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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010/08/19

I don't exist to step daughter

I'm engaged, and my fiance and I have a son together. He has a daughter with another lady older than my son.

He and the lady don't get along well coz of their history, she and I also know each other and she's made it clear that she wants him back and doesn't like the fact that he's moved on.

The other day we were driving from somewhere and the lady called saying his daughter's crying. He then asked to speak to his daughter and asked her why she had been crying and she said her mother wouldn''t let her phone him. So they carried on talking and he told her he needs to hang up coz there were traffic cops on the road and he wasn't using a hands-free. When he phoned her again she asked (I think) why he had hung up so he explained again about the cops and then he said he's on his way home and ''nobody''.

For some reason I felt as though he'd told her that there's nobody with him, like his daughter had enquired if he's with someone. Ever since then I've been wondering if that's what he meant and if so does it mean his daughter doesn't know about us? And if so, why is he pretending that we don't exist to her?

I understand that she's a child and he needs to protect her, but even since she's was born he's never been with her mother so surely that means he can be honest about my son and I...tactful, yes, but honest.

Am I overreacting? I didn't confront him about it coz I wasn't sure if that's the case and I don't wanna come across as petty.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its sadly common, and still despicable, when people use children as weapons in bitter battles with former partners. If he is separated from the other woman, she might not like that, but it is how things are. It is unfair if she uses the child to try to make her father feel bad for not living with her mother.

Don't confront him ( people are far too keen, these days, on "confrontation" ) but sit down calmly and discuss this with him - let him know how you feel, and how the other woman's manipulations make you feel insecure and worried about the place your son will have in this family of yours with him.

He needs to speak kindly but firmly with the other woman and make it very clear that he is engaged to marry you and will NOT be returning to her, and that he does not want her to upset their daughter or to try to use her to try to make difficulties betwen you and him.

In turn, he needs to sit down calmly with the daughter and explain the situation to her - how he used to be with her mom, and how there are good reasons why he is not with her now and will not be with her again. But that she, the girl, is his daughter, and that he loves her very much, and will see her as much as he can. And he needs to explain that there is now another lady in his life who is important to him, and who he loves, and that he would like her to meet you some time, and your son, because he is planning to marry you and stay with you.

It's not petty to be concerned about this. If it is not dealt with now, it will remain a source of conflict and grief for all of you for the forseeable future

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/08/19

Its sadly common, and still despicable, when people use children as weapons in bitter battles with former partners. If he is separated from the other woman, she might not like that, but it is how things are. It is unfair if she uses the child to try to make her father feel bad for not living with her mother.

Don't confront him ( people are far too keen, these days, on "confrontation" ) but sit down calmly and discuss this with him - let him know how you feel, and how the other woman's manipulations make you feel insecure and worried about the place your son will have in this family of yours with him.

He needs to speak kindly but firmly with the other woman and make it very clear that he is engaged to marry you and will NOT be returning to her, and that he does not want her to upset their daughter or to try to use her to try to make difficulties betwen you and him.

In turn, he needs to sit down calmly with the daughter and explain the situation to her - how he used to be with her mom, and how there are good reasons why he is not with her now and will not be with her again. But that she, the girl, is his daughter, and that he loves her very much, and will see her as much as he can. And he needs to explain that there is now another lady in his life who is important to him, and who he loves, and that he would like her to meet you some time, and your son, because he is planning to marry you and stay with you.

It's not petty to be concerned about this. If it is not dealt with now, it will remain a source of conflict and grief for all of you for the forseeable future

Reply to cybershrink

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