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Long distance...feeling selfish?

mexitica33's picture

Hey all! This is really such a hard decision and could use everyone's advice and comments. So I live in San Diego and my boyfriend and Stepdaughter live in Temecula (1hr away). We had this plan of him and I moving in together in San Diego because he works there as well. Ideally, we would have her full custody vs. 50/50 because he has the financial means to support her and we would put her in the #2 best school system (PUSD) in San Diego and eventually a private school. BM has no job and lives in her bf's house with his money and wants to put her in a not so great school district in Lake Elsinore because its so close to her. For me this is a no brainer?! Her plan is for us to become weekend parents or if we keep the 50/50 I would make the drive 2-3 times a week to drop her off to school having it be a total of a 3 hr commute to get to work on time at 9am and tons of miles on my car. My bf works at 6am. Last night I suggested that an agreement like this with a stubborn BM should be decided by the courts and not rely on her to do her part . His concern is that what if he loses and the court decides that he cannot take her south of Temecula (because thats where she was born). He said if his amount of time with her is jeoperdardized then "you are going to suck it up and move up here with us so we can be a family." So now it seems like hed rather play it safe and stay in Temecula, but I really dont like the city nor the commute. So...heres where Im being selfish. I want to be a family and marry him, but I never wanted to move up there. My entire life is in San Diego and I love the city. I know that in life you make sacrifices for your family, but to what extent and not to make his BM happy? I know hes doing this to not lose his daughter, but kind of seems like Im the one making all this sacrifices?! Also, I feel like I need more security like before I give up everything I should be married and not renting? Maybe this is all just happening so soon and I would need a lot of time to adjust, but what if I do all that and Im not happy? He says that being with him and his daughter should be the only thing that matter to make me happy. I agree but...idk

mexitica33's picture

Is this the 24 yr old me having these feelings or is it normal? He says Im being childish and selfish for caring about the little things in life rather than the big picture. He says I need to make my decision and stop giving his daughter false hopes of me being her future step mom. Maybe I have personal issues for not wanting to leave the city I was born and raised in?

futurobrillante99's picture

He is being manipulative. Your job, your needs and your feelings are supposed to matter if someone really loves you.

Please stay put.

Turn it around on him and ask why you are the only one in this relationship whose needs don't matter. Ask him why you have to change everything to accommodate him. Like a true disney daddy, he will use his child as a trump card. That should show you that his #1 priority is making HIS life and HIS child's life easier even if it makes yours harder. That is not love.

futurobrillante99's picture

"He says that being with him and his daughter should be the only thing that matter to make me happy. I agree but...idk"

This is some manipulative and selfish BULLSH&T!! Please don't fall for it. You are an individual person and lots of things make you happy, and THAT should matter to anyone who loves you.

Evil3's picture

Your SO is gaslighting you by saying that you're being childish. If you're really only 24, I say head for the hills and get a man without a brat. Step-parenting has been traumatic for me and I swear I have PTSD from it. The SM is usually the one expected to sacrifice EVERYTHING and put up with Disney parented brats and for what? Pay attention to your instincts. Why the hell should you sacrifice your job and the city you love and move to a city you don't particularly like for a man that you're not married to, not owning a home with and who is playing it safe to please his ex. You are the woman he should be pleasing. I could go on and on and on about the red flags. What is his communication like with his ex? Does he cater to her? Does he go to her house and do repairs for her? Does he give her extra money? Does his DD have chores or rules she must follow or is she Disney parented or a mini-wife? Please pour through all of the boards here and read up on what your future could look like. I married my DH when I was 31 because I "settled" because I felt I couldn't find a man without brats. To this day, I soooooooooooo regret that. I wonder every day what my life would have been like had I held out for a man without kids. You're 24. You don't need this crap. Your SO doesn't seem like he's willing to compromise a darn thing for you and he's totally dismissing your concerns by calling you childish and trying to rush your decision. Love isn't enough.

mexitica33's picture

So yes he is very supportive and deff not a disney dad. His ex is a disney mom! Doesnt pay her CS or cater to her it all comes down to pleasing her (with the school situation) because hes scared of losing her. He doesnt ever talk to her or do anything for her. So yes hes being selfish for not caring about my wants and needs. He says suck it up because he drives 2 hrs to work and so can I. He says you only want to be in san diego because of your precious gym and the beach, but theres things here to supplement that. Hmm deff not...and its more than that!

simifan's picture

I understand you're so does not want to jeopardize 50/50 with his daughter. However, I don't see where that means you need to sacrifice everything for your relationship. If you're so can't come up with a better argument then you're because you don't want to sacrifice everything for a child that is not yours  you need to rethink this relationship. 

notasm3's picture

You will hate yourself and him if you move.  Just tell him to STFU about you moving. 

notarelative's picture

What BF is proposing is not a no-brainer. Proposing a two - three hour daily ride (to and from school combined) for the child is not going to make the BM think this is a good idea.  BF needs get real. BM is not going to give him primary custody for a "better" school system or access to a private school (and neither is the court most likely). Expecting a girlfriend to add a three hour commute to get his child to school is not realistic. 

BF is not paying child support now. That may be the reason he doesn't want to go to court. He could end up paying CS even if awarded 50/50. If BF was not married to BM, to navigate California law, he will most likely need a lawyer.


ndc's picture

You're not being any more or less selfish than he is.  Spending time with his daughter makes your boyfriend happy.  Being near the beach and your friends and not having to spend 3+ hours on the 15 freeway every day makes you happy.  (And your commute from Temecula, getting to work at 9 am, is going to be more brutal than your boyfriend's commute a few hours earlier).  There's no reason why his happiness is more important than yours.  And it is ludicrous that being with him and his daughter should be all it takes to make you happy.  The fact that he even suggested that gives me pause.

However, he's not going to get full custody simply because he's more financially secure, and courts don't decide where a child will go to school based on how good the school district is.  If I had to guess, I'd say that if he goes to court trying to get full custody and move the child to San Diego, he'd lose.  

If it was me, I would not move.  I'd let things play out for awhile and think long and hard about what you really want and how much you're willing to give up.  Don't allow yourself to be pressured.  This seems like a situation that could end up with a LOT of resentment, especially since your needs and desires are being trivialized and apparently come last in your relationship.

young_step_mom's picture

Believe me, I did and I SO REGRET IT.  It has taken me seven YEARS to get a good job and finally start to adapt to living here.  I moved for the same reason, because how could I possibly take DH away from SS?  I moved at 22, right out of college.  I was so naive.  I didn't want to be responsible for DH and SS's relationship changing and making them spend less time together and bla bla bla.  I sacrificied so much and it made me resentful and angry and it was awful.  I finally had to put my foot down and start to take responsibility for myself.  If your BF's priority is his daughter and your priority is BF and/or his relationship with his kid, who is going to make YOU their priority? No one, so you need to step back from them and make sure that YOU are the most important person in your life, especially right now.  You're only 24 years old!  Right now is the time to focus on yourself, your career, your friendships, your LIFE.  I understand you want to share all of these things with your partner, and rightly so, but you cannot be the one accomodating and changing everything to work around his kid.  If you want a life with him, then you guys need to be creating a life together and make his daughter fit into that life, not the other way around.  

One more thing that I wish someone had told me when I signed up for this step-life.  YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HUSBAND'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS CHILD.  Yes, it would suck to not have her 50/50 anymore, but kids are very adaptable and if he really wants to be active in her life than he can be.  He can call her everyday, skype, facetime, whatever.  One hour is not that bad of a commute, if he wants to attend after school activities, sports, parent/teacher conferences, doctor's appointments, etc. he absolutely can, it just takes more of an effort and planning on HIS part.  

I don't know your situation, but unless BM is PASing the kid or detrimental to her in some way, I don't think a judge would side with you guys about full custody.  In my experience, if there is a viable option for the kid staying in the same environment they're going to go with that option, so keep that in mind before spending thousands on a lawyer.  Is your BM accessible?  Is there any way she would help you guys out?  Maybe driving half way for pick-up/drop-offs, letting you guys get an extra day if its a three-day weekend even if its not in the CO?

hereiam's picture

You are 24 years old, you have your job and your life, in a city that you love. You are young and childless, now is the perfect time to be selfish.

Although, I don't feel that it's selfish to not give up your life for a boyfriend and his daughter AND his ex.

And honestly, the way he talks to you would not make me inclined to give everything up for him. You DON'T have to just suck it up and if he thinks your only source of happiness should come from being with him and his daughter, well, that does not bode well for you. He doesn't care what makes you happy, as long as you are doing for him and his daughter. You will come back on here someday, with a post that says, "I feel like I'm being used as the nanny, chauffer, and maid."

He is the one who sounds selfish. If he doesn't want to move, that's fine, but he should not manipulate you into moving, when you don't want to, and making sacrifices that he really has no right to ask you to make.

And, trying to guilt you with the giving-his-daughter-false-hope line? This guy sounds like a jerk. How well do you REALLY know him?

Merry's picture

He's telling you that he made a decision for himself, hence he's made a decision for you too. Nope, nope, nope. If he doesn't want to move, that doesn't mean you automatically have to. You can continue to do the long-distance thing. He does NOT get to decide what it is you do--you and you alone decide that.

marblefawn's picture

This is all up to you. Imagine there were no SD, but he wanted to stay where he is and you wanted to stay where you are. It would be the same predicament.

This comes down to you figuring out what is more important to you, which is often the case with relationships. You indicated the relationship is fairly new, I think. If that's the case, why not give it more time as it is? Yea, the commute is a hassle for both of you, but in the meantime, you might find out something else about him is impossible to live with, or he's just so great, giving up your city is worth it. A lot could change in the extra time you're giving the relationship -- BM and her BF could break up; you could lose your job; SD could decide she's not willing to be with BM or you...

Why upset the apple cart right now when you're still unsure?


mexitica33's picture

We move down to San Diego and his words, "Get what I want" and I have to sacrifice my morning to wake up at 4 am and my SD to get her ready for school to then drive up to temecula at school and back to my work place. It would be a 3+ hr commute. He said its what I have to do to be in the city that will make me happy. I said no, I am being asked to do too much and it is not my obligation. He says it is because she is now ur daughter if you want to be in our lives and its concerning that you dont want to sacrifice an extra mile for her. So now im more selfish and a bad step mom for not making big sacrifices for her. He says well I have to pick her up after school so Im doing the same drive and waking up at the same time? Unless there is a change in custody this is for the rest of her 14 years left of school.

Focused_onourlife's picture

NO hunny, you don't HAVE to do anything regarding him and his DD. I'm willing to bet if you stand your ground and he really wants to be with you HE will figure thing out with his DD. Do NOT let him manipulate you into making those types of sacrifices especially for his child that's not your SD. I would personally tell him, again "I said no, I am being asked to do too much and it's not my obligation" and be done with that topic. Set boundaries right now with your BF, he's DEMANDING too much to just be a BF. The nerve..

ndc's picture

No matter what he says, she's never going to be YOUR daughter.  If she was your daughter, she'd be going to school in San Diego and all of this would be moot.  She already has a mother and you're not it.  You're not even married to this man.  He is being very presumptuous about your "obligations."  Stand your ground; what he is asking isn't reasonable.

How old is the child?  I can assure you that this is not a workable long term solution.  A couple hours in the car just to go to/from school is too much.  Is the BM even going to agree to this?  I sure wouldn't agree to it if it was my child.  As she gets older, she's going to want to be with her friends, who will be near her school.  She'll want to do extracurricular activities and be involved in her community.  And her community will be where her school is, not where you and your BF are. She's not going to want to be an hour away.  What time does school start in the morning?  Elementary schools in my district start at 8:30, and you can't drop a child off before 8:00 (and even then they're not supervised).  Perhaps it's earlier there - if not, good luck getting back to San Diego in just an hour at that time of morning.  

young_step_mom's picture

I'm sorry, is he also expecting a four year old to be up at FOUR IN THE MORNING to go to school?  You're talking about having this child in the car anywhere from two to three hours a day, he really thinks that's best for her?  What if she gets sick and the school needs someone to pick her up, does he realize she's going to have to sit in the nurse's office for a good hour at least while you or he rearrange your day to drive out there to pick her up then drive an hour + back with a sick kid in the car?  

marblefawn's picture

Let him stay where he is. Keep it long distance. It sounds as if this grand plan was made about SD's schools, but no one considered the details.

He has a mess. Best to leave it his mess. He sounds demanding and you sound set on staying put, so there's your answer! Something better (and easier) will come along.

hereiam's picture

He is trying to rope you into doing HIS parental responsibilities, to put you in the position that HE wants you to be in (replacement mom). Please don't fall for this. You will be miserable, I can guarantee it, just by the way he talks to you.

He does not see you as a partner, he sees you as someone who can raise his daughter for him and do all the crap that he doesn't want to do. All while making you feel that it's your duty, that if you love him (them), you will do it and do it with a smile. That's not what love is.

Huge, huge red flags.

How old is he?

mexitica33's picture

Yes I completely agree with you! He’s been using the well now you’re going to be the parent to our child! He’s saying part of me being a step parent is me becoming her second mom and sacrificing as much as I would for my own child. 

Lndsy747's picture

If that's what he expects don't move. That's what my SO wanted from me and it turned into me taking care of his daughter mostly when she was over. Any time I said no or that I didn't want to do something it was that I didn't care or didn't like his daughter. He doesn't get her too often in my case. After having a child of my own I feel like it would be really hard/impossible to truly care about a skid as much as your own. We eventually got through this and he changed his expectations and compromised but it was a rough road that I would not go down again.

Rainydaze777's picture

Don't do it.

Im also engaged and I've had to set hard boundaries- If he leaves me because I don't want a relationship with his daughter; then that's the way it has to be. I can't get involved in a nightmare that I can see 3000 miles away

Harry's picture

you are not and never be  the second mom. This child has a mother and father. She doesn’t want a second mon. She is not going to want to sit in a car for 1 1/2 in the morning. Don’t SS your BF doing anything except kiss up to EX . Open your eyes 

helenahandbasket's picture

Do not move in with him. I made that mistake 3 years ago and I regret it.

You will be blamed for everything that goes wrong, even when you have nothing to do with it.

mexitica33's picture

This is the text I received after I stood my ground...

“As far as you and I go . You made your decision and I respect that. But I’m just going to take it one day at a time . But with that being said . Because you and i are uncertain i don’t want to pretend everything is ok and allow you around Haley . I feel I have already messed up by allowing you to talk to her and I don’t want to give her false hope. So if we continue to date it will be when I don’t have her . But again it’s also up to you about our relationship and what you want . I understand if you want different” 

This made me cringe so much! Such an eye opener and wow I finally see him for who he really is. I would  be making a big mistake if I keep dating him I feel like! I could go on and on but wow I’m so shocked...

hereiam's picture

I think it's best if he just remains single and focuses on raising his daughter. If he can sucker some other woman into giving up her life to be a pseudo parent to his kid, more power to him, but don't let it be you.

Find a nice guy, without all of the baggage. Take your time and get to know him, and have fun in the process. You are too young to be saddled with this guy, his kid, his ex, and his issues. He certainly doesn't sound worth it.

More than likely, he has worked pretty hard to keep you from knowing the real him and his real motives. Although he's not that much older than you, he probably thought he could manipulate you and mold you into what he wanted. And, he still thinks that, he's still trying to manipulate you.

Don't waste anymore time on this guy.

twoviewpoints's picture

Seven months. Not married. Not living together. See each other on weekends. So you've seen this little girl for what? Fourteen or so weekends? 

She's not your SD. You can't possibly love her as if she were your own. Even if you truly believe you do. The little girl moving to San Diego and her father having custody was a silly dream. Of course the child's mother is going to fight this. Any mother would. And the moving but keeping 50/50? Why would any parent want their child doing that kind of commute for school every other week. 

Of course you're not going to give up your city life for the boonies, and no, a GF is not going to happily drive this kid three hours a day for school. 

He's just not the right guy for you. Toss this one back and get back into enjoying your freedom of being 24, a good job, and carefree weekends. 

Enjoy life. Plenty of time yet before you tie yourself down and saddle yourself to an instant kid.