When families blend, it can be a difficult transition for many reasons. It can be difficult because you’re getting used to having everyone living together, you’re figuring out how to balance everyone’s needs and, in some cases, you’re also figuring out what to call one another.
In one family’s case, things were tense between the husband and wife because the husband kept referring to her daughter as his stepdaughter, rather than simply his daughter, which upset his wife.
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The husband took to Reddit to explain his side of the argument. “I love her very much and I consider her to be family, but first and foremost, my stepdaughter’s father is heavily involved in her life and he is a great dad,” he wrote on Reddit explaining why he avoids using the term “daughter” to describe his wife’s child.
Husband Says Wife His Angry With Him For Not Calling Her Daughter His Daughter
“She already has a father, and for years both her dad’s side and my wife’s side of the family have felt the need to ‘drum it into me’ that I will never ever be a father, just mom’s husband.” However, over time, the husband wrote that the family changed their opinion about it and, now, would like him to call her his daughter, even though “she is not expected to refer to me as dad.”
“I love her but she’s my stepdaughter, there is a degree of separation, and that has been influenced by my wife and her family as well as my stepdaughter’s paternal family,” he wrote. His wife got very upset with him, he wrote and reportedly told him that he was a “terrible person” for not calling her his daughter.
On Reddit, commenters sided with the father, citing the wife’s mixed messages about how he should refer to her daughter. “Your wife, her family and the other parent’s family has spent years making sure you don’t feel like a dad, so of course you don’t,” said one commenter. “Stepdaughter is a nice and decent term for your relationship, your wife doesn’t have the authority to change that. This whole thing is honestly just between you and your SD, not her parents. She’s at the age where she knows what she wants to be called too.”
Many noted that in the end, the most important thing is to speak with his stepdaughter directly about how she views the relationship and what she wants out of it.
“I think it’s time he takes his stepdaughter out to dinner, just the two of them, and ask her what SHE wants,” said one person. “Everyone else is dictating how the two of them should be and they’ve been in each other’s lives enough that I think they can make the decision between themselves. Ask the kid what she’s comfortable with.”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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