Older children not accepting a new partner

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  • #34712 Report


    Happy New Year.

    Has anyone have experience of their child(ren) not accepting their new partner? If you did, was there light at the end of the tunnel?

    My daughter is thirteen and refuses to accept my new partner. She won’t even give him a chance. I’m on the brink of ending my relationship with him which I don’t want to do. I don’t see her accepting anybody I meet. As she’s not accepting, if I end it with him, I won’t be able to meet new people until she’s an adult.   She just wants it to be her and I. When she’s home, she’s more interested in being with her friends or in her room than being with me. She rarely spends time with me, doesn’t want to watch TV/films together as she says we have nothing in common (her dad’s words).

    My partner came over as a surprise to see the new year in with us. She was very rude to him, glared at me and asked him to leave because it was family time. He left.

    Her dad left us September 2018. When he lived with us he rarely spent time with us as a family so she’s used to it being just her and I for most of her living memory. When he was living with us, he would only spend time with us when it was on his terms. He spent the majority of his time working, in bed or playing with his bands. My new partner is keen on doing things as a three which she is not used to.

    I’ve had a chat with her, she says she just wants it to always be us and never wants that to change. I’ve reassured her, it won’t, my friend would like to be with us occasionally. I’m emphasised she mustn’t be rude to him. She’s told me again, she dislikes him. She hasn’t spent more than five minutes in his company.

    The frustrating and upsetting thing is, my daughter loved all of her dad’s female friends (the ones he was infatuated with) and spoke very highly of them. This went on for years and was all the more painful as he was living with us.

    I put my life on hold and lived a robotic existence all the while my husband lived with us. He had poor mental health and I forgot myself in order to look after him, our daughter and the house. He spent frivolously so we were always in debt and I regularly skipped meals.

    Is it too selfish of me to want to start living and to think about what I would like or should I forget my new partner and focus solely on my daughter? He is the complete opposite of my ex husband. I don’t see my daughter considering me as she grows up and lives her life in the way she wants.

    Thank you for reading.

    #34713 Report


    I haven’t been in you position as a parent but I have been in the same position as your daughter and with all my heart I totally regret it. The man who wanted a relationship with my mum was a decent man as far as I can remember but I didn’t like him, I had  no reason at all to not like him. I was a couple of years younger than your daughter and I wish my mum had not given up on that relationship because of me and my siblings.

    The other thing is how would your daughter feel if you started dictating to her who her friends are? How would she feel if you were so rude and unwelcoming to her friends if they came to your home? She has no right whatsoever to control you like this, she is going to have to suck it up that you can have a relationship with a man if it’s right for you. You have reassured her your relationship with her won’t change but the truth is it will change over time, it doesn’t mean you are going to stop loving her or caring about her but it will change, one day she will be all grown up and living independently of you; you don’t need to put you life on hold til then and live the robotic existence you did in the past.


    #34715 Report


    I haven’t been in the same position on either side, but reading your message I just wanted to shout No, don’t give up your partner!

    13 is a difficult age full stop, and it’s totally understandable that your daughter is afraid of changes to her relationship with you, which has been the bedrock of her life so far.


    It’s important to teach children that their parents are people too, with hopes, dreams and needs that are equally valid (not that I’ve managed this yet, obvs, mother to a totally self-absorbed 14 yr old girl, and dreading the younger 2 turning into same as adolescence hits!).

    I think I’d have a MUCH firmer discussion with your daughter, making it clear that he makes you happy and is here to stay.

    And where you say:

    <span style=”color: #1a1919; font-family: Lato, sans-serif; background-color: #fbfbfb;”>’I’ve had a chat with her, she says she just wants it to always be us and never wants that to change. I’ve reassured her, it won’t, my friend would like to be with us occasionally'</span>

    Nope.  The only certainty in life IS change.  It is selfish of her not to consider your needs in this (but then selfish is definition of teenage years).

    You imply you subjugated your needs whilst with your ex-husband.  Please don’t do it again x


    #34718 Report


    Hi Belsey

                      Was nice reading your post but frustrating too as your new man sounds like a nice fella and quite rightfully you would like him to be a part of your life. Your daughters life too. It sounds like thats going to take time. Ive had similar experience of this and know that it took a long time and a heck of a lot of patience. You come across that you have your head screwed on properly and youve already spoken to both daughter and new partner and you are now looking for the magic key that will unlock the mystery of youthful minds. You wont find the key with your daughter. You wont find the key with yourself. You will find it with your new partner. He has that key but maybe he just doesnt know it yet. This is where you come in. You need to sit with him and explain to him that he is the one who can break this deadlock. Now i dont know you guys so forgive me if im getting this wrong but im going on my experience and while it worked for me it doesnt mean it will work for you to. Feel free to adapt any advice to your own circumstances . Ok so a clue was in the words “suprise visit” . For your daughter read “what,this guy just turns up unannounced and gatecrashes our family time?” For her it wasnt a nice suprise it was one of abject horror so i guess she retaliated as many kids would and just made him feel unwelcome. Hey why not?We all have visitors we dont want right? As adults we wouldnt be outright rude to them but we use subtle hints like not offering them a second cup of tea or we start yawning or something. So surprise visits dont work. They never work. You say your partner is keen on doing things as a three? It is way ,way too early for things as a three. This must be things as a two. You and him. Things as a three suggests “family” things to her . It suggests the three of you as a little family gathered round and cozy with hot chocolate and watching a movie. She doesnt want that. Now forgive me if ive misread this and my advice comes across as rude in anyway but i did start off by saying this worked for me but our circumstances were only similar,not the same.

    Ok so heres the plan that found the key for me. First things first. Hes your friend.Not hers. She doesnt want him (yet). Whenever he comes over ( no suprise visits!) it must be just you and him who chats,laughs etc. Dont even think of involving your daughter at this stage. Dont call upstairs to your daughter “Would you like to come down watch a movie with us?”  Hes your friend and yours alone. You absolutely must not kiss,cuddle etc in front of her. She must not see that right now. She must not see anything or hear anything at all which suggests “family” to her. He musnt bring her any gifts whatsover. No matter how small. Thats a big no no. He cant buy her,shes not for sale. But he must bring YOU gifts. Personal things that are clearly meant just for you. If i may be so bold as to suggest what NOT to bring. Absolutely no romantic gifts for now. Make an exception for chocolates. In fact make sure you do get chocolates. Not only are they a very personal gift but they are also something that can be shared with your daughter. If she would like any of course. Im sure you and your guy can come up with some great ideas . . In fact you should adapt everything to find the way that will work for you. However you adapt it always bear in mind that he is YOUR friend . Everything he does and says is for you only. This is not about happy families. This is about you and your friend just being mates. Buddies who enjoy each others company. Have a laugh. Maybe a few beers. Yes im well aware it will be tough when all you want to do is cuddle each other and get all romantic but she doesnt want to see that. But she will be fine with you just being mates when she sees you are happy and hes not trying even slightly to be “dad”.  It will take time and patience. No way must either of you discuss doing anything that involves the three of you. I cant state that enough. For me it was a long road but when i tried this i was fairly suprised to see that it worked . It didnt at first.It wont.She will continue for a while to be rude. She will get used to him just coming over and and you two being mates. It must have taken 3 months to gradually get to the stage of having my partner accepted.  About 2 years after that,we married. I found my key and hopefully you will find yours too. Whatever you choose to do and however you choose to do it good luck.

    #34722 Report


    I have been in same situation as you but have never introduced male friends to my daughter . They have popped over if she’s gone to bed to share a takeaway or have come round for a chat when she’s gone out with child minder or my sister’s. These people are just friends and nothing else.

    I did speak to my friends whose children are much older and confessed that she never brought her boyfriend s to the house as she did not want to hurt or confuse her kids because they were teenage rs at the time especially if it didn’t work out and she did not want to send message across to.them .

    #34740 Report


    Hi Belsey

    Ive been in your position, only in addition to a 13yr old daughter I have two sons, 8 yrs and 15yrs as well. I dedicated my entire being to my children and ex partner prior to our separation, to the point I really didn’t know who ‘I’ was anymore 16 yrs down the line, other than a mum and partner. I filled those positions well.

    After 2 years of being alone, I met this lovely chap opportunistically. My daughter hated that someone would potentially encroach upon the time that I should be there for her. I was ‘hers’, I’d never been anything else. I also contemplated ending my new friendship, I didn’t want any of my children to accuse me of putting any man before my them, or anyone else for that matter.

    So without saying anything to her I thought I’d monitor for 7 days how much time she willingly left her bedroom to come and spend time with me, I made sure I was available 24/7, the entire week. She’d spend her evenings chatting to friends on the phone in her bedroom, I was left sat alone all week. At that point I realised that potentially I was teaching my daughter how to control and manipulate someone, by allowing myself to be controlled again just like I had been with my ex. I told her i am also entitled to friendships, I am someone other than her mum. I love all of my children deeply though I am also ‘me’. If she spoke rudely, I told her I was disgraced by her behaviour and that I wouldn’t tolerate it. The nice thing that came out of this was that we started swimming together every Thursday night, so she learnt that I love to spend time with her too but she needed to commit something to our relationship. I would have done whatever activity she had chosen if it meant spending time with her. Hopefully we have a little more respect in our relationship now, she’s certainly not rude to him anymore. He’s no longer the enemy

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