Marrying a man with teenage daughter(s)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2004
Marrying a man with teenage daughter(s)
Mon, 05-17-2004 - 4:19pm
This post is directed to any woman who has married a man who has a teenage daughter(s). I've been dating my guy (I'll call him Tom) for a year now and our relationship is serious. We're both in our 40s. He has full time custody of his three children, two of which are in HS and one who is in college. The middle child is the only girl and she will be a HS junior this fall. The ex-wife is completly out of the picture and has been for years. I have no children.

I get along fine with the youngest boy, who is very sweet and is still a bit of a child. The oldest boy is in college and is almost out on his own. But I sense a potential problem with the daughter, who looks and acts like a college girl. Since I have no kids, it's particulary hard for me to "tell" when she is being manipulative. So far, my focus has been on my relationship with Tom. I've spent some time around his children (at dinners, etc.) but not a lot of time. I'm starting to notice that now and then, the daughter annoys me, and I am reacting to subtle things she does.

For example, there are times when she demands Tom's attention, in effect, "pulling him away from me". And not for anything that's all that important, it seems to me. This doesn't happen often, but I'm noticing it more and more and I'm wondering how "intentional" it is. I am NOT going to get involved in a power struggle with this girl, but I wonder if that's what she's trying to do.

Tom and I have talked about getting married and the understanding is we will within a year or two. I expect he will probably propose by the end of the year. He has told me that he'd like us to marry next year, if we marry. I'd like that, too, but am wondering if we should wait until the daughter is in college. That's over two years from now, which seems a long time for Tom, as well as for me. On the other hand, I don't want to walk into a minefield if it can be avoided. Plus, frankly, I'm also not too keen on sharing my home with another woman, which is what it would be like for me with this daughter.

Any insights about what I should do? What experiences have those of you in my position ever had? Should I just wait until she's in college before marrying this man? Would appreciate all advice from women with teenage daughters, especially women who marry men with teenage daughters who don't have daughters of their own. Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2003
Tue, 05-18-2004 - 5:42pm

I have a daughter who will be a HS junior next year.


"Success is a journey, not a destination"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-19-2004 - 3:49pm

This is very true.


Avatar for mom_x_three
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-23-2004 - 3:43pm
Hi...I'm new to this board...and not quite in the same situation...I'm the one with teens, one 17 year old girl who lives with her dad...a 15 year old girl and 13 year old boy that live with us.

The 17 yr old and my DH have pretty much a "adult" step relationship...she's old enough to not look at him as a "parent" especially since we aren't custodial.

My son was still young enough to be open to having a good relationship with his SD.

But the 15 yr old is taking it really hard. She does see my DH as "competition" for time and attention from me. She is in that "in between" stage where she's already trying to grow up and pull away from "parenting" and make more of her own decisions...but yet is still a "child" in many ways.

Her adjustment is definitely the hardest...and if she was the only child involved, and the wait would only be two years....I would wait until she had graduated to get married.

Sherry<with 3 kids, 2 beautiful granddaughters

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2004
Tue, 06-01-2004 - 9:47am
I too am in a similar situation and understand your hesitation.

I have been dating an amazing man. We also want to marry in the next year. He also has a 15 yr old daughter who he has raised from a baby. There isnt a mom in the picture.

My daughters are 19 and away at college (except for summers, winter breaks,occasional weekends home).

His daughter is a great kid, we get along great, my daughters and her get along well, she loves doing things with just me, etc. Sounds perfect right?

I have noticed the manipulation too. I DO understand that is part of the age, and also part of having a another woman around but it can be annoying.

I have, like you, thought about waiting until she is in college to get married. This is not an option that he likes at all.

On one hand, I broke my own rule by dating a man with a young then mine child... I felt I raised mine, they are for the most part on their own. I didnt want to raise another child.. I can come and go the way I more worrying about teenage years,sitters, etc. I'm not used to not doing something because she's too young to be left home alone and he couldnt get a sitter. This is a great stage of my life. Maybe I don't want to give it up?

We went on a vacation recently just him and I to Aruba and had THE most incredible time. No kids just us. Now it's back to reality.

I guess the bottom line is this .. no matter what age our kids are, they will always need us (just in different ways). Will postponing a marriage (that we want) for a couple of years really make a difference? Granted it would make it easier but whoever said life was easy right?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2004
Tue, 06-01-2004 - 9:04pm
i have a step daughter who is alot younger and she was the same way she is jealous and doesn't relize you are in it for the long haul.maybe try taking her to a movie just you and her or dinner try that maybe that will work.