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Question
Posted by: Pat | 2005/07/28

Step-child

I am in desparate need of some advice.

I have been with my b/f for 3yrs and we are getting married at the end of the year. He has a 8 yr old girl from a previous marriage. He has been divorced from his ex for over 4 yrs. The ex does not work and has not had any relationships since they broke up.

We've had our problems with the little one saying she does not like me, and she's begged her father to get back to gether with her mother - all normal things I'm sure. But about 3 weeks ago, I told her mother (on the phone) to stop acting like she is still married to my b/f - she is turn put down the phone, "burst out crying" and then proceeded in telling her daughter that I was fighting with her (btw, the childs coucillor told the mother about 3 months ago the same thing about acting like she is still married). Anyway, at first the little one verbalised that she hated me cos I was fighting with her mother but then things settled down and she was fine with me (came up to me and hugged me - which she does not normally do, wanting to drive with me), anyhow, she was suppose to come to us this Wed but told her dad that she does not like me cos 'I'm always fighting with her mom" (I hardly have any contact with her mom - and if I do I still greet her), and that she does not want to come to our house cos she does not feel comfortable! And then she complains cos I told her to keep quiet 3 weeks ago!

The problem is that my b/f is feeling torn and obviously shattered and I feel like I'm being blamed for this. My boyfriend also does not understand what is going on and why after 3 yrs we are still having these problems. I was under the impression (from reading articles) that this is a common thing in broken families, is this true? I don't know what to do - I try not to tell her what to do (but 3 weeks ago her father was very ill so she was my responsiblity) and I do believe that her mother is still in-love with my boyfriend and was crossing the line (I also don't think it is healthy for the little one to see her mother still acting like a wife). I have asked my b/f to phone the little ones councillor but I still would appreciate help........I am so scared that he will be forced to choose.....and I love him so much.

Sorry about the long essay, but am hoping someone can give me some advise.

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like your bf's ex is expert at abusing the child into creating situations in which he feels guilty. It makes sense for your bf to phone the person counselling the child, to discuss the situation, as that counsellor cvould usefully help the child in this complex situation.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: lady nina | 2005/07/28

hi there

the problem is not the child but the mom and your bf ex
it would be wise if you and bf can agree on some action you can take towards her, the first thing you ned to do is to get in areement with hubby - how does he feel?

then you confront her, together and tell her it's over and she should start acting her age and stop intimidating the child or you will contact the welfare or even get the courts involved becuase she is really being a bad influence on the child and causing her a lot of damage... but all send and done i can understand her, shelost hubby and would probably lose her daughter to you aswell

the other alternative you have ( the one i would chose) is to be patient and consistent in your actions towards her ( the kid) set the boundaries of your relasionship with her and never overstep your mark, even if she tries you and changlenges you to lose your temper - remember that nothing is forever - she wil grow up and realize the her mother was the one in the wrong andshe will side with the person who acted unselfish and mature - so be patient and don't be fooled by her confusion
she is a pawn in the hand of a lady who is hurt and very cunning - i would stop all contact with her - you don't need that complication ,believe me

good luck girl, you have the potential to turn this into something good - just be wise and patient

nina

Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Jasmine | 2005/07/28

It is obvious that the 'little one' is being used as a tool.
You dont need to be involved with sorting feelings of the ex out. Just be the best you can and act decently - at least you will be able to sleep with a clear conscience at night. Be kind and be true - the child is being poisoned by her mothers insecurities and she needs help.
Good luck.

Reply to Jasmine
Posted by: SG | 2005/07/28

It is most unfortunate but certain parents use the children to get at the other partner.My experience is that women that have been "wronged" by men having affairs etc etc,very often try to get at the ex by not allowing him to see the child/children,not allowing them to talk on the phone,manipulating them to dislike the new woman in his life etc etc.It is very,very sad and does the poor children no good at all.
Both partners need to be as understanding and loving in front of the children as possible.
There is n o doubt that the ex husband is torn between the 2,ie,the children (and therefore ex wife) and the new partner in his life.The father tries to keep both parties happy but often fails to do so.
Men can be pigs by not caring for their children after a divorce but women can also be destructive in channeling their hurt through the children.
There is no easy solution,just show your love and understanding to your partner and his children.However,don't let him live 2 seperate lives.

Reply to SG

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