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A Stepfather Fiasco — Delilah’s Dilemma

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In many cases, it’s difficult for a step-parent to have a connection with their step-children.

For this Delilah Dilemma, it seems to be a little more forced on one end than it should be:

Dear Delilah:

Some time ago my stepson’s real dad died. And since I’m marrying his mother next month, I wonder why he still calls me by my first name. I’ve told his mom how uncomfortable I am with this when he should be calling me dad. She wants me to take him out for a couple of drinks so we can have a father-son bond with each other. I told her I refuse to do so until he gets used to the fact that for all technical and legal purposes I am his legal dad since his real dad passed away. But he is stubborn and refuses to call me dad. What advice do you have for me? Feeling Rejected…

Dear Feeling Rejected:

You cannot force someone into an intimate relationship with you where they consider you their dad. That’s absurd! That would be wrong to do with a small child, let alone with someone you’re considering taking out for drinks. If it were me, and someone was trying to force me to call them mom or dad simply because they were marrying one of my parents, I would not want to have anything to do with such a control freak. Grasping for that title and forcing it is wrong on every level! How about this, Dan: How about you spend time getting to know him, sharing with him, getting involved in his life, finding out who he is and what makes him tick? Ask him about his father and what it was like to grieve his passing. Sympathize with him. How about you show him you care? You might try starting there first.

Share your dilemma with me at Dilemma@Delilah.com.

How would YOU handle a situation like this? Share by commenting below!

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Rachel Specht contributed to this post

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