Grief makes us do all kinds of strange things. But when we are grieving a lost loved one, and begin abandoning everyone in our family, it’s time for something within us to change.
After losing her mother, one teen’s relationship with her father dramatically shifted. Then it became even more of a problem when her father’s new girlfriend began to get in the way, and the teen realized something about her lifestyle needed to change.
The teenage OP (Original Poster) “ThrowRAevlstepmom” wrote a post in the “Relationship Advice” subReddit asking what she should do about the changing dynamic in her home.
The OP explained:
“My dad’s (43) girlfriend is trying to get rid of me (15 [female]).”
Her relationship with her father took an unfortunate turn after her mother passed away.
“My mom passed away 5 years ago and I think of her every day. My dad went through a really bad depression and I had to take care of myself basically.”
But the situation became even more strained with the appearance of a new girlfriend.
“During the Christmas holidays, my dad told me that he had been seeing someone for a while. I noticed that he was happier and I guess I was happy for him.”
“I didn’t want him to be lonely forever but I did feel like my mom was being erased completely. He never wanted to talk about her and he got rid of all pictures with her in them.”
“He said that his gf will be spending Christmas with us and then moving in. I wasn’t happy at all. I don’t even know her but I didn’t say anything.”
Meeting her father’s new girlfriend at Christmas was hardly an idyllic experience.
“I met her on Christmas and usually my dad and I put the star on the tree that day. We would put the star on the tree and watch the grinch. It’s our tradition and we kept it even when we were grieving my mom. It’s the only tradition from when she was with us that we actually kept.”
“When his girlfriend came over he put the star on with her while I was in the bathroom. Also we didn’t watch the grinch because she hates it. I know I sound spoiled and childish but I was so angry. We’ve been doing this my whole life and she just came in and destroyed it.”
“The whole night she didn’t even bother getting to know me at all. She was all over my dad and pretty much ignored me. I told my dad about how upset I was about our tradition and he said I should grow up and that things change.”
The OP had a bad feeling about her father’s new relationship from the beginning.
“I didn’t like her because she gave me a bad feeling so I never got close to her. She complained to my dad about it and he got mad at me for not making her feel welcomed. I felt bad because she makes my dad really happy so I tried being more friendly with her.”
“In front of my dad she was nice to me but when we were alone she ignored me or spoke to me with attitude. She even told me that I was a brat and I make my dad’s life harder.”
But when she tried to share her feelings with her father, he shut her out.
“I told him but he didn’t believe me and yelled at me for trying to sabotage his relationship. He said that I wanted him to die alone and be sad and that I was selfish.”
“I was so shocked because none of it is true. My dad basically treated me like I wasn’t there at all after that. I felt like I did when my mom died, all alone.”
Everything came to a head one night while the OP was staying up late.
“I stayed up really late one night because I just couldn’t sleep and wanted to sneak in a midnight snack. The gf was in the kitchen on facetime so I decided to be nosey and listen.”
“She was talking about my dad and how much she loves him.”
“Then she said that he had ‘this dumb daughter’ and she wondered if it was too late for adoption. Her and her friend laughed at that.”
“She said that I was a little b*tch and she hated me. Her friend then said something about boarding school or military school but I left so I didn’t hear the rest.”
“I was so exhausted from all the crying I did so I actually slept.”
The OP didn’t tell her father what she overheard, but then she wondered what steps she should take.
“I didn’t tell my dad and I don’t even know if I should since he probably won’t believe me. I really miss my mom.”
“I kinda want to go live with my grandparents (mom’s parents) now but I don’t want my dad to think that I’m leaving him.”
“What do I do? Can I even do anything? How do I get my dad to listen to me? Would I be wrong for leaving?”
Fellow Redditors reached out to the OP and gave advice on what they thought the teen should do next, primarily for her own well-being.
One Redditor pointed out it was not the OP’s responsibility to remind her dad of the duties he has as a father.
“I am sorry you are going trough this. But please remember it is not your responsibility to remind your dad of his duties as a dad to you as his daughter. And it is not your responsibility to bend of and beyond to make your relationship work. Your father is the grown up and is responsible to act like one.”
“I am sorry for your loss and I am sorry that it made you grow up way faster than you would have deserved. Your father is grieving and I admire you for wanting him to be happy and trying to make things work in a way that you put his happiness in such a high place!”
“But you deserve happiness as much as he does. And you are not doing something wrong in trying to achieve that. Especially still trying to make your dad happy. (Most grown ups would not be rational as you are trying to be).”
“If you think living with your grand parents might be a (temporary) solution, try talking about it with your grand parents. If they are open to it, speak to your dad about it.”
“Be prepared to tell him how you feel. Maybe prepare something in writing. If you cannot Muster the strength to directly tell him then, there is no shame in just letting him read what you have prepared instead.”
“And now probably the most important part. Do not make this an ultimatum, you or her. Tell him that you want to live at your grand parents for now. That you are happy for him to be happy but that you currently are unable to partake in the current environment and feel very unhappy.”
“Make sure that this does not mean that this necessarily will be the forever arrangement but that it is the arrangement that you currently need. You are still a minor so he as your father has a say in your living situation, so be prepared to make it absolutely clear that this is what you need, but It is not meant as an ultimatum!” – Kaleill
Many Redditors confirmed living with her grandparents was definitely the healthier, happier option.
“I also think you should go stay with your grandparents. Having a peaceful, loving home life is more important than fighting a battle with someone as twisted as your dad’s girlfriend.”
“Dad has already shown to have little faith in what you have told him. He will likely regret this at some point, but he is allowing himself to be manipulated.”
“I don’t think this is her ‘winning’ either. You deserve to be comfortable and happy in your own home. If home doesn’t feel like home anymore, and you have a loving home waiting – go to the home that provides what you need.” – katmeowness88
“You should live with your grandparents. Sadly in part because of his grief has latched on to someone and in doing this has forgotten his responsibilities to you.”
“So yes he has picked her over you. Few things you can do is record how she behaves around you just to show him. That you aren’t out to break them up.”
“I would talk to your grandparents and find out if they are willing to take you. Then bring this up to your dad. You sadly maybe stuck there for a few years more.”
“I do suggest to avoid her. The less contact the better. Do not compete with her for your dads affections. You will lose sadly. Don’t try to stick it to her in anyway. She can make you life worse and in the end your dad favor her.”
“You are in a bad spot and one a feel really bad about. Your father even in his grief and loneliness should have put you first until you were 18 min.” – MajorNut
“I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Unfortunately your dad has blinders on right now and anything you say with either fall on deaf ears or his girlfriend will spin it so she’s the victim.”
“Your dad is making all the wrong moves with introducing a new girlfriend to you aside of picking a bad girlfriend in the first place. This relationship will have to take its course for a while.”
“Don’t feel bad about reaching out to your grandparents and seeing if you can live with them. Your dad is making selfish choices recently and you’re the only one you can rely on to look out for you right now.”
“Let his girlfriend have him. She’ll show her true colors soon enough once they live together day to day. Once she doesn’t have you to be ugly to she’ll take it out on him.” – crunchyp34nut
After receiving all of this thoughtful feedback, the OP made an important decision and updated the “Relationship Advice” subReddit community with another post.
She started off by explaining everything to her maternal grandparents.
“Hi! Since my last post I spoke to my grandparents and told them everything. I asked if I could stay with them if I wanted to and they agreed.”
She also attempted to speak to her father again about the situation, but to no avail.
“I then spoke to my dad again and tried to tell him how I felt and what I had heard. I didn’t want to film or record because I knew that he would be mad at that and wouldn’t listen.”
“He didn’t believe me again and thought that I was jealous of having to share him with someone else. I got upset and told him that I was leaving so he could live happily ever after without the burden of having me around. He looked shocked but didn’t say anything.”
Since leaving for her grandparents’ house, the OP has not heard from her father.
“I had already packed my bags and had brought some things to my grandparents house already. My dad didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day.”
“My grandfather picked me up and I’ve been there since. I haven’t gone home and I haven’t heard from my dad. My grandparents told me that they would handle my dad and that I shouldn’t have to be the one doing it.”
“I’m upset that my dad hasn’t called or texted me once to see if I’m ok.”
But the OP also acknowledges that maybe that’s for the best for now.
“At the same time I’m feeling so much better being with my grandparents. My grandmother is probably the sweetest person ever and my grandfather is a little rough around the edges but he’s really a softie.”
It’s clear the OP’s father experienced a serious amount of grief when his wife died and probably has a lot to sort out. But the Reddit community agrees he should not be taking it out on his daughter.
The teen, at least for the time being, is better off doing what is best for her own well-being, and hopefully their relationship will heal in the future.