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Old 09-09-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
11 posts, read 9,354 times
Reputation: 15

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I've been with my new wife for a little less than 2 years. the marriage is great and all. The shaky part of the dynamic is her daughter. She was 15 when her mom and I got married and now she's 17. I've never expected her to embrace me 100% or call me " dad" or anything like that, but I would like it if her unofficial label for me wasn't " the guy my mom married". I'm not trying to replace her dad, he's still in her life, I've met him a few times, very cool guy, no tension at all despite our situation, we( him, my wife, and myself) all handle it like adults. I told her right off the bat that I wasn't trying to take her father's place. I've offered up the mandatory offer of " if you ever want to talk, I'm available." Right now our only dialogue is " Good Morning", " How was your day"?( she'll say " Good") and " Goodnight". that's it. My wife has been trying to get me to discipline her. In her mind it gets to message to her daughter that even though I'm not her real dad, I can punish her like I am. I hate it and I've never disciplined her. Her daughter knows I'm too scared to "pull the trigger" so she's gradually doing more and more things she shouldn't be doing. If C-D has any stepparents who've experienced this scenario, I'd appreciate the advice, I'm just lost. Her attitude is basically. " I'm going to tolerate you this year and next, then I'm off to college."
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:43 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,696,560 times
Reputation: 38829
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4thBeastieBoy View Post
I've been with my new wife for a little less than 2 years. the marriage is great and all. The shaky part of the dynamic is her daughter. She was 15 when her mom and I got married and now she's 17. I've never expected her to embrace me 100% or call me " dad" or anything like that, but I would like it if her unofficial label for me wasn't " the guy my mom married".
??
But isn't that who you are?
What would you rather be called?

My mom's second husband had always been "my mother's husband" to me, until I had kids. Then he became Gramps.


And what are these things she is doing that she should not be doing?
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:46 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 3,178,649 times
Reputation: 3467
You should not be disciplining her, period. You didn't come into her life until she was 15....she is now 17. Too old to be disciplined anyway. Tell your wife to deal with it. Her kid, her problem.

Most teens are standoffish, if not downright mean to their families. Most of them hole up in their rooms and chat on their computers or phones. She is going to be adult soon. The time to play "one big happy family" is pretty much over.

You came into the game late in her childhood. Just take whatever she offers as far as friendship, and have no other expectations.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
11 posts, read 9,354 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
??
But isn't that who you are?
What would you rather be called?

My mom's second husband had always been "my mother's husband" to me, until I had kids. Then he became Gramps.


And what are these things she is doing that she should not be doing?
IDK, I'd just like an unofficial title that is a little less blunt, like " the guy who makes my mom happy and he's not half bad". She drinks and enjoys mouthing off, like I said in the OP, she knows I won't do anything so she goes right ahead and does it. I'd like to have some kind of relationship, right now it's like we're just 2 people who just happen to live together.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:51 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
11 posts, read 9,354 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaylahc View Post
You should not be disciplining her, period. You didn't come into her life until she was 15....she is now 17. Too old to be disciplined anyway. Tell your wife to deal with it. Her kid, her problem.

Most teens are standoffish, if not downright mean to their families. Most of them hole up in their rooms and chat on their computers or phones. She is going to be adult soon. The time to play "one big happy family" is pretty much over.

You came into the game late in her childhood. Just take whatever she offers as far as friendship, and have no other expectations.
That's what I've told her, I don't want the disciplinarian role. My wife and even my mom have been pushing me to get a great relationship with her. IMO, it doesn't need to great, but I'd like it if it were better than the one now where she literally says 3 words to me all day.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:57 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,696,560 times
Reputation: 38829
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4thBeastieBoy View Post
. She drinks and enjoys mouthing off, like I said in the OP, she knows I won't do anything so she goes right ahead and does it. I'd like to have some kind of relationship, right now it's like we're just 2 people who just happen to live together.
Her mother - AND her father - really should address both of those issues.

It will be extremely tough to have any sort of relationship with her at this time. Teens are tough!
It is great that you want a relationship, and it may happen in the future. Just do the best you can and hopefully she will come around.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:01 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
11 posts, read 9,354 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Her mother - AND her father - really should address both of those issues.

It will be extremely tough to have any sort of relationship with her at this time. Teens are tough!
It is great that you want a relationship, and it may happen in the future. Just do the best you can and hopefully she will come around.
As far as with the drinking, like I said, I'm freaked out to discipline her so I just sweep it under the rug and we just go on about our business.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:16 PM
 
Location: in my mind
4,615 posts, read 6,113,536 times
Reputation: 9150
I commend you for trying to find ways to sort this issue out rather than bury your head in the sand about it or taking a "my way or the high way" approach.

Even when your step-daughter eventually moves out, she is going to be a part of your life for decades to come, so my first piece of advice is to take the long-view on this. I think many people in these situations tend to focus on the "problems" going away when the kids move out, and that isn't the case.

If you have the financial means to do so, I think it would be really helpful for you and your wife to meet with a therapist who specializes in step-families. I think you and your wife need to work together and figure out these issues between yourselves as a couple.

If finances are tighter, I would suggest either getting some books on amazon, or from the library and reading them with your wife.

Basically, this isn't an issue that you should be sorting out by yourself, as it is going to be a root issue in your relationship with your wife as long as you are together.

Here are three articles about being a step-dad, and each one has a link to a book at the end:

What We All Can Learn from Stepdads | National Center for Fathering

The Effective Stepfather: A Check-List to Live By | National Center for Fathering

Stepfathering Adolescents: It Takes Patience, Flexibility and Humor | National Center for Fathering
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:26 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
Reputation: 30256
It annoys me when people say that step-parents shouldn't be involved in disciplining. You are an adult who lives in the same house with a child who is drinking under aged. It's just as much your responsibility to ensure she isn't drinking the household liquor or driving while intoxicated when she's drinking elsewhere. You have a right to speak up because her behavior is a legal liability to you because you and your wife jointly own assets and debts. You have a moral obligation to not sweep under aged drinking under the rug.

Take her car keys away and ground her from using the car for a month next time she's drunk!
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:29 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
11 posts, read 9,354 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
It annoys me when people say that step-parents shouldn't be involved in disciplining. You are an adult who lives in the same house with a child who is drinking under aged. It's just as much your responsibility to ensure she isn't drinking the household liquor or driving while intoxicated when she's drinking elsewhere. You have a right to speak up because her behavior is a legal liability. You have a moral obligation to not sweep under aged drinking under the rug.

Take her car keys away and ground her from using the car for a month next time she's drunk!
As wussy and spineless as it sounds, I sweep it under the rug so I stay neutral with her on the " like him/don't like him" scale. The last thing I want is for her to label me a snitch or something
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