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  1. #1
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    Default Severely aggressive teen can't accept separation

    My partner has 5 children to his ex wife. They've been separated on and off for three years, and eventually completely ended their marriage in November of last year when he was asked to move out cause she didn't want to be married anymore. She had spent a very long time online, up to 20 hours a day chasing other men, and sometimes he would stay home at night so she could go out and meet up with these men who she said were only "friends", however the content of her conversations proved otherwise! Their children witnessed a lot of arguments over this happening, and witnessed their mother kick their father out time after time. My partner is a very very loyal man! Anyway, since he's moved out and met me and is genuinely happy, we have both become victims of his ex wives domination and destructive behaviour which she expresses around her children and encourages them to cause trouble to not accept their fathers life with me. Social media has and is being abused something chronic and she is playing the victim bringing her children into every argument! Three of his children, twin girls aged 9 and a girl aged 11 are rather happy to see me and spend time with their father when I'm there with him. They tell me that their mum wants them not to like me. Their son 17 is constantly very accepting to our faces yet changes once he's around his mother, but their 13 year old daughter goes ballistic!!???? Slamming doors, screaming, swearing, yelling obscenities, refusing to talk, refusing to be near me, she's blaming me for EVERYTHING despite the fact that I had nothing to do with their separation... And I do not react to their mothers abuse of me on social media! This girl won't give me a chance at all! And I'm not sure what to do about it? Apparently their mother also had another partner for a short while and their daughter reacted the same way towards him. I'm not going to leave my partner for any reason, he's a wonderful caring loving man (if not a bit of a glutton for punishment!) but he has had to physically restrain his daughter to stop her from hurting herself during these outbursts, and he has been pushed to the edge with their severity. We are recently engaged, and we would like to live together, their daughter is in counselling and has been for a while but it's not helping at all! I don't like the fact that she makes such a huge deal out of the fact her parents have separated and she's upset over it. My children have been through separation too and have never acted like that!
    I'm trying to be sensitive to this girls needs but I can't even approach her! I think maybe their could be other underlying factors for her and I'd like to help but I'm scared I'll do more harm than good! I have been told by their son that their mum spends all day and night trying to look for another man! This time could be better spent trying to help their children who are clearly in need of some love and support! My partner does what he can when she allows him to see them, they clearly love their dad but it's hard for them to accept me cause their mother is attempting to sabotage our relationship big time and using her kids to do it seems like her only option.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

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    In 7 months this girl has had her Dad move out, meet you and is now engaged to you. That's a very short time and a lot to process. Maybe she needs time just with her Dad to work through his separation from her mother before she gets her head around his new relationship.

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    I don't spend time with their father if he has his children over. Due to this very reason. I too believe she needs time just with her dad. But I left my phone charger there and went to pick it up I was there maybe 5 mins and I live a few towns away. It's not just in her accepting me cause I'm not going to ram myself down her throat! Her mother too has tried seeing another man and she's behaved this way with him as well. There's no evidence that points to her changing her attitude. Yesterday she threatened suicide, her brother too has made an attempt to suicide, and when he did it they were still together! I don't think it has a lot to do with me I think it's been a long time coming!

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    This might sound harsh. You are the grown up. She is a child. Separation is mighty hard on children and different children handle it differently. You don't like how she isn't able to handle the situation? Too bad - your are the adult so you just need to be the bigger person here.

    She needs time to process, you can not force that on her.

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    I think, taking the mother's behaviour out of it, these are huge changes you're talking about. It's common for children to feel resentment of a new partner, and I think particularly when there is an engagement announced in such a short amount of time it would be so difficult to process! I imagine they would be wondering if their father can have loved their mother and the kids at all if he can move on so quickly (in their eyes).

    Just because only one of the children is acting out in such an obvious way doesn't mean that the other children aren't struggling/don't have questions as well. Could your partner take the kids out on their own and do something fun and give them a chance to ask any questions or express their feelings in an open non-judgemental setting?

    Then I would be looking into seeing if there is a counsellor that the 13 year old can access to give her other strategies for expressing her feelings. Has your partner asked her why she is so angry?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dgnfly View Post
    I don't like the fact that she makes such a huge deal out of the fact her parents have separated and she's upset over it. My children have been through separation too and have never acted like that! .
    Hi there, it really sounds like a stressful situation to be in! Hang in there.

    She really sounds like she is grieving. There may not be much that you can do apart from being a calm constant in her life. Could it also be coming from her possibly having a perception (regardless of accuracy) that her parents new partners aren't going to stick around? I reckon it would be unlikely that you could enforce anything to do with behaviour without her blowing up at you - that stuff would be better off coming from your partner. Does your partner spend any quality dad/daughter time with her?

    It is really positive that she is in counselling, that stuff can take a very long time to work (she might have a lot of stuff to unpack and confront). If she is going willingly, then that is a big win.

    Long as you and your partner are a 'team' when it comes to her, ie that he doesn't tolerate her acting out towards you and follows up with her even if it is after the storm has calmed. He could ask her if there is anything she would find useful to burn off the frustration on (ie somewhere she can go outside, a punching bag, go for a bike ride, a wall to throw a ball at as hard as she can etc). Is he able to talk to her counsellor and get some strategies that way too?

    Not much you can do about his ex really though, she is probably jealous of the life that you have, or she might just be a really nasty pastie. I'd be blocking her on social media and having the mindset that all her nasty rants will reflect worse on her as a person than they would on me. If anyone feels the need to tell you what she is saying, just brush it off and say "her opinion means nothing to me"... (Even if you are fuming inside!). Sounds like she might find new focus for her bitterness at some stage anyway.

    Keep on being the bigger person and get yourself some good professional support too if you feel like you need it.

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    Acting out and threatening suicide at age 13 says to me this child has an awful lot going on in her head and is not coping. She needs mental health assistance rather urgently. You are not going to be the person to provide it; she already doesn't trust you (this is not your fault, it sounds as though you're trying to be sensitive to her needs) and this help should come from her parents. They need to try to put aside their spats and focus on her health and work together to get her some treatment. Mediation or counselling also wouldn't go astray to help them learn how to deal with each other as co parents and smooth the transition for the kids. Your role here might be to gently suggest this to your partner- these issues are much bigger than his gripes with his ex. The thing is, sometimes teens who threaten suicide actually do it. I don't mean to sound melodramatic but her life and mental health are on the line here. With the right help, she can certainly be ok, and with empathy as respect from you you may develop a relationship one day (though that's not the main focus right now obviously).
    With regards to his ex wife causing you drama- take the high road where you can. Sometimes people cannot process the end of a relationship, even when they instigated it- I've been in your shoes, years back, and while it was unpleasant and awful, it passed as time went on. Meet any unavoidable interaction with her politely and move on. If she has tantys about it online or IRL she's the one who will look like a goose and it will probably become apparent to her soon enough. That's my advice, anyways.

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    I know full well how to conduct myself around his daughter and at the moment it is to have little yet consistent time in her life non judgementally. I am a mental health advocate yet I'm not sure I can see just how to be of assistance when this girl is so obviously in need of support! She has had some counselling but it's not consistent, her mother once "checked in" at a local counselling service on Facebook I feel to get brownie points from her friends, but I don't think she has attended since? I'm happy to remain an outsider for now, but the longer I do the angrier she is when I do see her for brief periods. Her father has introduced bed time periods and has stipulated that after 9:30 on a school night that she is not to have access to her iPad, she then retaliated and had her mother collect her at 2am! I think it is both parents responsibility to assist and support their children during such a difficult time however their father is the only one attempting too without the mothers participation. No one can MAKE the mother see reason, but there needs to be some intervention cause these kids are suffering!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dgnfly View Post
    I know full well how to conduct myself around his daughter and at the moment it is to have little yet consistent time in her life non judgementally. I am a mental health advocate yet I'm not sure I can see just how to be of assistance when this girl is so obviously in need of support! She has had some counselling but it's not consistent, her mother once "checked in" at a local counselling service on Facebook I feel to get brownie points from her friends, but I don't think she has attended since? I'm happy to remain an outsider for now, but the longer I do the angrier she is when I do see her for brief periods. Her father has introduced bed time periods and has stipulated that after 9:30 on a school night that she is not to have access to her iPad, she then retaliated and had her mother collect her at 2am! I think it is both parents responsibility to assist and support their children during such a difficult time however their father is the only one attempting too without the mothers participation. No one can MAKE the mother see reason, but there needs to be some intervention cause these kids are suffering!
    This is where mediation comes in- at 2 am he shouldn't have let her call her mum to be picked up and mum shouldn't have done so- they effectively overrode him as a parent and took away his authority. Being cranky at dad's rules is not enough of a reason to call mum. Medical emergency or something, sure. But not over an ipad. The kid sounds very unwell and neither parent is helping, from what you say. You can only talk to him about it and leave the ball in his court.

  14. #10
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    It is really unfortunate that you have become the 'meat in the sandwich' so soon after a separation involving 5 children.

    I really believe that it takes years for children to come to terms with separation, and adding a new partner into the mix so soon is unfortunately going to really pour salt into all of the wounds.

    I'm not sure exactly what you personally can do to help this, apart from really stressing to your partner that he needs to make getting the right support a priority for his kids, and for you to continue to keep a low profile while things are slowly sorted out.

    For the children I sincerely feel that it is too much too soon for them.

    ETA - I was 13 when my parents split up, and even without extra partners in the mix, (that didn't happen in my parents case) I was a complete mess and ended up having to see a psychologist.

    I am also a solo Mum of 3 children, so understand what my boys went though during a separation, and the years that followed coming to terms with it.

    Actually, if you get out a few books about grief, you may get more insight into exactly the process these kids are going through, I did that when I split from my partner to understand what I myself was going through, and it helped hugely.

    Oh and another thing, when you are 13 and your parents split up it seems like the end of the world, and you feel like you would do anything to get them back together. You stated they separated a few times before this split, so of course this girl sees you as a huge impediment to her parents getting back together, and is probably going to do ANYTHING she can think of to get rid of you, just as she was so hostile to the boyfriend of her mother, she just wants her parents back together, or at the very least her parents to herself.

    I don't like the fact that she makes such a huge deal out of the fact her parents have separated and she's upset over it.
    You say you are a mental health advocate, but this comment of yours shows me you do not have much of an understanding of this girls situation and feelings at all!!

    I would recommend you get counselling yourself, as support for your situation, and also to perhaps get some professional information and understanding about why this girl is acting the way she is.
    Last edited by MilkingMaid; 22-06-2014 at 12:30.

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