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How can I develop a better relationship with my dsd?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My dh has a wonderful 18yo dd from his previous marriage. His ex left him when his dd was 8 to marry another man and the three of them maintained a good, healthy relationship and were all active in his dd's life for years. When she was 12 dh and I moved in together and his ex got ticked and told him that she thought that he was behaving 'innapropriately' with his dd and that he couldn't see her anymore. This was the week after going to the state for child support even though he regularly paid it to her, and on top of that he'd give extra money for additional expenses (like taking dd out school shopping, pitching in for braces...).

For 4 years we only saw his dd 1 or 2 times a year at crowded family gatherings and if we pursued anything more than pleasant (and short) small talk they'd take her and leave. The past couple of years we've seen her more often, about every couple of months. I've wanted for a long time to have a better relationship with her.

This fall she's going to college and she chose a school that's close to us, and made it sound like that was a deciding factor for her! She wants to spend time with us and wants us to come up to her dorm to visit...I just can't wait. I was planning to just wait until fall to pursue a relationship with her, but that's a whole 6 months to wait and I don't want to!

Her mom is still really (something that rhymes with 'witchy') to us. She doesn't always tell her that we've called and stuff like that. Should I try to form a better relationship with her now even though she's still living with her mom over 2 hours away? Or should I just try and tough it out until fall? What do you all think?
post #2 of 2
First let me say how sorry I am that the relationship was so strained for so many years, my boyfriend has a 12 yo daughter who lives with her mom who is also "witchy" (not mentioning phone messages, etc.), she comes up for summer and vacations but it's never enough time. It's so hard to try to have a relationship at such short intervals, but you guys didn't even have any alone time with your dsd.

That's great she's going to school near you (I hope bf's dau. will go to school near us!). I think you could start building the relationship now. Maybe send her a book about the area with cool things to do, that you guys could all do together when she gets there. Does she have a room at your house? If she doesn't, and you have room, maybe make a room for her in case she wants to spend the weekend there. Just kind of casually mention it to her, so as not to freak out her mom.

Do you email her? That could be a good way to start a relationship.

I'm so happy for you and your husband(!) that she will be closer. I see every day the horrid pain that a dad feels when his baby is so far away and estranged. It breaks my heart. Your husband must be so happy. I hope the relationship grows and flourishes and that you all find happiness.
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