The Family & Parenting ForumsFamily dynamics can be exactly that - dynamic! Post here about family related issues such as parenting, blended families, step-families, new relationships with children involved, family of origin issues, in-laws or sibling issues.
My husbands 16 yr old daughter moved back with her mom this week. It's been something that has been building, but my husband says it is all my fault, and told me this AM when asked if we were going to continue being polite strangers (yeah that's about how it has been) the response was 'Well I don't know if you can fix this or not' meaning getting her to move back. The whole issue is discipline - I am the one there (he works alot, band practice, frankly not involved unless required) and I handle it. She wanted chores to earn $$, but when it came to doing said chores, if when a list was on the fridge she would constantly need to be reminded. Not a big list mind you: clean the litter bix, feed and let out the dogs when you get home from school, make sure the cats food bowl is filled as well as the water bowl daily, every other week clean her room, bathroom, upstairs). Simple. So when it came down to getting tired of the constant reminders, it came to grounding. When it came to discipline that support was more 'you handle it' and when I do, I was not right. I am 'too hard'. So after this last round when asked twice to do her stuff, I wrote on the fridge board (I am up at 445 and out before 7 for work) she was grounded. I got a nasty note, and off she went. granted i may not have handled it well with the written discipline but...yeah. So i was told I 'drove her away', was condemned in emails, and quite frankly right now I feel like a total failure. When I repeatedly asked for him to help me, be there more, spend more time with her it'd work for awhile then back to the usual. I almost feel like I was thrust into this role and when I handled it as I thought things needed to be, I am always made out to be the bad guy. So she accused me of 'only thinking of myself' hubs has accused me of driving her away, being too hard and well it's all my fault. When I told him I get no support, I feel helpless, frustrated, and backed into a corner - I was told I had no compassion. Everytime we would have 'family talks' when she got upset and took it out on us, in retrospect it was always US (hubs and I) who made concessions, said WE would change but she made no compromises, no commitment and things would continue as she always had. When I found NUMEROUS beer bottles in her closet (just a hunch since I am a beer snob and one of mine was missing that hubs wouldn't drink, I went searching) she turned it around on us saying 'well everyone once a awhile you let me have one'....so then it became our fault, then MY fault for invading her privacy. So yeah, it's all my fault. Seems like the relationship itself is now by a thread because she left because I 'drove her away'. So the question I guess is: should I even bother? because right now I don't even know if I can fix it (whatever it is) or keep feeling frustrated and unhappy and alone in my marriage......
You start with the daughter moved "back" in with her mom? How long was she with you two? One important thing I think I should point out, and I don't know if you have other children in the home, but a 16 year old, when given the opportunity will pit parents against one another... She didn't like the chores... Momma must not have chores for her to do at her house?? My mother and I share custody (more or less) of my oldest daughter.... We get pitted against each other very often... she lived with us, our 3rd vehicle blew up, gma offered her a vehicle and boom, she's going back to live with gma. We have money issues, can't get her that new upgrade for a phone, boom she's back with gma... Not making light of the situation, but it is what it is... Your step daughter is 16... And as far as I can tell, there is no rhyme or reason to them other than if given the opportunity they will play the parents if they are divorced. My daughter bounced back and forth until finally I put my foot down and told her that if she goes back this time, that's it... She can't play that game anymore... It disrupts everyone and it's draining. You are not the bad guy here, the daughter is simply 16.
Maybe but when you are told 'it's all your fault you drove her away' - makes one feel like a huge piece of crap and pretty damn worthless. BOTH she and her brother lived with us - he 1.5 years her almost 2.5 years. I mean now he knows how his ex felt, and me siding with her is pretty insane. her bro moved back because of the same thing (chores, school work ect) and now the ex admits we were right there. But crap.....she was her dad's favourite, mine too and now................it seems my marriage hinges on her coming back.............
That's not a fair thing, I'm sure you already know that. It may not warrant a trip to family counseling, but if you're marriage hinges on it, it might be worth the suggestion at least. But one thing that use to burn me about our situation is that the "option" was never taken off the table for my daughter to return to my mothers after she moved in with us... So I was the one always asking my H to watch what he asks her to do because she could leave at the drop of a hat... And I was pretty upset about her moving back, even suggesting it was my H's fault he blew the truck up and now she's going back because of him. It was a long upsetting week, and now I just enjoy our weekends together and I don't have to be the disciplining parent anymore (I mean I do, but not to the level I did when she lived with us)... I'm the weekend warrior and I have fun with it. So if you two could get over this together, you might see some good of it eventually. Good luck to you!
well crying at work isn't getting me anywhere that's for sure, except a headache. At this point since she is gone, I honestly don't know if he does want to work on US. He is 'civil' (his words and 'I don't know what more you want'). I can't do this alone but I don't know how to make him understand it's both of us who need to decide what to do here, not just me figuring out how to 'get her back'. She's a redhead - she will make up her own mind and at 16 I think I can leave the option on the table of how she wants to respond to an email up to her (which I have - no response) but that if she comes back there are rules and they need to be followed. Funny thing is: when I have her back I am her BFF. When things don't go her way, I am thrust into the evil stepmom role....it's a no win
Your H is being unreasonable IMO. He needs to talk to you and if he doesn't then I would take tacoma's advice and lose the marriage. You can't continue to live like that... He's blaming you and you already feel bad enough. He left the disciplining up to you and then blames you for actually enforcing the rules? That's BS.
I know but maybe this could be a good thing, her being gone atleast for awhile. Maybe WE can get back on track then see about the other. I have been feeling helpless and frustrated/unhappy for about a year and I have taken that out on HIM with my attitude (I tend to shut down)....NOT defending him just more understanding myself...I have lost the REAL me, I need to get her back.
Children being reminded of responsibility handled in many ways. One way that has worked best for me is telling them that if they don't give me a reason to say no then I won't. There are a list of things that I will always ask if they are done before you are allowed to leave the house to do anything extra. And that means (anything) other than school. If they are not done the answer is always no. If they are the answer is almost always yes. Using the Reagan principal (trust but verify).
The spouse should support you on this. There is right and a wrong way to raise a child. If you want lazy and irresponsible you (as parents) require little of your children. If you want independent and responsible you both exhibit and support that in your children. So they have a choice (just like life).
Spousal support is a separate issue and should be a separate thread.