Post # 1
I seriously need some advice! Is there something wrong with me?!?! I’m engaged to marry the man I love next winter. We come from two very different backgrounds but somehow we just fit like a puzzle. We are both Christians, however my background is extremely strict while his is extremely lenient. This leaves the neccessity to talk about everything and compromise all the time. (which we love)…. He has a daughter who just turned two. She is the most precious and adorable child you could ever imagine! And I simply adore children… I always have. So naturally I thought this would be a piece of cake! I mean… I just love this little girl! I do realize however, that she is not my child. I also understand that she will be raised around my children at least half of the time, so I should have some input on the way she is raised…(or at least thats what Im told. I have absolutely no problem with the child. Yet, the idea of being a step mom is literally beginning to torture me! In the last 2 days, there has been alot of tension between my fiance. I’ve noticed that it starts right after something comes up about his daughter (nothing serious or even negative) I get alittle edgy and irritated, and he says I “snap” on him… He just brought my recent behavioral changes to my attention and it made me think. The root of my frustration is stemming from the fact that he has a child. I don’t think its the child so much as it is the idea of the chhilds mother ALWAYS being there. At first I was totally kool with it. But now I’m beginning to re-think things. Ive only been in the room with her once, so I don’t know her very well and I trust my fiance so i was very open to having a very cordial relationship with her. I noticed my change of attitude began to change on the childs birthday. Each parent had individual parties, and they invited eachother to celebrate. However, my fiance didn’t really mention the mother’s party. I just so happened to ask about it and thats when he told me that he was going. He didnt mention at all that I’d be tagging along, so i let it go and didnt mention it at all. Also, I’d made hand made invitations to the party we were having for her and gave him one to give to her mother. This weekend, in his room, I found that he never gave it to her…. Which really makes me wonder why!!?!?!? Also, for her birthday, the mother was dropping the baby off with us and I asked him to talk to her to find out if she could wear the birthday outfit I had handmade for her. He was super hesitant and kept making excuses as to why he didnt want to ask. I let that go as well… later that day, I was told that the mother left the party because she didnt know I’d be there (that part is hear-say)… but I suppose all this is building up and making me wonder about what’s really going on?!? Am I wrong to wonder and question all this? Should i write it all off as coincidence? I was taught not to marry a man with a child, but that is HIGHLY unlikely in this century! The whole idea of being a step-mom is beginning to completely freak me out. How do I deal with this? I want sooo bad to discuss this with my fiance… but I really dont want it to come off the wrong way… I mean i cant just say “Babe… my problem is that you have a child with another woman” ?!?!? Sometimes, I feel like this will be our biggest obstacle!… not the child but the mother. I dunno if its an unnecessary insecurity on my part… or if its a legimate concern… HELP! ANY SUGGESTIONS?!?!?!
Post # 3
🙁 I’m sorry you’re struggling with that. I think you need to sit down and vocalize all of the stuff you wrote here with your Fiance. If you don’t talk to him, it will build it and just get worse since you will start to hold it against him and he may not even realize exactly what you’re upset about.
Post # 4
I’m sensing that it’s not at all that you’re afraid to be a step mom to her, or marry him, or that you have an issue that he has a child with another woman, it’s how he’s HANDLING this relationship with the other woman. They need to kind of figure out what their boundaries are and how to handle each other. And regardless of the fact that you aren’t her biological mother, you SHOULD be involved or at least in the know, of things that go on that involve him and the child’s life. Such as him going to her birthday and you not being invited. And honestly, it’s inappropriate to invite hi to the party and not invite you as well. Being an adult is being able to put things aside and accept other people’s relationships.
Post # 5
I find it very strange that you have no contact at all with the child’s mother, espeically with as young as the child is. My mom/stepmom didn’t really have contact with each other, but I was 10 when she came into the picture.
I’m curious, how long have you been together? The child is just turning 2, so there’s a really short window there. Was he ever with the child’s mother in a romantic relationship or was this just an accident thing?
If you think this is something you’re not prepared to handle, you need to get out of the relationship. It’s not fair to that little girl. It’s not her fault.
You need to sit down and have a major convo with your Fiance to see what the heck is going on. Why isn’t he involving you in anything?
Post # 6
First off, you HAVE to talk to him about this. This is his daughter and arguably the most important person in his life, so you need to be able to discuss it.
The question I would ask him: Are the THREE of you co-parenting or is he co-parenting with her? There is a distinction. It sounds like you thought that the three of you would co-parent, where he is acting like it is the two of them co-parenting. Remember, he may WANT to co-parent with all three of you, but she may be against it, and that is something he has to work out with her mother.
If the three of you are co-parenting, you should be able to call/text/e-mail her on your own when something involves the child. Whether it is to clarify who is picking her up from daycare or inviting her to the birthday party, you should have the ability and feel comfortable calling her mother.
If he (and her mother) want to co-parent alone, then you need to be ok with that before you get married.
Blended families are hard, but you can do it. It just taked A LOT of communication, understanding, and compromise. Don’t lose faith in your relationship.
Post # 7
@Lala1234: I think this line says it all: “I was taught not to marry a man with a child.”
Yes, it is highly unlikley in this century, especially when we hit a certain age. However, I agree with PPs that this has more to do with him fathering a child with a woman other than you than it does with the label “stepmom.” I think that you need to deal with that insecurity before you can deal with your FH and co-parenting this little girl.
You need to know now that co-parnenting her will involve ALL THREE of you (and maybe 4 if she gets remarried). I’ve learned this from experience. I am (unfortunately) in constant contact with my ex and my Darling Husband and they talk, too. It’s a fact of blended families. But, my wonderful Darling Husband is so good with my ex, he’s communicative, receptive and polite. And my ex is supportive of my Darling Husband and I, the kids, etc. It’s really a great situation and we all co-parent very well.
I would hope that you can do that for your soon-to-be stepdaughter. You’ve got to put that idea that “he had a kid with someone else” aside and be there for her as a third parent. And think of how much easier it will be when you, your Darling Husband and his ex all communicate and raise this girl (and hopefully some of your own) the best you all can.
Post # 8
It sounds more like you’re suspicious of his relationship with the child’s mother then anything having to do with the child.
I think it’s a bit odd that he would attend the mom’s party but not invite you along. It’s one thing if you discussed it and decided it would be best if you not go, but to not involve you in that decision I would take major issue with.
Post # 9
@Lala1234: It sounds like your fiance doesn’t yet have a handle on his relationship with his child’s mother. In turn, he doesn’t have a handle on how he wants/needs to navigate YOUR relationship with her. It also seems that he is purposely keeping you apart/not mentioning you to each other to buy himself some time while he figures things out (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here, the not-so-nice version is that he is doing to it to avoid having to figure it out). I think it would be fine for you to verbalize your feelings to him, but do keep in mind that this is likely a very sensitive subject for him and he may not give you satisfactory answers. He may even get defensive. This is a hazard of dating men with children so young. But work with him and give him time. I’d recommend making a list of all the things that are bothering you and work through them one by one. Also, I don’t think you need to have this conversation all at one time. Dumping all your (extremely legitimate!) concerns on him all at once will not speed progress. Bring up one thing now, another thing later and so on. Decide, also, whether this is something that needs to be fully resolved before the wedding or by some other milestone/deadline (for me, I decided that all parties need to be on the exact same page by the time we have our first child).
Post # 10
i agree that your issue is not about being a stepmom, it’s about the relationship you have with you stepdaughter-to-be’s parents, both of them. If you’ve been around long enough to get engaged to the father, why do you not know the mother better? And why would your Fiance not demand to the mother that the invitation to the b-day party extend to you? Is it possible that this is his doing and not hers (the mother)? You need to have a serious conversation with your Fiance and get this cleared up and get on the same page about his daughter and her mother well before you actually go through with a wedding.
Post # 11
I think you need to have more of a relationship with the baby’s mother- as anotehr poster said – this is a young child, not a teenager. Especially if there is no bad blood or reason why you can’t be cordial. My husband will call my ex-husband on occasion if he needs to.
Post # 12
I’m not so sure I think you need to be friends with the mother. But on good terms yes. It’s more about how they handle their relationship and matters concerning their daughter, and how they do or do not involve you in it, especially your husband. It’s not her job to make sure you are comfortable or included, it’s definitely his.
Post # 13
It seems like your partner is still figuring out how to be a co-parent with his daughter’s mom, which makes sense given that they’ve been separated for two-ish years or less (assuming they were in a relationship beforehand). Co-parenting takes a lot of work, compromise and patience. He and his ex have to learn how to do it, and they have to learn to co-parent with you, too. That takes time – how long have you been together?
If you let it, the situation with his daughter’s mom will always be an obstacle, because she’s always going to be in your lives. What, specifically, is upsetting you about her/about their relationship? Talk it out with your partner – he may not realise his behaviour is hurting/frustrating you, he may be trying to ‘protect’ you from the frustration of dealing with complicated parenting issues (because even the best co-parents sometimes have problems), who knows.
Post # 14
@MsJ2theZ: This, 100%
OP, it sounds like you are (quite understandably) taking issue with the fact that your husband seems to be handling this situation with secrecy and without communicating what’s really happening. That is unacceptable and you need to have a serious conversation with him to make sure HE is comfortable with you being stepmom. An actual, all-hands-in coparent. Because from what you’ve described, I’m not so sure he is. If he’s not supportive of including you fully in his daughter’s life (and yes, that includes being honest and open with you about where his ex wife stands with all of this, even if it leads to some difficult conversations between the two or even three of you), then your role as a stepmom will be impossible. He’s not approaching this as though you two are a team. It sounds like he’s trying to shield you from his ex wife, but in doing so he’s shutting you out.
Post # 15
@Lala1234: Is it the idea of becoming a step mother or is it the previous relationship?
If the daughter isn’t yet 2 (or is barely 2) it would seem that the previous relationship isn’t that old and yours is pretty new.
It seems that your feelings have more to do with the Ex than with the daughter.
Post # 16
@Lala1234: Yeah, I think you should get it all out there before you marry him. I am a stepmother, albeit to a teenage horror and there’s a big difference in age but it’s hard enough let alone to have him discussing things with the X behind your back.
I regret my decision every day and the only light at the end of the tunnel is that my step daughter will be 18 in a year and out of the picture for the most part. I might sound cold or insensitive, but you never love step children like you do your own. It just won’t happen.
And I know, I know..I went into it knowing he had a child, but I never imagined it could be this bad!!!!!