Stepdad Tried to Kiss Me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 14. this is the first time ive talked sbout this. i have a stedad & he has raised me like his own daughter but about a mionth ago he tried to kiss me ,i stopped him , he came from work 2 hours later and apologyzed. the love respect and admiration i had towards him has turned into hate and i just feel discusted everytime i see him . i dont know why i cant tell anyone . i really feel like i need to tell someone but im afraid of what their reaction might be or what the solution would be

A: Your stepdad crossed an important boundary. The “incest taboo” exists to protect young people and their older relatives from making a psychologically dangerous mistake for them both. For some men, living with an attractive young woman, especially a young woman who is not biologically related to them, is very challenging. Their sense goes out the window when their body responds to the attraction. Some stepdads and even some dads distance themselves from their teenaged daughters because it’s the only way they know to keep the girl and themselves safe. When that happens, it’s often very confusing to a girl who has been daddy’s little girl to have her father start to act cold and aloof. It’s a sad solution for them both.

To your stepdad’s credit, he stopped when you told him to and apologized without prompting from someone else. It sounds like he fully understands that what he did was wrong. He did not make excuses. He did not swear you to secrecy. He is appropriately ashamed of himself. I’m not saying that this makes what he did okay. It’s not. But it does sound like you can repair the relationship if you want to. Up until now he’s been a good dad to you so it’s maybe worth a try.

I do think you should tell your stepdad that he needs to tell your mother what he did. Then the three of you need to have a discussion about how to live together safely. If he is truly ashamed of himself and asks for forgiveness, you – and your mother – could decide to give him a chance. Only the two of you know if he has enough good qualities to balance out a serious slip in judgment.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Stepdad Tried to Kiss Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/16/stepdad-tried-to-kiss-me/

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