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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 10-15-2019, 10:45 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Default So she said it....

I was driving my D14 home yesterday and during the ride her mother and her got into a spat (texting back and forth). My D14 just had a great weekend with me and my family for thanksgiving and was having fun with the neighbourhood kids and made a bunch of new friends. But then her mom was getting on her about a nothing issue and it put her mood in the toilet.

My D14 then asked if she chose to live with me, would I move to her town. I was dumbfounded. I never thought I would hear that from her. Mom has always been her number 1, the preferred parent. My ex has done a bit of work trying to alienate me, but I am doing a good job in undermining her efforts in that regard. My ex doesn't know that I have the password to D14's phone, and I review the text history to see what is said and then passively fix the issue and communicate with D14 so she is comfortable.

We discussed it, and I said I couldn't move to her town. It would put me commuting 2+ hours each way, and my wife commuting 1+ hour as D14's town is the opposite direction of work. I explained that she would have to change schools and there would be a lot of life changes. That if she was really serious, I would do everything I could to make it happen, but that she had to be aware of realities and repercussions of that decision. She seemed to understand, and that having already made new friends at my place would likely take some of the sting off moving.

Anyway, I was shocked. D14 went on about how they always fight, that the ex is never happy. The ex puts her own issues on the kid, like going on how she will always be single, that she will be old and alone, or puts her financial struggles on the kid. I explain that the ex's problems are her own, that D14 isn't the problem and reassure her in general. And just otherwise be an ear for D14 to express her feelings without judgement. D14 has said it is easier to talk to me than the ex, because I don't judge. I feel like I am regularly building her back up after the ex beats her down. The kid really enjoys coming to my place because it is low stress. Frig, I spilled my drink at dinner as I was helping open a bottle for the kid. I got up and cleaned it, no fuss. D mentioned that it was nice to see someone not freak out over a spill/accident.

I am not shrink, and have no education in the matter, and Tayken will likely give me the gears for doing this, but the ex (to me) is a typical narcissist. Nothing they do is wrong, nothing you do is right. She makes you feel bad for her mistakes in life, while taking no blame for herself. Then, she tries to buy your affection and gives you those few days of good times in the middle of all the bad, that you yearn for the good times. I know what it is like, as I lived it. It took me a long time to realize how I was supposed to be treated after being with her. The passive aggressive anger is palpable most days. And she is the most 2 faced person I know, cutting down everyone around her to justify or empower her own sense of superiority.

But yeah, the kid said it. I am not holding my breathe that anything will come of it. My kid is attached to her mom, albeit in an unhealthy way because of how the ex is. The kid is resilient and sees how things are different in the households, but that is still her mom. Personally, I don't know how seriously to take it, as it was a 1 time thing in the midst of an argument. Should it become even marginally apparent that this is her actual wants, I will do everything in my power to make it happen.

But yeah, it was a shock.

Last edited by HammerDad; 10-15-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2019, 10:55 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Well the good news is that at 14 she can see through a lot of the bs. It is nice that she can compartmentalize and have a good time with you.

I donít think it is wrong to be happy about this. Naysayers will do their thing. Enjoy that she sees a healthy living situation and is mature enough to sort through her feelings.

Keep giving her the emotional support and keep encouraging her to be assertive with her mother. Itís tough to be in that situation. My mother used to say ďI canít have a life because I have kidsĒ and it would really anger us because we were self sufficient and took care of the house. We realized it was HER problem not ours. Kudos to you and your daughter for seeing that at the age of 14!
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2019, 11:33 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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She is a bright, good kid. It is easy to feel the differences in homes just being around her. When I pick her up, for the first 5-10 minutes, I have to break through the barriers she seems to put up by relaxing her and joking around. She is stress ball most days when I pick her up.

She does see the differences in parenting. The ex lives far from D's friends, but rarely is willing to drive her to see them. So D kinda lives on an island and can only communicate with her devices. Me? I drive her, pick her and just otherwise do what I can to let spend time with her friends and do what normal teenagers would do. That was how I was raised and allowed to live. I want her to enjoy the same life experiences and lifestyle. I am certain the ex also drives, but hearing it from D, it sounds like it is like pulling teeth to get it to happen.

The door is open should D want to move in. I would make it happen. I am certain she would thrive with me, as she does with my ex notwithstanding all the tension.

My ex needs to take a real hard look at herself. She is managing to push everyone away but fails to see that she is reason for it. Until she takes that hard introspective view of herself and her own actions, I don't see how she ends up happy in life.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:57 AM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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You should also have it in the back of your mind that kids will tell you what they think you want to hear. Iím sure your daughter does see the differences between households, however she may simply be thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Fourteen is a difficult age. Itís normal for them to distance themselves from parents. She may or may not be playing you. If she were to move in then things may not go as smoothly as you may hope as she may then begin testing limits with you after the initial honeymoon period of having mined in is over. Should she ask to move in with you then you and your ex need to come together in a united front to prevent her from moving back and forth between the two of you depending on what suits her better ( kids can be very manipulative).
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:05 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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My step son has wanted to move in for a couple years... he turned 14 in June... he told his mother he wanted to move in and she flipped... told him he was selfish, he had to think of how it made her and everyone else feel, not how he felt, that in four short years heíll be moving out anyways so whatís the point, that if he moves out he wonít be allowed back, how just because he doesnít like something in life doesnít mean he gets to change it, etc... we had a big talk about it and in the end he said to us ďyou make it easier to stay than she doesnít to move. At least you wonít hate me if I stay. Iím not ready for my mom to hate meĒ

So he stayed... things are going okay, but he still prefers to be with us. Itís very unfortunate when adults put their emotions on their children. He knows we support him regardless and weíll... Mom doesnít... so for him it was easier to keep mom happy than make the decision he wanted.

Good for you for supporting your daughter and being honest about the changes she would face. It will be a big change for her but with your support sheíll manage that change. She clearly knows how her Mom is and Iím sure Mom will make it very difficult


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Old 10-15-2019, 01:11 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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I very much agree with that. This isn't a revolving door to go to whomever's house she feels is going to be easiest.

I doubt it would be a smooth transition. First, my ex would fight it tooth and nail. She would use every angle she could to prevent it. Second, change isn't easy for anyone. It would be a big adjustment for me as it would be for my D.

I also agree that she may be saying what I want to hear. I told her that it did make me feel good to hear she would consider living with me, but that it wouldn't be easy. That we both face repercussions of such a decision. I was honest about how I felt, and that I would support her. But I did so in a way that I felt wasn't putting my ex down. I have told my kid I would never talk negatively of her mom (to her), so I was trying to be supportive of her as well.

It is likely my kid was just reacting. She had a great time being a kid, hanging out with her friends, to being in the dumps when she should be happy to seeing mom and family. Her emotions may have got the better of her.

To be real, I doubt this is really a real consideration for her. I think it was just a reaction. But if it wasn't, I know I will need to be prepared for the realities that would arise (mentally, financially etc.) My house is set up for her, she has her own room and spaces, so that isn't a concern. It is all the other adjustments that would be needed that would need to be thoughtfully considered.

Last edited by HammerDad; 10-15-2019 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:55 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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This feels tough. Because I remember 14. I really did not like my mom. We were very very different. We still are. I always joke with her that if we were the same age and in highschool- we would NOT be friends. But I love her and respect her. There is something that kinda feels like teenage girl stuff about your daughter's reaction? I mean- I don't know your kid, you do. But Stillbreathing said it well.

That being said- my ex kinda sounds like yours. Every unhappiness in his life always boiled down to someone else (his best friend who's a real estate agent found him the wrong condo. I didn't transfer him/save enough money- so I was the reason we didn't have an investment property, etc etc etc). And the thing that scares me is the thought of him putting his bs on our daughter later. Even though I KNOW he loves her and wants the best. He's just too emotionally immature to realize that no one else is responsible for his happiness except him. Meh.

Question- how does your wife feel about this? Do you guys have other kids? If not- does she want to go from being a bff-mom to a mom-mom?
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:04 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
This feels tough. Because I remember 14. I really did not like my mom. We were very very different. We still are. I always joke with her that if we were the same age and in highschool- we would NOT be friends. But I love her and respect her. There is something that kinda feels like teenage girl stuff about your daughter's reaction? I mean- I don't know your kid, you do. But Stillbreathing said it well.
I do feel there is more to it. My ex puts a lot on the kid, stuff the kid even says she doesn't need (ie. "I am only 13, I'm not supposed to be involved in sort of stuff", in regards to my ex's complaints about money). My ex involves my kid in everything, and has no problem calling putting me down (calling me a loser, cheap, that she is "her only parent" etc.)

I will work my D either way and will support her. I just want her happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
That being said- my ex kinda sounds like yours. Every unhappiness in his life always boiled down to someone else (his best friend who's a real estate agent found him the wrong condo. I didn't transfer him/save enough money- so I was the reason we didn't have an investment property, etc etc etc). And the thing that scares me is the thought of him putting his bs on our daughter later. Even though I KNOW he loves her and wants the best. He's just too emotionally immature to realize that no one else is responsible for his happiness except him. Meh.
Nothing is my ex's fault, like ever. I lived through it. We didn't live together long as I wouldn't tolerate being treated like crap. But even being apart, she would continue. It really beat me down over the years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
Question- how does your wife feel about this? Do you guys have other kids? If not- does she want to go from being a bff-mom to a mom-mom?
My wife is fine with it. We spoke at length last night, and she would have her live with us in a heart beat. They are great together. She appreciates life as we know it would be put upside down for a long time, but she loves the kid and just wants her happy. She would support any decision that was ultimately made.

Now, will this materialize into anything? I doubt it. The amount of guilt that would be leveled upon the child would be insane. I think D would ultimately relent and stay.

I am just shocked that she said this...I did not see it coming.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:12 PM
calvinfive calvinfive is offline
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No need to be shocked. It is expected when you are a good dad doing all of the right things. I expect to hear the same thing when my daughter turns that age. Only difference is, I won't be saying I can't because I have to commute. I will be saying, if that's what you really want, then let's make it happen.

You should plan out how to make it happen. I assume, the process has already started by your child stating her preference. Now you must do your part. Not sure if speaking to mom right away is a good first step. Maybe ask child if they will feel comfortable and okay with you speaking to mom about making these changes ?

(ultimate goal is to make mom agree without having to take her to court ) - if you must take mom to court - then child must know you are only doing it for her.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:26 PM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
I am not shrink, and have no education in the matter, and Tayken will likely give me the gears for doing this, but the ex (to me) is a typical narcissist.
Strong term to use but... Let's discuss its use of the term in the context of your matter.

I wouldn't say you are dead wrong having knowledge of your matter. But, it lies more on the egocentric side of behaviour and not the extreme behaviour patterns that are "narcisitic" per-say. Narcissists are self-destructive generally. I suspect you are dealing with an egotist/egocentrist more than a narcissist. Very similar behaviour patterns but, with key differentiators.

To boil it down narcissists are dangerous and egotists are assholes.
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