How to Deal with Daughters Fathers Girlfriend???`

Updated on September 09, 2010
K.B. asks from Bradford, PA
13 answers

My daughter is 14. She is having a really hard time dealing with her fathers girlfriend of 7 years. She feels like she doesn't do anything right and she is always getting in trouble for things that aren't her fault. When as a mother do you step in? I understand that being in her fathers house means following the rules that have been set for that house, but when the girlfriends son is not made to follow those rules how do I tell my daughter that she has too? I would also like to know how to go about telling the girlfriend that there are certain things that are my responsibility and her fathers responsibility to deal with and not hers? This is a very touchy situation and I am not certain that I should put my foot down as much as I would like too.

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank everyone for their responses, because some of them were ideas I had already had as far as talking to her father in depth about the situation. I also was a stepmom to my daughters half-brother and my stepson was always told to wait until his father got home from work and he dealt with any problems that arose with his son due to the fact that he was not my child. I did not believe that just because I married his father it gave me the right to make any and all decisions regarding his punishment. It saved alot of wear and tear and on my daughters father and I's relationship at the time.

I have seen and been told by more than just my daughter of the things that happen when I am not around. I have been told about the girlfriends attitude from more than just my daughter. I do feel I am justified in being upset if she does overstep her bounds in relationship to my talking to her father is the best way to deal with it, I guess. When I have tried to involve the girlfriend in decisions that pertain to my daughter I don't like her answers.

However, I would again to like thank everyone for their thoughts on this important matter.

More Answers


answers from Albany on

Hi K., I've probably given this response to a dozen Mom's in your situation (and it's never been a popular one). At 14 your daughter is (legally AND emotionally) able to make up her own mind where she wants to be. And equally importantly, it's her father's responsibility to foster a relationship with his own child, not yours, not his girlfriend's. If she doesn't want to 'stay' at his house, she really shouldn't have to. She can enjoy her father's company in many other ways, he can be an important part of her life WITHOUT forcing her to stay in a house that's not hers. He can take her out for lunch, pick her up from school, call/text/email daily, bring her to her sporting/club/school events. His rights as a parent will not be violated by your daughter's decision to NOT stay at his house. What's best for any given child is not always what's easiest for a parent. May be time for a new legal agreement. Good Luck, believe me I KNOW it's an icky thing!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

What is the living situation with your ex? Does he live with the gf, so that your daughter is there with her whenever she has visitation with her Dad? I would go to your ex first, hopefully the two of you have a good working relationship and you can discuss with him in a calm, measured way.
The primary thing here is the relationship between your daughter and her Dad. It doesn't matter WHY the gf is doing this...whether it is just partiality on the part of her towards her son, immaturity on her part or whether there is just a clash of personalities between her and your daughter. The point is that she is damaging the relationship between daughter and father and that needs to be addressed.
Is it possible for your daughter to spend one on one time with her Dad, without the gf being involved the entire time? I am not saying to completely seperate them, that would lead to more resentment on the gf's part.
It is difficult being a step parent...I have been a step parent to my husbands son for over 40 years now and there is always a landmind of possibilities for misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Somehow I have managed to navigate it successfully, I am "Mom" to our son ( I don't refer to him as a stepson) and we get along really well. All of the adults need to put the needs of the children first....and realize that they are influencing these children in a way that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
Hopefully your ex will see the seriousness of the situation and will approach his gf with love and logic and help her see what things need to be done a little differently. You are going to set the tone for further discussions by the way you discuss this with your ex so think out your plan of "attack" carefully and choose your words wisely!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Go to your ex and tell him what your daughter is telling you. See what his take on it is. See what he can do to help the situation. It would be best for you to stay out of it with the gf, but if it comes down to it, you could sit down with gf,ex and your daughter and get all the issues on the table. Good luck.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would speak to her father first right away and see if he can talk to his gf about it. If that doesn't work then i would speak to her directly. I know how you feel, my daughter is younger though she is 9 but her father is married to an immature and insecure woman. She has a son too who is about 11 and I think they've been married for about 3 or 4 years. Anyhow it seems like the older my daughter got the more she picked on her. I didn't think much of it the first couple times but as my daughter kept telling me about it I brought it up to her father. Now I limit the time she spends with them and I have made it known to her dad that I only want him to spend time with my daughter by himself, not with the wife so he tries to work it out when she is at work. I don't know about your situation but I think there is resentment there on her part because my daughter resembles me, and she is his firstborn and only daughter (they have 3 boys together not including her son) so yeah I would talk to her dad and hopefully he will be smart enough to intervene. Hopefully they don't get married!! Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter can't stand her fathers girlfriend, either.
I am a strong believer that unless the couple is married, making it a step-parent, the girlfriend/boyfriend has no business in the parenting of a child.
That being said, have you considered the reason that the girlfriend is so nasty to your daughter? I know that my daughter, who is 12, can be so negative at times! All tweens and teens go thru this stage of defiance, making them difficult to be around at times. I would go to her father and have a talk..maybe a long one over coffee. Explain the problem, see his reaction. He may not even realize it is going on. If he can't put a stop to it (and he probably won't, not wanting to make the girlfriend mad), just tell your daughter to try and ignore the girlfriend. It's easier said than done, of course.
I would not recommend keeping your daughter from her father at all. He has just as much right to her as you do. You are both responsible for parenting her, not the girlfriend. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

being a stepmom myself, i will give you my point of this. How old is the girlfriends son. That does play a role. i am told i am harder on my stepson than on my kids with my husband. But my stepson is 8, and the other kids are 2 and 2 weeks, so there is a HUGE difference in how they need to be treated and what they know. If the son is around your daughters age, than yes there is a problem. What i would do, is encourage your DAUGHTER to talk with her father. She should be able to talk to him on the side with no one around and tell him how she is feeling about things in his house. if he doesn't listen to her at all, THEN i would step in. But you have to teach your daughter to stand up for herself. Even on things she is uncomfortable with.

My stepsons mom tried telling us things that he didn't like about here, but when we talked to him about them, he told us that he didn't have a problem and that his mom lied to us. We have encouraged him to talk to us about problems here. We have told him he can tell his mom as well, but if it's here, we want to know from him, so we can resolve the issue. So now when the mom tells us things, unfortunatly we don't really listen to it at all. We will ask him about things and it's always the opposite of what she tells us. So we have concluded that she is still very angry that I married her ex, and that she is very jealous of my relationship with the son. Since she never had relationships with her step parents she feels her son shouldn't have one with me either.

I don't know what you want to say are the father's responsibility, and not the gf's. In my house, if my husband can do it, so can I. I discipline and talk to my stepson all the time. I have been around since he was 1 though, so he has never known anything different in our house.

If you and the ex are on good terms why not have an adult meeting. Where all of you sit down and discuss everything. I will say that it's not always possible. I wish we could do that with my husband's ex, but that will never happen for us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Have your daughter talk to her dad. If she feels uncomfortable you can talk to him with her present so she can confirm what it is you are telling him. Sometimes 14 year olds can play you for attention and sympathy. Be careful she dosent make you look like the troublemaker when she could just be looking for attention.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

How about calling a family meeting at a neutral place (not your house or his) - perhaps at the mall's food court or something like it- the park - etc. to discuss all the issues at hand and come up with something you all agree on as a whole.

Hope you and your daughter find some common ground with her father and his 'family'.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

to me if the girlfriend has been in his life for 7 years chances are she isn't going anywhere and personally has the same rights as a step mom being she has been in your daughters for so long.

For me being my older kids have both a step mom and dad, I have been there. Some of the times their step mom was in the wrong and most of the time the kids were blowing it out of proportion because they were mad at her same with my husband. The first time my husband actually discipline my third son and stuck with it, he was SO upset and he went back and told my ex and my ex mil that my husband is always really mean to him and is always yelling at him and even called him a little s**t. We don't normally swear in front of the kids so I was floored when I got the calls and was getting yelled at. I talked to my husband and found out that my son was way out of line and yes he sent him to his room for an hour (because he wouldn't calm down for that long) and told him to stop acting like a little s**t. Then I talked to my son. Then my husband and I talked to him then together the three of us talked to his dad and got it all figured out. But this time like alot of other times when they get mad they twist it around and make it worse than what it really was.

Then take my oldest and with him everything he was telling me about his step mom and dad was true on how mean they were to him. My ex and his wife always had a reason for it or how it happened but he swore it was different and my other two sons backed him. Now as sad as it is, he is 14 and hasn't seen or spoke to his dad or step mom in 3 years and they are trying to turn my two boys against him also. Its a mess to say the least.

I would start with talking to her dad. Then the three of you talk together and then if he doesn't talk to his gf and things change then I would get the four of you together even if that means you and your daughter going to their house to do it. Hopefully everything can get straighten out peacefully and things will be good for your daughter again. Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

First your daughter is 14. She has been knowing the "GF" for half of her life. Im sure if the GF had been treating her unfairly, you would have known about it before now. The truth is your daughter has to live by the woman of the house rules. If the GF was really doing something to harm her, she would have told her dad. This is not a matter of responsiblilty, it is a matter of a teenager manipulating her adult parents. If it is that bad for her over there, don't go and she should talk to her dad.



answers from Buffalo on

i'm answering this as a step-mom of an 11 year old. Every situation is different, i don't know if you have first-hand knowlegde of how the stepmom treats her... recently we found out that my step-daughter was telling her mom some things about us and telling us some things about her mom that were not true. They were not big things by any means! but enough for us to get us a little riled up until the truths came out. This is something i would NEVER expect from her... she's always been a wonderful child and has always shown big honesty. So i say that because even though we want to expect nothing but the honest truth from our kids sometimes we get exaggerations or lies!

so my first thought is, your daughter is a teenager and (even if she's an angel at home with you instead of the stereotypical hormonal rollercoaster of a teenage girl) she may be reading into things a lot more than they are in reality with her step-mom. This woman is for all intents & purposes a parent in your daughter's life, even though she's not legally a step-mom. And teenage girls often think life in general is unfair and that the world is against them, that's just the hormones and peer-pressure talking. Step-parents are an easy target to kids. That being said, there may really be some unfair treatment going on and the only way to get to the bottom of it it is talk to your ex. I dont agree that decreasing his visitation, as some have said, is the best course of action!

as far as "when the girlfriends son is not made to follow those rules how do I tell my daughter that she has too?" -- you should tell your daughter that it shouldn't matter what anyone else's actions are, that she should follow rules regardless, no matter where she is. Thats just teaching her to be a responsible adult. unfortunately life isnt fair :(

& I'd say as far as the things that you'd rather his girlfriend stay out of and let the 2 of you handle, you need to mention it to your ex. Both him and his gf may not realize she's overstepping her bounds. I agree that there are many things for mom & dad only, i try to keep as much of the details and decisions between my husband and his ex -- but since it affects my life too, my husband usually involves me (just as his ex's husband is usually involved too).
Hope that helped a little bit! Let us know how things go! Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

What a mess! I would agree with Theresa N.

And I agree that your daughter is old enough to point out the unfair situations that arise in his house. Would you allow her to have him over O. night for dinner, then you can kind of disappear and she can have the discussion with him in her own home which she may perceive as a "safer" environment?

Good luck!



answers from New York on

She is playing you as a typical teen does. Tell her to deal with it as best she can or else talk to her father. Then refuse to discuss it. She will whine and moan and complain until she realizes you wont answer her. Heck my own kids used to whine that I treated the 'others' differently. How come you dont make HIM do that? only me.." whine whine

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