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Am I Wrong?

mpantoja0526's picture

So, I've been married for almost 2yrs. He has 3 children (the oldest 18 is not his but he basically raised him, the middle is his biological who is 16 & the youngest girl is 13). I've never really gotten along with the girl but I just let it be. 7mths ago after living a long time in doubting whether the girl was his or not he did a DNA test & it turned out it wasn't his. I've always told him that he can have whatever relationship he wants with this girl as it's his choice but he can't expect me to have a relationship. It was bad enough we didn't quite get along before but now knowing that it's not his then I feel I shouldn't have to take her attitude towards me. At first, he was ok with me going over to my parents house on the weekends that she was over, but now we are constantly arguing about me not interacting with her. He doesn't plan on telling her the truth which is fine with me as it's his choice. At the end of the day I feel like he shouldn't care about whether I have a relationship with her but focus on whatever relationship he wants to have with her. I tell him he can go out & have dates with her or go to the movies or go shopping but he shouldn't force me to do something I don't want to do. I have a 6yr old from a previous relationship & I personally like my alone time with him. I love to go to the movies with my son or go shopping or just hang out on the weekends that he doesn't go to his dad's house by myself with him. I don't understand why he finds a need to want to make me hang out with him & her. I personally don't think I'm being unreasonable with him as I'm not telling him to stop talking to her or anything like that, but I don't feel like I should be forced to hang out when I don't want to. Am I being wrong here?

2Tired4Drama's picture

I don't think you are wrong necessarily but am curious as to why he is so adamant that you have a relationship with her?

Your overall strategy makes sense for many of us SMs who are "disengaged." There is nothing wrong with your DH maintaining his own relationship with this girl. And you are supportive of him doing so, and are not interfering with the relationship they've developed; you're just not interested in developing a relationship yourself. There's nothing wrong with that, either.

He obviously considers her his daughter and apparently wants to continue in that light. That is his right to do so. His right does not equate to FORCING you to have a relationship with her, however.

One thing you didn't mention is how involved he is with your son and what that relationship is. If they get along well and are close, then he could be feeling that his daughter deserves the same kind of relationship from YOU. Which is pipe-dreaming.

Every relationship is different and the SM/SD in particular is RARELY a positive one. Particularly if the girl's BM does not encourage her daughter to give her SM a chance - which is also extremely rare. A girl at her age is even harder to "win" over and don't count on it ever happening.

It never did in my case and SD is well into adult-hood. I disengaged when I finally understood it was a losing proposition, and no longer waste my time on her.

Bottom line is that you are not wrong. Your DH cannot make you and SD have a relationship if neither of you cares to have one.

2Tired4Drama's picture

One other thing I wanted to add ... what is your relationship like with the 16 year old? Is it a boy or girl? Are you close to that kid?

If you are close with the 16 year old and have a good relationship, it will make it more difficult to disengage with the 13 year old.

mpantoja0526's picture

I cut alluvial have a great relationship with the 16yr old which is his biological child. He texts me & calls me when he needs something. There are times my husband saids I spoil him too much. I tried having that type of relationship with the girl before but I soon found out that she was talking behind my back & making up stories & being just rude. My husband has a good relationship with my child. I personally take care of my son’s all around needs & don’t rely oh maybe husband’s help so basically the interaction he has with him is just minimal since my husband works a lot. I tell him all the time that I dont’t Judge or interfere or even comment of whatever relationship he wants to have with the girl as that’s his choice. If anything I tell him that he needs to find things to do with her rather than just want to bring her home just so she can be there with her face if not wanting to be there. I’m sure she doesn’t like it being there as much as I don’t like her being there so I even mention to him that he makes us miserable by trying to make us interact.

stepmomfromhell's picture

I don't get it when some dads don't plan on telling a child that they are not related biologically. Ancestry DNA testing is trending, by the time this child is old enough and has the money will most likely take one of those tests and find out for herself. She will then accuse this stand in dad of being deceiving, lying.... etc

I would have a talk with him and get him to tell her the truth about the situation. It will take some counselling, but it will end up worse emotionally for this child if she finds out as an adult on her own.

mpantoja0526's picture

I agree with you with saying the truth & I've mentioned that to him but BM doesn't want the truth to come out. I respect that as that's not my call & ultimately they're the ones that have to deal with the outcome if it were to come out. I have however expressed to him that if someday we have a child (we're planning to start soon) then my child will not grow up with a lie thinking they have a sister when the in reality she not & have them turn on me about why I lied to them. I don't want the relationship with my future child to be broken over what BM wants to dictate. BM can dictate on her child as to telling her the truth but I dictate my child over telling him/her the truth.

I love dogs's picture

I am also wondering why he took the DNA test just to continue playing dad. Heck, does he know 100% the 16yo is his?? Did BM just cheat on him the entire time?

mpantoja0526's picture

I'm wondering that too. He mentioned she would always cheat on him & he would stay due to the children. Years back when the child was born & was a few days old, his friend's wife called him & told him that the child was not his as she had proof his at that point wife cheated on him. Of course, he was dumb & didn't believe that & continued on with BM as she claimed it was not true. He continued on with her & knows that she cheated on him several times before. I always knew he wanted the truth so of course I backed him up in deciding to do the DNA test not knowing what the results will be. He of course blames me as he said I should've never backed him up & he would've continued living a lie. I didn't think my feelings would change as to not wanting to be around that child as it was one thing of thinking of the possibility & actually knowing with proof that she was not the child. He recently did bring out the idea of doing a DNA test on the 16yr old child & at this point I told him to keep me out of it as I wouldn't want him blaming me for this too if the result came out to be that he wasn't his child. I never expected him to completely change with the child & disappear from her life but I also never thought he would continue being dumb as to still allowing BM to boss him around to do things for a child that's not his. Till this day, she has no remorse as she basically told him "it is what it is" & continues to demand he picks her up & takes her places when she needs to go out with her friends. She also recently enrolled her in a private school & expects him to pay 1/2 of the tuition. I told him that if he wants to continue having a relationship with the girl that's fine & it's even ok if he wants to continue providing the basic needs (it's not like he has a choice since he must pay child support till she's 18 despite DNA as the state views that child as his since she was born during the marriage), but I don't feel like he must go above & beyond for her & do extra things.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Whether biologically his or not, they are his kids. He raised them, and with his daughter, for a long time believed the kids were his flesh and blood. His reaction of wanting you to have a good relationship with his daughter, especially since it sounds like you have a good relationship with his other two and he has a good one with yours, is not really an off-the-wall idea.

However, what your DH needs to realize is his daughter is almost an adult, and that means she needs to start being equally responsible for her own relationships. It seems she has sent a clear message: I don't want a relationship with my step mom. That's perfectly okay, and the only thing that either he or you should expect from her is civility. If she can't provide that, remove yourself from the situation until she does. If he doesn't like that, then he needs to work with her to fix the problem.

If I had to venture a guess, I would say that your DH is also feeling insecure about his own relationship with his daughter. He may feel like you all aren't family, and now that he isn't biologically related to her, there is yet another rift in the family framework. He may think that if her relationship with you can deteriorate that his can, too. He's coming to terms with the fact that he was basically her stepfather, despite not knowing it, and seeing how she treats a stepparent is probably scaring him. He may think that if there isn't enough family cohesion that she'll just drop him, too, when the truth is revealed.

Now, that doesn't mean he SHOULD push a relationship, but it might explain WHY he's doing it and with such determination. It would probably be good for him to talk to a counselor or join a support group or find a forum he can read up on to help him through this. You're correct that his relationship with her doesn't have to change. You're also correct that your relationship with her doesn't have to change. I think your DH just needs reassurance that nothing HAS to change but things WILL change as his daughter ages. That is going to happen whether they are genetically linked or not.

mpantoja0526's picture

You’re right. Today I offered taking counseling to better help us understand each other as possibly a neutral 3rd person might help & he agreed; our 1st appointment with a couples therapist is this Saturday.

In regards to his feelings with the children he does mention at times that it’s funny how his biological son reaches it to him all the time & sends him constant texts while the others don’t; even the daughter who doesn’t know he’s not the real father. I feel bad for my DH as he didn’t even get a phone call from her on Father’s Day yet we heard from someone else that we posted a message on FB about her Mom being a mother & father in her life. He even complains at times how the girl only reaches out to him when she wants something & feels like she only comes over on the weekends since she expects him to buy her something, if not the little girl makes her own plans with her friends. I try not to have an opinion & just listen to him since I feel whatever I might say might be turned against me in the future when he feels like fighting.

I’m really trying to work with him & his feelings but I’m also feeling a bit of resentment towards him as he’s not acknowledging mine as well.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Is it possible she knows your DH isn't her dad, but she plays the part so BM can get CS (assuming she gets CS)? Maybe BM is offering her cash or some other incentive to keep it up? Or your SD knows but can't fully cut your DH out of her life - she feels torn knowing he helped raise her and loves her, but he isn't biologically her father.

She could also just be a selfish teenager. It happens. I have 2 teen (or nearly teen) SSs, and dear God can they be a challenge. I actually told YSS the last time he was over that I wasn't going to talk to him for the next 8-10 years because his mood has been so foul. He scowled at me; I smiled and blinked at him.

Hopefully the counseling helps you and DH communicate about this and other issues.

mpantoja0526's picture

I don't think she knows anything or else she would've said something. I also don't think BM would have said anything to her as she's the one that told my DH that he better not ever tell her the truth as if that were to happen she would tell the child he had died. At that point I was thinking she was plain crazy; how are you going to have him be dead to the girl & keep him alive to the 16yr old that is pretty capable of texting him on his own?! My 6yr old knows the truth as he overheard an argument we were having (I told DH many times to keep his voice down but he didn't). One time my 6yr old even said to the girl as she walked in the door "what are you doing here as you're not his daughter?" She ignored him & just thought of him as a kid saying stuff & of course I was blamed for the incident.

enuf's picture

Another take on it and it is something that I experienced when my ex insisted I have a relationship with his ds who was 47 years old when we divorced, he knew that his ds was a passive agressive jerk and really unlovable, so in order to make his ds feel good he insisted that I treat him like he was the gift to the world, even though he was quite cruel to me. Somehow ex did not notice when ss would slam the door on my face, raise his voice to me, turn his chair around so that he would not face me, kick my dog. Nope dear old poopsie was perfect in my ex's eyes, so he would get quite angry at me if I even sighed when his ds was around.

My guess is that dh notices his dd behavior but just ignores hoping that you will not react to it. It is really hard to even like someone who is horrific to you. I just do not get why these parents insist that in order to have a relationship with them you have a relationship with their child, in my case a middle age, 300+lb, 5'5" man, when they know that are mean, cruel and obnoxious persons. My ex's favorite mantra that he constantly told me was "I have to protect my son against you".

Tell your Dh that you cannot be forced to like someone who is obnoxious and self-centered that before he can even consider you having a relationship with his dd he needs to parent her, put boundaries, and teach her manners.

mpantoja0526's picture

It is truly hard to just ignore her behavior. He asked me why I have this feeling towards her & I explained to him that he saw how I tried sooooo hard to at least gain some sort of like from her by buying her things & even getting her a cell phone. Once I found out she was lying to her mom about me behind my back (I read her text messages) & saying bad things about me to DH's side of the family that's when I finally said it's enough. Then came the whole DNA test revelation which gave me more of a feeling of not dealing with her anymore. I honestly don't know why he insists on me staying in the house while she's there. He even said I don't have to have a relationship with her if I don't want to or even speak to her, yet he wants me there either way. My feeling is that he doesn't know how to explain things to her but why should I suffer for this. He once asked what will he say to her if she suddenly stops seeing me around. At that point I was a smart-ass & said to him he can go ask his ex-wife what should he say since she's dictating what truth can be revealed to the girl so she can also give me a reason as to why I'm not around as she's extremely good with lies.