Blended families are beautiful, but they can get rather complicated. For one step-father it has become especially tense between him and his wife since he refuses to refer to his step-daughter as simply his daughter -- even though he does have his reasons.
Seeking a little validation, the step-dad asked Reddit if he was in the wrong for not seeing her as his own after explaining why he feels this way.
He notes that his step-daughter's biological father is a "great dad," and both his family and his wife's family made it very clear he'd only be seen as his wife's husband.
"Over time I guess their mental POV has shifted because now my wife and her family wish for me to start referring to my stepdaughter as my daughter. However she is not expected to refer to me as dad," he lamented.
While he claims it doesn't necessarily bother ,e he just doesn't view her as his daughter, but more so as a younger family member like a niece.
"I love her but she’s my stepdaughter, there is a degree of separation, and that has been influenced by my wife and her family as well as my stepdaughters paternal family," he explains.
However his wife doesn't see it that way.
After she asked him why she doesn't refer to her as his daughter, he answered her honestly, and she completely disagreed.
"We’ve had many discussions in the past about why I’m uncomfortable and she tells me organic relationships grow and I need to get over it," he wrote. "But I still feel the way I feel, and she blew up at me saying I’m being difficult and that if I never view our daughter as my daughter I’m a terrible person. I love her -- to clarify, I just don’t see her as my child."'
So the step-dad wants to know: Is he wrong for feeling this way?
People actually backed the step-dad up, noting that his wife was being rather "irrational."
"...She spent years making sure you never felt completely comfortable with your relationship," quipped one commenter. "and now she's mad you refer to her as your stepdaughter (which she is)?"
And many noted that it's only natural for him to feel this way, given the circumstances.
"Your wife, her family and the other parent's family has spent years making sure you don't feel like a dad -- so of course you don't," validated one user. "Stepdaughter is a nice and decent term for your relationship, you wife doesn't have the authority to change that. This whole thing is honestly just between you and your SD -- not her parents. She's at the age where she knows what she wants to be called too."
The biggest takeaway though was that people thought it was time the step-dad and step-daughter talk about their relationship, just those two.
"I think this is a discussion to have with the stepdaughter, it only matters what she wants out of the relationship," advised one reader. "If she considers [him] her dad too, this is the time to build the relationship."
And while the step-dad isn't wrong for his feelings, it's important he considers hers, and that her needs outweigh his discomfort.
"..I think it's time he takes his stepdaughter out to dinner, just the two of them, and ask her what SHE wants," advised another reader, "Everyone else is dictating how the two of them should be and they've been in each other's lives enough that i think they can make the decision between themselves. Ask the kid what she's comfortable with."
We hope these two continue to grow into a loving and healthy relationship.