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Adult daughter driving me nuts!

Goobergirl's picture

I'm reluctant to marry my boyfriend of 4 years because of his daughter. I have 2 grown children: one is 27, living 600 miles away so I rarely see her and the other one is 20, living 90 miles away and I see him about every 2 months. Boyfriend's daughter is 23, lives 20 minutes away and HAS to speak to daddy daily and HAS to see him several times a week or else she will throw a temper tantrum that would rival any two year olds! She and I don't get along, because she has no manners! If she comes over, she just walks in the door without bothering to knock and then she heads for the kitchen and helps herself to whatever she wants. I kinda knew she was going to be trouble when we took our first romantic road trip shortly after we started dating. She threw the first of many tantrums. She was on the phone literally crying that we didn't take her! She also lived with us for about four months and I was SO HAPPY when she moved out! Living with her is how I found out how bad she really is! She refused to help out in any way and actually said that she didn't have to do anything! She was so lazy and would hide food and dirty dishes under the couch and her bed!. The final straw was when she started bringing her boyfriend over and letting him spend the night! She didn't even bother asking her dad if it was ok. When I woke up at 6 and found a 19 year old guy standing in the kitchen in his underwear, I told my boyfriend that her boyfriend was NOT staying over ever again! Of course, that made me the bad guy. So now when he tries to be a parent to her, she plays the guilt card with him, accusing him of loving and choosing me over her. Her mom left right after she was born and so she's fond of saying that her mom chose drugs and her daddy chose a woman over her. And then she turns on the tears and refuses to speak to him for a week and successfully manipulates him again. She just got a job literally right around the corner and I know she's planning to come over several times a week. Why drive home when she can go to daddy's?  It won't surprise me if she actually brings up moving in with us again, because now that she works down the street, it will be easier on her. I have put my foot down on that issue though. I told my boyfriend that there's no way in hell I'll ever live with her again! And I don't want her stopping by several times a week! I just can't stand the thought of her sitting here every single night, begging daddy to rub her feet and back while she baby talks for HOURS! When I tell him that she needs to grow up (daddy is her social life, she has NOT ONE FRIEND and can't keep a boyfriend because she's a princess) he's afraid she'll run off and NEVER talk to him again. She's an adult, she should have some kind of life outside of her father. But she's so bratty and spoiled that NOBODY outside of her immediate family wants to be around her. I'm afraid that she's going to be 40 years old and still attached to daddy's hip! I've tried repeatedly to discuss this with him, but all he keeps saying is that "she's a child. Yes, immature and spoiled, but a CHILD." No, I think she's just a spoiled brat who knows exactly what she's doing! I love my boyfriend, very much, and I've invested 4 years in our relationship but I am tired of babysitting all the time! Especially a grown "child."  Any advice?

sandye21's picture

--- and if your BF thinks SD is a child HE is your problem, NOT SD.  Sorry to say this but if he has been treating her like this for 20 years, and is afraid of her running off, the prospects don't look too good for you.

If you marry him it will get worse - SD will feel more threatened.  You wrote that he refuses to discuss the situation with you.  Odds are he would not agree to counseling with you so you might want to go by yourself and discover that you want - and deserve a more rewarding relationship for yourself.  This looks like one of those 'Head for the hills!!' situations.

hereiam's picture

It's doubtful that their co-dependent relationship will just turn into a normal father/daughter relationship anytime soon. 

Too old for this's picture

Unless you want to spend the rest of your life like this,  you need to give him 2 choices:  (1)  stop this nonsense immediately and lay down boundaries with his daughter;  or (2)  say goodbye to you.

Sorry to be blunt but the writing is on the wall.  

Curious Georgetta's picture

man, why not live apart and continue to see him? You say that you have invested 4 years into this relationship. Hopefully. It was a mutual investment in which you each received as much as you gave; consequently it was not wasted years.

If you love each other together, you can love each other apart.  It seems that your partner has settled the issue of his relationship with his daughter.

As an independent adult, you do not have to live in a situation that you find to be uncomfortable. Your partner can remain as your lover, companion, friend, and confidant without your living together.; separate  living arrangements won't prohibit you from doing any of the things that you now do together.

If you value your peace of mind and want to have absolute control over who is in your domicile, then you should find a place of your own.

 

 

still learning's picture

Yes the 23 yr old "child" is a problem but your boyfriend is the cause of it all.  He has enabled her and also emotionally used her as a replacement spouse rather than treating her like a daughter.  BF does not want her to grow up thus she is still a "child".  He would prefer her to be dependant on him for her social life so that he feels special and needed. Whatever would he do if SD actually lived her own life and wasn't fluttering around him all the time.  Now he has two women fighting for his attention and affection, poor man is caught in the middle yet doesn't want to be involved in the "two of you's" issues (that he created).  

The vast majority of skid issues on this board stem from men who have never really parented and have no idea how to have a healthy relationship w/ their children.  The guilt and fallout from the previous broken family still dictates dysfunctional behavioral patterns decades later.  

The cure is for parents to learn how to have age appropriate relationships w/their children. When this happens there are fights, blame (SM gets the brunt of it), and often alienation because the kid feels like they've lost their parent because they chose someone else over them.  Lots of salt poured in never fully healed wounds when a boundary is set.  Sometimes dad and skid get even closer when a woman dares try and have a relationship w/him. These man often have a slew of relationships that never last because skid is always in the middle of it.  The smart women end it, the rest of us end up here years later wondering what happened to our lives and sanity.  

I went through this w/DH and then ss29, DH and I were on the verge of divorce and I know ss was giddy thinking he had won. I was ready to hand over his father the prize and resume a skid free life.  To his credit DH did set boundaries w/ss and even made him start paying his own phone bill.  In retaliation ss didn't talk to DH for 6 months and only called then because he needed a truck to help move some stuff.  DH and I barely made it through a really time and I still have to stay disengaged and reinforce the boundaries around our marriage. 

In my first marriage the issue was other women coming between us, now it's a grown manchild who wants to break us up.  

sammigirl's picture

Take charge!  Don't expect this to get better.  If you want this man and a life with him, tell his daughter to get a life.  I would set her straight, no beating around the bush.  

I learned the hard way.  I put up with a very similar situation for 30+ years (my fault).  When I did "take charge", it was ugly, ugly, ugly....

If I had it to do over, I would have set my SD straight to begin with.  When I did, I put DH in the middle; that does not work.  Just make this your rules, your boundaries, and your way of life.  If your BF doesn't like the boundaries, he will either get over it or move out.  My DH doesn't like it, but he's accepted it, because I took the challenge to change it on my own. 

Take it one situation at a time, don't bundle the problems; it only intensifies them.  Go slowly.  My SD still just walks in without knocking.  If I know she is coming by, which isn't often, I lock the door; she has to wait until I answer the door.  If I forget to latch the door (oops), I ignore it and make sure I latch it next time.  I am very cold to my SD, because I'm totally disengaged.  I don't offer her the time of day.  She comes around less and less.  It's taken a long time for me to get her to realize, she's not a princess, I'm the queen of my own home.  That said, she still tries her crap and will never stop.

Ask yourself, "how much do I want to tolerate from my SD the rest of my life"?  It isn't going to change.  You are going to have to change it to give yourself peace.  I've taken control and it's my way in my home.

I understand your frustration and I get it.  ((((hugs)))) 

TX2step's picture

With her very presence, enforcing the package deal you signed up for. She will always be the thorn in your relationship. I agree with Sammi, take back your home and your position of the woman in charge of your home. Set down the rules for both DH and SD, since no one else will. I have no problem doing this, it is my house. I wish I could tell you it gets better with time, but the fact is it's never ending manipulation, seems like we all signed up for a lifetime of drama because we dare love a man with a daughter.

SugarSpice's picture

my dh has several children but sds are the worst.  one of them is married and a mother and yet texts and calls her father every single day and sends several pictures of the gskids each day.  dh gets home from work with this stupid grin on his face after taking to sd.  then starts ordering me around.

Rags's picture

My GM used to say "If  you can't listen and learn then  you will have to feel."  Usually this was accompanied by the cutting and application of a switch to one's backside.  The words were also used as we progressed into adulthood and were no less wise and important when they were spoken in reference to the decisions of adult life. Sans the switch of course.

Since over the years she has proven herself incapable of listening or learning it is long past time for your SD to feel.  Rekey the locks, install a security system and if she enters your home uninvited... have her frog marched out to the police car in hand cuffs.  That is the feel that will get her to  learn.  She enters the home only after knocking. She stays the hell out of your kitchen.  Her access to your home is on a one day at a time basis and she gets zero ability to enter the home unless  she is let in by you or your DH under direct supervision.

Keep it simple, apply the pain that she can feel.  She learns or she hurts.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Crazymess's picture

If you really love him give him a couple things to improve on and see how he does. If he loves you he will make the necessary changes to make you happy. Try to find a happy medium for both you and boyfriend. Otherwise run for the hills or don't marry. The feelings you feel now will only intensify once you are married.