Repost -- Making Peace
I am 25, involved with a 34 y/o father of three beautiful girls (8, and twin 4 y/o's). We have been together for almost 2 years, and for the last year, I have been involved in his daughters' lives. He has custody of his girls almost 40% of the time (Mondays and Tuesdays of every week and every other weekend). We have moved into a very comfortable feeling of family (at least, I feel this way). I do not spend the night when the children are staying with their Dad, and we have done our very best to go slow. (I met the girls in June of 09, and the word "girlfriend" was not used until December, when one daughter asked if I was Daddy's gf). We struggle constantly to keep life as simple and non-threatening for the girls as possible. No talk of marriage has been brought up in front of the girls, although that is most definitely where things are heading in the foreseeable future (1-2 years). I am madly in love with my boyfriend and am crazy about his daughters. They have been the highlight of my life, and I'm amazed at how my life has changed (for the better) since they've been a part of it. Before Mother's Day, the oldest girl asked Dad "What are we getting for Mother's Day?" He was shocked and so was I, as we had not put that thought into her head. We settled on celebrating a "Like a Mother's Day" on the Monday after (distinguishing the day apart from Mother's Day so as not to offend their Mom and also give me a special day all my own). The kids loved this idea. And for the most part, there have been few issues with the children or between my boyfriend and I in how we handle raising the girls, etc.
Except for one issue...
She HATES me!
We recently were all together to celebrate the oldest's First Communion. While I made small talk with HER family and my boyfriend was cordial to HER new boyfriend... she refused to even look at me or say hello. Even when I wished her a Happy Mother's Day (the communion was the day before), she curtly replied "thanks" and walked away. It was obvious to the girls that there is tension between Mommy and me... and I hated that. I did my very best to be civil and keep the day about the child. But I felt defeated... because the mother couldn't keep her perspective and do what was best for her children.
Since that horrific day, she has called my boyfriend to express her concern that I am "overly affectionate towards the children" and that it is inappropriate for me to tell the girls that I love them. I was shocked at this! Her big complaint is that I love her children?!? I hug them? I say "I love you?" That's something to shame me with? Now my boyfriend and I are at odds about how to handle this. I say "this is her problem, her insecurity, her jealousy... not my problem. I'm not changing." And he is leaning in the direction of "if you don't do what she asked (be less huggy and cuddly with the kids), she'll never try to be civil when we're all together for events for the kids." I completely disagree. I think she's gonna hate me and be ridiculous no matter what I do... so I wanna just continue being me. That has worked for our new family (the boyfriend, me, and the girls) for almost a year... and we're all happy, as far as I can tell. But I also don't want to completely disregard how my boyfriend feels.
I am sorry for the ridiculously long post. But I need advice. How do you become a co-parenting step-parent if the biological mom won't even try to be civil? I