How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask proexpert37 Your Own Question

proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
49595756
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
proexpert37 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My boyfriend is a divorced dad with primary custody of his

Resolved Question:

My boyfriend is a divorced dad with primary custody of his 17 year old daughter. I do not have, nor have I ever desired to have children. When we began our relationship, I made honest effort to get to know and include his daughter. The only thing I have to offer the girl is friendship; she has a mother. I do not expect myself to immediately fit into their family dynamic like a puzzle piece, but my input regarding ANY circumstance or decision regarding the girl is met with indifference by my boyfriend (who is otherwise an absolutely wonderful and considerate person). He makes constant excuses for her rude, hateful behavior toward him, his ex-wife, and her maternal grandmother. After approximatley 7 months of cohabitation, my frustration has reached a crescendo. Any suggestions on what a reasonable response on my part would be the next time I am told that we really can't expect the girl to keep her room tidy or clean the bathroom that primarily she uses, because we don't set a perfect example ourselves? He believes that teaching through example is the only type of guideline neccessary and that typical punishments (grounding, losing privileges, etc) are ineffectual. I have never witnessed a situation where a teenager abandoned negative behavior such as screaming at family members, simply because they were spoken kindly to in return, instead of corrected. This is the one major dysfunction in our relationship and is beginning to spill over into other aspects.  I feel that this is lazy, "cop out" parenting on his part and it is decreasing my level of respect for him as well as fueling my resentment toward his daughter.  Never before have I card enough for a significant other to really want to work the situation out.  I can't let this ruin the best relationship I have ever had, but it is eating me alive.  Please, I need feedback!!!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.

Hello my friend. When you have a relationship with another individual, you are entering into relationships with other family members as well. Dealing with a teenager can be very difficult, especially as the girlfriend of her father. It sounds as though you deeply care for your boyfriend. His daughter has come between you and your boyfriend. You are in an awkward position because you are not married to your boyfriend. The daughter probably has spiteful feelings toward you because you are in the position that she probably wishes that her mom was in so that the family could be complete. But that is not the case obviously. You have even stated that you are not going to jump into the family dynamics like a missing puzzle piece which is good. However, for things to get better, then everyone must be open and honest about how they feel. You, your boyfriend, and his daughter must all sit down and have a discussion. Your boyfriend should start the discussion by saying that there is tension in the household and that things need to be resolved. Then your boyfriend can ask your daughter how she feels about you. Let her speak until finished. Then you can explain your feelings but try to not to be too harsh but more respectful. You do not want your boyfriend to feel like you are threatening his daughter. Putting all the feelings out in the open is the best course of action. If everything is kept swept under the rug, nothing will change. Also, do not confront the daughter alone. That would probably make your boyfriend extremely irate.

 

If you do not see any changes in the way things are, then you have a few options:1. Grin and bear the way things are 2. Seek professional counseling to acquire coping strategies in dealing with the situation 3. Wait and see what the daughter does when college approaches...she may go away to school 4. Move into another place but maintain a relationship with your boyfriend 5. Take a break from the relationship completely.

 

 

proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jhollo77/2010-2-6_651_Avatar.jpg Jennifer's Avatar

    Jennifer

    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HE/heidi1107/2012-2-18_15325_Heidi.64x64.jpg Heidi LPC's Avatar

    Heidi LPC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    16
    Licensed Professional Counselor