wigcen's picture

father overly attentive to his daughter

I feel my husband is overly attentive to his daughter and it is affecting our relationship. He takes her on trips and leaves me behind with our 5 year old. When he's not taking her somewhere or doing something for her, he is talking about how much he likes to. It's not that I mind him doing things with her, it's that I wish he would do those things with me, too. He is very critical of my children and my parents and of me...but thinks his girls are perfect. He makes light of their poor behavior to me and to our youngest daughter. They pretty much ignore our youngest and it hurts her feelings. I feel hurt by it too. He doesn't share information about his kids. It feels like he thinks that their so special that he has to keep them separate from me. I'm wondering if there is something I could be doing differently??

Stick's picture

Hey Wigcen - I have no

Hey Wigcen - I have no advice for your situation, but you may want to post this as a general discussion blog so that more people see it, and can possibly give some insight.

Best of luck to you.

*** A rainbow just threw up on me... and now I'm sh*tting glitter! ***

*** A rainbow just threw up on me... and now I'm sh*tting glitter! ***

steppingover's picture

My best advice to you would

My best advice to you would be to talk to him about it right now and let him know how you feel.

I am in the same kind of situation where my fiance lives and breaths his daughter and noone else. I am trying to get the courage to walk away from it as I just came home from work tonight to find him and hid 16 year old daughter cuddling on the couch yet again after he flipped out on my children.
As close as fathers and daughter are sometimes there is just to much and I am finding that no matter what you say or what you do you will never be as important or be able to get as much love from them as you deserve because they cant take their daughters off the pedistals the put them on.
And to be honest those are the guys who will spend their lives alone or spend them having their daughters living at home for ever playing the wife role for them

marina2000's picture

I am in exactly the same

I am in exactly the same position, SD has become clingy and has to have her dads arm around her all the time! We even went to the Zoo on Sunday and met up with friends of my BF whom he hadn't seen in years. They spent the whole day with their arms around each other! - in the end I felt really really uncomfortable with it to the point wher I couldn't even look at them any more! is this normal!! She will be 13 next so I assume its hormones, but I need to address this as my BF doesn't see its not right.

jojo68's picture

Same deal here...my

Same deal here...my difference is that my BF's daughter lives full time with us. The clingyness is unreal. She has bad separation anxiety too. Sometimes she follows my BF to the bathroom and whines by the door for him to hurry and come out. She is almost 10 going on 5 and moving farther back with each passing day it seems. I really feel that this child has some type of medical/pyschological issue besides just being extremely spoiled and overindulged. Her behavior is not normal but how do you tell your BF something like that. I am not the only one who thinks this way. Things definately look different from the outside looking in.

"Never allow someone to be your priority when you are only their option"

retardedstepkids's picture

I know how you feel, I am

I know how you feel, I am pretty much in the same situation but I call it gropping. My boyfriend has a fit if my 5 year old son hugs me or kisses me he will give my bs the evil eye everytime and if he hugs me for more then 1 second he tell him that's enough boy that's enough. BUT its ok for his 7 year old to grop all over him on the couch while watching tv or run and jump on him after work and wrap her legs around his waist, yeah that's ok just not for my son. You can tell there is something wrong when he tells these kids he loves them more then he tells his wife OR has is wife move to a different couch so his kids can be on top of him while watching tv. Pretty disgusting so I feel for ya sick sick sick!
But anyway don't feel bad I'm going through it also makes me wanna throw up! Lol

Ajchick's picture

I know how you both feel and

I know how you both feel and it sucks. My DH is like that with his 5 y/o daughter. I am to the point where I don't want to be in the house because of all the touchy feely stuff. I know she is only 5 but come on! You wouldnt think that he has to always be holding/petting/kissing on her. It makes me pretty f***ING ill.


StepMadre's picture

I'm guessing that some kind

I'm guessing that some kind of emotional imbalance is happening here and there is a reason he is favoring some of his children over the others and you. It's really important that he knows how you feel about this and that you clearly communicate why you feel the way you do and what you expect to change. I've noticed that in these situations, the favoritism stems from guilt on the part of the dad. He probably feels guilt over not being with his daughter's mom and being responsible for them growing up in a "broken" home. Single and re-married dads often feel guilty and try to make up for it by showing favoritism to the affected children. It's not fair and it's not right, but it happens a lot. He probably doesn't have a clear perspective on his own behavior and treatment of his kids and doesn't realize that he is being unfair to them and you. He is actually doing his favored daughters a disservice because he isn't having high expectations of them and is showing them that he is okay with them having poor behavior and expecting more from their siblings. I would put money on him having massive guilt and that being the reason for his favoritism. The only thing you can do is to tell him how you feel and why and what you think and point out when you see unfair behavior. It's not okay for you or any of the kids to be emotionally neglected and he needs to hear about this from you. Also maybe start having family meetings and encourage all the kids to express their feelings directly to him. If he hears how they feel it might be a powerful motivator and will teach them how to communicate effectively in general and give everyone in your family a chance to have a voice and be heard. When I was a kid, we had nightly family meetings after dinner that we called "family round" and we had a rock that had "joy" carved into it and worry stone grooves and we passed it around. When a family member was holding the rock they had the floor and no one could interrupt them. Everyone got a chance to hold the rock and we had to say something positive about our day and something we were worried about and then everyone could respond and give advice and comfort. It made our family bond really tightly and was a great communication tool. My mom encouraged us to say how we felt using "I" words, rather than accusing others or telling people that "they" made someone feel a certain way. She was teaching good communication and it has stood me in good stead my whole life. H sometimes has a hard time verbalizing how he feels or even figuring out how he feels and I never have that problem. Smiling

Anyway, I think communication is key here and anything you can do to get everyone talking and let your husband know how his behavior is affecting you and your kids and how you feel will improve the situation. He needs to change his behavior and make sure that he is treating everyone in his family equally, but he won't know he needs to change until he hears how you feel and what issues you have. If necessary, you can get a counselor or a mediator to help get things going, but the dynamic is off and totally unfair to you and your kids and that should change.

That's my opinion! Hope it gets better and that things get more fair! Good luck!

"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they will kill you." ~Oscar Wilde

" You're dealing with children. They need to be terrified. It's like mother's milk to them." ~Sue Sylvester, on Glee.

Ajchick's picture

Wigcen I understand. My FH

I understand. My FH admits that his 5 yo daughter is his whole world and shows it. It hurts my feelings. It makes me want to say, "well if she's your WHOLE world then why am I even here."


Most Evil's picture

I for one think that is very

I for one think that is very strange, to idolize your child? It sets up a weird dynamic where the adult is looking to the child for guidance, when the parent is supposed to provide that, dur!!!

I think you do need to have a serious conversation that you think his outlook is inappropriate and a disservice to his daughter and everyone who ever crosses her path, including her own husband.

I remember the day I did this to DH when we were getting serious, and he cried, because he did feel guilty over divorce and not being there daily for SD 10 at the time. But it is not in her best interest, which is what he claims to be concerned about. It was hard but it has to be done, for all of your own good.
“Learn by practice.” - Martha Graham

If you are going through hell, keep going. ~ Winston Churchill

lostdad's picture

I don't know if this will

I don't know if this will help but I'll give it a stab:

My wife died three years ago and I was left with my 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son. I remarried about a year ago and inherited another daughter 9.

My natural daughter and I are extremely close, my wife used to say I S*it her...which still makes me laugh. She speaks like me, has my sense of humor and loves to play golf like I do. My son does also and sometimes my wife would come but she could care less most of the time preferring instead to curl up with a good book in the bath tub.

Fast foward now...my new daughter does not like ANY sports, my new wife is trying them with me (which is cool). She says she is not jealous, but I have a nervous pit in my stomach that this will change over time.

You can't make a kid do things with you especially your step children, and 2nd wives...I don't know??? The 2nd time around is definitely different than the first.

I pray she doesn't try and cut my time with my children simply because her natural daughter doesn't want to DO anything...but I am not a believer and cow-towing to the lowest common denominator. I'll say for my wife now...she tries to participate a lot and I admire that, and/but will also say you are either first or second in his life. I don't know if things are different with a 2nd marriage because I WOULD HAVE NEVER CONSIDERED divorce with my first wife??? We had a very, very strong bond. 2nd marriages like step kids are a slower and tougher bond, especially later in life and especially if you married someone dramtically different than your first spouse.

I babbled...

That didn't help did it?

StepAside's picture

No, that didn't help,

No, that didn't help, lol.

Perhaps this is the Mars/Venus thing that is preventing me from understanding you correctly. But you seem to be saying that you believe second marriages are not as appealing as first marriages, not worthy of the same level of attention, not as important, and are somehow related to the same level of effort required in loving your stepchildren?

Wow, that may be understandable for one divorced parent to feel about another divorced parent, but that sucks royal for someone like me who had never been married before. Kind of sums up how everyone in DH's family has treated me for the past nearly 2 decades, like a temporary fixture.

Do you find yourself comparing your current wife to your deceased wife? I wonder if your situation is also a little different because your ex died. Don't people tend to remember only the best in these situations?

I think the bottom line is, many fathers feel partial to their own kids. And when this goes to the extreme, their new wives have problems with that. And what I hear you saying is, that's life.

That's kind of what my MIL told me once. She said she knew what I was getting into when I married DH. No, I most certainly did not. None of us did. How were we to know that when he said, "I do", that he was presenting a marriage with terms that were never laid out, discussed or even mentioned????? Nobody told me I was going to be "second in his life". I thought there were two different types of love. Love for a spouse and love for offspring. And that love sure does seem to get blended in many of the situations here. I know when my DH treated his daughters as his spouse, they treated me like his mistress. So much blending of the lines. And ultimately, he set them up for some huge disappointments when he never left me. They always just figured he would. Since he didn't, he betrayed them. And now they are grown and have almost nothing to do with him. He should never have let them feel they were in competition with me. But he did, out of the guilt thing. Backfired totally.

Successful relationships are based on mutual respect.


Ajchick's picture

Stepaside I don't mean to

I don't mean to pick on mr. Lostdad, but I was pissed when I read his comment. Not at him but at my FH. It infuriated me to think my man feels this way. He probably does though! I have never been married and have no kids of my own, and I feel like OUR marriage will never be as special or OUR child will not be as miraculous because he's been there and done that. WTF!!! Is it my fault that I did the smart thing and waited to marry and have kids? Should we first timers be punished because we haven't been around the "block"? That's bullshit if that's how it has to be.
Some might say, "you knew he's been married and had a kid." My answer to that question is, " ya I knew but I didn't think I'd be treated like a second hand/second rate wife!" I think if I had previously been married with kids I would not remarry if I thought I might think of him as a second class husband.


Gia's picture

Well, your case is different

Well, your case is different because you didn't divorce your wife, she died (I'm really sorry) which is bad because I don't think you truly "overcome" or forget that person, because love didn't end, life did.



"I will die on my feet before I live on my knees"

jojo68's picture

I think that our job as a

I think that our job as a parent is to guide our children in the best possible direction that we can lead them. Children most often learn by example so what we do and how we react to situations is so very important when they are watching. These parents let their kids raise themselves essentially by not having any rules or guidelines. The parents who who overindulge them show them that there are no limits to money spending and give a false impression of the real world. The parents with kids that rule the household only shows the kids how to be bossy, manipulative, overbearing people later on in life who have a hard time making friends and relationships. So how is this helping your child?????????? I told my boyfriend that his daughter would end up living at home for the rest of her life being a lonely old cat lady if her attitude didn't change. Seriously people.....

"Never allow someone to be your priority when you are only their option"

lostdad's picture

jojo68... That is my


That is my ultimate nightmare...having my natural born kids get jobs, great grades, and/or a scholarship...and then have my sd still living at home with us because my wife doesn't have the guts to kick her in the ass and lets grandparents enable her.

It is a disease...

StepAside's picture

Your talking about 3 kids,

Your talking about 3 kids, ages 5-9. They are still so young. I think if I were you, my biggest nightmare would be that my SD got a great job, great grades and/or scholarship and MY two children wound up living at home with us.

I think they are a bit young to be predicting their futures. Your kids sound amazing. They haven't hit puberty yet. That changes a whole lot.


jojo68's picture

So very true....and the

So very true....and the grandparents thing....that is a big part of the problem with my BF daughter is that her grandmother baby's her because she is the only grandchild and she doesn't want her to grow up. So as a result this an almost ten year old girl who is going on 6.

"Never allow someone to be your priority when you are only their option"

TattooQT's picture

Sounds like he is

Sounds like he is overcompensating to me. I would ask him what mesage he thinks that sends his other kid (you know the one he had with you). My husband tried to do the ditch the wife thing and take his daughter on vacation once. Trust me it didn't go over well nor has it ever been forgotten.

Constantly_guilty's picture

Three words for ya sweet

Three words for ya sweet girl: BLENDED FAMILY COACHING. Your DH needs to learn how to do this right because it sounds like he's failing miserably.

Sweatheart's picture

How does one obtain "Blended

How does one obtain "Blended family coaching"?

Sweatheart's picture

My husband has been the same

My husband has been the same way with his daughter. We have been married for 5 years, his daughter is now 11, things have not changed. He has admitted to me that the reason he is like this is he feels guilty that he put the children through a divorce, plus she has a lot of mental problems, so he feels like he has to compensate. He feels insecure about himself as a person and as a parent to compound the issue. He sees the success of my children and feels jealousy. Maybe something like this is going on in his head? Maybe he feels guilty over the divorce & feels he has to compensate?

TheBrightSide's picture

I WAS married to an

I WAS married to an indulgent, guilt parent father to his 9 year old daughter. We are now separated.

He entertained her from the moment he picked her up from school until she shut her eyes at night. At her whim, of course. Unless she was playing with her friends.

He would even read to her while she was in the bathtub.

He called her the same pet names that he would call me.

He made sure that he kept BM happy (for SD9) sometimes at my expense.

He would tell me that I was an important part of his life, but he rarely "showed" me. And when he did, it was during our "off" weeks, when SD9 was at her mother's. I used to "live" for those off weeks.

When we separated he said to me..."i worry for you, because I have SD9 and you have no one". He also said, "i have everything i need".

I tried for 3 years to wrap my life around his and SD9, waiting in the wings until he had time for me. He "never had my back".

I have learned, the hard way, that people "show" you who they are. I've learned that words are easy. I've learned that when people "show" you who they are, believe them, the first time. People rarely change. I had believed that I would grow into an elevated status with him. But I now know that would never have happened.

It was a hard lesson and a very painful lesson. Its still painful, every day. This man that I would have done anything for, who didn't reciprocate. He wanted a fair-weather wife. A "beck and call" girl. I couldn't do that. I lost myself.

And here I am now, rebuilding, regrouping....still living in the same house with them until it sells.

I wish you luck. Remember, this: learn to accept that your situation is the BEST its ever going to get. If you can't accept that, then move on.

Ajchick's picture

TheBrightSide Your situation

Your situation sounds so much like mine. My FH whom used to adore, is so overly attentive with SD5. He, like your ex spends every moment with her when we have her on the weekends. If he goes to the store for something he tells me to hang out with her while he's gone. I just want to say, "Why? Will she evaporate into mist if someone isn't entertaining her for a few minutes?" And Im not saying he should leave a 5 y/o unattended for a long period of time, but damn she can play by herself for a bit can't she? I feel like I have to get out of the way on the weekends so he can be HER man, not mine. It is actually making me lose interest in him. Any man that is so obsessed with a child can't be completely right in the head, right?
Reading your comment made me think about some things like.....He is being the way he IS ALWAYS going to be. He is not going to ever be less infatuated with her. And he is SHOWING and telling me who he is and how he's always going to be by his everyday actions!
I am sorry things didnt work out in your marriage. Reading your blog has helped me see the reality of my situation and what I have to do about it. Thank you.


StepAside's picture

I bet Sandra Bullock would

I bet Sandra Bullock would benefit so much from talking to you right now. Weird how an Oscar winner could wind up in the same identical situation that so many of us have been through.


jojo68's picture

Be really cool if Sandra

Be really cool if Sandra would join Smiling

"Never allow someone to be your priority when you are only their option"

StepAside's picture

I think divorce makes so

I think divorce makes so many crazy situations.

When our kids were 5, I loved watching DH cuddle with them. But I'm their mom and I'm not divorced. When my DH comes home from work and tells our daughter how gorgeous she is, hugs her and talks about our plans for the weekend, that's music to my ears. But if I was a stepparent, maybe not.

Things can look so different from different perspectives.


TheBrightSide's picture

No offence steperg, but i

No offence steperg, but i tried that....participating "with them".

"We always include you" he used to say to me.

That's not the point. The "We" was him and his daughter. In my book, the husband and wife are the "we". Husband and Wife should include daughter in their plans when she's at their house.

Why should stepmother "go along with them"..."participate with them"? Its bullshit. And a symptom of the problem with guiltparent fathers who put their children above all else.

jojo68's picture

Stepaside.....all of the

Stepaside.....all of the stuff you mentioned is wonderful...I feel the same way you do...but my case is an extreme...to the point where nothing else matters in my BF life but keeping his daughter happy at the expense of everyone else. Just speaking for myself that is why it bothers me. I only have myself to blame for the situation because I was told very early on in the relationship that this girl was his reason for being and that she would always come first but I didn't realize the gap between first and second was so great.

"Never allow someone to be your priority when you are only their option"

StepAside's picture

I completely understand.

I completely understand. And I couldn't make a damned bit of difference for my DH either. He hates confrontations. He didn't want to risk pissing his kids off. He put up with way too much crap from them. And it gets pretty nasty when they hit their late teens.

The person your DH is going to screw up the most is his kid. You and he already have your life lessons and your moral composition in place. Hers is just forming. He's creating a narcissistic, entitlement queen. She is going to struggle in life as she expects people to respond to her as her daddy did. She's a princess, deserving of everything wonderful in this world and whoever doesn't agree will have hell to pay. The world doesn't work like that.

In addition, he's showing her by example, how to treat a SO. So, when she gets with a guy, guess what'll happen to him when he doesn't make her happy? Will she treat him with respect? Doubtful. Cheat on him? Why not? SO's are disposable and you can treat them however you wish.

This is not the foundation for success that he is giving his own kid. And it's not rocket science. I don't know why daddies think they can raise pit bulls and think everybody is going to love their little darlings. It doesn't happen. Like dogs, when we take on the responsibility of teaching our puppies manners, THAT is when everyone loves and adores them. Nobody wants to own a vicious pit bull. Likewise, men are turned off by "high maintenance", selfish narcissists.


jojo68's picture

You hit the nail on the head

You hit the nail on the head sista!

"Never allow someone to be your priority when you are only their option"