I am looking for any advice that can be given to me as my relationship is suffering. I am a 30 year old female in a 2 year relationship with a 33 year old male who has majority custody of his 16 year old daughter. We have lived together for the past year now and have discussed getting married and having our own children in the near future, but issues with his daughter has brought this to a halt for us both.
In the beginning of our relationship, there weren't many expectations of me from him with his daughter. I approached the relationship from the point of a big/little sister one which was a big mistake. I don't think the daughter is exceptionally bad, but in terms of disrespectful words and actions, lets just say she is very teenagery. I wasn't being treated as an adult by her and I don't believe that the smaller age gap between her and I help. To make matters worse, any issue I brought to my BF about something inappropriate said or done by her has been immediately met with defense -"She was joking/she didn't know/there must have been a reason." EVERY time I've said something. I hate feeling challenged as an adult and don't feel like a partner in the relationship. Due to my feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place, I withdrew myself in her presence...not that she minds; she hasn't been open to establishing a relationship either. However, my BF is extremely upset and places all of the responsibility on me. He complains that I never say anything positive. He feels my feelings of being disregarded by him when it comes to her are a poor "excuse" of not making more effort and if I love him, I need to love her just the same.
Months into our "expectationless" relationship, he began to put pressure on me to help me make decisions, give him advice, and teach/show her things as a woman. I don't feel comfortable doing this because I am not a parent, parenting a teenager at my age isn't a role I'm prepared to play, and he only wants to hear the positive anyway or the conversation results in an argument of which I am always on the losing end. I encouraged him to put this pressure on her BM who hasn't been an active parent for the majority of her life, and she has stepped up. However, he doesn't like the mother and doesn't want his daughter to be like her so this makes him even less satisfied with our lack of a relationship. We're both at a point where our displeasure at the way things are working is a make or break point, but if only he can finally hear what I've been telling him for months - that spending time with her feels like I am throwing myself in the line of fire and nobody will do anything about it because he sees her as a "child," maybe we can work towards her and I building a relationship that works for me as well.
Is there anything I can do to be authentic to myself and get him to see that I have valid feelings that aren't being addressed? Is it possible to get a defensive parent to see things objectively at all?