is it ok to be angry? PLEASE HELP - FamilyEducation
is it ok to be angry? PLEASE HELP
01/24/2008 at 09:51 AM

I am the girlfriend, living with, a divorced dad of three teenage girls.  the youngest, just turned 12, is acting out in every way and of course pointing all towards me.  she has been choosing a path of negative attention for some time now.  her dad, and bio mom, treat her like the 'baby', and seem to look the other way not wanting to deal with some of the issues.  this girl is in need of counseling, has been for some time.

anyway, fast forward.  last week the camels back finally broke and she asked for a schedule/rules.  well last night she got what she asked for and decided not to be very pleased.  in the meantime she has just about frustrated everyone around her; teachers, sisters, family, family friends... all except her parents.  her dad was to have a talk with her, and to start laying down some behavioral ground rules, and consequences.  she has never been grounded, never had her cell phone taken away or any privledges... she walks around like a princess while her sisters take the brunt of her manipulation.  
so I find out the discussion her dad had was the following: you are frustrating everyone and furthermore my girlfriend [me] doesn't know what to do with your attitude anymore so she is going for therapy to get help, and help on how to be a step mom because one day sometime in the years to come she is going to be your step mom.  
now yes, both he and I agreed to go and think it is necessary to go for counseling to deal with our own communication styles so we can continue to be positive and resolve conflicts constructively and continue to be partners/team mates.  he failed to mention anything to his daughter about his participating in counseling with me.... and actually it wasn't about her but about us.
now I have this 12 yr old that I'm in a power struggle with and see right through her nonsense [and she knows it which is why she doesn't like me] that is going to play off the fact that she's gotten her dad's girlfriend in to counseling... her friends will know, and probably bio mom.  
I am SO mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't stop being mad!  It happened late last night.  my boyfriend and I went to bed without talking, he only telling me I am being immature and she's going to be much better now. this morning I told him to give me space and leave me alone... he was only in my face more and more and more, to the point he started laughing in my face and then walked out the door for work.  UGH!  He apologized early this morning and has the expectation that I should just accept [which I did] and forget about it.  I am trying but am struggling.  

Yep.  BE ANGRY. 

I've been married 31 years.  I've been angry lots.  Nothing wrong with being angry. 

But, don't stir things up, don't lose your temper.  Let things set for a couple of weeks.  See how the thing with rules in place actually works. 

It seems that the dad is a bit of a coward, but you may be able to  live with that.  I really think that you are an influence for good in that home.   I don't know if it is a good idea for you to sacrifice yourself in order to be that influence.  Especially if he has a history of infidelity.  Did I pick that up from another thread?  Maybe I'm confused.  Anyway, I'm still thinking of you. 



Hi Gail.  Nope, you've got the right 'thread' in mind.  Same guy, same daughter.  I was told that it will only get worse before it gets better.  It's starting, but I won't give up, but I need this sounding board so the anger doesn't become temper and resentment.  I think, if I can say this, that if I stay... stick it out, work through it all, in the end I will be the influence this entire family needs/has needed. It might take a long time to get there and an even longer time for anyone, if ever, to appreciate and realize... so I will thank you now for commenting.  He is a coward, I just hate admitting it. Thinking of you and hoping all is good in your world. thanks so much for the note and words of encouragement.  it helps!


Hi there. I think you are a very good influence in their lives. I also think you have a right to be angry. Perhaps the next talk with the 12 year old could include both of you.  It is not too late to say you are both in counselling to learn how to resolve conflict.I also think consequences for poor behaviour, teaches her to be responsible for her own actions. My ex hiusband used to make idle threats and never followed through. Now that we are separated my boys have learned that in my house, mom will follow through. Good luck.


thank you! I know and wish my fiancee wouldn't just make the threat,  but follow through.  I so want to, because I know that's what she needs!  she's got free reign at her mom's and here [dad's], and it makes me mad because it's teaching her all the wrong lessons.  thanks for your words.  


haha, I'm just reading through all of these messages I posted.  seems around the 20th of each month 'something' happens.  I just posted another message a couple of days ago, regarding the same child, the 12 yr old brat. [sorry, can't help myself]divdivso to update you - rules/boundaries lasted a week, maybe 2.  we're right back to where we always end up, but now she's telling me she hates me, with her finger in my face.  when I ask her to do a chore she basically laughs and when I get upset she tells me I'm acting like a 3 yr old.  her dad is "proud" of her.  divdivI'm clueless.  what I know is I'm not leaving, because that's what she wants and expects..  what a reason to stay.  divdivher dad and I are totally not understanding of one another right now,, regarding her and the situation.... and no, still no counseling for the young one.  never any consequences or repurcusions.  [spelling?]  I did take her cell phone away, and I'm about ready to smash it to pieces.  I am not looking forward to monday when she's back here for a week.  and I'm sure she's spun this a different way with her bio mom, so she's probably going to try and not even come here on monday.  I don't know anymore.  divdivhope you're doing well!

I have 2 kids of my own and am dating a man with a 15 year old daughter. My problem is the way he treats her. They are like a couple. I am in no way jealous of her, but find their behaviour quite strange. They physically are always touching and she sits on his lap....which I don't approve of. They also talk everyday 4-5 times a day and text each other all day when she is with her mother. They have little secrets and giggle on the phone.This teenager also has no friends and no activities, so I think that she lives to be her fathers girlfriend. It is weird. I am not exposed much to her, but when I am, it gives me the creeps. She is a different kind of kid. Not like mine at all and my kids do not want to hang with her at all. I think that the feeling is mutual, but if we are all together, mine are with their friends and she hangs with us (or with him) and I can't sit or walk next to him...I don,t hate the child, but I really don't feel much likeness or love for her. She really does annoy me, but I know I have to be the adult here....It is hard to like her and I see why she has not friends, but it is hard to tell her father, that most of her issues are his fault. He is very protective of her and has to know every minute of her day, where she sat, what she did. She even discusses with her father when she should be taking a shower or telling him that she is going to take a shower. She also likes to get in the middle of her mother and father to make them each feel guilty and I tried to explain to him what she is doing and he says that it is not her, but the mother...I think that the daughter is mature enough to do stuff like that and knows what she is doing. Anyways, just wanted to spill my frustrations. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but have a hard time being with her. But if no one else wants to be around her, maybe there is a reason. thansk for readin

Racha, I would be extremely worried about their relationship. It does sound very intense and perhaps more intimate than it should be.

I don't think that the relationship is intimate in that respect. I think it is just weird that they act like to ggigly teenage girls together, but one is a grown up father. He is by no means that way with me or my kids and is very good to my children and they adore him.

racha - I have a a boyfriend with an 18 year old daughter. I'm going to be vulnerable here and tell you that at times, I experience jealousy in regard to her. He has a 12 year old son and I do not experience these feelings about him. The reason I am telling you this is because I believe the feelings I have are common for situations like ours. We do not love the female teens the same way they do. It's kinda hard to accept the man we love loving another female as much or more than they love us. That being said, the close behavior is a little creepy, but it sounds like he only has one child and it's this girl; only children get more attention. This girl must also feel feelings of jealousy toward you, I just think you should accept that it's pretty normal for both of you before you try to resolve your situation and feelings. I think you should address the issue with your boyfriend, but stick to reasonable concerns and don't pick on every action. Tell him you think having his daughter sit on his lap and gain permission to take a shower is too much. But don't try to interfear with the conversations or hand holding. influence a more independent relationship if you can but remember she is always going to be his daughter and in her eyes she wants to be his #1 girl... so do you... Just go into this without denial of your own feelings or you won't resolve anything. GOOD LUCK!!!

Well, it does sound wierd to me. My ex had 3 daughters and I thought THEY were very much too close and they were not this close. It ended up that the youngest one came to live with us and was finally able to get completely between us. He left with her to "be there for her" and by the time she found herself a real boyfriend, it was too late, I had moved on. There were a lot of other issues too but this was the final straw. Hope it works out better for you.

Thank you for your input and view on this matter. I do realize that she will always be number one and I don't want to have a problem with that. I guess I raised my kids as me as the parent and them the children and don't treat my kids like my friends....The child has no friends, only wants to be in presence of adults and is very eccentric, so her only friends are her parents, but the mother is more firm with her to move on and get her own life. Her father (my boyfriend) has been very protective with her to her detriment. No social skills at all and does not know how to handle rejection and we all know how teenage girls can be. I just can't stand being around them. I know it sounds terrible, but I am trying to work on this. He wants me to be tolerant of her. My kids don't want to be around her either. It is so hard to be tolerant when you feel like there is competition and that I will be standing alone while they are together. Meanwhile my kids don't hang on my every word and cling to me (and they are 2 years younger). I have adressed the issue with him. He does realize that his daughter has issues, but I do beleive most is his fault. I am hanging in there. he is wonderful, but have read many blogs and so do walk I can understand why some people do. I guess I am too old (46) to be competing for a man. My kids are happy for me, not jealous at all. I guess they feel very secure in our relationship. Thanksagain

Thanks for your input...It is a long distance relationship at the moment, so it is not very often that we see her. I don't know how I could cope if it was this close. I do understand your decision. I have questioned myself on how I could deal with this if we were to make future plans together. I certainly think that you made the right decision for yourself. Thanks

Racha, After reading this post today, I can see that you seem more realistic about this being something of a competition. Your BF is the one who needs to recognize what is going on and take steps to correct it. I do not believe you can resolve the issue with this little girl (just you and her) HE is going to have to gently move his 12 year old toward independence. If he starts to take steps to do this, be patient these things don't happen over night. If he does not admit or start to take steps, then I suggest you re-evaluate your own future and the future of you own kids. This girl is only 12 there is a possibility she can at some time end up closer in distance or even in your home.

Thanks for everyones input....but it is getting seriously weirder for me. His daughter told him all about her yeast infection this week...I was floored. She has a mother but matter of factly discusses these issues with her father (and mother)...last time it was her it me or is this very social enept behaviour? The mother is a little off the wall also, it almostseems that he is so used to the weird exwife and it is ok for the daughter to be equally different. My daughter would never discuss a yeast in fection with anyone but me and she would feel uncomfortable doing so...I willask him if he things that this behaviour seems normal to him because I am really starting to wonder...

Although yeast infection is common, I really don't know that it's very common in 12 year old girls. Do you think this child is masterbating or maybe something inappropriate? Is the environment clean or does she take bubble baths? It's odd in the first place, but it does seem extra odd that she feels so comfortable to discuss it with her dad. I have two sisters and none of the three of us talked about periods or yeast infections to my father. Her father needs to put some boundaries in place. Of course, a child should feel comfortable if she needs help from her parent for certain concerns, but her fther should teach her that discression is a virture in women. Also, you talk about her feeling comfortable telling her dad these personal things, but what about her dad feeling so comfortable hearing them. Do you think your BF is ever inappropriate with his daughter?

tamz hit it right on here. My daughter has never discussed anything like this with her father. (I would not discuss it with my husband!) There are serious boundary issues going on here. This girl has her mother and you and probably other females to talk to about these issues. Her father should be out of the loop on issues like this. They are way too close for comfort.

I guess maybe I am in the minority but I don't see anything wrong with a daughter discussing a medical issue with her father. Why is it weird to tell your father about a yeast infection, it isn't weird to tell your father about an ear infection. I have told my daughter for a long time that she should feel free to talk to her dad, he is a man, but he has a wife, a daughter, a mother and a sister---women's issues are not alien to him and he is her parent. When I was growing up my father was one of those men who would go to the store and buy tampons for his wife or his daughter. I think that boundaries are important but I don't think that medical issues discussed with parents are beyond bounds. Marti

You are right. I hadn't thought about it this way...It is the parents that should teach this 14 year old about discretion and boundaries, but as I mentioned before, since this teenager has no friends and hasn't for many years, she has not developed an acceptable social behaviour and has not idea how to act in social situations...I do blame the parents, he as recognized many of her issues on me talking to him about it. He is slowly changing some things, but realizes that it will be a long road ahead....She doesn't shower every day and I told him that she should at her age. But I do realize it is the bounderies that are not in place. It is also very difficult to discuss these issues. After all it is his daughter, his little princess and is hurt very easily about her. THis message board has helped me realize that I am not crazy and jealous, it is so sad and hurts our relationship also, because she will always be his daughter.

I would have never discussed this with my father EVER and I would not discuss it with my boyfriend either. It is like a grown man going to his mother about erectile dysfunction.....And an ear infection is by no means the same as a vaginal infection...I guess it is how you are raised, but Yeast infections are not the supper table subject in my home or ever will be, even if I am a women....

Racha, I was confused between the original post (12 years old) and your subsequent post (14 years old) ... In either case, I still feel periods and yeast infections are, in general, subjects that girls more often discuss with moms, sisters, doctors and such. Of course it's a medical issue and a parent is the best advisor, but I still belive it's more common for most girls to bring this kind of thing to mom.

I have 2 daughters of my own who are a little younger and they have more discretion than that...and I am sure when they want to talk they will come to me, not their father at all. Thanks for your view on things. I truly believe you understand where I amcoming from

I searched the internet and wanted to find other woman who have gone through what i have with stepdaughter that want to be number one with their dad instead of number one with thier boyfriend liek a healthy realtioship does. my expereince was not as creepy as sitting in his lap, but they insist on having lunch every weekend, and she calls him several times a day. he even cam out once and told me that she will always be first and that i would not. so left , and than he just came after me apolgying for being stupid. for awhile it seemed like some progress was going somewhere, but i really dont; think the situation is very healthy i dont care what anyone says. it seems at times he is jealous ofher boyfriend since he ahs the ideal that he shoudl come first not her boyfreind. that is my expereince. i really dont; knwo if there is anythign worth salvaging in this story at all. it upsets me to have to start all over again at my age.

Sounds like you should move out and stop coming between this family. It would be different if you were married and there were problems but you're just the live in girlfriend and not setting a good example anyway. You should move out.