I started having feelings for my stepdaughter and I don’t want them. I know this is weird but I also heard many situations like this. I love my wife dearly and I don’t want these feelings. I feel they are going to ruin my family. Is there anything I can do to change the way I feel about her? -Daniel
It’s good that you’re concerned and decided to reach out. You didn’t state it, so I have to assume your wife’s daughter is not an adult. My answers to the question will be based on that assumption.
Yes, some men do find they’re attracted to their daughters. No it’s never okay. It’s vital to understand this attraction isn’t about her, it’s about you. It doesn’t mean that you’re a poedophile, but there is something bigger going on than just an attraction. You need to get to the bottom of that right away. You say you love your wife dearly. Acting on these feelings will immediately destroy your family and your relationship. It will also damage the girl’s ability to trust men for the rest of her life.
It doesn’t take much to leave an emotional scar. Even simple flirtation is enough to hurt her. Young girls usually blame themselves when they are victims of sexual abuse or unwanted sexual advances. She would feel responsible for the attraction and for any damage that it would cause to your marriage. She trusts you. There’s no worse betrayal than to abuse her trust to act on your urges.
Aside from the damage it would do to your family you would also be a felon and would be marked as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Don’t take this situation lightly. Move out of the house immediately. Do not allow yourself contact of any kind with her. This includes phone, email and even text. Explain the situation to your wife and find a therapist specializing in sexual disorders. If your wife’s willing, start seeing a marriage therapist with her.
These may seem like extreme measures. They’re not. This is not something to take chances with. It’s easy to think “It’s no big deal. I’d never do anything.” In reality, anyone who’s ever acted on inappropriate feelings at one time thought they could control it. Don’t take that chance. If you care about your family you’ll do anything to protect them –even if it means protecting them from you. Children are the most vulnerable in our society. They are easily damaged. Care more about her safety than your comfort.
The Good News
If you’ve never had these kinds of sexual desire in the past the problem could be caused by controllable factors.
- Medical factors: e.g. medications.
- Emotional factors: e.g. depression, anxiety, stress.
- Relationship factors: e.g. conflicts, anger, lack of trust
- Sexual arousal disorder: e.g. sex is frustrating and/or painful
A qualified Therapist will be able to get to the bottom of the issue quickly. Remember, Therapy is a safe place to talk openly about this without judgement. Anything you share with your therapist is kept in strict confidence. Be open and honest about the issue to find a solution quickly. I’m sure this was a difficult question for you to ask. You should be proud that you were strong enough to deal with it immediately. Please follow my advice. There’s no gray-area when it comes to this issue.
Aside: If she’s over the age of 18- Talk to your wife about the problem and start seeing a marriage counselor together. Begin to work on your relationship. There’s more going on than just attraction. A good therapist can help.
Stacey James Wheeler Founder of Stepdadding.com
To be clear: This is not a problem specific to being a Stepdad. There are plenty of biological fathers who also have abnormal attractions. Biologically related -or not, no one should have these kinds of feelings about their kids. If you are feeling an inappropriate attraction reach out immediately to a qualified professional.
*Stepdadding.com employs no licensed therapists. Please see our full disclaimer here.