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BF won't forgive me for not wanting to live w SD

Blue Moon's picture

Long time lurker, first time writer.
After a few tentative talks with my BF about living together with him and his daughter (17), my feeling is I should stay put until his DD launches, which could be a few years.

We have been together for 3 years. We love each other so much and would love to live together, but I would like to first have serious talks about how things would be with his DD (rules, values, etc). My BF's feeling is «everything will be alright, and why should we talk about problems that do not (yet) exist?». These talks always create a lot of tension and that does not reassure me.

I do not have children and am 42, so the thought of losing my privacy is a big deal to me, and since right now things are going well between his DD and myself, I feel we should just wait a few more years before moving in together. Apparently she wants me to move in with them, but I think she had unrealistic expectations.

Now my BF says the fact I do not want to live with his DD erodes our love, and he can't forgive me for it.

notsobad's picture

If he can't forgive you for wanting your privacy and to keep the peaceful life you have, he'll never forgive you for not treating his daughter like your own but never disciplining her.

Go read a few of the stories on here about men who want a live in sex mate who will also be a cook, maid, chauffeur, and nanny but won't ever say anything about the child's bad hygiene or rudeness or general slobbiness.

Aunt Agatha's picture

Lots of us recommend the book Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin. I'd suggest it to help you understand why your thinking on this - your gut feeling - is right.

Nothing wrong with taking your time and letting her launch.

hereiam's picture

Now my BF says the fact I do not want to live with his DD erodes our love, and he can't forgive me for it.

Really? It "erodes" your love? :sick:

The love DH and I have for each other has absolutely nothing to do with his daughter.

ybarra357's picture

"We love each other so much and would love to live together" – I beg to differ, according to this post. Apparently he doesn’t feel the same way. I guess it’s good that it came out now, move on.

Merry's picture

Yes. This. Sounds like his love for you is contingent on your willingness to do what he wants you to do. Is he like that in other areas, or just when it comes to his daughter?

Big fat red flag here.

Blue Moon's picture

He got married very young to a woman who was very bossy and vindictive, and he let her decide everything; he kind of lost himself. So when he got divorced, he discovered who he was again and I think he is afraid to be bossed around, or to end up with someone who doesn't share his dreams. So I actually find him quite rigid now with me. It's a process...

ESMOD's picture

I'm a little bit curious as to what your specific reservations are and why you have them.

I am thinking that after 3 years, you have probably had quite a few chances to see the girl and their household in action. Are things happening NOW that make you think your privacy wouldn't be respected or that you would have issues with her?

I mean, at 17, the girl is for the most part "raised". She shouldn't (if your DH was any kind of father) need to be taught basic common decency and should be reasonably self sufficient regarding cleanliness, pitching in around the home etc... If she is a typical kid, she may not even be around much between school, sports, jobs etc... I would also expect she would be away at school (college) fairly soon.

I guess, bottom line is that you say that you have a good relationship with her.. that says she must not be a horrible kid. What are your fears then?

Obviously moving in together is a big step and in many ways, you will have to compromise and get used to new things and people and schedules. Your privacy won't be as easy to maintain as it is when you live alone. However, that would be the case even if she wasn't at home because it's likely that your BF is also going to infringe upon this.

I would be careful to not blame your reticence on just the SD when it might be a larger "cold feet" issue and worry about blending of your life with him.

I might have approached it more along the lines of.. "it's not fair to her to insert another adult with different expectations and needs when she is so close to being out on her own anyway."

Blue Moon's picture

I do have a good relationship with her, but I fear that may change if we all moved in together.

Although she is a great kid, she doesn't pitch in at all around the house. My BF has actually been telling her that things will change once I move in, that she will need to step up. Waaaaat? I am uncomfortable with this, as I feel it's a recipe for her to resent me. Her father is the one who should make her do more around the house because it's fair, not because I'm there!

My concern about privacy is that she has already been telling things about me to her mother (who then bitched about it to my BF), things that had nothing to do with SD. If we live together, she will have more to say to her mom and that makes me uneasy.

Of course we could ask her to pitch in and to be discreet about our personal life, but SD never has consequences when she doesn't do what she's asked (thank God she's a good kid so it's not so bad).

ESMOD's picture

Ok... that makes it a little more clear.

For your BF... I would be fairly clear that it's not fair to put this on you when he tried to use YOUR moving in as a "stick" to beat his daughter.

Whether you move in or not.. he should have higher expectations.

Oh.. and the girl is old enough to understand the value of discretion which means not tattling information about dad's new girlfriend to her mom.

Given this situation, I would have no problem sticking to my guns.

My piece to your BF would be:

I am flattered and happy that you care enough about me to want me to move in with you. I really care about you and hope that this can happen one day. I also like your daughter and feel that I have a fairly decent relationship with her. That's why I am reluctant to move in. You have already told her that she will have to step up because of me. You may not realize it, but that kind of throws me under the bus with her. Any new rules or responsibilities will now be viewed as something coming from ME vs reasonable things you, as her father, should already be expecting. It's not fair to me and it's not fair to her to change things up because of me either.

You know I value my privacy and as it is, we already know she shares too much with her mom. Whether I live here or not, that really is not OK with me and I wish you would work on that with her. She should learn the value of discretion.

The bottom line is I think putting off our living together until your daughter is off to college or on her own is a much better plan. I'm not saying this because I don't like your daughter or don't care about you. I'm saying this because I don't want to upset the apple cart when it is so close to when she will be off on her own anyway and we can bypass the inevitable clashes and growing pains of trying to live together right now. In the long run, this will actually make it easier for your daughter and me to have a good relationship because we have removed the tension that is probably inevitable if we are forced to share a home. If you can't accept this and will hold it against me.. I can't help that. If this makes you want to end our relationship, I can't help that either. I think it's unfair to try to force me to do something you want when I clearly have reservations about the outcome.

Cover1W's picture

You are absolutely correct. He's setting you up to be the 'bad guy.'
DH did that to me as well (but I didn't know it until I moved in)...he'd been telling the SDs (then 7 and 9 that things will change when Cover moves in!). Totally created a bad dynamic.

No consequences here as well.

I'd wait if I were you with her at 17.

I don't know if I'd do it all again myself, knowing what I know now. I'd certainly handle things differently even though things are vastly better than they were two years ago.

Tomatoe's picture

If that is all it takes to erode his love, gurl move on! This kid is almost raised and she will not appreciate you coming in and that will make your life harder. Just date till she launches and enjoy yourself.

Kes's picture

What concerns me most about the situation you describe is that your BF dismisses your reservations about moving in with him and his daughter. Anyone who doesn't take their partner's feelings on a serious matter like this, into account, would raise red flags for me.

My advice is to go with your gut feeling and hold off on moving in together for the time being. At 42, you know yourself, and if you have reservations, I think you should be true to them.
You can always revisit this decision in future. A statement from your BF that he "can't forgive you" for your feelings, smacks of manipulation, to me.

Raggles's picture

I would stick to your guns and not move in until she launches.
I moved in with my SO lasted 5 months because I could not live with sd20 then 17 and the way SO parented her.

He knows I will never move back in until she has moved out.

marblefawn's picture

Have you thought about just keeping things as they are? Here's why...

We tried this - waiting for his kid to launch. She was well into college when we finally married and she told him she was happy for us. I doubted it because some things never seemed right with her.
It's a decade later and at times she still makes this marriage hell.

So...yes, trust your instincts on the kid, but don't count on her launch to make things much easier. It's hard for me to believe how much havoc a 30-year-old married daughter can inflict from a few hours away.

Blue Moon's picture

Wow, that's awful! But I do think things will be fine once she is launched, and besides, the main questions is not whether we ever move in together, but when. He is starting to pressure me into moving in, and although I admit I'm a bit of a worrier, I still think I have valid points in favor of waiting until SD launches.

Blue Moon's picture

I talked with my BF last night and it went surprisingly well. He was very understanding and agreed to wait until I am ready to move in.

I think the part earlier this week about not forgiving me was just a spur of the moment thing and him being defensive, but after taking time to think about it, he felt differently. Thank you all for your help and especially ESMOD for the script! Smile