I totally agree with you here. I know she doesn't want my attention. It is his that she is wanting... That is why I am asking how to encourage more effort from him, so I can let her jsut have what she wants. It is not me or anything that I do. But I just don't want her to resent the kdis b/c she thinks he does more for them than her.
Unfortnately, no matter how much YOU do, she is likely to feel that way. Unless her Dad steps up to the plate. As she gets a bit older, she will likely realize that it's no more your kids fault than it is hers - it will be all on him. That's not a pretty place to be. For anyone.
When my ex and I were married, he was also one who "didn't think of" sending cards, making calls, etc. for special occasions. That was on me. I can't imagine much has changed in that regard - left to his own devices, he just doesn't do it, and expects someone else to. It was expected that the kids would call, email, whatever him. He'd never initiate it. Birthdays? I suspect it was his wife who took care of that - bought the gift, stuck the card in front of him, etc. And I suspect she got fed up with that (I can't blame her!), so she stopped. Our daughter has not had ANY sort of birthday contact from her Dad since she was 15. She turns 18 in a week. Towards the end of last year, I made a last ditch effort to help him see what he was doing to the relationship with her. His response was... appalling. She is ridiculous for taking it personally, that it is up to HER to contact him, and if she doesn't? Then she obviously doesn't want him in her life. So she can either rethink her stance and make contact or he will walk away. Well... I think he will be waiting a long time.
I'm not saying your husband will end up in that situation with your stepdaughter. More of an illustration of how doing everything that HE should be doing can lead to a nasty situation. I wish that I had stopped doing for him long ago. Maybe things would be different now. Just something to think about. Maybe something to share with him.
Best of luck - you seem to be doing the best you can.
ETA: My daughter has said to me: "Mom - he's replaced us. He has new kids now. He doesn't need us anymore to present his "perfect" family."
Note - he and his wife do not have kids together. She's referring to her stepsibs.
Edited by mtiger - 3/10/12 at 6:12am