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Girlfriend vs. Daughter


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In a nutshell: I've been living with my girlfriend for a little over three years now. She still has not come to terms with the fact that I have a daughter from a previous relationship. I'm 26, my gf is 25, and my daughter is 5. Now, I know this question may sound hopelessly naive, but what can I do to try make her understand my position on this? I hate giving ultimatums, but I feel I have no choice anymore.

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I think her discomfort of you having a child from a previous relationship stems from the fact that she is not part of that past. It is always hard to deal with your partner's past (that you were not a part of). Having a child that is a product and a reminder of that past can be very difficult for someone at her age. She's been with you three years, perhaps she's thought of having children with you sometime down the road as well. The fact that this child is not hers (and obviously that you have some responsibity in help raise your daughter) may make her feel that she is not the centre of your world. It's not a jealous sentiment but a feeling of insecurity almost, that she is not everything that is in your present, that there is another person who is really important to you.

 

I know it is a difficult position to be in. You love your girlfriend, and you love your daughter. The difference is that your daughter is the one who needs you and will be needing you for a long time. Your daughter is your responsibility, your girlfriend isn't.

 

The only thing I can think of that would ease her mind on this matter is if you spend time with her and your daughter together. Let her in on the relationship you and your daughter have. Let her know you want her to take part in raising your daughter -- maybe not exactly the full responsibility as your or the child's mother have, but let her know you want to include her in that area of your life. You can have your daughter stay over for the weekend (if you don't already do that) or go on trips together etc.

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Thanks for the response. I think your assesment of the situation is pretty much dead on. Unfortunately, my gf has not been overly revealing in exactly how she feels about all of this. Basically, she just acts as if my daughter doesn't exist, and when she is then reminded she gets quiet, snippy, and even drops subtle hints that perhaps this is not the relationship for her.

 

I would love for my gf to spend time with both me and my daughter. It has happened a few times, but again, that is in the course of over three years! I'm just not sure what to do if she totally rejects the idea of being a part of my daughter's life.

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She may just not like kids in general, and you can't fault her for feeling that way. We all have our preferences, likes, and dislikes. Do you have any ideas where she stands on this? Have you guys talked about having kids in the future? She's young, so she may not even be thinking about kids right now. Maybe the whole idea of being responsible for another person scares her too. It may also be an issue of ages. Maybe she would be more compatable if your daughter is a teen.

 

The realization that your girlfriend may not want kids or may not want to raise kids that are not her own may be a devastating one for you. If that point ever becomes clear to you, you will be forced to evaluate a lot of things in your life. I think she knows, on some level, that your daughter is very important to you. Her apprehensions and unease may be a result of her doubts about ever being able to be a "family" with you and your daughter. She may not see herself as being the type to just settle down and do all those traditional things, at which case, you have another issue to think about -- that is whether or not she is the woman you see yourself spending forever with.

 

In any case, if you want her to be an integral part of your life, it would be a good idea to get her acquainted with your daughter, as it may be harder when your daughter grows up for them to be able to forge anything meaningful.

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You've raised many more valid points. I'm not 100% sure where she stand with kids in general. I know that when she's around annoying, bratty kids, she tends to get edgy and agitated. On the other hand, when she sees a cute, well behaved child., she seems radiant.

 

We haven't discussed having kids much. I obviously need to talk to her at length about a great many things regarding this.

 

I suppose overall, my biggest fear is being put in a situation where I feel like I haqve to choose between them. If it comes to that, I know what I have to do, but I absolutely dread it.

 

But, before it comes to that, I will certainly try what you suggest and see if any progress can be made.

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