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Some issues with step kids


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Old 19th January 2018, 10:04 PM   #1
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Some issues with step kids

Greetings.

I have posted on this subject off and on yet I find myself in need of some more advice.

I married a woman who had two small kids (3 and 7 now). The dad is still in their life, but he lives in another state. He visits maybe five times a year. He pays nearly zero in child support ($600 a month).

Now the issue is this:

Mom wants me to be the dad for these two kids. While I adore the kids and love them I am simply not their father. I respect the dads place in their life and won’t do anything to change that. I have to repeatedly remind mom that they are not my kids. This is a very sticky issue as every time I do it upsets her greatly.

She reacts poorly to this approach.

Am I correct? Any tips for handling this situation?
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Old 19th January 2018, 10:15 PM   #2
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A friend of mine was in this situation...

He has the kids call him O.D. which stood for Other Dad.

The kids slur it and it sounds like OhDee. They knew that my friend was not their true father, but they could still come to him in times of need.

Do you think that would satisfy your wife??
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Old 19th January 2018, 10:28 PM   #3
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That's a sticky situation.

5 times a year doesn't make it sound like he is much of a father figure or really involved in their lives in anyway.

I am a bit surprised that this wasn't hashed out more before you married (if the youngest is now 3, how long have you and your wife been together?)

Would you be open to being their dad?

My dad (bio dad) adopted my (bio) half brother and sister when they were 6 and 7 (a few years before I was born - my parents first year of marriage).

Their bio dad showed up occasionally... Usually to just break their hearts a bit by his absence and then he would ride off in the sunset again.

Any way - it was a WONDERFUL thing for them to be adopted. They now had a real dad, a full time dad who loved and cared for them on a daily basis.

They are in their 40's now and of course he is still dad. And now he is also a beloved Grandpa to their children (my brothers two boys carry his last name).

It's was a great thing for my family, and their bio dad gave up his rights (and responsibilities) willingly - he was never acting as their parent anyway.
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Old 19th January 2018, 10:35 PM   #4
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We have been together for two years and two months. We were married about two months ago.

We did talk about this and the kids do call me dad on their own. I just don’t want them calling me by my first name as the five did when we started dating. I am totally a father figure for them and I am great with that.

The issue always comes up when he visits. He will next week for the oldests birthday. She wants to move his visitation back from 4:30 pm that evening. I am not comfortable with that. He has a right. Also, this type of behavior leads to escalation. In short it makes my life difficult. I guess both situations do anyway.

I don’t even know if I should interject myself in this. She asks all the time though about similar types of situations.
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Old 19th January 2018, 10:37 PM   #5
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Waaaaait

I take all of that back!!! (Just saw your thread history)

This is your 4th marriage? And the two of you broke up less than a year ago? But I guess got back together and got hitched?

I have reason to believe that you won't be closely involved in these children's life 40 years from now, so throw away any adoption advice.

Tell Mom you aren't the dad, and stick to it. Nothing worse than a kid getting emotionally attached to new dad, only to be abandoned again.

(My poor brother and sister went by through a handful of dads before "our dad" entered their lives. He as dad #4 (mom married and divorced that many times). And my folks divorced, but he was still dad. And my mom re-married but he was still dad, and she divorced again, but of course he was still dad.

I think marriage should be till death do us part... But obviously it doesn't always turn out that way. But dad?! Dad should be forever. Don't offer it if you can't be that.
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Old 19th January 2018, 10:55 PM   #6
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Um....

Third marriage. The first ended because she cheated. Packed up and left. I literally never saw her again.

The second (10 years) ended because we grew apart. Yes, I ended it. There were a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into


The adoption is not an option. Dad wouldn’t allow it and I think he would have to agree. He left when mom was 13 weeks pregnant.

If this going to be forever (and I want that) I need to find a way to deal with mom. The kids are fine and there is no issue with them.

Wow, Loveshack can sure be harsh sometimes.
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Old 19th January 2018, 11:35 PM   #7
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Yeah sorry, I can certainly be harsh and very direct.

But the threads you have posted do not scream long term stability. Sorry. Just a few months ago you were posting how you two had broken up, and now you are 2 months into your 3rd marriage (which statistically have a less than 25% success rate).
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Old 20th January 2018, 12:38 AM   #8
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Fair point.

Mom can be quite emotional. She can be very volitile when she gets upset. She often lashes out when upset and says things she may not mean. We did discuss that and to some extent that has abated.

I am not innocent by any means. I am more level headed though. I don’t get anywhere near as emotional. That is the point of the thread - I am looking for other things I can do to try and work through the situation. I had never experienced something quite so abrupt as her style of conflict management. I simply looked for ways to deal with it without allowing the emotion tonsrive my behavior. Once I understood what I was up against it was not that difficult to find a way to manage it.

I wouldn’t describe your approach as direct so much as presumptuous. I suggest asking for more information in the future. Just because the general odds say one thing doesn’t mean they automatically apply in every situation.

My question still holds though - am I correct in honoring the real fathers place? No matter why I will be a fixture in the kids lives. To them I am dad. And I am fine with it.
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Old 20th January 2018, 12:44 AM   #9
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It sounds like she wants to squeeze their dad out... that's not good for the children.

You need to stick to your stance of being a stepdad and you are not replacing their father.

What she wants isn't good for the kids and if you are 'dad' and subsequently split up... you have no rights over them... as it should be.

So I believe they should always know they have one dad. I must say I'd be upset if my kids called anyone else mom. I'm wondering how he feels about it.

Don't let your wife start changing plans for the birthday... that's not good.
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Old 20th January 2018, 12:53 AM   #10
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Married 12 yrs ago,divorced for 2 yrs now.
My ex had an 8 year old daughter, very troubled
and defiant and entitled child.
I knew early on that my parental role would be
very limited due to the fact that she disrespected
her mother all the time, sometimes I had to step
in when it became more than I could take.

My ex was not interested in being a parent as in setting boundaries
or any kind of discipline whatsoever, she herself had created
a monster. Her conduct even created legal issues for herself.

When my ex and I split she accused me of not being a good
father, even thou I gave her more structure than she or her
Disneyland father did.
So the day she said she wanted a divorce I asked her if she
married me because she wanted a husband or a father for her
child, she said both.
The next day I questioned her about her comment and told her
she could have said that she did it because she loved me,
her reply was that she was being hopeful.

She never really loved me, she was just looking for a daddy
for her child. F her.
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Old 20th January 2018, 1:01 AM   #11
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You wrote about your problems with her kids recently http://www.loveshack.org/forums/roma...ids-discipline

Thing is, you're repeatedly reminding her that they are not your kids. But by the same token, you complain about them to her. Either get involved or back right away and keep your opinions to yourself. But this no-mans land of disapproving of her parenting while not getting involved yourself is not going to work.
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Old 20th January 2018, 1:35 AM   #12
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by basil67 View Post
You wrote about your problems with her kids recently http://www.loveshack.org/forums/roma...ids-discipline

Thing is, you're repeatedly reminding her that they are not your kids. But by the same token, you complain about them to her. Either get involved or back right away and keep your opinions to yourself. But this no-mans land of disapproving of her parenting while not getting involved yourself is not going to work.
Yes, I have thought about that thread a great deal. I have stepped out of discipline Mostly. I read the advice in that thread and after some thought agreed. They are not my kids. I can assist, but the real parents need to to set those boundaries.

Now I only enforce things when they break my rules. Things like keeping them out of my office.

I am sure she would like to squeeze dad out. She has said so. This stuff worries me a bit it seems unhealthy to me.

But I am clueless about kids. I could be dead wrong and not know it. Tht is why I like this place. There are a lot of replies that I think miss the mark, but there are always a few that get me to thinking.
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Old 20th January 2018, 7:39 AM   #13
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I am a step dad and later a biodad.

My stepkids dad lived in another state, and he saw them (we sent them to him) maybe 2-5 times a year. He paid nothing at first (zero support) and then for a long while just 70 bucks a week (and I had to hire a lawyer to get that). We had many tearful battles with him and issues with the kids.

Everyone is different... but you should have discussed this (being a dad) long before getting married to her and agreed on approach. I mean you must have dated and dated with them in tow. On our 5th date the kids started joining us every now and then for group dates (kids movies, park). If I had no connection to them - no love for them - I would not have married their mom - it was kind of a package deal. We all needed to feel a bond.

From my perspective - it was clear my Stepkids did not have much of a "dad" and I was happy to be a dad to them. They were going to live with me in my home 90% of the time. They were also young and needed a dad figure - or at least a big brother figure. I did try to rely on my wife to administer discipline - and I just tried to be the fun dad/big brother type. I rarely called them anything but "my kids" in public or at the schools, or with neighbors. Many of my kids friends - did not understand I was not their real dad for a long while. I was at every event when they were growing up.

No doubt it was beyond tough (and my wife also had other issues I speak about here on loveshack) - but raising kids is hard and they give you issues no matter whether they are your biological or step. I do feel some hurt that they maintain a special love and connection for their biological father - when I raised them - but what are you going to do?

While I consider my biological kids (after we married) easier to deal with and understand - there was no guarantee that my own bio kids could not have ended up being more troublesome then my step kids. Kids are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what your going to get. My sisters own kids - whoa boy - would not have wanted some of them
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Last edited by dichotomy; 20th January 2018 at 7:50 AM..
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Old 20th January 2018, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dichotomy View Post

Everyone is different... but you should have discussed this (being a dad) long before getting married to her and agreed on approach. I mean you must have dated and dated with them in tow. On our 5th date the kids started joining us every now and then for group dates (kids movies, park). If I had no connection to them - no love for them - I would not have married their mom - it was kind of a package deal. We all needed to feel a bond.
It’s funny how this comes up so often. Do people honestly think we got married without discussing it? Sort of throw it to the wind and see what happens?

The discussions happened of course. We agreed that I would serve as their predominant father figure and we wouldn’t interfere with the biological dad. Then their relationship soured. Now it’s different.
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Old 20th January 2018, 11:53 AM   #15
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Too many different threads has all of the necessary
background information to know what the whole story
is. Another example of when not to start new threads.

Whatever your issues are about being a dad to these
kids has not been explained.

It is apparent that you got married and did not have
an agreement between you and your wife on how to
be a dad to these kids.

You need to sit down with the wife and reach an
agreement.

Reaching an agreement is not you saying I will only
do this. It is about trying to reach a compromise.

You are not the bio dad. Though you are the Dad of the
house, family. In other words the adult male role model.
Filling that role requires that a man must do things.
And many things he may not want to do be he has to
man up and get'em done.

Or relinquish the role and leave the family. Either all in
as the step dad or all out. There is no being half pregnant
here.
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