Fiancee obsessed with his daughter?
I have an issue that I need advice with. I reside with my fiancee and my two children ages 12 and 14. Within the last few months, his 9 year old daughter has been staying with us 5 days a week due to her mothers work schedule. So she shares a room with my 14 year old daughter as she is basically living with us now, save for two days a week. My fiancee is also still paying child support to the mother. His child is the only child in their family, on both his and her side. So needless to say, not only does she get whatever she wants, but she has 2 of everything. Thats what it is and none of my business, I've never felt the need to bring that up to him. However, every time we go to the store, she has to have something. And he'll never tell her no, no matter how broke we are. When they're together, its almost as if I don't exist. She interrupts me if I'm talking to him and he'll stop listening to what I'm saying to listen to her. If we go for a walk somewhere, I end up walking by myself while the two of them hold hands and walk together. He's been out of work for quite some time, so I've started working extra hours just to keep bills paid and food in the fridge. But when I come home, after I make dinner and have some time to relax, he'll be sitting cuddled up with her on the couch, rubbing her feet or back, and talking with her, while I sit there by myself feeling like wallpaper. This isn't just every so often, its actually almost daily. Then as soon as he gets some money for an odd job or whatever, instead of giving me something towards bills, he'll buy her things. Even though I didn't receive anything for Christmas, my birthday, Valentines Day, or even our anniversary. Actually found out that on our anniversary, he was planning on taking me up to camp for the weekend. But was also planning on bringing her along. All of these financial issues are taking me away from things that I could be doing for my own children. As it is, I can't afford to do much for them because all of my money goes towards us keeping afloat, which makes me very bitter about the way he spends his own earnings, when he gets them, on his daughter. The thing is, before she started staying with us full time, these are all the things that he used to do for me. Rub my feet or back, cuddle and watch a movie, go for walks while holding hands, staying in bed extra long just to wake up together. No more of that. Now on my one day off a week, usually his daughter wakes him up either by climbing in bed with us, or by coming in and telling him she's hungry. He'll jump right up and go about the day. She calls him "Dada" which goes right thru me because she often acts like a baby. Sometimes when she's extreme with it he'll tell her to stop acting like a baby, but most times he plays right into it and it goes unnoticed. I do not think it's an incestuous relationship, so I don't want to give the wrong idea about that. But its like he's obsessed with making her happy. On a rare occasion where he'll actually correct her, she pouts and gets "sad" and he'll hug her and talk in a soft voice telling her he's sorry and try to make it up to her. He's always been very critical of my own two children, even before his daughter started staying with us. And a lot of what he said was the truth, because as a single mother that worked 6 days a week, I was lacking in the discipline area. Not that my kids are out of control, my 12 year old son is intellectually gifted, gets nothing but A's, is respectful, shy, quiet, etc. My 14 year old daughter gets good grades also, and is respectful. But with the both of them, housework was something that got pushed to the back burner, which was my fault. And they got lazy as kids will do when their parent constantly cleans up after them and does things for them. He pointed this out to me and I saw the logic in what I have allowed to go on, and I changed it. My kids now clean up after themselves daily, and are neat ,for the most part. They have come a very long way. But that doesn't stop him from nit picking with them about small things now, such as not placing their shoes in the correct spot, leaving an occasional cup on the counter, forgetting to turn a light off, etc. But these rules somehow don't apply to his own child. Everywhere she goes, its like a tornado blew through. And he goes behind her, picking up after her, shutting off lights, and letting her talk back to him. This is daily. I wish I could video a day in our house, because when I have brought this up to him, he denies it, or uses her age as an excuse. I just don't know what to do anymore. I love this man, but there are so many issues. I didn't also mention that we are intimate only once a month, and thats if I take the intitiative. He blames his medication, which I know low sex drive is a side effect of it. But if it were just lack of sex in our relationship, I could deal with it better. But its that along with everything else. When we talk, he tells me how he wants to be with me forever. He always says the right things, but his actions are different. Every so often he'll tell mne that we need to get away and spend some time together with just us two, but it rarely happens, and when it does, he's different towards me. Not the loving, smitten, guy he used to be who treated me like a queen. Its like he replaced me with his daughter.
I have so many concerns with how this must be effecting not only you, but your children. It seems you're doing your best to be understanding and patient with the situation, and the people involved. It's heartbreaking to hear your constant effort is met with such complete indifference, and even disrespect. I can't imagine you feel at all fulfilled as a wife, lover, or even friend. And it seems appreciation has left the equation entirely. I'm so sorry this is happening. Good for you for respecting boundaries and not injecting your opinions about how he and his ex-wife choose to raise their daughter, but he needs to remember you're part of his family now too, as are your children. You all share a home, and you deserve the same respect he and his daughter have been afforded. It seems your attempts to ask for that are not heard, heeded, nor of any concern to him. That's just heartbreaking, and so unfair.
We could deconstruct and analyze what may be causing him to behave this way, but I'm not sure there's much value in that, since he's shown no interest in changing. He's disregarding the vows he chose to make to you, and is now consciously choosing his daughter over you, consistently, and in every way. It sounds like he's willing and eager to initiate intimacy and connection with his daughter, without any regard for you, your feelings, or your marriage. He's completely forgotten how to behave as a husband, and that is a huge disservice to everyone, including his daughter. He is not helping her through a tough time, he is allowing her to monopolize his time and energy and they will both pay a very high price for that in the long run. And you're very wise to recognize there isn't much (if anything) you can really do about that.
As for your marriage... is there any way you can take a mini-break and allow yourself (and your children) time to just relax, regroup, and focus on yourselves for a bit without the tension and disrespect? I speak from some experience here; my husband and I are recent empty nesters, and in the middle(ish) of our third break in our 25 years together. We have a wonderful marriage, and neither of us has ever considered leaving. That's not at all where I'm going with this suggestion. I'm simply sharing what I've learned through our various struggles. Whenever our life circumstances change dramatically, or one (or both) of us is feeling out of sync with each other or ourselves, we agree to take a break from focusing on our marriage to focus on our individual selves. We set and keep very clear boundaries, and there is never any worry of infedility or anything like that. Not what it's about, nor should it be. Our focus is to become better individuals, so when we go back to the marriage, we're bringing our best selves to meet the challenges that eventually arise. Every time we come back together, we're so much stronger and happier for having given each other the space we needed to learn and grow. Individually, and as a couple. It helps us each find more clarity about what we want, and what we don't, and gives us the time to find our way to our new normal.
You've all been making so many major adjustments for so long, you must be exhausted as well as frustrated. Some time apart may help you both identify what's working, and more importantly; what's not. Give him a chance to miss you, and notice all the things you do for him (and his daughter) that he now takes for granted. If one or both of you find you don't miss the tension, and appreciate the extra time and freedom, and think you may be better apart? Then you'll both at least have some clarity and perspective. You'll both be happier, regardless of the decisions you make about moving forward, together, or seperately. At least, that has been our experience.
I hope this helps, or at least doesn't hurt. I wish you the very best of luck. I would love to hear updates and answer any questions, assuming I can be of some use. Love and light, peace and happiness to you, and all involved. <3
I realize I referred to your relationship as a marriage, and referenced vows. I got so caught up in your current situation, which has all the hallmarks of many marriages, that I *forgot* you haven't yet taken that step. I have no doubt there is love between you. Even (or maybe especially) after 25 years of marriage, I've found that love on its own is not enough to keep a relationship healthy. In life, and especially in marriage; love is a verb. It is a choice you make every day that manifests itself in all the things we DO, big and small. When in doubt, believe behavior over words. Words can be misleading and are loaded with all of the insecurity and impermanence of our daily emotional highs and lows. Actions, however, cannot lie. Not for long, anyway. If or when you take the leap into marriage, I hope the issues you're experiencing in the relationship now are resolved and you find enough common ground to give you all more peace. <3
hello fun butterfly, hello mamabear,
sorry that im posting on your thread, i have my own (its waaay too long and "old"), but i was hoping for mamabears input and didnt know how else to ask..hope u dont mind me asking here,fun butterfly:
mamabear, long story short, me and my bf(mid 20s) are taking this break u were talking about (got the idea from my very own relationship advicer from peoplesproblems :) ) and it helped a lot! especially regarding his behavior and appreciation towards me..it does has ups and downs..more downs lately then ups, but its a process i heard :P so however, its been almost a month and he is coming back home soon (next week-he spend the time in exil in his homecountry) and u have been talking about taking time for yourself and focusing on yourself..im the kind of person who finds that very hard..so i was wondering, what do u do?how do u "find yourself" again? ive been also experiencing resentment from before a bit again..how do u focus on u? and how do u deal with resentment?
sorry again, but been following mama bears responses and really hoped for an advice, since u r experiencing it yourself atm..
today im feeling a bit down again, so i allowed myself to interfere..
and fun butterfly, i recommend it highly, the break that is..i wish u all the best!
Hi fun butterfly. Hope it's okay if I respond to Nana. I appreciate when people reach out, because I know how hard that is to do. So glad you both are doing exactly that.
Nana: First of all, the fact that you're even asking these questions is probably the hardest thing. So high five for that. I also struggled very hard with plugging back into myself. Life is loaded with distraction and demands for our time and energy. So the first thing to do is make some time for yourself. Either dedicated time slots on a calendar, or in any moment you can find to just breathe and relax. Anything you enjoy doing or that is gratifying or joyful, do more of that. Whether it be a long hot bath, a leisurely walk, sitting in the sun, reading, crafts, whatever helps you quiet your mind. That's the best way to come back to center and get to know yourself again. Just be with yourself, and pay attention to your gut. Try to live in the moment, expect nothing, and appreciate everything. Especially the small things, for those are what add up to the some of the best things in life.
As for diffusing resentment. It depends on so many factors... But probably the best overal advice I've ever gotten on this subject is this:
if you're hanging onto something, ask yourself why, then do whatever it is that will allow full forgiveness and acceptance. I find that most often, being honest and putting ego aside and leaning into a difficult but productive conversation is the quickest resolution. Examine and appreciate the intent behind whatever is causing resentment to build. Usually, the intent is much different than the result that is causing pain. If it's something that can be addressed, then do that. Trying to ignore it is insanity, and only breeds more resentment. Lose/Lose. When talking about things that make me squirm, I find it helpful to remember it's not about wrong or right. It's about finding a solution that works in the short and long term. Don't let things fester. My gramps used to say, "If it keeps coming up, it needs to come out.". He wasn't wrong. ;)
Hope that helps. And if you ever want to chat, my email is [e-mail address removed]
Best of luck to you, and would love an update. <3
I also would like to highly recommend a site called Elephant Journal. They have a section on love and relationships. There are some wonderful articles about nearly every struggle we have as human beings, and especially as people looking to be happy individually, and in our relationships. Hope you find it as useful as I have over the years. It's what keeps me going when I start to feel stuck. ;)
hello mama bear,
thank very much very much your response!
they deleted the email..
here is mine " natasa . krs 92 (at)gmail . com "(without the space ofc :) )
thank u for offering me to write with u, if u want to have some insides on my story (its very long..) here is my thread ( "moving in after together after long distance/online dating") :)
im going to check out the site!
ps. sorry, im at work, doing 1000 things at a time..
No worries. I'll email (mine is asmallfamily @ gmail . com ) so we can stop highjacking Fun Butterfly's thread. :)
SORRY Fun Butterfly: Hoping to hear from you too and I apologize for getting off topic on YOUR thread. We'll move this conversation to e-mail. Thanks in advance for your understanding.