Daniellemickey's picture

my boyfriend and his exe's child

Hi!

I'm writing with hope that maybe someone is or has been in a similar situation or hasn't but feels like they have advice or something to say because this one seems unusual and new to me and actually a bit scary.

I'm 29 years old and so is my boyfriend. We've been together for 5 months. We like each other a lot and feel like we would like to move in together at some point and have kids. I know it's super early in our relationship to even consider these things but we are approaching 30 and we both dream of having a family.

There is something holding me back though, three years ago he and his ex split up they were living together in his house with her daughter, they lived there for three years before the breakup. The kid took the breakup really badly because she doesn't have a biological dad and was 6 years old at the time of the breakup. She doesn't call my boyfriend dad but gives him happy father's day gifts. He agreed to keep on seeing the kid because he felt bad abandoning her. So now ever since, she goes to his house to spend a weekend there once a month.

She is now 12 years old and so a pre-teen. And I haven't met her yet because I have had mixed feeling about the situation. My bf thinks it would be good for us to meet. But i am super scared because he has been single for three years so she has had him to herself all this time and has never seen him with another woman than her mother and is probably going to hate me right? And she will probably feel jealous and resentful towards me just like I feel jealous and resentful towards her? I feel terrible saying these things but at the end of the day I don't want her around if/when we have kids if it's going to be a difficult messy situation. And I'm finding it hard accepting the fact that she is in his life when not even his own kid. Am I a horrible person? And what do I do? Thanks for your support xxxx


monkeyskids's picture

I would meet her and then

I would meet her and then decide. But then you've only been dating bf for 5 months, does she know about you?

Daniellemickey's picture

thanks for your reply she

thanks for your reply Smiling she doesn't know about me yet, my bf says he'll tell her about me when I feel ready to meet her... and then once she knows and I'm ok with meeting then we'd meet. I have mixed feelings now we've had a talk last night, he basically says he doesn't feel like a dad to her but more as a stable figure in her life because her biological dad doesn't want to be there for her so she feels rejected by him and she sees my bf as a father figure because no one else is. Plus they have developed quite a special bond over the years and both have a lot of affection towards each other. I feel like by entering the picture I'm going to break all this up because she might see me as a threat to their relationship? And if we have kids she isn't going to be part of our family really I guess so she might be jealous that our kids would have him as a real dad? So confused! I think it would be good for us to meet but I'm also afraid it's going to be a super awkward moment. I don't have kids of my own and have no idea what to do around a pre teen....

Daniellemickey's picture

Hi so basically no he doesnt

Hi Smiling so basically no he doesnt pay any child support it's purely just a bond that they both want to maintain because they are both very fond of each other since the girl doesn't have a real dad. My bf however doesn't speak with the mother whatsoever apparently she was super mean to him and he wants nothing to do with her. He just wants to be part of the kid's life because the kid was heart broken when they split up.

ChiefGrownup's picture

I never felt jealous that my

I never felt jealous that my now DH had kids. Unless you meet very early in life, people have had lives before you came along. So I wonder if what you are really feeling is resentment that if you start a family with this man it won't be a "fresh" and "first" for both of you.

If that's how you feel, it's good to recognize it and embrace it. At 5 months, it'll be disappointing but not that rough to face facts and move along. You should seek the life you want with a partner who is available to give that to you and is on the same page.

Best of luck.

Schikdrenwhuch: Hansel and Gretel Blue Plate Special. -- Taushalove

I could smell the GUBM sulfur spewing from her cloven hooves eons ago. -- Ladyface

Daniellemickey's picture

thanks I do in a way feel

thanks Smiling I do in a way feel that I would have liked the having kids experience to be a new thing for both of us. I feel like he's going to be comparing our kid to how the girl was.... I can't leave the relationship though we have something really special going on and I couldn't go back to my life without him he's been a rock to me. At the end of the day I'm going to have to find a way to accept the fact that he's already been through the experience and find a way for us all to be happy.

downsouthinTX's picture

heres many things to think

heres many things to think about

1. shes not legally his
2. he doesnt pay any child support(or i hope not provides anything financially to her mother)
3. she can stop coming over anytime(which may be soon since shes at that age)
4. you have only been together 5 months.
5. what do your BF parents think of this child?
6. what do the rest of his family think of this child?
- example: do they call her grand daughter? do they see her? they include her in birthdays, xmas etc?
7. what does she call your BF? by his name or dad?
8. this girl has a dad..somewhere out there...but her mom has limited his involvement undoubtedly.
9. things will most likely change when your BF moves on with his life with you or someone else..whether it be because of marriage or kids.
10. things might also change if her own mother gets remarried.

maybe at this point or in the future she will see your BF as an uncle type figure and less of a dad.

ETA: they have also known and been involved in each others lives much longer than you and your BF.

Daniellemickey's picture

thanks for your amazing

thanks for your amazing comment Smiling all good and valid points Smiling
legally no she isnt his and he doesnt pay any child support, they are maintaining the relationship because she feels really attached to him emotionally. She doesn't call him Dad but by his name she does however wish him father's day every year. My bf's parents weren't happy that he said ok for maintaining his bond with the kid because the mum (his ex) was super mean to him and they don't speak anymore. His parents didn't want her or her child any where near their son any more. So no they are not grandparents or anything to the kid. She isn't included in any family things when she goes to spend a weekend at his house it's purely to see him and spend time with him. I agree with the uncle type figure thing, that's how my bf thinks the relationship is going....

sunshinex's picture

I think this shows a lot

I think this shows a lot about the type of person your boyfriend is. I'd be really, really proud that he took his role as a stepparent seriously and clearly put the child first. A lot of us struggle with resentment as stepparents, enough so that we don't actually like our stepkids. Your boyfriend clearly put any personal feelings aside and took this kid as his own - which was probably for the best considering she doesn't see her father. I'm impressed. He cares about her enough to stick around even when he doesn't have to, and that's admirable.

Personally, I'd meet her and see how things go. She only sees him once a month on a weekend, so it's not a huge deal. Your boyfriend is a good man, and even in your late 20's, that's hard to find.

Jsn3883's picture

I Completely agree the fact

I Completely agree the fact that he stepped up to the plate and is so serious about being a good step parents says huge things for this mans character... this is a Good thing he is like that. It shows he has compassion it shows he will make a good dad it shows he is responsible and it shows he has loyalty. He sounds like a keeper. Very very few people take that role as step parents so seriously. Because it's very difficult and messy to be a step parent, so the fact that he's so dedicated shows a lot. Plus that little girls life is probably so much better as a result of his dedication. Don't be jealous be PROUD! Think of it as more of him being her mentor, and maybe if you show support she will accept and like you too and then you'll be more comfortable with the whole idea, and maybe then you'll be able to comfortably join them when they hang out.

Daniellemickey's picture

Totally!!! Thank you so much

Totally!!! Thank you so much for getting it all so right Smiling I totally agree with the mentor thing Smiling thank you so much for your support and helping me see the way it should be : as a super positive thing.

Daniellemickey's picture

PS I'm totally printing out

PS I'm totally printing out your comment and sticking on my wall as a reminder !!!! Eye-wink

Daniellemickey's picture

He is super sweet and so

He is super sweet and so considerate of her and people's feelings in general Smiling I'm so happy being with him Smiling I love your comment, reading this just gave me so much hope that it will all be ok. At the end of the day you're so right. I just need to trust that it will be fine and I for sure don't want to mess things up. Thank you so much Smiling

sunshinex's picture

Be careful on this site...

Be careful on this site... It's easy to start thinking steplife is worse than it actually is. Keep that hope Smiling It's not so bad and sometimes you even grow to love the kid.

Daniellemickey's picture

That's awesome thank you I'm

That's awesome thank you Smiling I'm actually starting to look forward to it more now Smiling you rock!!

still learning's picture

You are correct that steplife

You are correct that steplife is not always horrible yet this situation is not a step situation. This is his ex's child who is unrelated, if he and his ex weren't married it's not even his ex step child. In no way would this be OP's "step" daughter. He's been in this girl's life for 6 years and hasn't made any motion to legalize the relationship through guardianship or adoption, he has no legal or financial responsibility to this child. Yes he's probably a nice guy but did not know how to set boundaries with his ex and HER child. It sounds like he's doing this out of guilt so that she doesn't feel abandoned...again, and of course the mother is unwisely encouraging it since for whatever reason her bio father is not in her life.

Comments are being made that he's more like an uncle or a mentor; well what single "uncle" in his right mind would have his young niece over for sleepovers? No adult male mentor is going to have a pre teen girl over- nighting one weekend a month. From an outside view this does not look good and it will only look worse as she gets older.

I wouldn't meet her or get involved in their tangled web at all, too much ambiguity. The fact that his own parents want nothing to do with the child or her mother is a huge red flag and should be duly noted.

You can't tell him what to do or how to live his life but you do have a choice. This situation is complicated and will only get more so as time goes on.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

Daniellemickey's picture

He is super sweet and so

He is super sweet and so considerate of her and people's feelings in general Smiling I'm so happy being with him Smiling I love your comment, reading this just gave me so much hope that it will all be ok. At the end of the day you're so right. I just need to trust that it will be fine and I for sure don't want to mess things up. Thank you so much Smiling

Daniellemickey's picture

He is super sweet and so

He is super sweet and so considerate of her and people's feelings in general Smiling I'm so happy being with him Smiling I love your comment, reading this just gave me so much hope that it will all be ok. At the end of the day you're so right. I just need to trust that it will be fine and I for sure don't want to mess things up. Thank you so much Smiling

LAMomma's picture

My husband had a stepson when

My husband had a stepson when we got together. He was the only Father figure he knew.

When we started getting the two girls he came a couple of times but in our case BM was using him to spy on our house. He stopped coming quickly after I disciplined him one day. He was throwing play-doh across my kitchen and I told him to knock it off multiple times. I sat there and watched him for 5 mins before telling him to pick his stuff up, put it away and he could go sit in the bedroom and wait until it was time to leave to go back to their Mom's house (which was literally only maybe 30 mins?). Apparently this was unacceptable to him and BM.. LOL Oh well. A 10 year old knows better.

He also tried stealing my 3 year old at the times toys.. He shoved them in his pocket and pants and got caught. Thankfully he never came back because I'd have tore his butt up if that continued. I can't stand liars or thieves. I've heard from previous sitters that he is a hand full and not a good kid. It's hard enough dealing with step life much less dealing with crazy BM's son who has no relation to neither one of us.

Acratopotes's picture

Stop stressing Hon.....

Stop stressing Hon..... you've been dating for 5 months, not 5 years, simply tell your BF.... I will meet her when I'm ready and now is not the time.... BF can talk to her about you blablablablablabla

You are lucky - it's not BF's daughter, thus your child with BF will be his first...... and it's not clear if BF adopted this girl or not, but belive me you are under no obligation to meet her, I would simply tell BF - she's not your family, she's not my family, I have no interest in meeting this child, you can still see her but if we move in together..... she's not welcome in my house....

You know if this girl turns 21 nothing stops her and BF if they want an affair? Sorry I would not allow a strangers daughter into my house

I will personally come glue your fingers together permanently - SuperJew

and that's for any stirrers

sunshinex's picture

I think this is so harsh.

I think this is so harsh. This poor little girl... he's the only dad she knows. If you ban her from your life and home, i'd bet BF wouldn't stick around. I know I wouldn't. If my DH and I ever split, I will absolutely be a part of my SDs life. She was 1 when I met her and she's 5 now. I've done all the hard work in raising her and I absolutely would continue the relationship knowing her own mom doesn't care much about her.

Sometimes on this site, we forget that stepkids are CHILDREN and they need love. If the girl isn't a brat and she's behaved, what's the problem with your boyfriend staying in her life? Family doesn't always mean bio - if he sees her as his family, she's part of his family and that's that.

Daniellemickey's picture

All so true, thanks for

All so true, thanks for responding, I totally agree with what you say and I do actually feel terrible about how I behaved.... I posted this message here thinking no one would reply but after reading so many comments I feel so much better about the whole situation. I'm totally grateful for all the support here. And I do feel ashamed! I reacted stupidly and am going to be so much more open and supportive towards my bf and this girl.

sunshinex's picture

Don't feel ashamed! What a

Don't feel ashamed! What a confusing situation to be in... Your BF has an almost-daughter and she's not related to him. It's totally different than a lot of people's scenarios, but it's unique and lovely. He seems like a great guy. Be open and supportive towards your BF but don't feel like YOU need to be anything to this girl other than a friend. If you go in acting like you're a new stepmom or something, she will likely reject you. She has a mom, she has your BF as a father figure, what she'll probably want from you is a friend - someone who won't take away her support system (your BF) and will support their relationship.

Maybe meet her with the boyfriend for lunch, than eventually, work your way up to taking her on a girl's day? Go get your nails done with her or something? That way she won't feel threatened. She'll know you're open to having her as part of your life. And don't even feel like if you have kids with him, it won't be a first for him. It absolutely will. Your BF has never had a child, he's been a father figure. Any children you might have together will mean the world to him and be an entirely new experience for him, but she'll still be a part of his life and that's a good thing.

Good luck Smiling

DanielleR's picture

I have known a handful of

I have known a handful of people that ended up dating their ex step daughters. Call me jaded but no, I wouldn't be ok with my SO developing and maintaining a friendship with an unrelated female.

RosaluOsliar's picture

Things to ask yourself for

Things to ask yourself for the future:

1. Will you allow this girl to call any future children their sister?

2. If she becomes abusive or mean to you or your future children, will you still welcome her with open arms?

3. If your BF puts her needs ahead of yours, especially as she gets older and most expensive, OR he puts her needs in front of your family's wants, will you tolerate that?

4. If her mom starts drama with your BF, will you be okay with that?

5. What will you do if she accuses your BF of molesting her? Or of you beating her?

6. What will you do if this girl steals from you?

7. How will you tolerate her if she misbehaves? How will your BF let you tolerate her if she is rude, unruly, etc?

Acra above may have come off as harsh, but she and downsouth are very right in their assessments and questioning of the situation. My questions above are ones that gets asked CONSTANTLY on this board from stepparents whose partners are ACTUAL, LEGAL parents to the kids in their homes. There are MANY people on this board whose step kids have falsely accused them of abuse, have stolen from them, beat them and/or their children, are constantly disrespectful, have been in trouble with the law, have manipulated and lied, and done outright awful things. And they even do that to the people they are biologically linked to (i.e. their parent) in addition to the stepparent.

You're looking at this situation through rose-colored lenses. That's fine - we all do. We all see our partners, at some point, as being these wonderful creatures that bear beautiful, wonderful children. Some of use are very lucky and have spouses that are good picks who have children that are genuinely good. Others, however, will tell you they feel duped. They feel lied to. They love their spouse, but the reality of step life was MUCH different that how they imagined it. That's why they end up here, venting, seeking answers and refuge, and generally trying their best to make it until their step kids reach adulthood (and then praying the kids launch and aren't continuous holy terrors for 20-30+ years).

You are playing a very dangerous game with this man, and he isn't exactly playing it safe, either. He is an adult male (in his 20s - the prime of his life) with a preteen girl staying at his apartment over the weekends. They aren't related; no one is spending time with them. All it takes is for that girl to say "he walked in on me while I was changing" - and it could be a total accident - and his world crumbles. If you're involved, yours will, too.

It's absolutely admirable that he has stepped up to the plate; I will not take that away from him. But something is giving you pause in this situation. LISTEN TO THAT. It's not paranoia - it's the real reality of the situation. The real reality that her mother may HATE the fact that her daughter is bonding with you and rips her away from BF. The real reality that this girl may HATE you because you are what is standing between her ideal family of your BF and her mother. The real reality that your BF could be liable for this girl's health and safety while having zero protections that a legal parent has. Personally I think he needs to end the overnights and focus on being a mentor or Big Brother. He has zero responsibility for this girl and is taking a big risk - a big risk he wants to pull you into as well.

You need to think long and very hard about how your relationship could be affected by this, and what the ramifications are for this girl if everything goes south. Your focus needs to be on your future with your BF and what the future you two want looks like. Be honest with yourself: is babysitting a preteen one weekend a month really how you see your future (that's not dis - you aren't a parent or stepparent to this girl, so you aren't helping raise her), especially if you have a marriage and children? If the answer is no, express that to your BF now so you both can decide if this relationship will work or if he needs to adjust his relationship with the non-custodial, non-legal "daughter" he is playing fire with.

DanielleR's picture

Agree with all of this.

Agree with all of this.

still learning's picture

http://dearwendy.com/boyfrien

http://dearwendy.com/boyfriend-close-to-exs-daughter/

Interesting column that addresses the same issue that OP is having.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

uofarkchick's picture

There was a poster here who

There was a poster here who had a had with a stepdaughter from a previous relationship. He'd practically raised this girl even though she wasn't his. Guess what happened when she turned 18? Yep, the poster busted her husband lying about going out of state with his "daughter." They were having an affair from what she could tell.
Just throwing that out there...