Stepdaughter Weekend Visitation

marypoppinsOctober 22, 2012

Here is my problem. My fiance has a 17 y.o. daughter. The living arrangement is that she stays with her mother through the week, then spends every other weekend with her father. (Her father is off only every other weekend). Her father and I are in a long distance relationship so I see him only once a month. My problem is this. I would be delighted to spend time with her, and include her in our plans except as a teenager she never knows her plans until the last minute. Never in advance. Even then her plans change or involve more people (like her boyfriend) Her father and I cannot make any plans until she tells us what she is doing. I must confess that I feel resentful of being held hostage by a capricious teenager.

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You're not being held hostage by a capricious teen-ager;
you're just involved with a guy who hasn't placed any structure on his time with his daughter.



A crucial thing to remember here, I think, is that if you involve yourself or put yourself in the middle, both of them are likely to at least life an eyebrow & maybe feel some resentment.

Her father can impose some structure.


"Daughter, Friday nights & Saturday until, say, 6 PM are daddy/daughter time;
we'll go to the park/mall/movies/restaurant/ball game/ballet/etc as arranged in advance or as the spirit moves us.

"After that, you can go with marypoppins & me to the park/mall/etc if you like, or you can go on your date or whatever else you have planned."

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Mary, can you not arrange your weekend when 17 yr old is not visiting? Teens are teens. She won't be around much longer. Are you sure your resentment isn't really aimed toward your fianc� ?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Sylvia - I know it sounds very easy, setting boundaries with a teen girl that you have partial custody of. But let me tell you, as a man in the middle of this exact situation, with a 15 yr old who is not only going thru normal "teen angst", but one that we have had in counseling for years with limited results for her behavior and anxieties, it is not that simple.

"..we'll go to the park/mall/movies/restaurant/ball game/ballet/etc"

I could just imagine the look on my teen's face if I suggest that just her and I spend an afternoon at the mall, or a park....or anywhere actually. While I would love nothing more that do spend one-on-one time with her, I would literally have to physically drag her there to do so. She'd probably rather have needles stuck in her eyes.

Not saying the dad cant do some things different here, but just trying to point out that things are always SOOO much simpler when looking from the outside when dealing with kids. And it is compounding a million times when the child has "options" on where to stay...if I don't like something she's doing and punish her, she will just go stay at her moms for a while, and while it sounds as simple as just getting her mom on board with whatever my punishment is, trust me that's not that easy either.....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:47AM
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To LaVern. My fiance is only off every other weekend so the only weekends he is off his daughter visits. I once suggested that since we only see each other once a month maybe he could skip a week end with her. That did not go over well. The weekend is coming up so I will just have to buck it up and go with the flow. I am having a hotflash thinking about it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:15AM
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--"I once suggested that since we only see each other once a month maybe he could skip a week end with her. That did not go over well."--

Good for Dad. Why should the daughter be asked to forego her visit with Dad because the GF thinks GF should have 'equal' visitations rights? Not the daughter's fault you live long distance and can only 'visit' one wkd a month. Not the daughter's fault Dad works 2 wkds a month.

It's not going to be long before this young lady is out and on her own (whether off to university or busy starting her adulthood with employment, her own family, blah blah)...Dad has chosen to make the best of the time he has left. It's his choice to be flexible and have ease in his weekends with his daughter...laying resentment on the daughter is misplaced resentment on your part.

Sure it's frustrating the *your* guy is only available x amount of time. Sure it's annoying that plans get put on hold BUT it has been Dad's choice to maintain this easy going manner of his weekends he is off.

With that said, there's no reason why Dad can't say to daughter something like 'Mary and I are having dinner at 7pm Saturday evening and you and _____ (her BF) are welcome to join us'. If she announces 'thanks but no thanks, BF and I are going to a movie' no need for Dad to cancel dinner. If daughter says an hour before she's chaqnged her mind and BF and her will be joining Dad/you for dinner, then you have a chance at being *delighted* with having spent the evening with the daughter.

On the otherhand, if you actually thought something along the lines that Dad would just dump daughter for one of his 2 wkds to take you on a long weekend for a romatic get-a-way, you're likely mistaken. But again, declining to take that type of weekend has been father's choice, nothing to resent the daughter over.

Perhaps it's time to review what it is you want out of this relationship. What it is your needs are and whether or not you are *engaged* the correct gentleman at the correct time of his life. I'm going to assume that there is nothing 'new' in this child visitation schedule that was not present when you decided to hook-up with this gentleman. You knew he had the daughter, knew when he worked and when his daughter would be having father/daughter visitations. Nothings really changed for father and daughter, only thing that has changed is how you feel about it. So yeah, "buck it up and go with the flow" as you say or choose to stay in your hometown and enjoy your weekend coming/going/doing as suits you.

No one, especially the daughter, is forcing you to spend a weekend against your wishes. If the guy is worth the wait and a promising future awaits the guy and you as a couple in what appears to be ,in your situation, the foreseeable not long off future, why get greedy and resent/deny Dad what little time he has left of being involved in the last stages of his daughters childhood years.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Great answer JMT...couldn't have expressed it any better....

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:39PM
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