Subject: Step Daughter
Question: My husband and I have been married for almost 1 year.  Last month his daughter came to live with us full time. She is almost 15. Up to this time we saw her every weekend, however, her mom was unable to control her and asked us to take her. She had boys and drugs in the house when her mom was at work, and her mom was unable to stop this behavior.  We live in a different town so it got her away from that environment.  
The issue I am having is she seems very childish as far as needing attention from her dad. She sits on his lap frequently, even in social situations like when we went to my parents house for my dad’s 60th birthday party. It isn’t just sitting there, she kind of curls up in his lap like she is still a little kid, and she is 5’8″.  My parents mentioned this seemed odd and made them a little uncomfortable, when I told him this he said that my parents were not affectionate enough. She also does this every time I try to sit next to him on the couch or even at the table.  Last night they were watching TV, she was sitting on the floor and he was on the couch.  As soon as I sat next to him she curled up in his lap. I just sat there and did not say anything. I understand that she may be jealous of the relationship I have with her dad, but is the behavior something we need to address or do we just let her do it until she tires of it? I understood it a little more when she only saw him on the weekends, but now that we have her all the time it is starting to bother me.
Answer: Sheri,
The fact that she hasn’t been able to do this whenever she wanted is the very reason she was getting into drugs and bringing boys home. You are an adult woman and she is a 15 year old young girl who has come from a broken home. The repercussions from the divorce include emotional ones as well. She is dealing with them still. So instead of getting upset with your stepdaughter, maybe you should be focusing on your husband. He needs to be the one treating you better, or he needs to be the one that is more affectionate. This shouldn’t be a rivalry between the two of you. You should KNOW that your husband loves/cares for you and maybe you aren’t getting that from him and thus you are jealous. Sitting down with him and talking this through with him would be a good idea.

One thought on “Stepping

  1. Sheri,

    I can relate to everything that you are saying. I have the same problem with my fiancee and his 8 year old little girl. He is not an affectionate person to begin with but when it comes to his little girl, he shows her a whole lot of it. He pulls away from me when she comes over every other weekend. It’s like he doesn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable by showing me affection at all when she’s around. It hurts me and we have discussed this time and time again but it hasn’t gotten any better yet. Our discussions turn into arguments and then the resentment starts to build.

    I don’t know what else to do. I feel like sometimes his daughter is very manipulating and plays on her father’s weaknesses. She can appear to be spoiled at times and overwhelming for me.

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