en route to stepparenting and hating it
Hi all - I'm hoping this is a gay/lesbian-friendly zone. Please forgive the length of this post, I'm in dire need of a vent.
I've been with my partner for 3 years, and we live apart (in walking distance). She has a 5 year old daughter for whom she is the sole caretaker. I am 42, childfree by choice, a returned graduate student, who has always valued freedom and flexibility and made those a priority.
Here's my problem, and I'd love any and all input. I think T's decision to have this kid was rash, crazy, and self-destructive. She was having a frankly tawdry affair with a married man she barely knew, was in her early 30s (bio-clock suddenly going), and she believed all his bullshit and thought - incredibly - they'd be together forever (very adolescent kind of thinking). Anyway, within a few months it all fell apart, and now he's in another country, has never even seen the kid, and she's on her own raising their kid.
So, a few things: has anyone here ever experienced contempt for their partner's previous choices? Has anyone been jealous that their partner made such a monumental decision with some horrifyingly and obviously terrible person, that they can never undo and that they can never do similar with their current partner? Did any of you childfree-by-choicers fund yourself questioning that choice when faced with having to participate in someone else's parenting? (Something along the lines of, I have to do this anyway, I may as well get something from it)?
More than that, though, have people encountered the social expectations, probably especially strong for women who partner with parents? The assumption - which I've heard more than once - that now YOU have a kid. The assumption that you're dying to take this on. The pearl-clutching about innocent children who "deserve" to be loved by everyone who comes near them. The hints that you are somehow "unnatural" if you don't believe this is somehow the fulfillment of a universal wish. Etc., etc.
And what I'm sitting over here thinking is, I want to sleep in with my partner sometimes. I want there to be enough money. I want - no matter what a douche the biodad was (and he was), she picked him regardless, in fact just HAD to have his baby - him on the scene to take the kid two days a week and provide some child support. I want all those things; it's dawning on me that not only am I never going to have them, but that by resenting their absence, I'm thwarting some pretty serious social expectations.
Anyone at all out there with similar feelings or experiences? Can a relationship like this work?