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Why doesn't DH see his daughter every second week?

Freshstart's picture

Quick recap. When DH and I got together SD then 14 was jealous and sad. Lots of negative and daddy obsessive behaviour. Things have calmed over the years. DH is protective of SD now 18 so it is never an easy journey however we have worked well together to promote her independence.

When we went to the counsellor, I said that I had noticed that the week on/week off arrangement seems to make SD especially needy and clingy to her dad. I asked if he made a habit of catching up with her every second weekend, would that be a good idea. Counsellor thought it was a great idea. This has come up regularly and do you know what, DH has not done it once?

What the?

I am so confused.

So he was this doting dad and then insisted on 50/50 and wanted more time. He has made her dependent on him in my opinion and yet cannot take the effort to make the transition smoother for her. Even when a counsellor we pay lots of money to has said its a great idea several times.

luchay's picture


Especially in a situation where the "parent" gets a lot of their validation from BEING a parent - my OH - for example LOL

His kids are so needy and dependant, and he is reluctant to do anything that pushes them towards being capable and independent - because once they don't NEED their DAdddyyyy so much who is he? I think he identifies so much with himself as the be all and end all Dadddyyyy that them growing up and not needing him all the time will be more than he can take.

I think my OH needs to start building more of a life for himself that does not revolve around the skids, but he disagrees - "they are MY responsibility, *I* brought them into this world, it is MY responsibility to take care of them for ever and ever!" (ok I added the last four words, but the rest he actually said to me)

Pretty sure BM played just a small minor role there OH by the way LOL

But seriously, your OH sounds the same, like letting go and encouraging her to be independent and less reliant on him will take away a huge chunk of who he identifies himself as - and that is a scary thing.

I guess it's a bit like SAHM - when that last baby starts school - that's a really hard thing LOL - I remember it well....

Steppy MN2's picture

I sooo know where you are coming from on this. My DH told me that being a Dad is the most important thing in his life. In fact he told me that being a dad was "a state of being". What? Well his kiddies are getting older (2 in college, 1 graduating hs in a month, last one a freshman in hs next year) so he'd better figure out who he is besides being a dad. Loved my kids but they weren't my whole life.............that's a terrible burden to put on a child actually.
Your main job as a parent is to get those little birdies out of the nest and flying on their own so they can live their lives. Why hold them back from being independent capable adults who get to experience life's adventures???????????

Orange County Ca's picture

Maybe its late but I'm confused. The girl is 18. If she's not living 50/50 where is she living? How does he "catch up" with her? Or rather how is he supposed to catch up her yet he's failing to do so?

usedup1's picture

My goodness... All these comments are exactly who my DH and SD have been like since I came into the battle for 10 years!

I wish I had known this site existed back then. I would certainly have less battle scars!

I couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time! I believe my situation to be a little worse because my husband is in a business that makes him in the spotlight. ..put it this way... i have to deal with alot of people enamored with him for what he is and foes for a living!!!
I couldn't figure out if my SD was needy or had major issues because she was 18 when I met him? But... when we became an item..I noticed how needy he was for her? Like he needed validation constantly..
They shared a bond over a very traumatic situation. His Oldest son and her brother had committed suicide, which understandably so, created a need for one another. But what I learned after a few years of abuse from his daughter and the lack of protection by the DH was that he was afraid to let go.. once he got to therapy because of my threat of leaving or else. He was feeling better and moving forward. This is when the bullying and harassment to its highest level from SD to me started!
Even tho DH set tiny boundaries with her each time, I noticed he didnt handle ger abuse towards me in an equal manner!
I then saw the Word NARCISSIST. And realized based on what my husband does for a living, he has received his narcissistic supply daily!!!
and part of being a narcissist is needing supply by feeding off the grandeur of others. Needy...needy...needy..!
Now.. I realized theres no therapy for narcissism!
But.. I decided since that's what pushes his ego daily, well I thought I will give it a try.. i asked him every night how hes feeling with the therapy hes receiving.. I told him how wonderful he was at all the little things he would do for me..ugh! Like cut a blade of grass.. I asked him daily what he would like for dinner. Ugh.. and made it ALL about him for the time he was going to therapy.. now thru all of this, I was being pounded by his rather large , tomboy of a daughter!
As cringing as this was... it worked!
He started to see the behavior from SD. At this time I was able to safely take my gloves off because I was done with it all..
I already had come to the conclusion that I'd live anywhere, instead of livingthis dysfunctional life!!! Just knowing I could live in my car if I need to gave me power!!! I didnt care anymore. .. i think I was more angry at allowing SD to get iin my head and make me a cold and bitter woman which is the opposite of me.. it was like having a dull pain everyday and not knowing how to take the pain away! The person I was becoming wasn't me..
once I took a stand, my DH did too.. He made a huge effort in helping me regain what I felt I lost... But more importantly, he saw his part in this. And that is when I was able to say that she desparately needs counceling. You cant help her issues. But you can set the boundaries.
She still tries after all this time to find new ways to manipulate. Its really ugly to witness. But at least im more aware of this family dynamic and know the signs..
my only regret is that I didnt find this site sooner!

Freshstart's picture

Yes this site is amazing.

I feel like DH and I have progressed well in communicating about all this and have made some good plans for SD's independence. However I think SD18 is sort of left behind in a fantasy world she would like to live in. Just her and Daddy home alone forever. She is 50% with us and 50% with her mum. She struggles to attach to significant others. My concern is that she may struggle with that for the rest of her life.

DH used to hang with her all the time. Mostly I think it was complete lack of awareness. When I met DH and his daughter I realised that not once under his watch for 12 months had she gone out with her friends. She hung out every minute she could with her dad and went to movies and concerts and parties with him. I honestly think that he just did not know any better. SD sadly prefers her dad's company to anyone else in the world. he is a great person to be around but at 18 its not ok to not want other best friends or indeed a boyfriend.

The counsellor and I both seemed to feel that SD would have seen me as coming between her and her dad. It must have felt like cold turkey for her going from as much of her dad's time as she demanded to him being with me so much. I felt that investing a bit of DH's time in between weeks and doing some consistent stuff would help her. Don't get me wrong, he is great with her. He has done all the teaching her to drive stuff and dropping her to any thing that comes along. He did a road trip with her. We rewarded her for good marks with a family holiday she could take a friend on etc

I cannot help the feeling that she is still very sad and clinging to dad.

Just baffles me why not give her that every second weekend catch up for consistency. Its like he clocks on when she is here but immediately that is my problem too. My responsibility. Does not seem fair. Its like its easier dragging me in with him.

Like the thoughts shared. good to know I am not the only one.

Sad is what it is. Narcissist rings a bell. SD18 has a heightened sense of self and entitlement. Thats for sure. in my case I wort of feel sorry for her even though some pretty bad feelings have been channelled my way.

Freshstart's picture

I was thinking a good catch up might be a driving lesson or a swim and a coffee. Counsellor suggested something out and about but pretty normal. Like even if he is going to pick something up on the weekend, just ring and take her along or offer to give her a lift to somewhere she has to go anyway. Car hunting because she is at an age to get a car to drive to Uni. Just an in between week touch base. The real shame is not doing it earlier.

usedup1's picture

Im sure you've heard the saying...


I guess in a way its saying "dont be a frog"?
Your SD will eventually make you feel that your existence will be to feel you need to fight her for the man.. sick huh? But true..
you'll also be shocked to learn that with all the battles she's caused, when her dad gets sick or ends up in the hospital for any reason, guess what?
You wont see her? Even if you act shocked in disbelief in front of your husband? He wont care to recognize it!
You'll start to question what her battle was about?
And thats when you realize the battle was never about him, it was about her.
Thats when you think " maybe its time I write a letter to mr. Walt Disney!!
Or his heirs I guess? Lol.. Thanks to you Mr Disney for warping the minds of young girls all those years!!!

DONT BE A FROG... know what your dealing with and keep your eyes open.
always know your feelings are validated!!!