13 yr old BF daughter hates me- HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-29-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for several years. He is recently divorced, however they were seperated for 3 years before divorcing. My BF has 3 children, 2 boys and one 13 yr old daughter. Since the divorce is now final we are making plans to move in together. We currently spend most of our time together as a family, his 3 kids and my 16 yr old son. His 13 yr old daughter never has liked me from the begining. His boys love me. I always attributed the fact she didn't like me to her being hopeful her mom and dad would get back together (this had happended once before). I believed she saw me as the reason they weren't getting back together. Now that the divorce is final and we are making plans to blend our families things have gotten really bad. She has started acting very disrespectful to me. My BF has tried talking to her about it and her behavior improved for a short time. Most recently she wrote him a letter stating that she hated me, she would never like me and if he continued to be with me she was going to discontinue visitation with him. Of course, he is devastated and torn between losing me and losing his daughter. He says we are going to move forward with our plans to move in together, but I can tell that he is beginning to resent me for it. His whole attitude has changed. My BF says that he will just have to go pick her up and spend a couple hours at a time with her and that she and I will have to rotate going to family functions. I am completely devastated. This is not how I envisioned our life being together. I dont know what to do. I have never done anything to this little girl other than try to be her friend. She couldn't give any real reason for not liking me other than little girl type comments such as...she hates the sound of my voice I make her want to be deaf, I'm not as funny as I think I am, I am a wanna be BB Homemaker, I pretend to have stuff in common with my BF, I am clingy...stuff like that.

Can anyone give me any advice on what to do? I am afraid that this is going to destroy our relationship because he isn't going to be happy without visitation with his daughter.
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#2 of 5 Old 06-29-2010, 01:44 PM
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I would not move in together right now, but I would continue the relationship. You and your BF have the rest of your lives and his DD is more likely to be ok with her father having a relationship when she's older. 13 is a really difficult age for a lot of kids and she probably needs time to recover from the changes in her life. You've already noticed that your BF seems to resent you and he is treating you different. Backing off and giving his DD some space will mean he can't blame you for the problems in their relationship. The fact that he can't let another person control his life is a personal matter he and his DD have to work out. You can support him when his DD isn't around and continue with your mutual life plans when either things settle down with his DD or she's abit older. The situation isn't about you personally it's about the little girl and her daddy and the mutual life that was lost with the divorce.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-29-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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I would slow down...a lot. Moving in right now would be disrespectful to her feelings IMO. 13 is a rough age ANYWAY; add in all of the drama that goes in to dad having a girlfriend? She probably hates the world right now.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#4 of 5 Old 06-29-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Been there, done that.

DSD said she won't visit if I moved in (that was about 7 years ago). She wrote a few heartbreaking letters that brought me to tears, and I have experienced first hand the anger and disappointment of daddy's little girl now having "to share" her dad with me.

On the bright side? Here is how it worked out for us: her dad told her that he loves her tons, he will always call, she is always his favorite little girl, and he will always pick her up if she wants to see him, but I'm moving in. If she doesn't want to come over, he'll call to say I love yous, and will miss her, but he won't force her to come over if she doesn't want to.

When I moved in - dsd never canceled a weekend (not saying it will work that way for you, but it did work out for us).

We had lots of friction, but when I left all parenting to DP, a lot of it smoothed out between dsd and myself. We are in a fairly good place right now. She is 17 now, and for three years has been living with us, from her own choice, by her own request.

13 was rough all around.

My advice?

#1. Disengage. From everything. Don't talk to her, don't address her when she is being rude, allow her dad to manage it. Walk away from arguments.

#2. Stick to the mantra "I love you, but I don't think we can talk right now."

#3. Tell your bf that he has a choice to make, and he is quite free to make it. However! Please realize, the less sure he is of what he wants, the more his daughter will sense it and use it to her advantage. Until you know he is ready for this step - don't move in. The two of you have to be a unit for the blended thing to work. I doubt that excluding you from dsd's life to satisfy her sadness is the right way to go. It will feed into it, give it more power, and will make everyone, including the daughter, miserable.

#4. Realize that you might have to start over with the daughter, and realize that it's okay. Don't take things personal. If you are treating her with love and respect, she really has no reason to dislike you. You just need a new approach. Things CAN change. They did for us! It went from okay, to bad, to SUPER bad, to okay, to pretty good! I'm the one she drove on the highway the first time with, I was the one to hear about her first kiss, and I was the one she's going out for ice-cream with in 30 mins. We were in a pretty rough spot when she was 11-13.

#5. Discuss this in detail with your bf. How it breaks your heart, how you feel his resentment, how you are lost, how you don't want to be part of a family where you are excluded, how you need to be a couple and co-parents, and have a strategy on working with each of the children involved here.

#6. Try to connect with dsd. Slowly. Look for the right moment, look for the right opportunity, PLAN to make it happen with your bf. find something she'd have hard time saying no to - going to a brand new place (big city nearby?) just for a girls day out? taking her to some store she never gets to go? Play it cool if she says no, and be creative. One time she will bite - don't say much, let her lead the conversation. Then repeat. Those are the silly outings that help to create a bond, but it woudl have to be just you and her.

#7. Don't take it personal when she wants to spend time with her dad. Help them create a ritual just for the two of them. Maybe it's going to the coffee shop every Sunday morning, maybe it's going for a walk, but help them find something that will help her feel more secure.

And of course, come back here and share your ups and downs.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#5 of 5 Old 06-29-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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If he caves to the demands of a petulant 13 year old, then he is not doing her any favors at all in life. She needs to know she is not in charge of her father's personal life. But I think you know this. The question is can your partner get over his divorced Daddy guilt enough to function as a parent instead of a pal (and and easily manipulated one, at that). Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do to help him get over his guilt. You didn't cause it, and you can't really ameliorate it. It's a tough place to be.

Think of it from her perspective -- she had this divorce just happen to her, and then got teased with a parental reconciliation. The poor thing is doing what she can to get them back together. And since he's giving in to her demands a little, she thinks this is not only a winning strategy, but a duty of hers, so she can feel like she's truly loyal to her mother.

She needs to understand that she doesn't get to pick whether to come to visitation and she doesn't get to decide if he brings his partner to family functions. Truly, not under her control at all. When she understands that, it will actually remove this tremendous burden she seems to have where she feels like she has to protect her mother's honor by rejecting you. Once she knows she's not in charge of that, she can just relax, move on, and be a daughter. I really think this will unburden her tremendously, not to mention how much better you and your DP will feel. But the more power he gives her in this, the more she will stick to it, feeling that she's being loyal to her mother.

Daddy guilt almost ruined my marriage to my DH, but fortunately he found his bearings and functions as a father to his kids now and is not easily manipulated as before. And now our relationship is flourishing, and the kids are so much happier -- they really do want parents, you know -- they already have friends.

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