What exactly is the purpose of teens again?
March 21, 2012 6:14 PM Subscribe
Please help me talk to my boyfriend about his relationship with his ex-wife and rude, overly indulged child and evaluate my relationship overall. Yeah, I know. Long.
posted by nubianinthedesert to Human Relations (41 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half and have discussed marriage.
I love this man and we have a really wonderful relationship with lots of laughter, good sex, time spent together enjoying common interests and time together “alone” … I feel emotionally safe with him and very much loved and respected. It is by far the best relationship I’ve had in my adult life. We are both well over 40. I have no children (I am the oldest in my family and played mommy to three children so I was never really interested) and I have never been married. My boyfriend is divorced.
My boyfriend has a preteen daughter from his previous marriage. Let’s call the daughter “Isabella” and the ex-wife “Barb”.
My boyfriend admits that he was not his best self during his marriage. He was drinking too much and very depressed. It didn’t help that his wife at the time was shrill and distant and involved with another man. The marriage was bad. They hurt each other. They divorced. Boyfriend got help for his drinking, started working out, developed some close friendships and is a better man today. He’s apologized to his Isabella and Barb for all the hurt he caused and is a very good … but very indulgent father.
His daughter is a spoiled rotten manipulative brat … and this is putting it lightly. She whines, he buys her things. She wants a spontaneous sleepover with five girls and pizza, ice cream and a bounce house? He sprints all over town at the last minute to get it done. I know this is his guilt acting but he refuses to discuss it any more than to say “Yes, you’re right. I feel guilty so I’m doing this.”
Isabella regularly plays her parents against each other. When she’s at her dad’s she trashes her mother (who recently remarried). When she’s at her dad’s, she calls her mother to rat out her dad for yelling at her or not letting her do something she wants to do. The way she talks to her dad makes me want to slap her. Really. She has hardly any responsibilities. Her dad gave her chores. She never does them. My boyfriend makes her breakfast every morning she’s at his house, packs her lunch, makes her dinner while Isabella sits on the computer or chats with friends on her phone.
The most recent blowup: Boyfriend yells at Isabella for being talking to him in a way that would have gotten me grounded for a year when I was her age (after I got slapped). Isabella ran to her room to call her Mom. My boyfriend was furious. This happens at least every other month.
The bigger problem though is that Barb and my boyfriend NEVER talk to each other. They communicate through a 12-year-old who manipulates everything they say. Barb never told my boyfriend she was getting remarried (and my boyfriend was petrified about having this guy in the house with his daughter because Barb only knew the guy three months before marrying him.) Although there were apologies all around, Barb and my boyfriend still very much resent and dislike each other.
I’m sorry this is so long but my questions are:
1. Is there ANYTHING at all I can say to my boyfriend to encourage him to have some dialogue with Barb?
2. If there is anything I can say, please, please help me find the words to say it.
3. I’ve been single for a long time and I don’t have children so I’m worried that I am just being a Quirkyalone who wants everything quiet and isn’t willing to deal with any distractions/difficulties and isnt hip to how pre-teens act these days. This is also my longest relationship. I’m also wondering if maybe working through these difficult things is just par for the course and I’m just not accustomed to it?? I'm also wondering if he's just not the right guy for me.
Please hope me.