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Sorta new and struggling bad!!!

StruggleCity215's picture

 This might be long but I keep most of the struggles to myself. I've currently been with my fiance for two-and-a-half years and he has a seven-year-old daughter with his ex-wife. I don't necessarily like her but I don't hate her at the same time. My biggest issues come from the way that she acts in the way that she treats her daughter. She lets her have control of every situation and it becomes very frustrating on our end because we uphold the rules and make sure that she studies and gets to bed on time and gets to school on time. But when she was with her mother that all goes out the door and if she doesn't follow the rules she'll still get rewarded so in the end of the day we look like the bad guys. For example this morning her mom text my fiance and said that she wasn't going to take her to school because they only had a half day and there were only two more days left of school. But we have been taking her to school every day since the second term because she was missing so many days of school and that's the reason why we had primary custody of her during this entire school year. So instead of discussing with us whether she wanted to take her to school or not she asked my fiance's daughter if she wanted to go to school, and of course like any other seven-year-old she said she didn't want to. The unfortunate thing about this is that she is going to a new school next year so all of her friends at the school will never see her again so we wanted her to have that last goodbye with them. But her mom is really good friends with one of her classmates moms so she said that that was a good enough that she was going to see this one kid over summer than the other ones didn't really matter.

One of the other major things is that she has a boyfriend who also has a daughter and since she started dating this guy she has called this other girl and my fiance's daughter sisters which I think is a little out of line considering they have been together for about a year they're not engaged or married and have no plans to be. Another issue to me is that she is trying to convince Sophia that this other girl's grandparents are also her grandparents.

I feel at this point even though I've been around for almost 3 years that is inappropriate for me to say that Sophia is my stepdaughter or for her to say I am her stepmother without her making that choice on her own. The same when it comes to my mom I don't expect Sofia to call her her grandmother or to call my sister her aunt because that's not a choice that she has made for herself.

I feel like most of my issues get pushed to the side and people don't see them as big deal but in my eyes they are a huge deal and it's gotten to the point where I have really bad anxiety about it most days and I become obsessed with how she is being treated or how she's acting when she is away from us. I feel like it's affecting my relationship with my fiance to the point that some days I question if it's worth staying for. I guess I just don't know what to do and how to proceed.

We are moving to a new home in the next couple months and Sophia will be with us and going to a new school but at this point her mother is looking to buy a new place as well and I am actually terrified that she is going to choose a place closer to us which I felt would cause way more problems and I want to get this sorted out before I actually get married and proceed with this. Again the issue isn't with my fiance or his daughter, I love both of them to death and would do anything for them. My only issue comes from the relationship with her mother and how to deal with the different parenting styles. Maybe I'm making more of this than I should but I really just don't know what to do and I'm hoping that somebody has been through something somewhat similar.


saruhhh_04's picture

I am in a very similar situation as you. I have been with my bf for almost 3 years and he has a 5 y/o son. His sons mother seems to let a lot of stuff slide and treats him like he's a teenager and not 5. He doesn't have a bed time, almost never gets disciplined...his only rule is to listen to his mom, which seems to have resulted in a lot of bad behavior and habits. She also has been dating a guy for a year and had her son calling him 'dad' after a couple of months. 

She begs my bf to help her bc she can't change their sons behavior on her own, but when my bf asks to see him for the weekend, she usually says no and only brings him by when she needs something from them. Unfortunately, when he was born, my bf wasn't allowed to sign the birth certificate - so there's not much he can do.

I'm glad your fiance has primary custody of her. It sounds like you both have her best interest at heart and will do anything to help her. I am also fairly new to being a 'step-parent' and find it challenging and sometimes questioning if the drama with the BM would be worth it all...and each time I decide that it is bc the love I have for my bf and his son is immeasurable. We are always going to have moments where we struggle, but I believe it's worth it. Try to hang in there, and just shower that girl with the love that she deserves. Take one day at a time 

StruggleCity215's picture

I know for a fact that when she's with her mom that she acts out and still gets rewarded for it.  That is the worst part because in my house she learns manners,  respect and she knows there's consequences. 

The main reason we have primary custody is because her mother used to be responsible for taking her to school and actually started missing too many days and failing tests.  Since she has been with us,  she's doing so much better in school. 

I love my fiancé so much and I love his daughter too so I'm trying to stick it out. It is hard talking to people about it without seeming like I'm complaining about being with her. 

saruhhh_04's picture

I feel the same way at times. Like, how can I express my frustrations about a boy who doesn't understand what he is doing is rude or wrong? And how can I say it to someone else without coming off as heartless or ungrateful that I even get to spend time with him? It's not easy by any means. I love that little boy, as much as I love my own nephew (I do not have kids of my own). I love spending that quality time with him. But there are days where it is challenging and makes me frustrated bc he is misbehaving and does not get disciplined bc my BF doesn't see him often enough and fears he will lose him if he does.

On the rare occasion that my BF gets to have his son stay for an entire weekend, we do start to notice a positive change in his overall behavior towards the end of our time with him. Then he goes back to his mother's and next time we see him, we're back at where we started at.

Hearing that your SD started doing much better in school once you received primary custody, proves that that was the best decision for her. To me, it sounds like perhaps her mother fears that if she has her daughter follow the rules that you and your SO have set, she may not want to come to her house. In other words, she may be trying to be the "cool parent" by allowing her to stay home from school. In the end, going to school and having rules to follow with benefit her in the long run. You guys are doing the right thing, no matter how frustrating it can be.

StruggleCity215's picture

It is hard to punish her for something that she does not think is wrong. Especially when her mother lets her do it, so she thinks it is okay. I love spending time with her and if she never had to leave, I would love that.
That is definitely a hard position for you and your BF, hopefully as he grows up he will see that you both WANT to see him and he can eventually make the choice on his own.

saruhhh_04's picture

Whenever I have tried to discuss this with anyone that I know personally, they usually say the same thing. As he gets older, he will hopefully start to notice that he is wanted and loved here. And hopefully as he gets older, he'll also be able to start communicating with his mother that he wants to come visit or spend the weekend. I know that is probably a few years away still, but it is something that I hope does happen.

I am sure as your SD gets older, she will start to realize that you and her father have these rules set bc you both care about her.

Coco72's picture

If she doesn't know it's wrong than tell her that it is wrong.......if that isn't the relationship you have with her than have your BF tell her that it is wrong. The rules don't need to be the same at mom and dad's house, and children can adjust. Think about it, there are very different rules at school than at your house, and kids go to school,they might even go to afterschool care, and then come home and they adjust. 

A few months ago I kept hearing my DH say to SS11 "are you allowed to do that at mom's house?" and I had to tell him that I didn't give a d@mn if he was allowed to do that at mom's house, I (we) didn't want him doing it here and that was that. Needless to say, things have been much better. 

moving_on_again's picture

You can most definately file a parernity action in court and file for custody. Not being on the birth certificate means nothing when you have established paternity. 

Mrs Fireball's picture

Sorry you're in such a difficult situation. 

How often is your SD with BM? You said your fiancee has primary custody, so why does BM have the final say about daughters attendance? 

StruggleCity215's picture

She is with us after school Monday through Friday.  So her mother picks her up on Friday and takes her to school Monday.  If there are 3 day weekends,  her mother drops her off Tuesday. 

The issue comes when she is either running late or if there is a half day.  She doesn't think it will matter if my SD misses school. 

Steppedonnomore's picture

You cannot control what BM does in her own home. You have to let that go, unless she is violating the CO regarding child custody or endangering the child in another way. Yes, it would be nice if both of the child's parents agreed on a parenting style, but they don't.  Dad (and you) should be consistent with the rules in yout home but it is really not your place to dictate rules for BM.  I hope I'm not coming across as harsh because I don't mean to be. I think that if BM were trying to tell your SO what the rules should be in his home, that would not be well received either.

StruggleCity215's picture

We are not trying to tell her how to parent or what rules there should be but when we have my SD after she has been with BM, we notice a drastic change in behavior for a while and then she gets into the feel of being in our house and knows that we make and follow rules. I feel like at some point she could end up with major behavioral issues because she does not have a consistent set of rules to follow and does get to act out without consequences.