You are here

I need advice please...

Layatc's picture

My Step Daughter is extremely clingy with her father, to a point that it is uncomfortable to watch. She is 6 years old, and her favorite time with her dad is to sit in his lap and him holding her like a baby and her rubbing his face saying… “give me lovins daddy” Despite the fact that she is 6 she is a big girl. Are main couch is a Love seat and with him on one side and her legs kicking all in the other there is usually never any room for me. So I’ll just find stuff to do and try to ignore it. It’s more than that, she refuses to dress herself. When she is over her father has to help her dress from head to toe. But on the few occasions I try to help her she gets shy and does it herself… and I do feel that is normal behavior. I don’t want her to be comfortable being exposed around other people. But it’s the fact that she refuses to dress herself when her dad is around. And it’s the same with bath time. I will not go into too much detail on that but I do believe at 6 going on 7 years old you should be able to wash your own body by this point…. Plus that girl is spoiled! She gets everything she could ever want. All she has to do is ask daddy and its hers…. Just a few weeks ago his bank account went into a negative $500 because he went on a shopping spree for her. Guess who had to cover the $500! Yours truly! :/ Anyway when his daughter is not with us my husband is great to me very loving and kind. But has made it perfectly clear that when she is over me and his daughter are on the same level… to an extent I have accepted this. I still get creeped out but I accepted it. She is only over for 2 days a week so I figured I could share on those two days. But it’s been hard, and the fact that I don’t adore his daughter like he does has started to carry over into the rest of the week and now are relationship has gotten rocky. I’m feeling like he enjoys spending more time with her more so than with me. Were just not happy together anmore. So it would seem the inevitable is about to happen… Separation/Divorce!But life is funny... now I’m pregnant. I want to try and make me and my husband’s relationship work but I just don’t know how… his daughter basically has no boundary’s or rules to live by. I feel that those rules are a necessity in a child’s life and I want to raise my child with them. With his daughter I have always stepped back and let him handle everything, I felt it was his right as her father to make those decisions. Don’t get me wrong I have tried to be a part of that process. But anytime I Put my two cents in any situation that was about her it would always start a huge fight that would last a week or more. He just gets so defensive with her and feels that life is unfair for her if things don’t go just right or the way she wants them to go…

… Anyway with my own child I will NOT be able to take a back seat and let him make all the decision! I want my child to learn that life is not fair! You don’t always get what you want, and what you do get you will have to earn. I want to raise a responsible and respectful adult that says please and think you. I want my child to NOT have a self entitlement complex! This will be my first child so I’m not claiming to be an expert at any of this. But I have ideas and rules that I think will be a good start on this path.. But how can I dictate them to one child but not have the other child in the house following them? And how without seeming rude or mean do I tell my husband that this is going to be a partnership with are child. And that we are going to have to learn to work together and come to agreements with one another…. Plus I know for sure his daughter is going to freak out when a new baby comes into the picture. An I’m scared of what might happen when she is not the center of his universe! Or if in an attempt for him to try and make her nut upset him not spending time with are child. Any ideas or advise please?

RedWingsFan's picture

Oh the "mini wife"...

I'm at work and would LOVE to respond to this with all of my fantastic experience with a child as you describe your SD to be, but I just don't have the time.

Ok, my favorite STalkers - who wants to do what I can't do here?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Welcome aboard and I'll be back when my bosses stop hovering

Layatc's picture

LOL mini wife! First i heard of that, but VERY fitting! I love it! Cant wait to hear your story's Smile

butterflybloom's picture

i'm new to this forum but i too had the mini wife with my sd. shes now 13 yikes...hold on, cuz it will be a bumpy ride. I'm glad you are expecting hopefully this will bond you and ur sd some way or another. We nvr concieved, but i do have child on my own. And let me tell you this....when my sd at the time will hover over my then would literally drive me crazy, he too, would dress her, comb her hair...the difference he felt he had to not that he wanted to. I played with his head a little and said, babe i'll dress her..she's a girl don't worry, i started combing her hair and doing all these things for her. I still couldn't get over the fact that when we went shopping he would, well should i say SHE would hold his hand..and i would be the third wheel. I felt jealous you can say, we had so many fight over her...everything i did was never perfect enough. I'm glad to say, it came to a point where i sat him down and said Now married:
We are in this together, you need to see me as your wife not your childs stepmom, i mean no harm to this little girl. if we are going to stick to together I need to come first, becuase at the end of the day it is me who you share you bed with." and i did the same for him, my husband is a wonderful dad, but above all a wonderful husband. if your love for one another is strong...nothing will come between you even his precious little mini wife effect. I also tried to not let her see that the mini wife effect was bothering me. I would pretend to be busy like hard for them...heres a new women sharing her daddy..when she thought she had him all to herself. Give it time..and good luck

RedWingsFan's picture

Thanks for posting those, Sheldon - they should help the OP understand this crazy shit a bit better!

RedWingsFan's picture

Ok I'm back now...this will be long but you don't know the history so buckle up!

I'm sure you'll have varying opinions from people here as to what to do and how to resolve this issue. I can only give you my experience and story.

I met DH and Stepdevil14 when she was 12. She was bouncing back and forth for the past year between her mother's home and her dad's apartment 1/2 mile away, every other day. She was sweet and I thought we were going to get along great. After a couple of months of dating her dad; however, she began to change seeing that I wasn't just a casual thing for him.

She was very clingy, immature, needy and whiny. You'd have thought she was 8 or 9, not 12. Would hold her dad's hand EVERYWHERE we went, even sitting on the couch, fingers interlaced as you'd see a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouses do. She constantly would have to sit on his lap even at the dinner table. She acted like a baby, had to have dadddddddy do everything for her (cut up her food, etc). She'd get between us if we were kissing goodbye or hello, constantly interrupt our conversations, whine and pout if he held my hand and not hers, you name it.

I'd witnessed this girl freak the hell out when he'd leave the room. I mean, followed him to the bathroom and sit outside the door! In his apartment! Took her to a friend's birthday party once and she literally started crying when her dad left the room to use the bathroom and she wasn't allowed to follow. Things like this.

I'd tried explaining to him that he was stunting her growth and independence by always doing everything for her and for allowing her to be so clingy. He explained she'd been like that since the divorce. I suggested counseling. He rebuffed. The final straw for me came when she called a "family" meeting with her mother and him about how much affection he was showing me in front of her. The way she described it, you'd have thought we were groping each other like teenagers! This was over holding my hand and giving me a simple kiss hello or goodbye! Well, he, his ex wife and child all agreed that he and I should "cool it" around her because poor little baby was uncomfortable. I put my foot down and told him I was happy that his EX wife and his CHILD were dictating how OUR relationship was supposed to be, but I wasn't putting up with it and good luck to him to find another woman worth her salt that would.

He immediately went to her and her mother and set them straight about how they controlled his life, he was done, it was over, etc. There's so much to this story but I'll try to condense it as much as possible.

I sat him down and told him it was important for him to have a good relationship with his daughter and I'd never make him choose between us, but their relationship as it stood wasn't healthy for her. She treated him like a husband instead of a dad. He allowed her to decorate his apartment, took her out on "daddy/daughter dates" every Saturday, held her hand, let her sit on his lap, let her SPOON him, babied the shit out of her (wouldn't allow her to do things herself or try new things).

He met my daughter shortly thereafter. My daughter is only 6 mos older than SD but WAY more mature and intelligent. Very independent. He understood then and decided he'd try and foster SD's independence a bit. After I took photos of them at an NHL hockey game and he saw how she was sprawled out on his lap, holding his hand, her head on his chest, he was creeped out! He explained to her about inappropriate father/daughter interaction and affection and that she's too old to be hanging all over him holding his hand all the time.

Be gentle with your husband about setting firm boundaries with his girl NOW at this age, especially before baby comes along. She's well able to dress and bathe herself, doesn't need daddy's help with those things. He needs to put his marriage first above all. It's hard enough to make marriages work nowadays but almost impossible if you can't be a united front and make things tolerable for you both.

Good luck and let me know if I can help Smile

butterflybloom's picture

i totally relate to your story. Mine wasted so extreme as to go and wait for him outside the restroom, but it came close. Thank you for sharing you story.

Anon2009's picture

I think the reason these kids act the way they do is because when divorce happens, normal parent-child relationships and dynamics go to the wayside because they're now seeing less of each other, and lets face it, they do miss each other. Divorce and stepfamilies aren't natural for anyone.

That said, I think Dad needs to spend time with just her, reading stories, playing a game, etc. and he needs to ask her about her friends, school and life. He may not live with her or even near her but she needs him to know this stuff.

And she needs him to not let her interrupt you, try to push you out of sitting next to him or away from him, and consistent consequences for when she displays the behaviors you describe.

And I'd love to find out what bm says about you to her and if she encourages this behavior towards you. That too is a big factor.

RedWingsFan's picture

You have a point and that may apply to a lot of these situations, but SD was seeing her dad EVERY OTHER DAY...and she was raised to control her parents from day one, so when he took control back from her, all Hell broke loose.

DH did the one on one time with SD too. All it did was make her want EVERY day ALL the time to be one on one. She didn't want to be around me, so I gave her that respect and would make myself scarce. But it was to the point where SHE was dictating when her dad would see me, what we could do together, etc.

Discipline needs to come strictly from the father and definitely be consistent. SD knew that she could sweet talk her dad into almost anything because he was so guilty.

Andyandme's picture

I go through the same thing an it drives me crazy. The one thing I'm my is pregnant but think about it from time to time. It scares me though, I don't want to have a child from SO if we constantly fight about his daughter and my two kids. She recently seen me smacking SO butt and now she does it. Everything I do to her father she does it to. Good luck and congratulations on your baby. Wish I could give you some great advice but I know some of these ladies with more experience will have some great advice for you.

butterflybloom's picture

one day my sd at the time 12..said to me that she was her daddy's princess cuz she knew him longer, i said yeah but im the one that has his heart, she continues and says. he use to change me, i said, he undresses stopped there!!!

Layatc's picture

OMG... WOW thank you everyone! You don't know how happy I am to be reading all this. I felt like i was going crazy!! My husband even had me feeling guilty for even mentioning that i feel she has been over stepping the father daughter boundary. We argue all the time now on how he feels i feel that she is a manipulative kid and that I'm just Jealous and that i have no idea how a father daughter relationship is suppose to work. Since i didn't grow up with a dad i keep falling for it. Telling myself that maybe I'm a little sensitive maybe that is how things are suppose to be. But then every time she comes over and starts getting her way and demanding daddy this and daddy that and she does creepy butterfly kiss's on his neck... an i start getting these sidelong glares from her with a weird little grin... it always makes my stomach drop and i start getting all those creepy feelings about the situation again... But I'm not crazy I'm not broken for feeling this way!!!

So thank you everyone!!! I feel like i just found a piece of my sanity again. Thank you, Thank you, thank you.

Andyandme's picture

Lol omg she does the exact same thing, grrrrr feel like flicking her in the eye when she looks at me with her devil looking little face... I honestly don't know how much more I can take of this all I know is I'm very close to walking out and calling it quits.

step off already's picture

yes. DH used to have a mini wife in SS13!!! Yuck.

It's settled down a bit, but I'm still shocked by what this kid does:

tries to hold his hand if we are out with the kids in public
tries to sit next to DH at EVERY restaraunt, movie, etc
says "I love you dad" like 5 times in a row, literally
says, "can I have a hug" or "do you love me" way more than is possibly necessary
tries to sit on DH's lap

My DH is a bit of a macho guy and in no way wants to hold his son's hand nor does he want him on his lap and he seems to be pretty irritated when SS does this. I do let DH know that when he plays the "do you love me" game with his son, he is just encouraging a bad/immature habit and DH has eased up on this as he is now aware of it.

About a year ago, me and SS had it out. He was 12 at the time and basically SS said that I take all his dad's time now and that he's afraid his dad loves me more, I'm his Dad's BFF now, etc, etc. Pure jealousy.

I set him straight and said something along the lines of,

first of all, i am a woman and you are a 12 year old boy. We are not even on the same playing field. Your father and I are in love with each other and have an adult love, admiration and respect for each other. You are a child and you can not fully understand this. But you will when you're older. It's very different than what you and your dad have. No matter what ever happens, you will always be your dad's son. No one can change that. Not me, your mom, your grandma, no one. Your dad and I are choosing to be together because we ARE best friends and we want to bring our children together to build a better family for us all. We are not in a competition for your father's love. Just like your mom and dad are not in competition for YOUR love. They both love you. You love both of them but in different ways and for different reasons.

Some of what I said was harsh but he needed to hear it. And he needed to hear from me that there was room for both of us.

Andyandme's picture

Don't think you were harsh at all. I wish my SO would have this talk with his daughter but he is to afraid of hurting her feelings.

butterflybloom's picture husband is a total macho kinda guy..i was the one that brought out the affection he gives me. I'm such an affection person he cant resist sd13 ask do you love me or you don't even love me..why do you hug (my name) more than me...things like that...and to think i actually felt bad...and now i see she is still in the mini wife stage???? EYe opener!!! it makes sense now..and sense lately he doesn't fall for it...she has recently been playing the victim....

katielee's picture

We are dealing with a mini-wife situation here, too, with sd11. Things have gotten much better now that I finally got up the nerve to talk to DH, but they used to sit on one side at a restaurant with me on the other and sit there and hug and kiss and hold hands to the point I felt like I was on a date with them and I was the 3rd wheel. Whenever we would be out in public together at a store or somewhere, they would walk hand in hand or with their arms around each other and I would be trailing along behind.

Like you, I didn't know if I was supposed to feel the way I did, but finally it just became too much for me and I talked to him about it after living with it for over a year. I am very blessed in that he listened to me and has made a bunch of changes. It hasn't been easy, but I feel like we're a lot better off than we were. SD11 is still struggling with it and DH feels guilty so I don't know how all of this is going to turn out, but so far so good.

I wish you the best. I would suggest reading "Stepmonster." It was such a huge help for understanding why I feel the way I feel and that it is completely NORMAL and JUSTIFIED. I hope your husband will listen to you. I think if my husband hadn't responded so well to how I feel then we would have eventually divorced over it.