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Struggling to bond with DP's DD

(9 Posts)
SecondTimeHere Wed 08-Feb-17 16:18:28

A few years back I was in a relationship with a guy who had a child. His daughter
was 18 months old when I first met him and we were together until she was 5 and a half. During that time I grew really close to her. My ex had 50:50 custody and despite not being married (we were engaged) I referred to her as my stepdaughter. I was gutted when we broke up that I'd never see his daughter again and even now I still think about her and wonder how she's getting on. The relationship with my ex was abusive and I'm so glad we broke up but that doesn't make losing the bond with his daughter any easier.

I'm now with someone who also has a child. She's 5 and I'm really struggling to bond with her. I'm so so scared of this relationship not working out and then I'd never see her again. She's a beautiful, lovely little girl. She makes me smile and I miss her when she's not around. But I feel I've put up a barrier between us because of the fear of losing her. DP and I have spoken about marriage and we feel like this relationship is it, but you never know do you. And I know that if this is ever going to work I need to knock down those walls but I don't know how. It's not his daughter's fault I've been hurt before, she doesn't deserve me being distant with her.

How on earth do I move forwards with this? I really don't want it to be such an ongoing issue sad

gingina Wed 08-Feb-17 19:29:44

I had a dsd in a previous relationship who I don't see anymore. I was with her dad from when she was 11 to 15. My DC saw her as their sister.
I'm friends with her in FB now but we haven't seen each other for a long time.
Now I have 2 dsc with DP and I have always held back from them a little. They aren't as easy to love as ex dsd was and although I love them in a way and I've known them for 7 years it doesn't come close to how I felt about my first dsd.

SecondTimeHere Wed 08-Feb-17 20:39:46

It's so hard isn't it though I'm glad you're now reconnected via Facebook.

I think that's part of my issue too gingina she's quite difficult to bond with, nowhere near as easy as ex-DSD. Ex DSD grew close to people really quickly, regularly told me she loved me, always wanted to cuddle etc. DP's DD now is quite reserved, very independent, has never told me she loves me, only occasionally wants hugs from me but most of the time she just wants DP. It makes it so difficult to bond.

That said, she's the child and it's not her fault I'm struggling. Maybe I just need to try harder...

gingina Wed 08-Feb-17 22:04:20

I think some kids are easier than others.
I was very close to first dsd but she was very much on my wavelength and I was like an older sister to her. We'd go shopping together and genuinely enjoyed each other's company.
Current dsc are lovely but there just isn't that connection I had before.
I don't worry about it though - everyone is different

Ilovecaindingle Wed 08-Feb-17 22:08:27

Try and find something special only the 2 of you do /say /joke about/ that can become something only you do together? Maybe a TV show that you both love (even if you have to pretend to love paw patrol!)

balia Thu 09-Feb-17 17:50:00

How often does your DP see his DD? If it is the traditional eow then maybe she just wants that time with her Dad. Perhaps if she knows she will get 121 time with him at specific points she might be more receptive to you joining in at other times?

Also, your ex's DD was only tiny when you met her, so I imagine it was much easier to bond anyway. 5 years olds are much more reserved.

SecondTimeHere Fri 10-Feb-17 13:23:42

I met his DD when she was 2 so I've known her a while. She does get 1-to-1 time with DP. Geez I'm not there constantly, that'd drive me crazy!

swingofthings Fri 10-Feb-17 20:58:16

I don't know the answer but your post brought tears to my eyes. It really shows how invested step parents can become emotionally and how little control they have over that investment. I don't blame you for being weary to fall in love with her again and risking going through the pain of the loss again. As long as she doesn't feel rejected, then let's hope that all goes well in your relationship and you can gradually relaxed. At least if worse were to come in years to come, at least she would be old enough to decide for herself that she still wants to have contact with you.

SecondTimeHere Sun 12-Feb-17 13:38:32

swing thank you for your post. I don't know why exactly but it really reassured me that I'm doing okay. In all honesty I do love her, it took me so long to have the courage to say it to her. I think it's only in the last few months I've told her. I've felt it for longer but wanted to make sure it was true as it's not something you can take back. She doesn't say it back but that's okay, as long as she knows she is loved.

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