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In a bit of a pickle here


h1tek_rednek
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First time here, thought it might be a good place to get some third party advice, so here goes.

 

I have been with my fiance for almost 5 years now. She has a 22 year old daughter, who, to put it lightly, is not on a good path with life. The daughter has 2 children, age 6 and 1.

 

Anyway, the daughter is a "runner". Meaning, whenever her man or her situation pi$$es her off, she runs. She bounces from person to person, staying with whoever, until the situation calms down, or it gets bad where she is staying, then she's out the door again. Unfortunately, because of her actions and immaturity, no one will let her stay with them anymore, except for her mom.

 

Here's how it works when she comes to stay with you. She takes over the house like it is hers. Nothing is off limits, or personal property. If she is there, it's hers to use no matter what. The TV's, phone, computers, pool, pool table, whatever. She is a screamer when she argues, so if she is on the phone with someone arguing, she does not take into consideration that there are her children, and ours listening to her scream and cuss. Not saying she is a bad mother, because she is not, but she would prefer someone else watch her kids, while she plays on the computer, talks on the phone, or sleeps, because she is tired, because she's been up on the phone all night long. My fiance and her daughter can only get along for so long, and then it goes south with them, and they are both "cop callers" as I call them. So every single time the daughter is with us, it ends up turning ugly and the cops get called on someone. No one has went to jail yet thankfully, but living in a small town, this is quite an embarrassment for me, and should be for my fiance as well. The household bills are doubled just about with her there, and she makes no offer to help, almost as if it is expected that we just deal with it. She will leave lights on, A/C running with the doors and windows open, and not even be in the room. I have turned all long distance off on the home telephone, so that isn't a problem anymore. The last time she stayed with us, she accused our 8 year old boy of inappropriately touching her 6 year old girl. The cops were called, a report filed with DSS (nothing ever came of it though, because I know the cops, and they know the daughter is looney). Her mama kicked her out, told her she couldn't stay there anymore, or ever again. This was about 3 months ago or so. I have always been against the daughter staying with us. I'm not mean, I don't mind helping people, if they are helping themselves, not just being irresponsible and using people. It causes my fiance and I to fight, which I don't like at all. So this is the background on what I'm about to go on to.

 

Anyway, she was living with her husband and his parents, and something happened up there that wasn't to her liking, so she wanted to "come home", and my fiance let her move back in the other day, even after all the messes the last times she's been there. I tried to convince her that it wasn't a good idea, especially after the sexual accusations she made last time. That's when it happened (again, not the first time). I was made out to be the bad guy. My fiance told me it was her fault that those accusations were made, and that she should have been watching the kids better (BULL****). I was pretty much, in a nutshell, and almost verbatim, told that fine, the daughter didn't have to come, but my fiance was leaving me and moving out, so that she could have her own house, and her daughter could live with her. I was then told that I was the cause of all the stress when the daughter is there, because I'm not nice to her and I don't talk to her, and when she is living there, I come home and immediately retire to the bedroom all night, or to outside, then to bed. So it has all been made to be my fault, and I've been told that either I deal with it, or I am single. I love my fiance and our kids (step kids to me), and don't want to break up, but I am being totally disrespected in my own house, and pretty much told that my opinion doesn't matter, it's gonna be her way or the highway.

 

Any thoughts on this? I'm considering looking for a place to live, but I hate giving up on us. (Not to mention, I have a lot of crap in a big house, that I won't be able to take with me) Just a little humor at the end, don't attack me for being material, because I am the least material person you probably will ever meet.

 

Thanks for reading, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

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If I were you I would call her bluff, if it is a bluff, and tell her you are moving out.

 

You have been told, fairly and squarely, where you stand on her priority list. Things will not change unless you make a stand. But be prepared that this may be the end of the relationship. Frankly, if it were the end, that would probably be a good thing for you in the long run. You could be the next one that is on the wrong end of a police report.

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What you said made me remember something. Last time she moved in, I told my fiance that I would not live there while she was living there. I was prepared to live in my parents camper trailer. So a temporary move, nothing permanent. As fate would have it, I have a friend that was going on vacation for a week, and wanted someone to house sit that week. So I went and stayed there for a week. That caused a lot of tension between the two of us, as she told me that I was abandoning her to deal with the stress and everything herself. She also told me how much she missed me, etc., but made no move to tell them (the daughter had her husband and kids with her that time, eventually the husband got tired of it and left.) they couldn't stay there anymore. So as far as calling her bluff, I don't know, I get mixed signals about that, because she fussed at me about it, and told me how much she missed me when I was gone. Just damn confusing...

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I agree with DN. It's clear that things need to change and boundaries are crossed here. I think it's not only the daughter that is disrespecting, also your fiance. Regarding her age, her daughters age and your age, your fiance must be a few years older than you, right? It's not like her daughter is still a kid, although she behaves like this. I think your fiancee should really tell her daughter to grow up and take responsibility. How come her daughter has a child of 6 years old? She must have been 13 when pregnant? How old was your fiance when she got her daughter and what's the history there? I don't know if she will ever offer you a stable family life. Do you want children with her (assuming that is still possible)?

 

Ilse

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Yeah, I'm 31, and my fiance is 41. The daughter is 22 I believe, so that means that my fiance was around 18 when she had her. Not sure what you mean by history there. My fiance got divorced from her daughters father when the daughter was young, but they always lived close, and remained friends, so the daughter saw both parents regularly. When she was young, my fiance had to work several jobs to make ends meet, so there wasn't a lot of time at home with her daughter, then she had the other two kids, that are my step kids. The daughter ended up quitting school in like 7th grade or something, and has been in and out of trouble her whole life, and I believe resents her mother for not being around more. Well, not I believe, I know this is true.

 

It is easy to say that my fiance should tell her daughter to grow up and take responsibility, but with this girl, you can talk until you are blue in the face. She truly believes, in her heart and soul, that she is doing everything right, as a person should be, and how can you convince someone different of that when they truly believe it?

 

No, we cannot have kids, nor do either of us want any more kids, so that's no worry there. I agree with the point about the stable family life, but the problem is I am blamed for it. In reality, I am blamed for just about everything. My fiance is one of those people that takes out whatever is bothering her on me, and tells me it is my fault, and likes to bring up every thing I have done in our entire history, that she didn't like. I have kind of gotten over that point in almost 5 years, but it does get old.

 

What other history were you looking for?

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I don't think you're materialistic. I think you're an intelligent, common sense person who's dealing with a dysfunctional family that refuses to change or see the need for it.

 

The matter warrants serious discussion. I would try getting your fiance away for a nice evening out, just the two of you. Tell her your thoughts just as calmly and rationally as you presented them here, but try to emphasize how much you love her and the kids, but how hurt and disrespected you've felt by due to specific events. Let her know you love her, but you can't continue under these conditions and tell her what you need to see changed in order to stay together. Then listen to what she has to say. If she's still not willing to compromise, then unfortunately I think you'll have to take her ultimatum seriously and decide at that time what is tenable to you and what isn't.

 

Good luck. I know this decision won't be easy.

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To be honest, your fiance has little incentive to change, because she knows you value the relationship more than you value your own self-respect. She's heard you complain before, seen you move out, and come back. She uses guilt trips (bluffs) with you because she knows they work. Don't try to second guess her "bluffs." Decide what it is you want, need, and can tolerate. Put your cards on the table, say what you mean, and mean what you say, because things will never change as long as you let your fiance disrespect your boundaries.

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You aren't telling her to choose. She's already made that choice and given you the ultimatum. Look I realize she's a Mom and it will always be difficult for a mother to turn her back on her own children, but you weren't asking her to do that. You were asking her to have her daughter pay her share, do chores, treat you with respect, and act as a responsible parent IF she wanted to be a member of your household. Your fiance turned the tables on you by pointing out all the ways you "disrespect" her daughter instead of agreeing to try and work things out like any normal person with common sense with do. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to improve relations with your step-daughter, but you and more than justified to walk if she REFUSES to compromise in any way particularly if you're being honest, open, and fair.

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Why have you been engaged for 5 years and are not married? Do you have a wedding date (not sure what engaged really means without a wedding date but I'm sure there are different definitions). Sounds to me like you are not compatible as far as lifestyle, period, end of story and that might be one reason you are not married. Also, unfortunately, you are not the daughter's father or even her mother's husband so your authority is very limited - as a famous psychologist said, you should be expected to be treated like a guest - i.e. with respect but you have no say in how she is disciplined, etc. Of course you don't have to contribute any $ towards her expenses so that of course should stop.

 

As far as your fiance complaining about your behavior the more you can see that as manipulation the better. Just my humble opinion.

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Here is something you might want to know. As I said before, you can talk to the girl until you are blue in the face, and she'll either flip out and start screaming, crying, etc. saying that no one ever says anything good to her, no one gives her credit for what she does do, and that everyone just hates her. Then it turns into either physical, as it has gotten a couple times between the two of them, and then the cops are there again, or it turns into just wanting to shut her up, so it gets ignored. Unfortunately, you aren't going to get the daughter to do anything she doesn't want to do. She will either lose it or say that she already is doing it, and get pissed at you because you are critisizing her. I hope that makes sense, it's hard to put into words. She has lived with us several times since we have been together, all but one time was against my will, but I was made to deal with it. So I pretty much can answer anything you have a question about. I don't mean to sound like I have an answer for everything, but I have been in the situation a lot of times, so I have first hand knowledge.

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Batya, there is a reason we are not married yet, but that is a long story, and really, IMO, isn't relevant in this discussion, no disrespect intended. First and foremost, I am the one working to support my family, my immediate family, not another family, and it is my house, I am the man of the house, and as old fashioned as it sounds, being the man of the house has a lot of meaning to me. And no, in my own house, my authority should not be limited.

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Batya, there is a reason we are not married yet, but that is a long story, and really, IMO, isn't relevant in this discussion, no disrespect intended. First and foremost, I am the one working to support my family, my immediate family, not another family, and it is my house, I am the man of the house, and as old fashioned as it sounds, being the man of the house has a lot of meaning to me. And no, in my own house, my authority should not be limited.

 

Well, I respectfully disagree that your supporting them financially - your choice entirely - gives you the right to discipline someone else's child. They are not your family - they may be "like family" but neither of them (your fiancee and her daughter, and her children) is related to you by blood or marriage. And if you are so traditional as you say, why aren't you married? Kind of inconsistent, no - to want the so called "man of the house" title but not make it legal? Not sure I've ever heard of the traditional set up where the man and woman are not married and the woman's child is living with them. But, that's just me of course.

 

It sounds like your values as you stated them above are inconsistent with her values because apparently she doesn't want to have a set up where she has to obey the "man of the house." I am sure there are women who would go along with that model (I don't happen to be one of them but ok) - and if it is that important to you find someone who is on the same wavelength with you. She may have been at one time but it is clear she is not anymore.

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I don't deny the truth of what you say. I'm sure the daughter throws histrionic tantrums and calls the cops, because LIKE HER MOM she's learned that making false accusations (guilt trips) and acting belligerent works. This doesn't mean that she's incapable of change and acting like an adult. It means that she's never truly had to face the consequences of her actions and forced to change in order to have a roof over her head. She behaves like this because it works, not because she's got some mental condition that prevents her from growing up. These two women are bullying you in your own home into accepting mistreatment that no one would accept from strangers. What's wrong with this picture???

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I don't mean "obey the man of the house". I do mean, that after the fifth or sixth time she has come to live with us, with our without her husband and kids, and it has been bad every time, emotionally, and financially, that my wishes should be respected, and she should not be allowed to disrupt our household, and cause undo stress and financial hardship for us, simply because she is immature and has no ambition. Sorry, that was kind of a run on sentence, but oh well. Basically I think there should be discussion, not one side saying, it's gonna be this way, or it's over.

 

The point of us being married or not is irrelevant in this topic, so I am just going to leave that alone. Suffice it to say, that as far as the younger children, my fiance has no problem with me being a Dad to them, 100%, including discipline.

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Ultraviolet, you hit it right on the head, except for one thing. The daughter is bi-polar, and is supposed to be on medication, but refuses to take it.

 

Anyhow, you are right, she's never been forced to act right in order to have a roof over her head. Her Mom is last choice too, that's the sad part. She is only now staying with us all these times because she has completely and wholeheartedly worn out her welcome with everyone else, including her biological father, grandmother, and several friends and friends of the family. The bad thing is that her Mom doesn't see it, they are so alike, everything that happens is someone elses fault. Dammit I don't know what I'm going to do in this situation, it really sucks. I thought I had the real thing when I met her, and I still do a lot of the time. I've never loved like I love her, and I do not want to lose this, but I don't know.......hell, I can't even finish that sentence. I'm just getting aggravated now.

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Thanks for your response. I understand that you love her and she comes with this whole package - the good, the bad, the daughter, etc. I think the problem is that the daughter - although 22 - is very immature and while her mother might accept you disciplining her children, this child does not and it's confusing to her (and she is confused as it is, sounds like).

 

It's been said many times that a person marries the person's family and here you are experiencing this first hand.

 

Here is what I would do so that you stop being a doormat and this relationship can be saved. Say in a loving, caring way something like "I love you and I want us to be together. Right now though if I stay in this situation it is not going to be healthy for either of us because when it comes to your daughter, we don't agree and haven't been able to agree. For now, I am going to move out and let's go to counseling so that we can work as hard as we can on "us" and speed up my moving back in when that is appropriate. That is my goal. We can continue to date of course but I didn't sign up for this situation and it is very unhealthy for me and thereforeeee for us. I need to gain back my sanity, my sense of self and self-respect. You need to figure out how to deal with your daughter and grandchildren in the way that makes the most sense to you. You cannot do that while I am around as we've seen."

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h1tek, I realize Bipolar is a serious mental condition, but this young lady still has a choice, one that I refuse to let her off the hook for considering that she has children to think of. She has the choice to take her meds!

 

There is no excuse to be acting like a poster child for Jerry Springer when children are involved. If you're getting agitated, I consider that healthy, because you have every right to be. I'm angry and sad for you and your family and I don't even know you. This dysfunctional behavior is costing you your happiness, self-respect, and potentially your family. Aren't these things worth fighting for?

 

By the way I can tell how much you love them because you're trying so hard to gallantly excuse their inexcusable behavior when it so clearly hurts you to live like this. I really feel for you. It's crazy-making when the people that you love most, value their own selfish ends over what's best for the family. That's why I advise you to try talking to her from the heart. Don't cast blame, just decide what it is you need and if she can't or isn't willing to try, than that my friend is the reality of your situation.

 

Edit: I just read Batya's latest response. Brilliant. Please heed the advice.

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Batya, it's funny you say that. The last time the daughter was coming to move in we had that discussion, minus the counselling part. (The bad part last time is that the daughter brought her husband too, but tricked him, told him they were coming for a visit, and when they got here, she told him he needed to start looking for a job. That lasted a couple days, and he finally told her that he did have a job and he was going back to it, then he left).

 

Anyway, the response I got to that conversation was that she understood, and she would do her best to gather up some money so she could just move out and get them away from me. So pretty much, as you can see, I'm between a rock and a hard place on this one. I've tried the talking sensibly, I've tried the moving out temporarily to prove a point, I've tried the authoritative approach, all to the same result. She isn't going to tell her daughter no on anything, all the way down to buying her cigarettes, etc., and if I want to be with her, I just have to deal with it.

 

EDIT: Ultraviolet, this response goes for you as well. That's why I'm here, I've tried all the usual approaches to no avail, thus I am searching for an outsiders point of view, because at this point, I am at a fork in the road, and either way looks wrong.

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No, we cannot have kids, nor do either of us want any more kids, so that's no worry there. I agree with the point about the stable family life, but the problem is I am blamed for it. In reality, I am blamed for just about everything. My fiance is one of those people that takes out whatever is bothering her on me, and tells me it is my fault, and likes to bring up every thing I have done in our entire history, that she didn't like. I have kind of gotten over that point in almost 5 years, but it does get old.

 

What other history were you looking for?

 

I was wondering about her relationship history, if maybe she was dominated by her ex (which would explain the blaming now), or if things ended bad. Because I think the CORE problem here is that she is NOT willing to take responsibility for problems that are not yours. You are engaged to this person, and if it didn't change in those 5 years, there is no point in thinking that marrying her will change that.

 

Ilse

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I've tried the talking sensibly, I've tried the moving out temporarily to prove a point, I've tried the authoritative approach, all to the same result. She isn't going to tell her daughter no on anything, all the way down to buying her cigarettes, etc., and if I want to be with her, I just have to deal with it.

 

I realize you're tried talking sensibly before and moving out temporarily, but

these options didn't work with your fiance, because you didn't really MEAN what you said. You came back and you grudgingly accept your situation without any of your conditions being met. That's why I emphasized earlier that you have to MEAN what you say. If you truly find this situation intolerable, you have to walk away for good if she refuses to change. I'm just a pushover and try to give the other side every absolute possible chance to come to an agreement before I walk out the door.

 

I believe at some point your fiance will see the light. The cost of loving her dysfunctional daughter is tolerable because she knows she always has you and your financial and emotional support to rely on. What if she didn't??? Would her daughter's tendency to call the cops (by the way accusing your son of molesting her daughter is heinous! She's actually hurting your kids too!?! Grrrrr.) seem so cute if your fiance had to endure this madness alone??? Something has to give, but someone has to decide at some point that the madness has to stop, and that one person's need to always have their way isn't worth the cost of everyone else's happiness.

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That is so hard. I know that is what I need to do. Just go ahead and step away from it, but damn, I don't know if I can. I wish it was easy like it was with my ex-wife. I came home one day, she was gone, I was like "cool", grabbed a beer and flipped the TV on. But with this one, it's like I can't imagine not having her around. I have always been in control of my emotions, never letting them control me, until now.

 

Right now, I have a broken leg, so moving out now wouldn't work. So I'm pretty much stuck until I heal. That gives them about 4 more weeks, and gives me that much time to decide as well.

 

Now for the part that I might get flamed over. Let me preface with saying that the first, foremost, and biggest reason I don't want to leave is because I love her more than I love life. BUT.....I have a lot of stuff, and I really love this house. 3000 sq. ft. on 4 acres in the country, I have a carport with a workshop attached, another shed, a camper, boat, pool table, bar, and a lot of generic "stuff". That would make moving very difficult, especially abandoning the house. Is that being selfish, being materialistic, or am I just making excuses not to leave?

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Where to start. The last guy she was with before me was a lazy POS, he didn't work, layed around all day playing video games. She supported him completely, as well as the two kids, and her daughter (the same one), her boyfriend at the time, and their child.

 

The one before that beat her, was an alcoholic/druggie, cheated on her, kidnapped her at gunpoint a few times, raped her. Just a real stand up person. He's now passed, he was in an altercation with his new gf, shot her dead, and shot himself. This is her kids biological father, although they call me Dad.

 

The one before that is the daughter in question's biological father. He is a cop, her first love in HS. They were married for 8 years, and just didn't get along, so they divorced. He doesn't seem like that bad of a guy, although I've only met him twice.

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Look, no one is a saint, including me. A decision like this is so difficult (and this is why I've never been a fan of living together before marriage more than temporarily, particularly with kids involved). In the end, it's only money - easy for me to say, of course, but truly, it is only money. As far as your health, since it is a huge house why not move into another area of the house for now?

 

You got involved knowing - from fairly early on I am sure - that this woman has tons of baggage - as much as she may have been a victim of her exes she also chose them at some point so that says something. Of course people can change but it sounds like she is still not taking responsibility for herself and her family - at least not to the extent that is satisfactory to you.

 

The child you have together is going to pay a much larger price than you ever will for your house and things if you stay together in this situation. Maybe that will help you make this very difficult decision. All the best.

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