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Krysa
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29 Feb 2016, 9:09 am

In a few weeks time I have an opportunity to go with my daughter to visit my brother and his children. However, my girlfriend, who is not the mother of my daughter and there is tension between them (daughter is 16, so she does tension by default), is working on the days this is possible and is making it clear that to go without her is unacceptably bad mannered. I am high functioning enough to know that I can trip over social conventions, yet can also be naive where somebody is taking advantage of me. Would taking just my daughter really be unacceptably bad manners and, if so, can somebody please explain the social rule I am not understanding?



Ettina
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29 Feb 2016, 9:20 am

No, it wouldn't be bad manners. However, you may want to ask your girlfriend why this bothers her so much. It sounds like it may be bringing up some sort of negative emotion in her which could be important to explore and resolve.



kraftiekortie
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29 Feb 2016, 9:22 am

It depends on the person, really.

Your girlfriend might feel that you should do things as a couple; not taking her with you on the visit might make her feel excluded, and that you don't feel the same commitment as she does as far as "being a couple" is concerned.

Others might understand that they are working that day, and want you to enjoy your time with your daughter. They feel that this doesn't affect the status of the relationship. They don't mind you doing separate things at times. They understand personal autonomy better.



Krysa
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29 Feb 2016, 12:22 pm

Thank you for the replies and thoughtful comments. It is helpful to know that I am not missing something obvious about the situation, although it is equally clear that a wider relationship issue is causing a problem ... being withdrawn when part of a couple has always been a problem and I am only now, since diagnosis, getting an understanding. Awareness of the problem will help communication.



ouroborosUK
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29 Feb 2016, 1:39 pm

I agree with kraftiekortie. I have faced a lot of that kind of things with my girlfriend. The problem is not something obvious you are missing, it is unfortunately context-dependant and person-dependant, and unless we miss some unwritten rules that are specific to that family, I think it likely has more to do with your girlfriend and her relationship with you (and possibly your daughter) than with anything being inherently socially unacceptable.


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FallingDownMan
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29 Feb 2016, 5:27 pm

I would definitely ask your girlfriend why.

This is just an example of context relating to the individual situation. My step mother never let my sister and I do anything alone with our father because she was jealous of his past marriage. It is something that my sister and I still hold grudges against our stepmother for. We don't talk to our father that often because our stepmother still tries to interfere.

I don't know how old your daughter is, but maybe she would enjoy some personal time with her father. And there is nothing socially unacceptable about that.


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I_Am_Titanium
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29 Feb 2016, 8:45 pm

You aren't missing a social rule. It sounds to me like your girlfriend is feeling insecure about something. Try exploring what she may be insecure about - is she concerned you may have fun without her and that makes her afraid you will not "need" her anymore. Obviously not a rational reaction, but it may be something playing on her mind. Another possibility - is there an old girlfriend or love interest close to where you will be visiting and she may be worried you will meet up with her if she isn't with?

Good luck!



izzeme
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01 Mar 2016, 5:14 am

it isn't, going with your daughter to see your brother (and her uncle) is perfectly acceptable, in and of itself.

You did not mention how long you and your new girlfriend are together, but if it is relatively short, this might indeed be some insecurity.
There already is tension between her and your daughter, and missing this bonding event can be quite a big deal to her (the girlfriend).



Krysa
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02 Mar 2016, 3:28 am

Thank you everybody for your comments.

Relationship with my girlfriend is steady, the relationship starting a while after separation from my daughter's mother (which is sorted and moved on from). My daughter was actively hostile to my girlfriend during her worst teen years, although is now polite without being particularly sociable. My daughter prefers time just with me, my girlfriend believes I show too much preference to my daughter, while I feel trapped between their conflicting demands upon me. Both are seemingly NT.

There are also tensions with my girlfriend that I recognise are Aspie based, that need for solitude time, rather than outside challenges to the relationship.

Impression I am forming is that this issue is the tip of an iceberg of underlying tensions.