Newly engaged w/a soon to be step daughter


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  • #928749 Reply

    Anon

    So I’m newly engaged and I’m excited but nervous at the same time. My fiancé is great and I really like his daughter. Just wondering if I’m overthinking something…I’ve noticed signs that he either treats his almost 9 year old daughter like an infant or like she’s his wife. Is this possible? I feel guilty for thinking this way and would like to know if anyone has either heard of or personally experienced this? I’m wondering the best way to bring this to light.

    #928754 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Can you give examples of what you mean? Its hard to comment without more details.

    Also, how long have you been together? What’s your relationship with his daughter like?

    #928757 Reply

    Anon

    Example 1: we’d recently looked at a new construction, home we want to purchase…just looking and haven’t made any decisions as of yet. After we got engaged my fiancé mentions taking his daughter to see the house so that she feels included. Once he said he told her we were engaged and she said they should buy a house and I could have my own room… I first told him i didn’t think that she should be involved in the home this early on. Later after we’ve made a decision he should tell her something like “Daddy and Miss Nina have built a house and I want you to see it. The fun part is you can pick any room in the house and it can be your new bedroom”.

    #928758 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I don’t see any harm in letting his daughter see the house? She’s not involved in the sense that she’s making any decisions. He’s just showing her. My bf has a son that’s exactly her age. I wouldn’t see anything wrong with my bf letting his son see a house he was considering buying, just to make him feel excited and included.

    Is she an only child? I’m sure she’s very attached to him & he doesn’t want there to be any jealousy towards you on her part.

    Finally, I have to ask….does his daughter call you Miss *First Name*? That seems so formal & removed. You’re going to be her stepmother– that’s family. I couldn’t imagine my bf’s son calling me Miss Liz. I’m just Liz. How is your relationship with her?

    #928759 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I’ll add– I think the father/daughter dynamic is very different from the father/son dynamic. If my bf had a daughter, things might be different for me. As it is, his son adores me & often competes with my bf for my attention (lol).

    Your bf probably has to navigate things delicately because he has a daughter & doesn’t want her to feel she’s being replaced in his heart by another female, if that makes sense?

    #928760 Reply

    Anon

    That makes sense. I just believed based on what I mentioned with what his daughter said…It would lead to her being more confused. I told him Ms. Nina is fine for now. Of course that will change later I’m sure. I don’t know her that well yet and want to make sure I’m not over stepping any boundaries. She already has a mother and a father.

    He also told me he was playing some sort of game with her one day in which he revealed his salary to her. I didn’t comment but definitely thought to myself that’s isn’t a discussion you should be having with an 8 year old.

    #928761 Reply

    Anon

    I think getting her involved so early on before he and I have even had the chance to decided whether we want to move forward with purchasing the house is a bit premature. We should decide first together as adults soon to be husband and wife and daughter can choose whatever room she wants as her own. This would be our house together and that needs to be made clear.

    #928762 Reply

    Tallspicy

    Well, you sound pretty nit picky and judgy. Let go a little, it will serve you better.

    #928764 Reply

    Maddie

    If there’s no enmeshment or codependency going on between them (which both have scientific definitions), it should be fine. But if you have drastically different parenting styles, boundaries, or expectations, it’s good to discuss those things prior to actually getting married. Aside from that, you can’t and shouldn’t try to control his relationship with his daughter, but you should try to get to know her better and become another adult she can trust (unless you’ve already together discussed and agreed upon a different way that you want to integrate into her life).

    #928766 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    You don’t know her well, but you’re marrying her father? How long have you been dating your fiance?

    Your relationship with her is (or should be) separate from the fact that she has a mother and father. Having two loving parents doesn’t preclude you having a warm, loving relationship with her. My bf’s son has two excellent parents who love him very much and nevertheless, he and I are extremely close, and I love him too.

    I take it you don’t have children? Just trying to present a different way of thinking about your future stepdaughter. She’s still a child, and children can never have too many loving adults in their lives.

    #928771 Reply

    Anon

    I’ve know her father for over twenty years, since we were kids. We grew up together dated through college. Lived our lives and re-connectied. It’s been a little over a year since reconnecting and I met his daughter for the first time maybe two months ago. Now I’m spending more time with her. We have a good relationship to start, no issues there at all. I really like her. I just feel it’s best to get certain things out in the open and discuss them before getting out of hand and it’s too late. I don’t mean to sound so nit picky.

    #928772 Reply

    Anon

    I told him early on what role I’d be comfortable playing as a step mom. I’d support him and be more of an advisor to his daughter.

    #928773 Reply

    Anon

    He was receptive and is fine with that.

    #928774 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    In that case, I guess my advice would be the same as Maddie’s. You and he should agree on what your role will be, but beyond that, you can’t control his relationship with his daughter. It doesn’t sound to me like anything worrying is happening. Even him discussing his salary with her–while I don’t think it’s something I would do– isn’t worrisome to me. You’ll just have to accept their relationship as it is.

    I agree it’s good to get some things out in the open, but it’s also good to know when to let things be. I don’t mean any offense by this, but it doesn’t sound to me like you have kids, so it may be hard for you to understand their relationship. There are all kinds of parenting styles and personalities out there.

    #928776 Reply

    Tallspicy

    The way I read what you said, your level of thoughts on this are more of second mother than step mother. It is reasonable for a parent to bring their child to see the houses, and for you to be so up in arms means that you need clarity on the difference. You need to remember, that child comes before you every time, when they are a minor. It changes as they get more independent, but they should be the focus (with boundaries of course).

    #928777 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    100% agree with Tallspicy. Your role in this situation isn’t to judge your fiance or try to change his parenting styles/decisions. It’s to support your fiance as a father and develop a warm, loving relationship with his daughter. Not to parent her, but to be a positive, stable adult presence. If he asks for advice or wants to discuss something, fine. But otherwise you basically have to butt out of his parenting decisions (unless they’re truly detrimental to the child, which this situation is not).

    #928778 Reply

    Anon

    I agree the child will always come first but that doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean his 8 year old daughter gets a say over a house he and I are purchasing with my name attached. If this is the case, he should buy a house for just he and his daughter. That is where I was getting at with that particular scenario. As far as kids, I do understand. Just because someone doesn’t have children doesn’t change your views or what’s right or wrong as he’s mentioned to me when he asks me for advice. Most of the time, I keep my mouth out of things such as him telling me he told his daughter his salary. I never commented but of course had an opinion that he involves her too much I. Adult topics.

    #928779 Reply

    Anon

    That’s just it…I’m not trying to get involved in his parenting style. That’s not the issue. It’s when something affects me such as the house situation. I thought that was when boundaries needed to me in place.

    #928780 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I thought he was just showing her the house? The scenario you posted didn’t make it sound like she had any say over the purchase. I thought he was just showing her so she could feel “included”?

    If you think he involves her too much in adult topics– there’s really nothing you can do. This is the way he parents her. I suggest thinking hard about whether this will be an ongoing issue in your future marriage. I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer. Just think if this is something you can live with.

    #928785 Reply

    Andrea

    You seem jealous of his daughter, and are creating a rivalry to feel more in control.

    #928787 Reply

    Anon

    Andrea: That is definitely not the case, I’m really not sure where I’m here you’d gather that impression. It’s probably best I stop posting, thank you for your comments.

    #928788 Reply

    Anon

    Andrea: That is definitely not the case at all. I’m really not sure how you came to that conclusion. I’m going to stop here because things I’m posting are getting misinterpreted and your comment sounds ugly.

    #928790 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Honestly this is why I think it’s important to get to know and develop a relationship with a partner’s child well BEFORE any talk of engagement or marriage. You’re already engaged but you only started getting to know his daughter a couple months ago, and now you’re finding you’re uncomfortable with his dynamic with her. This is not going to change. If anything as she gets older, her involvement in his “adult issues” will only get more prominent. I suspect he’ll ask and value her opinion about things, etc.

    I’m not saying this is right or wrong, it’s just how it is. If you don’t think you can live with it, then you should think about whether creating a family with this man and his daughter is something that will make you happy. Again, I’m not trying to be harsh, I’m speaking as a parent who is in long term relationship with a man who is also a parent. The parent/child dynamic is going to be a huge factor in your relationship. You will have to make peace with this if you want harmony in your marriage.

    #928791 Reply

    Maddie

    If you don’t like our advice, that’s good, because you should be talking to him about it not to us. It sounds like you do have issues within the list I previously posted: parenting styles, boundaries, or expectations. Your complaint is really that he’s crossed a boundary of yours, so tell him what you’re uncomfortable with and why. If you can’t trust that you can talk to your partner about such things and resolve them together, why be with him? We here may not agree with your boundary but it’s your boundary and therefore valid, so trust yourself and see if you and him can work it out.

    #928796 Reply

    Anon

    Andrea: That is a very ugly and narrow minded way of thinking. I’m not sure where you came up with that feeling. That is ridiculous.

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