I Dislike My Boyfreind's Past Relationship And Can't Build Relationship With His Kids...

OK, I am blown by some of the stories I've read over here. It's really comforting to know that I am not the only one struggling with 'step-kids' issue.

My story is rather complicated (as all stories are). There is quite big age gap between me an my husband to be. He has been married before and has two daughters. He doesn't live with them and has left his ex many years ago (or she run on him - haven't heard the whole truth as yet and I am not really interested to hear it). I haven't met his older daughter as yet and as far as I am concerned they don't have great relationship (if you can call it a relationship at all). I have no kids on my own but really want to have them in near future.

My fiancée and I met over four years ago. It 'just happened' that we fell in love and it was great to begin with. He, of course, lied about many things at the beginning (to be honest I think that if he had it all written on his face when I first met him I would turn round and run as fast as I could) and 'dosed' the truth very slowly so I won't flip from hearing it all at once. However by the time I've known it all it was too late for me. About month after we have moved in together his daughter came to see him and that's when it all started to go down the hill. My first impression about her was absolutely great. Really lovely girl really looking after her daddy. I think we hit it off well. What could go wrong with that? A' party. To my surprise he allowed his 14 year old to drink. She had couple of WKD's (and possibly some other stuff) and it made her a bit 'out of control' (you can imagine). At some point she started to follow nearly triple her age guy (36 at that time) trying to make him to kiss her (wtf?). Regardless to this guy's reputation he appeared to be fairly decent and came to me asking to do something about her. What would you do if you just met the girl? I found her father and told him that there is an issue and maybe he would go over and talk to her... Next thing I know it was all huge drama and she went all angry and upset. Then she disappeared with some woman trying to calm her down. I've found them short while after and as they where not aware of my presence I've overheard their conversation. She was calling me a b**** and making it short I was the worst evil on planet. Terrific start! Anyways, it was one of the worst nights ever. Lots of people alcohol and just one huge mess. I was in shock how he could ever get thing to this point (what an idea to throw a party and get yourself and your 14 y/o pissed?) and how in general things went. Next morning they disappear for 10 days with not as much as goodbye.

Ever since I can't get out of my head what I've heard that night. Next school holiday we went together (me, him & his daughter) to see his parents. There was a huge drama around planing the holiday as he keep changing his mind every 5 minutes. First it was 'I want you to come' than it was 'I will go with my daughter first and you can join us after few days' (wtf?) than 'maybe I will go just with her?' (oh, please yourself). Anyways it never got much better. We had rough time in our relationship (multiple reasons) that it got to the point that I decided I don't want to carry it on. We separated. Time goes by and bit over a year after we are back together. I have no idea what he has told his family (I am not quite sure that I want to know to be honest) and most importantly what he told his daughter but I feel like my relationship (it's hard to call a relationship) with his daughter is not much better than back than. He's not making a big thing of me being around her anymore (or her being around 'us') but these words I've heard that night keep ringing in my head ever since. He refuses to talk about anything that would get even close to the topic of my possible relationship with his daughter(s) and is not supportive. I can't count on any confrontation with him regarding my issues and all I will ever hear is 'oh, just leave it, will you?' or 'do you want to argue?'. Frustrating. Now, I know what will cross your minds that maybe instead of worrying about my relations with his kids I should worry whether or not I want to spend my life with that man. I have been there, done the chapter and moved on. Period.

I was always 'on the side'. His kids where the part of his life where I wasn't feeling welcomed. By nature I am very shy person and even though I am grown up woman I carry quite few issues which make it for me very difficult to build up relationships with people (and I mean all people not just his kids) so I never been 'forcing myself' on anybody to like me or to spend time together or any of that stuff. Things seem to change a bit. He's more relaxed, full time in relationship with me and we are planning our future together. The problem is that because of what happened in the past I can't bring myself to build up relationship with his daughter (I am not saying anything about the other daughter as I said before - I haven't met her yet). She's a daddy's girl and he makes all that fuss about her as daddies usually do about their 'best girls'. Which is pushing me off, and it gets to that point where I think of making 'accidental' arrangements on the same dates where she is due to come and see her daddy. I think that most of you can understand the anger I feel at times and can be sympathetic to the fact that I find myself feeling better when I pretend that it's some made up story rather than a part of my life. However at the same time I do know what right thing to do. I know it very well that kids are for life not a season, I see how much both of them mean to him and I wouldn't ever wanted to take it away from him or be the reason why these girls won't have a dad. I want him to have good relations with them and it really p***** me off when I see that he favors the younger and hardly make an effort to build relationship with other daughter. It really gets me that he can't set the boundaries and his testicles completely disappear in situations where he should have firm hand and say 'no'. OK, from one side I do understand that they are not living together and he's probably scared that if he won't be the 'cool daddy' she will just one day say: 'sorry dad, I am going out with my mates'. But that's not the way! I don't know how to make him understand that she's his daughter and she will always love him maybe even more if he show her that he's got some testicles left? I would really like him to understand that he should really stood up to the challenges as if everything goes well she's not going to be the only child he needs to worry about. I would really love him to gain respect and learn from that experience so he can be better dad to our children. It makes me so angry seeing that I am struggling to have relationship with his kids and just get to see them going their own way. Even though I will always be nothing of a mum to them I would really like to have some sort of bond. I know it didn't worked out between him and girls mother as me and their dad are going to be a family their are going to be a part of my life as well and I don't want to have that sick situation when they will feel left out or jealous about their half siblings. I know that it's not an ideal situation we all found ourselves in but I would like us to make the most of it but I am still being left out and I don't know how to deal with it. Oh, by the way. He went to his daughter's 18th Bday. Nothing wrong with that just maybe the fact that he was staying at his ex-parents in law house (apparently the reason why I couldn't come -wtf? Honestly guys, is it only me or this is just not right?).

So here I am stuck between that feeling where you just want to pack your other half into a suitcase and run to the end of the world and that annoying awareness where you know you should put things right.
Arrun Arrun
26-30, F
1 Response May 19, 2012

I think that people who have children from previous relationships should be aware of the stress that this brings on a new partner because this is a fact. And they should try to help their partner in overcoming natural fears by giving them lot of love and attention. But most of the people don't even want to recognize that, their attitude is like I have a child, it's the best thing it has happened to me, I will always support him/her and it will always come first no matter what. Learn to live with it! The problem is that they forget to add how much they love you, how special you are and how they will try to make you happy every day of your life. I agree that the new partner will have to work on some issues as well and you have done that very well but the biggest responsibility belongs to him. <br />
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I don't know much about teenage daughters, I was in a 4 year relationship with someone who had a 3 years old daughter when we started dating. He told me that his ex was a nightmare but I didn't think not even for a second that the nightmare would also become part of my life. And it did of course! Just because they separated she didn't stop lying, being manipulative, selfish and irrational. He also told me that she didn't work but she used to leave their daughter for 10 hours at the nursery. I felt sorry for his daughter then but I soon got to meet her. She was unbearable, really! She was a mini-mummy. I don't know why when she had such a noble father had to take so much of her mother. In a few months I understood why her mother wouldn't hurry to bring her home from the nursery. This sounds very bad I know but the in same way there are children that have a kindness and intelligence superior to their age, there are children who can have a very high dose of maliciousness. I had moments when I felt sorry for her mom then. In the end I considered that they deserved each other. I failed in building a relationship with his daughter because I didn't want to make every day of her 3 months summer holiday a party, because I wasn't always available for play for the simple reason that I had other things to do as well and I sometimes needed to have time for myself. Of course she needed to feel she was on holiday and I was ready to respect some of her wishes and give her some nice surprises but I didn't feel like doing that every day. He father would work all day and play every day and I thought that was up to him. I grew up very happily with a fantastic single mother who didn't think that she had to be an everyday clown for me to, she would sometimes think of activities for me but I also had time to play and discover simple games on my own. He used to stay at her place when he went to visit his daughter and he convinced me then that it was all right. Now looking back I think it was very selfish. He used to put up with all kind of miseries from his ex and it was always for the sake of his daughter of course. But the truth is that it wasn't all for the great love he had for his daughter, it was also because he lacked some spirit and personality. I ended up feeling that I was supposed to bring up both the daughter and the mother and that was not a plan for me. By the way, he has a new girlfriend now and I could see some of the facebook comments, we are not friends anymore, I eliminated him when we separated. She made a nice comment on one of his pictures about a holiday they had together, his ex wrote something too being bitchy and sarcastic, the new girlfriend defended the holiday they had but the great man was absent…I bet he told her that he didn’t reply because he didn’t want to provoke tensions because she is the mother of his daughter and instead of saying something as well or eliminating his ex from facebook , he is convincing his new girlfriend to put up with that s*** So convenient!<br />
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After 4 years we separated. Our love had been disappearing little by little so I didn't suffer. I moved in a different town with my family and I literally felt great. I remember the first year when it was spring, summer and winter holiday time how good it felt that I had the freedom to spend that time completely how i wanted. I didn't have fantastic holiday plans but I enjoyed them so much more!<br />
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I suppose parents will always love their children no matter what but step parents need some help. It helps a lot if children are well behaved but most of the time this is not the case. However the partner’s full support is vital. Instead of getting in a defensive mode, he should do more for you, that is his part.<br />
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I wish you all the success in the world. I don't know if my letter is of any help, I realize it does not answer your questions or gives a good advice, but I wanted you to know that what you feel is normal and that you need more support from him in order to feel better and do better. You shouldn't be excluded from holidays, or he should make it up to you, have the initiative to take you and only you on a holiday very soon after that, your feelings should count and he should make you feel like a princess and compensate for the stress that his past brings in your relationship.<br />
I failed at all these but to be honest I am enjoying so much my simple life and I haven't missed not even once the struggle that I had before. I honestly think I shouldn't have put up with so many things, I shouldn't have given them 4 years of my life. None of them was nice enough to deserve it.

Thank you for your kind reply and sharing with me your experience. I think you got it just right - he doesn't seem to understand the stress I am going through. It's just like he is expecting me to make way more effort than him and I find it so unfair! Even though it's not my first serious relationship (I have been engaged before) I have never had my own family so I am not bringing anything into relationship that he could potentially be struggling with.
I am not sure what I am going to do. There where times that I was convinced that they both (him and his ex) deserve each other. I love him, I know I do, but because I don't feel any support and he is not making it any easier for me I feel like just giving up. We are due to get married but I think I will just leave it for a while and see how things are (another 'family' holiday ahead! Oh joy!).
I am really sorry that in your case it didn't worked out but I don't think you should be considering it a waste of time. After all what we have been trough makes us who we are today and by all meanings we should learn from it and be grateful. I am not trying to patronise anybody but in my own experience it's such a horrible thing to feel like you've wasted even a tiniest bit of your lifetime so I choose to stay positive :)

You sound like a really lovely person, Arrun and have very good intentions. I hope it all works wonderfully for you and your partner will understand how lucky he is. You say you haven't had an easy relationship but you have done great and this is what counts. You are both considering getting married and having children. He really loves you even if he sometimes fails to show. Children are always a delicate subject and parents don't want to or simply can't, I still don't know, recognize how difficult their precious are sometimes. But you two are planning a life together and his daughters are becoming adults, will soon madly fall in love with someone, study a lot or work and give some time and space to their parents. I think that the best is yet to come for you and I certainly hope so!

That night that you mentioned when all went wrong, do your best to forget it. You made no mistake then, but the father and the daughter were weak and unfair. I hope for you to be able to forgive them and feel better even if they chose to ignore how bad they made you feel without deserving it and never had the courage to apologize. It was a drunk 14 years old girl who lost control and when she was discovered she didn't know how to or didn't want to deal with the embarrassment. Her father saw something that fathers shouldn't see. Instead she blamed you and offended you for the simple reason that you were asked to interfere and alerted her father, which was the right thing to do. Deep down she probably had some jealosy issues as well. A very coward and selfish reaction of a drunk 14 years old girl who was afraid that her dad wasn't going to like her anymore. So she attacked you, it's like in politics, I have done something very bad but I will accuse my innocent competitor of anything I can think of. Well, she failed. You are a wonderful person and he loves you! She probably felt so ashamed that needed to leave and he joined her. Unfortunately he didn't explain it to you and that hurt you. Sometimes the ones we love the most fail in the most ridiculous ways.

When I was dealing with jealousy issues and didn't feel enough love for my ex-boyfriend's daughter, I asked an older woman I had always admired for her big heart and generosity, if she thought that she would have been able to totally love some children that her husband could have had with another woman. She said no. I would have respected them.

I think you are doing great, Aarun! What you can't do is the part that doesn't belong to you. Your boyfriend has become more aware of the fact that you are a beautiful person and he wants you in your life. Maybe his daughter will have to grow another few years until she realizes it. And that is not your fault, it's just life. I'm sure she's got many other pending issues in her life that hopefully will get better with age.

By wanting and trying to have a nice relationship with him and his daughters, you are doing your part. In order for this to accomplish, they need to do or learn to do their parts as well. Sometimes people are just ignorant until they learn to do better. And those who are more aware can do more or not but they need to learn to protect themselves by that ignorance while loving. Easier said than done :)