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Resolved/Thanks!

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
DSD "A" told DH and me that while on a fishing trip with her stepdad, step-uncle and a couple male cousins, she had to pee. Apparently, they were close to toilet facilities and her step-dad opted to hold her over the side of the boat to pee. I'm trying to wrap my head around exactly how he did this, but none of the pictures are pretty. It makes no sense that he would do this, especially in a boat of all males. DSD is 13 and was absolutely mortified. She was so embarrassed that she told DH she is not going on another fishing trip with her stepdad, in order to keep it from happening again.

Both girls have also told us that the stepfather spanks younger DSD, and that one time over a laundry discrepancy (he accused her of somehow lying), he bent her (age 11 at the time) over a table and spanked her bottom with his hand. They are both pubescent girls and I'm of the opinion that his hand belongs nowhere near her bottom. Besides, I completely disagree with spanking a child period. (When DH told his ex that younger DSD "M" told him she was spanked by her stepdad, his ex denied it and said that they don't get spanked. Yet, the news of being bent over the table was confirmed this summer by both DSDs, after the conversation with his ex. Plus, he's heard stories of being spanked on several occasions.

We've known about the boat incident for months and I've suggested to DH that he talk to his ex about it, how he doesn't agree with it, and ask how she is going to keep it from happening again. I think he should also talk to her regarding the spanking. I'm very, very uncomfortable with the fact that he has not talked to her about these things--over a period of months, especially the boat incident. I'm concerned that other things might be happening. The stepdad obviously doesn't respect their personal boundaries. Meanwhile, I don't know that more is happening. But I think DH has the responsibility of, at the very least, talking to his exwife about these issues. I told him this last night (after he had talked on the phone with "A", who told him that during a family function, an older male stepcousin had asked her to show him her privates). "A" told DH that the only other person she talked to regarding it was her mom, as she was embarrassed. She quickly told DH what happened and when he began questioning, she changed the subject because she was uncomfortable with it. I'm thinking that maybe she wants DH to talk to her mom about it so that the situation will be dealt with.

Anyhow, unless DH says something, I don't think anything will be done. I know boys will be boys and kids will be kids, but "A's" mom should at least talk to the parents, as well as respect A's wishes of not being in the presence of this boy at family functions. More of a concern to me, however, is the boating incident. That was wrong on so many levels.

There are other things, but namely suspicions and nothing that I know for sure. DSDs mom and stepdad frequently take them to Hooters, which DH strongly disapproves of. (I disapprove, as well, but my opinion isn't the one that matters here.) I do think DH should talk to his ex about taking the girls to Hooters, and what that does to their developing self-image, but I'm not sure if it's one of the most important things to bring up at this point.

I suspect DH is hesitant to talk to his ex about these things because she has full custody and "allows" the girls to spend time with their dad during the summer. He's afraid she may keep him from seeing the girls at all. I'm of the mindset that he can take her to court and win visitation with the girls if his ex tried to keep them from him. Of course, I'm speaking from complete naiveté.

I told DH that if he didn't talk to his ex about these things (the boating incident mainly, and the spanking secondly) this week, I would call CPS. Was I wrong to threaten to call CPS if DH doesn't talk to his ex? Did I overstep my boundaries? I just strongly suspect more may be happening. I know suspicions are not proof. I suggested he call his ex months ago. It's just so hard to be concerned and yet not able to do anything about it. I feel completely powerless. I love the girls very much, but as their stepmother I feel like I can only stand by.

Please don't hesitate to tell me if I am off-base and need to step out of the situation entirely. I'm already second-guessing myself.

ETA: DH just forwarded an email his ex sent to his workplace regarding DSD "M" wanting to come live with us. Apparently, she is having pretty major issues with the stepdad (who has been married to her mom since "M" was a baby). "M" put a letter inside Bio mom's purse. In the letter, "M" threatened to run away and requested going to live with her dad, instead. She told her mom that she had raised her for 11 years and now it is dad's turn.
post #2 of 30
You are NOT off base at all. In fact, you seem to be the only one with a modicum of clarity in a sea of denial. It is ABSOLUTELY your husbands responsibility to take action and I have no idea how to get him to do so. However, I think that if, for whatever reason, he doesn't that you should absolutely step in. These things should not continue to be allowed to happen just because it isn't your place...

post #3 of 30
I thought you were going to say your DSD was 2 or 3 years old - I have held my 2 year old over the boat edge to pee... but 13? That's incomprehensible.

I think what your DSD's stepfather did was completely inappropriate, and I absolutely agree that you (or your dh) should step in, one way or another.
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I wish I'd listened to my instincts sooner. Did either of you read my ETA?
post #5 of 30
I did just now. I still believe that the mom needs to have the wool pulled from her eyes regarding her husband.
post #6 of 30
You're not out of line at all. If I were the mother I would be extremely upset and I really don't understand why she isn't. As the father, it IS your husband's responsibility to step in and be an advocate for his daughter. I'm sorry you're needing to deal with this
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
I did just now. I still believe that the mom needs to have the wool pulled from her eyes regarding her husband.
I agree, especially as DSD "A" will still live with her mom. Honestly, I have no clue if bio mom is reacting emotionally to DSD's letter to her, or if she would follow through on sending her to live with us.

Regarding what DH should talk to his ex about, I know the boat incident needs to be discussed. What else? Spanking? Hooters? I'm trying to pick the battles (or have husband do so) and he can't choose to battle everything at once.

DH has said for a while now that DSD "M" may choose to live with us at some point. Of course, he's going off instincts, as he's never had such a conversation with either of his daughters. "M" though, has been very sad lately, calling several times a week (we live a distance away) and such.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
I thought you were going to say your DSD was 2 or 3 years old - I have held my 2 year old over the boat edge to pee... but 13? That's incomprehensible.

I think what your DSD's stepfather did was completely inappropriate, and I absolutely agree that you (or your dh) should step in, one way or another.
this. 13!!!! although even at 2-3 age, I'd put a stop to it if the child felt embarrased or uncomfortable.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
I thought you were going to say your DSD was 2 or 3 years old - I have held my 2 year old over the boat edge to pee... but 13? That's incomprehensible.

I think what your DSD's stepfather did was completely inappropriate, and I absolutely agree that you (or your dh) should step in, one way or another.
What she said...
Yes its inappropriate. with some many outside ppl there especially.
if it made her feel uncomfortable then thats not ok.
I would have peed my pants right there in that boat when I was 13.
Having dealt with a man who doesnt like to speak up... yes he needs to speak up and let them know that it was not ok.

I know this is against all the "leave the kid outta it" stuff but at 13 perhaps she would want to ask her mother for advice, what she should have done in the boating situation and just for some support, from you or mom, that its ok to feel uncomfortable. whether for a good reason or not and that sometimes you have to speak up and say "I don't wanna do that, even if you think its normal it makes me feel awkward"
post #10 of 30
You're not out of line, but....

The fact that no one addressed the issue for what has been apparently several months is a problem. If it was an issue, one of you should have addressed it long ago bu contacting CPS. CPS and the courts are likely to wonder why it is only an issue NOW.
post #11 of 30
I'm with everyone else. 13 is WAY too old for that

Good point about CPS, though, mtiger. That's something to think about, definitely. The next time there's an issue, though, it might be worth reporting? I dunno. *shudder*
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
I mentioned reporting the incident to CPS in my original post because I couldn't handle the fact that so many months had passed and DH didn't even talk to his ex about it. As the long distance stepmother, I really have very little control. This did prompt DH to talk to bio mom about the incident. She said they were in the middle of some big lake (not the original story I heard) and there were no other options short of DSD peeing her pants. I told DH that I would have preferred to wet my pants. It's something that shouldn't happen again. I don't think it should have happened period, but I'm not the parent, and I doubt there's anything CPS can do at this point. If something like that happens again, I will insist DH take immediate action or else I will call CPS myself. I'm STILL not happy with bio mom's response. I STILL think the incident was completely inappropriate. But I'm not the parent. If I hear things like that continue to happen, I will act on it. I just wanted to pose the question whether I was out of line first. Being a stepparent is not easy. I feel like I have responsibilities to DSDs and yet no say in their wellbeing.

Thanks for confirming that I should have, indeed, spoken up more.
post #13 of 30
I have to be honest... Middle of the lake and no other option? I would likely do the same with my daughter. Otherwise? I likely would have suggested she hop in the water for a swim and pee while there.
post #14 of 30
Were you thinking I was flaming you? I hope not, I didn't mean it that way.... I just don't know if I'd wanna chance it being taken as some sort of attack on the other parents. I think you were right and he should definitely have taken it up with her sooner... a lot sooner. There's not really any control you have over that.

Anyway, wasn't sure if you meant my post or not... but I support you.
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
Were you thinking I was flaming you? I hope not, I didn't mean it that way.... I just don't know if I'd wanna chance it being taken as some sort of attack on the other parents. I think you were right and he should definitely have taken it up with her sooner... a lot sooner. There's not really any control you have over that.

Anyway, wasn't sure if you meant my post or not... but I support you.
I'm sorry. I actually edited that portion of my original response. I think I'm just feeling sensitive about the whole issue and especially about not taking a firmer stance in the beginning.

You hit the nail on the head regarding bio mom possibly feeling attacked if we were to call CPS. We're in a position to have younger DSD come to live with us (DH being the custodial parent) in about a month, and we certainly don't want to do anything to jeopardize that. Overall, I guess the ship has sailed, but having posted this succeeded in helping to define my responsibility to the girls and their wellbeing as their stepparent, and that sometimes I need to take a firm stand.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
I have to be honest... Middle of the lake and no other option? I would likely do the same with my daughter. Otherwise? I likely would have suggested she hop in the water for a swim and pee while there.
Apparently the water was pretty cold when this happened. I still think I would have preferred to pee my pants, though. I think my problem with it was that she was in a boat with all males (and I intuitively don't trust the stepfather in that way).

Thanks for your response.
post #17 of 30
Yuck. This guy sounds gross. He has no right to humiliate the teen like that. And you're right, all the behavioral pieces together sound suspicious.

As for the older male step-cousin, I HOPE that what you described is not normal behavior & something to be subscribed to "boys will be boys". Your DH should step in & talk to an adult about that, as well.

I have no idea how you should handle this, but wanted to second that your "gut" feelings seem very reasonable.
post #18 of 30
There had to be another solution on the boat because that was completely inappropriate. I would not let that drop and I really wonder what's going on with the mother that her husband is sexually humiliating her dds and she is either unaware or doesn't think it's a big deal. I would drop the Hooters issue entirely though, it isn't illegal and it's a matter of opinion whether it's inappropriate. I don't think your dh has that kind of control over what goes on when they are with their mom. I take my kids to Hooters on occasion...it's all about the wings.
post #19 of 30
That is completely inappropriate. I would look into a custody modification and bring these things up. If they continue or happen at all again, I would not hesitate to call CPS.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
That is completely inappropriate. I would look into a custody modification and bring these things up. If they continue or happen at all again, I would not hesitate to call CPS.
Is a custody modification a legal thing? Bio mom currently has full custody of both girls, and is soon giving DH full custody of the younger daughter. They don't really go through the courts, though. They have an agreed upon amount for child support. DH pays it. DH has the girls in the summer and they live with their mom. That is soon to change with the younger daughter, as she will live with us. But we live a great distance from bio mom. DH and bio mom have always been amicable. Basically, they make decisions regarding the girls on their own, not involving the courts.
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