07-07-2019 12:35 AM
My girlfriend has recently moved in with me. She has 2 sons that are with us every other week. I have a 12 year old son who I have every other week as well and I have a 16 year old daughter that is with me full time. The first mistake I made was moving her in as quickly as I did. We were only together for a few months when I asked her to move in. I asked both of my children how they felt before I asked her and they were both happy. My son absolutely adores her. My daughter initially really liked her. They would spend time together doing girl things. Everything seems to have changed over night. I have no idea what happened. When I tried to talk to her, she just cries and tells me that she doesn't hate her but she doesn't want her in our house. She says that she feels like she's living with strangers. She tells me that she doesn't like my girlfriend but won't give me any details. When I ask her why or what she has done to make my daughter not like her, she replies with "I just don't like her. It just feels that way.". She won't give me any reasons for the way she feels.
My second mistake was asking my girlfriend to move out after talking with my daughter. My daughter has been through a lot. My ex-wife, who has been mother to my daughter since she was 2, was not the best of mothers. She caused a lot of emotional damage to my daughter that I wasn't aware of until recently. So when she came to me with all this, my first reaction was to do whatever she wanted to make her happy. Within a day of asking my girlfriend to leave, I decided I had made a mistake and told her not to leave. I talked with my daughter and told her that I didn't understand what she was going through but that I want to. I told her that we are going to see a counselor to help get through this. I told her that I was not going to make my girlfriend move out. Needless to say, she hates me and now of course my mother is pounding on me as well telling me that I am destroying my family. I need help. I have no clue if I am doing the right thing or not. I love this woman and she is an amazing woman and mother. I think that she would be an incredible role model for my daughter. She is nothing like my ex-wife which is part of what I think is going on. I think my girlfriend is so different than my ex-wife, my daughter thinks she is fake. Am I doing the right thing? I don't want to lose my girlfriend or my daughter.
07-07-2019 10:36 AM
Hey @Justin_T ,
Thanks for sharing, I'm sure others have gone through similar experiences and can provide lived advise.
I haven't gone through this type of issue but can hear the struggle you are in.
It sounds like you're opening the channels to communicate with your daughter, but for some reason she is not wanting to reciprocate. That must be very frustrating, especially as you are genuinely looking out for her best interest.
Is there a different way you could approach the discussion (not saying that you're doing it wrong, but maybe another approach could be more effective)?
It sounds like a confusing situation (i.e., you're not knowing what to do). Sometimes to get clarity its helpful to detach yourself from the situation and think "what would I tell my mate if he was going through it?"
Personally, I think you're doing a great job. At the end of the day I'm sure your daughter knows that you love her and want the best for her (and I'm pretty sure that's the main thing - do that, and everything else works out in the end).
Would be interested to hear from others . . .
07-08-2019 12:46 PM - edited 07-08-2019 12:49 PM
Sounds like things have got very messy... not that blending families is ever easy!
With you have a mix of part-time and full time children on both sides of the blending you definitely have a complex situation to deal with.
I always like to try on focus on what we can do moving forward as we can't fix the past. We can acknowledge and learn from the past and hopefully avoid the mistakes of the past.
It does seem you are making HUGE decisions very quickly..
I would suggest Slowing down in make such big decisions.
Having big changes like these being make a large impact on peoples lives. If people involved don't feel like they have been considered and had time to adjust to the ideas it will make them feel powerless and that is going to cause issues.
This is especially true of Teens who are struggling to take control of their own lives.
When you daughter says "She says that she feels like she's living with strangers" - that is a valid point of view. It takes a long time to get to know people. Having strangers in your house when you sleeping can be quite unsettling for some people.
It sounds like you have explained to your daughter that you are going from Single family to blended back to Single then changed back to blended in a very short time. That would make anyone feel like things are spinning out of their control. You are making the decisions and eve you seem to be feeling that way.
Teens are struggling with who they are becoming and finding themselves. I suspect your daughter might be struggling herself to understand her feelings so it is not surprising she is struggling to explain them to you.
These feelings may also change based on the most recent experiences so it not surprising your daughter is hard to understand.
With respect to your mother telling you that you are running your family, one thing I learnt from my partner and looking at blending families is that your parent has no idea what the dynamic is inside your family and while good intention your mother really is not in a position to judge, no one else is. No one can tell you if you are doing the right thing or not. Different people have different views on what the right thing is for a start so no one can answer this but yourself.
What I would suggest (as I said before) is slow down in making big decisions and involve all those impacted before coming to a final decision. These are impacting many peoples lives and flip flopping is only increasing stress and tension in the relationships. I am three years on in trying to blend my partners family with mine and I can assure you any of the decisions that were made in haste ended well.
You say you are engaging and trying to understand your daughters perspective.
This is great and you need to continue this. (Second suggestion)
It is possible you new partner has not done anything and could be the nicest person in the world and your daughter wont like the idea of you and your partner together. Especially if your ex and your daughter have issues she would be particularly sensitive to being "replaced" by your new partner in your attentions and schedule.
My last suggestion is make sure you are spending time with your daughter to make her feel she is still very important to you and is not being replaced. If you have a "thing" you do together make it a priority. If you don't find a common interest and make it your thing and a PRIORITY and exclusive to the two of you.
For my daughter and I it is cooking.. that is our "thing" and we spend time on the weekends doing that.
07-15-2019 04:02 PM
We would love to hear how you are going and talk things through a bit more. Really tough space you are in right now and our community is behind you when you need to chat