New to this group, but think its time I look for some support.
I have been with my husband for 6 years, and he has a step daughter from his previous marriage. Whilst she isn't biologically his, he was with her mother from when she was 18 months, and she never net her bio dad, so my husband was the only "father" she knew. When they separated (she was 7) it was agreed that he would continue to be that father figure for her.
The separation did cause some strain on my husbands ability to parent his daughter. As he has no legal rights, when he did something that didn't suit her mother, she would at times choose not to allow his daughter to visit.
So then there is me, I suppose technically the step step parent?? Fair to say I didn't (and still don't?) have a clear role in this girls life. She doesn't need a mother, (already has one of those!), and now that I'm a parent myself (3 and 1 year old boys) I am even less inclined to say how this girl should be parented. I think how I would like it if someone else (apart from my husband and I) tried to control my boys upbringing. She (now 14) already has 2 parents, and even though one of them is my husband, I feel like I need to be respectful of their roles, and not over step.
But... (And isn't there always a but?) I do have opinions on how she acts in front of my children at my house. Yes, she is a teenager, and I can see that compared to our house, her mothers is much more appealing. She is the youngest, and there she is very free to do as she wishes (friend living with her, parties, drinking, walking on the streets late at night etc).
With a lack of formal visitation arrangements it is fair to say that over the last 6 months her visits are becoming less and less frequent.
I think we are at a point that if we don't change something she will stop coming. Possibly this is a combination of things including different parenting styles at both homes, the lack of formal arrangement of visitation, the lack of formal rights for my husband as he is not her "real" dad, and of course, the fact that she is now a teen!
Has anyone else been in a "step step" parent role? if so, what are some of the challenges you have faced? I want to be able to support my husband in his parenting role, without taking over from either him or the mother.
What sort of relationship can I aim for with his daughter, if not a parent/child??
Any other advice (from anyone in the blended family situation)?
Thanks in advance for any support you can give.