Help! My fiancee's 7 year old daughter still sleeps in his bed!!

ChristyJayFebruary 17, 2011

I really need some sound advice! I am getting married in 3 months to an amazing guy! He is a great Dad...however..I really think his parenting with his daughter is questionable at best. His seven year old daughter refuses to sleep in her own bed at night. She throws a fit when I am there on weekends, and her Dad tries to get her to sleep in her own to avoid a lack of sleep, he asks me to sleep in HER bedroom for the night so that his daughter gets the sleep she needs. I have been with my fiancee for a year and a half...and this has not improved..even though he claims he is working on it with her. She also uses the master bathroom. Has all her hair accessories, toothbrush,etc in that bathroom and showers there. I use the bathroom down the hall that my fiance's son uses. I am so worried that I will marry this man and be moving into his daughter's room rather than be able to sleep with my husband and use the master bathroom!! It's a very strange arrangement. He is very doting on her, kissing her on the mouth at times... and she is all over him constantly. It is just weird for me. Will it ever change or should I be reconsidering? His ex wife left him and the kids about 8 months before I started dating him. His kids still see their Mother every other weekend...but she threatens to move out of state all the time, and moved out and divorced my fiancee because she didn't want the responsibilities of being a mother.

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Christy, my off the cuff advice is not to move in with him/marry him until he has moved his daughter into her own orbit.

Otherwise you will be resented.

My DD, who has slept in her own bed pretty much her whole life (except occasionally), still narrows her little eyes a bit that she doesn't get to sleep with me but SF does.

I kiss my dd on the lips at times (I'm her BM) but not often. And not as much as I used to. And little girls are ALL over their daddies usually. In other words, I don't see anything that unusual about what's going on but if you are the one to put a stop to it, you are the one who will be blamed.

He needs to change it in order to restore the parent-child balance (and kids need that, I think) and in order to make a space for you in their lives. If he's not willing to do that, you should not move in.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:26AM
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So dad and his DD share their bed, while you sleep elsewhere, dad and DD share master bedroom while you wash up elsewhere. Sounds like he is already married to his DD (even if not on paper) and you are the mistress. I woudl reconsider for the time being. I certainly would not marry a man who asks me to sleep somewhere else while he sleeps with his DD.

And mind you DD and her dad are very close emotionally and are physically affectionate however they are not sleeping in the same bed and kissing on the mouth, i am pretty sure they are not doing it. My ex is married to his wife not to DD. They all share a bathroom because they only have one bathroom in his house, but that's different.

So i would wait and see, i wouldn't rush.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:59AM
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I agree with Parent of One and Silversword; I fear that your SD will view you as "the other woman" who is taking her place. I'd hold off until his daughter understands that she is a child, and not her Daddy's partner (IMO, he never should have allowed this to happen in the first place).

As for the kissing on the lips thing, I think that may be a cultural thing. I went to a New Year's Eve party as a teenager where most guests were of the same ethnicity, and, with the exception of my date, were strangers to me. I must admit I was a bit freaked out when, at midnight, everyone, men, women and children, proceeded to kiss everyone else, including me, on the lips! Just different from my experiences until then in life was all....

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:07PM
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This is more than territoriality:

This is a *grown man* sleeping with a 7-year-old girl, kissing her on the lips.

I'd get some professional guidance before I set foot into that house again.

I'm sorry.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:18PM
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I agree with Sylviatexas, a man sleeping with a 7 year old girl, daughter or not, is not right. The relationship may not be overtly sexual but it's not normal either. What on earth was Dad thinking allowing things to get to this point?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:36PM
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I totally disagree with Sylvia and Colleen. I slept in the same bed as my father off and on until I was 10. My daughter still sleeps in the same bed as her father off and on and she's 8.

My uncle kisses his family members (grown men and boys and women and girls) on the lips and walks down the street holding hands with his male friends and he is as heterosexual as they come.

Think horses, not zebras.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:15PM
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Thank you all for your advice! I really appreciate it! When I try to talk with my fiance about this subject he gets upset/angry and thinks I am overreacting! He thinks I am implying that there is something "weird" happening when there isn't. Well...I think it is "weird" that his daughter gets treated like the woman of the house at 7!!! I will take all your advice to heart...thank you! :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:15PM
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ps... would this be thought of as weird if it was a mother and daughter or mother and son?

The main thing is that you are uncomfortable with it. I would be too, if I were marrying and moving in to this situation.

It doesn't matter if other people think it's weird or it's fine. What matters is if you can live with it or if it makes you uncomfortable.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:19PM
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"What matters is if you can live with it or if it makes you uncomfortable."

What matters is that this grown man is sleeping with his 7-year-old daughter & kissing her on the lips & getting "upset/angry" (defensive) when his fiancee brings up the subject.

If you have any doubts at all, call a child advocacy center & ask anonymously if it sounds healthy or if it's a red flag.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:33PM
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Thanks again for all the responses ladies! :)
What really weirds me out is that my soon to be SD clearly knows the differences between boys and girls as she has made references to me about this. I think that if she is well aware of this, then snuggling up to your Dad when all he wears to bed is a pair of boxers, is getting to be inappropriate!! It makes me feel creepy!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:39PM
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I agree, if you honestly think something is happening sexually between ANY adult and a child - report it immediately.

I'd get "upset/angry" if someone insinuated I was molesting my child too. That's a really big, serious accusation. Simply sleeping with your young child after a divorce in which their mother "doesn't want to be a mommy anymore" and kissing them on the lips is NOT an indication, in and of itself... of child abuse.

If it were, I'd be locked away. I kiss my DD (8) on the lips. And she sleeps with me sometimes. And, she just came in while I was showering the other day and asked if she could shower too. And I let her. GASP!

She also takes showers with her dad (he wears swim shorts) and just a few weeks ago with her stepdad (also wearing shorts).

It's cultural. When I'd go to my aunt's house we girls couldn't take baths together unless we were all wearing swim suits. And we were all under puberty. Back at home I'd bathe with all my friends, all the way through high school and even now as adults.

I still take showers with my women friends on occasion. The last such instance was at a wedding where it rained and all of us bridesmaids got wet and cold and were like that for hours... when we got back to the resort three of us hopped in the big shower together. And we'd only met that week.

Some people think being naked or being affectionate means being sexual. And it's good to look out for that and be aware. But nudity/affection/closeness does not = abuse.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:49PM
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I am not in any way accusing my fiance of any type of molestation or sexual abuse. This a very devout Christian man who I believe is in many ways trying very hard to make up for his ex wife's shortcomings as a parent and mother. I just think that in order for he and I to have a normal marriage...we cannot have his daughter expecting to sleep in our bed or taking over the master bathroom. I feel she needs to understand that there has to be certain boundaries. I would like to have one space in that house that I can go to for sanctuary and to relax. I would like it to be the bedroom, but as it is now, that will never happen until she grows out of this phase. I know that my fiance has meant well by trying to comfort his daughter by allowing her to sleep with him after the divorce.'s not something that can continue if he truly desires to have a wife.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Christy, if you really feel uncomfortable and you really think something is going on, report it.

I knew that boys have penis' and girls have vaginas and breasts when I was very little but it didn't stop me from climbing on my dad's lap (which is where his penis is!) or my mom's lap and putting my head on her chest. My daughter reaches over and pats my chest sometimes when she's on my lap. She's not stroking my breasts, she's patting her mama. It's a big difference.

Kids don't associate body parts with sexual intercourse unless they have been molested. It's more of an abstract issue.

My DD once looked up at me and said "Grandpa has a REALLY BIG vagina" when she was 3 or so. Turns out she walked in on him. After my initial horror we managed to work out what happened. And she hasn't talked about his BIG one since. LOL.

When you think about it, kids are at crotch level for a good 5-8 years. When I reach down and squeeze my dd her head hits the bottom of my stomach. I remember hugging my dad once (at about 14) and realizing that THERE was his penis. OMG. I nearly died. And then I got over it.

My dad slept just in boxers too. When I was pregnant with my dd and we got booked in a hotel that messed up our reservation and only gave us a king bed, we slept in the same bed together. Me in my nightie, him in his boxers. And we were fine. (although my SM had major issues with it) I don't think about my dad's penis sexually. He's simply a male human.

It's not sexual... unless it is.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 2:00PM
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Sorry, we cross-posted.

My DH likes the bedroom to be "just for us" too. I like to snuggle with DD in our "big bed". So we compromised... she can come in and hang out sometimes and watch movies, or snuggle before bed, but except for the rare occasion she sleeps in her own bed.

Your potential SD will need to see that there are boundaries. Perhaps dad can help jazz up the other bathroom to make it more kid-friendly for her.

Whatever happens I don't think you should start sleeping in the master with dad until she is comfortably moved to her own room or she will blame the shift on you. Why should she have to sleep in a cold alone bed while this other woman is in daddy's big warm bed all snuggly? Jealousy is likely.

If dad is religious you may want to take this issue to his pastor. Perhaps he can come up with a good solution that dad will accept.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 2:05PM
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"Grandpa has a REALLY BIG vagina" LOL! I just can't stop laughing now.

Christy, when I met DH I had a similar thing, in that my SS would come to sleep with DH (or with us) if he had "bad dreams". Not surprisingly, since SS was pretty young at the time, he tended to come in pretty often (several times per week) because what child wouldn't rather sleep snuggled in between Daddy and Step-Mom than alone in his own bed? And I know exactly what you mean about wanting a quiet haven. Our compromise was that SS could come in with his blanket and pillows and sleep on the floor if he had a bad dream - that way he wasn't abandoned or left alone if he truly was frightened, but he was also not getting to be right in between DH and I either, so he wasn't so tempted to, shall we say, exaggerate his "fear". It took a few months of adjustment for all of us, and every once in a while I will still wake up and find SS sleeping on the floor next to us, but that's fine - we don't want him left alone if he is truly fearful of something. But this is something DH is going to have to be really consistent with - if he gives in because he's tired of listening to her scream/complain/whatever, she's just going to do it all the more the next time he tries to have her sleep in her own bed.

Sylvia, BM sleeps with SS every time he's there, and he's nearly nine. We are not happy about it.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 2:31PM
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I think if a grown man is asking his soon-to-be wife to leave their bed so he can sleep with his DD then he clearly is not ready for marriage. He does not have healthy relationship with his child, and is not particularly good parent not helping his child to mature and at the same time using that child as a surrogate partner: always a bad idea.

I myself am very affectionate and have very close relationship with my child but I never saw any purpose in slowing healthy "growing up" process for DD. It sounds very unhealthy. Poor SD is growing up confused.

I certainly would nto blame a child for such behavior, dad is cultivating it and dad is to blame. "I would like it to be the bedroom, but as it is now, that will never happen until she grows out of this phase." She is not in any phase, dad cultivates it.

Many years ago (like 20) I, as mandated reporter, reported something that appeared to be sexual abuse, I had no proof, but I had bad feeling. They investiaged and I know they found nothing too bad. Then later it all ended up horribly, very very bad, and it turns out that i was right. My intuition did not lie. I had other cases, and my intuition never lies.

If a 7-year-old child came up to me today and said "my daddy wants to sleep with me in his bed and asks his fiancee to sleep somewhere else, and then he kisses me on the mouth" I do think I would have to report (or at elast call and ask if it is reportable), might not be sexual, but really bad parenting. Even a child appears to be happy about it, she is only 7, she lives what she knows.

Go with your gut feeling and please do not marry him right now.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 4:47PM
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I just realized that he also has a son, how old is he and if dad also wants his son in bed with him? I think probably not....

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 7:29PM
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This is different BUT DD started sleeping in my bed when we moved out of our family home, she was 4 1/2. I thought. Ok just tonight. Then it was Ok just tonight... I didn't think about it until I moved in with my now husband a few yrs later that OMG DD sleeps with me -- how will we break her. Well she has never slept with us together and there is only one time I can think that DH slept on the couch while both kids slept with me and it was a 'the kids and I are sick' situation. I let DD fall asleep in my bed and then we move her. We make her get up and walk herself to her bed half asleep before we go to bed. But she is so asleep she doesn't make a fuss.
Instead of thinking this is weird or 'what is going on' let's take a different approach. Parenting. He is making up for mom leaving by allowing his daughter to walk all over him. Google: Parenting with Love and Logic. Read the book, attend a seminar. I think dad just needs a little back bone to reinforce his parenting and all will get better.

My DH hates that I let my DD shower in our bathroom. She has her own bathroom decorated just for her although she has to share with her 3 yr old brother. But she likes our master bath because we have a garden tub where she only has a small bathtub/ shower and she says it's too small and scary. (DD is almost 10). I took a shower in there one day and I didn't think it was scary but I was annoyed at how little space I had SO.. Although it annoys DH if the one thing Iet DD do is shower in my huge bathroom then I don't see the problem. Her stuff isn't in there. Her towel hangs on the rack but if that's too much theb DH can go use the other bathroom. Put all her things in her bathroom, decorate it for her but maybe allow her to use the bath or shower in the master so that not everything is being taken away.

Encourage her dad to let her fall asleep in his bed and then he can move her when he goes to bed. If everyone goes to bed at the same time, adjust your schedules so that she goes to bed and then you all go later so she can be moved.

What if you got rid of DDs bed and moved his bed into her room and got the two of you a new bed? Is this the same bed mom slept in? Maybe she feels connected to it. Then dad could lay with her or sit by her until she falls asleep. After a while, he won't have to.

My son is 3 going through some phases -- one is fighting bedtime. We literally have to sit on him and with him until he falls asleep. He gets up sometimes later on but the more consistant we are, the better each day is getting.

If dad isn't willing to get that back bone and tell his daughter he will be sleeping in her own bed... In a few yrs he will have lost complete control of her and she won't respect him or do anything he says. It will only get worse.

I'm not concerned about kissing and cuddling. I wasn't kissed or cuddled as a kid because it was so taboo and I blame my parents for my lack of connection with people on an emotional, intimate, affectionate level. I struggle everyday to make sure I kiss hug and love on my kids because I envy people that it comes so natural to. But it's something I wasn't raised with. I have a friend that hugs everyone that she greets at work each day... I can't do it but she is teaching me to get better at it. It's hard. So affection is wonderful and kiddos need that. I'm not concerned about lip kissing either because I know so many that do it. I personally do not because of my own personal issues but I wish I could and one day I think I wll overcome my personal battle... But I hope what I am instilling in my children is that affection is good, it shows people we care and it's not inappropriate to show the ones you love through kissing and hugging. I'm the one that covers my eyes during love scenes because it makes me so uncomfortable lol I also happen to marry into a very affectionate family and my husband loves to kiss on the kids. He calls it kissy monster and my kids love to do kissy monster back. Like the 'tickle monster' just attaking little kisses all over their cheeks. So affection is good.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 8:46PM
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Thanks for your insights! I appreciate all the help I can get with this. I am not used to little girls as I have two sons of my own that are 12 and 14. I describe myself as a "boy Mom". I love sports, and wearing a baseball hat, and I am not a high maintenance type of girl. I hug my boys everyday and make sure I tell them that I love them. I don't kiss them on the mouth though and don't think I ever did except when they were really little.
My fiance is a very affectionate man and likes to hold hands and hug and kiss. I am just not used to how overly affectionate he can be with his daughter. Maybe because I didn't have that from my Dad when I was younger? I don't know. My fiance's son is 13 and is very happy sleeping in his own room...thankfully :)
I agree with you in that I do believe that my fiance is trying to help his daughter with the sting of her mother leaving the home. I do think she slept in that bed with her mother and her Dad when they were still together. (and YES we do need to get a different bed) I am not happy that I have to move into this house that he shared with his ex. It was not a happy place for him and his kids with his ex. It just has bad vibes and I don't like being in "their" bedroom. It bothers me to come across all her stuff still in the bathroom vanity storage areas and in the walk in closet. Their wedding pictures are still stored in the closet on the shelf! I am finding out that this whole 2nd marriage thing is alot harder for me than I expected. I am trying very hard to be understanding of his situation, but there are just things that need to be addressed before this wedding takes place in May. I have been so upset about all of this! I was actually diagnosed with an ulcer three weeks ago and I have never had any stomach problems before! Wish me luck!!!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 9:48PM
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I kiss my dad on the mouth and I'm 35 now, always have, nothing uncomfortable or weird about it for us. My FDH kisses his mum on the lips, always has done (YUK!:-)hahaha)

How is your relationship with the girl? Do you get along? Does she like you?

I'd seriously consider postponing the wedding till you are happy with the situation.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:15PM
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One of your posts says that you want the daughter to understand that this is inappropriate;
the grown man who's hugging/kissing/sleeping with her *in his boxer shorts* yet, is the one who needs to understand, & *you* need to understand that getting angry when questioned about this "inappropriate" (what a benign word) behavior is a giant red flag & that being a fine Christian doesn't mean that he isn't a pedophile.

Somebody please get this father & daughter to someone who can help her.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:41AM
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affection, kissing and hugging is a great thing, even sleeping in the same bed could be OK.

telling your spouce/future spouce to get out of bed because you'd rather sleeping with your daughter is not OK. it sends wrong message to a child and it clearly send very wrong message to your partner. at the end no one wins.

yabber, you kiss your dad but I really doubt he tells his spouse to leave the bed so you can sleep with him, so ther is a difference. Kissing on the lips is not a big deal but in combination with other factors (child fulfills emotional needs by being a surrogate partner) is not OK.

If DD told me that her dad asks his wife to go sleep somewhere esle so can sleep with DD and then he kisses her on the mouth, i would call and ask him why is he confusing DD making her feel like she is his wife? I think each individual thing by itself is perfectly fine but in combination? sounds unhealthy.

I love my DD with all my heart but I don't send her confusing message that she is my romantic partner. This guy sends confusing messages to a child.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:47AM
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Christy, I had another thought. You say your fiance is a "very devout Christian". That being the case, do you think that part of it may be that he is not comfortable allowing his seven year old daughter to see you sleeping in the same bed as him before you are married, and by asking you to sleep in his daughter's room, that whole issue becomes a moot point?

Oh, and your fiance needs to clean out his house. Wedding pictures and other things he wants to save (for the kids, if nothing else) need to be boxed up or moved to the kids' rooms - but her stuff needs to be out of the bathroom and closet.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Hi Mattie,
Yes..I believe that he isn't overly fond of any of our kids seeing us sleeping together before we are married. However, that being said, when he comes to my house without his children, he doesn't have any problem sleeping with me in my room with my kids here. As far as the kissing on the mouth's just pecks...It's not like he's making out with his daughter or anything.
His daughter does like me. She is happy to see me when I visit. She asks me to play Barbies with her and wants to sit by me at dinner, etc.
I agree with you that he needs to "purge" some of the reminders he has about his first marriage. He also needs to change the garage code. She still has the code and freely comes and goes in that house as she pleases. It drives me crazy!! She still refers to it as "her house too!" even though she voluntarily left her life as wife and mother to chase after other men and cut back on her responsibilities as a mother. She routinely dates much younger men...which is fine, but unfortunately I think her kids have met about 5 different men in the last 18 months.
My fiance's house will have to undergo a complete remodeling job as this woman's taste is everywhere..including the color of the walls. I begged him to sell his house and allow us to start fresh as a family in a new home...but the market is so bad right now...the loss he would take would be too great. What can you do?
Thanks for your input...I appreciate all the different insights. :)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 2:10PM
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He needs to get his life in order before you move in.


POO, I don't think he's kicking her out of bed because he'd rather be sleeping with his daughter. I think it's a little more complicated than that.

In American (Western) culture parents don't sleep with the children. In other cultures they do. It's not inherently wrong to sleep/share a bed with your children.

The problem here (barring any abuse,etc) is that there is no place for you. Every place either has a kid in it or the exwife in it.

Your fiancee should change this if he wants you to be his partner.

If he doesn't change it, he is happy the way things are.

You are the one who will have to decide if that is acceptable to you. My advice is to not marry him until you are comfortable.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 3:22PM
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Now as I see now you are visiting, not living there. It does change the whole picture! Then it is really not your bed or your bathroom. I think i misunderstood thinking that you guys live together and he kicks you out of YOUR bed and YOUR bathroom and replaces you with his DD, now the whole situation appears somewhat different..

If your fiancee rather not sleep with you in front of his kids until you are married, I entirely understand that. I never slept with any men while my daughter (minor) was in the house, certainly not when she was 7!! and I am not even religious. Then he should just be honest about it rather than using his child as an excuse for not sleeping with you. Like i said before... kissing or sleeping is not an issue per se, kicking you out and treating children as surrogate partners is not OK.

It is unacceptable for exwife to come and go as she pleases and have a code and he does not object to it?... I am still convinced that your fiancee is not ready for marriage, he does not have things sorted out, his relationship with his ex and his kids is not healthy. Why is he getting married? You only have 3 months left yet there are so many issues, exwife is still in the picture and so on...I would really take it slower...

I also want to comment that how do you know if she divorced your fiancee because she did not want to be a mother? Plenty of people see their kids only every other week, heck some see them way less yet it would be a stretch to say they don't want to be mothers or fathers.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 5:59PM
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Just one other observation: Your FDH says he's trying to help his daughter deal and that's why he allows this to happen, right? So daughter and her emotions are top priority according to him.

Being engaged to you is probably not because this is so important to his daughter, yet that decision was made anyway wasn't it?

I'm not saying this to use it against him, but it does seem his reasoning is somewhat flawed. He can't use that excuse one minute but put it aside the next.

If he doesn't want to change the current situation I can't see this working out at all.
If he does want to change, it will need time. She needs to go to own bedroom asap, but the daughter will most likely blame you which is really fair enough from the kids' perspective. This is where time comes into it. At least she likes you so that's a good start.

I agree with this as well:
"It is unacceptable for exwife to come and go as she pleases and have a code and he does not object to it?... I am still convinced that your fiancee is not ready for marriage, he does not have things sorted out, his relationship with his ex and his kids is not healthy. Why is he getting married? You only have 3 months left yet there are so many issues, exwife is still in the picture and so on...I would really take it slower..."

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 4:17AM
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Also, in regard to feeling like you're in exes place because she used to live there, sleep in that bed etc..If moving house is not an option then maybe moving rooms and/or furniture might make you feel better. Can bedrooms be swapped? Or can the bed be put against another wall? And that wall be painted? And some new furniture be bought? You get my drift :-)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 4:24AM
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All of the issues described are easily fixable. He has 3 months left yet isn't fixing any of the issues, this is alarming. You cannot marry a new woman when your previous walks in any time and says it is her house and kids sleep in bed.

Actually it takes exactly 2 minutes to change the garage code, we change code once in awhile. I think fiancee not changing the code is somewhat telling. The issue of sleeping in the same bed ex slept in is fixable within 30 minutes, that's how long it took us to go to a bed store and choose a bed that we both liked. It is all easily fixable. He isn't fixing the issues. So far everything he does indicates not being ready. i wonder how long has he been divorced? Possibly not long enough.

I understand that everything takes time like for kids to get over it, for things in the house to be replaced, and for him to get over past marriage. But I don't think it means people should marry before it is all adjusted. I take it you were engaged for awhile if the wedding is in 3 months, yet his ex still refers to the house as hers, walks in, kids sleep in bed and so on. I would expect the issues to be fixed prior to engagement.

In any case I hope OP and her fiancee take more time on fixing the issues. Marrying under the circumstances is a bad idea. Maybe they could also see a professional and receive pre-marital counseling.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:41AM
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Help I have the same problem but it's EVERY weekend and it's MY house and MY bed.
at first it was just saturday night but now his ex has taken to last minute asking my fiance to take his 8 year old daughter on friday night's. the first night she asked to sleep with us he got mad, he was still enjoying our cuddle time. i felt bad cause our relationship was so new i told him she was scared and it was ok. WHAT A MISTAKE! it hasn't stopped since, 3 months. he doesn't even try to put her in her own bed. if i do stay in the bed i usually end up on the couch. the other night i went to sleep in her bed but could not fall asleep. i thought screw this, that is my bed. they were both asleep but i pushed myself in next to him. i don't know what to make of it. i can't think she's afraid. it's a small house her room is literally 10 feet down the hall. we leave a light on in her room, the bathroom light on and both bedroom doors wide open. i've talked to him about this twice and my plan was to just go sleep somewhere else but now i'm thinking he can sleep with her in the little twin bed or if he can't be man enough to stand up to her and lets her come to our bed he can sleep in the middle so i can still be close to him. she does this whenever we are together. if we are sitting on the couch she insists on sitting between us. when we took her to the movies she let us know well in advance she was sitting in the middle. i hate to sound like a spoiled child. i just don't know what i am doing. i never dated a man with an ex wife let alone children so all this is new to me. he doesn't have these things to deal with as my children are grown. i think it is even harder for me because when my son was the same age i had moved in with a man and he was still dealing with his father's and my divorce. he would come to our bed almost every night. my boyfriend at the time would get very angry. i worked really hard to get my son to sleep in his bed through the night even as it broke my heart.of course i wanted to comfort him and make him feel safe.
i feel like i am in a terrible position

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:17PM
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Good grief. Many issues. Get a new bed! Change the garage code yesterday. Make the house yours ASAP. And for crying out loud, move the child into her own space. BEFORE you move in. Dad could go to her room until she falls asleep, not move her after she falls asleep in his bed.
I read the posts that say this is cultural; well, you're in this culture, aren't you? Home is the place children learn boundaries. Don't set the child up for later problems by not teaching proper boundaries. It's not teaching the boys proper boundaries either.

My ex slept with our daughter, who was 5, instead of his bride. I didn't find out until ten years too late what was going on. And it wasn't good. Many "Christian" men molest. Many many.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:27AM
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I wonder how you resolved this issue? Hopefully, things are going well.

I hope you've trusted your gut. Emotional incest can be just as treacherous as physical incest. Not to minimize the horror of physical incest, but in some ways the emotional variety is even more insidious - and can harmfully affect many generations before someone finally decides to heal. The legacy of emotional incest includes addictions, lack of ability to be intimate, divorce, compromised ability to trust, etc.

I'm not suggesting that a child sleeping w/a parent is always incestuous, because it's not. The distinction I make is that when a child is in bed in place of the other spouse, that's a serious problem. And it is a serious problem whether or not it's overtly sexual.

Reality is a good thing. Being a daughter, not a wife to your father, is a good thing. Not moving in before marriage can often be a very wise decision.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:29PM
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Hi, I'm new here and found this website by googling my concern. Ironically ,I'm not the only one with the same situation!! I've been with my fiancé for almost 5yrs. His child will be 7 in April. I have been trying since she was 5 to encourage her to sleep in her own bed in her own room. Her father refuses to enforce this because his daughter sleeps with her mother at home every night. The parents have 50/50 custody, so she is at our home quite often. She refuses to sleep in her room or her bed alone. I've agreed to her sleeping in the living room on an air mattress. She is closer to our room and can see our room from the living room. I've even always been open to her sleeping on our floor in our room, but her mother said she has no business sleeping on the floor because her daughter is not a dog. She was sleeping on the couch, but she said the couch isn't comfortable. So, her dad sleeps with her all night on the air mattress. If he gets up in the middle of the night to sleep in his bed, she'll wake up notice he's not next to her, and she will cry until he comes to her rescue. When I say cry -she throws a tantrum at age 6. If he doesn't go and just allows her to cry she will come to our room 10 times whispering in his ear or yell he's a liar because he said he would fall asleep with her until she falls asleep. This is such an unhealthy situation. I'm so annoyed by looking like I'm the evil step mother. I've explained to him this isn't normal and have tried to talk to my fiancé. He's also said I'm jealous and has said when she ready to sleep alone she will. Just like she gave up sucking on a pacifier when she was 5 on her own. My last advice to him was, "you're her father. You have the rest of your life to be her friend, but limited time to teach her to grow into a mature young lady." Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

This post was edited by MaBe12 on Sat, Nov 8, 14 at 10:42

    Bookmark   November 8, 2014 at 8:50AM
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MaBe12 -- The whole situation would be a deal breaker for me. I don't know what's worse: a wimpy Dad who can't or won't set limits for his kids or the 6 year old who rules the roost.

Fortunately, you aren't married. Leaving the relationship will be much easier in your position versus if you had to dissolve a legal union.

My advice? Get your own place.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2014 at 2:19PM
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>> She refuses to sleep in her room or her bed alone.

She refuses? She's 6, and already has learned how to get the upper hand. That doesn't bode well for the future. She doesn't get a vote in this. There is no "refusing" allowed.

And she had a pacifier until age 5??? Yikes.

I agree with Jewell - deal breaker. This is only one indication of what your future will be like with this guy. Think ahead.

This post was edited by suzieque on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 9:07

    Bookmark   November 10, 2014 at 9:06AM
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