So my partner is currently pregnant with our first, but her third. She has a 12 and 14 year old. 14yo lives with dad, 12yo lives with us.
Recently 12yo has turned into an absolute nightmare in the way that she treats me. She talks to me like I am a piece of s***. Stupid stuff like I have a habit of rolling my tongue over my teeth and she will shout at me to stop, now fair enough it might be annoying but I am not being told what to do by a 12yo, especially when if I ask her to do anything she wont listen. When I do snap then my partner just tells me that I need to curb it in and remember that she is only 12. I am not being funny, if I spoke to anyone like the way she speaks to me when I was 12 then I would have had a slipper wrapped around my head.
Other stupid stuff is like essentially I am going to be a useless dad, which depresses me quite a bit tbh, just by saying like its going to be hilarious watching me change a nappy and I wont have a clue how to do this etc.
She also decided 12 months ago she wanted a dog so me and partner spoke and agreed that we would, as long as she walked it and picked up poo etc. She has walked the dog twice on her own in 12 months and picked its poo up twice as well. It is me who gets up at 6am every morning to take it for a walk, then again at night if we have been at work, me that has to shower her when shes dirty (even tho 12yo will sit there telling me how much she stinks, until I shower her).
I don't know if I am just stressing and over reacting but I am really struggling with the way she treats me and then sucks up to her mum to make me out to be the bad person. I should probably add that I have treat her like a daughter and provided for her for the last 3 years since meeting my partner. Also I have spoken with my partner but tells me that its me that needs to curb my attitude towards her.
I've read your post few times and found it difficult to really advise.. my eldest is coming up to this age and I think there are so many factors to your situation.
Age and puberty
Having a step dad
Not having her own father living with her.
Breakdown in her parents relationship
Plus the usual such as dealing with school, pandemic and the mental health challenges that brings, being cooped up as home due to covid restrictions etc..
I think some of your issues are potentially due to you being a step dad rather than biological father eg dog issue im sure many parents can relate to this. Talking back and general lack of respect again is something many step dads have to deal with and all have their own ways of doing so.
I don't have advice on how you should handle this but out of everything you have said the thing that causes me consternation is how your partner is dealing with things., I'm sure others on here with similar experience will be along to advise but I have a couple of friends who are step dads and they say the key to handle such situations is communication between them and their partners and a solid, supported consistent approach without undermining each other.
They also have the golden rule of avoiding the whole 'he/she isn't your child or you are not their father' and so you don't have the right to.... situation as this just undermines the whole thing and makes the problem worse. Instead they discuss and come to an agreement on the boundaries and communicate these to child and then support and back each other up (at times even if they disagree with each other in front of child they remain united so as to avoid undermining each other and the boundaries agreed)..
Not sure if speaking to your ex is the place to start and if you don't get far consider your relationship.. (ps I never advise along these lines but I'm basing it on what my own friends have said to me)..
Thanks for the reply and I do agree that primarily it is all down to hormones, I am confident of that.
The thing that annoys me with my partner is that her eldest moved to her dads and she gets what she wants and gets her own way there (she does still have a really good relationship with her eldest). I think its like my partner is in fear of the same happening with her youngest and so seems to back her up more and suggest I am in the wrong and should just ignore the fact I am being spoken to like shit.
Today I was nearly brought to tears after my partner again backed her up and told me I just need to let it go. I am struggling.
I have read your post a few times, and I think these are issues that should be resolved by therapy, as a family, and individually. We all need someone to talk to, and professionals can offer clarity.
Your 12 yeR old daughter is hitting puberty. She is also awaiting the arrival of the new baby, that cements the relationship you have with her mother, and there may be insecurities around the new dynamic.
Your partner is pregnant, tired, hormonal, and is trying to balance your needs and her daughters.
Communication is key, you guys need to recalibrate and find some respect. I think professional support is necessary.
Many expectant fathers struggle to find their role, but when the baby arrives it will all fall into,place. You will do just fine, and that new baby will brighten up everyone’s life.
For now, invest sometime trying to bond with your stepdaughter on her terms. Tell her how you feel, and ask for her advice and support.