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Step Dad - Involvement

AdamShare's picture

It was my stepdaughters 16th birthday today and as she lives with her father my partner said at 6.45am this morning that she was going to call her.

However, instead of coming in to our bedroom to do it she went in to our sons room and Skyped her and as I wasn’t included I stayed where I was. Our kids went in to the room and they all sang happy birthday to her and watched her open her gifts. This really upset me as I felt excluded but when I mentioned it I was dismissed and was told that I should have just come in. I tried to explain how I felt and explained that if the shoe were on the other foot that I would haven’t acted like that but it fell on deaf ears and we just argued.

We have been together for 10 years and have 4 kids together so I just don’t understand why she wouldn’t just say “shall we call her” and then do it together as a family?

Am I right to be upset or am I overreacting?

elkclan's picture

It's impossible to know if you're overreacting or not. Why didn't you get up and join them? Were you excluded or did you exclude yourself?

justmakingthebest's picture

I agree with elkclan... you might have not included yourself here. It sounds like she made an announcement that she was going to call. Maybe she should have expressed it differently and said "come with me while I call..." but since you didn't follow her or join in with the kids, maybe this on is on you? It is hard to be a step or to always know where you fit in the puzzle but honestly this one doesn't sound like an intentional slight...

tog redux's picture

Has she made you feel left out before? How is your relationship with SD? Do you get along, would she be happy to see you at her Skype Birthday party?

I think you should believe your wife, unless there is a history of her dismissing your feelings about not being included.

twoviewpoints's picture

I don't think I'd Skype a happy birthday/watch opening presents with my sixteen year old daughter in the bedroom where SF is still not up and starting his day either.

However I would have been excited to call my daughter and to do it early enough before the teen had to hurry for school. So yes, I'd have called early. I might also do the call in the kids bedroom so they could all be in on it without them too running around too early.... but with that said, I would have definitely informed you of my intentions the evening before ('hey, we're calling the birthday girl in the morning real early, just letting you know so you can be up and ready if you want to participate') .

So I think it's fair for you to mention to your wife that you are disappointed that you had a few second heads-up and felt uninvited and excluded. Chances are she never gave it a thought of purposely ditching you, but fact is she kind of did.

Better to talk about it (and in a non-accusatory way) then to wonder and/or build hard feelings. 

Rags's picture

My opinion on this is... it depends.  If  there is history of you being iced and excluded then yes, your feeling upset is legitimate and not over reacting. If there is not an established history then... your feelings are not legitimate and you are over reacting.

Only you know the comprehensive picture.