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Feeling a bit guilty

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

So for all of you who are familiar with my story and my situation, I am feeling a bit guilty. This is the first full week we have bf's daughter 7 whole days in a row, which has been so nice and great! She started back at day care this week and is enjoying it a lot. Between the natural cough syrup we have been giving her and the cool mist humidifier, she sounds so much better! She has been doing so great with potty training both at home and at school. Also, with my bf and I going over her numbers and colors every day, she is improving on those too! The first "full week" we had her was only 5 days because of a trip I planned in October, that had us gone two days of his week, but just found out started our week on/week off the week before our trip, plus her spot wasn't open at day care yet, so this is full first week with the real routine!

Now on to why I am feeling a little bit guilty. A lot of you know about BM's older child ordeal. I really feel bad for my bf on how that turned out and I do miss the child too. However, there is also this other part of me that at times is 50/50, I wouldn't say I am happy the child is no longer in our life, because that is not true. BUT, I so do not miss:

1. Bedtime with her. Between the difficulty of getting her to go to bed, stay in bed, go to sleep, then there's the getting up almost every single night between 11 pm - 5 am, coming out to our bed sobbing. I am a light sleeper so this always woke me up, then I had to wake bf up, and it was almost like she came out expecting to get in bed with my bf then crying because I was in the bed so she couldn't. I say this because on nights we would spend apart bf would tell me how she would try and get in his bed.

2. The behavior. I did not post a lot about this because it wasn't that bf is not disciplining or being a parent or anything like that. Plus I think a lot had to do with the unease and lack of routine because of the divorce, but her behavior the last 6 months before BM took the children, called CPS, etc. was awful. Between the concerning things she would say about blood, cut up my bf like chicken, the lying, especially about saying I or my bf hurt her. The screaming temper tantrums, not listening whatsoever, wanting to be babied, i.e. trying to get us to wipe her after the bathroom, the refusing to take off her clothes/put her clothes on because she wanted us to do it for her, etc. Plus the being mean to her younger sister (bf's daughter) between the biting, hitting, not letting her sister talk or do anything, etc. I feel like so much of our time went into watching every little thing she did, then when she got put in time out, etc. would just scream her head off, etc. The screaming I want to go to mommy's, any time she did not get her way or telling my bf she hated him, he isn't her dad, etc.

3. The games from BM, rubbing it in to my bf that he wasn't the child's father to emotionally trying to blackmail my bf after she took his rights away. BM taking the child to counseling which either by imagination or BM's coaching, making false allegations about my bf and leading the counselor to believe someone was sexually abusing her. Basically I don't miss worrying everyday if BM is going to call CPS and make another false claim. 

So yeah, I feel really guilty that life has been much more peaceful since October when the judge took my bf's rights away to the child. We can actually enjoy time with his daughter, plan things we couldn't because of the older child's behavior, etc. I haven't told anyone about these conflicting feelings because I don't want to sound like a monster and I especially can't tell my bf about this. Even though my bf has been doing pretty well handling it. We went through the kid's room (now his daughter's bedroom) and together we got rid of items in general, there were sentimental things that bf asked me to get rid of because it was making him emotional, etc. Bf gave to BM pictures of the older child that he had that were from before he filed for divorce. Plus the added bruises/bite marks BM says older child inflicted on bf's daughter doesn't help my feelings that I feel guilty for. Neither does the fact BM always sends bf's daughter in clothes/shoes that are the older child's making it seem like bf's daughter is constantly being slighted in BM's care.

I know some people were really struggling with how bf and I want out of state custody and one thing that I think a lot of people did not consider too is it also leaves less chance or running into or seeing BM's older child. 

Sorry for the really long post and while yes it is the internet and you all are strangers, I hope I don't sound like a terrible person for feeling this way. It has been a pretty big struggle in all directions and one I would not wish on anyone.



tog redux's picture

I don't think you should feel guilty at all - your BF dodged a bullet here, whether he can see that yet or not, and you by association. But I know where you are coming from, I felt so much more peaceful when SS was alienated from us, and I felt a little guilty about that.

Your BF did not choose to give up his parenting rights, they were taken from him - so neither of you have anything to feel guilty about. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

No he didn't choose that, but after the rights were taken away I did tell him I didn't want him to spend the next few years and tons of money to try and get rights to her especially when the percentage of winning is so low

he says once his rights were taken, that was it for him. Which I do believe especially since he never wavered on anything he said and he did right by not continuing the relationship. However I know if I told him I support him in that battle he would of tried to get rights. So I think that's where a lot of the guilt comes from is I basically said no please just give up and move on 

tog redux's picture

I essentially told DH I would not support any more court action for a child who Is his, because it was the wrong thing to do. Fighting for a child in court is not always the right thing to do, it causes emotional trauma for everyone, as well as huge financial issues.  Letting go of a losing battle is not a failure, it's a strength. You saved him from tremendous pain and financial loss. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

even when it is the biological child there are times that you definitely need to stop fighting as well. We kind of even did that with his daughter, we knew BM would not agree to anything more and the judge would probably give us less and not more, so we agreed to what we thought was the best we could get and best for everyone. Does not mean we will not fight later down the road to get more, but as of right now, BM won't give it and the judge already proved he won't grant it.


hereiam's picture

Please do not beat yourself up with guilt. None of this was your doing (or your BF's). It is completely normal to feel relief.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Wrong to be relieved a child is no longer around especially one bf didn't want to stop being a dad to 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

That wasn't the case at all. Although towards the end it was getting super hard to like her. 

when I told my bf I didn't want him to pursue legal action to try and get rights to the child he asked me if I would of been okay with her had he not lost his rights and I told him "yes of course, but once you lost your rights I wasn't willing to risk our future on BM's child with another man"

ChzyBob20's picture

He didn't lose his rights. They weren't ever his rights. His ex did him a dirty. It's that simple.

Marry him, make babies with him. Leave this BS in the past. Put it out of your mind.

tog redux's picture

Can I be honest? He would have eventually regretted the decision to stay in her life as her behavior got worse and worse. But it would have been harder to get out. You saw past the emotion to the reality, which I give you credit for. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

especially when in those last six months it was proven the more time she spent with BM the worse her behavior got. Personally, I have felt it is not just a BM's parenting sort of thing, but also I think the child has some maybe mental illness or something that could of very well been passed down by her biological father. 

Thank you, I tried to put it all into perspective with him not the emotional part, but the reality of the situation plus my concerns for our future, his daughter's future and our future children as well. 

Siemprematahari's picture

Darlin' you have nothing to feel guilty about and honestly who wouldn't feel relieved. You and your BF went through a lot emotionally in regard to his daughter and the older child. Instead of feeling guilt continue focusing on how much your relationship will grow and flourish. None of this was your doing and BM has to answer for what she has done to her oldest child. Regardless of what anyone thinks on this board your BF did what he felt was best for all involved and frankly I would have done the same. 

So instead of focusing on your guilt because its not a healthy emotion, focus on your new life with BF and SD and look forward to all the wonderful memories that are in planning your wedding and/or you both one day having your own child/children.

Keep your head up! Onward and upward with no regrets!

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

An emotional rollercoaster! Honestly I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

You are right though there are many positives in our future to focus on!

ChzyBob20's picture

You shouldn't feel a shred of remorse. His ex should! You should feel anger at her for stealing his money for a kid that isn't his. For being high conflict and causing more problems. For ruining the kids etc.

I would not feel guilt in your place. You need to work hard on jettisoning your erroneous guilt.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Part with a ten foot pole. But you're right it's basically fraud. Meanwhile BM is going to feel a whole lot of pain for all that soon. Once the final decree is received BM and the older child will be off his health insurance and dental. Because he's military he hasn't done so yet for the older child since it's not like he pays a whole big fee, plus he has to wait for the decree anyway to take BM off. 

I like your idea of what I need to do with my guilt hahaha. I'll work on it 

steppingback's picture

Dear Futurestep:  I have read about your adventures with BM.

There was no guarantee that your husband would have gotten custody or visitation of the older child.  Since he was involved as the dad from the beginning, there was a chance to get visitation. However, BM would have continued to play games with DH and use that poor child as a pawn.  Dropping the whole thing was a gift her too.  Your husband's biological daughter is probably enjoying the peace and she should be DH's main concern.  Please give yourself a break.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

not trying to pursue it any further because that much was obvious! You're right, it is definitely good for both of them and even for his bio daughter. His bio daughter has been flourishing since it all went down. I think I just needed to hear that I shouldn't feel guilty for the feelings I have been having. I haven't told anyone else about those feelings just because I don't want anyone to think I am a terrible person, so good to know that people familiar with my situation totally understand! 

tog redux's picture

Plus - he had a choice.  He could have decided that fighting for her was his priority and that meant he had to let you go.  He didn't, because he knows too that it wasn't the right thing to do. 

BethAnne's picture

It is understandable that you feel guilty. These are huge life changing events that have happened and you can never know what would have happened had different choices been made, but it is pretty much garanteed that people would have been hurt whatever was done and there would have been something to feel bad about. You are a nice person, capable of empathy and reflection and this is why you feel guilt. It is a normal reaction to the circumstances. 

If I were you I would talk this through with your boyfriend at an appropriate time in a calm way and without passing the blame onto him. Simply express how you feel. This could just help you to realize that in parts of his brain he is probably feeling a similar guilt even if he is not expressing it. Or perhaps he isn't and can tell you why he doesn't feel guilty. It could also help you to hear how he is feeling about these decisions now. His actions say that he still feels that he is doing the right thing but opening up the discussion could be helpful to both of you.

Sharing our emotions with our partners can make us feel vulnerable especially when we are feeling negative things but I have found it to be a good thing in my relationship. When our partners are reasonable people who can understand that emotions are not always controlable these conversations can help to bring you closer. It is usually better to air these things in a controlled way than to let them fester and burst out in the middle of an argument or something. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I mean I do know that he feels guilty that his daughter did not get the sort of attention she should have because so much time was spent disciplining/keeping an eye on the other one that his daughter got a bit behind on certain things. 

We have opened up a little bit when I had to push him a bit to talk about his feelings regarding us going through all the kids things in the bedroom and he said it is not that he isn't over it or he's constantly sad about it, just that it is a sore subject and not something he wants to talk about.

Plus it isn't helpful when unfortunately we have met up with some friends or seen acquaintances that weren't updated about the situation and asked how the girls are doing or mention the older child's names. I felt terrible one of the people was my "friend," and since it has been months since it all went down I forgot to update her prior, but now there shouldn't be anyone asking or bringing it up anymore so I think that will help too.