“Savannah” wrote me this:
I am 22 and have been in a relationship with my fiance for the last 2 years. We are to be married soon but I am having a difficult time with his 7 year old daughter. She doesn’t live with us – which I am TOTALLY happy about. I don’t want to be a mom. Not even a step mom! I don’t like her, she is such a pain. When she visits she takes all of his time and I have a say in nothing. It’s my house and I feel like they completely ignore me when she’s there. How do I tell my fiance that when we are married I don’t want her there? Please help me – Sincerely, “Savannah”
Dear Savannah –
SERIOUSLY???? REALLY???? First of all, thank you for writing me. (By the way readers, Savannah is actually a fictious name, but her story is real) Savannah, sweetie, understand first and foremeost that my response comes from both a spirit of reality and love for all things God given. My advice to you is to not get married at all. Marriage is about the joining of not just two people, but two long lives merging into one. It’s about bringing people – families – together. When you fell in love with your fiance and professed your love to him, that means that you love EVERYTHING about him, including his daughter. Even though the popular theory about marriage is that it’s about me and him, forget everyone else, that isn’t how it really works. ESPECIALLY when there is a child involved. If you marry him, you get all of him. His past, his present, his future, his family, his friends and everything that has made him who he is. There is a seven year old CHILD involved. A person in the making. A girl with dreams, aspirations, and love in her heart for her daddy. On her behalf, how dare you judge their relationship with such jealousy! Remember, you said you didn’t choose her, but she didn’t choose you either. But she is reaching out to you and you should reach out to her as well. A child …she is a child…how can you not love the very spirit of …a child. One who doesn’t have both her parents under the same roof. One that has to hear the fighting over money and custody. One who feels stress and hurt when one parent talks poorly of the other and takes it personally. Look at it from her perspective. Now she is going to have an evil step mom who hates her. That will eventually turn into her not wanting to spend time with her father because of your obvious feelings for her. Now you’ve robbed her of the love and relationship that every child should have with their parent. THAT…is the butt ugly truth that will impact her life and heart FOREVER.
There…I feel a little bit better. As you grow through life, Savannah, invest in your heart and your spirit. Accept that he is being a mentor and a daddy to his little girl and when she is there, step aside and allow her to be the apple of his eye. He still loves you, but a father and daughter bond is something rare. There aren’t enough father’s rights out there as it is for dad’s who truely want to be there and are often cast aside without a clue to what’s going on. I applaud him for being there for his daughter and protecting his relationship with her. You can choose to be a mentor and a source of light to her or you can continue to poison your own pool of happiness because you aren’t always the princess. I’m sure you are a loving human being that just needs a few more years of life experience under her belt to understand that life is about giving. He loves you enough to promise you a life together, I encourage you to open your arms really wide…accept that you are good enough to love….and that a child IS a beautiful thing. Your own jealousy will fade in time as you grow to accept this. Remember, Savannah, to the world you may be one person, but to ONE PERSON, you may be the world. Embrace that spirit and pass it out with a smile on your face and I promise you that you will receive it back tenfold. When you love someone unconditionally, meaning that no matter what they do you love them through it, you will receive that love back a million times over. Good luck, Savannah, and keep us posted.