Repost: Sadness as my BF has a child.

silverswordMay 26, 2010

Not sure what's going on, but I'm unable to post to the original posting by Midnight Fairy.

Posted by midnightfairy (My Page) on Wed, May 26, 10 at 4:27

I find myself extremely upset at the moment and that when I have a free space in my head I am haunted by this fact: my boyfriend has a 4 y.o. daughter. There are two elements to this which upset me and make me feel anxious.

My parents divorced when I was 6 y.o. I have had numerous step-parents and step-siblings as a result and also have a half brother. Growing up in an environment where you are constantly fighting for attention, or your primary needs arenÂt met, can have a traumatic impact - which I still suffer today. ItÂs difficult to express in words how hard and traumatic this can be as a child and a teen and even today as a 32 y.o. If you have grown up in a similar environment  you would understand. I honestly donÂt have anything positive to say about step families.

I donÂt want this kind of situation any more for myself. I donÂt want this step family arrangement to carry on into the next generation  I want it to end with me. If my BF and I have children, I donÂt want our children to have to compete with his daughter and fight for his attention or feel anything I have felt. I donÂt want to compete with her either but my feelings clash because naturally I want him to spend time with his child. IÂm tired of feeling like IÂm in a competition for love and attention and always come last. I donÂt want to feel this with my possible husband. I donÂt want my possible children to feel this with their father.

Secondly, I want to be a mother so badly one day. I want my fairytale of falling in love, getting engaged and married, then going through the magical and scary experience of being pregnant for the first time - together with my partner - and learning and everything else this new parenting experience brings. In my fairytale  a child doesnÂt already exist. I want to be a mum  not a step-mum. I donÂt want my family tree to be split because of his first family. Will a family with him mean we will always be second?

My BF doesnÂt understand how I feel. He responds with comments that IÂm worried about nothing as he doesnÂt currently see her, but I know this will change. My BF doesnÂt understand my perspective as his parents are still together and residing in the house he has grown up in. It means his ex-girlfriend will always be in our lives and she doesnÂt seem to be a good person. Furthermore, I donÂt think he understands how I want to share the first born experience with my partner  heÂs been there before. Even talking about babies with him - the shine has been rubbed off.

My BF is amazing and I love him deeply. The situation makes me feel like someone is standing on my chest and I canÂt breathe. It makes me sad that I might have to let go of my fairytale - my dreams of my own little family that is not interrupted by any outside factors. Just us. I think this might be too big for me.

If you have felt like I now feel and have made it through to the other side of this situation, I would love to hear about your experience and welcome any opinions.

Thank you.

Warm Wishes.

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Hi Midnight Fairy,
Sorry, I was unable to post to your first two threads.

It sounds like you are clear on what you want. Problem is, you are in love with a guy through which circumstances beyond your control ~ will be unable to live the life you see for yourself.

That's the problem. Not the child, but that he has a life that contradicts the life you imagine.

I imagined a certain life too. I imagined not divorcing. But that's not what happened. I ended up divorcing, and remarrying. Not in my life plan!!! LOL.

I don't want to discourage you from going for everything you've ever wanted. But I hope you have your eyes open to the fact that life seldom takes us where we plan to go.

"the shine has been rubbed off."

ouch. you describe that well. part of the reason it's easier with my DH now is that we both have girls from prior marriages... we are both "tarnished" :)

My advice is to really carefully examine your wants and needs. Talk to your boyfriend. If he doesn't understand/isn't willing to understand you now... it doesn't bode well for the future.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:01PM
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I don't want to sound harsh, but I can only think of a blunt way of putting it. Find a new boyfriend.

There is no 'fairytale' and 'happily ever after'. Those kind of expectations are unrealistic & while many people may feel parts of life are like a fairytale & be blissful and really happy with how life goes.. it is not always how it goes. It is hard enough when you get into a relationship with someone that has kids with great intentions and wanting the children in the picture. If you look at things as 'tarnished' or imperfect because a child exists already and/or you have issues from your childhood that influence your feelings, then in my opinion, the only thing to do is bow out. He has a child. You are not going to change that. It doesn't seem to fit into your plans. You are entitled to fulfill your dreams & plans, but not at the expense of an innocent child. There are lots of great guys out there. I passed on a few because of bad timing or different goals at the time, including one that had custody of an infant son (and a druggie ex) & I was not interested in being a part of that situation... raising a small child & dealing with a druggie ex.

I understand what silver is saying, but I have to disagree that it would do much good to talk to boyfriend. He can't change having a child... and OP has issues accepting child.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 2:57PM
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I understand Ima, what you're saying. What I meant is that I don't think the child is the issue, it's the dream that's the issue.

Perhaps if BF were able to recognize that *want* of hers, and acknowledge it rather than just say that he's not around child much so what's the big deal... If he can't even understand this simple need of hers, perhaps it's not *all perfect except for the kid*. Perhaps he's flawed.. if you know what I mean.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 4:12PM
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"I want my fairytale"

You can dump boyfriend & hang on to fairy tale, which won't make you happy because fairy tales are imaginary, or you can dump fairy tale & hang on to your "amazing" boyfriend & have a family with this wonderful prospect for fatherhood, this man who isn't seeing the child he already has.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 5:04PM
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I don't understand why would you want to be with this particular boyfriend? He was married before and has a child and that's not what you want. At 32 life is not over, there are plenty of childless men over there. What's the problem? There is nothing wrong with what you want, but it is not attainable with this man, so why not looking for a different guy?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 5:09PM
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"He responds with comments that Im worried about nothing as he doesnt currently see her, but I know this will change."

I missed this line. Well now you have two reasons to dump the BF, First he has a child and you don't want a man with a child, second he is a bad father not seeing his daughter and that's not the type of man to have a family with.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 5:13PM
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"even talking about babies~ the shine has been rubbed off"

Did it ever occur to you that he is not interested in having children? I also missed the line where he doesn't see his child. Maybe that won't change. But, I would certainly not want to have a child with someone that has the capacity to ignore his obligation as a parent... and if he has the 'been there, done that' and isn't too excited when talking of having kids... why waste your time?

Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE supporter of marriage & think family is a top priority... I don't tell people to end a relationship lightly. However, OP is not married to this guy. In my opinion, the fairytale is not realistic so I don't think she should hang onto that fantasy. But, I do think she has trouble accepting that he's had a life before her and that he has experienced things that she hasn't and if she can't deal with HER feelings, then she needs to move on and find someone else.

I don't think there is anything the boyfriend can do or say to change what is going on in her head. Besides, he does not sound like a real prize anyways if he isn't seeing his 4 year old... and uses that to try & ease his GF's worries.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 5:25PM
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I would like to add some perspectives from a man who has children from the 1st marriage (my 1st wife is deceased).


Your dream as described is truly a fairy tale, and it will remains a fairy tale. In life, people change or die, and love fades with time and circumstances, the probability of having a single unit family is about 50/50 or less. WHile it is ok to dream of such a life but to expect it, will certainly lead you to many disappointments and sufferings later in life. You will put so much expectations, many of which perhaps cannot be fulfilled, on your SO.

I am not a psychotherapist, but I think you need to talk to a professional about uncovering and then resolving some of the unfinished businesses of your past. You cannot change others but certainly you can change yourself.

Personally, I dated a woman, highly educated, divorced w 1 child, but then she felt so jealous of my children to the point of calling them "B*tches". I wondered what would happen to my children after the marriage, so I bolted quickly from that beautiful face w a questionable soul and mind. I did not expect her to love my children as her own, but I did expect her to respect my past.

If the problems of your past are not something you cannot resolve in your mind, even with professional helps, then I think you should NOT be in relationship with someone who has baggages from prior relationship(s). Otherwise, the conflict in your inner psyche, will fester and make you and your SO to suffer. So, if you truly love this man, let him go.

If this man does not see or care about his first child then how do you think he will care about your joined children (or in the event that you die first ?).

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 8:41AM
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Im tired of feeling like Im in a competition for love and attention and always come last. I know exactly what you mean. I too have divorced parents and step siblings and half siblings. And I know what it's like to feel that your parents were putting their spouses ahead of you, and that the step-parents were putting their bio children ahead of you... and that you always were somewhere on the bottom of the list.

I agree with shakti2574; I really think a counselor would be a good idea to help you deal with the past first. One of the things that I have realized is that no one was ever going to put me first all of the time; there is always going to be work, family of some sort, or some other obligation which, at times, would be of more pressing concern than I was. And even if you find this fairytale man and have children with him, there are going to be times that they come first, so you'll still be back in the same boat.

But then I found a man who (among other lovely characteristics) always puts his family first. The main family consists of the two of us and his kids. Decisions are always made on what's best for the family; part of that means that sometimes one member needs more attention or has an opportunity to do something special which means the rest of us will pick up the slack, so to speak. The funny part is that I realized that this is what I really always wanted, not some guy to follow me around like a puppy or a slave and dote on me. I finally feel happy and secure knowing that if I need them, my family will be there for me - and I will be there for them.

But part of that is the confidence that DH is not going to cut and run when the going gets tough. (I'm not saying divorces should never happen, but that it should be a last resort). So I would be very concerned about why your BF doesn't see his daughter. Anyone who is more concerned about himself than his daughter would, at some point, be more concerned about himself than his wife - guaranteed.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:33AM
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Good post, Mattie.

Another question to ask yourself -- if you do have children with him and he stays with you, what kind of father would he be? Can you honestly say that he will be a good father to these future children? Will he pick up some of the slack for you? Or will you be doing all the hard work while he is just living with you and gave you the children you want? Having a child isn't just getting pregnant and making them food after their born -- it's a LOT of work.

He already has one huge, glaring strike against him in regards to his future children -- how will he explain his absence in his oldest childs life to them? to the oldest child? And what will happen when the oldest child becomes an adult and seeks out why her father neglected her?

Also, child support. Is he paying it? If not, what happens when Mom files for it? What if she is awarded arrears? How will that affect you? If he is paying it, it's not a static amount and will go up over time. This will impact you and your future children, it's unlikely you will have very many choices regarding your children. As in if you want to stay home with them for a few years, good choices of daycare/schools, activities to choose from.

A lot of food for thought.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:42AM
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I would like to thank everyone for their input. It has drawn my attention to items that missed my focus and brought more perspective. I understand I have issues I carry with me from my past and perhaps counseling could resolve these this is something I will arrange. It has made me feel so much better though just to hear of your stories or opinions. My friends dont understand what Im going through so this has made me feel less alone. Thank you.
I dont think my wanting to have a family with a man who hasnt had one before is a fairytale. I have always wanted this for myself and I guess Im going through a grieving process as I am letting something I have cherished for so long go. This dream for me is precious as it would be the opposite of what Ive always had; it is possibly a means to no more pain and hurt and I guess Im trying to protect my possible children from such feelings.
Just to clarify: my boyfriend has not seen his daughter since late last year. His ex-partner refuses him access to his daughter. My BF was paying maintenance up until about a month ago; he ceased payments in a futile attempt to trigger his ex-partner to contact him to arrange regular visitations. The court system has not been involved as yet my BF and his ex-partner had a personal arrangement.
My BF wants to see his daughter and I wish he did, so I could understand exactly my place in this equation, and explore those feelings I know will emerge e.g. how I feel the first time he sees her since weve been together. As an example last Friday night was in part spent watching a baby video of his daughter. It made me sad and sick and Im still working through those feelings. Tonight he talked about how he held a baby today that was quiet and described how his daughter would cry if held by a stranger. Im still experiencing anxiety at hearing this. I dont want my boyfriend to already be a father.
To juxtapose my feelings to possibly highlight what Im now experiencing: when I discussed having children with my former long term partner I would feel happy, excited, warm and would have a few butterflies in my stomach but it felt special. When my current BF talks of his daughter it fills me with the abovementioned negative feelings and dread. When we talk of having children (as he wants two more) it doesnt feel special but just like something else thats going to happen in an ordinary day. Its like the colours of the rainbow have been washed out and the rainbow is now in shades of grey.
I definitely need time to process my feelings and what Im going through before making a decision.
Thank you all again.
Sincerely Midnight Fairy

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 12:42PM
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it is great that you recognize your feelings, hopefully you do something about it, you don't give to give up your dreams, there are other men out there.

i don't understand your BF not seeing his child, no one can legally withhold children. i wonder if he is lying to you.

in any case what you described is not a good way to live, dread, grief, feeling is too short. move on. good luck

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 11:07PM
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Midnight - Wanting to get married to a man without children is not a fairytale. A lot of women want that and only date men without children -- I did and I have a child lol. I come from a similar background, very chaotic stepfamily childhood. I did not want that for my child or myself, to be quite honest. It's not selfish or crazy, it's what you want to be happy and there's nothing wrong with that. I knew for *me* that I did not have the courage, strength or any of the other good qualities to be a *good* stepparent or to even add anything to my partners life regarding their children. And that's what you seem to be saying too and theres nothing wrong with that. You know you, a lot of people won't admit or blindly insist they can handle it, but you've already got a leg up in that you know it's not what you want.

I also found that most men with children had chaotic relationships with their children and former partners. They don't pay child support, they are behind, don't see their children very often, no court orders for visitation, still continuing and playing out battles with their former partner.... When a man (or woman) still has those issues left over from their prior relationship, they are saying they are unavailable for a new relationship. They are not saying they need some help with being a parent, which a lot of women seem to think they are. They still need to learn how to deal with and manage their baggage, not pass it off to anyone else.

You're not wrong for wanting what you want. But imo, I do think you'll be unhappy by your own hands for insisting something you want in a relationship that cannot in a million years given to you in the current relationship.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:26PM
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midnight fairy,

I know you said your BF doesn't see his daughter...does that mean he never sees her or only sees her infrequently? Have you met her? 4 years old can be a very charming age.

On competition with older sibs, I get it completely. My skids are full on adults and they have felt in competition with my DS7 since he was a baby. But one so young, maybe not. I don't come from a stepfamily, mine was intact, parents lived in the same house until they died so I don't know how that feels as a child, just as an adult SM.

If you haven't met the little girl, maybe that is a first step before you decide. That is, if BF has any access. If he doesn't that should be a red flag to you, it would be a pretty extreme situation for him not to have access to his daughter.

My DH having other kids did not "tarnish" my experience of having a baby. In fact I kind of forgot about them while I was pregnant. They didn't come back on my emotional radar until after DS was born. The tarnish came later as he got older unfortunately. There are ways to deal with that, keeping reading posts here.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:10PM
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If you sense so much sadness and negative feeling about your bf's having a child, then your best bet is to share with him this inner thought. Perhaps you will be happier with a non-child partner.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:19PM
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