I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I'm engaged to the love of my life and he has two daughters from a previous marriage, one 16 and one 18 and they don't like me. I don't care too much for them either, simply because each one of our encounters has led to me being disrespected. I don't know what to do or how to mention this to my fiance as he seems oblivious to the entire thing. I don't want this to be an issue in my marriage later down the line, but I also understand his children are the most important thing to him. Should I say something or wait to deal with it when he's there to witness some of the disrespect I face from his kids?
Dear Love Muffin,
Coming into a pre-existing family dynamic can be difficult.
By taking this man’s hand in marriage, you are establishing yourself to be an important part of his life and you have every reason to be respected as such.
I definitely think you should bring it to his attention and be sure to fully explain your position. As I’ve said many times before, when dealing with situations such as this, make sure you approach the person out of love. You don’t want to come off as someone who dislikes his kids.
Break it down as plainly as possible so that he understands the extent and your intent. Once you let him know how you feel, if a situation arises between you and his daughters that he’s present for, it should be easier for him to see where you’re coming from.
Keep your expectations reasonable. The relationship between you and his children is pretty new. They might not like you now, but they probably need more time to adjust to you and another woman being in their dad’s life.
Divorce is tough on children and each child reacts differently. They've already been through one divorce with their parents and it’s not unusual for them to hesitate when dad or mom welcomes someone new into his or her life. They might still be holding on to hope that their dad and mom will reunite and resent you for making that reunion possible.
Whatever you do, don’t put your future husband in a situation where he has to choose between you or his children. That is a situation that will never work in your favor. Get on the same page about the types of behaviors that are acceptable and make sure that you both recognize and deal with disrespect accordingly.
Submit your questions now: [email protected] and be sure to tweet us @lovebscott with the hashtag #AskBScott