Helen - posted on 12/09/2013 ( no moms have responded yet )
My daughter is 15, was 8 when her dad moved out, lived with me since. Visited him regularly but depended on me.
I remarried in 2010 with the love of my life. Integration to my husband and his daughter 1 year older than mine was fantastic quick and good. Now 3 years later she moved to her dad with a scandal, 5 months ago. I am trying to understand what I did wrong ... and how to fix it.
Not enough with this, she refuses to have contact with my husband and her contact with me is very irregular. Partially because she has her own friends but mostly because I think she feels uncomfortable with the conflict still very much alive.
I am shocked and saddened. Of course, I understand there would have been things she was not happy with in our home, but truly we were good to her except when I flew off the handle because she did not want to study. My husband has been there for her emotionally, socially, economically, etc. for 3 years. He is a very good man. The scandal this summer was because the two young ladies aged 15 and 16 were relaxing on the sofa the whole day and did not help with dinner etc. That was during summer vacation, we had just been in Italy with them having a good time. We were home briefly before taking off to the summerhouse. My husband got irritated at his daughter and it then just spilled over. He did not say anything out of line to any of them. But he used irony towards my daughter and she did not get it because the other girl was upset. My daughter reacted violently and said he had no right to be after his daughter like this and also to offend her, and she flew off to her father. Since then we had several atempts at reconciliation and putting things behind us. My husband and her had a come together where I was present and as much as both parties could apologize to each other, they did. Neither of them really wanted to.... She wanted him to "go on his knees before her". He did not feel he was right. I forced him to say he regretted he lost his temper. That was obviously not enough. Rest of that evening she seemed fine, but after going back to her dad later on she picked up again as if nothing had happened. She has been since then constantly referring to the "problem" she had with my husband, always implying it is his fault he did not act right and did not apologize. I do not think that my husband needs to apologize any further. His reaction was not 100% ok but very mild. Her reaction was totally exaggerate. She called him a psychopat, was screaming and running off .... She was acting totally hysterical. After ALL he has done for her for 3 years!!! He took her in as if she was his own daughter, although of course he was not the one educating her, that was my job, which I do not seem to have done very well … Her big thing was that she cannot accept living in a home where his daughter is not being treated right (which is not correct in our adult reality), and that he crossed the line with her not respecting the fact she was upset. She says anything she did was because he provoked her. And now she is trying to justify herself and dig heels in. Unfortunately, her dad backs her up totally… He says we did all wrong and blames us for not handling her right. To him she is still a child. She is 4 months short of her 16th birthday …. I am afraid that as long as she has this backing I cannot reason with her or make her see this is not the right road to take.
It did not even “help” that my husband was sick with stress for 3 months and then lost his job (still being partially sick). His daughter "came back" to him (although she does not live with us, she lives with her mother since last summer). Mine does not want to change her attitude. She has been with us a couple of times since as she knows she needs to visit me (I do not insist), but it is very awkward. She avoids my husband as much as possible, does not look him in the eye and generally it is uncomfortable. I have tried to explain to her that the right attitude would be to put it behind as there is no way back to things that happen and also I felt that she had been really out of line with my husbant. Besides, they had their "explanation" and if she did not like it, too bad. One has to move on. Furthermore, she lives with her father now and is not missing anything. The girl has always been stubborn (she is an Aries) and strong willed. But she is misusing her energy now, it hurts to see it.
But it is no good. Now she wants to have another "serious conversation with me". I believe it will be a re-hash of the same accusations, etc. I would like to stop this and try to give her a push in the right direction as she is wasting her time. She is welcome in our home. My husband has no grudges as such, but of course it cannot be the same it was just like that. He understands she is very young and confused. But she is not the one to decide how we have to be or behave! I love my daughter and want to help her to find the right balance, even though her dad is not helping at all. He accuses me and my husband of not doing the right thing.... He is taking sides and interfering in his way in the conflict, not empowering her to resolve the issues..... Anybody has any advice???? Pleeeassee ..... Feel so alone with this.... and afraid of saying/doing the wrong thing.