Hi there, I have been in a relationship with my partner for 8 years now. We both have children from previous relationships, and 1 child together.
I am of white mixed background and he is black.
When we first got together, both my children were under 5 years old and I admit that they were not easy children (pretty hyperactive). His daughter was a few years older and was an angel until he wasn't around to see her.(she was very spoiled and attention seeking)
He always put his daughter above mine, and to be honest at first it didn't bother me because we were just starting out and to me it seemed only natural. But after we had had a daughter together (2 years later) it didn't change, even when it came to the daughter we shared.
His family didn't seem to acknowledge my daughter how they have the other children in the family. They would call and ask about his older daughter and request to have her at their house but never asked for ours.
They never attended any of my older daughters birthdays, but would come to anything when it came to his older daughter. At one point they would call me and have full conversations where they would ask about his daughter, but not even mention ours. Obviously I was not happy about this and mentioned it to him, but he just made excuses about how there relationship was different with his older child and then just brush it off. This went on for about 3 years before I had finally had enough. Again I asked him about it, a lot more forcefully this time and he spoke to his family members. Nothing changed.
About 3 1/2 years ago, I started noticing a few things were off in my household. Money started to go missing from my bag, once even out of my brothers pocket when he came to stay. My partner would simply ask his daughter, and when she said no, would blame my girls.
Then one morning I went downstairs to get some money out of my bag, and his daughter was the only one who had been down there, the money was not in my bag anymore. I told him this and again, he asked her, she said it wasn't her, and he let her go to school.
When she got home, he spoke to her and that was the end.
Money continued going missing as well as other belonging of both my daughters and myself and even his money sometimes. At one point I bought Xmas presents and they went missing.
Despite this he refused to believe that it was his daughter and still tried to blame mine, referencing the fact that they liked to raid the fridge!
Anyway a few months after that I found that his daughter had created a Facebook profile, which she was hiding and lying about. I told him this because she was underage and you have to be cautious with children online these days and he made her log in. To cut a long story short, he discovered that she was online talking to older boys and arranging meetings etc.
When he confronted her, she told him a sob story about how she had no friends and was having problems at school and said that I was horrible to her.
This is not true, as even despite the way his family acted, I never blamed his daughter for it and tried not to treat her differently from my own girls.
He tried to blame me for her behaviour! Said that it was my fault because my relationship with her had begun to strain over the last year. He even called off our relationship and said he needed to get her away from me.
His family decided that they knew best, completely ignored my input, even though I had been raising her for 5-6 years and rewarded her for her behaviour.
(Shopping sprees, new hairstyles, weeks at their houses, unlimited access to internet etc, often unsupervised) we'll surprise, surprise, she continued what she was doing. Although he didn't find out until months later. This time I kept out of it completely and let him and his family do what they liked, which was to shout at her a bit and then reward her again.
I finally stepped in and told him he needed to limit her internet use to supervised and downgraded her phone. And things calmed down.
About 2-3 months later he decided to give her back her smartphone etc, but didn't monitor it.
About 8 months later we found out she was back up to her old tricks. A friend came and told me that her sons friend had pictures of my partners daughter that she had been sending out from her phone, and these were not appropriate pictures.
Now with all the arguing and other issues, our relationship is strained. I find that I resent how he acted towards my daughters and even the way he was with the daughter we share.
I want my daughter to have her father, but don't know if we can ever come back from all the damage that has been caused over the years.
My older girls don't like him, and even after 8 years, refuse to call him dad, and just call him uncle. They feel that he is biased and don't think that his treatment of them is unfair when compared to his older daughter.
My girls don't get along with his daughter and I had to send my oldest to a different high school because of the problems we had with his.
I feel very conflicted, and to be honest, I don't know if there is anything in my relationship worth saving. It feels like too much damage has been done.
Would really appreciate some outside input.
One thing you need to realize is that step-parent have babysitter status. It is up to the biological partner to discipline his biological child, not you.
How do you know it was the oldest daughter that took your money? There is no proof of this. For all you know, your partner was the one taking the money.
Put your children first and end the relationship. Meet with a mediator to determine how to best co-parent your shared child. Also, you would benefit from attending parenting classes.
first of all great advise GWENDO!you are so nooo help,send the girl back to her mother for a bit see if money has gone missing during the time shes gone.make sure you have money,even have it laying around!that narrows down the WHO done it.tell the grand parents NO!no they cant have her go there not unless they take all of them.give your man the throw down if your going to be with him he has to agree with your decisions either for a short time jus to show him your right or for the whole time your with him.if he loves you he should agree!and if you decide to break up make him take the kid you have together,he'll have no choice to intergrate the child you have together into the grandparents life.take the phone and internet away and anything else she loves,she should earn it crack the whip on all of them.stand your ground.
I understood what LILOLDME said, to mean that she could tell it was his daughter and LITERALLY no-one else, not even husband, when she described how money went missing from downstairs when only this girl had been down there, to wit:
"one morning I went downstairs to get some money out of my bag, and his daughter was the only one who had been down there, the money was not in my bag anymore."
LILOLDME, is that correct?
Excuse me, CEECEEMK, but can you clear up who the following comment was directed at - LILOLDME or GWENDO?
"first of all great advise GWENDO!you are so nooo help,"
First of all thank you all for your replies.
I think I should have maybe explained a little bit better, as SOULMATE has perceptively noted
I knew that it could LITERALLY not be anyone else that had taken the money out of my bag. I had seen it the night before, after the girls had gone to bed and ended up forgetting my bag downstairs when I went to bed myself. I was up early because I had a morning breakfast run to do before taking the girls to school and my step-daughter was the only other person awake who had been downstairs at the time.
I certainly did not assume anything. I had obviously asked my partner if he had taken it and had also asked my other girls. My step daughter did finally admit to taking it.
Now to address the reply from GWENDO, I do not see how it is productive for a step parent to hold baby sitter status. My step daughter lives with me, she has done since she was 6 years old and I am definitely not going to sit back and watch her go completely off the rails without trying to do something to get her back on a successful path.
The things that she has done do not make me love her any less, she has her weaknesses, but who doesn't?
Explain to me how you came to the view that I need parenting classes. ALL of my children do well in school, have lots of friends and family support, they are smart funny and well mannered. As far as I am aware a lot of teenagers go off the rails to a degree, how are the parents at fault?
What I am worried about is the fact that she is fine at the moment because she has limited access the technology, but every time we give her back her privileges, she goes backwards instead of forwards. My partner has had a really difficult time accepting that his daughter has done the things she has, and because of this has not been on top of things the way that he should be.
This is putting a big strain on everything, because I don't necessarily think that it should be falling on me to be the enforcer all of the time, and the other children are seeing it as unfair because he almost turns a blind eye to some things with his eldest that he won't with the others.
I feel that things were not handled well by him or his family and that it has set a very bad example for the other children. I don't want them thinking that this kind of behaviour gets you attention and rewards. That is not the message I wanted to give my girls
He has tried to take this into consideration and has made an effort over the past year to be more fair, he hasn't sent my step daughter to his family as often and has made more of an effort to try and bond with the other children better.
But sometimes I really don't know if we can get past all the bull **** that we have had to struggle through to get here.
We haven't had much of a chance to do much other than co-parent, and I think maybe it would be easier if we had more experiences together to look back on.
...although you've got your work cut out for you (you personally) because it sounds like he showed his immaturity and lack of round-objects too much for far too long whereby he kicked all the impressed-ness out of you. Correct?