said "it's like she wants nothing to do with me unless she wants me to buy her something" Sad BMs response "She looks to you as her provider." *eyeroll* 

BM denied to DH that she "has no rules" too. She just said SD must love it so much over there because "Her Mom is all she has now." 

Did your DH ever pursue anything in court? In our state they also "take into consideration" at 13. I honestly don't even know if DH would put up a fight at that point if that's what SD truly wants. Did you try to keep you and your daughter out of the middle? How did that go? At the end of the day, I feel like it's DHs relationship with his child to fix... but it definitely sucks getting "the blame." I can take it, but I don't EVER want my son to feel like he's a problem, unwanted, etc. because of SD. How did you protect your daughter through it all?

WwCorgi7's picture

So we had been dealing with her not wanting to come to our house for regular visitation which started at age 10. Then at 13 she started making really rude comments about her grandparents and extended family because she didn't want to leave her "family" to see us or participate in holiday events. Fast forward to the new baby. DH and I have 3 boys together already and never had an issue from SD. When we announced the new baby she was fine, actually excited. It was when we found out it was a girl that she cut contact. BM called my husband to tell him that SD freaked out and was severely depressed. 

DH took SD out privately and grabbed dinner together to talk. He explained to her how much he loved her and how she would never be replaced in his life by a new baby. SD flipped out screamed at him for not buying her all this random stuff. She yelled at him because he didn't buy the travel size deodorant but instead bought the full size. It was just a bizarre tantrum. She jumped out of the car and that was it. It escalated from there. My DH's last attempt to pick up SD for his weekend resulted in SD calling the cops saying she was being kidnapped.

My DH already had an active court case because BM was violating visitation and the parenting plan (hid SD, would not answer phones, take her away on his weekends). He was basically told you can fight this but she's already at the age where she can decide her own visitation. He did seek legal advice in regards to what he could do/ what his rights were given the no contact and her refusal to visit. What they told him was that he can take BM for contempt which will result in BM having to message him weekly saying where SD is living, grades, and medical status. As far as visitation there is nothing he can do. The court won't force her because it could harm her mental health if she is forced against her will and cops will not physically force her. My husband thinks it will be worse if he forces her so we decided to let it go. 

As far as our kids go, they are 10, 8, 5, and 4 months. Our boys took it pretty hard at first. They were really confused why she stopped coming. There were alot of questions why she didn't meet the baby or why she wouldn't answer the phone on her birthday. I don't want them to know her true feelings about the new baby so we just say her mom won't let her, covid, or she is having issues. They slowly stopped asking. BM texted on Christmas saying SD will speak to them directly but wants nothing to do with DH or I and doesn't want to hear anything about the new baby. We decided not to have them call her. I don't know what she will say and I don't want to have to try to explain any lies she may tell. I also don't want her popping in and out of their lives thinking it's okay and hurting the kids all over again. I am just trying to protect my kids and not let her hurt them anymore. I also don't think it is right to put them in the middle of this.

Honestly, the whole thing has a lot more to do with BM than SD. BM flipped out when she found out I gave birth and went on this rampage when my husband refused to start taking her out for lunch and dinner dates. She openly blames my husband for ruining "their" lives. That was very telling to me. I believe that is also the case in your situation. Yes, your SD might have some genuine jealousy issues but I think her BM is egging it on. Saying her mom is all she has now is definitely a seed she is planting. I think your husband  should talk to your SD privately. Who knows if it will work or how much damage has been done by her mom. It's worth a try to steer the relationship in a better direction. 

CLove's picture

I would reccomend this. The child - whether they think so or not - NEEDS both parents in their life. She is not mature enough to really understand the consequences of her actions and even with your DH outlining his feelings, that isnt registering either.

SO, Id tell your husband he needs to follow through a requirement that SD10 come for her 50/50 visitation. Limit calls to BM, she shouldnt be infringing on "his" time with daughter, period.

But, it does suck that you have to watch this happening.

I was just telling DH this morning how it sucks when BM re-writes history to make him out to be the bad guy. How he is supposely "jealous and abusive" and thats what destroyed the family and marriage, no, it wasnt the lies and the cheating, it was the jealousy.

UGH.

Dogmom1321's picture

Thanks for the advice! OMG the SAME thing happened a few years ago. DH and BM divorced before SD was even 2. Obviously she doesn't remember any of it. What DH said went down was that he came back from Afghanistan to find out BM was seeing her ex (went on beach trips, celebrated new years, etc.) He filed for divorce. 

One day SD was randomly talking about "favorite houses" with me. She said her favorite house was her childhood house, but "too bad my dad beat my mom, so she had to break up." WTF. Not AT ALL what happened. I didn't say anything to her. I told DH and he wasn't surprised. It's crazy how these BMs can paint a picture of our DHs. Sad

Rags's picture

This kid needs the facts that her mother is a lying, adulterous POS.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Kids who have lost at least half of the parent lottery and have a shallow and polluted half of their gene pool must have the facts and the truth, in an age appropriate manner, to counter the toxic crap or they will suffer for their entire lives with the baggage caused by the manipulative crap that is fed to them by their trashy parent.

Quit facilitating the bullshit. You and DH start countering the crap with the facts.  And keep expanding the kid's exposure to the facts as she grows up.

It really is the only chance this kid has at not going down the crapper with her whore lying POS mother.

IMHO of course.

My XW was one and the same as your DH's X and SD's BM.  Fortunately I avoided polluting my gene pool with that whore.  Or I would be dealing with the same crap you and your DH are dealing with regarding his poor choice of mates in his failed family marriage.

Good luck. Stick to and broadcast the facts.

CLove's picture

Yep, thats how it came out for me too, SD14 Munchkin and I driving around shopping, and she starts it with "well I cant tell my mother too much because she will twist things" then "And my dad was jealous and abusive to her, thats why they broke up". I stayed calm, and countered with "well, he was jealous because she was off with other guys, and did you ever SEE him be jealous or abusive to your mother, or is it something she told yoh happened?" Turns out her mother tells her these things. And she understands her mother is lying yet the mindf@ck is still there, messing with these kids "meories".

I finishe the conversations calmly by stating "your mother has HER versioni of things, your father has HIS, and since I wasnt there, I dont know the exact precise truth of what happened, but I CAN tell you this - I am not experiencing this AT ALL with your father. He is a very sweet person and we have a pretty great life and Im enjoying being married to him. He never abuses me and never is jealous."

These BM's have to be the hero in their own story, and these kids are perfect audiences. Moldable and maleable.

SO - try to get visitation on a regular routine schedule.