My daughter doesn't want to see her step-father.

@mamasan34 (6521)
United States
March 28, 2007 8:25am CST
I have a slight dilemma. It is coming up on summer and my ex husband would like my daughter to come visit and she doesn't want to go. We were together for 10 years and he was a pretty good father figure. I believe that he has contributed to her being as well adjusted as she is. In the last year or so, I have reunited with her biological father and will be marrying him next month. While her biological dad had his head up his butt, my ex husband was the primary father figure in her life. So, now she doesn't want to have anything to do with her step-father and I am torn between making her go and not making her go. I have talked to her many times but I just can't make her do something she doesn't want to do. On the other hand I don't think it is fair to him, that he helped me raise this beautiful girl and she doesn't want to see him. They did have a few problems during our divorce and I think she is still angry with him. So, if I don't make her go am I making it easy for her to run away from her problems? What do you think?
6 people like this
18 responses
• United States
28 Mar 07
Hey, sweety! The fact that your daughter doesn't want to go reflects on the treatment she is getting from her step dad. She is a very mature young lady who knows what she wants. Any child her age would feel the same way. Why go out of their way to spend time with someone who clearly does not take time to stay in contact. A phone call or a letter really doesn't take that much time out of one schedule. I think you should respect her feelings and not make her go. You will only push her away from you and into a rebelling stage. Not to mention the fact that it could injure(I know I spelled that wrong) the bond you have work so hard to build between the two of you. You want her to be able to count on you and come to you in time of need. By forcing her to go where she does not want to go will only hurt that bond. If she were 9 or younger I would say make her go, she doesn't really know what she wants. But she's older. And she knows how she feels. Do you really want her uncomfortable this summer and rejecting you? Just some friendly advise from a friend.
2 people like this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
28 Mar 07
Thanks for the comment, I totally understand where you are coming from. I guess it is just my conscience speaking! I know he hasn't been in contact with her all that much. She does tell me that he emails her frequently, but the phone calls have stopped. Honestly I just don't think he wants to call because he is afraid my fiance will answer the phone. LOL. You know how he is! I will just give her time and let her make her own decision on this.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 07
That's all you can do right now. She is going through alot of changes right now. Your divorce, her dad's back in the picture, you're getting remarried...Maybe when things calm down a bit she will change her mind and want to see him. Just remember not to push the issue and let her know you are always there if she ever needs to talk.
2 people like this
@bluewings (3857)
28 Mar 07
I think this probably has to do with the insecurity of losing her biological father again.Once you all start living together and she feels that her father is fond of her,I think she might change her mind and want to visit her step-father ,even if it's for a little while.I think what's of importance here is time.With things falling into place as you move in with her biological father,she might take it easy and do as you want her to.
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
28 Mar 07
We are living together and they have been having a fantastic relationship so far. It has taken them alot of work to get to this point. I guess time is the answer. Honestly, I would prefer she didn't go, but I don't let her know that. I want her to form her own opinions. Even my fiance doesnt know this! It is not like a bad feeling, just an uncomfortable one, not a feeling that would be easily readable to her. Thanks for your comment!
1 person likes this
@bluewings (3857)
28 Mar 07
I understand what you are saying.I think you are doing the right thing by allowing her to make up her own mind and not telling what you really feel.Whichever way it goes,it is going to workout for the best as long as she makes her own decision.Yes,Time is the best troubleshooter.
1 person likes this
@Kali2218 (61)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I believe you should make her go, for at least a little while. She obviously has some things she needs to work out with him, but if she doesn't go to see him they won't ever be worked out. If you think that she'll be safe and there's no reason she shouldn't go, (other than she's saying she doesn't want to go) then she should go. If things really are bad after a couple days then she should come home, but I think it would be beneficial for her to see him. As you said, he helped raise her and was an influential part of her life. They should keep some sort of relationship.
2 people like this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
28 Mar 07
At first I thought it was because he was living with his girlfriend now, but she said that wasn't it. I even suggested we have him come to visit our friends house and it would be neutral ground and if she still didn't feel comfortable going to visit after a couple of hours, I wouldn't make her go. I believe if she saw him that they could work things out and she would feel more comfy. I just don't want her running from her problems and I agree with you that she should go or at the least meet him at our friends house so they can clear the air. Thanks for the response!
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I would seriously gt to the bottom of it...I mean has the bio dad maybe said something that might have her not wanting to go? Whether intentionally or not...Does she maybe have a fear that she'll be betraying her bio dad and he may "go away" again? Has her step father maybe (intentionally or not) said somethign to her about her real dad or about you two getting married....there could be numerous reasons and I htink your best bet is to sit down and have "no holds barred" talk with her and get to the bottom of it...once you have an idea of WHY she really doesnt want to go THEN you will know how best to handle it...
2 people like this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I have approached the subject with her, did I say something, did her dad say something? She always says no, this is just how she feels. It breaks my heart sometimes. Her bio father has made it clear that he is ok with her visiting her step-father and has told her that it is ok, he wasn't the best dad when she was younger and that he has alot of respect for my exhusband and he has told her this many times that she should respect him and love him just the same. We have both been very supportive of her relationship with him. But maybe even though, this has been said she still may think the things you stated in your comment. Thanks for that, it gave me something to think about!
1 person likes this
@CLUBSUGAS (257)
• United States
28 Mar 07
well you stated they had problems during the divorce - it is common also to see children side with the person that they live with. Obviously you divorced him for a reason, so she has a point in not seeing him, when you yourself make no attempt at spending the day with him and pretending everything is rosie - follow from example is what I like to say in leading children
2 people like this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I understand what you are saying. I don't think it is appropriate to spend time with my exhusband when I am in another relationship. Although, when I am in town, he comes to visit our friends and if I am there, I am very polite and friendly. I have spoken with my daughter about my situation and it shouldn't affect how she feels about her step-dad. I do know what you mean by children siding with the parent they live with. It makes it difficult. Thanks for your comment!
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Mar 07
How long does your ex want your daughter to visit for? If it is the whole summer, that might be overwheming for your daughter to be thinking about, if she hasn't seen him in a while. She is probably also confused about the whole father/stepfather thing, and maybe she feels like she's being disloyal to her birth father, who is back in her life, if she still thinks of her stepfather as her dad. Did that make sense? It would help if her birth father spoke to her and encouraged her to go, telling her it would not hurt his feelings and that he would like for her to continue seeing her ex-stepfather. He could tell her he is grateful to her stepfather for having spent so much time helping to raise her, when he himself was not able to. You could tell your daughter she MUST go for a short time... say, a week or several days... and then if she is miserable she can come home, but if she is having fun she can stay. Hopefully when she is there for a few days, her stepfather will have some fun things planned for her, and they will be able to do some bonding... and maybe she'll decide to stay longer!
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
It is only for a few days during the summer while I am in town. Her birth father has broached the subject with her and told him that he was her father for 10 years and that he doesn't mind that she visits and has a relationship with it. So he is rather encouraging of the situation. I will talk to her about having a visit with him in a neutral location for an afternooon and see how she feels after that. But I am going to give her time to relax and let this go for a bit.
• United States
4 Apr 07
I don't want to sound like an alarmist but I don't think it's wise to encourage her to go be with her step father until you know why she doesn't want to go. If you were married to this man for ten years and she suddenly doesn't want to see him, there could be a molestation issue with either him or someone he knows. Young girls who have a healthy relationship with a father figure don't usually become this adamant about not seeing them unless they feel threatened in some way. I was trying not to bring up this possibility but ever since I read this post initially, my alarm bells went off and I think that this possibility needs to be considered.
@sarah22 (3981)
• United States
4 Apr 07
i would not make her as she will them make things worse. let her chose to go. there is time for her and let them talk more on the phone and so to repair what ever needs to. making her is not good
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
4 Apr 07
Thanks for the comment. I agree with you that making her is not the best idea. Thanks!
@ILANEDRI (1922)
• Israel
29 Mar 07
I don't think that you can force to meet her dad. That's her decision, and if she doesn't want to do, then don't make her. If you go against her, she might will not talk to you. How would you feel if someone will make to do something that you realy don't want to? I am sure you won't like it at all. Her dad can try talking to her in a gentle way, and it might work. Kids have a big ego, and even if she will regret and want to meet her father, she won't admit it.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
That is a very good way of looking at it. I didn't put myself in her shoes and no I guess I wouldn't like it. Kids sure do have a big ego sometimes and I will definitely put more thought into that! Thanks!
@denden (803)
• Philippines
29 Mar 07
i think its just a natural situation in a broken family because during and after the divorced the children are very affected and very hurt in that. children dont want that their parents got separated and dont want somebody will take place her real father. i think you should talk to you daughter and make her understand the situation.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
Thanks for your response, I have spoken to her on several occasions, maybe I just need to try a different approach, with everyones suggestions I will try to implement them the next time! Thanks.
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
29 Mar 07
I wouldn't make her go. I would keep trying to find out why she doesn't want anything to do with him. Do you think he could have behaved inappropriately toward her at some time? It doesn't sound as though there is any evidence but I'm always a little paranoid about that sort of thing.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
I did ask her about that, I dont take anything for granted these days. I am also paranoid about things like that. She says he has not, but I reassured her that if someone did do that she could always come and tell me and we would work through it together. I know him very well, and I am very sure that could not happen. I really don't know why she is like this right now. I know they had some issues in the beginning of the divorce, but we all talked and I thought that was all worked out. Apparently there are some underlying issues, but making her go is not the answer! Thanks for the response!
@ainpat (280)
29 Mar 07
Just pray and ask help so our Heavenly Father can solve your problem he's the number one problem solver in this world, if you believe in him he will solve any problem you have, nothing is impossible to him, anything is possible.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
I have prayed about this, I too believe that God can help solve this problem. Thanks!
• United States
29 Mar 07
I'm not sure how old she is but making her go is definitely not the answer to the situation. That would just make things worse. If there were problems when you got divorced between the two of them, you need to find out what they are. It may just be that she was being loyal to you or there could be something else that you don't know about that is more serious. I think you need to reassure your daughter that you will not force her to do anything but you would like to know why she doesn't want to see your ex. Don't make too big a deal out of it but if it's something important, you would like to know. Explain to her that you don't want her to get in the habit of avoiding a relationship because of a problem because that will cause problems for her in other relationships in the future. I think if you approach it from that perspective, she'll be willing to open up.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
This is true! I am going to keep reassuring her that I am here if and when she is ready to talk. I am trying not to make a big deal out of it, but I too feel it is important to be resolved for her because of the reason you explained. Thanks!
• United States
29 Mar 07
Well from what I think what you should do is don't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do. Let hercome to him on her own. Forcing it will only make her more mad than what she is. Have you ever tried hearing her side why she is acting like that. Maybe thats all she needs is for her feelings to come out about your divorce.And maybe that will help her fell that she not the wrong one for not visiting her father.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
Yes, I have asked her many times how she and she just wants to keep it private for now. She says she is not ready to talk about it. So I have left it alone for now. I just told her that I was here when she was ready. I guess that is all I can do for now!
@cazman (23)
• United States
29 Mar 07
i kinda have the same thing but truned around i like my step dad ans i realy dont like my dad that much
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
It is great that you have a wonderful relationship with your step-dad, I am sorry to hear your relationship with your dad isn't that good.
@vanities (11387)
• Davao, Philippines
29 Mar 07
in situation like that you must not forced your daughter to let meet her stepfather you msut respect her decision of this and she have all the right...all you going to do maybe made some alibis for your ex..or maybe explained to him how his step daughter feels on this...
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
That is a good suggestion to talk to my ex-husband away from her and tell him to be patient for now and let her come around. Thanks!
@Stephanie5 (2947)
• United States
28 Mar 07
If I were you I would have a meeting with her aand her step father and get to the bottom of this. Forcing her to go isn't the right answer nor letting her just not go. You have get to the bottom of this! Good Luck!
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
I thought of that. Right now I am going to step back for a little bit and let the situation cool down. Then before school lets out for the summer broach the situation again. Right now she is really pushing for it to be left alone. But I agree that forcing her is not the right answer.
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
28 Mar 07
My first thought is whether she feels it would be disloyal to her real dad. I think if the idea is for her to go visit him alone and she doesn't want I would step back and let her win this one. Try to make her talk about the issues they had during the divorce to cover the worry you have of letting her run away from problems.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
29 Mar 07
That is what I intend to do, all of these great suggestions are giving me a little more ease as to what I should and shouldn't do! Thanks so much!
• Pakistan
29 Mar 07
well just ask your daughter whats the problem and then try to solve those problem
1 person likes this