My boyfriend has a 13 yr who is very clingy to him. She’s had instances where she would call her mother while she is at our house and cry when she doesn’t get her way. This, of course, would spark an argument with between her and my boyfriend. Of course, when we first started dating she felt like he was spending too much time with me and my kids. So I felt the need to step back and let him handle that supposedly gain control of the situation. It seems to be there is an issue that arises every couple of months where she gets upset with him about something that involves me and my kids. I can’t stand when she comes around and I can tell he knows how I feel. I’m on the verge of calling it quits. I don’t know what else to do.

The 13-year-old has way too much power and it seems like as long as her needs dominate, they’ll be no stability and your relationship. I’d highly recommend you look for a seasoned marriage and family therapist with a who has experience with blended families. While I realize you are not married, talking with a therapist skilled in this area can let you know what to expect and the ways to navigate the situation.

A blended family takes some finesse to manage. This blog written by PsychCentral’s own Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT has some wonderful suggestions. Chief among these are talking to your boyfriend about his style and what you would do in a particular situation. Understanding the differences in parenting style will go a long way to resolving and establishing an agreement as to how to approach joint parenting.

You’ll also want to be realistic about how your relationship is affected by the challenges of being together. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the situation will get better on its own. It rarely does and acknowledging this can help tremendously in making the necessary adjustments.

The negative feelings you already have are essential to deal with sooner rather than later. These negative feelings toward his daughter will have a tendency to spread to your feelings for your boyfriend and these type of feelings tend to grow arms and legs very rapidly. Getting these issues in front of a marriage and family therapist will be important to do as soon as possible. You can find a therapist in your area by clicking on the “find help” tab at the top of the page or checking out this organization

Finally, you may also want to find ways to learn more about his 13-year-old’s life and find ways to celebrate, show interest, and lean about her world. This, too can go a long way to softening and facilitating the connection.

Getting an expert opinion on the situation with you and your boyfriend where each of you can express your needs is the first step. I don’t think without the help of a professional giving you some guidance that the relationship will have a chance to flourish.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral