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August 1, 2005, 12:29 pm CDT

What a nightmare...

Dear Dr. Phil,

I am a 2yrs. divorced dad with 3 children, 15, 13, 11. I share custody with their mom 50/50. My fiancee is also divorced, approx 4yrs., but apart about 10yrs, and also shares custody with the dad 50/50. My fiancee's daughter is 18 yrs. old, and also hates me. My fiancee and I recently moved in together. The week before we moved in together, father's day weekend, the 18yr. old was kicked out of her dad's house for irreverant behavior. Well, after nearly 3yrs. of tension and the passed several weeks of living together all heck hit the fan one night. I was forcefully explaining to the young lady that my 11yr. old daughter was feeling intimidated by her. She blasted me with the following; " I don't like you because I have no respect for you, never have and never will. You're a f____ing a__hole and a f____ing d__k! " This was said to me in front of 2 of my children, the 13yr. old and the 11yr. old, as well as her 14yr. old brother and her mother, my fiancee. I blasted her back that she had a nerve not respecting me when she hasn't yet even accomplished anything in her young life, not even completing the 11th grade ( she had to repeat her junior year ). Moreover I hollered, how dare she use language like that towards me, and in front of my children. Even my fiancee was getting into it now, but directing her anger at me. My fiancee never said a disapproving word to her daughter. As the yelling continued I said to the daughter then just GO! Again, this was in front of everyone. It was not a pretty sight. Now my ex-wife doesn't want my kids around my fiancee and is threatening to file for full custody. Likewise, my fiancee's ex is threatening to do the same. My kids do still want to see the both of us, but my wife won't allow it, at least for now. Her daughter wants no part of me, while her son wants less contact with me and my family. Prior to the incident, he had a good relationship with my children and an excellent one with me. My fiancee and I owned up to our bad behavior and apologized to all, but the daughter said she wishes I was dead and she'd say the very same things all over again. How do we ever repair this? We love each other, built a new house for us and the kids, and we waited 2 yrs. for her daughter to graduate before moving in together. We don't want to split up, but don't want to lose our kids either.

Please respond. We desperately need your advice.

December 5, 2005, 10:00 am CST

A long overdue follow up...

Hello again, 


Well, you won't believe this, but here goes. I am the gent who wrote about the disrespectful 18yrold daughter of my former fiancee. :( She was the young lady I asked to leave my home back in Jul. After some very hard days my fiancee & I realized we wanted to be together, and that her daughter was just fine with her dad. After some difficult months with dad, the daughter once again wanted to come back to our home. I asked to speak with her 1st to go over things. She said she couldn't do it after all, and went back to dads. After a couple more weeks the subject of her moving back in came up again. Again she and I spoke and it seemed like we figured it out. She came back, and although she was trying a little more, she started ignoring me again, not even saying hello, etc. I began reminding her about cleaning up after herself, shutting off lights, etc, and things got tense in the home once again. I tried giving her a hug and explained how I wasn't picking on her, just asking her to do what I ask of all the other children. Well the tension continued to build until mom & I were starting at each other. Thanksgiving dinner had only my x fiancee & I at the the table, but she started questionling me about whether or not I was happy, faking it, whether or not it was working out, etc. Could I tolerate things as they were? I said I would smile, but I wasn't happy that I couldn't talk to her daughter about my unhappiness. Things started to heat up, try as we may to calm them down. Finally, my X fiancee said to me out of the clear blue sky that her children were returning from their dads, and that if I raised my voice, which up until then I didn't think I did ( I am 6ft5in and I guess I have a booming voice anyway. I don't think I'm loud, but she says I am when I think I'm not anyway back to the story ) that she would call the police on me, take me down & the house with me! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I sat quietly the rest of the evening in total shock!  On Sat she was asking if I wanted her & her daughter to leave, etc, and I stupidly said if I couldn't have a discussion with the daughter perhaps that would be best. I was scared anyway after her threat to call the police. Sat evening she announced to her kids that they were leaving. I didn't even know this as I continued to try to remedy things. Sun morning I went to church, and when I returned she told me what she told her children. I asked if I could speak to her daughter. After being put off for about an hour with 1 excuse after another, getting dressed, getting ready, still not dressed, etc, mom went in a couple of times to talk to the daughter. I assume it was to ask for an audience for me. So, I knocked on the door, opened it and asked if I could come in. The daughter launched into a tirade, ending up with guess what, another threat to call the police. The X talked her out of it, and even took the phone out of her hand. I hadn't done anything to warrant a response like that. She then said she was leaving voluntarily. This was all played out in front of my 3 kids and her brother. Not good! Of course my X was welcome to stay for as long as she liked, I hoped forever, but she told me she decided she would leave too, but only after finding something suitable. The X left for the day and returned that evening. She was talking with me, my 3 kids and playing with the dog. After about an hour she told me her daughter was coming back. I said that was a bad idea and asked why. I was told because that's where mom was and she did't want to go back to her dads. Upon returning to the home I immediately asked her if she had somewhere else to go, and that I didn't think it was a good idea. She lit into me once again, now only my 3 kids were present. She went around the house to ask who had a problem with her, and said it appeared my kids did not, and only I had a problem. When I asked her not to get my children involved she threatened to call the police on me, yet again for the 3rd time I was threatened with the police. Finally, I called the police. I explained that she was being disruptive & unruly in my home and asked that she be removed. Of course her mom decided she would follow. One of the officers was a friend of mine and asked increduously what had happend? When I explained he said if I thought they would actually call the police I did the only thing I could do, because as a man I would usually be removed from the house. Can you envision anything good coming out of this. Or, are we all better off that it's finally come to this and enough is enough. My kids have had it too. 

December 18, 2005, 7:33 am CST

I have an almost exact situation

Quote From: yeages

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3.5 yrs.  He is divorced, 2 kids, daughter 20, son 18.  Me, widowed for 12 yrs, 21 yr old son stilling living at home/fiance & 2 yr old son.  I travel for a living weekly, and the pattern has been that he stays with me Friday nights when I get home from traveling, I stay with him Saturday eve's, then I'm off to the airport again on Sunday afternoon.  His job required he be in Florida a large amount of time from last July, 2004 through May, 2005.  I was able to be with him quite a bit during that time.  During that time, the ex was to be taking care of the kids and instead of keeping them in tact, she allowed them to party at my ex's house 5 straight nights the first week he was the point of major disruption to the neighbors and as a result began an uphill battle between my ex and I.  In addition to this all, the now 20 yr old daughter has decided dad is spending too much time with "HIS OTHER FAMILY" (Meaning me), money on me and not enough on her and has made it her life's goal to break us up and manipulate her father to the point I can't stand it any more.  Both kids are to be at their mother's 4 nights a week and with their father 3 nights.  They are both at dad's house 7 nights a week, except to sleep and he continues to pay the ex the agreed upon child support. The disrespect the daughter shows her father is unbelievable and me and she is only nice to him when she wants something.  My boyfriend REFUSES to discipline the kids and they take total advantage of his generosity.  In the past month, the daughter has stolen the diamond ring my boyfriend bought me (I do now have it back), thrown away the robe & slippers the kids bought me for Christmas last year, taken and hidden the pictures of my boyfriend & I, thrown all the cards I have bought him on the floor, locked me out of the house and then most recently attacked me in the house.  Through all these things, my boyfriend had not once disciplined her or made her repurchase a new robe/slippers, or apologize for any of the things she has done!  I can't stand the daughter's behaviors anymore but I also love this guy and don't want to leave.  I am no so angry and hurt over all the manipulation/and lack of setting boundarries with the kids that we now constantly fight.  I don't know what to do.  I have begun counseling to try and help me, and he has also agreed to go with me and we have been once together, but I am afraid it's too late....He will NEVER set boundaries with the kids and we will never be OK.  Any suggestions????  I have made all the efforts to try and fix things and he does nothing and she outright refuses to take any responsibility for anything.   HELP!!!! 

Except I'm the man and it's my girlfriend, now X fiancee, who has the manipulating daughter. I will tell you as I continue to research and counsel that they are co-dependant and co-enablers. The daughter in my case didn't approve of me, and the X and the dad didn't approve of her boyfriend. The daughter refused to back down, and still sees the boyfriend, but the X cannot see me because the daughter will fly into a rage. The situation is not winnable for either of us. The children will come 1st, because of the guilt the parents have. I have learned so very much from this. Although my X and I had no issues between us, and I mean none, when it came to the daughter I couldn't suggest a thing, say anything, ask her to do anything because it was perceived as if I was picking on  her. But I have 3 of my own, and I didn't ask the young lady to do anything I wouldn't ask my own. Moreover, the X allowed me to ask and expect the same from her son. It was just the daughter who had to be treated in a special way. 


I live in NY, where do you live? Write back, we have a lot to talk about. I'm not saying misery loves company, but at least I have found someone who will understand what I went through, and still go through because the X at times tells me she wants to date me 1 day, then no the next day. I think it's because of her daughter again when she says no. It's absolutely NUTS! 




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