Starting over with stepchildren?
Hi- I'm new to this forum, and there is something really weighing on me right now. I'm almost 50 years old, and have been dating a wonderful lady that is almost 40. My two daughters are 17 and 20- the 20yo is out of the house, and the 17yo will be off to college next year (currently lives with me). My GF has a 5 and 12yo. The 12yo has mental problems and has had a couple of suicide attempts, and he just moved to live with his dad. That leaves the 5yo with her... all the time... his dad isn't in the picture at all. This change of events has made me realize that I would really be starting over if this relationship continues, and would be almost 65 before her youngest was on his own. We also have different parenting styles- she spanks almost at the drop of a hat, I rarely, and I mean pretty much never, spanked my kids, and am not comfortable with it. I am seriously thinking of ending the relationship because I'm not sure I want to jump back into the parenting mode of such a young child.
Has anyone else ever been in this situation, or have an opinion. This is my first major relationship since my divorce, and I didn't really think of this child situation when it started.