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Maybe I’m selfish, or maybe I don’t matter.

Merrigan's picture

I’m childfree (by biology first and choice after time). I live by myself in a gorgeous waterfront neighbourhood. I love being outdoors. 

Start rant. My BF will do whatever I want with me when we’re together on our own. Hiking, cooking, swimming, or even just the local pub.  Adult stuff. That’s cool. But when we’re at his place with his daughter, it’s whatever she wants. Which I’ve done every time, no complaints. But I decided to try asking to do what I want to do, and NOPE. She doesn’t want to do it, so another weekend will be spent at the mall and Walmart. 

What I suggested?  A few hours at the beach in my neighbourhood, and picnicking in the park with gelato for dessert.  There’s a big festival happening here too, with lots of street performers and events. Nope!  She doesn’t want to do it, so none of us are supposed to. 

But guess what!  I’m staying here for the beach festival, and going to visit them afterwards!  And I’m gonna talk about how much fun I had aaaalll weekend long. 

Comments

lieutenant_dad's picture

DH and I went through something similar after we moved in together. Every time he had his kids he liked having us together as a family. I didn't mind it at first, but after a year, I was over spending EOWE at home and doing chores when I didn't have kids and could go out and do things.

I don't remember how the conversation started, but my "selling" point to him was that the boys were never going to get to know who I was as a person if I kept conforming to their (DH included) wants.

DH agreed and realized he had been selfish for wanting me to ALWAYS be around. He and BM didn't have a normal family structure (he was military and she was useless), and that's what made him feel good.

So, we now try to compromise. I am home at least one night on a weekend the kids are over. We try to do a family activity when they are over, which may or may not be at home. Otherwise, I am free to go and do my own thing without guilt or sadness from DH (which wasn't manipulation from him before; he really was sad and really felt like I should be there before we talked). It has actually made me closer with the kids because they don't just view me as a "housewife". They see me as a person, and they recognize that they aren't the most important.

So, I recommend talking to your BF and highlighting that his DD is never going to know anything about who you really are if you are always doing what she wants. The same goes with knowing who her father actually is and what he actually likes. You can compromise that maybe one weekend is "hers" and the next is "yours" (as in yout and BF) to pick activities. Or, that you get to plan one fun thing over the weekend.

Then, DON'T FEEL GUILTY for not being there when they are doing something not fun or engaging for you. You have your own life to live, and if the options are beach festival or Wal-Mart, get your arse to the beach. No need to gloat about how fun it was. Just go and do you.

The more you go and live your life, the more your BF will either resent you or realize he, and his DD, are missing out. Maybe not missing out on the activity, but missing out on spending time with you. There is SO MUCH wiggle room for compromise here that your BF would be moronic to not figure out a schedule that allows all three of you to enjoy a full weekend with a variety of activities.

Merrigan's picture

Thank you so much for this.  Your comment is making me emotional, so hopefully I can reply later with something more in depth.  

Chmmy's picture

You do you girlfriend! Maybe you'll meet someone more interesting than a man who wants to spend his weekend at the mall.

Merrigan's picture

I wish I could post a pic of how beautiful the ocean is right now from my balcony. I’ve got a mimosa and I’m watching the festival set up. 

I love my bf so much. Why did he and his ex produce such an entitled teen?

still learning's picture

I love my bf so much. Why did he and his ex produce such an entitled teen?

The real question is why are you putting up with it at all?  Do you think the only way for bf to love you back is to put up with his entitled kid?  The kid didn't become this way overnight, it's been years of giving her exactly what she wants. Divorce guilt often makes parents more buddy buddy with their kids than actual parents.  

Merrigan's picture

I put up with it because I love him so much.  Bleh. Even though I’ve been selective about  who I love and why.  So here I am stuck loving this man so much when he seems to put his daughter’s needs above me.  He should, if she was a kid, but not at 15, when she should be working towards independence. 

tog redux's picture

This is what gets people in trouble - the belief that a father "should" put his child's needs above his partner at ANY age.  So they accept this behavior "because they love him so much", but once they move in/get married, over time, they become resentful.

He should put his daughter's NEEDS above everything, but not her wants, at any age. A good parent doesn't let the child choose everything or decide everything.  It just makes her believe she is more important than you and she isn't. She shouldn't believe that Dad will do everything her way, it's not healthy.

still learning's picture

When all the love hormones wear off is what you and bf really have? Is it enough to weather really tough times?  Are you willing to sacrifice everything for this girl, then college student, then young mother, then expected to be grandma and do whatever gskids want to do?  You don't want kids yet here you are in the midst of someone else's divorce/kid drama.  Love is really just a bunch of chemicals in your brain telling you to copulate.  You love this man, big whoop. He probably loves and wants to be with you too, but only on his terms when his kid is around.  15 yr olds these days aren't working towards independence so this will be an ongoing issue for perhaps decades to come.  

notsobad's picture

"I put up with it because I love him so much."

That is exactly why he puts up with his daughter and always puts her wants/needs first.

Ask yourself why you are putting him before yourself. Yes, you love him but maybe you should love yourself more.

Jcksjj's picture

Yeah if I were childless there is no way I would be giving up the perks of that for a skid. I'm sure DH just wants you to love his kids like he does so you can all play happy family together, but that's not going to happen so it needs to stop trying to force it and deal with it.

tog redux's picture

I gave up being childless to be with DH but he parented his kid. Skid didn’t set the agenda for every weekend and he wasn’t allowed to act like a jerk. 

Jcksjj's picture

Wouldnt you still have been able to go do what you wanted to on the weekend then though if you didnt feel like doing what they were?

tog redux's picture

Definitely. DH did not have any problem with that. It wasn't expected that we all had to be attached at the hip all weekend.  He would have been upset if I didn't do ANYTHING with them, but he didn't let SS choose everything we did, so most of it was enjoyable for me.

 

hereiam's picture

Right? There were Saturdays when I wanted to go shopping and DH wanted to go with me so SD had no choice. Oh, she hated it, I shopped for hours back then (might as well make it worth getting out!) and she was (and is) lazy. Didn't bother DH that she didn't want to to do it, we were doing it, she was going with us, and that was that.

There always has to be a balance.

tog redux's picture

Yep. We took SS to art shows, concerts, all kinds of grown-up stuff. Sometimes he ended up enjoying it a lot, sometimes he suffered in silence (it would have to be silence because DH wouldn't put up with whining). 

And other times, DH and SS went fishing, or played video games, and I did my own thing.  And yes, occasionally we did stuff he wanted to do (though really, SS was an easygoing kid, he just liked being with us before BM told him he shouldn't like that anymore).

Disneyfan's picture

Are you sure this guy is REALLY into you?  This blog  and your other one seems like he's only vested  in you when it is convenient  for him.  

Stop making  yourself so available  to him when his daughter isn't  around.  Start going out without him when his daughter  is with her mom.  

His response to this will let you know he really feels about this relationship.   If he takes a hard look at how he act, then he will adjust so that he doesn't  lose  you.  If he shrugs  it off and carry on as usual,  then you are nothing more than a space  filler for when his kid isn't  around.

Going out more without him, will give you a chance to meet a guy that WANTS to include in his life completely,  not just compartmentalize your relationship.

Oh, stop blaming the teen for her father's  actions.  

Harry's picture

SD living with you full time, it’s just one BM accident away. What is going to happen if SD starts living with BD more or 24/7. ..?.?  That something to think about.  

Chmmy's picture

Harry is right. BM ditched the kids for her new boyfriend and my husband(boyfriend at the time) ended up with them almost 100% of the time. We couldn't go hiking, running, dinner, whatever without a phone call. "When are you coming home". I get it the kids were abandoned by their mother for her bf and thought dad would do the same for his gf. I stuck with him because he was my best friend. Now we're married and Im full of resentment and regrets. It only gets worse. I didnt know how bad it was til I got married and moved in. They lie & manipulate to get everything they want from dadddeee and push me out like the outsider I am. There is 4 of them. They always "need" something. You sound like a fun lady with no kids. You are a catch. You come with no baggage. No one wants to start over but if you are unhappy how imagine how it will get worse when you live together full time amd you feel like there is no escape. If you love bf that much then do what you need to do. Best of luck and enjoy the beach this weekend!

hereiam's picture

I love my bf so much. Why did he and his ex produce such an entitled teen?

Because that's what they created and turned her into, she wasn't born that way. Her wants are not needs, and she needs to be told no sometimes and learn that she is not the center of the Universe.

You are going to have to show him that although he is willing to sacrifice all of his wants for his selfish daughter, you are not. He thinks that he is so special to you, that you will just acquiesce. Well, he needs to realize that if you are special to him, he needs to show you by putting you first, sometimes, whether he has his daughter or not. He is the one being selfish. Your wants to should be important to him, even when he has his daughter. Does he only love you when it's just the two of you?

People with kids, think that those of us without, are supposed to do all of the adjusting and all of the sacrificing. That's not how ANY relationship works.