Step parent issues please help

posted 9 months ago in Family
Post # 32
Member
532 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

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@Stepmom77:  I think 
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@annabananabee:  is totally right with everything she said and explained. It might be worth taking some time to cool off and come back and read these replies again with a clear head and hopefully you’ll see people are trying to help, even if they don’t agree with your view on things.

Post # 33
Member
9 posts
Newbee

Hi Bee. I would take a solid pause with moving forward with this guy. There clearly are differences between you and your fiance’s parenting styles. Speaking from experience in a very similar dating situation I’ve had, the fact that this guy is not creating boundaries or disciplining his child will eventually affect the rest of the family and things will fall apart. The fact that this guy gets upset when you bring it up, rather than having an adult conversation with you is a huge red flag. I would let him know you are not willing to move forward until you guys are actually on the same page. If he objects, walk away. I promise you that if he doesnt step up and be a better parent now, things will get progressively worse. 
In my previous relationship, my ex was the same way with his daughter. I ignored it for a long time, feeling it wasnt my place to insert myself in his parenting or lack thereof. 5 years later, his daughter was so emboldened by the lack of boundaries, lack of discipline and constant coddling, that she was a totally disrespectful brat that the whole household tiptoed around.

I agree with many others that this is a fiance issue; not necessarily an issue with the child. But for people making you feel like an evil step mom for feeling this way, ignore them. You have a right to feel placed on the sidelines because in many ways, that’s what this man is doing. He’s not creating the boundaries and family structure to ensure your needs (as well as the household’s needs) are met above his daughter’s wants. Best of luck to you. 

Post # 36
Member
1812 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

The campouts are not the problem. The problem is your FH lets the 8 year old run the house and gets defensive when you try to address it. Bad combo. The campout is simply a teeny tiny temporary straw that broke the camel’s back, but there are many other straws and bigger ones. I doubt she’ll want to continue the campouts as she grows older.

You and FH should do counseling for step parenting asap 

 

Post # 37
Member
5699 posts
Bee Keeper

Your children coming first, before your partner, is a wonderful way to get divorced. It’s a terrible way to run a marriage.

Children should NOT be the ones who determine a parent’s actions. I dont think there’s anything wrong with a weekly campouts, but there’s a lot wrong with a child who comes into the house and sets the tone and the rules. 

If you’re set on marrying this man, I’d get to counseling with him right away and discuss your concerns regarding his daughter. I’ve seen what happens when parents ignore poor behavior because they are guilty about having divorced their child’s parent. It’s not pretty – and it wears on everyone in the family.

Post # 38
Member
9 posts
Newbee

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@sunburn:  Thank you for saying this. I think that it goes without saying that the average, decent parent always puts their child’s NEEDS first. What’s happening quite frequently now days is guilty, divorced parents putting their child’s WANTS above their partners needs. Bad move. This disrupts the family structure to where the child believes they’re at the top of the hierarchy. And when this goes unchecked, there’s no hope. 

Post # 39
Member
2294 posts
Buzzing bee

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@Stepmom77:  You have a unique ability to impact your relationship for the better, but only if you can straighten your spine. You are engaged to a man and looking to blend families, so this is a PERFECT time to get into some family counseling. Absolutely insist on doing this before marriage, and if he refuses then end your relationship. However, he’s not likely to refuse if he truly understands this is a deal breaker for you. During family counseling you can discuss together how to blend your families, how parenting will be handled, any issues you guys are having BEFORE you get married. If you just go on and hope for the best it will likely end up in more fights, more frustration, and resentment. 

I totally get you about the issues with the daughter. I agree that it’s a fiance problem, and I also agree it needs to get under control as soon as possible. A weekly camp out is no problem, it’s the refusal to set boundaries. I know someone exactly in this situation and it caused her to almost feel like she hated the child, even though she knew it was his father’s fault. And she didn’t feel that she could say anything, much less parent. It killed her happiness. 

So many people I know complained about issues before marriage and then did nothing. They were afraid to insist on counseling and they just hoped it would get better. Not a single relationship got better, just progressively worse. It was more difficult to get the husband to go to counseling after marriage and they often didn’t go until they were on the brink of divorce. Don’t let that be you and your marriage. 

Post # 40
Member
5699 posts
Bee Keeper

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@justmebee:  Excellent point regarding needs vs wants!

Post # 41
Member
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

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@Stepmom77:  if these are new behavior issues, then it’s possibly stemming from the fact that her father is getting married. Not only that, but getting a new child that will live with him more than she does, in the form of your son. That’s a lot for a child to take in, and so she’s trying to assert dominance, to show herself that her wants still matter to him.

Therapy, both as a family and individually for the child, could be really helpful here.

Post # 43
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

I can honestly say that if my husband and I had raised children together, I am doubtful that our marriage would have survived.  Marriage is hard.  Raising kids is hard.  Blending families is VERY, VERY hard.  For the adults and for the kids.  You’re all in a tricky situation.

You and he need to do whatever it takes to get on the same page and stay on the same page in matters concerning discipline, blending your families, etc.  If that does not happen before you go down the aisle, I believe chances of the marriage succeeding will be low.  Given all you have described, it’s going to be a real challenge.  Best of luck, Bee.  

Post # 44
Member
640 posts
Busy bee

Neither of you are wrong.

He set this dynamic up because it works for him and his daughter and it’s how he wants to parent. That preceeded you and will continue independent of his relationship to you.

This is a fair thing to not want as a partner. Unfortunately he’s the only dad she gets, whereas you can find another partner.

So either you accept it as is or choose another man.

 

Post # 45
Member
640 posts
Busy bee

Also, I couldn’t knowingly marry someone who has a parenting style I disagreed with. That will cause so much unhappiness and stress for everyone involved, most of all the kids.

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