I am brand new and need to vent
I found this forum and it is such a RELIEF to finally know that I am not alone. I need a place to vent desperately. I was starting to think I was going crazy after living in dysfunction for 3 years. I am dating a wonderful man with 2 grown daughters 30 and 32, and grandkids, one of which is a teenage stepdaughter who just had a baby at 15. I can't have kids of my own and so when he and I got together I very naively was so excited about the possibility of "having some kids around". Boy was I WRONG!!
My BF SO passed away 9 years ago. He lived in the same town as his oldest daughter (we have moved since then because I put my foot down and bought a house & he went with me) in the house that they lived in where the daughters were. The grandkids were down the street from his house and walked into his house any time they want. He and I both work in education, full time jobs. He is a hard worker, working from 5:30 in the morning to 6 at night.
When I first came into the family, the younger daughter (the 30 year old) latched onto me. She acted like she was this good, kind woman who really loved me and wanted me around. She would buy presents for me, come to my duplex to visit, and volunteer to help me out. Until you get to know her, you think she is funny and charming person. It turns out she is a cunning, manipulative, selfish, drama queen who cannot see past herself and is trying to break us up and was using me to get her way with anything she wanted from her dad. I could not see it for 2 years. She has used everything I say against me, told me ugly stories about my BF and to my BF using examples of things she knows are concerns to both of us in a relationship, to try to break us up.
She talks about their mother all the time--"this is how my mother would have done it" to try to guilt trip her dad into doing whatever she wants. She is right about that, her mother SPOILED her and my BF would be in trouble if he disagreed with her. She will send pictures of the GK when they were babies to my BF, before she calls him to ask for money. When she was with her ex-husband, she would call my BF anytime her ex told her no on buying something, begging and crying how her "babies need it and N--- won't get it for them," so my BF would give them the money. She complained to my BF that I am taking "him away from them." When I would go visit my family (to get a break from them!!!), she would plant doubts in my BF's mind about my faithfulness and that it was odd I wouldn't want to be with them an a holiday (the holiday was Veteran's Day), maybe I was cheating on him. Her ex-husband would stand by my BF and told my BF that it is because "she doesn't want my BF to get with anybody." She said we weren't with them enough and yet, there was a month in there where they were at his house EVERY day but 2 DAYS, staying up till 12 and 1 every night. We both work and were exhausted, and I couldn't get to know him very well with them around, because they took up his attention. They also would talk about their mother to him instead of talk to me. When she started working, she "fell in love" with her manager as a good person for her dad "to be with." She would talk about how L---- was just like her mom, made jokes like her mom, and she would talk about how when something good happened she "told L-- and L-- was excited for her!" When she had a birthday party for her kid, it was like she couldn't function until L--- got there. L--- never showed up, and then she asked me to help her. Come to find out, L---- is happily married! I am still uncomfortable because I feel like she would introduce my BF to someone if she were ever able to get the chance. A while ago she told my BF the best dancing at a certain club is on WED night and he should go. My BF is not really into that anyway, but she kept emphasizing WED. That's when I'm not around because she knows I have a prior obligation on WED nights. Well, if I'm not there who would he dance with? She has a boyfriend so she would dance with the boyfriend. Then when we take precautions because of that, they have told me "we feel like you don't trust us with our dad." Well, I wonder why?
Meanwhile the teenage granddaughter ( who is the 32 year old daughter's kid) who just had a baby is just like her aunt. The younger daughter is very jealous of her niece. Apparently her mother spoiled her youngest daughter and then when the granddaughter came along, started spoiling her instead. The younger daughter can't stand to be replaced. She is always putting the g-daughter down, and when something bad happens with her she calls and overexaggerates the situation, making my BF scared.
Before we lived together, my BF would come over to my house sometimes and be SO depressed, saying he found it "hard to be a single parent." I walked in later on this same daughter banshee SCREAMING at her dad. It was abusive. I could hear it all the way out in the street. He was sitting there with a bowed head, just taking it. She was mad at her niece for getting anything she wants with my BF after she disobeys her mom. She said and I quote "I can't stand that you spoil M---- and I can't stand her!" When I went in the door she changed her tune to something she knew I would like to hear, to get on her side. Of course when I wouldn't take her side, she started accusing my BF of "hitting her" when she was younger. He started crying and saying he hadn't done that, and begged me to believe him. He admitted to me that she has come over and screamed at him often. I was the voice of reason, and took care of the situation, and then the younger daughter acted like nothing had ever happened, and gave us a casual "sorry" as she left the house. She thinks it's weird I don't call her dad "a special pet name," when the truth is I have many "special pet names" for BF, I just don't use them around her. She has complained because she has no time with her dad anymore, and yet, she complains why I am not there when she does spend time alone with her dad. We have given them birthday gifts at parties, and while she will openly thank her mother's side of the family, she will not thank us. They do not do ANYTHING for my BF's birthday, yet they all go out to eat at Olive Garden to celebrate their deceased mom's birthday, which they then expect my BF to pay for. He finally told them he wouldn't after he met me.
When my BF leaves me alone with the younger daughter, that's when she starts to give me advice on our relationship. (She has an ex-husband) I have learned not to be alone with her, EVER.
Things came to a climax when my BF took her then-husband and grandson ought for "guy time" at the lake. I see no problem with "guy time," but she does (when I mentioned it to her once she just glared at me.) She found a way to go out there and took her two girls. She answered her dad's phone because she was closest to it when I called, and I was confused. What was she doing there, this was "guy time"? She got angry with me. When my BF got back, he was mad with me and told me we better have a talk. I talked to her, and she accused me of "being with her dad for the money." (I have settlement from a wreck so I have way more money than he ever does!) She wanted to know how we would split up the will when her dad passed away. (My BF and I hadn't even talked about that at the time, it wasn't my business!) I was devastated and called my best friend crying after that. How DARE she???? She told me so many things and showed me her true side then.
I have been accused of "following them" when all I did was go over to their house to get a telephone number, AFTER they told me I could stop by any time I wanted. The older daughter tried to question me to trap me into saying I was dating around with many different guys, which is what happened with her ex-husband so she thinks it happens to everybody. After her daughter got pregnant and left home to live with another grandmother, the older daughter though has come to her senses. She has a full time job now, told her dad she just wants him to happy, gets along with me, tries to not be too intrusive, will get off the phone and call back if she knows we are busy, and calls just to talk to her father about things that happen, instead of asking him for money. My heart no longer beats fast with anxiety when she calls. She has tried to talk sense into her sister, but the sister won't listen.
After a while, we decided both that we would move to a different town but still stay close to our jobs. About that time, I started trying to get help and decided to disengage from her. I was losing myself trying to be everything the younger daughter wanted. I used to have hobbies, friends, and many things that bring me happiness, and I was losing them all trying to make her happy, and still it was not enough. My BF also decided that he wasn't going to be on Facebook any more (they spill about losing their mother all the time on FB and try to get sympathy because they know their dad will read it, and they get quite a LOT of sympathy). I got accused of taking him off that, but I was glad he did it.
When we moved, my BF decided to sell his house. I bought the house we are staying in while his house sells. I think it is unwise to co mingle anything until you are married, so the house is in my name, and I bought it with my own money. When that happened, the daughter told us she wanted my BF to GIVE her his house. My BF told her NO. My BF was talking to someone at one of the grandkid's basketball games, and she cornered me. She told me she wanted to know whose decision it was to sell the house and not give it to her. I told her it was OUR decision & it was what HE wanted to do. She said my BF said it was me so she wanted all of us to sit down and have a talk and figure out who was lying. She told me her mom would have given them the house, that her dad had promised to give it to them when they were kids, and he wasn't keeping his promise. She said he promised to give it to the grandkids. She said she had no place to live (she had just moved into a nice new government-funded apartment on welfare). She said I was taking him away from them. I told her that if it was my parents, I would be happy for them. She then said something that has hurt me the most out of everything. She said "See, you are not a parent, so you do not understand!" I am not a parent, but just because you are a parent doesn't make you a good one.
After we moved, she has nothing to do with me. My BF says that when it just him and her, they have a normal conversation. When I'm around, she won't hardly talk to either of us, and she makes me feel like dirt because she ignores me and exacts like I don't exist. I have disengaged a lot, and yet I find myself still grieving because of her. I find myself behaving like an abused survivor. Why do I still DO THAT??? Now that she divorced her husband, she is with this guy who believes everything she says & goes along with her. He asked my BF once "so where is your bologna girl?" talking about me, and the daughter laughed. My BF couldn't do it at the time because it was in the middle of a public event, but he did go to their house and confronted him and had them apologize over that. She wanted us to eat out with her boyfriend's parents on her birthday, so we went ahead and did. Her boyfriend's mom told her that "there is such a thing as being courteous." and I wanted to say "In this family we don't know what courteous means," but still I bit my lip, and said NOTHING. Am I doing the right thing? Or do I speak up? I don't know what the right thing to do is anymore!!
Last Christmas, she sent him an angry text asking him why he was ignoring her text asking him for money. He had decided to not give her any more money. She has turned down several full time jobs and then cried "wolf" on not having enough money, so we decided we would not give her money any more. He has used almost all of his savings funding her. She sent him a text accusing him of many things, of being a liar, that she had finally found a good, godly boyfriend who would take care of her, that many things were not okay, etc etc. This time he texted her and said that "I love you, but NO. I will not be the family ATM any more." She is mad and is only speaking to him when she has to now, or to keep up appearances so that people won't think she is the one being mean to him, yet there are times when she needs something, like going to her birthday party, and texts him and acts like nothing is wrong. Sometimes I wish people could see her true UGLY self, not the happy masquerade self that I am see.
My BF has told me in the past that he had a really good marriage, but he has recently admitted to me that there were things about his marriage that were "hard," but he could not admit them to me at first because he felt guilty of talking about his dead wife's memory. He told me that his deceased wife's side of the family was filled with drama, and they were mean to him and would make fun of him. They accused him of killing her, when she passed away of cancer. He also had to go over there all the time and be with them because that's where she wanted to go. Friends of his have told me he had to do whatever she wanted or face the consequences. He truly acts sometimes like he has never had a choice with making a decision. I was raised where you make decisions together. He gives in to me too easily sometimes, when really I want to know what he really likes. If I ask him a question, sometimes he acts like he is in trouble, when really, I just am asking him because I am trying to get to know him. His deceased wife was a very jealous person and they split up over it for a while. I have heard that when they got married his family was not for their marriage at all, and they got married really quickly, so most of his family didn't come. I have met his brothers and sisters and they love me, we got along great. His extended family is really a sweet, quiet, family. They are very happy for him. The best I can figure out is it comes from the deceased wife's side of the family. I am not trying to say anything bad about the deceased, I just can't help but wonder what all my BF has gone through in his first marriage.
The advice I got was to "try to understand where they were coming from since they have lost their mother and just be the bigger person". For 3 years I have tried really hard to understand their pain. But I DON'T understand their hurting others. I come from a kind family with very little drama who have lost loved ones close to them and in my heart I know this is not how a family is supposed to function. Grief is NOT an excuse to HURT other people. I've tried really hard to get along with them. I have spent days with them, spent my hard-earned $$$ on them, and treated them as my own, taken them on vacation, bit my tongue when they were rude, and nothing was ever good enough for them. I have gone to the grandkid's sports games 3 times a week, listen to them talk about their mother for hours, bought them name-brand clothes for birthday parties because they want the perfect gifts, let them come over whenever they went at the expense of time with my BF, given up time with my family to spend with them knowing they really didn't want me around, let my BF have alone time with them, and it still has not been enough.
You are probably asking, where is my BF in all of this? At first when I met him, he was just trying to survive losing a spouse and being a single parent to his daughter. He fell for the younger daughter's manipulation and she had him wrapped around her little finger. He gave her everything she wanted to avoid being screamed at and to avoid the guilt-trip. She also knew how to flatter him into agreeing with her. He has loaned her over $5000. $1200 were to start divorcing the ex-husband, AFTER which she went back to him. Then she decided she was really going to divorce him for real and my BF gave her another $700!
As he begin to fall in love with me, he started realizing that I don't "use" him to get anything I want, I am independent and do not live off of other people, can support myself, that there is more to love than guilt-tripping and manipulation. As we have worked through stuff together, and I have held my ground , he is better at saying "no" and standing his ground and keeping boundaries. He has stood up SO many times to both daughters on my behalf. Recently he told the younger daughter that she was just going to have to get used to him being with me and accept it. Now that he is in a pretty stable environment and is away from triggers, he is a happy person who can make his own decisions. However, when we have to go be with his kids, which is quite often, old things come back and sometimes rear their UGLY heads and then I feel like we are starting all over again. Sometimes I feel like a counselor.
And then sometimes, like Rhett Butler, I feel like "Frankly my dear, I don't give a ------."
Things are so much better than they used to be, but still little things creep in every once in a while and it makes me anxious. Now I am starting to wonder if maybe I am excusing my BF's behavior. He suggested a few months ago that maybe if his daughter and I "just talked" we could "get along." I've talked to her TWO times already and things still haven't changed. I was expecting him to be protective and say "NO, I do not want you to ever have a talk with her." Today we were talking about her yet again. He is mad with her because she wouldn't take a job offer despite her boyfriend having no job, she is working hardly no hours at the 1 job she has, is on welfare and unemployment. He told me that probably the reason why she hasn't called during the quarantine is "because she thinks you don't want her to call me, so she doesn't call." When he said that, I lost it. I feel like he should have said "she is not calling because she is a selfish person and she is not getting her way, so she is mad about it." Am I over reacting and just being picky with words? Or is this really a deep-seated issue that hasn't been dealt with, only on the surface because I have demanded it??
What should I do? Is there a way to make this better? Sometimes I am so afraid of the younger daughter that I am paralyzed with fear because she is so manipulative and believable that I don't know what she is capable of doing to ruin me? Is there something I can do to handle the daughter better and protect myself? Am I over reacting? If you have experience please help!