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Should I abandon my stepdaughter?

I'm 30, my stepdaughter from my ex-marriage is 12, and I've been in her life for 11 years. She doesn't know her real father and considers me her dad. I divorced her mother a year ago and don't want to deal with her anymore, but I've stayed close to my stepdaughter, skyping with her most days, and seeing her usually at least a couple times a week. The divorce devastated her and I feel like sh*t about it, so I stayed on as her dad for HER sake to help get her through it. But for my own sake, I think I would benefit from breaking ties with my former family at this point. I don't want to see my ex at all, both her and I will date other people, and my stepdaughter will soon hit adolescence and put me through everything that that implies. It was fun when she was little, but the idea of being a parent to a teenage girl weirds me out. Would it be evil of me to abandon her when I'm the only father figure she's ever known?

Clive Andrews , 05.08.2013, 17:18
Idea status: rejected


Jeremy, 07.08.2013, 19:21
The answer to your question is: No, it's not evil.

But now we have to deal with all the grey areas, moral responsibility, and if you can respect yourself after you've made these decisions. I'll just itemise and paraphrase my personal opinions for an easy read.

1. Congratulations! You've already made one great decision! If you cannot live with her mother, don't force it! Kicking the cann down the road would have just made life sour for a longer amount of time!

2. From what your telling me, you've already been an incredible father to this girl! And I think she would benefit from your continued support.

3. You still have to think of your well being. I'm not telling you to take the easy way out! Just recognize when you need to focus on you. And if you can't handle it, you need to let her know.

4. (Disclamer: I am not a parent yet! So this might be completely off!) But not all children are absolutely crazy in their teens. So that should not be a factor here.

I hope this helps! Good luck!
Roberto Chahin, 13.08.2013, 10:35
Peikoff answered this one.


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