Step parent issues please help

posted 9 months ago in Family
Post # 16
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

He would be a bad father if he chose you over his daughter. I think it’s beautiful and so special for his daughter that they do this weekly. Stop trying to take such a magical thing away from an 8 year old and start figuring out how to join in on that magic.

Post # 17
7802 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

You are marrying a man with a child/ren, and you are threatened by his relationship with his 8 year old daughter? That’s a serious problem with YOU, not with him. If you don’t want to share, then don’t marry a man with a child. The child should ALWAYS come first.

Daughters need their fathers at that age, and there’s nothing weird about it. Girls who have good relationships with their dads get better grades, are more emotionally resilient and even make more money and have better relationships with men as adults. For you to step in the way of that is unconscionable.

Post # 19
1 posts

I’m going to have to echo what other bees have posted. 

When my fiance and I started dating I was fully aware he had a son and his son would always be his first priority in life and I would honestly be upset if he didn’t put his son first. I think it’s amazing your S/O is able to spend that quality time with his daughter every week.

I don’t think you should be looking into this as deeply as you are and not take it personally. Take that time as a treat yourself day and spoil yourself a little or get involved in the fun! 

Post # 20
790 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
@Stepmom77:  Im sorry to hear about your experiences with losing your father and having a bad step father. 

Do you take the time to do things with your son also? I know I try to spend quality time with my step kid and bio kids.

If you feel she is “running the house” and you cant discuss this and resolve it with your fiance, that is a big problem. I would not move forward with marriage until you work this out. Its not impossible, but it is imperative. Being on the same page as coparents is VERY important

Post # 21
6340 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

View original reply
@Stepmom77:  “With that said, My issues revolve around the fact that when she is here she runs the house. She demands constanst entertainment. When she does something wrong her behavior is swept under the rug. She runs him and she runs the house.”

This is different than what you stated in your OP. If her behavior is out of control and your fiance never disciplines her, that’s another story and that should be discussed. But that’s separate from her wanting to spend some one-on-one time with her father. It sounds like she doesn’t even live with the two of you full-time. 

Post # 22
6297 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Firstly, she will always come first to him. Period. Just like I’m assuming in a dispute with your fiance, your son would always come first. Have you discussed the situation with him rationally? Because you jumped from once a week camp-outs in the basement to a whole slew of issues on how she runs the house when she’s there. 

Honestly bee, this probably isn’t the relationship for you. 

Post # 23
2138 posts
Buzzing bee

Sounds like a really challenging situation. I think your latest post sheds more light on the actual issue, that the Dad doesn’t parent his child and his child is allowed to dictate the entire household, including you and your son. This isn’t a good setup to start a blended family with, it will only create problems down the road when one child is favored over other children and adults in the home. You’re right in thinking boundaries aren’t being established, but it has less to do with the once weekly campout and is likely abundant in many other areas.

Post # 24
4767 posts
Honey bee

I think you’re getting the responses you’re getting because you keep painting this as a problem with the 8 year old child (and also your post was riddled with typos and extremely vague leaving out important information).

She’s running the house

She demanding time

This is a competition with her

And quite frankly it paints you as a petty, jealous woman villainizing a CHILD.

She’s an 8 year old child acting like an 8 year old child.  Wanting to spend time with her dad is normal.  Needing reassurance when your entire world changes is normal.  If you don’t understand normal childhood development, go check out some books from the library.

She’s not running the house.  Her father is failing to establish and enforce boundaries.  She’s not demanding and taking time away from you.  Her father is failing to balance his time in a way that you find satisfying to your relationship.  She isn’t in competition with you.  Her father prioritizes time with his child and you are choosing to view it as a competition rather than the two of you figuring out how to assimmilate and find mutually satisfying ways to be a family together.

This isn’t a child problem.  This is a fiance problem, but your failure to word it that way makes you sound like a petulant jealous child placing blame on an 8 year old girl.

I don’t know when the wedding is, but this sounds like a good time to consider some couples/pre-marital counseling (and possibly family counseling, but I’d start with couples counseling first to work out your differences and your obvious resentment of his child) to work through your different parenting styles and assessing whether or not you truly are compatible and can prioritize your relationship as a couple and your new family dynamic in a way that works for everyone.

Post # 25
7802 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I have to agree that the litany of relationship issues you bring up now are NOT what you said in your OP. Her not being disciplined or “running the house” and your Fiance refusing to discuss it with you are bigger issues. 

Before merging families, the two of you need to decide on discipline, who is allowed to discipline each child and in which ways. You need to discuss your concerns about the daughter not having boundaries, and have reasonable suggestions as to what you believe those boundaries should be.

If the two of you are unable to come to a mutually agreeable situation about discipline, then the relationship has very little chance of working out well in the long run. Your resentment will continue to grow, and the communication between you and your Fiance will continue to break down. Right now this isn’t about an anonymous forum agreeing with you or not; it’s about whether you can solve these issues BEFORE you marry him. 

But as for the camp-outs, those aren’t the issue at all.

Post # 28
2138 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
@Stepmom77:  I get it, I’m a stepmom and have felt like an outsider in my own home at times. The thing about her behavior and him turning a blind eye to it is, shes just an 8 year old acting like an 8 year old. He is the adult here, and needs to parent. If he can’t do that, and you are struggling to be around a duo that are essentially just buddies and not parent/child, then this is not the relationship for you. 

Some parents should not date until they have decided they are ready to do some of the parental hard work involved in establishing a successful blended family. This guy isn’t willing to make that happen, from the sound of it.

Post # 29
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think you’re in the wrong here.  Just because you are marrying this guy doesn’t mean that his child is no longer his top priority in his life and she should be. If you have him 6 nights a week and you’re mad about him sleeping in a tent one night a week, I think you should reexamine your relationship and figure out if you really are happy with this situation.  Would you be happier with someone who doesn’t have kids?  I just don’t think you are ready for marriage if you are competing with a child over time spent with you.

Post # 30
129 posts
Blushing bee

I have an eight year old son, so I looked at this through the lens of being divorced from his dad (which I’m not), and him spending time with his dad and hypothetical new step mom. I think the fact of the matter is at eight years old, some kids do need more attention than others – especially kids of divorce – and your step daughter sounds like one of them. Maybe you aren’t used to it because your son was different, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with being demanding of time and attention at eight years old. As a step mother I think it’s your job to support their bond, not come between it. I also looked at this as if I was the mother, and I would be livid if I found out my ex’s new fiance was trying to manage the relationship between my child and their father. 

If their closeness isn’t working for you, then you might not be cut out to be a step mother, and maybe this relationship isn’t for you. As a step parent, you need to be all-in to the whole relationship, not just the parts that suit you. 

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