Daughter destroying my new relationship.

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    Has anyone’s teenager destroyed their new relationship or made it very very difficult to progress in one?


    My daughter (age 14) is doing just that.
    I met someone over eighteen months ago and have now introduced her to him. She is insistent she does not like him and will not accept him. She will not engage in a conversation with him, a short hello is all she will offer. I am not expecting her to be best buddies with him, I just expect her to be polite. She can be very rude to him and just tells me she can’t help it.

    Her dad left over two and a half years ago, it was his choice to leave. My daughter knows he chose to leave and he will not be returning home. During the last five years of our marriage, he made it clear he did not want to be with me. He favoured female friends over me, told me he stayed in bed because of me and liked going to band practices and play in gigs to get away from him. He blamed me for his anxiety and depression and told me I caused it. He refused to go to couples counselling with me. His friends on Facebook knew he was separated before I did.

    My daughter tells me she wants it to just be us two. What she means is, she doesn’t want me to have anyone in my life. Her dad wasn’t interested in family life so for much of her living memory, it has been just us two doing things together. Her life is progressing and developing and she has her first boyfriend. She chooses to spend time with her friends over spending time with me. She wants me to always be around for her when she gets in.

    She sees her dad frequently. From what my daughter tells me, he is giving her his opinion on my relationship as what comes out of her mouth is what I am certain he would say. He portrays himself as poor me so my daughter feels pulled to pity him. He will tell her about all his ailments and expects to be in contact with her daily. Last week, she was unwell after school and slept. By the time she got up, she had received twelve missed calls from her dad. This has got worse since lockdown began.

    I wondered if anyone else was in a similar situation as I find myself .

    I am very tempted to give up on my relationship so I can devote my life to my daughter until she reaches the age of eighteen.

    #53036 Report


    Hello Belsey,

    for me this seems to be a messy construct of a family dynamic you might want to work on. It reminds me a bit of how things used to be in my life. You don’t need approval from your daughter nor do you need to worry about what your ex-husband has to say as long as your new partner is sure about his role as your partner and not being a replacement father. Your relationship with your daughter will be the same mother – daughter relationship as before just as your relationship to her father is the same as before. As long as you respect and acknowledge your roles as mother, co-parenting parent and partner for the new man in your life, you can simply expect everyone else to do the same. My then 16 and 9 year old boys reacted very disrespectful and my ex even walked into my new partners office unasked because I didn’t make clear to everyone, not even myself, what this new relationship was about. So the first step was to become clear about what roles everyone was taking on in this extended family dynamic. Then communicate them and set boundaries for myself, the new partner, the ex and the children. And then it is a time thing. Dynamics with teenagers are difficult in any family constellation and you can be sure if you set clear boundaries, it will work. Just communicate what role the new partner plays in your life. That is all they want to know. If they accept the new person is up to them anyway.

    #53060 Report


    Thank  you Sirtobi for the reply.

    Did your children accept your new partner? If they did, how long did it take?

    My partner is very clear about his role and is very respectful with the situation. He hardly visits when my daughter is around as he doesn’t want to upset her or cause tension in the house. My daughter understands my partner will never be a replacement dad. She understands he is someone I enjoy spending time with. This is a strange concept for her as my ex husband/her dad very very rarely spent time with me. It is my ex husband that is the issue as I think he is trying to do what he can to affect my new relationship.  This is either through what he says to my daughter or how he portrays himself to her- as the person who is lonely and has no friends. My daughter then has a tendency to lean towards him and has sympathy for him. He is annoyed I applied for the divorce even though he chose to end our marriage.

    I wonder if my daughter worries our relationship will change now my partner is on the scene. I do reassure her I will always be there for her. She cannot and refuses to see the positivity in having someone else about. She is adamant she does not like him and never will. That is hard as selfishly, my relationship with my new partner cannot progress in the way I would like it to.

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