Frustrated girlfriend playing role of wife and mother
I could use some sound words of advice & encouragement.
I am 37 & have been with my boyfriend for about 8 years now. We have been living together for almost 4. I sold my house & moved in with him. He has a 10 yr old daughter whom he has residential custody of for 7yrs.
The mother visits with the daughter once a week & every other weekend altho she is not a good parent--thus my bf's status of primary parent. The daughter does often feel neglected by her mom. I help deal with the mom as she won't typically argue with me like she does the dad & I hate for the daughter to see them argue.
I love children..none of my own but love this one as if mine. Her & I have a good relationship. Not always easy...but I've worked hard at it over the years & I've long gotten over MY hangup of the fact I'm not a REAL mother...I take her to every doctor appt, attend school conferences, praise & punish her, constantly searching for ways to help her grow, feel confident & develop into a caring & successful woman. I love her, teach her, hug & comfort her daily. Just as if she were my own..but never speaking ill of her mother nor do I try to take her place. I remind her you only have 1 mother & 1 father. I'm her "Me-Me" she calls me.
My boyfriend is a good dad-loving, hands on, spends quality daddy-daughter time and he is also good to me. He's affectionate, provided for me when I was laid off for 2 years, we vacation, he sends me to the spa, we still make each other blush & he consciously makes time for he & I as well as family time for the 3 of us.
He has a good but stressful job (has been unhappy for over a year now)and he's trying to finish school taking class Mon & Wed night & every Sat this summer so he has more options (he is 38). His daughter's mother & tenants keep him in & out of court but I'm always by his side. I share his stresses as he has mine. I don't mind chipping in where needed & I am often home with his daughter as he is at school or home but studying for school. He's a straight A student in difficult subjects so he puts in a lot of study time.
My problem is this..I want to get married & although he says he wants to he has not proposed. I have no fantasies of an elaborate wedding...I just want him & the commitment & security I feel that comes with marriage along with the respect of the title for taking care of him, the house & his child. God forbid something happen to him I'd be homeless & I'd probably have no rights to his daughter. Money for a ring is not an issue for him. I realize all his needs are being met & I'm the only one with a problem here. Marriage is probably the last thing on his mind with work & school but I'm tired of "playing" mother & wife. I feel disrespected. I do all cooking, cleaning, laundry/ironing, work a full-time myself, drop off & pick up his daughter everyday & everything else in the house except pay bills. I buy all grocceries & clothes.
When I mention marriage he blows me off or it usually turns into an argument like "here we go again"...like he has no time to think about it. I have reached a boiling point. I am mindful not to show frustrations to his daughter as she has it tough enough being away from her parents & its not Her fault. It's difficult on days she talks back, challenges me & is just basically being a 10yr old. I take it all in jest though. I'm furious that he doesn't take this seriously. We talk about everything else but he just has no conversation about marriage. We've looked at rings & he'll tease every now & then but nothing. I can't tell u how many false alarms I've had where my heart breaks..which he's aware of. We've been together so long his daughter tells people I'm her stepmom & I've started to do the same. I'm embarrassed by it..I'm hurt & questioning does he REALLY love me?? How can he not see or understand my pain. I don't want to be foolish & leave a relationship that makes me happy otherwise & I realize it would not benefit me to give an ultimatum. I don't know what to do. Please help!