My 14 year old daughter moved long distance to live with her father last July. I've always worked hard in supporting her and what she wants in life rather than what I want for her in life. However, after making what I thought was the most selfless and mature decision (let her live with her dad who I despise but she loves) there have been several problems that have come up....
I decided last month to move out of the apartment her and I lived in together to so that I could be close to work, reduce rent, rid myself of an apartment that I disliked anyway and move in with my long term partner. I made this decision well after she'd confirmed she has no plans to move back here. Her staying there for the long term is something I am o.k. with if it's what makes her teen years amazing. She'll always have a bedroom to use when she comes to visit. Her response has been very dramatic and she is very opposed to me moving to a new location that is not close to her friends when she comes home. She's so upset she may not even come for the summer break. From my perspective, she is expecting me to live my life like she is still living here full time and I don't think that is fair to expect. How am I going to navigate being sensitive to her position, being firm in mine, doing what is right for me and being a good parent through it all? She's become very upset about issues like what I should do with her bed (that is much to small fo her and not suitable for my new space). How can I do this without her holding everything possible against me?
She rarely, if ever, returns my emails or texts and we have scheduled Saturday phone calls which she sometimes blows off to go to friends places (understandable....) but all this time she's been telling her father that I have made no attempt at all to contact her and he has been sending me very very mean emails accusing me of being a horrible parent and saying how glad he is to know that his daughter is finally seeing how horrible I really am (I dont reply to these portions of corrospondance...). I don't do the "your dad said, tell him I said...., why did you tell him...." stuff. So, how am I supposed to react to that? for the first 3 months she wanted me to give her space, complained to her father that I was ignoring her and my life was more important, so I've attempted to increase communication and she neglects to reply but still tells her father that I never pay any attention to her?
I have tried to tell her father before that maybe her words on incongruent with the facts, but he is quite happy to take whatever side exists that is against mine...
STRESSED! THERE IS NO BOOK FOR THIS STUFF!
ps... i was a very young mom, i was 14 when I had her. While I despise her father I never talk poorly about him and like her step-mother just fine. I am not the terrible parent he thinks I am, so I'm pretty sure he isn't the ignorant insecure ******* I think he is.. no matter how convicted I am about it.
If you like the stepmom, possibly you could call her rather than your husband and clarify that you are not ignoring your daughter.
As for moving, I can see why you want to do it, but she feels obviously like you are kicking her out. The teens are like that. She might not like her bed but she doesn't think you have the right to dump it, she might not like her life at home with you but she wants to be the one to turn from it, not effectively to be kicked out. Especially it's not a good time for you to be moving in with your boyfriend, I wish you had waited until your daughter was 18. Before, no matter how happy or sad she was, it was "you and her" first. But now, you're showing by your actions that it's "you and him" first, with her having to be a "guest" if she comes. 14 is a tender age to be kicked out as primary concern of one's mother and usurped by someone else. She probably feels homeless, at your end.
Good luck, I don't see you fixing this easily; it's obvious that you won't be moving back to the same apartment and waiting for her. But maybe you could have spoken to her in advance of making such changes.
She's still such a child - she wants to be the center of her mother's life. Girls act like they don't want that, but they do want to think that they are the most important person in their mom's life. She probably sees her friends have mothers who are at everything, who would race to the school to bring lunch if she needed it, who know their high school class schedules and all the teacher's names and all the names of her friends, etc., and who won't change their rooms even when they go to college.
She wants that. Since she can't have that, she's angry and hurt.
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