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Step daughter and fiancé.

(38 Posts)
CathyTre Fri 10-Aug-18 22:29:32

Hi - I’m not sure how to deal with issues that have come up with my partner’s daughter, who is lovely and I’m terribly fond of her... but!

My partner is a widower and his wife was killed in a road traffic incident when his children were eight and nearly twelve.

They are now 15 and 19 and very lovely kids. (Youngest girl, eldest boy).

I am separated from my children’s father after he started an affair with a work colleague and left me for her when my youngest child was 9 months old. My children are 18, 6 and two and a half.

All was going well, I had (I thought) a lovely relationship with my step daughter to be and we all got on really well - until her father asked me to marry him.

Now she is NOT happy. He has sold their former family home after several years and we were looking at houses that all of us could live in. Now, she doesn’t want me or my children to move in, she wants it to be hers and his house, and it’s ok if we’re dating but she doesn’t want us to get married either.

He has said we will still get married but we have to postpone the wedding we had booked for next summer until she is happy - even if that is when she is an adult. The house he is buying IS the one we looked at that is suitable for all of us - but it will just be him and her permanently living there (her brother is at uni) until she says it’s ok for me and my children to move in.

My eldest son and his son have developed a good relationship and go out together occasionally these days as they are almost exactly a year apart in age and neither are remotely bothered about my relationship with my partner. My small children very much like him - as they do their step mother (the other woman so if I’m honest I dislike her on principle but she seems very nice to my children).

I don’t know what I’m asking really - but the goal posts have shifted from where we were and I feel a bit unhappy about the situation.

We’re going on holiday tomorrow with the older children whilst my small children are away with my ex. I know his daughter and I will get on well as she’s lovely and I really like her and she SEEMS to still like me and want to spend time with me - but I will confess I fell a little bit resentful 🙁

donajimena Fri 10-Aug-18 22:40:12

Gosh that's a tough one. This must have absolutely rocked her world. I'm not one to let children dictate their parents personal lives and in normal circumstances I'd be inclined to be outraged at her behaviour however she lost her mum and she is still really young. I do think there needs to be a timescale involved. At 16 she'll more than likely be coming and going with the view to moving out. Its not fair that your relationship is dependent on her feelings. Where/when do you draw the line?
I'm sorry I haven't been much help. Fwiw my partners ex married a widower. The youngest was 18 and they were both in uni. But they were not happy. Due to their ages her now husband felt more able to tell them this was going to happen. If he'd left it open ended who knows when they would have 'approved'

CathyTre Fri 10-Aug-18 22:44:45

Thank you for that - I should clarify, we were never planning on moving in together until after the wedding which is/was booked for August next year, but rather to gradually blend it over the next year whilst I keep my home up at the same time.

I truly sympathise with step daughter to be as her dad is joe obviously her only parent and they’re very very close.

But I love him too! (I know I am the grown up here, but I’m just being honest!)

CathyTre Fri 10-Aug-18 22:47:20

Now not joe!

Seniorschoolmum Fri 10-Aug-18 23:02:00

To be honest, your soon-to-be step daughter is 15. She is at an age when they grow up very fast. In your circumstances, I think I’d delay the wedding until she is more comfortable.
You and your dp can still have your relationship but without all the teenage angst souring it in the background.
Please don’t put him in a situation where he has to choose because that won’t end well for anyone. Just bide your time and help her to see that her dad will always love her just as much.

CathyTre Fri 10-Aug-18 23:09:53

Thank you - I would never try and make him choose as that’s just impossible- I’d never choose a partner over my kids either so I do know that’s non negotiable. And I don’t want him to!

I just feel like all was going so well and it’s just like it’s sort of permanently on hold now. I feel a bit insecure really. As she also said that he was married to mummy and it makes her really unhappy that he could want to marry someone else.

I love him and if I’m honest would wait indefinitely, but I just feel the rug has been pulled under a bit and a bit resentful as she was ok until marriage was on the cards. 🙁

Ariela Fri 10-Aug-18 23:46:41

I suspect she is feeling you are replacing or trying to replace her mother.

Do make sure you acknowledge her mother, and that you know her father always loved her mother, and still does. Although her father loves you too, he still loves his first wife because she is the mother of his children, and that is extra special. Reassure her you are not replacing her mother and never will, but you are an extra part of her father's life, a new chapter in his life.

CathyTre Sat 11-Aug-18 00:07:39

Yes, you could be right - my partner dated a few people before we met through online dating but I am his only “proper” or serious relationship since they lost his first wife. (We met through mutual friends).

They talk about his first wife a lot in passing (like for example “oh, mummy liked those flowers do you remember?”) sort of thing in a very natural way and there are photos of them all together in his house and that sort of thing.

From what I can gather from his friends who I now socialise with with him who also knew her, she and I are not alike at all in personality which is probably a good thing in terms of his daughter feeling maybe that he’s replacing her?

She was a very devoted and hands on mum and my partner has told me that really now his biggest sadness when he thinks of her is that she didn’t get the chance to see her children grow up as they were her world; the whole thing IS very sad.

But he is not hung up on her at all and is as “over it” as you get when bereaved. And step daughter to be is generally very together- it’s just this marriage thing that seems to have thrown a spanner in the works.

CathyTre Sat 11-Aug-18 00:09:44

Also that I have young children maybe - she has always been his youngest if you see what I mean and I think she worries that if we live together the little ones will take up time/attention/be annoying?

BackforGood Sat 11-Aug-18 00:26:21

It is a difficult situation, but I really don't think it is a good idea to let her know that her Dad and you need "her permission" to marry, and for her Dad to say it won't happen until she is ready - that could be 10 years or more, or 'never'.

I do, however, have a lot of sympathy for her. Dad 'seeing' someone else is a very different place to 'Dad getting married. In many way - given the circumstances, the blending of two families, and particularly her age, the decision to get married has ben reached pretty quickly. Less than 2 years for 2 single individuals is one thing, but that isn't the situation here.
Whereas I don't know what to suggest in moving forwards from here, I think she needed more time to get used to the whole concept of this being a lifetime of you and her Dad being in a relationship, before you started talking about marriage, but I don't think giving her this power to "allow" you to get married or not - EVER !?! - can be a good thing.

fuzzyfozzy Sat 11-Aug-18 06:56:48

Is it the wedding or the moving in, that's upsetting her?
I get while you're upset, looking to the future what happens if in 5 years she still doesn't want this?

swingofthings Sat 11-Aug-18 08:49:43

You sound very lovely and indeed, it sounds like she likes you very much, but she might have a point that things might have been going a bit fast. You can't have been together more than 2 years, so already talking marriage, even before you moved in together might be a bit premature. Maybe she is worried that you are desperate to marry him for his money (total assumption here if he is earning good money and you don't).

I wouldn't take this in a bad way, slowing things a bit might not be a bad thing. After all, you have a little one, how do you know how he will react living with a small child again? Why were you waiting to be married to move in together?

Biologifemini Sat 11-Aug-18 08:58:24

Marriage to you will mess up his own kids inheritance. I commented on this before as it happened when I was at school.
Even teenagers know that the pot will be split more ways and they can be left with nothing.
Just don’t bother with getting married and move in together.....perhaps. This would show that you are not after his cash.
That isn’t a great solution.

Starlight345 Sat 11-Aug-18 09:03:46

This is a really tough one .

I am assuming this is her gcse year so to be honest not a year I would rock the boat .

Is she leaving the home where her mum lives ?

How are you going to manage 2 homes financially?

Has dad talked to about her what the actual issue is ? Does she object to the marriage . Is she worried about lack of 1-1 time with dad

CathyTre Sat 11-Aug-18 09:11:46

Hi - thanks for replies - it’s the wedding and the moving in that are upsetting her I think. She wants to have a home just with her and her dad for the foreseeable. And she doesn’t like the idea of her dad remarrying- I do think she sees it that her mum was his wife and no one else should really have that role if you see what I mean.

I think pp is right and it’s not necessarily any bad thing to slow things down - we have been together 18 months and the wedding if we stuck to the original date would be when we’ve been together two and a half years.

It just feels a bit like the way it’s been discussed - as someone said- what if she’s NEVER ok with it? 🙁

As regards money - that’s really not a consideration at all but I can see why some people have said that as I can see there are circumstances where that might be a thing, but no I’m absolutely sure she does not think I’m after his cash!

Anyway we’re all off on holiday today and she’s looking forward to it as are the rest of us so I think it’s best just to carry on and see how things move along - the relationship is great and we’re really happy all of us generally speaking, which I never would have expected when my ex and I first split up so it’s not a terrible situation by any means - I guess I just feel insecure about the whole thing which is probably just something I have to get over.

CathyTre Sat 11-Aug-18 09:15:26

Oh sorry, I missed the last post - we already have two separate homes so that’s not an issue, and yes, she is worried about losing one to one time with her dad; they are naturally very close. The older boys are not remotely bothered by the whole thing and just sort of “Oh right, sound, good plan” sort of thing when we told them about the plans 😂

CathyTre Sat 11-Aug-18 09:17:36

Oh and yes it will be her gcse year next year - obviously I don’t want her to be stressed or anxious about anything.

YeTalkShiteHen Sat 11-Aug-18 09:21:59

If she’s worried about losing one to one time with her dad can you both address that with her? Make plans for one on one time for them both to reassure her?

It must be really hard for her to cope with and it’s totally understandable that leaving her family home (where her Mum lived?) is a huge wrench. Will there still be photos of her Mum around? Maybe she’s worried that the natural way her Mum is talked about will stop after you move in?

I’m an adult and my family home going after Mum died knocked me hard. I’d be ok with Dad meeting someone else, but I would be concerned if they were trying to replace my Mum if that makes sense? But if they gave my Mum her place and didn’t try to erase her memory I would be happy for him.

I guess talking things through is the best way OP, address each concern as it comes. It sounds like you are aware of her feelings and that’s a good thing!

Magda72 Sat 11-Aug-18 12:28:37

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I think you are being put in an awful position here & are being asked to step up a little too much.
Your fiancé asked you to marry him & now you have to back off & wait, sort of indefinitely, until his daughter decides it's ok to move on! You are also expected to not share a family home that you & your fiancé chose together because she doesn't want you there!
Her dm has been dead 7 years which is nearly half her lifetime & in truth if your fiancé was dating previous to meeting you he was always planning to 'move on' & as such he should have been preparing her for the possibility of his eventually meeting someone he would like to spend the rest of his life with.
Don't get me wrong I have every sympathy for this girl - losing your mum & such a young age is terrible & huge & of course she's bound to be worried & wobbly about the future. However, that doesn't mean she should be let dictate the pace of YOUR relationship. In giving in to all her demands now a dynamic is going to be set between herself and her dad whereby she & he are the primary relationship, to the detriment of everyone else including even her brother who also lost his mum but who seems to be not letting it define him.
I also appreciate she's heading into an exam year so yes maybe holding back on the wedding for a is a good idea but if you and your fiancé have picked out a house together I honestly don't see that you shouldn't move in.
Her dad asked you to marry him - it's now up to him to manage his moving on with his life without making you & your kids collateral damage.

NorthernSpirit Sat 11-Aug-18 13:00:27

Agree with @Magda72. Poor girl has lost her mum but unfortunately that doesn’t mean she gets to decide and dictate adult lives.

Wound some counselling help her. I lost my father in my early 30’s and it was tough watching my mum (who had been married to my dad for 36 years) meet another man but it wasn’t my decision and I want my mum to be happy.

You have to do what’s best for you all, not one person.

swingofthings Sat 11-Aug-18 13:02:41

I agree Magda she shouldn't dictate her dad's life however maybe she is the level headed one who made her dad realised that he was rushing things. People in love of all ages get carried away and it seems to be case here.

There have been so many threads here saying how great things were at the beginning and then went pear shape after marriage. Considering the circumstances on both sides taking time getting to know each other properly has to be a sensible decision. There's a lot at stake emotionally.

ApolloandDaphne Sat 11-Aug-18 13:11:44

It sounds like it is just all a bit too much for her to take in right now. She lost her mum but still had the house that she lived in with all the associated memories. Now the house has been sold and this will be another massive loss for her. She needs to work it all out in her own time. Be gentle with her. Use this holiday to develop your relationship and allow her to voice her concerns and discuss them if she wants to. Hopefully she will come round to the idea of you and her DF marrying sooner rather than later.

Snappedandfarted2018 Sat 11-Aug-18 21:55:30

It sounds like she doesn’t have an issue with you as a person but that her memory of her mother being her df wife. I’m guessing him selling their family home would be hard if that was the home where her mother lived and is full of memories and by getting a new one would be like erasing her mother. I think she’s at an difficult age and it must be extremely hard when she hasn’t got a mother to turn to.

SandyY2K Sun 12-Aug-18 01:16:32

So if she's NEVER okay with It, you won't be marrying him?

If/when you move into the house, it's still going to feel like you've moved into her and her dad's house. You'll feel like an outsider.

I'm not sure I'd be okay with that.

Slimmingsnake Sun 12-Aug-18 20:52:13

This girl has too much power...this is a dp problem..both my parents remarried And I certainly did not get a say in either decision...I expect you could put the wedding off by 10 years and she would still feel the same...if your dp won't stand up to her I'd move think you will be messed around ,and I think you will grow to resent her ,as she is having so much power over your life..I'd take the power back and end it personally

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