How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jean Your Own Question

Jean
Jean, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 429
Experience:  Practicing 20 plus years as a masters level mental health therapist, and parent educator.
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Jean is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im a new stepdad and Im having issues dealing with the bio

Resolved Question:

I'm a new stepdad and I'm having issues dealing with the bio-mom and bio-dad relationship. We recently had a birthday party for Emerson, 2 years old, and the bio-dad was invited. They have not been together less than a year and we have not been together more than a year. The transition was quick for her and I. She has asked me to step up and be the father figure/but not the father so I have learned. The bio-dad is not really in the childs life. I did not want to the bio-dad at the birthday party because I felt I could not get share the bond that emerson and I have while he was there.. She also excluded me from the planning of the party and got his assistance for it. I was hurt by this. I am mainly concerned with the fact that my feelings were ignored and she didn't take them in to consideration at all. Can you advise?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jean replied 7 months ago.

Jean :

Hello, I'd like to assist you with your question. Thanks for your post tonight.

Jean :

It's very understandable that you were hurt by all of this. Like you said the mother asked you to step up and be a father figure....but when it came time for a special birthday party you felt excluded and ignored.

Jean :

More so it sounds like you were hurt, but your feelings were not taken into consideration. It may have helped a lot if she would have validated your feelings. Your emotions are not right or wrong, they are just that -feelings, we do not always know why we feel so deeply about something. It's very apparent you care a lot for this woman and her child- they are fortunate to have you in their life. A child can never have too many people care about and love them.

Jean :

I would imagine having the father involved was uncomfortable for all of you. The mother may have been so focused on making it a "perfect" day for the child, trying to juggle, and balance it all, that she may have inadvertently overlooked your emotions. No matter what "shape" the child's biological father is in, it's natural for the mother to, on some level, to want that father in the child's life. Mothers feel deeply hurt by fathers who abandon their children, often causing that mother to cling to an opportunity for the father to get involved.

Jean :

It may have been a whole lot more about the mother's emotional struggle with all of this, verses her intentions being to leave you out, to ignore, and hurt you. If the bio father is wanting to be in the child's life, while at the same time, the mother is wanting you to step up to be a father figure, that is confusing indeed. More important to consider is that you do have a special bond with the child, and that is separate from her relationship (or lack of), with the father.

Jean :

The emotions you describe in response to this is normal- how uncomfortable to have the bio father there- may have felt like he was intruding on you and your family's space. The mother may have been really focused on keeping the peace, allowing the bio dad to get involved- she wanted to avoid conflict.

Jean :

I hope you have had or will have the opportunity to share your feelings with her- explaining to her your feelings were hurt. She does not need to agree or disagree with how you feel, simply validate how you are feeling, to take your feelings into consideration- even after the fact. The more openly you can communicate with one another the better it is for the family.

Jean :

We too often think we have to defend our self when someone shares their feelings with us, verses really listening and validating those emotions. I do not think the mother's intentions were to exclude, ignore, or hurt you, she had a lot to manage that day. You are a father figure to this child, the consistent one, it sounds like. The child will know and build a close relationship to the person, such as yourself, because of your involvement in her life. Being a father is something that forms with time spent together. The bond you have with the child is special, and it does not mean it will be broken if the father is also in her life. Sadly her father is not in her life as consistently, but having someone special such as you, can help ease the loss and hurt of that.

Jean :

I hope the info was helpful. The best to you and your family. The child is very fortunate to have a "father" such as your self in her life- it's very apparent that you care a lot. Because you care so much for the mother and child, your emotions are more apt to get hurt when the "father" "shows up". The best to you! Thank you for your post.

Jean, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 429
Experience: Practicing 20 plus years as a masters level mental health therapist, and parent educator.
Jean and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jean replied 7 months ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Jean replied 7 months ago.
I'm sorry if I referred to Emerson as female without knowing - it was not clear if the child was male or female.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    96
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    96
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jhollo77/2010-2-6_651_Avatar.jpg Jennifer's Avatar

    Jennifer

    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERbryjz898/2012-5-23_93829_me2.64x64.jpg Adviser Mills C.C.D.'s Avatar

    Adviser Mills C.C.D.

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    15
    15 years Plus, Preschool Owner, Teen Mentor