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Sad and Afraid

YogaSM's picture

Not sure where to begin.  Moved in with boyfriend after a year.  First month he had children 50/50.  Since June his teenage daughter 13 has been with us full time.  So difficult.  Need help coping.  Feel alienated and unsupported.  Afraid boyfriend will break up with me if his daughter and I cent get along.  Thing is she doesnt speak with her mother.  She rejects me, gives me silent treatment and at times outwardly ignores me.  I try to be consistent with attempting to engage.  Not sure what else to do.  Feels hurtful and she can completely dismiss me and be friendly and happy go lucky with her dad.  She will leave the room when I enter.  Closes bedroom door in my face when I walk by the room.  Any help suggestions would be helpful.  I have so many mixed feelings.  I am in love with her father but it creates a very tense awkward hostile and unhealthy environment.  We can be in the house together for hours and not speak to eachother.  I try to give her space and not push but it lasts for weeks on end.

tog redux's picture

Oh no, you've got it backwards! He should be afraid that YOU will break up with HIM if he doesn't do something about his rude daughter.

hereiam's picture

My SD has never been a big talker, to anyone, really, but had she ever flat out ignored me, shut a door in my face, or blatantly left a room just because I entered it, my DH would have handed her her ass.

But, see, she would have never done that because she was taught, at a very early age, to respect adults. Period. And, as easy going as my DH has always been, she knew not to test him when it came to being rude to people.

You have done nothing wrong, so to live in a situation that is this tense and that makes you worried about your BF breaking up with you because his daughter is a rude brat, is just wrong. You shouldn't feel alienated and unsupported in your relationship, in your own home.

Have you talked to your BF about this?

Thumper's picture

Boyfriend is the one to straighten this out ASAP.

Maybe time to ask him to move out IF this is your place OR you move out until things are more under control. You, WE all deserve peace inside of our homes.

So sorry.


ndc's picture

It sounds to me like it would be a blessing if your boyfriend broke up with you and his rude daughter was out of your life.

You shouldn't have fear that the other party will break up with you in a relationship.  You need to be yourself, stand up for what you believe in, and insist on boundaries and respect.  If you can't do that for fear that your boyfriend will break up with you, then you're in the wrong relationship.  Frankly, your boyfriend should be concerned that YOU will bolt if he can't control his daughter.  

Merry's picture

You're afraid your BF will break up with you if you don't get along with his rude daughter. What's he doing to correct her behavior? Nothing? Then you break up with him, Doll. This doesn't get better. It gets worse.

You don't need to be in a relationship badly enough to tolerate bad behavior like this and feel alienated and alone. It would be better to BE alone, surrounded by calm, don't you think?

hereiam's picture

Agree. I would rather be alone (and available to find someone who is right for me), than to be in a relationship and be sad and afraid.

YogaSM's picture

Thank you all!  Has reinforced my beliefs and feelings.  Greatly appreciated.

Onemorewickedwitch's picture

First thing first: reclaim some alone time with your BF. A date night, a weekend.. something! I did the same mistake, I went from the wonderful dating period to "here are my 2 kids let's play mommy and daddy together full time" overnight... it took me long enough but I eventually put my foot down and asked for 2 days a month without the kids. Trust me you need quality time with him!


Regarding your SD... boy 13yo is a tough age to go through divorce, meet daddy's new gf etc... give her some space and don't try so hard. She doesn't have to like you (and you don't have to like her either btw!) but she cannot ignore you and be rude. 
The kid is angry! I mean she doesn't even talk to her own mom! So don't take it personally if she is not talking to you HOWEVER she lives with you so demand respect. Unfortunately only your BF can do that. He needs to have a chat with her. He might not want to, men often feels uncomfortable especially with their daughters but that the only way. 
Who knows what's going on in her head! Maybe she blames you for the divorce, maybe she think you want to replace her mom etc etc.. Your BF needs to explain to her that he loves her, no matter what, that will never change, that her mom and he were not good together but now they can be even better parents separated, that it's okay to be angry but it's not ok to be rude, that she owes you to be polite at the bare minimum, that if she let you in you can eventually be like a cool aunt or maybe a friend she can talk about the latest gossips with, or whatever feels appropriate to you guys. You catch my drift!

And if he even mentioned leaving you because his DD acts like a punk... well too bad for him! 

YogaSM's picture

I feel as if I give her space and I accept that she doesnt want to talk to me.  I try to let them come to me.  I can handle the kids behaviour for the most part.  What I struggle with is my bf.  If I say anything about the kids it's taken as criticism or that I am being hard on them etc.  He gets irritated with me for example when I didnt ask for her help with laundry yesterday because I didnt want to deal with her attitude or her ignoring me etc.  Ugh as I write it just feels like such a mess and is futile. 

Onemorewickedwitch's picture

At first my SO was taking my (unwanted) advices like I was criticizing him as a father and he could get very defensive. I searched the internet for hours until I stumbled on a few articles highlighting the benefits of having an unbiased point of view. Most parents don't see their children's flaws but it's easier for anyone who is not wearing the parental pink and shiny glasses.
He finally understood that his kids would benefit from it but as long as I was the one trying to explain him that, he wasn't listening. I think he was taking it too personally and the info had to come from a different (neutral) source. Maybe try that...?

YogaSM's picture

We talked very briefly about it today and he was receptive.  Trying to maneuver his thought that this is between me and the SD.  He also references the SD's relationship with her mother as between them and for them to figure out.  I agree on a level at the same time as the sole parent at the moment I feel it is his responsibility to be teaching her how to treat people and how to communicate how she expects to be treated.  Mom is very disturbed and I understand his reluctance and hesitation to foster their relationship.  She lies, cheats, steals and says awful things to the children.  Including how he doesnt want them around.  I bought a new mattress and she referenced to the children how they were "made" on the mattress we threw out.  And made it out to be me doing something hurtful because of that.  And the children buy into her toxicity.  Understandably because they are young and naive.

Zara Gold's picture

I'm sorry you are not the problem, I promise.  Your stepdaughter is the child your the adult in the house; you are not her mom and owe her nothing; you can be an adult in the house and be like a teacher or adult figure in her life, but you don't need to be anything more.  I encourage you to go to therapy with your guy and figure your emotions out then go to parenting class; if he doesn't go, then he's not worthy of you.  You are gold!  Focus on you and making you happy, that okay you don't have a relationship with her as long as you and your guy are on the same page.  You know what right and wrong.  You do what best for you because you're worthy of having a good life.  Also, she need to respect you in your house if she can't your boyfriend needs to step in if he doesn't know how to that why you go to counseling to give him the tools to do so if he won't stick up for you after therapy and counseling then I would suggest taking a break until he can put you first and commit to a relationship where it healthy for you to be in.  Also if his your boyfriend and you can run still then run there no reason to be with someone that wont put your needs of being comfortable first. That my thoughts but you follow what you think is right for you.

Rags's picture

Time to not worry about a silent 13yo.  If she is not interfering in your relationship, why care about brooding teen angst?

Take your lead from her behavior. If she does not engage, you don't engage. If she engages and behaves reasonably, then you engage reasonably.  If she behaves in approprately, then respond with discipline.

As much as Sparenting is a struggle, it really is not any different than parenting any other flavor of child in your home.  Set and inforce reasonable standards of behavior and performance in your home for any children in your home regardless of kid biology.

manvi bhargava's picture

I have a boyfriend and we had been in a relation for 2 years now. He had serious drug issue in the past and have two kids from two different mothers, but the kids dont live with him. As the kids were not at all close to him, that is the reason i entered in this relationship but as the months passed and the kids mothers know that my boyfriend is getting serious for some girl, now they are asking his kids to communicate with him more and more. 

My boyfriend kid's mom's have different kids with different fathers and they are very manupulative, I am a strict and career contious individual. Recently I had an open discussion of not accepting my boyfriends son in our relationship as he is not on any kids birth certificate as well his son barely knows him. Now my boyfriends parents are pushing him emotionally to build a relation with his son. I love him but dont want to settle for all the moma drama in my life as I made that very clear to everyone in his family. I am polite to his daughter and dont indulge myself much in building a relation with her as she is 11yrs old but acts as a grown up women and is rude, even her step-sister is always around me and my boyfriend and she is just 8 years old and have pushed me and talked rudely. 

I am really puzzled what to do in this situation as my boyfriend and I really want our relationship to work and want to have a future together but the kids and their mom's are trying to make everything very difficult.

Rags's picture

I would agree with you that if there are no birth certificates (with BF's name on them) there are no Skids.  BF needs to get paternity tests on both kids and act based on the results of the tests.


Disillusioned's picture

I think the best step would be to communicate with your DH about it

Don't put his kids down in any way of course, that just makes him defenstive and will turn on you

But still if you communicate that you want things to work with his DD, that you've tried, but that you shouldn't have to tolerate rude, disrepectful behavior from a teenager hopefully he will understand

I went through a very similar situation when my (then) teenage SD moved in fulltime with DH & I. Also refused to have anything to do with her Mom. Also did all the things your SD did...ignored me, let doors close in my face, wouldn't so much as answer when I said hello to her, yada yada

I had at that point tried really hard to stop all the tension. 

In the beginning i just tried to kill her with kindness. No matter how rude or nasty I was fall over backwards nice, thoughtful and kind. And as rediculous as that sounds, it truly worked in my favour as DH (and FIL who was disgusted with SD's treatment of me) saw clearly that she was the one with the problem and eventually they just felt embarrassed, angry and disappointed with her behavior

But of course DH was still too much of a disney-Dad back then to really take action

At that point, I communicated to DH that while I felt bad for SD and knew she was feeling hurt, replaced by me, angry, jealous, etc.. that unacceptable behaviour from her should still not be tolerated.

That when I said hello to her when she arrived at home, not answering me (but gushing to make a big point of speaking with her DAD and dad ONLY) needed to be addressed by him

Her not saying thank you for the meals I cooked, or cleaning up after her, etc.. etc.. also needed to stop

And yes, I was actually ready to leave DH and he knew it and that made a difference

DH did the right thing for all of the above reasons, including of course wanting to be a good parent and set his daughter straight, and in the end he outlined for her where her role was and what behaviour would be tolerated by him 

Your DH needs to get his daugther to settle down, understand that she's allowed to be hurt and angry and he will be there for her, but will not tolerate her mistreating you in any way