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  1. #11
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    "I instead of seeing it for what it was - a man who was sick and couldn't tolerate a hopping skipping and jumping five-year-old, I saw it as Ellen's complete life of male rejection."

    I just want to throw this out there. Although it may be hard (I know cause I struggle with this too), try not to project your fears onto your daughter. Kids can sense things & you don't want her internalizing the wrong message. Did she seem upset about the incident? Does she notice he treats his daughter different?

    Also, I'll say this with as much honesty as I can - sometimes parents favor one child over another even when they are both their own. I know my DS is a very lovable 15 mo old whereas my DD is a very tough 5 yr old. As much as I try it's just easier to shower my little guy with kisses than my DD. Even when I try to shower her she declines my affection.

    So there could be a lot of factors at play - moreso than just his vs. yours.

  2. #12
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    Laurel is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I have two step-parents and step-siblings who have been in my life since early childhood. My family definitely dealt with similar issues, I think all blended families must.

    One thing I wish my parents realized earlier is that things cannot always be equal- and that fair is not always equal and equal is not always fair. There was so much tension over equal treatment that it affected the family much more negatively than just letting there be some lopsided affection/attention at times would have. I think I would feel even closer to my step-parents (and I am fairly close to both) if we had spent more time just letting things develop as they would instead of trying to play typical family roles immediately. Kids know when love and affection is genuine and when it is faked, believe me.

    Just my experience. I wish the four of you the best!
    Laurel

  3. #13
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    I wonder if it could also be the girls' ages. The younger they are, they easier it is to cuddle and hug them,...they're just so cute! Not that they aren't cute when they're older, but sometimes people gravitate towards younger kids when it comes to scooping them up and kissing them. I love all my kids the same, but it's easier to show affection to the younger ones. The older is also a lot bigger and harder to pick up. )

  4. #14
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    Sillygirl is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I actually think he's behaving appropriately, given that you have not made any formal commitment for a lifelong relationship. Encouraging him to bond to your daughter as a father before you are married to him puts the cart before the horse, so to speak.
    Katie, Mom to two boys
    Retraining my dopamine circuits thanks to David Kessler, MD.
    Jonathan: Halloween 2004
    Alex: A smidge past Groundhog Day 2007

  5. #15
    karolyp is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    no advice either but just wanted to send you hugs, and that I'm glad to "see" you again.

  6. #16
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    When I read your post a couple of things popped into mind. Does he have custody of his daughter, or does he only get to see her on weekends, etc? If so, perhaps the times that he does have with her he feels the need to lavish lots of affection and attention on her because of their limited time together. In addition, he may be worried that his daughter will think she's being "replaced" by yours if he doesn't bestow her with this favoritism. It may not make a lot of sense to you, but we all know men don't think like women do, and if he sees your daughter more than his own, he may feel conflicted himself about his feelings for the two girls (perhaps he would feel guilty if he did treat and care for your daughter as he does his own?). I would just give it time, and let him and your daughter forge their own relationship. I don't think it's fair to assume that he's going to treat both equally; try as you might, I'm sure you would agree that you don't have the same feelings for his daughter as your own, but if your relationship is getting stronger, things will fall into place naturally if you let them, for all of you. As a child with stepparents, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I hated it that my dad always wanted my stepmother and I to form a mother-daughter relationship, I would have been far happier just being around her without all that pressure.
    busy mama whose belongs to. . .
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  7. #17
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    Thanks you guys - you've given me a lot of good perspective - something that I seem to have limited quantities of these days....

    Chris and I are not married. I'm not sure I ever want to be married again. My last go-round left me so completely burned - it would take a great deal of trust to be able to get married again. Still, there is very little doubt in either of us that the relationship that we are in is both committed and long term. We may marry - we've talked about it before. It's simply something that I'm not willing to consider at this point.

    He has 50/50 custody of his daughter. When we talk about our girls, he has said that (in the context of wanting to see his daughter more) that he feels weird that he sees my daughter more than his own. And while his time with her is limited, he actually spends much more time with her than any man with "standard visitation."

    He does pick her up and dance with her, and toss her around, and everything else. I think last night, I was feeling particularly sentimental and wanting my child to have a "daddy."

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