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Thread: Between my child and my (probable) future husband

  1. #1

    Between my child and my (probable) future husband

    Hello everyone! I am going through such a huge dilemma right now in my 4 year relationship. We are not married neither we live together yet, for material reasons - he doesn't have any work stability due to health problems and I don't make enough to support a family of three (I have a 12 year old from my previous marriage, living with me full time). However, we have plans to stay together and be a family someday. For now, we just spend time together, mostly in my place, and have a significant participation in each other's lives.

    Life in my house is the one of a working single mom with a preteen kid. My daughter and I have this very close-knit relationship since she was a baby - we used to be very isolated, dad was emotionally unavailable, and there's no family around. Then I got divorced, and we built a very unique family dynamics that has worked well for both of us. We have our habits, little rituals, like watching movies together before bedtime, things we like to do that developed organically. These things bring safety to my daughter and joy to me and I would not see any reason to stop doing them until she gets to an age they won't be important anymore. She is a pretty good child, always praised by her teachers for her quiet demeanor and kind personality.

    When my daughter was 7, I met my boyfriend. The relationship between the three of us have always been good and fun, and he has been like a father to her in every aspect - although I never really sought for a new "father" for her. However, he has always complained that he felt left out the general dynamics in my house. He complains of the time I spend with her before bedtime, that we share a bed when he is not here, that I do a lot of "mom stuff" like preparing school lunches when she is perfectly capable to do it by herself. He thinks I am not raising my kid right by allowing her to have options and a certain amount of freedom, and that I am failing in making her more responsible for herself. He wants things in my relationship with her to change so he can feel more included as a family member, once we plan to move in together. That means, a total habit change, what also means quit doing some of the things that bring us comfort and joy.

    Not that I don't have the time for him. We do spend time together, and I even sacrifice work to be with him. Seems it is not enough for him, though. And honestly, I am not ready to break the family dynamics I have with my kid.

    A couple years ago things started getting tense between us every time we are in a "family situation", or, the three of us together. He complains endlessly and I feel like I am stepping on eggshells most of the time since I never know whether my next action or words are going to make him feel invalidated. I try to do things differently just to accommodate him, but my daughter now is old enough to realize she is a little unhappier when he is around - and starting to grow resentful. I hate that he feels bad and alienated, but I also hate that my daughter feels so uncomfortable in her own house when he is around. And I hate to be the mediator in their relationship, always feeling responsible for things to work out for everyone. I am pretty burnt out.

    Honestly, I think we could develop a better relationship if he could relax more and know his boundaries. I think he has no business in telling me what to do in my own house with my own child - and if something must change, it will happen when we become a "real" family, and develop naturally. We are not quite there yet. But I might be wrong.

    Now sometimes I feel I should not commit to anyone while my kid is still dependent on me. In my book, kids welfare comes first.

    Thoughts?

    Thank you so much for reading!

  2. #2
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    You are exactly right to feel the way you do. As far as Iím concerned he is being selfish and immature demanding things go his way. Your daughter comes first. I would tell him flat out itís none of his business how you raise your child and to butt out. If he canít accept then walk away from him. Iím serious about that. Heís in no way being respectful.

  3. #3
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    You are absolutely correct in that he has no business to tell you these things. And that it's one thing for him to have differences of opinion than you, but quite another for him to sulk, be moody, and take away from the good dynamics and fun time you're having.

    Anytime anyone uses the word "eggshells", it's a warning sign.

    You've been together for 5 years without moving forward. What's going to change in the next 5 years? It will only get worse. Your daughter will be 17, so presumably not sleeping in your bed anymore, but you two will always be close, and he will continue to drive this wedge between you, and guess who will resent you for allowing him to do it......yes, she will.

    Think very carefully if this is the man you want in your life. 'S all I'm sayin'.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I think he has no business in telling me what to do in my own house with my own child
    ... and I think you should tell him that! ^^^

    What does this unemployed man who is clearly jealous of your relationship with your daughter bring to the table that makes you not yet dumped him?

    The only thing I would view as a negative in your narrative regarding you and your daughter is you sleeping in the same bed with her. To me that is bordering on an unhealthy attachment. I wonder: How does she feel when he takes her place whenever he sleeps over?

    Anyway, he's showing you who he is and when he moves in it will get worse. Believe him when he shows you who he is.

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  6. #5
    @ThatWasThen, thank you so much for your response.

    I have not ended the relationship because he is a wonderful friend and lover, very intelligent, kind, and we share the same views of the world. He's been a wonderful "stepdad" for my kid, in spite of all the issues I described here. Frankly I never really cared about his financial situation. There's a lot of love involved, but maybe love is not enough.

    About co-sleeping, that started when I got separated from her dad. We lived with a friend for a while and we used to share the bed there, until I got a proper place for us. Also, she used to get sick very often due to a health condition (every other month) and I preferred to sleep by her side to monitor her fevers. We ended up getting used to the arrangement. But when boyfriend is here she sleeps in her own bedroom and doesn't really care.

  7. #6
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    Are you going to support him when he moves in?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Butterfly~Wrists's Avatar
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    Your daughter's welfare must come first. My mum had a couple of relationships where the man was jealous and controlling of her relationship with my brother and I. And we resent my mum for it, he's no longer living with my mum he moved in when I was 13 so a similar age to your daughter moved out around the time I started university. And my mum's and I relationship 9 years later is only just starting to improve. I was constantly ill, and he was angry when she'd see to my needs before him. I still wish I could have had a different teen hood and I feel our relationship is damaged for life. Knowing that she chose him over children she chose to bring into the world.

    Think very carefully about how it will impact your daughter, and ask her how she would feel about the changes he demands.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry this is happening. Where does he live? Who supports him now? Where is your child's father and does he pay child support and have visitation? Does your child have the opportunity to spend time with other family (aunts, uncles, cousin, grandparents, etc.) and kids her own age?

    Your unemployed bf should not be telling you how to raise your child. Stop inviting him over this much if he "complains of the time I spend with her" and "He thinks I am not raising my kid right" . Tell him to mind his own business and that only you and the child's father have a right to decide how to raise your child.

    If he brings it up again, ask him to leave your house. At this point your time, energy, finances etc, should be spend on ensuring a decent life for your child, not entertaining a whining, petulant moocher whose only goal is to weasel his way into a sugarmama situation.. The sooner you loose this manipulative clown the sooner you could meet men who would, in fact, be better candidates for a blended family.

    So many red flags. Why not step back, reflect, stop letting this bozo run your life and consider short term therapy to explore this and get some tips on single parenting, that do not come from a jerk with ulterior motives. Short term therapy could also give you some objective perspectives and insight into what a healthy relationship entails.

    If you marry this creep, he'll have access to your finances. Huge mistake. He's targeting you because you are lonely, desperate, needy, divorced (and of course have a job and a home).
    Originally Posted by SoundWaves
    he doesn't have any work stability due to health problems.
    I have a 12 year old from my previous marriage, living with me full time.
    we just spend time together, mostly in my place

    He wants things in my relationship with her to change so he can feel more included as a family member, once we plan to move in together.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Keyman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SoundWaves
    Honestly, I think we could develop a better relationship if he could relax more and know his boundaries. I think he has no business in telling me what to do in my own house with my own child - and if something must change, it will happen when we become a "real" family, and develop naturally. We are not quite there yet. But I might be wrong.
    I'm in agreement with the ladies in this thread (oh and wiseman :P)
    While there should be some efforts to integrate him into your family unit, which you are doing slowly and organically, his attention seeking demands would suggest that he has jealous issues and self esteem issues. He wants you all for his own and in his circle of control, and the less you plauy it his way, the more he will complain and make issue. This is a self esteem and sense of self issue in himself that you should definitely be cautious for moving in together in the future. It is not something I would be advising until he has sorted out his sh*t. This is the kind of behaviour you get from an animal when a new baby is introduced into the house.

    Unfortunately, waiting for him to find his own boundaries is not going to happen organically. So, it has to be up to you to set them for him. 'Sorry, she must come first and if you cannot deal, there is the door. I don't want to lose you, but I'm not prepared to put up with this constant needy behaviour.' etc etc.


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