Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My girlfriend's 12 year old daughter

Questioner: Chris

Country: Canada

Subject: my girlfriends daughter

Question: I have been blessed with the fortunate feeling of falling in love with the most wonderful woman. we both love each other very much even though we have been together for only 2 months. It is like we were made for each other.

The issue we have is her 12 year old daughter. She really likes me, and we get along well, but she wont accept me as her mothers boyfriend. She had a mental breakdown last night saying that if anyone were to come into her mothers life that she would move in with her father. Crying and screaming.

Her mother handled it well and told her that she wont accept threats. And she will not control her personal life.

What to do? should I stop showing up as often? Should we just carry on as we were ? This is stressful on everyone. I hate seeing the little girl upset, yet at the same time she can't control her mother.

To make matters worse! the father is verbally abusive towards the mother in front of the children. He doesn’t even know I exist.

please advise

Thanks Chris

Dear Chris,

My advice is stay out of the way. The mother responded appropriately to her daughter's threats. This drama was set before you walked on the stage. You need to focus on your relationship with the mother and treat your relationship with the daughter as a separate issue than her relationship with her mother.

Ideally it would be good for mom to spend some quality one on one alone time with her daughter as even a 12 year old needs reassurance that mom's falling in love does not diminish her love for her daughter. You really didn't say whether or not you have initiated conversations with the daughter yourself. You cannot become her father as she already has one however you can be an adult who she can befriend, trust and rely on if you choose. Remember though stay out of the relationship she has with her mother or her father. No matter what you think of those relationships, they are none of your business. Your business is to take care of you own side and the street and how you react with this family.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your response. I have had several discussions with the daughter, however never about my relationship with her mother. The little girl and I get along very well. I am sure she likes me. My girlfriend has never sat her down and said I am a boyfriend, she kind of avoids it. I do know my place in the little girls life, and you are correct. I help her with homework, and projects. We play fight and joke around. i would never try to discipline her in any way. And I do mind my business. I have been staying away from there house. My girlfriend and I have been sneaking around behind her daughters back as to not trigger any outbursts. But I feel this is only delaying things. Plus my relationship with her daughter will suffer.
Dear Chris,
 The lack of communication between mother and daughter should concern you greatly. Why is your girlfriend not being open and honest with her daughter? If you can see this behavior why are you not wondering if she is being open and honest with you?
I strongly suggest counseling before you move to the next level. In fact I would insist on it at this behavior is only going to get worse if your girlfriend does not face this head on. She needs to get her daughter, you and her into counseling now.
Best Wishes!
M Kay Keller

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