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Acceptable or unacceptable behaviour?

mrsmayhem's picture


I'm new here. 

I am 54 years old with 3 of my own adult children, only one left at home. 

I lost my second husband at the start of UK lockdown in April 2020 but have met another man and he moved in with me and my son (25) last year. He has 2 daughters (19 & 18) and one of the daughters has a live-in boyfriend who have moved in too. 

We recently went on holiday and I have struggled to get my partner to see that there is a mini wife issue with both his daughters, but he is starting to see it. 

However, last week we were in Center Parcs and his daughters wore very skimpy bikinis and continually smothered him when in jacuzzi, swimming pools etc. At one point, his 19 year old tried wrapping her legs around him in the pool and he pushed her away when I looked at him in horror.  His 18 year old when out of the pool wanted a hug from him, which he did at arms length. 

He thinks I'm just jealous of his close relationship with his daughters but personally, I don't think it's acceptable for him to be cuddling them when they're mostly naked in bikinis. Am I wrong to feel this way?

AgedOut's picture

I don't even need to have seen in it person to have the "ick ick ick" feeling. I have no advice but wanted you to know that even this stranger would have been horrified by such inappropriate behaviors.

ndc's picture

I'm still stuck at the part where his adult daughter's live-in boyfriend moved in with you. You are a far more tolerant person than I could ever be.  I hope they're at least paying rent.  What does the live-in boyfriend think of his GF draping her bikini-clad self all over daddy?

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Ew. Ok, here's what i think. I think at some point this guy used these girls to meet his own needs. Not necessarily molesting them but to meet his needs for physical affection and emotional intimacy. The girls figured out that this was the way to make daddy happy. Likely their relationship will be weird forever and they will have weird ideas about what theor role is and what yours is. 

mrsmayhem's picture

Yes, I agree. I don't believe there was/is any inappropriateness but I do believe he relied heavily on the eldest one in particular as a confidant etc as it seems he was in an unhappy marriage for a very long time, until his wife had an affair and left around 4 years ago. I do question if the wife felt as excluded as me because of the eldest daughter and that's what pushed her to have an affair in the first place because from what I gather, him and his eldest daughter have always been very close and he told me that he had actually left his wife before she got pregnant but ended up staying because of the pregnancy. He therefore dedicated his life to the first child in particular and hence the reliance because he didn't want to be with his wife after all. Very sad situation for him really but it will be sadder if he doesn't realise how his daughter's behaviour is affecting me and our relationship and we woll ultimately fail because of her. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Interesting take. It's true that no woman will ever be a partner to this guy if he already has one in every sense but, well, you know. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

I think Rumple is right in that these girls are using behaviors they've probably used since they were small, to show dominance and be able to make demands on Daddy.  I also don't think this is behavior that will change without significant acknowledgement and push-back from your BF.  Be prepared he may not be willing to do that.

I also think that you moved too quickly with this relationship and let this man and his daughter AND her boyfriend move into your home before you had a real opportunity to make an assessment about how it would all work.  Being a new widow, I am sure you were still in the stages of grief and may not have been seeing him/his daughters clearly. 

IMO, tell him you moved in together too quickly, you and your son need your space back, and let him and his mini-wives figure out what they are going to do on their own. 

Birchclimber's picture

2Tired4Drama nailed it!  ...every last aspect of it. 
Now, after reading the bikini story, I need to go take a shower.  Yuck.  You shouldn't ever have to be subjected to such vile behavior from your boyfriend's daughters.  I was horrified the first (and LAST) time that I saw my DH kiss his daughter good-bye on the lips.  She was 17.  I shuddered and said, "Lips are for Lovers, Cheeks are for children."  Some people may argue that kissing your child on the lips is not inappropriate, but I find it to be sickening.  He put an end to that behavior then and there, thankfully.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Yeah, i dealt with some similar issues. My SO had changed his behavior by the time i came along, but his daughters still had the lingering issues (sleeping in his bed at WAY too old of an age, dressing in a way that would probably not be allowed in most public places due to indecency laws.) I told him that i was grossed out and turned off and would not be present for such behavior. He was embarrassed and told them to stop, but i still have some flashbacks. It upsets me to think about and it put a bad taste in my mouth as far as wanting to deal with the girls (who are adults and live in another state.) 

Stepdrama2020's picture

I had a SD mini wife who behaved this way to my ex DH. Its DISGUSTING and VILE.

Im sure ex SD has now taken to the pole and snuggles with everybodys daddio not just her own.

That type of sickness was encouraged and needed by your DH at somepoint. Which is sickening on his part! Now that your SD's are older they know it works in several ways. For them it gets them what they want, makes them feel powerful, and most importantly drives any woman of big daddio away.Honestly this is so unhealthy for everyone involved.

Unless he puts an immediate stop to this , RUN ! If he doesnt he needs this as much as them. This is the biggest turn off. 


Kes's picture

I agree with Rumplestiltskin and also 2Tired4Drama.   Your bf thinks you're jealous??? Oh my Lord.  I think you have a problem brewing with HIM, rather than with them, tbh.  I do think it was a mistake to allow the whole pack of them to move in with you - especially considering both daughters are legally adults now.  I think a come-to-Jesus meeting with your boyfriend is probably on the cards. 

CLove's picture

Definitely unacceptable.

Id really really think about this relationship. I dont know your situation (you said you lost your previous husband, did he pass or leave?) and as far as finances, but consider that should you stay together, your SO is not at all interested in changing the dynamics and this will continue and maybe even get worse. They are still in their "younger years". Brains stop developing at 22. HOWEVER these behaviors as others pointed out, probably started at a young age and are pretty set.

You are not "just jealous", your instincts on this are totally correct. 

mrsmayhem's picture

Thank you for your comment. It did make me really think. I was widowed in April 2020 and was the main breadwinner anyway, so financially I am fine without my new partner albeit, we are amazing together - just he doesn't always see what goes on in particular with his eldest daughter. 

We have known each other for over 2 years now and were dating for a year before he moved in and to be fair, them moving in has made it easier to deal with because the eldest cannot dominate him as much as she did when they were in their own home. 

Anyway, it all came to a head last night when my son had spent an hour and a half making dinner for her to pick at hers and leave the majority of it (obviously had been out and had a takeaway or something beforehand which is usual for her). 

Unfortunately, I may have gone a bit OTT over a chicken breast being wasted but did get everything across to her about her obsession with her dad and how her behaviour in the swimming pool was unacceptable. Her dad backed me every step of the way - albeit he pointed out that I was perhaps a bit OTT about dinner going to waste whoch I agreed with him I was - but this situation had been building for months and he accepted that. Fingers crossed we can put it all behind us and work towards a better family life!

Rumplestiltskin's picture

So if he doesn't live with you (along with her), his daughter will "dominate" him? Yeah, he has definitely elevated her to wife status. This will be hard to undo. This girl will not give up her place lightly, and your SO will probably stand on the sidelines and sheepishly shrug while the women duke it out. Hopefully not but that seems to be the way it goes when SDs are given wife-level power over their daddies. 

Winterglow's picture

"we can put it all behind us and work towards a better family life"

I hope you're right but I'd worry that you just opened a bigger can of worms...

Winterglow's picture

I stilll  don't understand why the daughters needed to move in when he did. They were adults, were they not? Why didn't they stay in the home they already had. As for the boyfriend, he absolutely didn't need to move in. 


Mominit's picture

Smothering him in the hot tub and wrapping her legs around him - firm Not Appropriate.  He should have told her so right away.

Hugging her dad while wearing a bathing suit.  Meh.  If my family is all sitting around the pool and my Mom and Dad decide it's time to hit the road, I'm going to stand up and give them both a hug goodbye.  

Kaylee's picture

There's hugs and hugs though.

If the daughter tried to wrap herself around him while wearing her bikini when she was hugging him goodbye, that's gross. She probably was trying to do that, since OP said her partner had to hold the daughter at arms lengths. 

As far as the antics in the pool go, that's just sick sick sick....

I agree with everyone else who's said that your man and his tribe have moved in far too soon! Kick them all out!

What does your son think of all this??

CLove's picture

Ill bet, if they wear the skimpies, he LIKES it (if he likes people of female pursuasion of course...)

Kloewent's picture

The thought of doing that with my own dad makes me gag! Not sure if it would be a deterrent, but you might show him some pics and video of trump with his daughter. Someone on here did that to their SO and he really saw what it looks like thru the eyes of other people. He backed up immediately. I also agree that this is too much too soon for a widow. Were these people homeless?? Why did they all move in? I can't imagine your son likes having these people in his home! (Though hopefully he is preparing to launch)


Kaylee's picture

Yeah good point Kloewent. 

OP, why did they ALL move in? The 18 and 19 yo should get their own place! And the girls BF as well.... what's the go with him? They are all treating your place as a doss house!

And yeah your son must be thinking WTF?

LostinSpaceandTime's picture

The BF of adult daughter needs to move out. Before she gets pregnant and the babies start arriving. If they want to play house together they can get their own place. 
Yuck on the other mini wife stuff.

Probably too soon for anyone to move in after you lost your husband. Definitely too soon for four more people. 
Who is paying for all the expenses, cleaning up after everyone? 

Continue to date the guy if you want but they should all get their own place. 
How he reacts if you even bring it up will be very revealing. Given that he calls you jealous for pointing out inappropriate behavior with his mini wives. 
Best wishes. Be strong!

Newimprvmodel's picture

Things are not going to change. This is called enmeshment and it may morph into other things over the years. But it's still toxic and you will always be frustrated. I'm 15 years ahead of you. Honestly I would have worked harder at keeping my first marriage together because it's so hard to share your spouse with strangers-- the steps. Really consider if this enmeshment is something you can live with. 

BobbyDazzler's picture

The fact that he is accusing YOU of being jealous of this gross and inappropriate behavior with his own daughters speaks VOLUMES to me! Sorry but there is something very off about this man. I agree with a previous comment, I'd tell him moving in this quickly together was a mistake and tell him he and his little girls (and the boyfriend) have to move out. Do it ASAP. The longer you wait the harder it will become.