boyfriends daughter - FamilyEducation
boyfriends daughter
01/22/2008 at 10:21 AM

Hi there. I could sure use some advice.

I have been with my boyfriend for over one year. We both have children and live in our own houses. My boys are 12, 12 and 15. He has a son age 13, who fits in really well with my boys. He also has a daughter age 16, who does not. We both have shared custody arrangements with other spouses one week on and one week off, so we enjoy being parents for one week, and then a couple the next.

As I mentioned I have only boys. I find his 16 year old girl to be very needy, manipulative and selfish and disrespectful. An example of her neediness is at a dinner party we attended she asked her father to find her a "good piece of meat" from a platter. Imagine at 16, not being able to do so independently. Another example is, I threw a Christmas party for my friends and families. For at least a half an hour she held her fathers hand in the kitchen. Adults discreetly asked me who was his date, the daughter or me. How embarassing. He feels he has a wonderful relationship with her. I think he needs to sever the umbilical cord and let her grow up, fostering independence, and possibly a social life of her own. My boys would not be caught dead holding my hand in public. Heck, I barely get a kiss now, if their friends are around. Anytime we are at a function she will race to her father and take his hand, leaving me out.

Now I understand as an adult, she may be feeling insecure. But I also have feelings. She has admitted to her father she will not get in the way of our relationship, but she is. I hate to give her this much credit, but I fear she has the potential to destroy us. When it is our couple week, we get on famously. I have suggested we not try so hard to blend us when we have our children. I think he has a lovely boy with a delightful personality. I certainly do not feel this about her. Will she always be a thron in my side. Will she ever grow up, move out, and actually be happy for her father??? Help, I really need some advice. Thanks

Very Frustrated

Here are some thoughts, and I could be wrong, and I'm not an expert on anything!

    Is her mom "moved on" to a new relationship also?  I think it is frightening to kids when their parents are involved with new relationships.  My advice is to be discreet if you continue dating her dad.  If you are not living together you can keep your relationship separate from her relationship with her dad.  It isn't "letting her win."   It's letting her be.


Hi.  I don't have much advise for you, but I can tell you that she's 16 and will be out of the house soon, if she is planning on going to college.  Focus more on your relationship and the weeks 'off', and then the  years there after.  I might be way off base, but that's what I am doing. I am dealing with a 12  year old... and all I keep thinking is how calm and peaceful and 'normal' everything is on the 'off' week when we're just together, and all the years we'll have together once she's off having to figure it out. by the way, where is her mom in all of this?  in my case the bio mom is trully not worth mentioning.  she's a persona-non in her kids lives.  hang in there!  don't give up, ok.  you're not alone.  I know how that thorn feels.  The thorn I feel is getting bigger and bigger, but I pull it out every time she leaves... I don't let it stick.  don't lose your own personal spirit in all of this, but don't give up. :)


Hi gail.  me again, from a couple of other threads.  my only comment on what you write is, for her it is about winning/losing.  she doesn't just want to be... she's looking to win here - win her dad.  I'm living it.


That's why I put the comment in.  It does feel like letting her win. 


ok, thanks.  yeah, it sure does feel more like "letting her win".  same in regards to what I'm dealing with... feels like she won last night when dad decided to tell her about my counseling instead of dealing with her issues. I feel like the scapegoat, and I definitely feel like she won.  but I'm looking at it as battles, not the war.  

sorry, I'm just still mad! he's ignoring and avoiding me and it's keeping me in that real angry place.

hi there. Her mom has not moved on. They have been separated over 6 years. The daughter once bosted to me that her mom was seeing someone years ago, but she chased him out of their lives.  I responded "don't you want your mom to have someone in her life. Maybe she is lonely but the daughter responded no.Sometimes I get the impression she is happy for her father and other times she is not. Her father actually admitted to me yesterday he noticed his daughter is much more clingy and affectionate when I am around. It is like she is possessive. I don't say or do anything, just ignore it. I don't know if that is the right response. Thanks for your advice.


Thanks for your advice. I think you are absolutely right about pulling out the thorn and not letting it fester. Easier said than done.The bio mother has the two every other week, She is very needy, asking her ex to put window wash in her car for her. Can you imagine. That has to be where the daughter learned to not do anything for herself, not a quality I want to teach my boys.


I think this whole situation is incredibly sad for the children involved.  As adults you have the ability to leave if you want--kids don't.  Let's not forget this is a kid we are talking about here.  I don't know why once a parent or parents move on they expect their kids to do the same--as if these little people should be on your time table.  We parents destroy their lives by busting up the home and everything they grew up with and then get mad when the kids don't "act" right.  How selfish can we parents be at times.  I mean the girl gets to see her dad everyother week and fights for his attention when that happens because your around wanting it.  Give this girl a break and let her be with her dad the two weeks out of the month she has been told she can be. 

On a side note--there is nothing wrong with a daughter holding her fathers hand.  In some families holding hands or kissing your kids good-bye is a sign of love and affection.  Try it some time--it might surprise you to see how  nice it feels to be needed.


It's easy to forget that the people who ask for help on these forums can be hurt by our comments.  I've done it myself a time or two.  Let's all be gentle with each other.


sounds like you are quite angry yourself.  why don't you talk about that, instead of jumping down other peoples throats, who are doing the best they can with all that they know.  perhaps you are the one that is seeking attention and wanting to be needed - well then don't be ashamed to say so. maybe you forgot this is a support system, where words of wisdom and constructive criticism is appreciated, in a kind and soft manner.  if you can't conform to that, then you don't belong here. you owe the woman that started this post an apology, and any others you bombarded with your judgemental, unforgiving, aggressive tone and manner.


Hi there. I did not break up their home 6 years ago. I also want to mention that I do kiss and hug my boys. But I don't do it in front of their friends, as they would find it embarrasing.  I only commented on her behavior as I find it over the top. I work in Social work and find it "a little excessive". I think your point about her only getting to see her father every two weeks is valid. However their mother lives 1 block away and really they can go to their fathers house anytime they want. They have keys for both homes. They also call him most evenings. My boys have been more accepting of my boyfriend in 1 year of separation than she has been of her father after 6 years. I may be having more of a problem with the selfishness of teenagers. I do not remember EVER being as selfish as this young lady who feels the whole world owes her a living. I do agree that it is sad for the children, but I also think six years is a good long time for her to get over any illusions her parents will reunite. He has repeatidly reminded his children of this, as have I with my children.


thanks for your support. I wouldnt be writing here if I had all the answers.


thank you too. I am pulling my hair out and actually am asking for help from others which is a start in the right direction. Appreciate your support.


She may be over the illusion that they will get back together, but not over  the separation.   I have a friend who was widowed.  Her kids were having some problems in school and at a meeting we all (teachers, social worker, administrators, mom, and me--) had together to address those problems,  one of the teachers actually said  of the deceased father, "He's been dead a year, aren't they over it yet?"  He's still dead.  And the girl you are talking about, her parents are still separated.  It isn't something in the past.  

     I've noticed that there are a lot more posts about problems with step- or boyfriend' or girlfriend's daughters than there are about sons of divorce/separation.   Anybody know why?  I don't.   



I'm not angry, I just think people tend to over look the children's needs and how they are feeling.  We are the adults in these situations yet we expect these children to be as mature as we are supposed to be.  I wasn't trying to be mean but I can't say that I think what the original author wrote is at all sympathetic toward the child in this situation.  She clearly states that she feels like the girl is manipulating her father to get attention--well of course she is what else is she supposed to do when she is competing for attention with a full grown woman.  I think it's the adults responsibility to look at the situation she and the father have created for this child and have some compassion for her.  I understand being frustrated because you can't be with your man as much as you want but be an adult and take this girl into your heart and be empathetic toward her feelings.  She is clearly very jealous of this woman.  And has every right to feel that way.  Her father was taken away from her home, they are obviously close and she misses him.  Why do we want to hate a child for missing her daddy?  Instead we want to pump up this woman with anger so she can be even more mad at this girl?  I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings I was only trying to point out that the kids in these types of situations get neglected and that is sad.  Noone agree's with me??


I agree with your point, but I also came to realize that the people who post about these things are already in the middle of a difficult situation, so I made a place where I could write about what creates the difficult situation.  It is the board called sexuality, commitment, marriage, divorce.  There aren't a lot of people who want to talk about these things, apparently.  Look at and add to the discussion, please.  You don't have to agree with me, but I did feel like I was talking to myself. 


You make a good point Gail, it is hard to see the root of the problem when you are already in the middle of it.  I myself am a step mother so I thought this message board was for step families that is why I am here.  In a more posititve light I would suggest that the woman just stay with her kids when she has them and visit with her boyfriend when they can be alone. 


This has been an interesting and enlightning read... My boyfriend has a 20 plus year old who hates me.. We used to live together and I actually had to move out on weekends when she would come home. She has her Dad totally wrapped and manipulates him at will. I have a great relationship with his son but I have had to accept the fact that I will never have that kind of a relationship with her. I copy now by expecting the worst and then I am never disappointed.

Which is exactally why, after dealing with this identical situation in my previous relationship, I would never again have a relationship with anyone with daughters! My husband has 3 sons, all of whom like me very much and we all get along great. I am no threat to them. Maybe you should save yourself a lot of heartache and move on and try to find true happiness instead of dealing with this b/f's daughter who "hates" you. She will always be in the picture making your life as miserable as she knows she can because her father allows her to do so.

To frustrated, I think it's great that your boyfriend has such a close relationship w/ his children, and I'm happy that you have a good relationship w/ your boys. Think of all the many divorced parents whose kids are messed up b/c their parents can't get their act together. You've only been dating your boyfriend for a yr. Give his daughter more time to adjust to the situation. It seems to me that she's having a hard time accepting your relationship, and she may be a bit possessive as you mentioned. But you're the adult here. As difficult as this is for you, you need to take a step back and give this girl some space. She'll come around eventually. She has to. If, however, this becomes too unbearable for you, talk to your bf. See if he'll discuss this w/ his daughter. Right now you guys have your wkends alone. If and when you get married, though, this girl is still behaving in such a manner, your bf needs to intervene. I agree that there shld be a level of respect this girl has for you, especially if you stay w/ her father for the long term. Just give it a bit more time. I'm wondering if there's anything you can do on your end to better your relationship w/ your bf's daughter that you may not be doing already. Have you tried taking her shopping, just you and her? Maybe this is jumping ahead a little, but in time, I don't see why that can't be possible. Hang in there and try to remain positive. This has to be a bit awkward for everyone right now. Some people take longer to adjust to change than others. I hope this helps!

Trust me, if she has not come around in a year, and all this negativity has already occured, it is highly unlikely she is going to ever come around. Save yourself the time and heartache and find someone man enough to stand up for you. He has already given her the upper hand. I've been there and it is not a good place to be.

I'm glad to hear there are other people who feel this way. My husbands daughter is wrapped around his finger. She still holds his hand in public and it is embarassing.She is 17. Every time I say something about it ,I'm the one in the wrong. It hurts knowing no matter what she does it will always be right . I never knew it was going to be this hard.

Which is why I married a man with 3 sons. It can be hard at times, but I don't have to deal with Daddy's Little Girl syndrome this time. They want to hold MY hand!!!!

That does seem a little bit weird, must look a little bit strange to people who know them and even strangers to people who don't.

One thing, I wonder if this daughter acts like this in front of her friends? At that age her friends are the most important ones in her life! they share everything with those friends! I know my 13 year old step daughter, treats her dad like crap, spus names calling(which she thinks is sarcastic, but to me is an excuse to be mouthy) basically treats her father like dirt when her friends are around. Then she sucks up to him otherwise, especially in front of me, and then she will be ignorant to me as well, saying things , lieing, and if she gets what she wants I don't even make a comment at all, she comes over and goes"ha, ha, I get what I want", I just try not to bother with it. her dad sees it, and tells me after, I told him do something THEN, or I will soon. I will not stand for it anymore, respect was given, at first as always, but she lost it, and now it is time for her to earn it back, I am a very forgiving person, but it has to work BOTH ways like in any relationship. I find they are actors at that age, playing the games to see what works in life, and really in society anymore is a dog eat dog world. Our society has alot to do with what is going on in teenagers, BUT there is no reason why we as parents can not install still our morals and values and work ethics(btw kids have NO clue anymore what those are either, very few at least). IF we do not install those morals and values NOW, they have nothing to fall back on in life. Sometimes we have to think what will happen when we are gone, and not there to hold thier hand anymore?? IF something god forbid happened to us as parents do you think our kids can handle life, are they strong enough?, have you taught them enough? Or the only thing they know is to rely completely on parents? Another thing, I find i society now days, is so many are concentrated on schooling. Yes is very important, but lets not forget the social skills, have you ever known anyone to be socially stupid! No common sense? Unless it comes from a book there is no conversation? Usually, in my experience, they are not the happiest people, and have very little friends and are stressed in many ways. So in conclusion, there is many aspects of a 16 year old, and one thing, one day they grow up, and they realize may not admit it, but they know. They do grow up one day, and think back to how you were yourself as a teen, as your own parents.

I am surprised there are so many people not considering the well being of the 16 year old girl. I have seen nothing in your post to indicate she has done anything to you. So she asked for her father to get her some meat at a dinner party. And? How is that needy? That doesn't even mean she can't get it herself. Guys tend to not like holding hands, especially in American society. She is female, and apparently an affectionate one. She is close to her father, and obviously he holds her hand too. You are saying you don't like her. It must be difficult for her to live with someone who doesn't like her, making her defensive. Ever thought of that? Not to mention while you "enjoy" being parents one week and not the other, these kids get tossed around and live in a different house every week. These "adults" you speak of certainly aren't helping. I think you should consider that you are seeking your boyfriend's attention away from his own daughter, who "has a wonderful relationship with his daughter". His own words. His daughter, their relationship. It's between them. You might even want to consider you may be jealous of her youth, beauty and energy. I am not saying you do, but it is not impossible. I am not suggesting you take her to shopping trips, or any other thing to hang out. You obviously don't like her and I would be surprised if she likes someone who only feels hostility for her. Such a trip would only upset the both of you. I would say put a little distance between you and her, give her the space she needs, and take the space you need. Give it some time, your mutual feelings might change. Realize that you have something in common with this young lady, you both love the same person. She is also the flesh and blood of the guy you love. They must have some things in common, that you can like about her. Just please try to doubt yourself and see sometimes you can be at fault too.


In reply to by gail