I Can't seem to find another mom in the same situation as me- but I now you're out there

ARDS - posted on 02/14/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




I recently got remarried to man whom I've loved for over 8 yrs. My two daughters from a previous marriage are very close with their dad. Their step -dad doesn't get a whole lot of attention from them. Him and I decided not to have children for medical and financial reasons. Unfortunately he'll never feel the unconditional love I have for my girls and the girls will never feel the unconditional love for him , like they do their dad. It's a rough situation for everyone and I feel there's nothing I can do to make things better. I have suggested that he try to spend more quality time with the girls so that they can have some fond memories of growing up with not just me, but him too. He always feels like an outsider and complains alot...this is starting to cause us to grow apart :(


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Julia - posted on 10/15/2013




I know this is old but maybe this is still worth posting. My mom married a man who never had children when I was in college. We of course don't have the same bond as if I lived with him as a kid but we domid forge our own relationship over time. I know he sometimes feels he doesn't get enough attention. It isn't personal. Even with a biological dad the relationship with the mom and a daughter is still usually different. Let your husband know that your daughters surely do love him. Their bio dad probably seems more a novelty if they don't live with him so it is like visiting a special uncle. The bond they form with your husband will be different and take time but they will love him and he will need to learn to accept the love in the way it comes not the way he thinks it should be. I know that when I visit my parents and ask my step father to look at something on my car that is one of my ways of loving him and letting him know that his opinion is important. I'm an adult, I could have brought it to a mechanic, but I know he is knowledgeable and it is something we can talk about. Your daughters may be loving your husband in ways he isn't immediately recognizing as love.

Delana - posted on 02/15/2010




I My daughter was 10 when my husband and I got married. (my husband has no children of his own and we do not plan on having any together) My daughters father is very much in her life. I can't say that my new husband and daughter have a father daughter bond but they do have a good relationship.

It is very important for your husband to make an effort... as the other posters have said... he needs to spend quality time with them.... find some kind of common ground. At my house it is the video games. I dont like the games but my husband and daughter do so I get out voted sometimes, and thats ok with me. It is also important for your husband to go to school events so the girls can see that he is interested.

would think if he came into the girls life when the were really young it might be easier for them to bond. If he came into their life when they were older (pre teen / teen) it might be harder to bond

Tah - posted on 02/15/2010




my children are close to their fathers, but, they also love my husband. They call him by his name but, let's say my husband tells my son to do the dishes, he will say my dad wants me to do my chores, i'll be back out later....it is a hard situation, he does need to spend time and get involved and you need to involve him and talk to the children, let certain things be his thing..like homework. if someone needs help with math, say hey, mommy's cooking but "todd" is great with math..etc....it will happen, he needs to be patient...

Sharon - posted on 02/15/2010




Heres the thing... They have a dad. Apparently a pretty good dad. They don't need another dad.

However there is always room for a beloved uncle. My kids love my brother. If my husband were no longer in the picture or if we divorced and their dad couldn't be reached, they would reach out for my brother.

Their uncle is the gamer uncle. The one who takes them to the zoo. He still gives out discipline as an adult in charge and they listen to him. As the uncle he is not allowed to spank but that was never our primary discipline tool anyway.

Start doing things as a family. Trips to the zoo, camping, whatever. Even bio parents aren't necessarily interested in the same things kids are interested in but you have to pay attention and be aware and chime in when you can in order to stay connected to your kids.

i.e. my oldest sons' music. Most of it I like. Some of it is desperately annoying. But I grit my teeth and listen to it, try to pick up some of the lyrics. There can be some thought provoking stuff in there.

Once you find those little ways to connect - it gets a little easier, but really even as the bio parent, I strive to stay connected to my kids. What interests them, what encourages them, etc. You can't sit on your ass and expect unconditional love and connection when you don't work at it.

Like husband & wife relationships. People are rediscovering that you have keep working at those too.

I don't think you guys need counseling, maybe some direction on how to connect with the kids but thats it. Most kids are pretty lovable but again, you have to work at a connection.

if you aren't emotionally outgoing you won't get it back.

Susan - posted on 02/15/2010




First be sure that there's no hidden reason why they aren't taking to your new husband. I'm not supposing that anything is amiss but I know through years of experience of being a Christian counselor that there are times when the new guy does things with the children that he shouldn't. First rule this out. Your children won't want to tell you if this is the case. If that isn't a problem... First I'd really try hard to have a good relationship with their real father... not speaking ill of him etc. because they may feel the need to protect & support him. (wether he deserves it or not) I woldn't let the girls dictate how your family is to function. Take what you have and make the best of it. Don't accept or allow disrespect from yourself or them. I'd strive hard to be there in big personal ways for them. A broken family has unique problems that 'don't go away' and it is hard for children to know just where to place their emotions. Then you & your new husband need to establish what you want your family to be like.. and live it out carefully. Don't give in & don't let their moods / rejection / etc. to dictate the atmosphere of your home life. For a family to function properly you need unity. Everyone has to be out for "the other guy" not self. I advise that you read an excellent book entitled "Shepherding a Childs Heart" by Ted Tripp. I wish you the very best! :)

B - posted on 02/15/2010




Try doing things the girls like together as a family, with him taking the lead & trying to stay positive. If they have a problem calling him Dad, give it some time. I know a gal that feels real close to her step-dad but calls him by his first name. She will say to me
Steve did this or that and it is so fun to do things with Mom & Steve or I stayed at the house while Mom was in the hospital to help Steve out.
It does not have to be entirely unconditional love and still be love. Just let it be & let them grow into it. If they see him treating you and them well, it will happen.
Hope this helps. I got these by watching my son get use to his step Mom - - -
they tried to get him to call her Mom but he refused for a couple or few years, then started to call her Mom. Best of luck and take good care of yourself and see if that
helps - - - sometimes it takes time for change. U did not say how old your gals are that might help in some of the response.

Nikkie - posted on 02/14/2010




Hey there, I am not in your situation but I have been in the place that your husband is in..I had dated a guy that had a daughter from a previous relationship and I can honestly say it wasn't easy at first...it almost seemed like she hated me. But you are absolutely right...he needs to spend more quality time with your daughters to build any type of relationship with them....its only natural they will be a lot closer with their father rather than their step father, but what does he think complaining about it is going to do? Absolutely nothing...he needs to put in the effort to want to spend more time with them to have a good, loving, memorable relationship with them. I can say from experience trying to build a relationship with a child who isnt biologically yours is no easy task because there is always the fear of, "you're not my mother/father, i dont have to listen to you or i dont have to do anything with you. Have him try doing some things they enjoy doing..thats what I did with my ex's daughter...I would watch and see what she had a really good time doing and I would try and do those things with her but put my own spin on it to make it "our thing." And to be frankly honest, if all he wants to do is complain instead of making any effort to spend the QT with your girls, then its not healthy and you shouldnt want him around anyways.

Sonnya - posted on 02/14/2010




Oy. Not an easy situation! We are the adults, it is up to us, not the kids. I have a friend in a similar situation, and the new guy was also having a really rough time with her daughter, and he just kept trying. He went on parenting workshops, and courses, and didn't give up, and today they have peace, if not an ideal relationship. Kids are experts at knowing exactly what is going on below the surface, and it will matter to them that your husband is trying in whatever way he knows how, vs. complaining, feeling left out. When he is clear on what/how he is trying to achieve, THEN spend time doing something, anything, together. You all have to build a relationship. You are right, he will never feel the same way about them that you do, but that's not the point. It's the striving, the genuine attempt to spend time figuring it out, working at it, that matters.

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