What Just Happened??? So Hurt And Frustrated.

posted 4 months ago in Emotional
Post # 61
Member
481 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2019 - Southampton, UK

I’m really glad you and your fiance were able to talk out this crazy fight. I also want to say that my son is a young adult with depression, and he has been suicidal at times. I completely understand how hard it is, and how scary, to try to give a little tough love to help them take on responsibility. *hugs*

Post # 62
Member
817 posts
Busy bee

ataloss123 :  The way you explain wanting her to have a part time job- how she doesn’t do well when she has too much time on her hands, how her therapist thinks it’s a good idea, this is very understandable because you’ve lived with her, seen her tailspins, plus you’re listening to her therapist and doing what is genuinely in your daughter’s best interests, so the way you’ve explained it, finding a part time job could be good for her. And I can see how it’s a constant weighing of checks and balances wanting to push her enough but not too hard. You seem like a caring mom doing a great job in a heartrending situation. 

But it’s worrying your fiance still has a hand in these decisions, whether it’s about the watch or seeking employment, because it truly seems like he only cares about how any given situation affects him. (And of course he’s not going to come right out and say he’s looking forward to your daughter moving out, he’ll pretend to be on board with her staying as long as she needs to, while nudging things toward what he wants). I know this is just a gut feeling over an online message board, but I get a very bad vibe from what you’ve described of his behaviour. I’d love to be wrong for your sake and your daughter’s, but I think he’ll be a step-father full of selfish ulteriror motives and a too-controlling, easily angered husband. 

I think all he’s done is put the mask back on. Please remember Bee, apology without change is just manipulation. 

And I do understand how it could be comforting for you to feel you have a voice of reason in him to counterbalance your tendancy to be lenient or coddling out of fear, but I feel he’s doing this for very wrong and very selfish motives and that the best counterbalance to any over-protectiveness you understandably feel would be your daughter’s therapist. I find the thought of ‘family meetings’ with him having a say in your daughter’s progress to be very unsettling. Again, I hope I’m wrong. 

Post # 63
Member
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

 I don’t think your fiance is in the wrong for trying to push her to be more responsible, even though she isn’t his daughter. It seems he wants to help both of you in leading better lives and setting her up for success in the world, and I would’ve encouraed the same.

His explosiveness over the pool was uncalled for, but he apologized for it. I think we’ve all had emotional reactions that we aren’t proud of, and the apology and self reflection of why he likely acted that way is very mature. 

I think having a conversation with your daughter about getting a job and moving out is a great idea, and hope things continue to go well for you!

Post # 64
Member
10567 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

crustyoldbee :  

. . . apology without change is just manipulation. 

 

If I were an embroidering Bee, I would have dropped my IPad and started putting this on a pillow immediately.

No doubt, the best thing I will read all day.

 

Post # 65
Member
2500 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

sassy411 :   crustyoldbee :  I agree with your comments about apologies and manipluation. But how do we affect change? By talking it out, agreeing on a course of action, and then following through with the plan. It seems like OP and her SO are tentatively on the right track based on her latest update. He apologized, expressed his feelings, and explained his reasons for the overreaction; they discussed mutually acceptable terms, and options on how to move forward. Next step is to put the plan in action and follow-through.  

My husband and I have the opposite dynamic. He’s a classic enabler when it comes to his daughters; I’m more of a disciplinarian. We’ve been working on finding a middle ground for years and will likely continue to do so for the rest of our lives. Both girls are 20-something now and I will admit that I look forward to the day when they move out of the house for good. Am I planning on kicking them out when they reach some arbitraty age or life milestone? No. Our goal is to provide them with a home that meets their basic needs (shelter, food, wi-fi) and where the door is always open, while also equipping them to become happy, independent, responsible adults. These are not mutually exclusive outcomes; both can happen with a bit of compromise, lots of communication, and a common goal/goals. Good luck OP. 

Post # 66
Member
10567 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Miss-Mauverick :  

The situation in OP’s case is different.  Her fiancé’s track record has to be taken into account. And his behavior over the phone when he blew up fell far short of stellar. I don’t care how upset he was, there is no justification for his spitefulness.  There never is.

We see post after post after post after post after post about partners doing truly despicable things:  abuse and cheating leap to mind.  Usually, perhaps inevitably, followed by:  but, he APOLOGIZED.

Post # 67
Member
1105 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

sassy411 :  “Her fiancé’s track record has to be taken into account.”

OP said this behavior is acually very out of character for him. It seems more like he’s been holding in some resentment and his overreaction was a result of that. Better communication between him and OP likely would have avoided this situation in the first place.

Post # 68
Member
2024 posts
Buzzing bee

wineosaur :   Miss-Mauverick :  ITA with both of you here. It sounds like this isn’t the norm for him, and that he had a bad over reaction. I know it’s the internet and everyone is tres level headed, but I’ve definitely lost my shit over much less before. 

And with more context, sounds like OP and her Fiance were all on the same page regarding the therapists suggestion for the daughter, so Fiance was just following the advice of the professional that was called in. I’m not going to demonize the guy or paint him as some evil step monster because he had a pretty human reaction to being incredibly frustrated. And if you’ve never been a step parent, then you truly don’t know the level of frustration that can come to being butt out of decisions, having decisions changed on you or your intentions being questioned all because you’re not the biological parents (but you can bet your ass you’re expected to have unlimited amounts of grace, patience, navigation of events and most of all- MONEY)

Post # 69
Member
2500 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

sassy411 :  I respectfully disagree with your comment about the OP’s fiance’s track record. I don’t see any indication of a track record. The OP mentioned this is the first time her SO has had a blow-up of this nature in their 4 years together. To be clear, I view the texting, call, coming home late, etc. as one incident, not separate incidents.

But maybe I’m a little sensitive about some of the fast judgements here. I’m a stepmom and I’m not perfect. I’ve blown up at my husband a few times (3 specific instances come to mind, all relating to our vastly different parenting styles) in our 12 years together. Step-parenting is HARD. And humans are not perfect.

Did the OP’s fiance act in a way that caused harm to come to the fiancee/step-daughter? No.

Did he overreact to a genuinely frustrating situation and speak to his fiancee in a disrespectful way? Yes.

Is this fixable? Maybe, it depends on how he acts going forward. A family meeting to discuss and agree on expectations is a good start. Following up and reiteriting those expectations will be key, as well as dealing with consequences of not meeting those expectations. Kids (ALL KIDS) need stability and routine and a realistic and consistent example of actions, reactions, rewards, and consequences. 

Post # 70
Member
817 posts
Busy bee

sassy411 :  Thank You, I saw this quote as a meme a friend posted and liked it enough to commit it to memory 

Miss-Mauverick :  You and your husband may have different methods, but you shared a very important common goal- your daughters’ best interests. You just have different approaches with the same goal in mind. This is very different from OP’s situation because he isn’t her father and he doesn’t seem to have her best interests in mind nor any insight to mental health issues. 

I’m going to back up sassy on the track record here- OP says in her opening post that in the four years they’ve been together, her and her fiance have not been on the same page in regards to their daughter. He has also been upset at having other people over to the house- a harmless sleepover, a friend and her children coming to use the community pool and has stated he wants alone time with her even though OP states they very frequently do have alone time. It seems like he views other people as an annoyance and imposition on their relationship and this  always sets off warning bells IMO. He’s also brought up the damn Apple watch repeatedly and is angered by it. And I certainly don’t like his “I’ll remember this” spiteful warning. 

I don’t see this as an isolated incident from an otherwise nice guy, I see it as an unsettling piece of a bigger picture and, in re-reading OP’s opening post, I don’t think this blow up of his is as surprising as it was nor a one-off. 

Post # 71
Member
501 posts
Busy bee

Does this reflect general views you have about how to relate to people? 

For example– it was really important to me that my partner be somebody who shared the same openness to people that I do. And my parter does. So we both routinely invite people to stay with us in our guest bedroom — often for weeks at a time–without ever checking with the other. We just mention it later like “oh hey X is coming for two weeks in July” or “Y’s plane was running late so he’s crashing with us tonight” or whatever. This is our value and our expected and established norm, so neither of us think anything of it. I couldn’t have been with somebody who didn’t share that value, because openness in this fashion to friens and family is important to me. Have you ever had a conversation about these values?

 

Is your daughter actually working hard at school? If so, I don’t think there is an inherent probelm in this structure. This comes from a lot of privilige–but I didn’t work except in the summer all through high school, college, or law school. It gave me space to be an excellent student (and I was.) My parents could afford it, though the support was a stretch for them, and it took real and serious sacrifice on their part. It was an important value to them to send me into the world with the best opportunities (and I am very grateful). In the course of that, they gave me all kinds of things (phones, etc. provided me with most everything.) However, it also would have been apparent to anybody who knew me that I was working very very very hard at takign advantage of the opportunities I had, not simply doing nothing with my life. So I didn’t need “the hard love” because I was doing the thing. It sounds like your daughter might be also, if she is trying seriously at school, not goofing off at it. (And having a friend over sometimes is NOT goofing off in a meaningful way!) 

Post # 73
Member
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

OP, I totally agree with you and you don’t need to justifiy yourself or your fiance here.

As I said before, YOU are the mother, so YOU get to decide how much you wish that he’s involved with your daughter. And you decided to let him be part of it and to care about his opinion. And as with biological parents there are always differences in opinions.

I suggested a session with your therapist, because my sister had mental health issues as well and my parents were in a similar situation. My dad pushing and my mum concerned to which extend it is ok to pressure her. But you have it all covered by your therapist. I don’t have children myself and can only imagine how it feels, BUT all of you are in a different place now. You have much more information at hand, you have a support system for your daughter and she has a therapist. So even if you might see that she is feeling bad you know how to react and how to see the signs. You’re wiser and stronger now, trust her and that she is too.

I think you’re doing great and seem to have a very open and healthy communication with your fiance. We’re all human and sometimes overreact or say stupid things, the important thing is to aknowledge it, apologize and find strategies to avoid it in the future.

Post # 75
Member
1105 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

ataloss123 :  I’m sorry you feel like you have to defend your fiance. It sounds like you both care about your daughter’s well-being very much and are doing the best you can. 

Post # 75
Member
2500 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

crustyoldbee :  Agian, I will respectfully disagree. The OP has stated that she and her fiance DO have the same goals in mind for her daughter and that they both agree with the suggestions from their mental health professional. The difference is in the execution of the plan. OP has admitted that she has a tendency to let things slide for the sake of keeping the peace (understandable, but not necessarily the best option). OP’s fiance prefers a more proactive approach (understandable, but also not ideal if mom isn’t onboard). And I still don’t see the “track record”. 

And for the record, I’m a step-mom who came into the picture when my husband’s daughters were 15 and 18 so I have a decent amount of experience with blended families, teenage girls, adult kids living at home, etc. Having a common goal (happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids) is a great start, but there is so much more that goes into it. Agreeing on specific expectations and responsibilities can be a challenging endeavor. And sometimes we slip up and say something out of anger or frustration. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love and want the best for my step-daughters. It means that I’m human and sometimes I let my frustrations get out of hand and I say things to my husband that could defnintely be phrased in a more polite way. 

ataloss123 :  OP, thank you for coming back and responding. You certainly have your hands full with a very sensitive situation; navigating a blended family AND a metally-ill child seems like an excruciating balancing act. I hope you can sift through the comments and suggestions here, take to heart what you feel is helpful and insightful, and ignore what you see as judgemental or overly harsh. I sent you a PM also. 

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