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Dilemma: my boyfriend's daughter is being very rude to me

Katharine Whitehorn / 25 January 2016

A reader writes to agony aunt Katharine Whitehorn for advice concerning her boyfriend's rude daughter.

Unhappy young woman
A reader has noticed that her boyfriend's daughter has become hostile

Dilemma: partner's rude daughter

I am a divorcée and have been seeing a man four years older than me who is a widower. 

We each have a daughter, and his daughter has been very friendly to me, though we have only met a few times. A month ago I introduced him to my daughter, they go along well and I saw myself enjoying a real family again; but recently his daughter has completely changed, saying disparaging things about me to him and turning down invitations. 

I wonder whether I should tackle her about her change in behaviour, or whether it may be something in her own life I don't know about.

Katharine Whitehorn's advice

There may be something in her life, I've no means of knowing; but if she's being unfriendly towards you I doubt if there'd be much point in you "tackling" her. 

It's more likely that it was meeting your daughter – a potential rival for her father's affections – which changed her attitude to you, and I'd say it was up to her father to reassure her lovingly that nothing will ever replace her in his heart. 

Men can often be reluctant to open discussions about feelings, but in a situation like this I think you have to persuade him it's really vital for all your sakes that he wins his daughter round.

Read our ten tips for new step parents.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.