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Real father or step-father


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Old 4th September 2006, 12:32 PM   #1
delnoire
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Real father or step-father

okay, here goes. I am 24 and have a four year old daughter. Her mother and I split up when she was around two years old, maybe a little earlier than that. While a number of different women have come and gone after that, there has never been anything serious, and I never brought any of them around my daughter, so as not to confuse her. On the other hand, very soon after our break-up, her mother met another man whom she has a serious relationship with even to this day. My daughter lives with me exactly half of th week, and with her mother and her bf half of the week. Though my daughter and I have an extremely close bond and a very healthy relationship,, as she sees me regularly and often, I acknowledge that her mother's bf is also very close with her and that they also share a bond. He has been there for pretty much half her life, and when my daughter grows up, she will probably have no memories predating his presence (I mean, how many of us can remember things when we were two?)

The problem is this. I must admit to insecurity. Though I know that what me and my daughter have is something she and her mother's bf can never have, after all, she has my last name and half of my dna I still get jealous sometimes. Especially when my daughter tells me about the kind of things they do. I know its stupid, but i still get jealous. She told me he took her to get ice cream. Innocent enough I know, but in the back of my head I was pouting. "But she's MY daughter, why is he taking her out for icecream?"

I am pretty sure she might even call her Daddy when she stays with her mother, which really makes me jealous. Is it wrong to feel jealous because of that? I'm so proud of her, I want to be the only one she calls Daddy.

And I know she is very young now and children at that age place great trust in most anyone who treats them well, but.....well I consider it a great privilege and honor to be her father and when I think about her growing older, like in her teen years or preteen years, I am eager to experience all the greatthings a father gets to do with his daughter, and part of me is afraid that either I will have to share those things with the bf or she will ask him instead. I want her to come to me first if she has a question about guys or relationships or anything likethat, and I want to be able to walk her down the aisle the day she gets married, not walk her down the aisle on the left, while the bf takes the right. I want her to invite me, when her school throws the father and daughter dance. Are these just baseless fears that I will be excluded or devauled because there is a bf in the picture who is an active parent in her life?

To make things a little more complicated, we are currently in a custody battle and my daughter might end only seeing me every other weekend! That means this bf will see her much more often than I will as he will see her every day. He for all practical purposes be her father figure, as she will live in his apartment (she has a younger sister who the bf is the father of too) It makes me very very jealous to think that he will be able to tuck her in every night and eat dinner with her every night etc....while I can't. Those are things that i should get the honor of doing! I'm afraid we will lose the close bond we have with each other and she will gradually come to think of him as her actual father.

I guess to sum it all up, do you think having a close relationship with her mother's bf devaules or diminshes our relationship at all (my daughters and mine). Do you think she'll will or already does love him as much as me? Her love is very important to me, obviously, and I would like to think that she would always love me as a father, more than any man.
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Old 6th September 2006, 7:04 AM   #2
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I don't really know what I can say to reassure you. I am not that close with my father, and I never had another type of father figure in my life, but I definitely wouldn't want another prevalant woman figure in my daughter's lives if my husband and I were ever to split.
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Old 8th September 2006, 9:27 PM   #3
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It's ok if your daughter bonds with your ex's bf, especially if he ends up being her H. As long as you spend time with your daughter, take care of her, and love her, she will always know that you are her father and he will not take your place in her heart. She may grow to care for and love him as well, but you will always be her dad. She'll know the difference.

For your sake, if you can have a cordial, even friendly relationship with her mom and the bf, it'll be best for all of you in the long run. Get a good lawyer and make sure you do everything you can to retain your parental rights and custody, but don't let it become a hostile situation.
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Old 9th September 2006, 1:57 AM   #4
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I don't think that your daughter will love him more than you, although if your ex and her bf stay together for the majority of her childhood she could, and probably will develop a father like relationship with him. If she loves both of you, she will not put him in your place.

I can understand your jealousy, my parents are divorced (since I was 4), I grew up with my mom (and for the last 10 years my now step-dad too), seeing my dad every other weekend until he moved too far away to make that visitation work. I grew up watching my dad get jealous over many things, if I can give you one piece of advice I will say not to let your jealousy get the best of you... my dad let his get the best of him and constantly tried to cause problems (between my mom and I, between my step-dad and I, etc) I have started to resent him for this because he has taken it too far. I am not saying that you will do the same, but if I can tell you anything it is that I still love my dad just as much as my step-dad but my step dad and I have a better relationship at this point in time, because of my dad's jealousy. Your daughter will always love you and when you meet a woman that you are serious about, your daughter will love her to.

I hope I have helped
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Old 9th September 2006, 2:45 AM   #5
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you sound like a good dad who tries hard.

i am a mother and i have 4 children. 3 of them go to their father and step mothers home every other weekend. the rest of the time they live with me and my husband.

i have always tried to teach my kids to love and mind all 4 parents. they do.
my children have different bonds with their dad and step dad as they do between me and their step mom.

however, all the bonds they have are just perfect for them. their step dad is helpful with homework and setting rules and when they get sick.
their dad attends cheerleading and coaches baseball.
dad cuts their hair and step mom can do the niftiest braids .
step dad teaches kids how to think ahead and how to be aware of things, because hes a smart thinker.
dad teaches kids how to ride bikes and pump up tires.
i try to do it all and thats cause im mom

now rest assured that your daughter will never replace you, she is a very lucky little girl to have been given a good man to be a step father to be there for her while you can not be.(due to the divorce)

at least he isnt some bad guy drinking and drugs and beating up on them.


have you taken the time to get to know this guy a little? i think that if the two of you could take that time, find out things about each other, it would be good. let him know that you approve of him, and you want the best for your daughter. let him know that you dont want to loose precious time with your daughter either. let him know how you feel about certain aspects of life that you want to be involved with. ( you want to be called every time she gets sick. you want to know about all her school grades next year. you want to attend events at school. you dont want her dating until 16. you dont want her talking on the phone with boys until 14 . whatever you feel. )
hes a father too so i am sure he will understand.

heck if you got along , who knows, perhaps if they wanted to go out somewhere they would let your daughter come over even when it wasnt your weekend, you could repay it by offering to let her baby sister tag along once in a while.

this breaks them in for the one day in the future that you have a new wife.
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Old 14th September 2006, 9:17 AM   #6
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Delnoire, I don't think I can add much more; however, I can relate a little to your fears, because that is what my Ex went thru and probably still does.
His daughter's stepdad, however, is really really great with her and spends way more time with her as my Ex is away all the time. His daughter still loves him despite him being not there and would never call her stepdad daddy, even though she loves him to pieces. Daddy stays daddy. And if daddy puts as much effort into it as you do, there is no way that your daughter will stop calling you like that and appreciating you for what you are.
Other than that I think penkitten has given great recommendations.

greensleaves
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Old 15th September 2006, 8:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greensleaves View Post
Delnoire, I don't think I can add much more; however, I can relate a little to your fears, because that is what my Ex went thru and probably still does.
His daughter's stepdad, however, is really really great with her and spends way more time with her as my Ex is away all the time. His daughter still loves him despite him being not there and would never call her stepdad daddy, even though she loves him to pieces. Daddy stays daddy. And if daddy puts as much effort into it as you do, there is no way that your daughter will stop calling you like that and appreciating you for what you are.
Other than that I think penkitten has given great recommendations.

greensleaves
thank you so much for what you said. All of you actually. It has really helped me and given me something positive to think about. Greensleaves, you seem to have the best idea of what i'm going thru though, so I just had a few questions.

You say your daughter is closer with her stepdad, so when her real father comes to see her, is she excited? Or does she dread it? I would hate it if my daughter came to dread coming to see me.

What kind of things do your daughter and her father do to make up for the time he is gone? I could use any suggestions on good things to do if my custody does get reduced.

Lastly, do you think that by having such a good relationship with her stepfather, she values less her real father. Even if she never calls him daddy or anything, do you still think she's got a special place in her heart for her real daddy?
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