Marriage and parenting step children
I have been with my husband for almost 7 years total and have a daughter who was 1yr when I met him. She has a father who she remembers to be a GOOD dad but that is only a slight memory for her since it was when she was so young. She still sees her dad on occations but is longing for the memory she has to be a reality. We had her very young and after we split he slowly faded from his responsibility to continue to be as good of a father. He went out to do what other 20 year olds do (party and drink). My husband stepped up to being there for my daughter from the beginning. I never had to ask him, once our relationship got to a certain point he just put his heart and effort into helping me raise my daughter. I love my husband dearly for it. But it's a constant struggle for us and I sometimes I feel totally alone other times I'll feel bad and sometimes both.
My daughter, like most other children in her position, acts out, alot. I know it's because she is always longing for that fatherly love, but because he is absent from the important things in her life she is really feeling the void. My husband and I do whatever we can to try and fill the void but of course we cannot replace her a fathers role and because he is still partly in her life it's causing her anxiety. I also have a daughter with my husband and my husband is a really good father to both our Girls. But sometimes will get rejected by my daughter, which i think may comes along with The stepfather/stepdaughter relationship. I think the anxiety causes my daughter to act out not knowing how to deal with it or express the feelings she's having. It is difficult for ME, at times to put my frustration aside to keep the focus on how I can help my daughter. So naturally I know that for my husband, times can be really frustrating and also harder for him to put his feelings on hold for my daughter. And sometimes will put a wedge between my husband and I.
Last night she was disrespectful to my husband and in front of my parents while I was not in the room. He didn't try to decipline her for being disrespectful but just left the scene as he felt unsure of how to handle it. He then came into the room very upset and frustrated and while explaining to me what happend said some things out of anger which I know he didn't mean. The problem is that even though I know he didn't mean it, the "single parent" defensive side came out of me. I felt totally alone. He only admits that he should have never said anything to me because he knew I wouldnt put in the effort to let it go and not make it about myself. That hurt even more.
He doesn't understand how I could feel alone and offended by what he said and doesn't feel he should apologize or even feel the need to take back or explain what he really ment. He just continues to say "I shouldn't have said anythng to you at all". And that's the end of the conversation.
'd like to get past this so we could get on to the bigger issue which is my daughter and how to work with her behavior. But I am too upset that he feels I am making it about myself and tht I should put in more effort and just let what he said go without any explanation or apology from him.
I don't know how to proceed from here. I've tried to talk to him but he stands by what he says does not feel he was wrong towards me but just was wrong for saying anything. Although im still hurt and upset by how he handled his anger and felt like it was being directed towards me, apart of me does feel guilty for not putting in more effort for his feelings. Either way I know we need to talk and work past this together, I don't know which way to continue. If he doesn't understand how what he said and how he acted affected my feelings and i just let it go...I'm affraid it might happen again and possibly drive us apart. Or he could be right and if I'm being too hard on him, THAT could drive us apart and deminish his efforts of working to make our family work.