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Update on Daughter/Fiancee issue


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As a reminder, my daughter (age 20, home on Christmas break) and my fiancee (age 56) got into an argument yesterday when he was handling her iPod. She basically told him he should ask before picking up her things (said in a condescending way). He kept his cool but persisted in emphasizing his perspective, and everything escalated.


So today, I spoke with my daughter in private to say I don't want to live like this (my bf does not live here, but he comes over a lot). I want to have a household that is more peaceful and cooperative instead of the "don't touch my stuff" mentality.


She would not back down and thinks she was completely in the right. She said she hopes I am also expressing disappointment to my bf in terms of how he handled things. When I wouldn't give in, she started crying and saying she doesn't like living here, she feels she is always accused of being wrong, she can't do anything right... etc. etc.


I truly don't want to be around my bf and my daughter at the same time. It is completely uncomfortable and I am just waiting for something to go wrong.


Has anybody else had a similar experience? What can I do to avoid being caught in the middle? My bf is fed up. This has been going on for six years, so I doubt it will ever change..........

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I'm sorry that I don't know the first part of the story. But, it seems to me that if the ipod is your daughter's property, your fiancee had no business handling it without her permission. She is an adult, and should be afforded the same consideration he would want when it comes to his things.


I am in a similar situation, and I find it extremely difficult to handle, at times. My daughter is also 20. She's usually away at college, so my partner and I have developed a regular routine which doesn't include her. Now that she's home for a while, it's really hard on me.


A couple of things that help is reminding my partner that this is my daughter's home, too, and that she has the right to feel wanted and accepted in her home. I also remind my daughter that she needs to be considerate of our space and our routines (she is very messy and can be thoughtless).


I do feel that it is my responsibility to protect my daughter's place in the house, and not make it an "either-or" situation. When it comes down to it, I always want my children to feel wanted in their own home, and my partner has to adjust to this, not the other way around.

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You need to tell both of them that you expect them to be civil to each other in your house, or both of them can leave til they learn how to behave like adults.


At 20, she needs to start acting like and adult, and he needs to stop thinking he can control her behavior too. At that age, you can't control them, but you can tell them what behavior is and is not acceptable in your house. And whenever they engage in unacceptable behavior, they can clear out until they're willing to be civil to one another. You can tell them they don't have to like each other, but they shouldn't be squabbling over silly things either.

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I read your post from yesterday, & I don't think him picking up her ipod is that big of a deal. You're all in the same living area, her stuff is in a public location (ie, not in a drawer in her room). He picked it up to look at it, who cares? It's not like he borrowed it without her permission.


As for him not backing down, I think it is understandable. However, if I were you I would ask him not to bicker with her in the future, even if he is in the right. It just isn't worth it.


I don't know what to say to your daughter, as it seems you've tried talking to her on several occasions. Maybe ask her why exactly she has such a big problem with your fiance? Is it possible she feels he is taking the place of her dad? Maybe they started off on the wrong foot when they first met & she never got over it. Tell her that even when you marry, he will not or ever will be her father nor take his place. But he deserves respect as a person & she is expected to abide as such.

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Your daughter is clearly trying to assert authority here. She is making a huge deal out of your fiancee simply picking up her ipod. When she doesn't get her way, like a child she pouts and cries and acts like a child who says "you don't love me anymore". Perhaps it is time for you to sit your daughter down with your fiancee and tell them at the same time that this whole situation is getting you down and you hope that they can both bury the hatchet for the sake of world peace.

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I too read your other thread on this issue and find it indicative that your son also finds her awkward to deal with.


This is your issue to deal with as she is your daughter.


First, ask your fiancé not to interact with her over stuff like this but to walk away and let you deal with it.


Second, tell your daughter that she is being rude and disruptive and it has to stop. Tell her that she is very loved and that your home is her home so long as she treats everyone with proper respect - including your fiancé. Don't let her argue and try to manipulate you with tears and recriminations about not loving her. Tell her that you will not listen to that because it isn't true. If she says she is uncomfortable living there and wants to live elsewhere tell her that is her choice to make - reiterate she is welcome so long as she behaves but if she feels uncomfortable and leaves you will respect her decision.


Do not argue with her and don't attempt to justify what you are saying, let her know that it should be self-evident that her behaviour is wrong and you will not tolerate it. Tell her what it is you demand from her and make it clear you expect her to comply. Don't say this in an aggressive or hectoring tone - but do be firm and make sure she understands you mean it.

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Thank you everyone. I am taking all of your advice to heart.


The iPod thing was him innocently picking it up after I pointed it out to him, and she was in the next room. He is a recording engineer and was interested in the dock she bought for it, so he was checking it out. She way overreacted and was disrespectful in the process.


Okay, so five minutes ago, she told me that since she is "always the problem" and "everybody thinks so" -- she is going to go to her friend's house in New York for the holidays.


I told her I want her to stay, but I am not putting up with the disharmony. I told her things could be sooooo easy with just a little give and take.


I am going to tell my bf to stay out of things, which he usually does. This time he stood up to her, which I thought might make things better in the long run. My son felt my bf did the right thing by not tolerating my daughter's behavior.


So we shall see if she follows through with her threat. I am sure she is TRASHING me to all of her friends and their parents. Of course, that's the least of my problems. Such is the road I travel.

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Its uncomfortable for her at the moment because her reign over you is slipping away, and her tantrums, guilt tripping and manipulation by tears isnt working anymore and to be honest its the best thing that could happen right now, don't back down, be firm and stand your ground.


Spend some girly time with her, take her shopping, have lunch out, become friends away from the home and keep reassuring her that she is wanted, but make it clear that her behaviour towards the man you love certainly isnt.

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