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I Have an adorable 15 month old god daughter my friend conceived via donor sperm. I was supportive of her mother's pregnancy and was named god father before she was born. I love all kids, and particularly find my god daughter to be adorable. Because the mother lives a little ways away I don't get to see her often, but when she comes to visit her family local to me I usually get a few weeks to visit mother and child.

Her mother is now married to a man she had known for a long time, but only started seriously dating shortly into her pregnancy. I know being a father was a very important to him and he was excited about that role. He is sometimes away with school and doesn't get to see my god daughter as much as he would like either right now.

Last visit with god-daughter and her mother was much longer then usual, she was staying with family for just over a month, and I loved getting in lots of quality time with my god daughter, who is excited to see me and runs to me to hold her now, very cute! However, when her father finally managed to get away from his classes to come down to join the visit as well I get the impression he felt slightly replaced due to my god daughter's excitement at seeing/playing with me in his absence. There are some exasperating details that contribute to the fathers feelings that would take a little too long to go into detail right now, but suffice to say I understand why the father feels that way, even if it is not at all my intent or desire.

I know part of the problem is actually caused by my limited visits, because when I do get to visit I give my god-daughter lots of attention since those visits are so rare and I want to make the most of them. Thus she knows me as the guy who will always be available to play when she sees me, while the father, who spends more time with her, can't commit every second of that time to playing with her they way I can during infrequent visits. Still, it results in her acting extra excited when she sees me because she knows she can get me to play with her as much as she wants. That doesn't make her love her father any less, but I understand how it can be upsetting to see her so excited to see someone else even if it's only because I 'cheat' by being able to spoil her with undivided attention more on those rare visits then I could if I was seeing her more regularly.

I don't want the father to feel replaced or otherwise feel jealous/upset about my relationship with my god daughter, and I have gone out of my way to make it clear I felt that way many times before. However, at the same time it had always been the intend that I would be the god father of the girl when my friend decided to have a child and I really love being her god father and visiting her; I don't want to cut back on my limited time with her or the quality of that time. Thus I'm looking for some more suggestions for how I can continue my role as god father and being a part of the child's life while making it clear that I still respect her father and his role and have no intent of interfering in that, I just want to be the fun uncle she likes visiting as well :)

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Talk to the husband.

You might talk to your friend first to see how she feels about you talking to her husband. She may even suggest a three-way conversation.

It's his daughter now. And it's his wife. Any destabilization caused by yourself is just creating drama for the people you love--which is kind of selfish. It's just the way it is.

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    Why is it assumed that loving this little girl is negative or destructive? Love is good! – WRX Jan 10 '17 at 1:57
  • Agreed. Powerful feelings can go in the wrong direction sometimes without appropriate communication. – Stu W Jan 10 '17 at 2:46
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I get the impression he felt slightly replaced. Were you told this explicitly? If not, then probably it isn't as much of an issue as you think and a quiet word with your friend is appropriate (if it is an issue she will know).

If so, then there is an issue and you should ask the father to explain how he really feels. If you both love the child then there should be no problem once you know how each other stand.

You are not a threat, and the best way to get that across is to say so. And listen when he explains what made him uncomfortable.

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This may be a difficult situation to manage, but it will help if you take opportunities to mention the father to the girl, and make it clear to her that her father's desires for her take precedence over yours. For example, if he tells her to do something while you are present and she doesn't do it immediately, you could wait and say, "we can play after you do X as your father asked."

  • Not sure why you were downvoted, but letting any parent be the parent is fine advice. – WRX Jan 10 '17 at 1:58
  • As best I can tell, the moderators here hate me because they don't like men offering parenting advice. – Warren Dew Jan 10 '17 at 3:23
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    @WarrenDew Why "the moderators"? You don't know whether the person who downvoted you is one. – user7953 Jan 10 '17 at 9:34
  • Seriously, the moderators probably would not bother. There are some people who like downvoting and nothing can be done. I now understand it is important. Higher quality posts go to the top. However, I would only use downvoting for spam or abuse or serious misinformation as good posts get upvoted. A different point of view is not a good reason for me, in fact it's childish. – WRX Jan 10 '17 at 12:57
  • OH! I should mention that one of the mods is a man. – WRX Jan 10 '17 at 16:07
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Love is endless. The person who is novel, is like the flavour of the month, and always seems important in the moment. You are a novelty, and he is the constant, or will be for most of her life.

I wonder if the father is as worried about this as you are. Being concerned with how he is feeling seems very nice to me, and if you present your position to him carefully, I bet he will be touched with your concern. He might also think you are funny, but that is still okay. Have you talked to the mother about it?

I would say that as love is not divided unless someone divides it on purpose, and that there is nothing to worry about.

It could not hurt to play the "who loves you game". You help the little one list all the people who love her and who she loves. Daddy is on that list. So might her teddy bear be! You, too!

Honestly, she will love her father because in the scheme of things, he will be there for fevers and homework, scrapes and heartbreaks, love and laughter.

She will love you because you love her and because you do spend quality time with her.

It is all good. Love is all around. Share it. You will get plenty in return.

  • There is much that is true in this answer, but it is naive to deny that honest misunderstandings can cause great hurt. There may be no issue here. But there might be, and if there is then it should be tackled. – Mark Perryman Jan 11 '17 at 9:44

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