Put in the middle & always trying to keep peace.

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Registered: 03-28-2010
Put in the middle & always trying to keep peace.
7
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 1:47pm

Hi gals!

I am having an 'issue' with my marriage...not too serious, but it's getting aggravating to me!

1st, love hubby so much & (of course) love DD so much!!  I just wish we could all three be peaceful together!!

Hubby has no kids and he's 45 (we were 'trying' to have a kid, but I suffered 3 miscarriages, in last year....so I am giving up. Cry) Hubby & DD get along 'most' the time.  They have never had a fight with each other. And I am the one, who disciplines, so there's no resentment from DD to hubby, feeling she already has a father. Problem is hubby would like to be closer to DD, since he has no kids, but DD is 13 and is her own person, not a 'touchy feely' persone either.  Hubby has tried soooooo hard to win her affection, by going out of his way, all the time to have some 'sort' of relationship with her.  But, DD is a teen & just has no interest! I tell DH that she is a teen and don't try so hard with her and don't expect much, she likes/loves him, in her own way, so back off a bit.  He will listen, for a day, then back to trying too hard again! 

It's getting to the point where he is starting to resent her.....Thanksgiving night, he was playfully going to grab her (not hard, really playful, tha's all), she jumped back in horror and squealed a bit, (of course) that hurt his feelings! Then he proceeded to walk away like a baby, saying "wow! I was only playing!" and sulked the rest of the night!  Then him, being a HUGE baby like that makes DD not think very highly of him.  So, the next night DH is still angry and get's into it with ME about what happened!! Then, DD will talk to me, "wow....'B' just complains and get's angry over nothing!"

And it's a circle, where it will be peaceful (they acknowledge each other & will talk), but 'something' will happen and I am stuck in the middle, trying to keep peace......but they do NOT want to talk to each other about it.  Undecided

Kiki (hit my magic age of 45 and no longer TTC),but mom to a beautiful teen DD & 2 angels in heaven & married to my best friend

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Registered: 03-28-2010

BTW, DD is a wondeful kid, who get's straight A"s, doesn't do drugs or hang out with shady kids....she is always very respectful to everyone. DH is also a wonderful guy, who is very caring & loving.  They, both, have their moments of complaining or being angry, but it's usually with me & that's mostly when they get along, because it's easier for each of them to get angry at, who they are closest to (me), rather than deal with their own problems.  (DH's problem is always trying, but not getting any closer to DD....DD's problem is being angry about school, or friends, or 'life' in general, because she's a teen, with hormones.)

Kiki (hit my magic age of 45 and no longer TTC),but mom to a beautiful teen DD & 2 angels in heaven & married to my best friend

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2012

Hi Kiki

From the outside it sounds like your DH is a touchy feely person and that's how he shows affection but your DD isn't.  It looks like he may be taking the wrong approach.  I do think it is difficult for step-kids to show affection to step-parents.  Maybe they feel some sense of betrayal to the absent parent, who knows.  I have SS and there are many times I have just wanted to hug him when he's having a hard time but have taken a step back because I know it would make him uncomfortable.  

Would she react that way to anyone playfully touching her or is it just your DH?  Maybe he wouldn't take to so personally if he realised it was just her normal reaction.  Does she like playing games, I know I loved board games (and still do) so something like that could help them connect more, he could take her and a friend to the cinema (less pressure on their relationship if she has a friend along), or how about he gets her to help him wash the car or something like that.  I just think it is a very slow process with Step kids, friendship first then maybe later she might show some affection.  

Hopefully if this can improve things between them you might not feel put in the middle so much.

Hugs xx

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002

Hi CG--

I guess my thoughts fall into two categories:

1.  Boy, I'm glad I didnt have to raise a hormonal teenage girl :)

2. He needs to recognize she's growing up, and lay off of ideas of physical contact, or next thing someone will be mis-interpreting it as some sort of sexual something.

I can see how he might feel "left out" of a household that's 2/3 female, etc, but that's the way it is.....and it really has nothing to do with him personally, and not even the step-dad thing, as it's common in families with biodads as well.

I will put my thinking cap on,......not sure if somehow backing off (a bit) from role of "mediator" would help?  I mean, it seems you're on target with your analysis of the situation, ...AND you have explained/told/suggested to EACH of them actions to take to help alleviate situation-----------------this is something I"m wondering:

Is this *behavior*  , of being miffed with each other (DH and DD), then going to YOU for help/consolation/etc....simply some way that each of them is *subconsciously* merely using to get YOUR attention?  Eg, do you think (at some deeper, perhaps unrecognized level) all of this "to do" is *really* about them each being jealous (on an unconscious level?) of YOUR time/attention/closeness with the other person?

hmmmmmm.......

sigh (bottom line....boys ARE easier to raise in many respects... LOL)

BEST WISHES!

I'm sorry about your miscarriages..................(but dont lose all hope, you never know what the future holds.......)

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Registered: 03-28-2010

expecttoomuch wrote:
Would she react that way to anyone playfully touching her or is it just your DH?  Maybe he wouldn't take to so personally if he realised it was just her normal reaction.  friendship first then maybe later she might show some affection.

She just doesn't like being touched, in general.  Of course, she will want to hug me, but I am her mom.  And DH see's that she will be affectionate with me & will complain that she is affectionate with me, why can't she be like that with him?! And I try to explain it to him over & over, that he doesn't see her affectionate with anyone else, including my family, but me.

He takes 'everything' personally & gets hurt really easily......but with everyone else he is very much a guy & 'thick skinned'! (Around me, he turns into a baby and whines about 'whatever'.)

Kiki (hit my magic age of 45 and no longer TTC),but mom to a beautiful teen DD & 2 angels in heaven & married to my best friend

Avatar for cowboys_grl
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Registered: 03-28-2010

laurena82 wrote:
.not sure if somehow backing off (a bit) from role of "mediator" would help?  I mean, it seems you're on target with your analysis of the situation, ...AND you have explained/told/suggested to EACH of them actions to take to help alleviate situation-----------------this is something I"m wondering:</p><p>Is this *behavior*  , of being miffed with each other (DH and DD), then going to YOU for help/consolation/etc....simply some way that each of them is *subconsciously* merely using to get YOUR attention?  Eg, do you think (at some deeper, perhaps unrecognized level) all of this "to do" is *really* about them each being jealous (on an unconscious level?) of YOUR time/attention/closeness with the other person?

Hmmmnnnn, that's a good 'thought'! Maybe that's the main problem?! I think maybe DD is competeing for my affection?  But DH would love it if all three of us, were 'one unit'.  DD had me all to herself from 4 years old (when I separated from her dad) to 11 years old (when we moved in with DH).....so, I guess, she is trying to keep me to herself (at times).  So, then I feel like I have to split my time up, spending a few hours, one on one time with DD, then one on one time with DH.  If all 3 of us watch TV in living room, then it's DH, sitting by himself & me sitting next to him, but DD cuddling up to me from the other side....*sigh*

If I try to be a mediator and talk to both of them and try to get a clearer picture to them of both their behavior, I am afraid I may hurt one of their feelings? because it may come out wrong?

*sigh* it's a never ending cycle!!  but sometimes I can suggest to DD to go out to breakfast/lunch with DH (just them too) and (if she's bored, at home) she will go.  Smile

Kiki (hit my magic age of 45 and no longer TTC),but mom to a beautiful teen DD & 2 angels in heaven & married to my best friend

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

I can so relate!

I wish I had more time to reply, but wanted to drop a quick line so you know you are not alone.  

For us, it has just taken time.  But, we are almost 7 years into this and my DD is in 7th grade. 

My quick answer is for your DH to continue to offer the olive branch and try to find something they both enjoy.  Without buying her affection, of course.   For my two it has been board games, cards, a cheap meal out or ice cream, and quick trips up to Walmart.  It is hard to find something a tween girl wants to do with a step-dad without her mother going, too.

Hugs....

p.s.  We have worked really hard to get DD12 to speak directly to SO.  I also get tired of feeling like I am in the middle.

 

 

Serenity
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Registered: 03-28-2010

serenity1986 wrote:
I can so relate! I wish I had more time to reply, but wanted to drop a quick line so you know you are not alone.

My quick answer is for your DH to continue to offer the olive branch and try to find something they both enjoy.  Without buying her affection, of course.   For my two it has been board games, cards, a cheap meal out or ice cream, and quick trips up to Walmart.  It is hard to find something a tween girl wants to do with a step-dad without her mother going, too.Hugs....p.s.  We have worked really hard to get DD12 to speak directly to SO.  I also get tired of feeling like I am in the middle.

thnx Serenity! it's nice to know that I am not alone, in these feelings.  I have another friend that tells me, once she get's older & moves out, then they will just get closer, she will appreciate the caring & effort, even if she doesn't realize it now.....but, at the same time, it's soooooo sad of thinking of her getting older & moving out!!  Cry  So, in the meantime, I will just 'try' to blend as best we can & I will continue to be the 'peace keeper'.....I guess it could be worse?!

Kiki (hit my magic age of 45 and no longer TTC),but mom to a beautiful teen DD & 2 angels in heaven & married to my best friend