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Walter
Walter, Consultant
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience:  Mentoring Parents on Understanding and Accepting the Challenges of Parenthood.
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My boyfriend and his 17-year-old daughter are quite physical

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My boyfriend and his 17-year-old daughter are quite physical with one another. I know that there is not molestation or incest, but I'm uncomfortable with the touching. It seems inappropriate. When we are out in public, she holds his hand and I, the girlfriend, am off to the side wanting to feel like the girlfriend. They also play footsie and wrestle sometimes. She is a sweet girl and he is a good father. Yet, I cannot help but feel uncomfortable with this touching. They are going on a week-long cruise together this summer. It was booked before I met him. Please tell me...is something wrong with my perception? I am not jealous. He is quite attentive to me. I get along well with her. But this is bothering me. I don't know how I should feel.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Walter replied 5 years ago.

Hello,

 

Does he have custody of her or does she live with mom?

 

Have you ever told him how you feel?

 

If so what has he said?

 

Walter

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He has her 50% of the time. Her primary residence is with her mother, however. They are extremely active in Tae Kwon Do. He is a fifth degree black belt and teaches it. She has been in his classes for years. I believe that this activity might have increased the touching level between them.

 

Yes, I told him, but I held back a bit, not wanting to accuse him of incest/molestation. I don't want to destroy a good thing. Also, she likes me. I don't want her to resent me. I asked him not to address it with her. I don't know what to do. This is eating at me.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Walter, did you forget me?
Expert:  Walter replied 5 years ago.

Hello,

 

Sorry for the delay, I had to step off line for a moment to deal with a situation.

 

I agree with you that this is not a issue that screams molestation or incest, but its also a situation which could and likely would end up with resentment out of both him and her if not addressed well. It sounds like he is working hard to show her that he is a active father in her life. Many men who wind up in divorce tend to over compensate to show their child that they are still dad. Over time this can get out of control and can cause conflict as well.

 

The fact is your feeling are very natural, as a women you want his attention as well and want to be treated as his partner.

 

The good news is there is a few things you can do to improve the situation without making it look like you are accusing him or cause her to resent you.

 

The first step is to sit down and talk to him, explain to him that you are so pleased that he has such a strong bond with his daughter and that it makes you proud to be with a man who loves his child enough to be a huge part of her life. Go on to explain to him, that while its wonderful he has such a strong bond with her sometimes you feel like you are a third wheel when you are out with him and her. Let him know it does bother you a little bit when you want to be holding his hand or playing with him, but feel like you are intruding.

 

By handling it this way, and putting it back on yourself he will be less defensive and hopefully see that he is neglecting you a little bit in favor of his daughter. The last thing you want to do is make him feel like he is wrong to shower her with so much attention, otherwise he is going to get defensive and feel like you are trying to take him away from his daughter.

 

Another thing you should do is be more assertive, when you are out grab his hand first. Do not just sit back and wait for him to remember you are there......by taking control of it he will naturally step it up with you. As for the cruise, since this was booked before you there isn't much you can do other then either let it go, or ask if you can go as well.

 

Does she have a boyfriend? If so, try inviting him on some of the outings. Talk to her, and ask her if she would like to invite him out when you are together. She will naturally show more attention to a boyfriend or even friends thus slowly ending some of the contact.

 

Walter

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Walter,

 

The thing is, he dotes on me more than he does on her. I came to her rescue last Sunday when she felt that he was trying to end their visitation early. The problem isn't that I feel neglected--not really--it's that such touching makes them look more like a couple than father/daughter. I guess that in the back of my mind, there is some question as to how touchy-feely they are when alone at home together.

 

Will you reply again, please?

 

thank you

Expert:  Walter replied 5 years ago.

Hello,

 

I understand you do not feel neglected, but you can use this situation to explain to him how you feel. If you blurt out that his actions make it look like a couple then you are going to have a huge blow up out of him, but if you tell him that while you are out in public you feel like you are the third wheel.......since he is holding her hand and doting on her. By going this route you make it look more like this is about you and not about the relationship he shares with her. (Thus avoiding a argument).

 

The fact is how they act in public may be as far as it goes, the fact that they act like this tells me they have no inhibitions about what others think of their relationship..........so I doubt they are holding back in public and this is likely how they act at all times.

 

When a father and daughter have a inappropriate relationship, they would attempt to hide it from others. Basically in public or around people they would be subconscious of their actions for fear others may suspect what is really going on. The fact that they are so close like this, tells me they are not trying to hide anything simply because there is nothing to hide. They are indeed just really close and feel that their relationship is normal.

 

Walter

Walter, Consultant
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience: Mentoring Parents on Understanding and Accepting the Challenges of Parenthood.
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