boyfriend or 17 year old daughter

Lindsey - posted on 07/13/2014 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Help

For the past 3 years I have been raising my teenage daughters now aged 20 and 17 on my own since leaving their father.


I have had to struggle financially in order to put a roof over our heads and food in our stomach.

My daughters had nothing to do with their father for the first two Years after I left him due to his alcoholism and behaviour.

I have always tried my best for my kids, I've not been perfect and have had a couple of disastrous relationships where my daughter's have seen me upset and heartbroken.

I have always supported my girls, praised and encouraged them in all they do. I've been their taxi driver and always put them first.

My youngest daughter has picked up a relationship with her father over the past year or so which I'm more than happy for her and supportive. However when she returns home from spending time with him she's a different girl. Moody, distant,feisty and omg attitude is unbelievable. She speaks and behaves like her dad.

I have finally met a decent man who in the short time we have been together has been the most supportive,caring,considerate man who makes me happy and secure.

At the start of our relationship my youngest daughter got on with him like a house on fire. He would even invite her along with us on our dates if she was going to be home alone. He made her laugh, comforted her when she was upset and gave her advice when she asked for it.

However, after spending some time with her dad and returning home she all of a sudden distanced herself, becoming quiet rude to my bf, giving me even more attitude and just generally causing an atmosphere when my bf is around.

They had a big argument at the weekend when my bf stepped in when my daughter was giving me attitude. Anyway she says she doesn't want to be around him anymore and my bf doesn't want her coming out with us anymore unless she sorts her attitude out.

My friends and family have noticed the difference in her and say they have seen how rude and feisty she has become. They have said that my daughter will never be happy with any man I choose to be I. A relationship with because he's a threat to her.

I am going to be between homes for two weeks, my eldest daughter will be moving into her own home and my youngest is going to stay with her dad. My daughter had told me that if my bf ever moves in she I won't see much of her.

It breaks my heart but I don't want her to come back to live with me, not just because of my bf but because I have just had enough of her attitude, she makes me unhappy with the way that she is.

I guess my question is am I being selfish by wanting my daughter to stay living with her dad so that I can begin my new life with possibly a happy future with my boyfriend?

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Leela - posted on 07/14/2014

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Hi Lindsey! I've always believed that the kids come first but your daughter is 17. She's going to be out on her own soon and I disagree with Chet. Your daughter does not have the right to tell you who to date. You are a mom but also a woman. Are you supposed to give up any right to be happy because you have a child?!!! Come on - life is too short to put it on hold. You have raised your daughter and from all accounts she seems to be welcome at your home once she abides by your standards. It's your home and just as her father can set rules etc so can you. Do not let your daughter bully you because it never stops whether she's 17 or 27. If she's that put out, let her live by dad but do not be surprised to see her back because dad surely isn't going to let her run his life. I don't think you are being selfish. You are saying to someone whose almost an adult that you expect to be respected. I suggest that you do have a talk with her and try to understand any underlying issues. Additionally make it clear that you are not choosing your bf over her. You simply are not letting her control your life.

[momoftwo] - posted on 07/15/2014

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From your last post it sounds to me like she is extremely attached to you and is angry at anyone that gets close to you. :(
I still would not get rid of your boyfriend, you both deserve to be happy and I really hope that she will at least open up to you or go to counseling. You can tell she loves you very much but she needs to understand it's toxic for everyone if she hates on anyone that wants to be with you.

And oh my goodness did you say your ex husbands girlfriend is lovely?! Lol

Michelle - posted on 07/13/2014

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I would be letting your daughter know that she can't run your life and who you see. Tell her that you have done everything for the 2 of them for the past x amount of years and you are entitled to be happy. Let her know that she will soon be considered an adult and she will have to make adult decisions.
I don't think you're being selfish if you daughter is having attitude towards your BF all of a sudden. You could try and sit down and ask her why though but I don't know if you will get a proper answer out of her.

19 Comments

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Serene - posted on 07/16/2014

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She's 17 let her go, cut the cord and let her go live with her father...Good ridens. You deserve to be happy.

Lindsey - posted on 07/16/2014

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Hi Leela

Thank you for your kind words. She says that I don't spend time with her anymore. To be honest I haven't been recently but that's not because of my bf, it's because of her behaviour. I haven't wanted to spend time with her.

She will be welcome to come home if she is willing to live by my rules which are few and simple;

Respect that I have a life too other than mum
Accept that my bf will be a frequent visitor and in the future hopefully we will live together
Not have to be informed of my every movement
Learn to be more independent and not rely on me as much

In return she will receive

A mum who wants to spend one on one time with her
A happy mum
A stable family home

I don't think it's too much to ask :/

Lindsey - posted on 07/16/2014

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Thank you for your reply John.

I do wish she would go to counselling but she totally refuses :/

I do feel sooooooo guilty about not wanting her home with me but she makes me so unhappy and I'm always walking on eggshells when she's around.

I love her to bits but just can't handle her attitude and I refuse to allow her to split up a relationship that could a happy one for me.

L x

John - posted on 07/16/2014

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Selfish? It sounds like you did a terrific job with everything. Teenagers are assholes. Why would you put any stock into anything they say? Think about her if you weren't around; she'd falter.

If she wants to live with the father, let her. Its time, you've put in two decades. We coddle children in this Country. Let her be an adult and let her see how hard it is. You'll have an apology from her within 5 years.

Lindsey - posted on 07/15/2014

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I have decided to write a letter to my daughter and send it to her. The decision as to what she wants and who she feels she needs to be with will be hers xx

Chet - posted on 07/15/2014

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I did not say your daughter _would_ suffer in your care. I said to consider _if_ she would suffer in your care. Not because you're a bad person or an abusive parent, but because you're not what she needs at this time.

If your child needs you and you have the capacity to help then yes, choosing your boyfriend instead is selfish. If you cannot help your child, and are not able to give her what she requires, then your choice is not necessarily selfish.

Sometimes parents hold on to children and it's selfish. The child needs freedom, or space, or a different environment, but the parent feels more comfortable keeping things as they are... not for the benefit of child, but for themselves.

The key is to assess your daughter, and to figure out what she needs and where she can get it. Moreover, it isn't purely about what you do... it's also about how your actions are interpreted by your daughter.

I'm not entirely clear on your situation. In your first message you said that your daughter is a different person when she gets home from her father's, and that she's only re-established a relationship with him in the last year. In your most recent post you say that your daughter has always had an attitude problem. You've described your youngest daughter as both rude and distant, as well as lonely and clingy.

Very simply though, the optics are really bad if your boyfriend moves in three weeks after you daughter started staying with her dad. In most cases, the best thing would be to wait until your daughter has been with her father for awhile and to wait until she's settled at college.

If your daughter is going to college in the fall and has a part time job lined up I'm assuming that she has some social skills and some goals for the future. If she's had a positive relationship with your boyfriend at some point, and has wanted to spend lots of time with you at some point, I feel like you have something to work with, and that your actions probably still mean something to her.

I realise that 17 is almost 18, and 18 is legally an adult. But in our society, most kids don't do well if their parents cut them entirely loose at 17 or 18. Sometimes it's necessary, but your angle seems to that you want to do, not that it's clearly what's best.

Lindsey - posted on 07/14/2014

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To say my daughter would suffer in my care I find extremely offensive.

I have loved,supported,provided,encouraged and cared for all 3 of my children.

My youngest daughter hasn't just suddenly become this feisty girl with an awful attitude. She has been like it for years. I have tried to get her counselling but she refuses.

Yes she is going through a difficult time, she is lonely and it is difficult for her to see her big brother settled in a relationship, her big sister starting a new life with her boyfriend and me now in a happy relationship but I have done nothing but support her, be there for her, even taken her on dates with me and my boyfriend but she throws it back in our faces with her total lack of appreciation, rudeness and attitude.

I feel it's time for her father to take over a d give me some space. Perhaps the stability of her father and his girlfriend's home is what she needs.

Now tell me is that selfish???????

Lindsey - posted on 07/14/2014

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Michelle and momof2

Thank you for your replys

I have to say that it isn't just since I have been with my boyfriend that she has behaved this way. She has always been quiet a difficult, troubled child. I have tried to get her counselling but she totally refuses.

I've her as I do my other two children but she exhausts me, she wants to be with me 24/7 even my friends have said they are fed up with my daughter being with me when I meet them for coffee or lunch. My friends are honest and open with me and say that she is my shadow and its not healthy. Sadly my daughter doesn't have many friends or a life of her own and thIs I think is a lot of the problem. I'm hoping that once she starts college in September and her new part time job she will make friends and develop a life of her own. Maybe then she won't be so concerned with my life.

This isn't the first time she has caused a problem in my relationships. Admiral my ex was a jerk and I'm well rid but she did exactly the same with him. In the beginning she was his best buddies,thought he was great but as my relationships with him got serious she started to behave how she is with my current boyfriend. It did play a part in the relationship with my ex ending but it was never going to work anyway.

My bf now is a totally different story, he truly cares about me and has been more supportive.affectionate and thoughtful than any other man including my kids father. I don't want to lose him, I'm the happiest I've been for many years. I hope to have a future with him.

My daughter has gone to live with her dad and his girlfriend for a few weeks. She says he can give her a more stable home. Maybe he can. I'm not saying I don't ever want my daughter to come home BUT she has to really address her attitude and to accept my bf. She told me that if my bf is going to be around more or move in then I won't be seeing much of her. I told her that I won't stop seeing my boyfriend and its her choice whether she wants to accept that, or stay living with her dad.

My bf says he doesn't want me to have to choose or to put him before my daughter but I've told him it is down to her to make the choice not for me to choose between him and my daughter.

I get angry that my ex husband has been able to spend the past 3 years building his life with the woman he cheated on me with and is now having a child with while I have struggled financially, emotionally and psychologically to raise our daughters on my own. That my youngest daughter thinks his girlfriend is amazing ( which I must admit she's a lovely woman) I have no issues with her at all. But angers me that my daughter doesn't cause problems in their relationship but has a real issue with me finding happiness.

Part of me wants her to stay living with her dad just so I can have some time for me. Is that so wrong??
Xxx

Chet - posted on 07/14/2014

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It really depends on what your daughter needs. If your daughter needs you, and you're putting your wants ahead of her needs, then yes, that would qualify as being selfish. If your daughter is very honestly better off with her dad, and you know that she would suffer in your care, then maybe not. The key is wanting what is best for your daughter.

I will say, in general, it's beneficial for teens and young adults to have a safe home base. Having the security of a consistent, supportive home / family makes it easier for teens to become independent in a healthy way. Think of it as a strong foundation to push off from, and as a safety net below when you're out testing your wings. The teenage years are a time of very rapid change and upheaval, and often family is the only real stability a teenager has.

You say that your boyfriend is a supportive, caring and considerate man, but you haven't given any real evidence of that. A teen who has been reasonable for 16 or 17 years and suddenly becomes distant, rude, etc is a teen who is most likely going through a difficult time. There is an expression that the kids who are most difficult to love need love the most, and it concerns me that your boyfriend isn't so much interested in brainstorming how to make progress with your daughter. He's just shutting her out.

I feel like a supportive, caring, considerate man would say, "let's look into counselling" or "let's try to figure out what's really bothering Suzy" or "I don't think a can move in until we either get this sorted out, or until your daughter is fully independent and secure on her own". I think that a supportive, caring, considerate man would never want to be a sticking point between a mother and her minor child.

I don't have teenage children, but I worked with first year university students for years and I lived in university residence for a very long time. It's terrible to be 17, 18 or 19 and not feel like you're welcome in the home of one of your parents, especially the parent who has been the primary caregiver. A lot of teens and young adults stay in very bad situations because they feel like they can't go home because they've burned that bridge or because a parent has chosen a boyfriend or girlfriend over them.

I feel a lot of sympathy for your 17 year old daughter. Her sister is growing up and moving out on her own. Her mother has another new boyfriend (you said there have been multiple relationships in three years), and there is clearly some tension with the current boyfriend. Your daughter is working to establish a relationship with her father after having been estranged. And of course she has all of the regular stress and drama of just growing up and being in high school and figuring out what happens after high school.

I'm not suggesting that your daughter be allowed to behave poorly. and be as rude as she likes to you and your boyfriend. There are clearly issues that need to be worked on. The tone of your post (and this may not have been your intended tone at all) is that you've given your daughter enough, she's being really rotten, and you should be able to move on with your life now... but she's not 27, she's only 17.

[momoftwo] - posted on 07/14/2014

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I'm with Michelle on that.
You've done your time now it's time for mama to be happy lol. If she wants to act like a brat that's not your fault.
Is it possible that the father is saying bad things about you guys to her now that he's in her life?

Lindsey - posted on 07/13/2014

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Lol sorry Michelle I pressed enter before actually writing my post.
Oops new to this :/

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