Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
February 02, 2023, 02:02:59 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Once Removed, I Am RedeemedTurkish
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familiar, Kells76, Mutt, SinisterComplex
  Help!   Boards   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
Books members most read
105
The High
Conflict Couple
Loving Someone with
Borderline Personality Disorder
Loving the
Self-Absorbed
Borderline Personality
Disorder Demystified

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Beef btwn husband and daughter  (Read 367 times)
pursuingJoy
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Posts: 1383



« on: November 17, 2022, 05:04:45 PM »

Help me stay out of a triangle here, folks.

Fast recap: H and I married almost 9 years ago. We both had 3 kids from previous marriages. Last year, my 3 daughters moved in with their dad and cut both me and H off completely. The middle one has since been diagnosed with BPD.

At the root: H was triggered by the middle one's BPD behaviors - extra sensitive, not responsive to his direction, very clingy and needy. He characterized her behaviors as lazy (though never to her face) and bristled when she came around.  She was incredibly hurt by his behavior and painted him black. She pulled her sisters into it and together, they demanded I divorce him or they'd cut me off. Middle daughter has twisted and added to things that happened. Politics also played a huge role, and my middle one is very vocal in saying that she hates all men.

Some of this was her BPD. Some of it was unrealistic expectations on H's part about stepparenting...he wanted to discipline as a dad would, and that was not wise nor effective in this case. Some of it was me trying to stay between them and control the situation and 'keep the peace' for too long until things blew up. Some of it is their generation. Some of it is their bio dad, who has forever blamed every problem on me and is very likely feeling vindicated and feeding their anger.

Middle daughter pulled her two sisters into an indignant, emotional frenzy and for a long time, the opinion of one was the opinion of all.

In the last two months, my oldest and youngest have opened up communication, at least texting. I've visited the oldest one on her college campus several times. I have not heard anything at all from BPD daughter since April.

This week my H let me know he would reach out via text and just let them know he was sorry for any part he played and make an effort to open communication. My oldest just texted me and asked me to tell him not to contact her again, said it was painful to hear from him, he didn't go to counseling or parenting classes to show his remorse. (!) My H has his rough spots but is well within the range of normal parent and is an excellent dad to his bio kids. He made mistakes as a stepdad, but nothing that amounted to abuse or to warrant their response.

I replied saying "I'm sorry hearing from him was painful for you. We don't want to cause any more harm, that's for sure. If you are unable to communicate that directly to him I will pass along your message. It is sometimes hard to know if and when to communicate with you. Thank you for being clear and thank you for your patience as we navigate this."

My goal was to not invalidate, and to honor her boundaries. Now I'm second guessing all of my response. Am I triangulating? Should I have insisted she talk directly to him? Why am I playing messenger?

Also, while I truly don't want to cause harm, I'm not apologetic that he reached out.

Logged

   Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? ~CS Lewis
Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
beatricex
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 513


« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2022, 06:53:53 PM »

Hi pursuingjoy,
Just a quick recap of my situation, as we are in similar situations, then I will respond:
I have two adult stepdaughters, youngest is uBPD.  She gave an ultimatum that her Dad must divorce me or he'll never see her or her kids again.  Her older sister has sided with her (so the stepdaughters are aligned), but our oldest does let us pick up her kids occasionally. 

Here's the deal, and I have read all the books I can find on the subject and we've seen a few therapists as we've passed through all the stages of grief.  You should be talking to your kids, not your husband.  It's fine that you pass her message along.  No, you're not triangulating.

Please post more, and I can really hear your pain and empathize with you in this moment.
 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
b
Logged
arjay
Retired Staff
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 2566

We create our own reality.


WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2022, 07:09:43 PM »

Greetings.
No, you are not triangulating. You are the mom and your H is not the Dad.  You can convey any messages/discussions with him, should the need arise.

Has middle D been officially diagnosed?  Has she seen a Therapist yet?  When did symptoms begin?  Are you sure this is BPD and not something else?  Read the literature on BPD including cause and how to navigate, if BPD is accurate.  She should be professionally diagnosed, if not already.

Will just mention that I was in a somewhat similar situation with blended-families.  Counselor told me to stay out of parental confrontations with step son, that it was not my job, nor responsibility; that outside of ensuring his personal safety, all decisions were his mother's to make.  Any issues I had, I discussed with his mother and she dealt with it.

All the Best
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 07:16:39 PM by arjay » Logged

pursuingJoy
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Posts: 1383



« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2022, 11:27:22 AM »

Thank you both for responding, I needed a sounding board experience. My oldest responded saying that if I knew, she wished I had checked with her first. She then said she appreciated his sentiment and that he was thinking about it. Between your responses and hers, I feel better.

arjay, she was diagnosed by her therapist. Interesting, I came to this site because of BPD issues with my MIL. The more I learned about BPD, the more I was sort of side-eyeing my middle kid, who was exhibiting some of the same behaviors. I never once mentioned BPD, even about MIL, because I didn't feel it was appropriate to discuss with kids (they weren't impacted by hers).

When my middle daughter was 17, she came to me and said she thought she had BPD. I responded with a neutral "possible, although counselors sometimes didn't diagnose younger people because behaviors often aligned with emotional dysregulation in teens. Definitely something to talk to your therapist about."

Her therapist didn't think she had BPD at first. She saw her therapist for over a year before the therapist diagnosed her.

Will just mention that I was in a somewhat similar situation with blended-families.  Counselor told me to stay out of parental confrontations with step son, that it was not my job, nor responsibility; that outside of ensuring his personal safety, all decisions were his mother's to make.  Any issues I had, I discussed with his mother and she dealt with it.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Neither H nor I had any experience with blended family. We sought counseling too late. What you described was a huge hang up for H. He wanted and tried to fill a standard father role in confronting behaviors. I asked him to let me handle it, which almost made him feel rejected or second fiddle. It created a lot of conflict between us, and he resented the kids for it. He finally accepted it when a counselor told him it was important. Unfortunately the damage was done.

We know we weren't perfect parents and we're committed to growing personally, and in doing all we can to heal our family. It's all we can control at this point.

Logged

   Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? ~CS Lewis
GaGrl
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 5587



« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2022, 11:44:32 AM »

Our four children were all in their twenties when we married. They also each had unresolved problems.

We discuss our children, but we leave it to the parent to make decisions regarding actions. My H gets frustrated at my son's ADHD and Asperger's behaviors, but he is leaving it to me to deal with the state rehab group that is working with him on career placement. The only thing I've done on my own with one of his daughters is to gift her $$$ to pay for part of a course important to her career growth.

I don't really remember how we landed on handling our kids this way, but we have little to no conflict involving them.
Logged


"...what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge."
arjay
Retired Staff
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 2566

We create our own reality.


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2022, 05:49:44 PM »

..."He wanted and tried to fill a standard father role in confronting behaviors..."

As did I.

A simple innocuous comment on my part offended the step-son, enraging his BPD mom (my ex).  It escalated and I ended up leaving my own home under duress.  I got an emergency appointment with the Counselor the next day and it was there I learned to "leave it to the mother".  I was also warned that if Police showed-up, likely I would be arrested, regardless of what happened.  Needless to say, we are no longer together.

Blended families are tough, as the dynamics are different.  Please be there for your D and don't be too harsh on H.  Many of us did the same. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

All the Best

Logged

Riv3rW0lf
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Confidential
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Relationship status: Estranged; Complicated
Posts: 1056



« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2022, 07:01:07 PM »

PursuingJoy,

I think you handled it with lots of empathy. And while you didn't feel apologetic of your H reaching out, I think it is fair and ok to validate your daughter's feelings, and it is a good sign of maturity that she is currently putting some boundaries in place, so that she can have a relationship with you, her mother...

I come from a broken family and had many stepdads, and stepmothers, so I come here bringing the viewpoint of the non-child and I hope it is ok.

Those relationships are very hard on us too. Truly. We are suddenly second to someone we didnt know, and are asked to love/like them... But truly : sometimes we just don't, and we will never love them. The person our parent chose for themself is not necessarily someone we would have chosen ourselves. And as teenagers, with a lack of maturity, of independance, it feels like abandonment and rejection, especially when the relationship feels forced on us, when we are asked to bend our will and show respect to someone we don't know, as if they were our parent.

I am not putting blame here, and I know you handled it as best you could, and I am aware it is also deeply challenging and hurtful for you as the mother trying to be happy with the man you love, being torn between your children and him.

It's hard to navigate.

I guess where I am going with this is that : maybe you need to grieve the relationship you daughters might never even want with your H. Maybe they only want a relationship with you, and I think it is ok, you know? As long as they show enough maturity to be respectuous and not try to control you and your relationship with your H. You also have a right to your boundaries that they need to respect. Just wanted to point out that that also have a right to have a boundary where they want you and not him in their life. It hurts for you, for him, but that's a point I can personally understand.

The reason I get along so well with my own stepmother is because
A) She never, ever meddle in the family affair or relationship I have with my father.
B) She always acted as a friend. She didn't demand my respect and love, she earned it by being respectful and kind, and by respecting my natural boundaries.

The ones I had most issues with just came into our house and owned the place, they demanded respect, they demanded I listen to them, that I give them my space. I felt like a nuisance, like a second class family member. I felt rejected by my father. It wasn't my home anymore. I was an outsider to their love.

The stepfather we all loved the most is also the one who remained outside family conflict the most. But sometimes he would meddle, he would defend our mother and it enraged me. Because it truly felt like he had NO RIGHT to get between her and me. He got in our family when I was a teenager, he had NO idea what we had been through as a family. For her, he was a lover. For me, he was a stranger. And I told him so many times:"stay out of this, this is between her and me. She can defend herself.". Not because I don't respect him, not because I don't love him, but because he is not and will never be my father... And I refuse to let him talk to me like one. I will NEVER give him this kind of power over me. It simply is something I cannot do... He could be a friend though, and he became one overtime...when he stopped meddling and stopped forcing it.

There is hope yet for a relationship between your daughters and your H, albeit maybe not the one with BPD. But first they need to be able to see and talk with their mother. They need to feel like they belong and have a reserved place in your heart...

To you, as their mother, it is clear, but to them, it requires validation and a respect for their boundaries.

Of course the situation is complex, and I hope this doesn't come accross as putting the blame on you guys... I have no idea what happened. Just thought maybe sharing my experience would help. Because maybe your daughters don't have the words for it just yet...

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 07:07:24 PM by Riv3rW0lf » Logged
beatricex
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 513


« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2022, 04:38:28 PM »

Hi pursingjoy,
A bit more about my uBPD step daughter as people over here don't really post more than once, usually.  It feels lonely over here a lot.  I feel like you and I can relate to one another as the blended family thing is hard to navigate (arjay too).

I have known my H for 8 years.  When we first started dating, his youngest, the uBPD daughter was 19 and living with him.  She hated her mom.  As soon as I came into the picture that anger quickly turned to me.  She moved out and in with her boyfriend's parents because of me.  Rocky start.  Fast forward a few years, she's going to marry that boyfriend and I'm not invited to her wedding.  I don't go as I'm not invited.  Fast forward to she's going to have her first kid.  I am invited to the baby shower, it's traditional, women only no men and I go to this kid's shower and I shower her with presents.  I mean I out-did all the other 50 women from her church who were there, including MIL and MIL's bestie.  Her own bio mom (who she hates remember) didn't even bother to show up.

I barely spoke around her (much less directly to her) for several years as I was literally walking on eggshells around this person.  It is the most bizarre experience.  Trying to parent this person was never a question, she had already moved in with "better" parents than her own (her in laws), they engulfed her she found "church" in all ways she had a better life, including from us and her mom the "losers."  Par for the course, of course was that we were the inferior grandparents when the first grandchild came along. 

Fast forward to the second grandchild.  We saw her only once.

I kind of think there's a plan with people with BPD - they don't know it, but they're very predictable.  I get it, my own mother is also uBPD.

I have barely ever spoken to my step daughter, sBPD.  On the flip side, with her sister, I practically "became the mom she didn't have" (her words not mine).  We helped her get divorced, helped her move several times, helped her through drug/alcohol treatment and the court system when she was arrested for those things, hosted her 2 kids every other weekend for a year when she had to ditch those bad influence friends, cosigned on an apartment for her...probaby more I've forgotten...oh ya, lots of money was given not loaned...

I think with step kids it's really a crap shoot.  They don't have to like me.  And, I don't have to like them.  I have tried.  At the moment, I'm feeling more like an ATM to the one that liked me until her uBPD sister turned her against me.  Maybe I shouldn't look that gift horse in the mouth though?

The thing is this:  I love my husband's kids, they're his kids, he raised them.  I'm not only OK if they don't love me, I don't care if they don't even like me.  That's kind of the agreement you make as a step parent - you agree to be OK with it all.  We have moved on, we have our own life.  8 years into our relationship, the kid thing seems well, less important than "hey we're getting old, let's have some fun before we die, k?"  The grandkids will grow up and when they're 16 they'll drive, and they can drive over to see us.  If they want, of course.  When they're 18, they can leave home and get married, and maybe they'll invite us.  Not holding my breath as with all relationships, it's kind of a crap shoot.  I won't stop loving any of these people, they're my husband's people...BUT, it's not consuming our life anymore.  The outcome, I mean.  Guess those marriage counselors helped us put this into proper perspective.  We went through ALL the stages of grief.

I glossed over this the first time and it's very hurtful and immature to hold onto such a beef.  Shows her maturity level, she's in college, right?  You posted:
My oldest just texted me and asked me to tell him not to contact her again, said it was painful to hear from him, he didn't go to counseling or parenting classes to show his remorse. (!)

Really?  I would think to myself (but not say) "kiddo, you're in college, really?  time to grow up!  Try getting over my husband and moving on with your life!  try therapy!"  (these are just things you think but don't say, I learned from Family Connections).

Tell me more about you and your husband and your life.  As a couple, I mean.  What do you do to escape these insults as they roll in?  Learning how to avoid being someone's punching bag...good skill to have, right?  We have taken up some new hobbies, we travel, go to church sometimes, mindfulness is a fun date, we even started some new traditions on holidays.  It's kind of fun being married to someone who's adventurous and likes learning about psychology.  What about you guys?

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
b
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022, 04:55:12 PM by beatricex » Logged
pursuingJoy
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Posts: 1383



« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2022, 02:24:29 PM »

Blended families are tough, as the dynamics are different.  Please be there for your D and don't be too harsh on H.  Many of us did the same. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)


Sorry for all you went through, but thanks for sharing. I'm trying hard not to blame anyone, just focus on taking responsibility for the parts that are mine. Glad to know we're not the only ones, arjay.

rw, I've already read your post 3 times and I'll keep coming back to it. I may even show it to my husband. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your explanations, and what it's like to see this through their eyes. It makes sense that they need to be validated and know that they are loved by me and belong with me. I can shoot for that. Thank you thank you thank you. There are so many good nuggets in what you shared.

While they did get along great for 4 years, I am coming to accept that my H and kids won't ever have a relationship. That has been understandably easier for him to accept. What's much harder for me to accept and grieve is not seeing them. I was very close to them. I raised 3 kids, much of the time as a single mom, and almost overnight and by choice, they're all gone. It won't ever be the same. It's sort of like learning to live without arms. There's such a cavity in my life and in my home. H is supportive, but his heart doesn't ache like mine.

beatricex, so your SD hated her mom, then turned it on you? How interesting. My kids have been very hurt by their dad. Last time I saw her, my oldest told me she always knew that I was her only 'real' parent. I suspect that being hurt by their dad made them even more sensitive to being hurt by H. If they had a secure attachment to their dad, hurts from H wouldn't have carried as much weight, you know? Likely the same for your SD.

I absolutely wanted to respond the way you did to her comment about parenting classes Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). It really does show a lack of maturity. Good news is that life has a way of sanding off our rough edges. Maturity will come. I wanted to model a level, calm response, and she mirrored that, so I guess it worked?

As far as H and I, we don't spend much time obsessing over their comments. We have a full, blessed life and so much to be thankful for. I love my job and just got a promotion. We love working out with another couple and play volleyball. He plays softball and I keep score for the team. I have a great group of friends and love to host parties here. I love home remodeling, tiling, painting and crafts. Oddly, I love deep cleaning Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). I am into genealogy and mud runs. I enjoy my life, just have to learn to live without arms.

Logged

   Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? ~CS Lewis
beatricex
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 513


« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2022, 06:57:08 AM »

hi pursuingjoy,
Thank you for making me feel less alone.  How's your day going?  Anymore drama with the girls?

What did your husband say?  If he's like mine, he doesn't really get the 'girl drama' anyway.  pretty sure he chalks it up to "female hormones" ha! 

I did have to drag my husband into Family Connections.  Not exactly therapy to learn how to be a better parent, but close.  Luckily, he humors me.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
b
Logged
pursuingJoy
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Posts: 1383



« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2022, 10:19:39 AM »

What did your husband say?  If he's like mine, he doesn't really get the 'girl drama' anyway.  pretty sure he chalks it up to "female hormones" ha! 

Right?! It makes me thankful for the men here that post and process. Many of the men I've known assume emotions are a female thing, but I believe they deserve the same support and permission to struggle and show emotion. The more I've felt my own emotions, the more I understand other people's.

I got a text last night from my youngest saying she is cutting me off again because we violated her sisters' boundaries when H texted his apology to the oldest, and when I texted "happy thanksgiving" to BPD daughter. It came as a surprise because a few hours earlier, and for weeks before, we were exchanging light-hearted messages about Christmas ornaments and other things. I won't respond for now. The things I'm thinking won't help matters at all. The BPD sister is running the show and until they get space from her, they won't have individual opinions.

I feel incredibly gun-shy now, even with the oldest. If a mere 'happy thanksgiving' text to their sister can cause them to cut me off, it's clear that they were never ready to communicate.

You asked how H took it? For better or worse, I didn't read the oldest kid's text to H, just shared the gist of it. He apologized to me and said he never meant to cause more harm or issues. He'd heard something on the radio that compelled him to reach out, and he felt led to do so. We agree that we didn't do anything wrong and that it was our responsibility to respect boundaries now that they had been clarified.

Today and tomorrow will be difficult. I keep repeating that life is too beautiful to waste and enjoy. I have so much to be thankful for and people that love and appreciate me. So thankful for you all here and the support you offer!

pj
Logged

   Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? ~CS Lewis
Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Our 2022 Financial Sponsors
We are all appreciative of the members who provide the funding to keep BPDFamily on the air.
Goldcrest
Lemon Squeezy
Mommydoc
SamwizeGamgee
Skip



Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2020, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!