SD turn around

swstudentJuly 9, 2012

HELP!!!!! My future SD and I have always shared a close relationship. Her father (he has custody) and I have been dating for 7 years and the entire family has talked about us getting married. But suddenly when we were about to make an official engagement announcement, SD declared she was fine with us getting married as long as we waited 4-6 more years until she finishes school and moves out. She's 14 now.

Since that time, she will hardly speak to me and won't respond to my text messages. When she does speak, she is disrespectful and very short and doesn't answer unless she absolutely has to. I live in a different state than they do right now because I am finishing my degree so I don't get to see them very often. SD and I have always text back and forth until this. SD tells her father that she doesn't have a problem with me. She just doesn't want me to be her stepmother. She has even threatened to move in with her BM if we do go ahead and get married.

My boyfriend tells me to leave it alone and not to talk to her about it and she will come around. That just seems wrong to me. I am so very hurt.I know he is afraid of losing his daughter but I feel he should stand up to her.

What do I do?

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I dont have much advice for you other than to say it's scenarios like that that have caused my and my GF of 4.5 years to put off living together / marriage until our kids are out of the picture. I have a daughter 14 and a son 11 that I have 50% custody of, she has a son 12 that she has full custody of. We pretty much see each other on the weekends, the kids get along fine, but I can tell if I ever had her and her son move in with us, I can see about a zillion things that could become issues.....we've elected to leave well enough alone for the time being.

My only direct advice would be to understand what an insane age 14 is for a girl....give her space, and don't take these things personally. It most likely has nothing to do with "you".....just where she is in life. But forcing a step-parent situation on her would probably not be a great idea at this point in her life.....

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:36PM
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As usual - mkroopy to the rescue. Couldn't agree more with everything he said. Keep in mind her age. She has never had a problem bc majority of the time it's just her and dad. Marriage would mean, you, dad and somewhere in the big middle of a new life, Her. Is putting it off for 4 years an option? You've been together 7? I would just consider her age and hopefully she'll come around on her own. I do agree with your boyfriend, don't discuss it with her or force it just yet. Let her have some time.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:44PM
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I love them so much. I read in another post that love is a verb. It's something you do and not something you feel. Well I do love them. Until this all happened a couple of months ago, I was an active member of the family. We all talked regularly and I sent presents and made every effort to be there for every moment I could. When she had a problem with her father (as all teens do)I'm the one person she would talk to. She told other people that I'm the person she trusted most in the world. Parenting is hard and being a part of a child's life when you are living 300 hundred miles apart takes extraordinary effort. I've been very willing to put in that effort. I loved putting in that effort and valued my relationship with her. I miss that like crazy.

I forgot to mention that my boyfriend has two younger children so do I wait until they are grown and gone too. That will be at least another 10 years. I'm not sure I'm willing to do that.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:11PM
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I didn't realize you were so far away, but if it means anything, my GF lives 75 miles away, that's why we've only seen each other on weekends for the most part, but she is planning to move up to my town in about a year, once her son graduates 8th grade. But she is going to get her own condo for her and her son, and while financially it would be nice to have her move in with me and have all the money she will be spending on rent/utilities to do stuff, take vacations, etc., this is what we feel will be the best thing for everyone. Her commute will go from about 45 min on the train to about 1.5 hrs on the bus, but hey nothing comes without a price....she is very much looking to get out of NYC and move up to the 'burbs.

Not sure if that's an option for you, just thought I'd throw it out there since we are in a long distance relationship too.....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 8:57AM
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--"My boyfriend tells me to leave it alone and not to talk to her about it and she will come around. That just seems wrong to me. I am so very hurt.I know he is afraid of losing his daughter but I feel he should stand up to her."--

Fourteen can be a difficult age for young teens. Not just in this situation. Sometimes it's like you glance over and and think 'where did THIS kid come from'? I think if the child was in a different lifestyle than my own is had the ability to threatened the old 'Im going to go live with ______ IF', it's be even harder. I'm a longtime married mother and my little one can't move out. She's stuck with me and Dad.

I've noticed changes. Some have been small and slowly have taken and others have come quickly. Yep, she has even tried the silent treatment as imtimadation tactic. Tried the disrespect thing too, but that one only proved to make Dad/I stand our ground firmer. Disrespect is not tolerated, but she can ignore me and pout in her room all she pleases.

In your case it rather sounds like your little one is very use to 'running' her home to suit herself. She's comfortable and you're threatening to rock her world by suggesting to marry Dad and move in. She likes things like they are. I'm going to assume that the other two children re not acting out over a possible marriage. I'll go on to assume it's something to do with the fact they don't view you as a threat to their younger lifestyles.

I'm not too sure you should be taking it so personally. It's not you she dislikes. It's not YOU she's objecting to. It's her father marrying and moving in a wife. Fact is sounds like she has always liked you as a person and a positive person in her life. She just does not want to chance upsets and changes. Does not want a stepmother? LOL. You're a great person, she trusts you and shares her feelings and thoughts with you...oh, until you might get the title 'stepmom' and move in 24/7.

I do admire the way Mykroopy and his lady handle their relationship. He has comitted to his lady, yet they both are mature enough and self confident to realize 'together' in one house is just not the way for them in their situation to go quite yet. It works for them.

So what reasons is this daughter giving her father for her current stand? Surely the daughter is stating some reason, even perhaps a childish/self-centered one in an adults view, as to 'why'.

Is there anything upsetting and/or distasteful to her that perhaps she sees her mother going through that is forming her opinion as to what life with you in the home could mean if it occured? I mean, by this, is Mom remarried, perhaps unhappy, have a poorly picked new partner or something along these lines that could be influencing her opinions? Perhaps one of her friends is unhappy in a stepfamily and/or is experiencing major adjustments? Any of these things could perhaps make her fearful for what changes may be ahead for her herself if Dad and you married and you moved in. Just some things to consider. It seems strange to go from being so close to you to rebelling at the thought of you being stepmom.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 10:20AM
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You asked what reason the child has given for her feelings. It seems ridiculous to me but her reason is that I have rules that she doesn't like. Namely, with my own children, I reserved the right to go through their cell phones and email accounts at any point and without warning. We all understood that this "right" would only be used if there was a real reason and I was afraid they were getting themselves into a dangerous situation. I have only used this twice and both times I was right to be concerned and what I found on the cell phone opened up a dialog between my own daughter and I that prevented the situation from getting worse. I know some parents and children think this is a violation of privacy but I do not. I believe cell phones, iPods, etc are privileges that I pay for therefor I own them.

Now with all that being said, we have explained to the future SD that those were my rules for my children and those are not her father's rules. So I would not go looking through the SD's phone or email accounts because I don't believe that is my place. That is a situation between her and her father. It might also be helpful to know that both my children are grown. And no I don't go through my grown children's cell phones. LOL

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Oh, "rules she does not like"...well, I got to hand it to her that she actually was honest to Dad and gave such a straight answer to him upfront. Some kids may have hedged on that answer as not to 'red flag' their phones/computers as something that just might need a bit more supervision.

So bottomline is in her opinion, you're a great Dad's GF, and even a really great person, but because you expect parental guidance to minors be established along with rules/boundaries be followed in a home you're not move-in stepmom material. You might rock the boat that the daughter is sailing along quite happy on. I hope Dad is taking notes on this issue of the teens view on rules/parental guidelines whether he proceeds to marry you or not.

Yes, I agree that the cell/computer topic are between the parent and the teen and something the parent personally needs to be the one to deal with (otherwise a parentstep becomes that evil stepparent). I also agree you have the correct attitude towards this particular topic --"So I would not go looking through the SD's phone or email accounts because I don't believe that is my place. That is a situation between her and her father."--

With that being said, I have to wonder if perhaps there might be more of a parenting style difference between Dad and you period. What else might you rock her boat over? It might be an interesting exercise for Dad and you to sit down and actually discuss and draw up a 'household rule' list as an experiment test. Just between the two of you and see what you both agree and/or disagree with and which you both are willing to stand united together on. If the worlds are too far apart there is likely little chance of harmony in a potential joined household. If there is just a couple relatively minor issues on list disagreed upon it may just need a bit of tweaking around the edges.

Being this father has three kids under his care all being of ages where they will be a part of this household for perhaps up to the next ten years, I think the above exercise may be helpful before making any major decisions. If you feel the next ten years would be full of resentments, broken rules/boundaries, and little mound hills building up into huge mountains between all the memebers of home then put the marriage/moving in on hold.

If the test fails miserably you might but your gentleman and you are happy as a couple, you could consider something like Mykroopy's arrangement. He has a happy adult relationship and also a happy home. He's wise enough to realize he currently has the best of both worlds at this point in all the people in his life it involves but bringing them together right now would seriously rock all their worlds.

You'll see a lot on here many postings about hardships and unhappy homes in stepfamilies. Some of them really appear to be over the fact that the parent and the new steparent never really had the same ideas and lifestyles to come together and 'parent' a child together in the same home.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:35AM
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I'm afraid that I see trouble in your situation. You're not even close to the alter, and the SD is being disrespectful without correction from her father. It's true that the teen years are difficult. Parents have to be sensitive and keep the lines of communication open. However, if parents don't insist that children treat other people with respect, then the atmosphere soon becomes toxic.

While I sympathize with your SD's concerns, the fact that she is upset is not a license for her to be rude to you. That is simply inexcusable behaviour. Your obligation is to be sensitive and fair with her. Her father's obligation is to ensure that she remains polite, respectful and appreciative of things that you do for her. If he fails to live up to that obligation at this early stage, he'll fail as a husband to you, and a father to her. That's not worth waiting another 10 years for.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:06PM
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