Feeling isolated and like a third wheel to fiancé and 13 yr old stepdaughter
I am recentlly engaged to my partner. I am 33 and he is 38. I have been living with him and his 13 year old daughter in Chicago for about 6 months now. We're coming up on our 2 year mark of being together but I should mention that we were long distance for the first year and a half as I was living in DC and finishing my bachelors degree when we met while he was on vacation with his parents, daughter and sister in DC. I have been friends with his sister for many years as I used to live in Chicago some years ago. When I moved back to Chicago, the plan was for me to live on my own initially but unfortunately due to some unforseen circumstances, I couldn't afford to do so. So now I have been living with my partner and his now 13 year old daughter for 6 months. For the most part, we've gotten along pretty well. They have a very close relationship which I appreciate but it's a little unconventional since he was so young when she was born; they're more like brother and sister than father and daughter. I had started to get very frustrated with both of them at first because he has never set any real limits, rules or responsibilities for her. She had unfettered access to her cell phone with no parental controls, she had no chores and he did literally everything for her; making her bed in the morning, making her breakfast and lunch, cleaning up after her meals, doing her laundry, folding and putting it away, and basically allowing her to do whatever she wanted with no consequence and never having to clean up after herself or consider anyone else around her at all. Obviously, this got very frustrating for me. I'm no one's maid and I'm certainly not going to clean up after a 5"8 teenager who is perfectly capable of doing so herself. I had many conversations with him about it for months until finally my therapist suggested he come in and the 3 of us talk. She basically told him all the same things I'd been saying for months; that giving a child no limits or responsibilities wasnt doing them any favors and would only result in a self-indulgent, spoiled and incapable adult. He woke up after that and now she has parental controls on her phone, he takes it away before dinner and charges it in our room until the next day when she's only supposed to get it after we're in the car taking her to school. He now tells her to clean up after herself and she makes her own bed, her own lunch and helps set the table for dinner. This is all good stuff and it's definitely relieved some tension at home. But at the end of the day, I am the newbie, I am the one who entered their lives. Nothing in their lives has changed really except that I'm around all the time now. Everything in my life has changed; I'm 700 miles away from my best friends (I have friends here but it's not the same), I'm suddenly thrust into the role of being a parent/guardian to a kid I barely know who I already feel is starting to resent my presence and I wasn't even sure if I wanted kids or not but I definitely didnt dream about being a step mom to someone else's kid. So I already feel kind lonely and isolated, on top of feeling like the odd woman out because it had been just the 2 of them for so long and now...last night they had dinner together while I was home studying for grad school, apparently they had a long heart to heart where SD13 told him she didn't feel she was getting enough attention from him since she had gotten so used to being the center of his world and now with me around she felt neglected and wants more alone time with him. The thing is, we already established that wednesday nights, they would be alone together. They already have dinner and are alone together on tuesday nights as well. We have her all weekend since her bio mom isn't in the picture so that leaves almost no alone time for my partner and me. It seems like the only way she and her friends "hang out" is on the computer or their phones so it's not like we even get alone time when she's with friends because she's never with friends. She sleeps at her grandparents on Monday and Wedneday nights because I can't take her to school tuesday and thursday mornings because I have early class myself. But Monday nights my partner doesnt get home until 1030pm and then goes straight to bed. At this point, the only night we could have alone together is wednesday nights but right now that's their father/daughter night. I'm frustrated and lonely and I feel pathetic because I feel like I'm jealous of a 13 year old girl and the time she gets to spend with her father who is my partner. I don't even want to say anything to him because I feel like my feelings arent valid compared to a 13 year old kid who's mother abandoned her and needs her father. I just feel so alone and like there's nothing I can do about it. LIke all I can do is wait 5 years until hopefully she moves out.