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Moved Out of State, SD Making Life Difficult

down_in_flames's picture

Where do I draw the line?

About 2 1/2 months ago, my fiancé and I moved out of the state where his daughter (FSD14) lives with BM. Prior to moving, my fiancé had many conversations with FSD regarding the move, what it meant in terms of seeing each other less, visitation and just generally asking how she felt. FSD and I have gotten along for the most part - I'm pretty laid back. When we lived near her and she would come over, I tried to let things slide (i.e. she did no cleaning, dishes, etc). I figured, her mother is awful and she doesn't see her dad much (EOWE), so why nag about that type of stuff?
Fast forward to a couple of nights ago: fiancé and I are on the phone with FSD who is expressing her anger that her father "left" her and insinuating that it was all my fault. She said she doesn't know if she wants to come see him because he moved away with me and she thought it was going to be "just the two of them, forever". She is putting a major guilt trip on him, saying he "left her when she needed him the most". I tried explaining to her that this is very common. I was only one year younger than she is when my dad moved out of state to pursue new work opportunities (only MY father really did abandon me - just up and left without any notice!). Her snarky response: "Oh, so it's history repeating itself again!" This was just one among several nasty comments.
Regardless, we want to fly her down for Spring Break, and according to the parenting plan, this is the year my fiancé gets her (there are no stipulations in writing regarding out-of-state visitation). FSD is being a typical teenage girl, expressing that she wants it to be HER choice to come down, not forced on her. I've expressed to my fiancé that this is a crucial time, and that he needs to be the adult/parent at this point and not let her lay out the rules.
BM refuses to talk to my fiancé at all. He's tried reaching out to her to make travel arrangements for FSD, and she has basically told him that FSD will not be leaving the state (this is a violation of the PP).
I've done more than my share of research, including drafting petitions to change/update PP, residential schedules, etc. I'm fed up, overwhelmed and just want to give up on the whole situation. If FSD doesn't like me because I "stole her daddy away", FINE. If she doesn't want to come down, FINE. If she wants to be disrespectful on the phone, FINE - I just wont talk to her. If she's going to continue to attack me and make me out to be the a**hole, FINE - I just won't be a part of her life. I love the man I'm with, but don't know how to express any of this without sounding like a crazy lady. He doesn't understand that he's had 14 years with this kid to build up love and put on blinders to her manipulative BS.

About to lose it! Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated.

ChiefGrownup's picture

14 was a very bad age at our house. Still emotional and very needy and lacking sophistication but willing to be extremely aggressive and just sophisticated enough to make attacks vastly more hurtful than a younger child can think of.

BM and DH are both a big part of this problem. If they had raised her to respect them the way they should have, she would not dare talk to him or you as she is doing. She might whine a bit about wanting the "choice" to go -- in a normal adolescent bid for independence -- but she would not dig in knowing she had the power to actually boss around the parties.

I agree with you that dad should make it completely clear that it is not her (nor bm's) choice.

At 14 BM announced one Friday that SD would not be coming over because "she didn't feel comfortable" at our house. We shut that down right away. It wasn't up to kid and it wasn't up to BM. They haven't tried it since. She is now 17.

Surely the BM is putting a lot of negative ideas into this girl's head directly. Dad is the only one with any hope of shutting this behavior down but since he hasn't laid the ground work it will be that much harder for him.

The one person who can influence the girl the least is you. Yes, stay out of it. You will go nuts if you don't. Set your personal boundaries with her even if your dh won't protect you from her using you as an emotional punching bag.

Rags's picture

Time for FDH to get back to court for a long distance visitation order. Once that is in hand BM will have to surrender the Skid for visitation and FDH will have some leverage to deliver consequences down on BM if the kid is not delivered per the visitation order.

See how SD likes seeing mommy get spanked in court.

intrinsicmemory's picture

And what situation are you in? Are you the childless wife of a man who has one or more children with another woman?

In most cases, a noncustodial parent will get MORE uninterrupted time with their child than if they lived 10 miles away. Eight weeks of time in the summer (custodial gets one week on either end of the summer vacation), two weeks of winter vacation swapping off annually on who gets the kid for Christmas, all of spring break, and a week in October or November. Which is a hell of a lot more time than most get living within stone throwing distance of the custodial parent.

A lot easier to have quality family time (camping, vacation, trips to the park/museum) when visitation isn't like a wound ripping staccato of familial reorientation every other week.