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My Eight Year old wants to be one Big Happy Family

amber3902's picture

My girls and I have been living with my SO for about six months now. Things are going well.

But I notice my eight year old wants my SO to be so involved with her. For the most part he doesn't mind, but there are times when I can see he doesn't want so much attention from her.

For example, this morning he was laying on the couch and I came over to give him a kiss. My eight year old came over and laid on him, and started giving him kisses. She was all in his face, and he gently moved her off of him.

Sometimes he doesn't like people in his face, so I thought it was that and started to move away from him as well, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me in to kiss me again. So it was like he was rejecting her, and only wanted to be affectionate with me.

Other times she'll try to do a "family hug" type of thing, where all three of us are hugging each other. It's like she's trying to make my SO her daddy. She sees her dad every Saturday, so he is a part of her life.

The other day she had a performance at school. She wanted my SO and I to come see her perform. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to make it because of work. So D8 asked SO to come but he said he couldn't either, although he's off work this week. At the last minute I was able to make arrangements so I could make the performance, and when SO heard that I was going then he said he could go too.

I understand he's not her dad, and I have told him that I don't expect him to be a dad to her, but at the same time he has said he would come to school functions for my girls. So it kind of hurt that he didn't want to go unless I was going.

Don't get me wrong, for the most part, they get along great. It's just a few little things like this that concern me. I would like to help my D8 pull back just a little bit because while most stepkids can't seem to stand the step parent, I seem to have the opposite problem, LOL.

amber3902's picture

Thanks for the input, LadyFace. Yes, this is my BF, not husband. I see your point that it would be awkward for him attending school functions without me.

And I will "train" her to step back when my SO wants to be affectionate with me.

It's always good to get an outside perspective, thanks, very helpful!

amber3902's picture

Thanks, I almost didn't post but I'm glad I did. Now I know I'm being a bit unrealistic with my expectations.

And to answer your other question, unfortunately, it's not possible for D8 to spend more time with her dad. He works nights, Monday - Friday so he can't see our daughters during the week. He gets them every Saturday. It used to be they would spend the time every other Saturday, but lately he's been finding excuses for them not to spend the night.

And even if she did spend more time with him, I don't know how much quality time it would actually be. Whenever they visit their dad they spend most of their time playing video games or watching movies while he's upstairs on the computer.

amber3902's picture

Thanks, Ditzy.

I think you hit the nail on the head. My daughter and I have got to stop putting pressure on him to be a certain way. It's not fair. I guess even though I told him I wasn't looking for a father for my girls, subconsciously I guess I was hoping after time passed he'd want to step into that role. My girls have such a sucky dad for a father it was wishful thinking that someone else would see that and want to step up.

Like you say I have got to let that dream go.

amber3902's picture

Thanks for sharing that with me, Dtzy. I'm so sorry for your loss. HUGS to you, too!

You are right, it takes time. If you keep pushing someone to do something, that's only going to make them want to push back. Not that I've been pushing, per se, but I do need to let things develop on their own.

amber3902's picture

Yes, that has been a concern of his. I'm pretty sure he knows I would never accuse him of something like this, unless of course it actually happened.

But he has said he's known of men whose careers have been ruined by being accused of sexual abuse, regardless of whether they were guilty or not. So I can understand that concern.

amber3902's picture


amber3902's picture

That's so sad. Sorry that happened to you.

I will let BF handle it how he feels is best.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

Am I the only one who thinks this is a classic case of the little girl has a crush on her mommy's boyfriend? That's what I'm seeing...

amber3902's picture

I don't know if that's case or not.

Her father was never affectionate with me. He never hugged or kissed me. He didn't spend a lot of time with us when we were married, he was a terrible husband and father. He'd spend his time on the computer or watching TV upstairs while me and the girls ate dinner downstairs.

Ugh, if this is the case, how do I fix this?

amber3902's picture

What? You mean there isn't a magic wand I can just wave so everyone knows how to act? Wink

Thanks for the tips. I do feel BF feels awkward correcting her, I have encouraged him to be a little more firm with her. My D8 will listen, but you have to tell her in a no nonsense kind of voice, something he just hasn't mastered yet, LOL.

ENuff's picture

I think since in your bio it's says he has no children of his own. He doesn't know how to be a Dad and maybe frankly it scares him to be placed in that role and he himself has set up boundaries without communicating them with you.

You have been a mom for 15 years it's second nature to you. To him ~ not so much.

I'd let him set the course ~ n take what you can get. Like you said ~ you didn't want him to be Dad but your daughters actions say she does. He is trying ~ give him space to figure out it on his own.
I myself don't like to get mauled at times ~ I'd be uncomfortable going alone to a school function as well. He doesn't want to over step his boundaries ~ she already has a Dad. That's not his role.

amber3902's picture

Yes, you are right, I've been a mom for 15 years and I have to remember this is all very new for him.

I have to be more patient and let things take their course.

Starla's picture

Just want to add one suggestion, can you lay the pressure on her dad. Maybe he needs to find a different job or something but if he isn't already aware of it, he needs to know that she is seeking a father figure and once a week isn't enough for her. Its important that she learns how to be treated by a man which should come from her dad.

That is great that you are here reaching out. Smile Good luck!!!

amber3902's picture

Thanks for the suggestion, but it was all I could do to get him to spend the time that he does with them. At one point he didn't want to spend any time with them because in his words there was "nothing for them to do over here."

He has a three bedroom apartment that he lives in by himself. You would think he'd set up at least one of the bedrooms for the girls to sleep in?

Nope, one bedroom is his bedroom, the second bedroom is his computer room, and the third bedroom he uses as storage for his mountains of wrestling tapes.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a tangent, but this is not the kind of father that would be willing to change his lifestyle for the sake of his kids. The reason I finally divorced him was because I did not want my girls to think that the way he treated me was how men are supposed to treat women.

xandom's picture

I would say a lot of SOs boundaries will be based on not wanting to cross lines and opening himself up to potential allegations. It's also nice he's respecting your ex (as bad of a father as he is) as the father. But a relationship between step-anything can take a very long time especially without an instant bonding item. DD8 needs to learn a bit of boundaries but that's the age she's at. It's good that she is affectionate with him at all and it doesn't sound he was too harsh in ''rejecting'' her.

deekay11's picture

my little girl is 8 and exactly the same as your daughter with my boyfriend and i believe it is because she simply really likes him,i was seeing a man before that and my daughter would barely talk to him but with my current boyfriend she follows him about like a little lost sheep and sometimes i tell her off for it but he just laughs and thinks it is cute and they have a great relationship but again no hands on affection.

as one of the posters pointed out for a man who is not the biological father of a little girl it must often be a dilemma whether or not to show physical affection incase it is thought to be inappropriate. what i do with my daughter is i play a game where i grab her and say no way you are mine i get the cuddles! and that appeases the situation for all of us in a relaxed way