New to all this!! Advice about moving in greatly appreciated!
I have been seeing my partner for 15 months now. He has 2 grown up children from his first marriage, whom I have met and get on well with. He shares 1 daughter with his second wife, who is 10 going on 11 this year and is struggling to accept that ‘Dad has a new girlfriend’. He has been separated for 2 ½ years and the divorce has been final for 18 months. Before me, he dated a couple of ladies very briefly.
We are at the stage now where we have commenced talking about moving in together. However I am concerned about the impact on his daughter, and on our relationship as a result.
He has access one night a week from after school to drop off the next morning and every second weekend from Friday 5pm to Sunday 5pm. I don’t usually spend time with them on the week night and on one of the nights and sometimes the days, they have their alone time together. Sometimes we organise activities to do as a unit over the weekend.
He and he ex-wife are in contact about the daughter’s care and visits etc but it is only usually via email or text message as the separation was acrimonious and the relationship unfortunately continues to be. She is very aggressive in her approaches and has said that she is ‘neutral’ about me to her daughter. I don’t get involved in any of that and I continue to show care and friendship to the daughter, despite being treated with disdain and rudeness. He pulls her up on that and both of us are pretty clear with her that she doesn’t have to like me, she doesn’t even have to be happy that dad has a girlfriend, but she does need to respect my place in his life as his partner and to that end, rudeness is not tolerated. But it’s pretty repeated. He is very patient and takes the time to speak with her about how she’s feeling about things. He tries hard to empathise with how I may feel disappointed from time to time but I equally try just as hard not to take it personally and just work through it myself. The times that I have said something as I have been very upset has caused conflict between us as his natural instinct is to stick up for his daughter. I understand this loyalty, however at times it can make me feel awfully isolated.
I don’t have children and I am a natural nurturer. I am not pushy by nature, preferring to allow people to be themselves and take their own time about things. I have a very balanced view. I genuinely wish that my partner and his ex could have a healthier relationship, if not for themselves but for the well-being of their child. I tell myself that time will improve things. But the interesting thing is that the daughter and I in the beginning had a brilliant relationship. She was almost infatuated with me. I was new and we did lots of things together. She pushed me to meet her mum one day about 6 months in, so I told her I was happy to meet her mum if mum knew I was going to be there at drop off. I met mum and from that day forward there’s been the behavioural issues towards me. I realise it’s a loyalty bind and perhaps she feels that by liking me she is betraying mum in some way. Her mum hasn’t moved on with any one new, as far as we know.
Anyway, any advice or assistance would be appreciated from those of you who have experienced this already, about the best and healthiest way to consider everyone as we think about moving in together and sharing all of our lives.