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My lying boyfriend and his teenage daughter


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Hi everyone, i really need some advice on this one as not sure how to deal with it, or tell my bf how i feel about it. He has a 15yr old daughter he spoils rotten with shopping etc - which is fine by me; its his money afterall. He has no father-daughter rship with her except when they are on a shopping spree ofcourse. She is never interested in doing 'normal family things' whenever the dad asks her, but won't stop when she start texting her dad for money and that new iphone/macbook she wants until she gets it. I did say to him once that it wasn't right to build a relationship through trips to malls and advised that he should maybe balance this by considering helping her with her homework. Her grades at school are quite poor at the moment but the dad can't face up to this incase 'she gets upset' (she lives with her mum nearby, and i live with my boyfriend).The problem is that i feel he is beginning to tell me lies about what exactly he gets upto with his daughter. It was her birthday recently and he told me he was taking her shopping in our local town - which i was fine with. He however, left our house at 7:30 to go pick her up! i asked him why 7:30 on a saturday especially that most shops don't even open until 9am. He brushed it off saying she wanted to go early to avoid traffic and also get back for 4pm. When he mentioned the word 'traffic', that rang a bell, and i asked again where they were going and he replied to our local shopping centre about 6 miles from where she lives. I didn't want to argue about it but something tells me they were going somewhere out of town - he just wouldnt give me the details. I feel hurt that he is lying to me and keeping secrets. I have been with him for 2 yrs now and have met the daughter; we get on well. I just don't like the way my bf plays us up. I don't mind him lying to her about me to protect her feelings and give her time to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer with her mum, but not the other way round as i am mature enough to understand the challenges that come with being with a man with a child / teenager. Please advice!

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As a mother of a 15 year old girl I can tell you that not wanting to do family stuff is pretty normal. The only thing they are interested in at this age is music, boys and clothes.

 

If their quality time together included clothes shopping then I would let it be as ultimately the decision is his.

 

Spending time together doing homework is a good idea ... but 15 can be a difficult age and being separated from your daughter puts your bf in a vulnerable position. He wants to do all he can to maintain a connection with his daughter and maybe ease the guilt he may feel at not being present in her life as a father should be (regardless of how and why the relationship ended). This is really down to him so I wouldn't give him a hard time about it.

 

You could suggest that he makes a deal with her .... if he takes her shopping, they spend sometime doing homework or revision together too. Maybe you could go shopping with them ... have some lunch together and make it more of a family day out. If you chat with her about clothes, tell her what she really looks pretty in, it could bring you closer together. And spreading the day out with grabbing a drink and something to eat will make it more of a day out than a day shopping for clothes.

 

If you try to step in making changes to what has become their norm I don't think you will be doing yourself any favours. Suggest these things to him and see if he is agreeable. Other than that I can't see what else you can do.

 

EDIT: Also I'm not sure about lying to his daughter about you is doing any good. You are living together. She isn't silly. She will know if he is "playing down" your relationship ... and 15 year olds don't like being lied to about such things. She will feel as if you are treating her "like a baby". If you and the daughter are allowed to get closer you maybe able to have more if an influence on what you all do together.

 

Also have you thought about including a friend of hers on a day out?

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I know I would resent my boyfriend of 2 years telling me how to deal with my daughter of 15 years, especially if he doesn't have any children of his own. Their interference would cause me to become protective of my relationship with my child and to start leaving them out of the loop; and to just tell them only what they needed to know and that's it.

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I will be blunt.

 

She was around long before you. The way he chooses to spoil her? HIS choice completely. And no, you don't have any inherent right to know where he is taking her shopping or for how long. You don't have the right to know where they are going or what they are doing unless it's illegal or impacts you. And pressuring him and getting in the middle of things when you're obviously disapproving is making them run around behind your back. Not within your purview to approve or disapprove unless it affects you, since the daughter doesn't live with you.

 

The only exception would be if his spending on her limited his capacity to pay his share of rent/mortgage and utilities. I wouldn't support him so he could blow money on her - but except for mentioning that she could really use the homework help - there's not much you can do without alienating them both. You don't say you're having to foot his bills so he can spend on her, so it doesn't sound like this is an issue.

 

If her grades are dismal, you could try asking him if she intends to go to college post-graduation, and sit him down and give him the reality check that her options might be limited to the local community college if she doesn't pull at least some decent grades in her last 1-2 years in high school. And you'd hate to see her future limited by his fears of annoying her in the short term, when it's her options for a career and degree that are hanging in the balance. Except for pointing that out to him - there's just not a lot you can or should feasibly do - unless it's offering to help if there are subjects you are comfortable with and he feels out of his depth.

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