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camd2000, Parent Coach/Therapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 13
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Child and Family Therapist, Parent Educator and Mother.
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Hello, I am 2 years out of a mentally abusive relationship.

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I am 2 years out of a mentally abusive relationship. My daughter's father and I are trying to raise her in the manner that is appropriate of divorced parents, i.e. he has her every other weekend, they maintain a good relationship.

She is 11, and as much as I'd like her to have not known of the mental abuse, and as much as I've tried these last 10 years to hide what I could from her... I'm sure she knows how it really was, and has also been, at times, a wittness.

Now, with her father out of our house, everyone, including her father , seems much happier. So, when they are together, they seem to have a much better relationship. He seems to want to be a real father now, and seems to be trying more than he ever did. She enjoys going to his house on his weekends, etc.

Well, I am having a problem because I have been in a relationship for the last 8 months with a man who I knew 25 years ago. We just reunited at our 25 year class reunion. He does not have any children.

We are Christians and really want to get married. I just don't know how to handle this with my daughter. She likes him fine, which is to say she can take him or leave him, she sees how well he treats me, and that I am very happy with him. (She has never seen either one of those as far as her father and I).

We just want to do the right thing. We want her to feel good about our relationship, but don't know how to, basically, behave about it. We don't want it to seem like our intentions about she and our new "family" are phony, or force her to agree with our relationship.

There is absolutely no abuse of any kind, and we all get along great. Most of the time when he is with us, she goes to her room, and plays on the computer, or talks to her friends on her phone. (which that is what she usually does in her free time).

She says she doesn't want us to get married because then nothing will be the same. I think she might mean that, since her father moved, everything at home has been peaceful, and that maybe if I re-marry, turmoil happens with marriage, and that it will be like it was when her father lived here.

I also know children can seem to really be concerned about something, and then in the end, didn't really care in the first place.

We are just seeking guidance, because we want my daughter to be happy, and we want her to learn that marriage CAN be good. We just don't want to hurt her.

Thank You

camd2000 :

Hi. Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I would like to help you with your question. First, I would like to say that your daughter is lucky to have a thoughtful mother like you. I understand that this situation may be difficult and it is great that you are taking her feelings into consideration and being mindful of how this will impact her. It sounds like you might need to talk to your daughter a bit more about why she does not want you to get married and what she is worried about changing. Is she worried that it will be a difficult marriage like your first? Or is she worried about sharing her time with you? Or is she just (which is very normal for blended family situations) not ready to get used to having a new person living in the house? Talking to her about her concerns and what she is concerned about (if you haven't already) might help you to understand what her concerns are better and help guide what you do. If you and your partner decide to get married, the important thing will be to help your daughter to adjust to the transition and uncovering these concerns can really help shed some light on how best to go about it. Do you know what her concerns are? What is her understanding about the separation between you and her father? It might be time to have some of those difficult conversations. She might not be thrilled about you getting married, but if you open up the lines of communication and try to help her adjust to the changes, it can make the transition smoother. Once she tells you her concerns about you marrying you can create that plan to help her adjust. For example if she is worried that the marriage will be unhappy like the first you can acknowledge her feelings and talk to her about the ways it is and will be different. Or if she says she is worried about spending less time with you, you can create a plan to have special mother-daughter time every week. Or if she is just unsure about getting to know and live with another man, you can create a plan to help them bond: spend some quality time together (the three of you doing things your daughter enjoys), maybe have your partner and your daughter spend some time together. I hope that this has been helpful. If so, please rate my answer. If I have not answered your question, please let me know what I can do to answer your question better. Also, if you are interested in creating a more specific transition plan, please let me know and we can schedule a follow up once you have had a chance to talk with your daughter. I wish you the best . Kerrie

camd2000 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Paula,

I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to follow up and see how things are going with your daughter. Did you have a chance to talk to her?
Do you have any further questions?

Let me know,