(Closed) Should we tell my future stepdaughter we’re engaged?

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@lovelyowl89:  In my opinion, the only way this little girl has a chance of understanding a functional relationship and love is if you guys explain to her (probably over and over again) exactly what is happening, why it is happening, and how she fits into the picture. Good luck!

Post # 4
Member
1077 posts
Bumble bee

I think it would be nice to tell her, she sounds like she is really craving stability and knowing that someone she likes so much will be around would probably be nice for her.

Have you considered asking for split custody or to take complete custody for a while? It sounds like her mom needs some time to sort her life out and this little girl could use some time in a lower stress environment.

Post # 5
Member
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I say tell her. The way she feels about their relationship is obviously very different than the way she feels about yours. She needs the good examples too. There isnt’t a rush to tell her but I see no harm in it either.

Post # 6
Member
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

Why does the mother have custody?

Post # 8
Member
13010 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@hisgoosiegirl:  I agree — can’t her father go to the courts and petition for full custody?  Some of these things you’re detailing sound awful, and a child shouldn’t be put through this.

Post # 9
Member
3265 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

How in the world does her mother still have custody of her?

I think you two should tell her and lead by example of how a loving, stable relationship should actually be. Good luck in the fight for her. It definitely sounds like she needs to be with you two full time.

Post # 10
Member
365 posts
Helper bee

Do you happen to know what kind of language was used around her regarding her mother’s engagement? Do you know if they said “we are engaged” or “we are getting married”, or both, or something else? If you can possibly word it slightly differently, without outright lying about it, that might help avoid unpleasant associations. Focus on the fact that the two of you are making promises to be a family together.

Also, what kind of timeline are you on? If you’re getting married in six months, I think she needs to know, but if it’s a couple years away you might have a little time to try to sort out the custody, etc. before breaking the news. It’d be nice if your news could be more disassociated from everything else going on.

Just focus on the fact that you love each other, and you love her, and make sure she understands that much. I also agree with a PP who said that she might need a model of a good relationship – you don’t want her assuming that your relationship will become abusive just because you got engaged like her mom did, but you also don’t want her growing up thinking that all engagements turn sour, either.

Post # 11
Member
1352 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I would wait until you guys get custody sorted out,  her mom sounds really unstable and what if A tells her and she goes off the deep end? I hope you guys get custody soon, I feel so sad for that little girl πŸ™ I think once you guys get custody make telling her really special between the three of you.

Post # 13
Member
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

@MrsPom:  yeah I think the daughter can handle it just fine….I’m more concerned about the mother finding out. She seems pretty unstable……I know the courts usually side with the mother but this seems like a bad situation for the littler girl.

Post # 14
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Do not tell her that you are engaged if it is a secret. No way she will be able to keep that secret. 

To be honest, at that age I wouldn’t tell her anything until it got to the full planning stage.  Children at her age are very self-referenced (which is normal and healthy for her).  So, what she needs to know is not that you and your SO want to be married some day, but simply whether or not you are going to continue to be a part of her life.  Just saying, “I will always be here for you, I will always love you, I will take care of you,” etc. will do her a world of good. 

(I offer the above suggestion as a former teacher who spent years working with troubled young children).

Post # 15
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

TELL her!!!!

Not only does this solidify your “family” unit- but it shows her that she can trust you to be honest with her. It will also open the door for her to ask questions.

Post # 16
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Dont tell her till near your wedding. A 5 year old does not understand “engaged.” They will understand “getting married.” But since kids are more time oriented, you really do not need to discuss what is happening until a month or two before.

Secondly, REPORT THE MOM. Is A in school? Call up her school and tell them that you are concerned that she may be being abused emotionally (and if you suspect, physically). Do not say who you are, but ask if the teacher or a school psychologist can get involved. They will monitor her development, activities, and emotional stability and make recommendations. This will help your Fiance make any claim to lessening the mom’s custody in the future. And also, it will obviously help A. It should be brought up with a professional no matter what. No child should have to endure that abuse.

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