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Raye - posted on 01/12/2016

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Shawnn, thanks for offering a different viewpoint. Sometimes it sparks a good debate when us regulars don't agree on things.

As a step-mom, I absolutely try to protect the connections my step-kids have with their natural parents and extended families (at great emotional distress to myself, sometimes). Not all step parents do. And I was initially surprised at the amount of affection that my husband shows his kids, because I didn't have anything near that with my dad (and maybe subconsciously believed that men could not show that kind of love to a child). As far as the tickling and the secrets, most likely that's innocent stuff. My step-daughter has told me secrets, and she has them with her dad, too. Sometimes her "secrets" are 'Turtles' or 'Drew stinks' (she's 11) and some things are real secrets. Kids should feel that they can trust their parents and tell them things that are just between them. Many times a step-parent is left out of that, and it can be a little heart-breaking (but normal).

But there is a line where things can go too far and the relationship just gets creepy. After reading your comment, Shawnn, I went back and re-read Cyndy's post. And I agree that some things she may be making a bigger deal of than it warrants. With my husband and his kids/family, I also sometimes feel like I am still an outsider and it seems like the rest of the world knows the family plans before I'm told. It can make you a little (okay, a LOT) frustrated! But I know (in my case) that it's not personal. As I mentioned before, the husband and his kids have been through a lot together. That is something the step-mom can never share, and should not feel threatened or insecure about. But Cyndy's concerns regarding the daughter not having friends because "all she needs is daddy," I think is a bit off kilter. And the daughter's jealousy, even toward the other sister that did share the past trauma, would be another red flag to me that she has not been able to learn or be comfortable with normal social/familial roles and conventions.

With your dad's current spouse coming so late in the game, she definitely shouldn't expect to break family bonds that have been in place for so many years. And maybe Cyndy came too late to form a good bond with her older step-daughter. But she shouldn't be disrespected and told to "shove off" because daddy's girl has come to visit. It's not a competition, and of course he should have some one-on-one time with his daughter, but that doesn't mean that either father or daughter needs to treat the wife/step-mom like a servant that should "know her place" and stay quietly away until they have need of her. She's her husband's chosen partner, and should be given more than a little consideration.

Ok.. stepping off soap box...

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/12/2016

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2015

boy, if people saw the way my Daddy and I are with each other, y'all would have us both in an institution!

Daddy/daughter relationships are (at least in my case, and in most I've seen) very close. I'm 45, and my dad and I are just as close as you describe. He tells me his personal, financial, and business plans before he does his current spouse. He tells me everything. I go to doctor's appointments with him, and I help him take care of things. When I am in town, his spouse understands that she is not welcome! Well...she's welcome, just not welcome to interfere in the 45 year standing relationship I have with my dad. She does not know what we've done or been through in those 45 years, and to presume to intrude upon that is rude. His second wife and I got along great. She understood that there were things she just didn't have any business messing with, and to this day I wish daddy had remained married to her, because she truly was and is a good person who had everyone's best interest at heart.

I've found quite a lot of subsequent wives (Don't worry, Raye, you are NOT INCLUDED in this!!! LOL) seem to not realize that the biological family comes first, always. The status quo doesn't change as far as that goes. Yes, your spouse should commit to you, and yes, you should be included in most things, but when it comes to the biological family, you also need to respect those boundaries.

by all means, if you are witnessing sexually inappropriate behaviour, bring attention to it, but from what you've described so far...not really any alarm signs. Granted, I'm not jealously possessive, but that's because my siblings and I have had the same system for 'sharing' (if you will) our dads time for the last 35 years, and it works for us, and our kids.

Raye - posted on 01/12/2016

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It doesn't sound like a healthy relationship. In a lot of cases, dads try to make up for their kids past emotional turmoil (from divorce, death of close family, etc.) by trying to go easy on them ("haven't they been through enough?"). My husband does more than his fair share of yelling, but then usually lets the kids get away with so much because he feels sorry for them. This might be how it started with your husband's kids. It is not helping them in the long run, exactly for what all you are saying... they don't learn to do for themselves and rely on daddy to make them feel that they're let off the hook of whatever pressures they should have learned how to face.

Having the oldest move in shouldn't have been a problem if he instituted boundaries. Sounds like he didn't. Yes, they shared a loss together. But the parent still needs to be a parent and not try to be their child's best friend. He shouldn't try (even subconsciously) to compete with the ex by trying to make her happier here than there. Long term happiness is not all getting what you want in the moment, but learning how to succeed in life.

You should have more confidence in your gut feelings. If he's telling her of family plans before he tells you, that's a problem. If she's so jealous of any other female spending time with him, that's a problem. Sounds like they need counseling.

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Raye - posted on 01/13/2016

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Weird. I looked at this yesterday because Cyndy had replied, and it showed [deleted account], but the message was still there. Now, her post is gone and the reply is gone. She didn't seem pissed about anything... ?

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