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Concerns about boyfriend and his 4 year old daughter I need opinions and help with.

I moved in with my boyfriend last year. We both have children of our own, mine are 20, 18 and 17 and my 17 year old lives with us as well and to date there haven't been any issues on that end. He has two children, his 19 year old is in the military but he has a 4 year old daughter he has visitation with 2 days a week and every other weekend. Some issues have arisen and I would like some help on how to deal with them. The first thing that seems to be the hardest thing to deal with is that he allows her to sleep with us every time shes here. Mind you, she sleeps in the middle of us. She does have her own room and bed but he refuses to even make an attempt to have her sleep there. His mother, who is a wonderful woman also has his daughter sleep at her house to on occasion, but his daughter has her own bedroom there and bed as well and his mother makes her sleep there. I know this may sound selfish but on the weekends and nights shes here, I do not sleep at all. She is all over the bed, punching and kicking and of course sleeps closer to me because he is a tosser and turner as well. Also as you can imagine there is no intimacy what-so-ever when she is here because he refuses to make her sleep in her room. She has asked many times to start sleeping in her own room but for some reason he will not even attempt to start this and gets very mad when anyone mentions she should be sleeping in her own room. My question on this issue is, how do I talk to him about this without him continuing to get all defensive and mad? Again I know I sound selfish, but how long do you let this go on?

The second concern I have is that when his daughter does stay with us, his demeanour changes. He is cold, quiet and distant with me. Not anything like he is with she is not here. Now mind you, he does not act this way with her, he is very loving and caring with her but for some reason, our relationship changes when she is around. Why is this? I am not jealous but it does get a little annoying knowing that when she is about to come for the weekend, he will not be acting like he normally does and it makes me wonder why. I do admit I get very irritated when this happens and I know it shows and I don't want him thinking I am jealous or mad but why does he change when shes around?

I guess I will wind this up with one last note. When his daughter is here, she is the queen of the roost. Shes not a horrible 4 year old but he in no way tells her no about anything and if that does happen, she throws a temper tantrum and starts crying and within seconds he will give in to whatever she was asking for. Mind you most weekends we spend watching cartoon 24-7 and the minute he goes to turn the channel for something else, she will start demanding he turns the cartoons back on, and of course within a few minutes of whinging and crying, they are back on and stay on forever. The same goes with the eating situation, he will not insist she eat normal meals with us, instead shes aloud to pick and eat garbage all day because again he refuses to enforce anything on her. She will ask for snacks and no sooner then he sits down from getting those, she is asking for something else, to which he dilligently waits on her and gets her whatever she asks for, but she does not have to eat any normal meals with us ,EVER!!!

Please send some help and answers for me as I am concerned these will lead to bigger issues than we have now. Thank you

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Asked by CopingMom33 at 6:46 AM on Mar. 15, 2011 in Relationships

Level 8 (238 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I honestly don't have any help for you, other than saying good luck. It's hard when you don't have your child 24/7 and parents usually feel that they have to make up for that factor...have you tried sitting him down when she isn't there and talking to him about how horrible YOU feel.....when HE does this stuff, and that it is no reflection on his little girl at all... I feel for you hun...Good Luck.

    Answer by kitchenwitch78 at 7:14 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • Thanks for at least responding. I have tried to talk to him on a few occasions about the "change in his demeanour" when shes here, but that talk obviously went by the way side. As far as the sleeping arrangements, I have not brought that up due to the fact that when his sister and family members bring it up, he gets very upset and mad but I am getting to the point where I think I have to say something and deal with the outcome. Anyways thanks for the kind words.

    Comment by CopingMom33 (original poster) at 8:07 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I'm sorry to hear this. It sounds like he is trying to make up for the fact that she doesn't see him all the time. You might want to browse some books on parenting children of divorce/split home. It is not healthy for her to sleep with you and get away with the other things you mention. She needs structure and guidance and rules. All children do. And especially when she has said she wants her own room it is not right that she is in your bed. I don't imagine he would consider any counseling to understand his need to do all of this. You are correct in saying these things will lead to bigger issues down the road. This all would be a deal breaker for me. I would try to talk to him again about the fact that SHE wants to sleep in her own room, it is fun for her, makes her feel special......whatever ideas you have to start there. I wish you the best.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:21 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • it will only get worse. my dh did the same thing with his sons when we got together. they could do anything they wanted cuz as soon as he told them no they would throw fits until he gave in any ways, he never disciplined them and if they did anything wrong my kids always got blamed for it. honey you're in for a long ride with this one. you really need to talk to him. because seriously when she realizes whats going on she is going to turn into a total terror and you wont even want to be around her. good luck

    Answer by jodi205 at 8:23 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I have decided after reading a little bit on here that I am going to try and sit him down tonight and talk to him about these concerns. I don't want things to get worse and I do agree that if this does keep on, we will have a brat on our hands in a few years, then what happens? Thanks to everyone so far for responding and I think the best thing right now is to take my chances on a sit down with him and express my feelings.

    Comment by CopingMom33 (original poster) at 8:27 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • No help from me either. I'm pretty easily annoyed so I woud do a couple of things differently: 1-leave for the weekend, OR 2-insist/demand that she sleep in her own bed, set some very clear rules with the TV and food. As you know he is not doing her any favors catering to her every whim, it will come back to bite him in a few short years. Good Luck to you.

    Answer by meooma at 8:34 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • You might want to start slow. Discuss the number one issue now. If it is the sleeping arrangements make it about her wanting to be in her own bed. It shows her she is special, is fun, etc, etc. If you conquer that then maybe in another few days try to discuss other things. I was thinking that you should have activities when she is visiting so she is not in front of the TV all the time. Go to the park, play outside, etc. Tell her that is what you are going to do, don't ask. You two are the adults. GL!!

    Answer by elizabr at 8:45 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • Thanks so much, I was actually thinking about just bringing up the sleeping arrangements tonight. Hopefully he will listen and not get all defensive but I feel I have no choice anymore considering. I do like your idea about "we tell her what to do" and not asking, but he does not allow this to happen. Perfect example, my move in with him took me a bit farther from my parents distance wise, so I am going to see them this weekend and do my Dads taxes, well last night I told him why don't you two come with me, since you have not seen my parents since Xmas? His response was, "We'll see cause I dont know what she wants to do(his daughter)!!! Well I kinda got bitchy with him and said, "Isn't that YOUR decision and not hers?".......this is the type of thing I am dealing with whenever she comes to visit. My list can go on and on,lol!!

    Comment by CopingMom33 (original poster) at 8:54 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I really feel for you. You are in such a tough spot. Make the bed transition all about her......her wants, being fun, etc etc.

    When he says "I'll see what she wants to do" point out to him that children need direction from their parents and suggestions for fun things to do. I know you are trying all these things. They are just ideas running through my head. I wish you all the best. I will check my answers several times today but feel free to private mesage me anytime. Click on my name, then cafemom profile, then send message.

    Answer by elizabr at 9:35 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • Sounds like he might be feeling guilty for the situation and is trying to compensate by babying her and doting on her. I think that he is trying to resolve the fact that he's not with her mother and over induldges her. It's weird though that she's asked to sleep in her own room, but he won't let her. That shows me that he's refusing to let her grow up. Maybe out of fear of that he'll lose her or that she'll not need to be babied anymore. Honestly, I think you should just ask him "Honey, I'm not trying to start a war I'm just curious. Why don't you want her to sleep in her own room?" And then go from there. Try to keep it calm and allow him to cool off if he needs to. Keep reminding him you're only trying to help and you're not attacking him.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 9:49 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

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