You are here

am i a selfish brat?

kat27's picture

so i'm not officially a step parent so i hope i'll still be welcomed here!! i'm 29 and i've been dating a man for the last year and a half who has two children from a previous marriage. a nine year old daughter and a 3 year old son. it's very serious and we do talk about marriage, and although i do love him i want to take it REALLY slow, because the last year and a half has been a huge learning experience for me! i have never dated a divorced man before, nor a man who had any children. stupidly, i thought "how different could it be from dating someone who had never been married and had no children?'
i desperately needed a place to vent because there have been numerous times i've been so frustrated that i wanted to pull my hair out! and honestly, sometimes it's hard for me to decide if i'm justified in what i feel or if i'm just kind of a bitch. hopefully all of this will work together to make me a more self aware, tolerant, kind, and reasonable person.
today, my big frustration is quality time with my boyfriend. i don't feel like i'm an EXTREMELY needy person...but i have my moments. and i had one this weekend. i've had a really rough couple of weeks, with a LOT of personal problems , and you know, sometimes when things are falling apart and you're up to your limit with just need your man. right?
and we haven't been able to see each other lately. we're living about 50 miles apart from each other. we were living together, but i work 50 miles away and have a demanding job with long hours and the drive was too much. it was better to get a temp apartment near work and we are together on the weekends. the seperation is new and has been difficult for both of us. i arrived at his place friday nite and waited for him to get home. unfortunately, he had to work late and finally got home around 10...soon after we both passed out. the next day he wanted us to go to the lake just to relax. i was really excited. but he really wanted to bring his daughter. now, i really do like doing things with his daughter. in fact, a lot of times, i spend more time with her than he does and i try to pick up fun things for us to do together. however. (and i know this might make me sound like a horrible person) i really needed kid free day. i just really wanted it to be him and i...and it wasn't his weekend with the kids, he knew how things have been with me lately with my work and family. and i understand that he misses his kids and he wanted it to be a fun family thing. any other time it would've been more than cool with me. i just really needed it to be just us and i wanted his undivided attention. but he insisted his daughter go, because he would feel bad for not taking her. so i let it go and just tried to enjoy myself. but honestly, all day was spent with his attention on her. i can't help how dissapointed i was. i don't pull this with him on a regular basis. in fact, this may be the first time i've asked him to put off one of his children for me. most of the time, i just suck it up and realize that he is a father first. and yeah, sometimes i do feel slighted. a lot. but i understand. and after we got back from the lake, i made dinner for them and she spend the rest of the nite snuggled up on her dad's lap while i sat in the recliner. it sucked. i just felt really alone. we've been seperated a lot right now cuz of work...and i've been under so much stress...i just needed him ya know. and she insists on sleeping in the bed with him. (she doesn't do this at her mom's house) and there's no room for me cuz she kicks in her sleep and such. and then i had to leave early the next morning to go out of town for work. basically it was a frustrating weekend for me. am i a selfish brat? any feedback?......


Rags's picture

what the hell is an adult man doing sleeping in the same bed with a 9yo girl? Even if she is his daughter.

I would for sure put an immediate stop to the sleeping with the daughter thing.

You may want to start coordinating your w/e visits to occur on the w/es that the Skids are at BioMoms. That should address the quality time issue with your SO.

Welcome to the community. I hope you find it a good place to vent, contribute and pick up some useful advice.

Best regards,

Success is rarely final. Failure is rarely fatal. It is character, courage and consistency of effort that count. Vince Lombardi (with some minor Rags modifications)

secondwife20's picture

DH did this all the time!!! He would go to Blabb's room because she couldn't fall asleep... and he would eventually fall asleep himself! And there I was, in my bed. Alone. This pissed me off to no end, and I harped on him for it all the time. I think what really hit him hard was when I told him, "How many friends would you brag to about going to bed with your daughter and not your wife?"

You are not selfish by any means. We all need kid free day... especially when they aren't even our kids!!!

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

Stick's picture

You're not a selfish brat. Not at all. What you are describing is truly one of the most difficult parts of dating a man with children. I was in a similar situation when I met my now darling husband. I traveled for work and could be gone for anywhere from 1 month to 3 or 4 months at a time. When I got home, I still had to deal with the whole Monday night, Wednesday night and then every other weekend. Whether or not it was good for me. or if I only had that weekend... well that's how it was - in the beginning. BM could (and would) take or drop off SD when convenient for her, but DH NEVER missed his time with his daughter. I had to respect that he was devoted. It was one of the things I truly loved and admired about him.... his commitment to his child.

My DH never felt comfortable asking someone to babysit so we could have time together. He just considered it as his time with his child. I do understand that it wasn't "his" weekend... but he may have felt guilty about the holiday.

My advice to you would be to ask yourself the BIG IMPORTANT QUESTION. Is this man worth it? Is he worth what you are feeling right now? You may get some responses on here about "guilt" parenting and how he "should" have given you what you wanted, and how he may have "failed" you in this instance, blah blah blah.

The reality of it MAY BE, your BF is just as new to this situation as you are - dating a woman, while he has children.... is that a correct statement to make? So he may be trying to figure out how to do the "big juggle" just like you are.

If he's worth it... just realize that he may not have done the right thing by you in this instance, but that doesn't mean he can't learn. You can train him, but you won't be successful with anger or by making him feel guilty toward you. Take it from someone who made that mistake. When I first met DH and he left me on one of our dates so that he could take his daughter her bookbag, I was very very upset. But then I realized... I'm an adult. I can choose to stay in this or I can realize that he's doing what he THOUGHT was best at the time. Whether it was or not (I still think no- she had to learn the consequences of forgetting things) ... it was a learning experience for both him and I.

If you can,... please please TALK to your BF. Not in accusing tones but more along the lines of "I" statements. "I really loved seeing you this weekend, but wished I could have had you to myself!! Wink " sort of thing.

I do think that he needs to start nipping the sleeping together in the bud... especially since you are going to be there sometimes.

It's NOT going to be easy. But I don't think it has to be as HARD or as COLD as some may suggest. So I just want to ask you first.... IS HE WORTH IT??

Make that decision and then you can go from there.

BMJen's picture

to anything when you write EXACTALY what I want to say all the time? Huh, huh, huh? Wink

All I can say now (since she said the rest) is welcome here! And you are not alone sister!

~All you need is Faith, Trust, and a little bit of Pixie Dust~

Ms. L's picture

I know how you feel. I'm still trying to find peace with my boyfriend and his 6 year old son. I think I'm on the right path by reading and learning from Sydney Banks' teaching. Look him up and I hope you can find the answer you're looking for through his teaching.
Best of Luck.

Abigail's picture

Since you asked...I will give you my opinion.

You are 29 years old and sounds like you do not have children. If I were your age, I would look for a nice man without children. There should be plenty of them out there. I was 43 when I married my husband, at that age, most men have children and if they don't, most are horribly set in their ways.

Even so, I could have done without the extra grey hairs I got dealing with a crazy BM and 2 Skids. Maybe your situation won't be as bad but I think it's hard to predict because things did not get crazy until after we married. Sometimes the step parent thing is okay but usually it's very hard. I wish someone had told me this before we got married.

I think everything is going to be okay now but it took me 2+ years to break fixed disfunctional patterns and my husand is pretty easy going. I am not sure all DH would be so easy to work with. They were two very hard years and I don't think I will ever feel close to the Skids after the way they acted (mostly prompted by BM) but I think we can all live peacefully and I do have a wonderful husband.

Give this some serious thought. The longer you stay involved, the harder it will be to get out. I hope all works out the way you want.

"I know God has a wonderful plan for me, I just wish he would tell me what it is"

missangie1978's picture

for wanting time with your man alone - seriously? Please if that was the case even biological mom's would be considered selfish. I just spent Saturday babysitting for my girlfriend and her husband because they wanted time to themselves and these kids are their biological children.

The first year that we got SS full-time DH was paranoid about leaving him alone with a babysitter and BM was in a different state so we didn't get even a few hours alone together. That caused so many problems for us that we were close to getting a divorcce and had DH not let up and figured out it was ok to do things without SS in tow then we'd be divorced right now.

The truth is that all parents step or bio need time alone and without the kids or the relationship is going to go south.

Gia's picture

"all day was spent with his attention on her."

"it sucked. i just felt really alone. "

DoingItAgain's picture

I agree with Stick and hopefully just explaining calmly to your SO how you felt ("when you did... I felt like .... Can next time it be like...?"

When I started dating my DH (we both have kids), it was at least 6 months before we ever met the kids. We both had every other weekend without the kids so we coordinated those weekends to be 'kid free' every other weekend. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. For maybe the first year at least, we never saw each other except for those non-kid weekends and a very occasional evening during the week. And certainly did not have any 'sleepovers' when we had the kids. That began maybe 1 1/2 years into the relationship every now and then but the BD8 and BS9 got along fabulously and it was their 'sleepover' as well. We married a couple months ago after almost 3 years of dating and didn't move in together until we married.

Ok, some of that was irrelevant but some of why I tell you this is.... after my divorce, living alone suddenly my then 4 year old was a little frightened and I began letting him sleep in my bed. I would NEVER have dreamed of doing this before the divorce. But it remained like this until I married and I had to send my son back to his own bed. This went very smoothly to my surprise. I explained to my son that my husband needed to be the most important man in my life but I would always love him. 2 months later, he is absolutely fine.

My ex however... my son still sleeps in his bed. This may continue for some time as my ex's financial situation has forced him to rent a room in someone else's house and my son no longer has his own room when he's with his dad. My ex's life revolves around his son. I can never see him dating anyone ever again as long as my son is living with him part of the time. No women will ever tolerate for long (as I didn't - his biomom!) being second. And they will always be second. He made that clear to me when we were married. He will never change for no 'Stepmom!'

Hopefully, this is not the case with your SO. Maybe he just needs to know how is actions affected you and that there does need to be some guidelines or boundaries established so that both of your needs can be met while still being good parents. I wish you luck.

lovin_my_life's picture

If I didn't have kids myself I would have NEVER gotten involved with a man who has kids. On Tuesdays when DH is 2hrs away visiting skids I at least have my BD's to distract me. By the time I get them in bed, clean, un-wind etc DH is walking through the door. If I was by myself, I'd be looking at the clock every second and my mind would be racing.

If you both want to take your relationship to the next level, it is VERY important you recognize your "love busters"; things you absolutely will not stand for. Sit down with him and discuss boundaries; there is no need for a child to be sleeping with a parent. I had to break that cycle when I divorced my first hubby. BD8 (she was 6 at the time) had slept with me since her birth (kids are great distractions in an unhappy relationship) and when DH started to stay over (before we were married) I didn't want BD in the bed. It took 2 very long and hard weeks, but she's been in her own bed ever since. BD5 never had that problem since I learned from the first daughter.

He has to be willing to give you and the relationship QT. DH and I had to creat a Google calendar that is shared with BM to give her the dates that we will not have the skids (we have them E/W and every Tuesday). Calling her and asking permission is something I REFUSE to do. Instead I sent an email that had the link and a very nice explanation that DH and I need down time and there will be 6 weekends out of the year that we will NOT have skids. Of course her comment to us (in front of the skids of course) was, "well I can't make you see your kids"... real mature, I know. But we stuck to it and it gives me something to look forward to. For that one weekend he's mine and I don't have to share his lap, time... NOTHING!

If I gave myself this advice 3 years ago when I met him I wouldn't have gone through some of the heartaches that I have....
Welcome to ST and good luck with everything!!!

Hanny's picture

I think you need to have a long talk with your BF. Tell him exactly how you felt about his having daughter on an 'off' weekend, when you haven't been able to see much of each other. I know exactly how you feel, my BF does it often too. When I think he should be happy about being able to spend a weekend with me...alone, he just doesn't get it. I think you should get used to the fact that most of these men are the same and their KIDS WILL COME FIRST...right or wrong! And the older they get, it really doesn't get easier, your BF's daughter will probably get very jealous of you in a couple of years. I really think the sleeping together issue is definitely not healthy and totally unacceptable. My suggestion would be to think about this long and hard...and if you can't talk to him OR he doesn't see your side of things regarding weekends and sleeping with YOU not his daughter...then I think you really need to think about whether or not your ready for the long haul of this.

Keep us posted...and welcome to this site!

Amazed's picture

Mission one: daddy needs to stop cosleeping with daughter. I dealt with this problem and it's better to make it stop sooner rather than later. She's not the little wifey and needs to be shown she's the child in the home and not the partner. make sense?

Mission two: I know you may have tried this but if you love him, keep trying...explain to him in a calm,quiet environment that you are going through a tough time and need his love and support. Let him know how alone you're feeling and remember to use the "I" statements. Make sure you're not placing blame on him or the daughter which is REALLY hard to do but it will help him to better understand what you're feeling without putting him on the,"she has a problem and is blaming me."

Mission three: If this heart to heart doesn't open new doors of communication for the two of you then I think you should really sit and evaluate where you stand with him. Forget about the sweet words and nice things he may tell you...look at what his actions tell you and that's where the truth is hiding. Look at your actions also and try to be fair in your assessment. Is this man REALLY worth all this effort? Will he make it worth all of your effort? Is he loving you in a way that fits you?

I can promise you one thing, he will always put his daughter and son over you. He will never change this and if you can't deal with that then he isn't the right man for you no matter how great things are when you're alone with him. You can always get him to adapt to your needs and shift his life to make it more tolerable though. If he's willing to do that and if you're willing to deal with being last in line to his kids more often than not then you'll be ok.

"We all have different desires and needs, but if we don't discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled.”