Need advice on responding to Fiancé's daughter acting clingy and rude

Kate - posted on 04/08/2016 ( no moms have responded yet )




To give some background, I've been with my fiancé for a year and a half now and we moved in together about 6 months ago. We have a decent sized age difference. He's 34 and I'm 23. He has a daughter from a previous relationship who will be turning 8 in a couple months. She splits time basically evenly between her mother's place and ours. I should also start off by saying that I would not categorize my relationship with her as bad at all, rather there are just a couple tough points. She warmed up to me extremely quickly when we first met and due to the fact that she is interested in a lot of things I love and can teach her about (books, music, art), it was easy for me to get to know her and relate to her. When things are good, which is a lot of the time, they're great. But sometimes her being here makes me a little crazy to the point that I don't feel at home whatsoever. It comes down to me being frustrated by the way it's not acknowledged how inappropriate she often acts. I can't and won't say anything about how she is towards/with her mother because I haven't seen it and it's none of my business anyway. But I think her father allows her to act very rude to both of us because he was basically raised by his grandparents (dad left when he was 2 and mom worked long hours), and in the end he had no structure and not many rules. I get the vibe that he's just not sure how to stop negative behaviors or give consequences the RIGHT way, so he doesn't try.

Some examples of what's been happening:
1) She has literally farted on me or in my face on purpose multiple times, at home and in public. Same with burping and blowing it in my face. Does this to others too.
2) She doesn't know how to ask nicely and instead demands I do things such as get her something, put her stuff away, that I sit in the back seat with her when we go somewhere.
3) Constantly yells "what's WRONG with you!?" when she doesn't understand why something is being done differently than she thinks it should be/is used to.
4) Criticizes how my hair looks. She has stick straight hair and mine is very curly, so she doesn't really understand why it is the way it is. This would be something I would shrug off if it was a few isolated incidents but it is at least twice every day she spends here. It bothers me that she's learning it's alright to say things that rude to people.
5) Uses a loud, whiny tone to respond to most things said to her by me and family members.
6) Gets extremely upset and crabby if I have something else to do for a little while and am not constantly paying attention to her. I do make time for her every time she's here but it doesn't make a difference because she's very used to being the one and only focus 24/7. She does this to the extent that she will try to tickle me almost from the time she gets here after school until she goes to bed, even when I'm cooking us dinner, cleaning, or working on the book I'm writing.
7) Unless I have the door shut to whatever room I'm in, which I only do when changing or using the restroom, she will trail around behind me trying, even trying to follow me into the bathroom. If I'm sitting down on our sofa she will put her face 2 inches from mine and refuse to back away. If I'm sleeping in bed and my fiancé is momentarily busy, she does the same until I wake up.

That last two bother me the most. Tickling and stuff is okay once in a while, but the way things are makes me feel smothered to the point that I sometimes have had to "run to the store" for 30 minutes just to recharge.

In the end I can't resent her for these things though because she doesn't realize some things she does are innapropriate. She's a very happy child, she just doesn't get that she's being gross or rude or disrespectful. My fiancé admits she's never really any punishment for negative behavior since she was 3 or so. The one piece of advice I had gotten from a step mom I'm pretty close to was basically to keep my mouth shut. She isn't my child and therefore I SHOULD be there to support her and make her a priority when she needs but I should NOT absolutely drown myself in worries about how she's parented, what's done differently at her mom's and minor bad behavior. I'm starting to feel like I need to find more of a balance, though, before things escalate over time and I burn out. I don't want to destroy my relationship with her by acting more and more sour or seeming mean tempered, but having a really mild and introverted personality in general, I'm a good candidate for being walked all over and I do not want that.

The situation hasn't grown dire yet, but I'm still concerned that it will cause a lot of problems in the future as she gets older and once her father and I get married and I am actually her stepmother. Part of me thinks I should have a real conversation with my fiancé about all of it, but then the other part of me doesn't know if it's the right decision to stay completely silent and have him deal with this for me. I'm not sure how to handle the situation and I live in equal fear of her ending up seeing me as the evil stepmother someday and having her treat me like complete dirt down the road. If anyone has advice on finding some sort of balance, it would be much appreciated.

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