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Father/Daughter relationships - How close is too close?
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by crystalmichelle, Jun 26, 2009
My boyfriend is divorced and his 10 year old daughter comes to stay with us every other weekend; During the summer she stays for longer periods of time.  Before I moved in and a few months after my boyfriend would allow his daughter to sleep in his bed and if I fell asleep in our bed he would sleep with her downstairs in her bed.  This bothered me so I asked him to please give her structure in our home and I asked for 2 things: 1) SHE NEEDS TO HAVE A BED TIME and be consistent with putting her to bed at that time. 2) DO NOT SLEEP IN THE SAME BED WITH YOUR DAUGHTER AND/OR LAY WITH HER INAPPROPRIATELY. These 2 issues bother me enough that I consider leaving.  My boyfriend does not see the importance in having a bed time for a child.  In his mind its the weekend so who cares how late she stays up.  He says that he does not get to spend that much time with her so every hour counts.  I agree with this just not when the child is staying up until 3-4am.  During this time she will scream out daddy! daddy! daddy! telling him she is sick, cold, thirsty, or scared. He runs to her every time she screams for him even if it causes us both to get 3-4 hours of sleep.  She used to crawl into our room and stand above her dad until he woke up.  I think there needs to be structure and when 9:30 on weekdays and 11pm on weekends rolls around then it is lights out and time to go to bed.  I don't think this is time for one more t.v. show or a bike ride then THINK about getting ready for bed.  Or the daughter negotiating on a bed time. Am I being to harsh on expecting a bed time and the bed time not include my boyfriend sleeping with her until she falls asleep?  I work late nights so I came home one night to see him spooning his daughter.  I know there is not sexual abuse but it is weird and freaks me out knowing he lays with her the same way he lays with me.  I am a strong individual and was raised by a mother and father who showered me with love and I never once saw anything like this.  When we take naps he will lay on the couch with her either infront of him stretched out or she will lay behind him with her arms around him and sometimes her legs wrapped over his.  She will lay her head on his lap near his package when watching t.v. as he strokes her arms, hair, and back to relax her.  He took her to drive his car and sat her on his lap which I feel she is way too old to be sitting on her dad that way.  When they play around she has put her crotch in his face to hold him down and she slaps his butt.  She has her body pressed all over his and I feel this is not right for a child who is approaching puberty.  When ever I show some affection she will try to duplicate it and that is why I try not to be too affectionate towards him infront of her. Simple things such as holding hands or hugging. I will ask for a neck massage which includes oil before I go to work sometimes and if she is there she will continuously say "me next" "me next" until he is finished with mine.  I personally feel weirded out by him putting oil all over neck and back since she has to pull her shirt up for him to do it.  I just don't like it!  My mom rubs my neck all the time but I feel there is a difference in the way my mom is allowed to touch me and the way my dad touches me.  I was laying on the couch with him one afternoon and I saw his daughter come out of her room and then all of a sudden she saw us laying on the couch so she dropped to the floor and crawled back in her room thinking no one saw her.  She then pretended to be sick for 6 hours until I went to work.  I told him that as soon as I went to work she would be fine and sure enough, as soon as I went to work she was cured from her sickness!  He does not see the manipulation that she pulls on him!  I need to know if I am freaking out when I see them laying all over each other for no reason or am I the one who is in the wrong for asking these things from him?  Am I being to strict when I ask for a bed time? Do I leave if these issues are not corrected.  
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Member Comments (105)
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by mami1323, Jun 26, 2009
Is the mother with anyone?  Perhaps the girl has experienced sexual abuse from someone else and is acting out in an oversexualized nature.  But I see more of a battle between the two of you for his attention.  She never sees him, other than every other weekend and so when she does, I don't blame her for wanting some attention from him.  I don't think she sees laying her head in his lap as a sexual thing and I don't see why kids can't be affectionate with their children.  Even fathers can be affectionate and it doesn't sound that inappropriate to me.  However, I do believe kids, even on the weekends shouldn't be up until 3 or 4 in the morning.  Although, we've been known to allow it on weekends when we had my fiance's kids.  We would go to bed and they would stay up watching tv and we let them.  Now sleeping in the same bed, I would be irritated with that as well.  She's old enough to go to sleep on her own.  So that I will give you.  But perhaps you are a little jealous of the affection and time he spends with his daughter.  I understand it, I've been there.  It's not a concious feeling but I recognize it because I felt it at one time when I first began dating my fiance.  It's normal to not want to divide your time but then you have to understand that this little girl only wants to spend time with her dad and that you see him more than she does.  How's your relationship with her?
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by mami1323, Jun 26, 2009
I meant, I don't see why kids can't be affectionate with their parents...not children.  Sorry about that.
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by Judy246, Jun 26, 2009
Hi, I sense a little mutual jelousy between you and the child and on your part and a little resentment, due to behaviors that you feel are inappropriate. You don't feel that nurturing bond with her, because she is not your daughter and you are bothered at the attention she is getting from your partner.

I agree 100% with you that rules must be set for bed time and he is no longer to sleep with her. She is becoming a young lady and it's time for dad to sleep on his bed and daugher on hers.. She is to go to bed at a set time and it's natural for a parent to be nurturing towards a daughter. To outside people it looks inappropriate, but a parent and child have a bond that can not be broken.

Talk with your partner and tell him that you need his support in setting appropriate bedtime rules and she is at an age where your going to have to ween daddy from being overly protective and affectionate, but remember, this is his daugher and that is his way of showing her affection. She will always be his baby no matter what age, but seperate bed and appropriate affection. It's going to be ok.
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by crystalmichelle, Jun 26, 2009
thank you for your comments!  i actually have a great relationship with his daughter.  We have a lot of fun bike riding and playing board games at the house. No sexual abuse has been suspected.  When she is in town they normally have the entire weekend to spend together.  I work 12-13 hour shifts on the weekends.  I might spend half a day with them.  What I am trying to express is not a consumption of time issue, it is their behavior with each other while I am getting ready for work (laying on top of each other) or coming home from work (sleeping in the bed together) that upsets me.  Is there an age where he should back off and not have her lay on him that way.  I am not asking him to stop the connection with his daughter I am simply asking he express his love in a different way such as bike riding, swimming, or anything that does not involve them putting their hands all over each other.
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by mami1323, Jun 26, 2009
Some people are more affectionate than others.  I know as a mother I would be all over my son if he let me at age 10.  My 15 year old step son is extremely affectionate with me.  He lays on me and I lay my legs on him.  That's how some people show love and there is nothing wrong with that.  My step daughter only recently started being less affectionate with her father and she is 13 but at age 10 she still like to cuddle with him.  Every now and then she will want to lay on him or on me.  Why should he stop being affectionate with his daughter?  It will actually show her later in life how she should be treated by a man.  This is your issue not his or his daughter's.  I don't think you have any right to tell him he can't be loving with his daughter.  Having bed times be consistent and him not sharing a bed with her are reasonable requests.  Other than that, he may grow to resent you if you keep telling him that he shouldn't be affectionate with his child.  Do you have children?  
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by Michele, Katy, TX, Jun 26, 2009
I can get where you are coming from.  I was brought up in a very consevative environment, where there were very definative boundaries between males/females of any age and relationship.  So, I get what you are saying.

I have 4 daughters myself w/ another on the way.  And they are very affectionate w/ my husband and he w/ them.  It is a bit different than what I grew up with, but I know my husband's family is more affectionate than mine is.  My girls age range from ages 8 down to age 2.  Sometimes, they lay on him kind of.  But he is always on his stomach.  He never has his front to them.  It's more them hanging on him and fighting for his attention than anything.  But there are a lot of them too.  My husband falls asleep on the couch a lot.  And sometimes one of them will fall asleep next to him w/ his arm out to the side, but not spooning.  

I have to leave work soon, but I will PM you.  I have a lot more to say, but not the time to do it now.

I would def voice your concerns.  I always feel like God gave us instricts for a reason.  I don't mean that your bf is doing anything wrong to this child.  I don't mean that at all.  I just mean that if you feel uncomfortable, then you feel uncomfortable.  And I agree that the way he is w/ you and the way he touches you should not be the same as his daughter.  If you feel strongly enough, you may not be able to stay in the relationship.  I also understand how that feels also.  You can't help how you feel is all I am trying to say.

It's so hard when coming into a relationship w/ someone w/ a child because you don't know what is within your right to say.

Anyway, I will PM you soon.
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by imanaddict, Jun 26, 2009
I think the term "Daddy's Girl" applies to this situation for sure!! I honestly don't see anything wrong with what you described except for the bedtime and sleeping in the same bed.

The daughter is one lucky girl to have her dad in her life. A lot of men don't even see their kids when the parents split up, or at all for that matter. Do you think you would feel different if it was a boy instead of a girl? Or do you think you would feel different if he did those things if it were yours and his child?

I have 3 children of my own and a stepson (who lives with us). We certainly lie in bed with our children and love on them. That's what parents SHOULD do! Show their children how much they are loved. My husband lets our daughter nap with him and I love that they have such a strong connection. I was a daddy's girl myself and I could talk my dad into moving the moon for me if it were at all possible. I also played sick because he always babied me. Even when I was a teenager...LOL!! My dad carried me to bed until I was 13 and then I got too heavy for him to lift =)

Also, how is her mother?? Does she show her daughter any attention at all? Is she good with her? Could it be possible that the girl is trying to compensate for a lack of attention from her mother?
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by crystalmichelle, Jun 26, 2009
I do not have children and that is why I am reaching out to get others views on the situation.  I think we have all played sick to get our parents attention at one point in time or another! But when they do it every single night they are in town...thats a bit much.  I would like to know what the difference is between them spooning at night and them spooning during the day while lounging around.  It seems to be acceptable during nap time but not at night?!?! When I was younger I remember laying next to my dad while napping but he was never behind me curled up!  My dad was never laying on his back and I on top with my chest pressed up against his, especially at age 10.  I understand someone having this kind of relationship when the child is younger but when the child is a foot shorter than I am then it seems to be...well...time to stop and show affection in other ways.  I know the importance of a father/daughter bond and the fact that he has so much passion to see his daughter is what first attracted me to him and that is one of the reasons I fell in love with my boyfriend.  I have prayed about it and prayed about it but it still bothers me.  Her mother seems to show her attention.  She is always calling to tell her good night and she loves her.  She has mentioned that her mother drinks sometimes but i do not know too much about their home life.  I am not asking him to stop being affectionate, i am asking him to stop displaying inappropriate body language between a man and child.  I feel that a 10 year old should not be pressed up against or lay on or sit on a mans private parts!  I think this is when she is going through womenly changes she could possibly confuse the affection he is showing her.  I want them to wrestle (sp?) around and goof off together, this is what builds a stronger relationship!  When we are all together we try and show her as much love as possible.  She is a great kid and I love our family time together (even though I am technically not her family) I feel as if we have developed another family together.  She sure is a daddy's girl!  But I love that considering my dad still calls me baby girl! (half the time I don't think my dad knows my real name!) jk  It is a blessing to have a father that loves you that much.  
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by crystalmichelle, Jun 26, 2009
i have to go to work now but i will check in tomorrow. very curious to see what you all have to say! and seriously i do appreciate your thoughts it helps me to open up and consider another view point
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