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How do you answer these questions?

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

So I don't know who saw my Saturday blog about the most recent phone call with SD (4). A bit of background, SD has now been living with BM full time since September 1. After the DNA testing and we switched to only having SD, SD never brought up about her sister not coming with her or anything. So now it has been over a year (October 15, 2019) since we have had BM's oldest daughter at our home or any contact with her. Also, bf and BM separated when SD was 1.5 years old so she has no memories of BM and bf being together.

Now on to my question, what should you say to a 4 year old when asking the two below questions.

1. "Do you remember when (BM's oldest) used to come to your house Daddy?"

2. "Why did you marry mommy?"

Both of these questions really made me livid because it is not as though SD remember these things and are asking out of curiousity, it is very clear that BM is at the very least talking about these things and I personally believe is filling SD's head with stuff. Why would a 4 year old be asking about something that hasn't happened for a year, all of the sudden out of the blue? Why would she also be asking why did you marry mommy, when they are divorced and the child has no recollection of them living together or anything like that. Bf and I just ignored both questions when asked on the phone, but I am worried it will be asked again when we see her for Thanksgiving.

We also ended up not responding to BM's message following this phone call saying about if bf wanted to come to SD's dance audition that day. We really feel like she is trying to stir the pot. BM knows we are not coming anywhere she is especially when she has the other child with her as well. Talk about just opening ourselves up to drama if we went. Of course trying to manipulate too by saying "they prefer if both parents are there." A few months ago I got a bit of a hard time on why we are so against anything that made us have to communicate with/see BM more, well this is just a great example of why.


justmakingthebest's picture

1. Yes I do remember. We had a lot of fun. I hope your sister is doing well. 

2. Because there was a time when mommy and daddy loved each other very much and that is why you are here and now we both love you but separately. 

She is 4. She is trying to figure out where she fits in and what "family" looks like. Don't make it overly complicated.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

from the child. I really think it is BM trying to hurt bf with the first question then me/our relationship with the second. Kind of interesting how after that BM is trying to get bf to go to THEIR dance audition and trying to pull the whole both parent thing after SD is asking about when her sister used to come over, etc.

I mean maybe I am wrong, but really seems like BM is trying to make bf feel bad in regards to the other child and trying to make it seem like their marriage was great. Which it was not and SD being born was BM's way of trying to "fix" the marriage, but telling bf that she was on birth control.

justmakingthebest's picture

I am sure it is BM but that doesn't change how your SO should answer his daughter. I also don't think that your SO should stay away from the dance audition. That is his daughter and if he is available to be there for her because everyone is still local, he should show up. Parents need to put the bull crap to the side and be there. You should go too if you are comfortable with it.

I think you have it in your head that this CO you are working with is stone and he only sees his daughter on ____- period. End of statement. That isn't healthy. I am not saying throw it out the window but parenting (even in a nuclear family) mean that plans change, you have to be flexible.

BM is more than likely having MAJOR regrets about even telling your SO that older daughter wasn't his. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

BM's oldest child is going to be there as well. I don't think it is right to put bf or the child through seeing each other when it has only been a year and there is no way she understands what her mom pulled. I think it is going to cause more harm then good for both involved. That is where the major problem is. It would be different if there wasn't the whole other child situation or if we knew 100% she wasn't going to be there, but BM said that both children will be there.

Well my response to if BM is having major regrets is not nice and not meant for this site. She is going to have more regrets probably when she gets the mail today or tomorrow and has the letter in her mail threatening legal action against her. I have ZERO sympathy for her and just because she regrets her actions, doesn't mean she should be twisting stuff up in SD's head because that is not healthy for the child. There is no good to come from trying to make it seem all fairytale like because the truth isn't that at all.

fakemommy's picture

The other child is going to be SD's sister forever. Your BF should be involved in his kid's life as much as possible. If he still can't be in the room with the other child, he should go to therapy (he should anyway, I'm sure he's still very sad). He is indirectly punishing SD because of his feelings and issues with BM, that's not fair.

My kids talk about memories they have from as young as 1.5 It is also possible the older child was talking about a memory from your Bf's house. Work on not over-analyzing every interaction with BM and move forward and support SD. Kids ask about their parents being married, they ask about memories, it is normal. I'm not saying BM is wonderful, but your BF is letting his and your feelings about BM interfere with how he parents and supports his daughter.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

but doesn't mean he needs to see BM's other child on purpose, in this case that would be on purpose because we full well know she is going to be there. So if the other child sees bf and runs up to him yelling "daddy!" that is totally okay? I disagree. I will not ask bf to put himself in that position and I don't think it is fair to. Seeing her from a distance at a larger event that we should be there to support SD? Sure and that will be a couple years from now where enough time has passed that the child should not react that way to him and bf has had more time to heal.

I do not over analyze, but when the week before BM is going on about how it isn't her fault about the mess with the other child, then trying to pull the victim card about why in a year she hasn't changed the birth certificate, then SD asks bf about the child coming over, followed by BM inviting bf to an event where he would be having a run in with this child? It is not a coincidence.

justmakingthebest's picture

This is not meant to be offensive to you but this is one area where you should back off. By missing these things with his child he is doing more harm than good for HER. That should be his concern. Not BM, not the other child. 

IF the older child coming running up and calling him "Daddy" he can correct her gently and "say sorry kiddo, you can call me "joe" now. You look very pretty today. Are you dancing too?"

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture


lieutenant_dad's picture

Your BF has to decide for himself whether he wants to go.

This situation sucks, but SD shouldn't miss out on her dad being at events because of BM's stupidity. Yes, it will hurt BF, but that's an unfortunate consequence of mating with someone who isn't a good person. 

If the little girl runs up and says "DADDY!", he can politely say hello, pat her on the head, tell SD she did a great job and he loves her, and walk away. It'll hurt like Hades, but he needs to show SD he will be there AND show BM that she won't be able to intimidate him by using the older child against him.

You don't get a say in this part, and you'll likely have to bite your tongue. I get not having unnecessary communication with BM, but it can't come at the expense of not seeing SD. BM will ALWAYS try to hurt BF. ALWAYS. There will never be an instance where he interacts with her that her primary objective isn't to hurt him. He has to push through that and deal with it separately through counseling, journaling, exercise, etc. SD cannot be the person who loses out because BF gets hurt. That's the burden of being a parent.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

why it is being taken of me telling bf not to go or saying he cannot go. I HAVE NEVER TOLD HIM NOT TO GO, SHOULDN'T GO, OR ANYTHING. There is no biting my tongue needed, but I also am not going to tell him he should go. Especially when in a max 6 months we will never live in the same state as BM again. That is if BM doesn't move in December/January like she claims. So we can avoid these run ins with the child for quite some time if that is what bf wants to do and in fact is what HE WANTS TO DO

lieutenant_dad's picture

You don't need to yell at me when you damn well know I've done nothing but try and help you.

Your post came across as if you were guiding his decision. You aren't. Good, because you shouldn't.

Step out of your own emotions from this and look at it from SD's side. She won't understand why BF isn't at a public event. I'm 100% on your side when it comes to not fighting for extra time right now because BM can use it against BF. But this is different, and he needs to think long and hard about whether he'll regret not doing some of these things out of fear and discomfort.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

but I was getting rather frustrated by the assumption I am sitting here telling bf what to do. I do not tell bf what to do and not do. I think SD will not be as curious as to him not being there as people think as bf and BM have never done anything together since the child was 1.5 years old. Right before they separated bf was gone 3 months at a training school. Etc.

justmakingthebest's picture

100% agree with this.

He isn't going to be able to avoid the other child forever. Time has passed. She has been told why she isn't in your BF's life. 

None of what happened is anyone but BM's fault but your BF needs to be there for his daughter whenever possible. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

This may not be BM. This could be her older sister, and the two of them are asking themselves questions. I'm sure the sister has more memories of BF and BM being together, and likely remembers BF being dad. I think you'll find that these questions will come up, not necessarily at BM's prompting, but at older sister's.

JMTB gave some good suggestions of what to say to SD. As she gets older and those answers don't work any more, your BF will need to decide how much he wants to disclose. To not smear BM, he could say that he was always Older Sister's stepdad, and the divorce meant that he had to let her go. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

everyone thinks we should lie because that stuff just is not true

lieutenant_dad's picture

Welcome to steplife.

Yes, to a certain extent, you have to lie by omission. Right or wrong, BM has primary custody. SD has to live with her, even if SD doesn't want to. Making SD potentially hate her mother by divulging all the details puts SD in a really crappy position of having to live with her mom while knowing she effed over her dad. No kid needs that burden on them, at least not while they are still minors.

This is playing the long game. SD needs to feel loved and cared for, and taught how to be a functioning member of society. That is the goal right now. Disclosing how her parents ended their marriage and why doesn't help SD in the least bit. It's one thing when a parent is ACTIVELY poisoning a kid and you HAVE to tell certain details. It's another to just let it out because it just so happens to be the truth.

Remember, you're dealing with kids, not adults. Adults can handle this crap. Kids have other things they need to worry about.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Well, he might have to. Or at least say "kiddo, what I can tell you is that I'm not Older Sister's dad. I loved her and hope she has a really good life and is a really good sister to you."

This is the ultra-crappy part about all of this. It's having to "be the bigger person for the greater good" when you shouldn't have to be. Some mistakes are lifelong, and just like ET is my DH's lifelong mistake, BM will be the same for your BF.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

than the alternative. Bf and I are not about the whole making it sound like a fantasy that him and BM loved each other, blah, blah. That is not the case, so we aren't going to tell a child that they didn't love each other, but we aren't going to try and make a fantasy out of their marriage because that is not simply even slightly true.

Aunt Agatha's picture

Frankly, your BM is one of the worst.  What she's done is cruel beyond belief.  I'm sure your DH is hurting.

But frankly, I'm also worried about you.  You seem very emotionally raw and lashing out above.  Conversations on this board often lag in weird ways, adding to things.

Are you getting any help - even if it's just mediation daily?  I'm worried this is mentally taking a huge toll on you.  Honestly, it would take a huge toll on anyone.  But this situation will go on in one form or another as long as BM is alive.  Mentally that's a lot to prepare for.

Hang in there and please take care of yourself too.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I was lashing out above because it was so frustrating that users who have been following my story basically from the beginning thought I was telling bf to not go and I hoped by now would know that isn't the case. It is frustrating when people perceive it as you are crossing the line when I don't and never will attempt to control him.

Mentally I have been pretty good actually, thank you for checking in. I do on occasion lose my cool on here when it is insinuated that I am just looking to blame BM or think the worst of her, etc. But like you said the BM in my situation is one of the worst and I think sometimes people forget that or they don't simply know the story. There have been times we have given BM the benefit of the doubt because we are like there's no way or that would be so stupid, etc. but each and every time we find out that we shouldn't of given her the benefit of the doubt. So it does frustrate me sometimes when I come here to vent and I am 95% sure that I am not over-analyzing BM's actions but then I look like I just want to misplace the blame onto BM or I am trying to control my SO.

I do appreciate you checking in though. xoxo