Jump to content

Need advice/help sorting priorities between daughter and girlfriend


essex boy

Recommended Posts

Thats sounds bad but let me explain......I'm trying to put both of them first, at the right times but probably impossible!!

My girlfriend has said my daughter see's me more than she does, she didnt say it nasty my girl is quite level headed. I see my daughter on a wednesday night for dinner which is a half hour extra drive after work then take her home. I see my daughter then every friday night til saturday afternoon one weekend then all weekend the next til sunday afternoon. Sometimes now my girlfriend will come and stay while im with my daughter but rarely as she works most weekends its the long weekend with my daughter, lately she has been booking weekends off to give more commitment to our relationship which is now ten months on, we both love each other very much and have a great relationship (I said in earlier thread that she backs off, maybe the above is why)

 

My girlfriend lives 50 miles away and doesnt drive so i have to go and get her if she is staying, which doesnt bother me but can be stressful as my daughter doesnt like travelling, i have told my twelve year old daughter to be fair and remember i give up a lot of time for her and life is about give and take, although i wont make her travel all the time.

 

My dilemma is tht my girlfriend has had a tough life of relationships and never been put first, her main relationship being 23 years long. She has said that she wants me there with her when she is invited out and when im not she comes home alone she feels she is single or may aswell be. I understand where she is coming from. I also understand what its like to be unwanted as a child so i dont want to make my daughter feel unwanted so i tread carefully. My girl really wants me to be with her this friday night on a boat party but its not for kids, I didnt see my daughter a few weeks ago on a fridy to be with my girl at a birthday party and i knew my daughter felt put out but i thought im not asking for much and stood firm on my decision, i knew that if she was enjoying herself she would soon forget about it. My girl really wants me to be there this friday but i feel if i do it close to the last time i didnt see my daughter she will feel put out and question if i want to see her at all, she hasnt had the best time with her mum but i think her mum has calmed down now, i hope she has. I know my ex wife used to make her feel very unwanted...bu fingers crossed she doesnt do that anymore after i pointed out to her mum how she was making tamzyn feel.

 

So............my thoughts are to gradually not see my daughter on occassions, not often but i also need a life and to build one with my girl, i also need to be careful for my daughter not to resent my girlfriend for taking her away. But i will only do it gradually, not regularly pleas egive me your insight, i want to get this right.

 

thanks in advance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a tough situation. I think it's important to have one on one time w/ your girlfriend and time w/ your daughter is very important, too. How about making the Saturday nights you don't have your daughter your special date time w/ GF? I personally would only skip visits w/ daughter if it's something really important, perhaps like a wedding or an emergency, not for every party that comes along. Ask your GF to book her weekends off the times when you just have daughter until Saturday so you have the rest of the time just the two of you. Perhaps if something important comes up and you miss time w/ your daughter, make it up during the week, you know, we can't spend Friday night together so I thought instead we'd spend Thursday night or all day Sunday, whatever, so she knows she's important. I think this is completely reasonable.

 

Let your GF know she's important, hey every other Saturday and Sunday is our special one on one time. You say she's level headed so she must understand your daughter is a high priority in your life and it comes w/ the territory of dating someone w/ kids. Be careful in letting her guilt you into skipping time w/ your daughter because it could seriously damage your relationship w/ her. I have a feeling if you start skipping your visits w/ child, it'll become more and more often and that may be what your GF is hoping for.

 

Stay open in communication w/ GF so she knows where you're coming from. Best wishes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi jjkk, I do save my saturday nights off from my daughter to spend with my girlfriend, so much so i blow my friends invites off as my girls are my top priority. she told me a few months ago that wasnt enough as i see my daughter on a wednesday my girlfriend is usually off at that time and she needs more. I understand that as only spending one day in two weeks together isnt enough if we are going to go forward.

 

Making time up with my daughter during the week is a good idea. I tell my girlfriend how important she is but as she says actions speak louder than words. she understands my daughter doesnt have a great time with he rmum but things are better now my ex is settling with someone new (thank god!!) My girlfriend said dont ever try to be both parents as it doesnt work. Its a tough balanc and i hope my girl see's im tring o do everything,i m really under pressure. I might not see my daughter next wednesday so me and my girl dont have another week apart. I have offered to pick my girl up from work when she finishes at ten, bearing in mind i would leave at 6 am but she dont want tht, ive offered to see her when she is on earlies and has an evening free but she is usually too tired and wants to chill, Im up at 5 everyday and trying to give her what i can

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the weekends when you don't have your daughter, put your GF first, but when you have your daughter, she needs to be first. I wouldn't cancel weekends with her unless it is for a very rare and important event. If your GF can't deal, then she needs to date someone who lives closer and does not have children. Dating someone with kids can be difficult, I've done it before, and sometimes you feel left out or have plans canceled at the last minute and that makes you feel lonely. But, there are also a lot of benefits to dating a dad. Generally, someone who is more steady and willing and ready to dedicate himself to you, someone who is a little better at budgeting money even if they don't have much, someone who has watched a women go through a pregnancy and loved her body at it's best and worse... to me, dating a dad is a bigger commitment on my end because you do have less time, and you have the responsibility of balancing time with the kids and not feeling hurt when your boyfriend puts his child first. Not everyone is cut out to date a parent, and your girlfriend may not be as ready to date a father as she thought she was going into it. Just a thought.

 

If I was in your place, I would hold firm with my girlfriend, you have very limited time with your daughter and she comes first in that time and space. You can focus all your energy on her when you don't have her. If she wants to see you more often, she can look into a car or greyhound bus tickets... but you are already driving in circles all the time and I don't feel as if it is fair to her for her to expect even more from you.

 

BTW, sorry if I sound bitter... my mom gave up time for me when I was a teenager to date her now husband, and even when we are getting along better then usual, those bitter feelings are still there, even though it has been years and I no longer live at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Essex boy, Ok so if she has Wednesday nights off is there anyway to change your daughter's night to a different night when GF works? That way you and GF can have Wed. nights since she has night off and you and your daughter could have a different night during the week?

 

And I agree w/ Jennifer 89, dating a parent has many benefits that outweigh difficulties of spending enough time together. Best of luck. Let me know how it goes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just re-read your response. So I'm confused. she works most weekends and also during the week in which you've told her you'd see her when she's off early but she's too tired? How and when does she expect to get more time w/ you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, as a single mom with a daughter that now is estranged from her father: Big high five and hug for being a good dad to your daughter!!

 

This isn't an easy situation, but I wonder if the challenge can be turned somewhat to your advantage. Your relationship with your girlfriend seems very promising and long-term, and she seems pretty mature. I sense that part of her challenge is that she often feels single at these parties. As a woman it is the words "feels single" I latch on to. If those are her words it comes accross as "I'm alone and lonely, while you're with your daughter."

 

I would try to turn that around. You shouldn't feel torn between your gf and daughter. It creates competition between them, and is stressful for you. Instead, communicate to your gf that you view you three as a unit, your new family - make your gf your team mate in planning and executing the weekends with your daughter, make her a central part in making that time with your daughter special for all three of you. I think most women would take that as a big compliment and buy in to it quickly. It sure knocks on the head the feeling of loneliness and being an outsider.

 

And then I would talk about how lovely it is that every second week you two have the weekends for yourself as adults, and that you'd love to participate as her boyfriend on the events she's invited to on those weekends, and get to know her friends, colleagues, etc. As well as having romantic weekends by yourselves.

 

Vis-a-vis your daughter, I'm pretty sure she is aware that dad getting a new girl friend often means that the kids get dropped - kids that age often talk about that with friends. Be conscious of this, and speak to your daughter too about how you view the three of you as one team/one unit. I agree with what has been said - be careful not to cancel or postpone a weekend with your daughter. To be honest, I would rather leave my 12 year old at home alone or with a baby-sitter for a few hours than cancel - I'm sure her mom does from time to time, and if so you can draw that analogy for your daughter. It is a lot less harsh than canceling or postponing, which signals that she's prioritized down.

 

Final words: you guys ought to see if you can simplify the logistics. Why doesn't your gf drive? No car (hire a rental for the weekend)? No license (consider getting one)? Taxi one way (especially if she has to go solo to parties - would be nice for both of you to end the night together)? Trains? Don't let practicalities become a battle-ground.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jennifer,

 

thanks so much for your reply. It's hard because apart from this we have a great relationship, I want her to see she is being a little unfair but as she said last time asking you to give up one friday isnt a lot to ask. The only worrying thing she said after that was about going awy for a weekend in february to her parents 50th wedding anniversary, had i have said no she said that may have ended it for her or at least question whether we have a future. As it happens i thought if this is planned then this is not a problem, although this is third time ive been away in four years without my daughter, first time was a lads holiday to celebrate freedom, second was a lads weekend just for a laugh.

 

I know so well what you say about your mom, my mom had an affair and left us all for a while, I hated her with a passion for many many years coupled with her other affairs and her paying me to go away or whipping me with a dogs lead for asking questions! So i am very careful not to make my daughter feel unwanted especially as i had to tell her mum to pack in making her daughter feel unwanted with the things she says to her. My daughter is grown up for her age but has feelings and nobody wants to feel unwanted, plus id hate for my daughter to not like my girlfriend for taking me away from her, all those feelings cant be undone.

 

How do i get my girlfriend to understand......even though she has seen her girls let down by their dad regularly, now they are 18 and 20 they just see him as a money machine as if he cant commit he can at least do something for them in their eyes. I thought she might understand more?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your daughter should always come first, in my opinion. I don't have kids but I work with kids and I've seen first hand how easy it is for a kid, especially of that age, to feel neglected. Her mum hasn't treated her well, now she's met someone, there's also someone in your life...just imagine how this little girl feels.

Your girlfriend is not a kid. She's a grown woman who knew she got involved with someone who a/lives 50 miles away and b/has a young daughter. How does she expect you to be there whenever she's invited out?

Yes, you need a life but, surely, it can be with a woman who doesn't live so far away, can meet you during the week or is more independent. The fact that she has never been put first isn't your responsibility..your daughter is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First - I would sit them both down together. Your daughter is old enough to be in on these decisions, and you need to see how they can compromise with each other if you're serious about your GF.

 

Lay out the situation bluntly. Tell them they're not in competition, but since you can't clone yourself, you're running in circles trying to please them both - and all it's doing is burning you out. And ask them for some suggestions that involve them taking some initiative. Especially the GF, who, as an adult with a job, has more options to help.

 

For example - can your GF take a bus or shuttle to your area? Can your daughter? At 12 she's old enough, so if either of them can assist with some of the travelling, that's a big help right there.

 

Your daughter, IMHO, SHOULD be getting more time than your GF. She's close to teenage. Her parents no longer live together. And she needs to know through actions, not just words, that you are absolutely committed to being in her life as much as possible while she's growing up. If your GF can't deal with that and try to extend efforts to either join in, or plan around this - she's NOT the right girl for a permanent relationship with you and your daughter. Anyone with half a brain knows kids come first.

 

There shouldn't be, ever, a conflict where you're actually debating losing time with your child to push in the GF. She's the adult. She can get off her duff and meet you halfway.

 

Your daughter has a lot less potential to help out in this situation than the GF. So why are you doing cartwheels to pick up and drop off this lady? To reschedule your weekends and dates with your child? Has she made any efforts to change her schedule to see you? Is there a reason she doesn't drive besides preference? And I don't mean "scared to learn" but something like a medical condition that it would be difficult for her to function behind the wheel.

 

If there's no reason she can't except preference, and she's not willing to try and find alternate means to meet halfway, I'd SERIOUSLY consider how your life with her would pan out. She manages to get to work and shopping without you - so why can't she help with meeting you?

 

And I say this from the position of being the only driver in an extended family of 6. It SUCKS. I mean, it really sucks. Everyone depends on me for everything - store trips, appointments, work, you name it. And I end up feeling like a hamster on a wheel trying to get ahead and never getting there. Sure, there's public transpo - but do you think anyone (except hubby) wants to use it as long as I can get guilted into running? Heck no.

 

Take a step back and think - if you were looking at this from the outside, not the hectic inside, what would you be thinking? I'd up the expectations of the GF to what you'd expect of any adult in a partnership - she's not a child, and she will only rise to the expectation you set. If you offer to keep running like a madman, odds are, it won't change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thing is she sometimes puts her kids first and i respect that, in fact i admire it. she has blown me out on some nights we could have seen each other to be with one of her daughters which i didnt mind, although i felt put out when i realised we wouldnt see each other for a week and a half when i knew she wouldnt see her anyway......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to say this - but given she has kids to put first as well, and the distance - is it possible you're both just juggling too many commitments to really give a relationship at a distance what it needs? The complications you have - her time with kids, her work schedule, her lack of transportation, your dedication to being an involved parent - maybe there just isn't the room, timewise, for the kind of relationship you both crave and just can't do? I'd imagine that would become very frustrating - knowing what you both want is similar, but just not having the time and circumstances to be able to reasonably fulfill it. You can't make a week have 9 days, unfortunately.

 

If you lived closer, things like lunches and coffee could keep you going. But with a 50 mile difference, that's just not possible. And I'd imagine it would make weeknight get-togethers difficult even if you could resolve the transport, just with lost time in travelling.

 

Definitely sit down and talk to her, and express to her what problems you see. See what she thinks as well. See if there's a light at the end of the tunnel, or if you're both locked in position.

 

Are you both deeply tied to where you're located by homeownership and/or a job? I'd honestly be assessing if you guys are just overextending your "time budget" and setting yourselves up for endless frustration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you are so right. I work halfway between hers and mine now so there is potential to move closer. its quicker to get to hers after work than it is mine. you hsv givn me lots to chew on Mesemene, I will get bck to you properly tomorrow as i be up in 5 hours!! Thankyou so much for your input, it really is appreciated

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the day, you knew your daughter long before you knew your girlfriend. Your daughter isn't going to be 12 years old forever and one day, she's not going to make time to see you when this girlfriend has gone off and left you.

 

I think that the worst thing you could do, especially with how your ex wife has treated her own child, would be for you to abandon her for a girlfriend. She will take that to heart if you do that. Aside from the fact that it would not be fair to her. She should have a home with both of her parents. Seeing that that isn't a possibility, I dont' understand punishing her by withdrawing your attention, especially at an age where a girl really needs her father's influence, because of an insecure girlfriend.

 

Sometimes, it's just not the right time for a relationship. There is time enough once your daughter is gone to university for you to build whatever kind of life you need to build with whomever, but I think it's a huge mistake you will end up resenting your girlfriend over to toss aside your child.

 

Your child comes first before any girlfriend. Period. She didn't ask to be born and it's not fair to treat her like an inconvenience. Attend to your duty to your child. That is what is fair.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always kids first.

I would have a serious talk with my partner and lay out the cards. Maybe there is something workable in terms of equally giving time to each of these women. Time will come when our kids no longer needs or prefer to be around us, so while they do, take advantage. Most of the time when women want to, they will. It will be hard at first but of course, in time it will be a given. This is not permanent, tell her. Things will change eventually.

I dated a single dad once and I never can see him on weekdays, never able to set foot in his home (a different story and I truly resented that), and accepted the every other weekend overnights and occassional weekdays. While I do miss him, it gave me a lot of independence that I didn't feel like I was with someone. We eventually parted ways but tried to remain friends ( impossible ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate all your responses. Mesemene, I think your right we are at a point where something has to give or not. I have suggested me staying at hers more regular as its easier for both of us but she doesnt want that. She needs to get her priorities right, it seems she is only concerned with seeing me for parties so she is not alone, then she will make more time for me? She did say a while she wanted more but then after 3 weeks of seeing each other lots she decided to back right off and come up with excuses to not see me. to be honest i think she is scared of getting into commitment, as a few months ago she was saying she is gonna hang up her party shoes, she wants to settle down. Now she is all over the place...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other to add is, she was going to go out tomorrow night, got cancelled, there was an opening for us to see each other. She sent a long text back saying now she not going her daughter wants to have a night with her doing nails etc before the big night out friday and she is torn in what to do, my reply was let me help you: where your daughters are concerned you shouldnt be torn as I know this feeling very well, your girls are important as is how they feel i dont want and wont have them put out on my account so im telling you to have tomorrow night with them and have a great girls night in. i got a short message back saying i dont wanting you feeling torn either. I think she got where i was coming from and went very quiet. I hope she thinks what i said and i meant it, as you can guess i hope she got the point

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i understand why she needed me to go with her. her sister has always had one up on her all her life

 

If she's going to base what she does socially based on living up to her sister - she's going to have to get her priorities in better order. Ny that, I mean that her hmm, "success milestones" probably need some readjusting now that she's single and dating as a parent.

 

I would have a frank talk with her. And I would tell her that while in the short term, it might make her feel good to have to run to escort her to an event - down the line, is she going to respect you if you don't put parenthood before social life? It isn't an easy mental adjustment for someone accustomed to using a sibling as a stick to measure themselves against - but as a parent, if she doesn't, she's going to end up making some really bad long term choices in partners as her social and parenting life conflict.

 

And while I'm not certain this IS the case - if she's still sorting out her own issues - maybe that's part of why she's backed off a bit? Maybe she's just not ready to move a relationship up a notch if she's still doing some internal sorting?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...