Embarrassed to be a step-father? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-05-2010, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Three weeks ago, my two year old daughter and I moved out of state to live with my boyfriend. The first week was a little rough, as my daughter got adjusted to her new surroundings and her new stepfather, but my boyfriend was very patient and very understanding and now she adores him. I thought everything was going great until last night..

My boyfriend was sitting on the reclining chair playing with my daughter. She was draped over his lap and he was tickling her, and both of them looked so happy that I took out my camera and took a few pictures and said that I was going to post them on Facebook. My boyfriend got upset and said he didn't want them posted on Facebook. I thought he was joking, so I said it again, and he got more agitated and reiterated that he didnt want me to post them and that I couldn't post them without his permission. I made a face and said "what is your problem?" and he replied "everything was fine until you came in here taking pictures."

He asked to see the pictures, and I showed him. After viewing them, he said he did not want me to post them. I said "fine..Ill just delete them. I guess posting pics of you and your step-daughter on the internet isn't "metal" enough" (He was a lead singer in a death metal band for 15 years and has a public persona of this screaming, angst ridden, drunken party man.)

Later on that night, he apologized. He said he was exhausted (which was true..he'd only had 3 hours of sleep the night before) and that posting the pics made him feel vulnerable. I pressed him as to what he meant by "vulnerable" and he said that he still hadn't adjusted to all the way to being a step-father..that it was a huge change from his "before" life. I asked him if he felt embarrassed to have his friends (who all have kids) to see him playing with my child, and he said "I don't know."

I don't understand it...he is 37 years old, all his male friends have children and none of them are embarrassed to put pics of their kids up. And to be fair, my boyfriend has posted pics of my daughter by herself or standing next to him on Facebook. I don't understand what the difference was with posting pics where he was actively playing with her is. Why is he embarrassed to post pics of him being a nurturing father-figure, but he has no problem posting pics from college when he was bloated and drunk and looking like a mess? I feel kinda insulted and I am actually thinking about leaving him.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Why are you calling your boyfriend your daughter's stepfather?

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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Old 05-05-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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Why are you calling your boyfriend your daughter's stepfather?
My "boyfriend" is my daughters step-father. Not everyone chooses to get married. I refer to him as DH because otherwise people seem to assume i met him 3 nights ago in a club and am living with him for the time being, which is far from the reality of our relationship.

OP i would give it some time. How planned was the move? When DH and i moved in together we planned it for around 4 or 5 months, so he had plenty of time to adjust beforehand. There was still a transition period (i know i had one when i first had DD, the fact that she was nearly 3 when he "got" her didn't make parenting full time less of a shock!) and though he didn't object to being her step-father, it definitely took time for him to shift his perception of himself to include that role. Perhaps he just found it really confronting to see photo's of himself "being" a father when he isn't fully "in" that role in his head yet.

On the basis of this alone i wouldn't be too worried, though obviously this is only a small snapshot of how things are in your home.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why are you calling your boyfriend your daughter's stepfather?
For a number of reasons...First, I couldn't think of a better word for it..and secondly, that is how he refers to himself.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My "boyfriend" is my daughters step-father. Not everyone chooses to get married. I refer to him as DH because otherwise people seem to assume i met him 3 nights ago in a club and am living with him for the time being, which is far from the reality of our relationship.

OP i would give it some time. How planned was the move? When DH and i moved in together we planned it for around 4 or 5 months, so he had plenty of time to adjust beforehand. There was still a transition period (i know i had one when i first had DD, the fact that she was nearly 3 when he "got" her didn't make parenting full time less of a shock!) and though he didn't object to being her step-father, it definitely took time for him to shift his perception of himself to include that role. Perhaps he just found it really confronting to see photo's of himself "being" a father when he isn't fully "in" that role in his head yet.

On the basis of this alone i wouldn't be too worried, though obviously this is only a small snapshot of how things are in your home.
The move was planned for 9 months..I have known him for 15 years and I lived with before when we were in college. We lost track of each other for a few years and reconnected on Facebook and had a long distance relationship for a year before I moved here. He seems to love being around my daughter, he dotes on her and I've overheard him telling his friends on the phone that he loves the "family life." Which is why I was so shocked that he reacted the way he did to the pics. I know when I first became a mother, I went through a huge identity crisis..I thought I had to dress a certain way to look "mother-ish" and stop listening to the kind of music that I enjoy and get rid of my tattoos, and it took a few months for me to get comfortable with blending my "before me" with my "mommy me" together. But I never felt embarrassed..
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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Maybe it's not embarrassment? Maybe it's feeling shy, or exposed, or letting other people see the big-ol-softie he is at home? Sometimes people have a hard time putting a word to an emotion. He didn't say he WAS embarrassed, he said he didn't know. Maybe he means exactly what he said... that he doesn't know if that feeling is embarrassment, or something else?
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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He's posted pictures of her and of them together, it doesn't sound like he's embarrassed. It sounds like he isn't comfortable publicizing a private moment. Why did you delete the pictures just because they weren't going up on Facebook? Did he ask you to?

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 05-05-2010, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's posted pictures of her and of them together, it doesn't sound like he's embarrassed. It sounds like he isn't comfortable publicizing a private moment. Why did you delete the pictures just because they weren't going up on Facebook? Did he ask you to?
No, he didn't ask me to..I did it because I was being a witch..lol. I was so hurt and like..almost panicked by his reaction, that I just reacted. Not the most adult way to behave..I know..
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe it's not embarrassment? Maybe it's feeling shy, or exposed, or letting other people see the big-ol-softie he is at home? Sometimes people have a hard time putting a word to an emotion. He didn't say he WAS embarrassed, he said he didn't know. Maybe he means exactly what he said... that he doesn't know if that feeling is embarrassment, or something else?
True..He is tattooed and has dreadlocks down to his butt and I think he kinda tries to promote this "hardcore" image of himself..but all his friends know he has a heart of gold and is a big softie. I remember a few times when he did something really, really sweet for me and he said half-jokingly "Don't tell my friends..I don't want them to know I'm a big pushover."

It's like he's still clinging to this rock star persona he has had since he was 19..
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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And to be fair, my boyfriend has posted pics of my daughter by herself or standing next to him on Facebook. I don't understand what the difference was with posting pics where he was actively playing with her is.
how did he comment on the photos when he posted them before? "me and the daughter of a friend" or "me and my future step-daughter" ?

honestly, just the way my mind goes, he's stringing someone along and / or has someone else that knows about you but he doesn't want her to know that you are still in contact and/or doesn't want her to know things have gotten serious enough for you to move in with him.

but, again, that's just looking through my filter.

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Old 05-05-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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No, he didn't ask me to..I did it because I was being a witch..lol. I was so hurt and like..almost panicked by his reaction, that I just reacted. Not the most adult way to behave..I know..
Oh, I understand... I think everyone has reactionary moments sometimes. It would have been concerning if he didn't want the pictures around at all, you know? Maybe he just needs more time to wrap his brain around it... becoming a parent is no small adjustment!

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 05-05-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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He may just need tome to adjust to the new role. Plus, being a stepparent is different than being a parent in society. When you become a parent, people congratulate you and act like this makes you a better person. Becoming a stepparent will get you odd looks, maybe sympathy, but more often people act like you must have done something wrong. So he may need a while to come to terms with it.

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Old 05-05-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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Okay so when I read your post I thought I think I know this guy, by your description of him, I am going to PM you.

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Old 05-05-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Leave him!

You uprooted your child less than a month ago and you're already prepared to do it again, because you're only now finding out that your BF has issues having people see him in the role of SF? I say "only now" to emphasize, after you moved in with him...

He isn't her SF. It doesn't sound like the two of you know each other well enough or have a solid enough relationship to claim he's anywhere close to being her SF.

Did your daughter have an actual father in her life, before you moved out of state, by any chance? If so, how does he feel about losing the proximity to her? Did she have involved grandparents?

Heck, yes, if you have - or even just if your daughter has - an extended support structure back where you came from, go back there.

I don't know that there's anything wrong with your BF. By your own description, he sounds relatively skilled in verbalizing his feelings and explaining his actions, for a "drunken party man". Even his "I don't know" sounds honest. But a 37-year-old guy who hasn't had kids yet may not be someone who wants kids to be a big part of his life. Or even if it's just about his image: If he's worked to cultivate a certain image for two decades, maybe it's not unreasonable that he wants to preserve it. Especially if image is really important to him. These are the things you should have learned about him before starting the pseudo-marriage and step-family.

Sorry to sound judgmental. For the record, when I was young I shacked up with my boyfriend, had kids and it didn't work out, either. So I'm not superior to you, just wise from experience. You have a bigger problem here than whether he wants his friends to see him cuddle with your daughter. And the problem is your own decision-making, not him. By 37, he simply is who he is. The question is whether he's what you want/need. If he's not over the moon about playing Daddy to your daughter, it sounds like the answer's no. But next time, find that out before you relocate and move in!

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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I have no advice other than that you guys need to sit down and really talk to each other about what you expect from this arrangement and how he feels about parenting your daughter.

But for what its worth, Jeannine, my father was a bachelor until he got married at the age of 38. No long term relationships before then, no children, etc. My brother and I were born when he was 40 and 44. My mother is 12 years his junior and they've been married almost 37 years.

I don't think it's fair to make assumptions about who this man is based on the fact that he's 37 and hasn't been married and doesn't have children.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Jeannine;15374874]Leave him!

You uprooted your child less than a month ago and you're already prepared to do it again, because you're only now finding out that your BF has issues having people see him in the role of SF? I say "only now" to emphasize, after you moved in with him...

He isn't her SF. It doesn't sound like the two of you know each other well enough or have a solid enough relationship to claim he's anywhere close to being her SF.

Did your daughter have an actual father in her life, before you moved out of state, by any chance? If so, how does he feel about losing the proximity to her? Did she have involved grandparents?

Heck, yes, if you have - or even just if your daughter has - an extended support structure back where you came from, go back there.



Jeanine, this does sound judgemental. None of us know enough about the situation to make these kinds of statements.

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Old 05-10-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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First of all, it isnt 'shacking up', god I hate that term. It's so degrading. And secondly, how many of us have 'aunts' and 'grandmas' that aren't relatives, just really good friends that we have adopted into our lives? Just because there isn't a piece of paper saying that they are married doesn't mean that they cannot consider him a stepfather. And honestly, considering that stepparents don't really have any legal rights anyways, what difference does it make?
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