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Want NC, but there's a 3 year-old stopping me (along with other things)

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Hey guys,


I haven't posted in a while (a few years), but I remember how much you all helped me before. I was just dumped yesterday. My girlfriend and I were together for about 1 1/2 years. We love each other like crazy, but I lost her trust when I started developing a bad temper. I never touched her in any way when I was mad, nor did I ever raise my voice (except on very rare occasions). I did, however, manipulate. I would take things she told me and use them against her. That's not why I'm writing this though.


I'm writing to ask what I should do about NC. My ex has a 3 year-old girl (we'll call her Suzie) and this girl is my world. We have an unbreakable bond. Although she isn't my flesh and blood, I see her as the same. She's started calling me her father and stated that she was my daughter. I was always intentional about not making her think that I was her dad. She still sees her bio-dad every other weekend. My ex was the same way. Suzie picked up this father/daughter bond on her own. This girl is my world. She brings out my strength and gives me more joy than I could have imagined (seriously, before Suzie, I was never a kid person). She's my princess. She holds a very special part of my heart and she always will.


The problem is that I want to have NC with my ex to allow her to heal and allow myself to grow and work on my behavior. I want us to get back together. I don't want to get over her because I love what we built together. My ex wishes we could be together right now, but she's been hurt by me too much and can't trust me to change right now. I want to give her that time to start trusting me again. I know NC would be the best way since we can both focus on ourselves while exercising the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder".


The thing is that if I do NC, I won't be able to see Suzie. My ex told me that she will never come between what Suzie and I have, and I'm welcome to see her as much or as little as I want. If I go over there to see Suzie though, I won't be able to exercise NC since I'll be seeing my ex as well.


Plus, she's been talking to a new "friend" that's of the opposite sex lately. They would spend about an hour talking on the phone late at night when we were still together and it became a big problem. She was a student teacher and he was her mentor at the time that they started talking. She stopped talking to him (or at least about anything that wasn't professional) when I told her that it wasn't okay to do that. He said he understood, but then blocked me on Facebook later that night. Things started to seem fishy and now I'm worried that she's developed feelings for this guy. I don't want to be the guy that helps her move on. You know how it happens. I keep talking to her and in turn she's getting all the attention and love she needs to start dating someone else because "I'm not going anywhere".


There are other things that are keeping us from having NC too though. We go to the same church and want to continue to do so for the sake of Suzie. We want to set an example for her. She also lives in our apartment (again, for the sake of Suzie. We want her to have a steady place to live so I moved out and let them stay), but I agreed to pay the bills until she finds a job (she's just graduated and is trying to find a job as a teacher).


What do you guys think I should do? My main fear is that if I don't follow through with NC, I'll be killing any chances of us reconciling in the future.

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You aren't going to like what I have to say. I think you should go NC.


The fact that you are in love with her little girl is awesome. It's also great that you will see her at church and be able to interact with her there. So... you don't have to disappear from her life completely. You can definitely be a friend.


But really? You have to think realistically. What happens when/if your ex gets another man? Is this child going to have THREE fathers? Yikes! It's hard enough and confusing enough for this child to be juggled between two households. But three? Oh. And then what if your ex breaks up with THAT guy and HE still wants to be involved. Will she have FOUR fathers?? This is not fair to the child.


You were a boyfriend. The ex was a package deal. When your ex left, the package left unfortunately. That's the danger in dating a single parent. You will absolutely gain an attachment to the child (or children) and at the end of the day, you have no "claim" to the children.


On another note, though... while I think it's wonderful that you want the best for the child and you want to provide, I would most certainly put an end-date to your paying the bills. How does she get to leave you, date and have sex with a bunch of other guys and live comfortably in a "free" apartment with all the bills paid?? While it's nice you aren't cutting her off cold-turkey, the mother needs to be a responsible adult now and find ways to pay the bills. She can get a job (any job, it doesn't have to be in her field)... she can get social assistance... she can ask her friends and family for help... heck! She should ask the child's bio-dad for help. Whatever she chooses to do is fine - but this is not your responsibility and you should not be the sucker paying the bills.


While I understand all the feelings and sentiments behind your actions (and they are noble and sweet!)... she broke up with you. Which means that she doesn't want all that you have to offer. So... I don't think you should be giving her a bunch of "good stuff" while allowing her to run around as she pleases. Your ex is an adult - she needs to grow up. And while you THINK hanging around is what's best for the child... as much as it hurts.... it probably is not.

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Thanks, RedDress, I'll be chewing on that for a while.


On a side note, she doesn't have sex before marriage. In the year and a half that we were together, we never did. I trust that she's going to do the same for any other guy.


Her reason for breaking up with me was so that she could heal from the pain I caused due to my anger issues. She wants me to manage my anger better so that she can trust me again. We've talked about staying together without living together for the summer as an option because she just wants me to change my behavior and until I do, she can't be on the receiving end when I lash out for no good reason.


Also, she insists on paying me back for the bills when she starts her career. I've argued with her over this because I just wouldn't be able to accept money from her when I feel it's my job to provide for them anyways, but she says she would feel better paying me back each month for however much she can. She knows that I don't have to do this and she makes it clear how grateful she is for it. I simply don't care about money. It never mattered to me before and probably never will. Bills will always be a part of my life and she's very responsible when it comes to finances. We were never in debt and I never had a need to spend my money on nice things because in the end, it's just stuff. I feel much happier providing them with a steady place. Suzie has her own room there and I don't want her being bounced around from place to place.


As far as another man being in Suzie's life - my ex made it clear that she wouldn't introduce ANY man into her life unless it becomes EXTREMELY serious. She's knows the damage it would cause for a girl to have a number of father figures in her life. Also, Suzie's bio-dad has never been around. I kid you not, I have spent more time with Suzie in 2-3 months than he has in her whole life. I'm the closest to a father she has and my ex doesn't want that to change.


So I don't know if that helps you understand how difficult this is, but it's left me at my wit's end.

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