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Awkward Situation w/ Girlfriend & her Daughter

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I know this is long, so cliffnotes are at the bottom:


So my g/f and I have been dating for more than 6 mos now. When I first met her she would let her daughter sleep with her most of the time, but she was already cutting that back b/c she said a 5 1/2 yr old should be sleeping in her own bed through the night. Her ex has been doing the same thing since they spoke about it.


I have started to stay over more and more; now I stay nearly every single night. The daughter doesn't know though - she thinks I leave after she goes to bed and I'm gone for work before she rises in the morning.


I'm traveling on business this week and my g/f informed me that her daughter has slept with her (as a reward) for the past 3 days. She's made it clear each night that it was a 1-time deal and that she should not continue to ask in the future if she can sleep with mommy, but then a 1-time deal became a 3-time deal instantly.


This kind of tells me that she was cutting back the daughter sleeping with her b/c I was in the picture, not b/c it was the right thing to do for the daughter. I don't want the daughter to put together that when I'm in town she can't sleep with mom, but when I'm gone its OK. The daughter very much enjoys the privilege.


I did speak with my g/f about this before I left b/c she had informed her daughter more than a week ago that she could sleep with her Sunday night if she was good. She had been using it as leverage for good behavior and it worked pretty well, but I warned that the daughter would start asking again and was concerned it might backfire. My g/f assured it me it was a 1-time deal and she insisted her daughter knew that as well (but then again - the 1-time deal did become a 3-time deal).


I guess this makes me feel like she's more lenient and more of a friend to the daughter when I'm not around as compared to when I am around. My own beliefs are that the daughter should sleep in her own room, but that's not b/c I want to sleep with mom, its b/c she's 5 and should be sleeping in her own room. I feel like its my duty to stop staying over so frequently now b/c I have changed something that she obviously wouldn't have changed if I weren't in the picture. My g/f doesn't want that but I don't want to be the reason that the daughter doesn't get something that she very much looks forward to when I'm not around.


I brought it up and tonight the daughter will probably sleep in her own room... but I believe its b/c I said something, not b/c she feels its the right thing to do. What should I do? I don't want to be the person that interferes with their relationship. If that's what my g/f wants and believes is right, then that's what she should feel comfortable allowing. The last thing I want is the daughter to know she doesn't get everything she used to simply b/c I'm around (even though she technically doesn't know I stay the night, she will realize that I wasn't around for dinner or whatever the night she got a reward).


What do you think? My g/f told me not to make a big deal out of this and that I should continue to stay all the time... but then again I don't leave for business again for quite a while. Is she saying and doing what she wants just to make me feel better? If I left, would she just allow the daughter to sleep with her again? If she did, would it even really matter? I may very well just be over-reacting and the daughter isn't putting any of this together. Who knows.



My g/f allows the daughter to sleep with her when I'm not around (ie: traveling for work), but not when I am around. Should I be worried the daughter will resent me for not getting the same attn and rewards when I am there vs when I'm not?

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-----> "Chuckles"


No, no this isn't funny. But, I'm completely guilty of the same thing. I let my kids sleep in my bed... I had them going to sleep in their room for awhile (because it was the right thing to do and because my boyfriend stayed over.)


For the past couple weeks, we've (my kids and I) have been sleeping in my bed.


I too worry that if my bf and I get more serious, my kids will resent him for taking his spot.


How's your relationship with the two of them? I think it's possible she will resent you a bit but if her mom makes it clear that it's not because you are there, maybe she'll be alright. (since she doesn't know you stay overnight.)

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I think at 5 years old, whether you are staying the night or not the mother should put her foot down and have her child sleeping in her own bed. Given my son still crawls into the bed with usually after 2am or so but once he turns 2 here shortly that is done for good unless he is sick or something. She keeps this up and as PP has said the child may end up resenting you as she gets older and thinking you took her mommy and special time away from her thereforeeee causing some bad behavior from the child. All I can say is when you're there make the child feel as special as you can and include her in small activities that you do and allow her to have mommy time, just not sleeping in mommy's bed.

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My g/f allows the daughter to sleep with her when I'm not around (ie: traveling for work), but not when I am around. Should I be worried the daughter will resent me for not getting the same attn and rewards when I am there vs when I'm not?


I read your entire post but am quoting the Cliff notes for purposes of simplicity.


Sharper, this is a fine line you're walking. The issue here is how you would raise your child vs how she is raising her child. You would like to see things be done differently than the way she's doing them, but step back and ask yourself this question: Do I have a right to try and influence my beliefs upon her and her daughter? This is a tough one.


I can see how you disagree with her rewarding her daughter by her being able to sleep with her mom. I agree with you in that she's rewarding her daughter with the very thing she's trying to ween her off. Not much logic there, is it?


However, how do you plan on determining your role in the big picture - specifically, regarding her daughter? I know you obviously care about the well being of the child and you're trying to make this relationship work otherwise you wouldn't put so much thought and effort into setting this whole thing up and making it right.


My advice would be depending on how long you've been seeing her, I would initially take a passive approach, which would get more and more active as time went on. It's tough for a child and mother to get their routines shaken up by a man and it's tough for the man to know what he should do, if anything. Which is why I say be passive initially then slowly introduce your ideas to her while trying to not make a big issue out of it. I know this is not easy.

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Thanks so much for your replies.


The daughter is the center of both our worlds. Even though we've only been together just 6+ months I have to admit that I do care and love them both dearly.


I've been taking a mostly passive approach, only really giving my opinion when I feel its needed or asked for, but even then I just brush on what's needed. I don't want to take over, I want to add to both of their lives. I don't like disagreeing with my g/f over small things b/c I don't want her to feel that I'm attacking the way she wants to raise her child. Just because I wouldn't allow my 5 1/2 yr old to sleep with me (given the opportunity) doesn't mean its wrong for her to want that. I'm open to her beliefs and thoughts, I just don't want the daughter to resent me. Although she doesn't now, I would hate for her to resent me b/c she's not given the same level of "quality" time with mom when I'm around vs when I'm not.


Thanks so much for your input. I think that I'll continue to remain a little passive for now. As things get more serious I will add more input where I can.

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