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The demeaning child psychologist that says I don't matter...

Posted by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM
  • 63 Replies

My boyfriend and I have been in a committed relationship for 3 years.  He currently has full custody of his 10 year old daughter and we have decided that marriage is in our future, but not until his custody battle is concluded (the legal fees have put a hold on any financial splurges e.g. a wedding).  While the custody battle with his ex-wife continues, we have been attending family therapy sessions.  This therapist has been a part of his daughter's life for 5 years and is a crucial part of the court proceedings, but she constantly belittles my role in the family.

In one of our sessions, she said that my opinion on raising his daughter was of "no consequence."  Until my boyfriend and I make a marriage commitment, I "don't really matter" in this little girls life.  This bothers me for a number of reasons... Not only do I spend more time with her than her father (and a LOT more time with her than her mother), attending school functions, helping with homework, planning birthday parties, craft projects, etc... I do not want this little girl believing that a family can only consist of a married man and woman and their children.  What about my gay friends that cannot marry and have adopted children into their lives?  Do their relationships not count?  Are they not a family?  How can I put my faith in this therapist to tend to this little girl's mental health, when I find her beliefs to be so far askew from my own?

If she were not such an integral part of the custody case, I would have kicked this therapist curbside a long time ago.  How do I deal with someone with so much influence in this little girl's well-being that so significantly undermines my role in the family?

by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:18 PM
2 moms liked this
From experience, I will tell you that you 'don't matter' until there is an issue. Maybe BM suddenly can't function - you need to step up! SD hates you - you need to participate in sessions to resolve it! You are too involved! You aren't involved enough! You threaten BM's role! You don't support dad! You are the only who actually does anything for the child!

Trust me...life is better when you 'don't matter'. When you 'do matter', the situation has gotten far too complicated.
leegirl_jm
by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM
1 mom liked this

Just get married. If you want to be an important person in this little girl's life, make the commitment of marriage to her father, I think that is reasonable.

JustaSM231
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:21 PM
2 moms liked this
You can get married without a wedding. A justice of the peace doesn't cost a lot, usually just the cost of the marriage license. If the true goal is a marriage, the journey to the marriage doesn't matter. And if it does matter that much to you, you can always have a fancy wedding later on.
faerie75
by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM
3 moms liked this
I think you may have taken it wrong. But, personally, I'd do family therapy w anthothee therapist and leave this one as the girls personal therapist.
pepper504
by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Why are you going to let someone define you?  If you do not feel that is the case, then it is not. 

soonergirl980
by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:26 PM
5 moms liked this

Even when you are married your opinion never trumps dad. If he doesn't care to take it into consideration now it's unlikely it would change then.

If your boyfriend does so little for his daughter why is he fighting for custody?

Amy1973Potts
by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:26 PM
2 moms liked this
Like the kid gives a shit about a piece of paper.

Therapist is a Grade A asshole.
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SMInProgress
by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Find a good one that deals with blended family issues.  They understand the rapid changes of family structure nowadays.  We also lived together before he became my DH as it was just too messy with court.  They understand your case is common.  There are more & more divorces & there will be more step relations.  There's been so much research done on the ever increasing role as a stepparent, where they predict stepparenting will just be the norm.  And believe me, not everyone wants to plunge into the financial hole of CS, custody battles etc while planning another financial burden, "the wedding."  Lots of us had to wait.  We're still enmeshed in legal battles & fees but we had the luxury of living together first to figure it all out.  Good luck!

bertaboo1
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM
1 mom liked this
This is true. My firstwedding was big...about 100 people. ..but i did it for 2000...including the cost of the dress! My second wedding was significantly less...we had family and friends at church. ..didn't cost us a dime...it was lovely. ..very memorable. ..


Quoting JustaSM231:

You can get married without a wedding. A justice of the peace doesn't cost a lot, usually just the cost of the marriage license. If the true goal is a marriage, the journey to the marriage doesn't matter. And if it does matter that much to you, you can always have a fancy wedding later on.

amanda_mom89
by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 6:32 PM
7 moms liked this
The therapist is speaking from experience and is technically correct. You do matter, but this child is not yours and IMO shouldn't be making major decisions for her. I'm not trying to be ugly.

As the therapist sees it, a girlfriend holds a likely temporary place in a child's life. Even as a wife you are still not this child's parent.

It doesn't mean you don't matter.

Obviously there are people that disagree with me. This is just my take on it.

Also, gay couples adopt. If you were an adoptive mom that would be different.
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