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First blog post: Inconvenient feelings

spiritsoup's picture

My BF and I have been together for about 2 and a half years, and I have known and cared for his daughter from his previous marriage for 2 years almost exactly. She is turning 5 in April, and I'm having trouble feeling as though I belong in the picture.

SD loves me and is a very sweet, sensitive and kindhearted girl, and we generally get along well. She tells me she loves me and I love her, and it's obvious that we have forged a true bond - as myself and her, only. When BF comes into the picture, it starts to become more difficult.

This is something my BF is aware of, my insecurities and feelings, and my childhood emotions, sometimes rear their ugly head when I think that she is intentionally acting up and out in front of her Dad. This thought is a trigger for me, because I did the same thing at her age.

I was a spoiled little daddy's girl and my mother hated it. I remember actively manipulating the situation, I think it's a natural thing to do. Dad gives me what I want, Mom gives me what I need. I can understand all of the things she does, but that doesn't mean it doesn't annoy the hell out of me and as a result, I feel very anxious with her around because I don't know when I'm going to feel this way.

I feel like BF is way overprotective of her and it makes me mad, because it feels like he's blind or under her/a spell and can't see the situation clearly. I feel like she actively ignores me in his presence and he becomes combative much more easily when it comes to her due to his protective nature, and the feelings he has about losing the family he attempted to have with BM.

We have had multiple fights over the way he blocks me out whenever it comes to parenting her. I watch her by myself on my days off, I take her to daycare and do all sorts of things with her. I just feel alienated when we are in a group, like I'm not being heard by either of them.

I feel like SD is spoiled when she's not here and I'm the bad guy for trying to enforce the rules we have barely managed to put in place when she is here.

She goes into "daddy" mode, and so does he, and I don't exist there. That is what it feels like.

I hate her BM. She treated my BF like absolute crap. She is the one that asked for a divorce after he allowed her to sleep around on him for 5 years, he didn't even know if my SD was his and he still talks about it sometimes. I think most of this is stemming from insecurity due to the fact that they are still technically married even though they separated 3 years ago, and the circumstances under her birth and the trauma that my BF experienced due to BM is something that he goes to therapy for and I hear a lot about. (I feel like I heard way too much about.)

BF is getting much better and is careful not to undermine me. He makes time for me and treats me right, and we talk about these things. He is very understanding and sensitive to my feelings, but at this point, I feel there's not a lot left to do but for me to "get over it"? Or "be patient"?

My BF and I plan to marry and have kids of our own, I hate to feel uncomfortable having SD around/ loved by her Dad. I feel guilty and ashamed of my feelings even though I cannot control them. It also worries me tremendously that I may say or act in a way that would hamper her development, because I love her and absolutely don't want that, which adds to the pressure and anxiety I load on myself.

My BF and I both did not have very good childhoods and we want the best for SD and our future children, I'm afraid I won't be able to be a loving mother. Don't want to be like my mother was to me.

I am looking at going to therapy for PTSD due to the abuse I received as a child, but hearing input from others feeling a similar way and hearing stories of how they got through it I think would be so helpful, because recently I just feel very alone on this. I feel like a broken record in my home that everyone is learning to tune out.



justmakingthebest's picture

eh... it took 5 years for DH to get his divorced finalized - one divorce that was granted was even revoked and they went back to being married again. That was fun.

spiritsoup's picture

He and his ex are timid about the entire situation. They should have gone to court and gotten over with it, but she has dropped the ball 3-4 times when it comes to paperwork and then she moved out of county, which requires a 3 month reset period ? So basically BF and i are trying to raise some extra money to hire good attorney but it hasn't been working out.


FWIW; he does not want to be with her at all. He did at the time they were still together, but he realizes that their relationship was 100% toxic.

justmakingthebest's picture

Have you guys tried any therapy together? I have a lot of hope for you guys since you both seem to recognize that you need to work through things individually but maybe some work together too?

Kids will manipulate the parents in divorce. That is why it is so important to be good co-parents. Unfortunately for most of us on this site, working together is IMPOSSIBLE! So the kids take advantage and are either little puppets for BM or they are rotten and will play the parents against each other and manipulate the hell out of both sides since they know it is all a one up game. 

The important thing is to establish boundaries and expectations of behavior in your home. You guys need a plan on what that looks like where you BOTH agree, especially if you are going to bring another child into the picture one day.

SecondNoMore's picture

Maybe your childhood created a less-than-stellar self-esteem situation, but I think it's clear that you're settling for less. You're stepping up for this child and thinking about the next step with this guy when he hasn't even handled the very basics: he needs to be divorced, get over that divorce, and needs to either include you in parenting decisions or take over the responsibility entirely himself. You bring no child and no current spouse/legal matters to the equation; he does. He needs to show you how important you are to make all of his baggage worth your time and he has not done that yet, especially if he is still rehashing what happened with his not-yet ex. Until then, no plans of marriage and babies with a man who still hasn't put the nail in the coffin on marriage #1 or learned to parent child #1.