The Dreadful “Tide” of Step-Parenting

I wonder if I am the only step parent who feels this particular way.

I feel like the tides are changing in my relationship with my kids. Maybe in particularly my daughter, Doodle.¬†We have been building a relationship since the moment I met her, cultivating a bond that doesn’t come naturally, because I didn’t give birth to her. I thought all was going spectacularly until here recently.

Then the tides turned. I am now faced with a little girl who hardly looks at me when she is with her mom. One that is argumentative, rude, and disinterested in our relationship. One that I am not excited to be around because of the disappointment it brings me. I don’t know if this is a result of something I have done or if it is a phase that all step parents go through- or more like, a tide we struggle with each time it approaches?

A part of me wants to recoil into myself so that I can’t be so hurt by her actions. A part of me wants to yell at her because I know she knows how to act and behave towards others…and this is not it. And yet another part of me wants to sit down and talk to her and try to figure out what is going on to cause this change in our relationship.

I am really just at a loss.

How have other step-parents approached a situation like this? Granted my daughter is 7 she is mature for her age. What strategies have you used when you have felt a feeling similar to this in your relationship with your child?