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Possible to be a good dad & a good partner?

sweetness01's picture

Something I've been thinking about over the last few weeks and it applies to step-families only because I think if you're still with the mother/father to your kids then it comes naturally.

In a step-situation do you think it is possible for a man to be a good dad to his child as well as being a good partner to his wife?

I am obviously not saying that all dads who dont live with their children are bad dads or that they are all bad partners, but do you think it is possible for them to be the BEST dad they can be as well as the BEST partner they can be? Surely one always suffers because of the other?

Any thoughtd much appreiciated


LizGrace65's picture

I don't think balancing partnership and parenthood come naturally whether your partner is the biological parent of your children or not. There are certainly horrible parents who are still married to each other, and may or may not be horrible partners to each other. And there are great parents who are not married to the other biological parent who may be a crappy partner to the person they are with, or may be a good partner.

Perhaps if the biological parents are still married they have more of a chance that their priorities regarding the children will agree more often, but even that is not guaranteed. They may have totally different ideas of how to parent and what their strategies should be.

I think if you're a responsible person who loves your children and loves your partner, then you can balance both whether your partner is the biological parent of your children or not.

My SO does an excellent job of being a good father and a good partner.

FWIW - you asked two different questions. Yes, it is possible to be a good dad and a good partner in a step-situation. No, it is not possible for *anyone* to be the "best" at both at the same time, step or bio. It is a BALANCE, biology aside.


stormabruin's picture

I believe it's possible given the dad has the opportunities necessary to be both. My DH has been incredibly supportive of me & my position in our home & marriage. He has also been an incredible father to his kids when he's been able to be. His kids have chosen not to be part of our home because DH disciplines & BM does not. Even in the system empowering BM & the kids, DH has stood his ground in regards to discipline & demanding respect. In my opinion, his willingness & ability to retain those things even knowing it meant losing his kids makes him a strong parent. His willingness to support my role as his wife & as a stepmother to his kids, depite the drama & grief it drew from BM & the kids, makes him an incredible husband. The fact that despite the incredibly personal grief & pain his kids have caused him through all of this he still loves them unconditionally & is willing to be there for them when they are ready to accept in their lives again.

I guess some might say with his kids gone, he doesn't parent. I say his kids are gone because he DOES.

jojo68's picture

I think it is rare but I think it exists. If a man respects and cherishes his SO/DW, puts his FAMILY his priority in his life, has a family pyramid whereas he and his spouse are the base of the family and raise the children as a unit, parents the children with love, understanding, and discipline, and doesn't allow his ex to dominate or alienate then I would think he is a good dad and good partner.....without all these things, something would be missing.

SteppingUp's picture

I know I'm coming from a somewhat naive perspective, as I've only been a stepmom for 2 years. But my fiance is a WONDERFUL father and personally I couldn't ask for a better partner. Of course we have our ups and downs and little things here and there, but I honestly love how well he's able to balance both aspects of his life and our relationship.

So my answer is yes, I do think it's possible!

purpledaisies's picture

Yes it is my dh does just that! It is a united front with the kids. Dh shows the kids what a healthy relationship is supposed to be like by treating me with respect and loving me, in turn he makes sure his kids respect me. He makes sure he is a dad to them always.

One other thing dh does not let bm interfere at all, when she tries to call all day long he shuts the phone off, when she tries to make him do what she wants when she wants he tells her no. She has learned over the years what his answer will be so she doesn;t try as much anymore.

VAStepMom's picture

I want to address this because I believe I understand what you are saying.

Trying to be a good father for you, may cause grief in your how do you balance?

1). Do you support your wife's opinion regarding your children?
2). Do you show a united front in front of the children?
3). Do you insist your kids are respectful to your wife?
4). Do you spend more "money" than "time" with the kids? Do you make sure your wife attends events with you all as a family?
5). When your kids misbehave or try to manipulate you into doing something, and the wife disagrees, do you do it anyway?
6). Have you become so annoyed at your wife's attitude toward the way you handle your children that your relationship is suffering?
7). Are you open minded to your wife's suggestions? Or closed off?

What I am trying to say is, that when you respect your wife and her place in the home and her desires for a cohesive family unit, you will have no problems with the wife. She does not expect you to be perfect, but.... when raising kids in the same house the wife lives also, you must consider her opinions and work together to make a good choice.

Sometimes it is hard for a man to try things his new WIFE's way. Honestly.... she may have more experience...her way may just work.....

This is how you balance parenting with your relationship with your wife.

Best of luck.