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Can't find the right topic for this, I need family advice about my father, please.

I keep on searching places and forums and I chose this one. If this is not okay please just tell me where to go.

My father keeps on telling me his wife (my step mother) comes before us (me and my sister).

he says I am wrong to think that children are first.

I am not married, I have no one to ask  this, am I wrong? should someone's wife come before their children? 

I always thought parents thought of this children first.

he has told me on several occasions (and this is when he is serious and we are not in a fight or anything) that his wife/my step mother is first and foremost to him. 

it makes me feel sad and worthless...

Re: Can't find the right topic for this, I need family advice about my father, please.

  • How old are you and your sister? Is your mom alive? I married a widower with adult kids, sometimes I come first, sometimes they do and we are all good with it. I recently had to put my foot down when my DH made a decision involving his daughter that impacted something we had been planning. I was adamant that our partnership came first in this case.
  • I am 18 and my sister is 16, my Mom is alive, they are divorced. 

    I understand that sometimes a marriage comes first but we never come first.

     she will always be first in his life. 

    whatever she says/wants goes.
  • This makes it a bit different, y'all are really still kids, do you live with them?
  • Can you an example ?

    I don't know, I can see where he is coming from.  Children will grow up and move out, but your spouse will always be there.  I have seen couples completely lose themselves to their children and their marriage suffered greatly because of it.  But on the other hand, yeah there are going to be time when your children's needs will come first too, they just will.
  • I do, my sister does not she moved out on her own since she dropped out of school. she has her own apt though and is doing okay.

    my mom and him do not speak,. so if you're wondering my mom would never get involved because they will not even speak on the phone to each other. they had joint custody but right now i just live with my dad. because my mom has a son from another marriage and she doesnt have enough room for me now because he is there and its a small house.

    I try very hard to do what they want, I do my chores, i take care of the pets myself, I feed them and everything. I'm going to school but don't have a job right now. although I do pay for my own food. 
  • well, for an exmaple my sister did not like my step mom at first and refused to even meet her or talk to her.

    so my father cut her out of his life until she did.
  • Disneygeek77Disneygeek77 member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015
    Hmmmm, well in my opinion that isn't unreasonable and I would expect my children to treat my new spouse with politeness and respect especially in our home. If one of the consequences of that meant that she wouldn't be allowed in our home until she can demonstrate she can be polite, then so be it.  

    In fact, I wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior from my children if they treated my husband / their father like that either and I wouldn't consider it a matter of choosing my husband over them, it would be more about setting boundaries and letting them know what I won't tolerate in my home.  
  • Your sister is 16 and lives on her own? Odd. Your dad is being immature. Even if he believes that his new wife comes first, he shouldn't tell his MINOR children that. It's ridiculous and a fine way to make the kids dislike and resent the stepmother. Counterproductive, really. How long have they been together?
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  • I kind of agree with your father about your sisters disrespect.
  • KSEDminiKSEDmini member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited July 2015
    I have a feeling the backstory behind him saying this is a lot more complicated than what is being presented. For this reason I don't agree or disagree with him. 

    I would say that our perspective of what the "real" issue is changes as we get older and have more life experience, regardless of how mature you could potentially be right now. 

    For example, I am 10 years older than my sister. When my sister would come to me with her issues about my mom and her dad "controlling" her life, and they truly were quite dysfunctional, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Then I discovered through talking to them later that what she perceived as controlling was them telling her A)She needed to be home by 10pm B)She needed to go to school instead of ditching which her friends and C)She needed to buckle down on her school work because she wasn't going to graduate (and she never did). Despite their major shortcoming as parents, they were in fact 100% right and justified on this matter.

    My advice would be to tell your dad you have something important you want to talk to him about and set aside an uninterrupted time with him where you two can talk one-on-one. It should not be confrontational. It should be in the spirit of understanding and communication.
    • Tell him what YOU think it means when he says that as well as how it makes you feel
    • Ask him what HE means when he says it

  • They have been married close to 3 years and they knew each other for less than a year before they married.

    My Father was fine with her living on her own he even signed the school forms she needed to drop out. She did not leave because of my step mother though.

    I cannot have talks with my father, he doesn't take well to confrontations. it either ends up in him arguing with me or he walks away from me / hangs up on me.

    I am genuinely honest when I say that if I am sad he does not want to talk to me.

    I am have to happy all the time or else I am wrong.

    My sister did not want to meet her at first (this was before they were married btw) because she was concerned. they had just met and he was already talking about marriage.

    he is an older father (in his 50s) and I know he hates being alone and we worried he was rushing into the marriage.
  • sorry I meant 2 years***

     not 3
  • Your spouse IS supposed to come first above all others. "Forsaking all others" is the vow.

    However, it looks to me like your father is a pushover for somebody who sounds controlling and domineering. "What she says goes" is far more different than "forsaking all others."

    You should not have to pay for your own food under your own roof.

    Something else is a foot here with dear ole dad. Sounds to me like the little woman has him by the privates, clear up to the inguinal canal. My you, that is. 
  • In my opinion and without too much information on it, I think you and your sister are jealous of your stepmother and your dad's relationship.  Your mother left you both (there is no other way to describe why you're not with your mother) and all you had was your father, then he meets this woman and falls in love with her so all hell breaks loose for you and your sister just when you thought everything was ok in your world.

    Your spouse does come first and foremost to anything and everything as per the bible, there are times when your kids do come first.

    Perhaps you can tell us a bit more of the problem because in my situation my husband and I separated for about 8yrs.  During this time it was just my son and myself and I did everything from theme parks to museums to movies, bookstores, etc. with my son we hung out everyday and went every where together (between the ages of 5-13).  When my husband (my son's dad) and I got back together and I started spending time with my husband (my son was 14 at the time) our son began to resent my husband and did not want to spend time with both of us.  He just wanted me all to himself and saw my husband/his dad as an intruder and it was his own father so I think maybe what's going on is you and your sister see this woman as the intruder that broke up what little you had built with your dad.

  • Yeah, this is a case of wanting to hear the other person's side of the story.   Not saying the OP isn't justified in her feelings, but I have a sneaky feeling that these two girls wanted their dad all to themselves ( which is understandable by the way) and when he met someone new they decided to make the girlfriend/ wife their new punching bag.  Dad said he won't tolerate that kind of behavior from them and now one daughter left the home entirely and the other is left sad because she believes her father is choosing his new wife over her.  

    OP, let me ask you this ?  Do they like to spend time together ?  Do they appear happy for the most part ?  If so then that is a good thing.  It is nice that once you are out of the house he will have a companion and have someone who loves him.  That being said,  it is ok to miss the relationship you had with your dad too.  My advice is to come to terms with how your relationship is different but still special in its own right and do what you can to welcome his wife into your family.  
  • OP, I think you are looking at your dad's statements as too black and white.  Generally speaking, a spouse does come before all others, even children.  But that doesn't mean it should or will be that way in each and every single case.  Or that one's children should be ignored or disrespected.

    Let me give you an analogy.  If a W said to her H, "I don't want you to ever see or talk to your children again!"  Barring any horrific behavior on the part of the children, that would be a totally unreasonable request that no self respecting parent should abide by.

    Quite frankly, in the example you gave with your sister.  Your sister was the one being totally unreasonable.  Unless there was something pretty horrible your step-mom did to your sister for her to feel that way, I agree with how he handled it.  If it were my daughter, I would still keep in touch and try to see her for lunch...just the two of us...once in awhile.  But she would not be welcome in the home I shared with my bf/fiancé/H, if she refused to meet with or speak to my significant matter how much I loved her or how much it might sadden me.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you are 100% wrong or that your dad is 100% right.  I am picking up that he might not be as sensitive to your and your sister's feelings as he should be.  But I'm also picking up that you and your sister have given a lot of resistance to your dad's step-mom, even before you knew her, and that is a lot of the problem also.

    Bottom line, your dad saying "my wife comes first" does not equal "I no longer love or care about my children."

    I have stepfather that my mother met later in life.  She has been my mom for 41 years and my sister's mom for 37 years.  She has been involved with him for less than half that time.  Yet, it would never even occur to me that she must put myself or my sister first.  I would expect him, as her spouse, to come first.  But it also never comes up.  Because my sister and I know how much she loves us.  We know how much she loves him.  And it makes me exceedingly happy she met a wonderful man to share her life with. 

  • LD1970LD1970 member
    Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments
    I'm trying to figure out how this even comes up in conversation; it's not something someone would just say out of the blue.  I have a feeling that the context can explain some of why this was said and what it means to your father.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    LD1970 said:
    I'm trying to figure out how this even comes up in conversation; it's not something someone would just say out of the blue.  I have a feeling that the context can explain some of why this was said and what it means to your father.
    Yup!  especially as it appears to have come up numerous times. 

    I'll say this - the concept of "___ comes first" is fluid.  My DH and I need to make our  marriage and each other a priority just so that we have a good, stable foundation for our son and our family. 

    BUT DS is of course a priority TOO.  That's the thing- this isn't about "first", it's about priorities.  And what is the "top" priority changes. 

    As babies, children have physical needs that really are THE priority almost all the time.  But as they grow up, become more independent, the priority list changes and melds to what our reality is that day/week/month/year.

    I put myself first sometimes too.  I went and got a pedicure yesterday.  Thta was about me taking care of ME.  I like to go out w/ girlfriends occasionally.  DH and I like to go out on date nights.  Etc etc etc.   but, while I need my sleep, when DS woke up last night upset because he had a nightmare, I immediately went to his room and laid down with him and made HIM the priority in that moment. 

    It's all fluid, it all changes, and really- I think it's short sighted to make statements like "Kids should ALWAYS come first".  because that's really not always true.  Especially when I, like other said, feel there is a LOT more back story here than you're telling us.  
  • Second marriages complicate things with children. The new unit should be ok BEFORE the new marriage happens. Some of these responses baffle me with "the spouse comes first. Period. I support the dad kicking the sister out." What? In a first marriages, ok. I'm not going to debate that one because I agree w/few exceptions. In subsequent marriages with minor children, that's complicated. Using a "like it or move out" mentality shouldn't work with minors. The fact that he let the sister move out and drop out of school is concerning. Using scripture is good with me, but there is more than one in the Bible. Your parents decided to get divorced. Your mom didn't have room for you and later your dad married quickly to someone you guys didn't know. That's a lot of change in a short time. You need to be respectful and your dad needs to be much more sensitive. We have VERY FEW details, so im not going to say that your dad is wrong or that you're wrong. You both need to do better. I'd say that you need to work on a friendship with your dad and then your stepmom. Also, if you're asking the question of who comes first, then you need to stop. If he's saying it without a very pointed question being asked, then he needs to knock it off. GL!
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  • Your spouse IS supposed to come first above all others. "Forsaking all others" is the vow.

    So yeah. A thousand nos to this. First of all, that's not what that vow means. It means "you're done dawging it at the bar. Time to settle down with one person" Not "Hey man, forget the minor, dependent children you brought into the world because you have a new wife". 

    Secondly, your sister is a MINOR child that her guardian "cut out of his life" because she was fretting over a new partner. Whether her concerns or actions were valid or not, he was her caregiver, according to your account. And if he was her sole caregiver at the time he gave her the silent treatment, that sounds like a pretty clear case of neglect to me. 

    I agree with the rest of the post I quoted. It sounds like he's blinded by this woman. You and your sister should always come first in his life. If you're being unreasonable, part of coming first is his responsibility in telling you that, true. But saying "You don't come first" is irresponsible language for a parent to use. 

    You're not worthless at all. He's being selfish. And i understand why it would make you feel sad. 
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