I am writing because I have a very complex situation that I have placed myself and my daughter into.
And, I am now trying to figure out if I should leave or wait until things get better within time. First off, I’d like to give a little history on my relationship. My now fiancé, also father of our 3 year old daughter, was once married and is divorced. He has two kids with his ex-wife. My fiancé has been supporting our daughter and I solely since 2013, since I no longer have a substantial income. I am stay-at-home mom. I appreciate all of his hard work and sacrifices and I am forever grateful.
I am writing because he feels that he shouldn’t have to come home and bathe our daughter, help her eat, or whatever the situation because he says it’s my job. He stated he doesn’t want to have to come home and then have to do my job as well. I am not satisfied with his perspective because I don’t see anything wrong with bathing your child, especially, if that’s all you have to do at the end of the day when you come home.
The only catch to it is when his other two kids come over, a girl age 6, and a boy age 9, he does everything for them including baths, brushing teeth, getting them dressed, and cooking breakfast. He puts his 6 year old daughter to sleep, and he wakes up an hour earlier to get out of our bed to go in his 6 year old daughter’s bed to cuddle with her, etc. He states that he HAS to do this because they don’t have a mom/Stay-at-home mome at our house. So, he feels he has to do two jobs while they are at our house since they don’t feel totally comfortable, yet, with me helping them. (They only want my help when they want it, but prefer their dad).
Even before he was solely supporting us I have always been the one who was hands on with our daughter because she lived with me and he didn’t live with us 24/7. He would only spend the night 2-3 days out the week.
Since we have been living together full-time (a year) and she has been seeing him more I am finding that she sees her daddy helping her brother and sister and wants the same things done to her. He doesn’t blatantly always tell her no, because he’d like me to intervene, so, he doesn’t have to do “extra work.” I personally feel if you’ve bathed two children already what more is one going to hurt?
So, now as his fiancé trying to blend this blended family together I don’t want to feel a certain way or want to resist the urge to do things that come natural to me as a mother based on my feelings, as to what I’m seeing him do. I don’t feel he is treating them equally. He says he loves them all equally, but as her mom seeing that he does for his other two kids but not our own makes me feel a certain way.
I don’t ever tell him wash your other two kid’s laundry, vacuum their room, fold their clothes, etc., because it’s not my job or it’s extra work or because technically they are not my kids. I do for them what I do for my daughter. – He Ignores Our Daughter
Dear Ms. He Ignores Our Daughter,
There is no excuse for a man who ignores his own child that lives with him in the same household. What the hell is his problem? And, what does he mean by saying, “It’s your job,” when it comes to bathing, feeding, and clothing your daughter? Uhm, why is it just your job?
And, you didn’t fully explain the situation around your fiancé and your moving in with him and him being the sole provider. Was this something you agreed upon before moving in? Is that why he made that statement it is your job to care for your daughter? Perhaps he’s thinking that since you are a stay-at-home mother and you don’t work full-time out of the home, then why are you asking him to do what he feels that you should be doing. Maybe he really thinks that is your job since he is the sole provider.
Regardless, it doesn’t excuse his behavior that when his other two children comes over and he does everything for them. What would it hurt to include his own daughter that he has with you in on the activities with his other children? I mean come on son, they are brothers and sisters. Why is he treating them differently, and not making sure they interact with one another? They can all be part of the action of washing, bathing, getting dressed, getting ready for bed and being a blended family instead of what appears to be two separate families under one house. Yes, I peeped that and checked that!
You are two families under one roof. He is not including you or his daughter with his other two children. He is not making any efforts to blend the families. That is why his children cling to him and want him to do everything for them and not you. He has not introduced you and made you part of the team. He hasn’t shared with them what’s going on, and what is happening. They are probably confused. And, it’s not healthy.
Also, he probably feels guilty that he is not in the home with them regularly, so he is overcompensating with his other two children. He doesn’t spend as much time with them as he does in your home, and he doesn’t see them as often. So, when they do come over he is going overboard and being the attentive father so when they grow up they won’t have any resentment toward him. Again, this is unhealthy. Because they will always take advantage of the situation and him not being as actively involved in their lives. They will always blame him for leaving their mother, and starting a new family. So, he will feel the need to do everything for them, spoil them, and buy them things.
Next, he doesn’t seem to be too connected with your daughter. I don’t know why, and what’s going on, but his disengaged attitude and unwillingness to be attentive to his own child that lives with him day in and day out is telling.
You and your fiancé should have a serious conversation and communicate what’s going on, what you’re experiencing, and what it appears to be happening. Your families are not being blended. He treats his other children differently than his own other child that lives with him. He is not including her with his other children. They are brothers and sisters, and therefore, he should not be isolating her from the activities. He needs to tell them that she is their sister, and what he does for them he also does for her. And, vice versa. They have to learn how to get along, play with one another, and look out for one another. He also has to work at communicating with his children that you are going to be his new wife, and that you not will be their mother or replacing their mother, as they have a mother, but you will be an additional mommy to help them, and who will be a special part of daddy’s life. He should include you and his daughter in all their activities, therefore, they will see you and their sister as part of the family.
Before you walk down the aisle, and before you get married this needs to be tended to. Do not make allowances or allow him to make excuses of why he can’t take care of or attend to his own daughter that he has with you and who lives with him. If he is an absentee father in the house, and this uninvolved with his fatherly duties, then getting married is not going to change anything. If you’re the new woman in his life, and you’re getting married, then he should be making sure that his children are comfortable around you, and that you and your daughter are not excluded from special moments and times with them. Whatever needs to happen, it needs to start happening today. He is in the middle of all this, and he is the catalyst for making these changes. If he doesn’t, then you may need to reconsider marriage. – Terrance Dean
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