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Step parenting

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Step parenting

My husband and 15 year 9ld daughter fight constantly. He is her stepdad and her own dad has nothing to do with her. He has helped out with all parenting duties for nearly 6 years - doctors, school, friends, sport. But they just hate each other. They joth blame each other and fight constantly. It breaks my heart as I love them both dearly and can see both sides to their arguments. They are both right AND both wrong. Just depends on the day. I don't know how to support them to get along and it is making me miserable. Any help much appreciated.

Super frequent scribe

Re: Step parenting

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Hi @Ap2021,


It must be so difficult for you to be stuck in the middle of your partner's and daughter's arguments. It can be tough to be the mediator between two people that you care about so much and really want to get along. Arguments within the family affect everyone and within the household and it's understandable that you would be miserable with this scenario. I have attached an article for you to read, which provides some tips on how to deal with conflict within the family.


It sounds like both your partner and daughter are not able to see each other's view and resentment might be increasing as time goes on. Would they consider having mediation/counselling in order to share their point across to each other? It sounds like they both need space to be heard and would benefit from understanding one another. A professional and neutral party might assist with this without being caught in the middle. It might be more challenging for family members to be in the position as mediator because, there may be a pull on both ends and both sides may think that the other is being favoured. 

Star contributor

Re: Step parenting

Hi @Ap2021 ,


I hope you don't mind me popping on to your thread as well- I have to say, reading your post felt so familiar to me. I'm also a parent in a blended family, and I can honestly say that I could have written this post almost word for word myself a year or so ago. 


Everyone's story is different, but I will say that we do hear a lot from people struggling to navigate the complex dynamics of a blended family here. In my case, it was just myself and my daughter for the first 4 years of her life. So we were very much a famliy of two (though I have a very supportive extended family and friends)- when I met my now-husband, it was a huge step for me to even introduce her to someone new. 


For us, transitioning to becoming a true blended family was something that took a really long time, and involved a lot of difficult conversations,  some tears, a lot of misunderstandings, and it's something that's only really become a smoother journey in the last few years. 


Like you, I found it really hard when there was conflict between my child and my partner- I would often want to step in and play the mediator, but that would then cause other problems!


It took me a long time to allow their relationship to unfold naturally, and two things helped us a lot. One was getting professional support from Relationships Australia. The second was trying to be really, really kind and compassionate- both to myself, and towards my partner and my child. Sometimes I do this well, sometimes I don't, but I think it's really valid to feel a lot of really mixed emotions around this stuff. Sometimes I was exhausted by the fighting, sometimes I would be exhausted by trying to come up with fun activities for us to to, but it's only now that things have improved that I can see that we also all needed a lot of time and patience to find our feet. 


I'm also wondering if you know any other people in blended families? Sometimes it can really help to hear from other people in the same boat as you- I've learned a lot from other single parents along the way. If it would be helpful, I'd be happy to have a look at some groups that may be suitable for you, and we also have a single parents space on our forums Smiley Happy 


I hope that sharing your story here has helped a bit, we're always here to chat, and it's a very non-judgmental, safe space to share what's going on for you and your family. 

Casual scribe

Re: Step parenting

I go thru quite a bit of the same things, only my daughter and her biological father fight worse than siblings. She is the youngest of 6 and our only child together. She was raised as an only child as well. My oldest turned 18 when Rosie was born, and her closest sibling in age had just turned 10. She is also the only one diagnosed with high functional autism, individual disabilities, learning delayed. But unless you spend the day with her, you would never know. She is 15 and her father and her have had some real doozies, and neither one will back down and I always get stuck being the referee. I have presently started letting them both know that if they have an issue with each other they have the right to argue, but I deserve the right to not hear it, so they need to find a common ground to take it out on each other where I am not in ears length. Neither one wants to go out of their way to do so, so the arguments have become quick to dissolve. A happy wife makes for a happy life... They seem to agree to disagree, and they actually have become great talkers, not screamers. They have even recently come to an agreement to schedule their arguments as well. They will get together and go eat lunch or go for a drive together to talk out their differences. It's amazing how well things work out when we decide to not try so hard at trying to please everyone, and just let life take it's own course