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I like my boyfriend's daughter... but worry about why I'm jealous of their relationship!

Tagged as: Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 June 2005) 59 Answers - (Newest, 3 October 2012)
A , anonymous writes:

I have been dating my b/f for about 3 years now. He has a daughter from a previous relationship who lives with us. I never thought I would be a stepmom, I hate it! Don't get me wrong, I love this girl so much. I'm 23, she is 8. We talk all the time but as friends, not in a mother/daughter way. The thing is I am so jealous of my b/f's relationship with his daughter. I know it sounds ridiculous but it's true. They talk more, they spend more time together, they're more affectionate with each other and it just kills me. I feel like he gives me a hug and kiss goodbye just so I won't feel left out. I love him and I wan't to someday marry him but I need to overcome this like right now. Will this feeling of jealousy ever go away?

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A female reader, Feeling left out United States +, writes (3 October 2012):

I am having the exact same issue. He will hug and kiss her to death, but i get nothing. I know he cares about me, but he wont show me affection.

He says he is a machine and cant show affection because his father was mean to him growing up. Which is a bunch of bull because he hugs his daughter who is 7 and did i mention he lets her sleep in our bed still.

I have only been with him for a year, but i cant stand it.

She loves me and even calls me mom by mistake. I love her too,and she is the daughter i always wanted ( I have 2- teenage boys) but i too a

Jealous and sick of it. What to do?

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A female reader, krissy23 United States +, writes (7 May 2012):

I have the same problem , My husband now thinks I'm crazy and its starting to really cause problems in my relationship and it's to the point that I don't even feel loved by him no more. I love him and my step son but I'm sick of feeling this way what do I do. I think its because he's not effectionate .

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 January 2012):

Yes it will get better as a stepdaughter I know what u mean my stepmom told me the same thing we had a good relationship just simply find activites that include u and the family simple things go camping or watch tv together play games that include more than to people ur not invading but u would be sharing in the moment sometime it is what it takes simply involve urself don't go in a different room because then there is no way u will get involved I hope I make sense and it helps u

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A female reader, Lovedbyg United States +, writes (30 October 2010):

I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years now and he has 4 children by four different woman. I am 32 and he is 36. I know some women may say damn thats alot to take on and clearly he was a man whore thats why he has all those different women as mothers. Its not that black and white. Anywho of the four children three of them are girls. 19,13, and 6 years old. I get along fine with the 19 year old and the 6 year old, but that 13 year old....Lord have mercy on my soul. I am having a hard time with her. When she comes around i get an instant attitude. She is very rude, grown for her age, sopiled, smart mouth, manipulating, fast just the worst teenage girl i have every seen in my whole 32 years of living. I recently went on a short vaycay with his children and my mother, aunt, and cousins. Well at breakfast she stood up and said "I dont like any of my fathers girlfriends when i first meet them because they are my competition" I was shocked that she had said such a thing in front of my mother and fianlly in front of her dad. I thought now there is my proof that this little she devil has had it out for me since day one. My BF just laughed it off like it was nothing. My mother pulled me aside and told me I have get to get out of this relationship. As of two days I realized that I do. Ladies as much as we love these men it is not worth the sleepless nights and wet pillow cases. I am going to let him have his children because I would NEVER come between any man and his kids. Him and daughter can have each other. I feel sorry for him more so than myself,because i can move on. I dont have any children. He on the other hand will meet yet another woman and deal with these same problems until he teaches his daughter her place as his child and not his girlfriend. That is the role that their daughters are trying to take. In the end ladies its not worth it. If a man truly Loves you this would not even be an issue. You guys would collectively come to a mutal understanding. good luck girls!

your truly

D Dallas

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 July 2010):

I am the one that just wrote to you all to GET OUT if you're 'just dating' a guy with a child! I've read several other posts, and agree with so many of you that say, quit being self centered, grow up, and think of the child. I agree. I know all that....I really do. I'm a mom and believe it or not, a great mom to my own kids (who are grown and don't live with us, never have).

Again, for 6 years while we were dating, he made it 'all about me', 'all about us', then boom...his 'out of state' daughter moved in with us full time. I've never been a self centered person, but my kids were grown, we waited purposely to get married, until my youngest graduated. We KNEW his daughter's mom would never give up the $500 month child support and let his daughter move in with us EVER!!! (She's never worked a day in her life....seriously.) Wrong. She got into drugs etc. after we got married, and we ended up with his 13 year old daughter. The toughest time EVER to take on a girl. I'm sorry...my husband is a GREAT man, he's a very good dad and husband (now in that order)...but I've never had to share him. We used to be able to just up and go and do whatever we wanted. We did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and now it's all about his daughter. WHICH I KNOW IT SHOULD BE....I truly wouldn't respect him like I do if he was any other way. So please believe me...I know this is how it 'should be' for his daughter's sake. I just had a vision of what our marriage would be like, and then I was blind sided, and now am a FULL TIME step mom. I could deal with the idea of being a 'part time' step mom, and I am having hell with this.

Anyone out there in my shoes? I need help. I truly am a good person but I can NOT get past this. I cry more than I smile anymore. She's a descent kid. But she's grown up for 12 years learning how to manipulate, and she's great at it. Her dad is truly just getting to know her as well as myself, as she would only be with him, literally, about 3 weeks TOTAL out of the year, and never consecutively. So seriously, it was always vacation time when she was with him in the 12 years prior. No rules, no chores etc. just happy vacation time for her/them.

I truly need help/advice,,,,someone that's been where I'm at, as in BOOM, here's a big surprise, you just gave birth to a l3 year old. It would be better if she was a boy, because my husband would make damn sure he was outside working his butt off,teaching him how to be a young man instead of letting her rule his/our world. And making him do right, instead of making excuses for his 'little princess.' That's what she put her cell # in his phone...."princess". I wanta puke!!

I 'was' the woman of the hosue for a month and a half, she runs the house now. She re-organizes the pantry, the cupboards to suit her. I even quit going to the grocery store, because my husband would take her in to get MORE later, that she wanted. ie; ice cream, chips, etc. etc. It's sad. What a great man I 'had'. He's all hers now. He's trying, but wow is it different. I'm so sad. Please....anyone out there in 'sorta' the same situation? Please help! I'm truly ready to throw in the towel on a GREAT man. It truly makes me sick to my stomach. Again...you single girls that 'think' you're in love with a man with a kid....RUN FAST!!! Do what you need to do, but get out of it, and make it a rule....NEVER date a man with a child. NEVER!!! I see why blended families/marriages don't make it. I'm scared.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 July 2010):

I am here to tell all of you that can still get out....GET OUT!!! I don't care how much you're in love....if you have a boyfriend with a child - GET OUT NOW, while you still can. I do not mean to be a downer. But I was with my husband for 6 years, his daughter lived out of state. We get married, his daughter's mom goes off the deep end, and we end up with full custody of his 13 year old daugher a month and a half after we're married. My world has been turned upside down. EVERYTHING has changed. I'm a good woman, mother of 2 older kids, and thought I could deal...I can't!! The bottom line is there are no 2 people that parent alike. I KNEW and stil KNOW I found the greatest gift in my husband....he's an unbelievable human being. And his daughter moving in with us, has taken everything away that we knew as a couple. I've tried so hard to find ways to handle this, and I am a very strong willed person, but I can't take this. I don't know what to do. I keep thinking....only 4 more years, she'll be graduated and hopefully gone to college. I don't think I can do it. I travel with my job, and can pick the times I leave. Needless to say I'm traveling a lot more. My husband knows it, it hurts him, he knows how I feel, he can't be in 2 places at one time. He used to go with me...it's all done, it's all changed. PLEASE if you can still leave a 'boyfriend' that has a child - get the hell going. You'll hurt for awhile, but you'll get over it, and then go find someone WITHOUT a kid. PlEASE trust me on this.

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A female reader, Vuitton84 United States +, writes (28 July 2010):

I can relate to your issues. My boyfriend gets his daughter every other week at our home and when she is around it feels as if our relationship is on the back burner and those two are in their own little world. I love his daugther to pieces as well as him, but I have no idea where this jealousy is coming from???

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 April 2010):

I am 23 Years old and I am with a man that is 20 years older than me. We have been together for two years and he has a lot of kids close to my age. At the beginning of our relationship they made my life difficult they would insult me and one of the them even got her hands on me for no reason. Now we get a long as friends but i will never be able to see them as my own children. They are all very bratty and spoiled. He treats them like they are princess when they are 21 years old and honestly they do not deserve it.They stress him out all the time and i hate seeing my man in that way .

One is still living at home and we cant have any privacy. Shes always tagging along with us she has even slept on the same bed with us. I am just tired of this situation that sometimes i feel like rethinking my life over but i am in love with him.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2010):

I don't even LIKE my bf daughter. She is a young teenager - rude, sarcastic, immature, completely perverted and slutty, troublemaker, fails every subject in school, etc.

She is sarcastic to my face, when I told my BF I didn't like that, he yelled at ME, then asked her about it and she was like,"that's just my sense of humor, daddy dearest" and he told me I just had to deal with it and stop making "rules for other people."

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 January 2010):

I am so glad I found this, I am 22 my bf is 20 he has a 5 month old daughter, him and his babys mom have been broken up since she found out she was preggo because she admited to sleeping with her ex and it might not be his. Two months after she was born they found out she is his...... I can't stand his baby mama she tries to hold him on a leash and not let him see his daughter because she's selfish, I am sad because I won't have his first baby but I feel better because one day if we have a baby he will know it is his and will be with me through the whole pregnancy so it will be his first expeiernce of having a baby in that perspective. Like the other dude was in the delivery room not my bf when she was born.... of course my mcdreamy has baggage. But another way I look at it is his daughter will be around me so long and she will never know what its like for mommy and daddy to be together so I hope she won't resent me for being in her life for so long, I have tons of friends who love there step parents and my dad and mom were adopted. I believe love is thicker than blood. I hate ex girls and baby mamas who are bitches obviously not all! Thanks for helping me think things through everyone.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 January 2010):

i hope i can help as well or maybe someone help me, im 24 he is 34, she is 10. we've been together for 5 yrs, mom is/or was a drug addict. just recently she started coming along in her life, but till yesterday she'd never spoke to me. she made a scene in front of the childs school and now the child wants to run away because of this disaster of her mom , her dad and myself.

like most women who have responded, my b/f and i were inseparable where ppl said we were moving to fast. i didnt meet his daughter till 6 mths into the relationship and kept my distance because i was fresh out of high school, immature ], young, clueless especially in love like a puppy i didnt want to get attached or bothered and ruin our relationship. plain and simple i was and still confused of my emotions towards her because he is so closed minded. noi know i've had a problem opening up too, but i have changed my ways and every time he asks whats wrong i try to say whats in my head although i think its not fare that he doesnt do the same.

the last three years have been dealing with me and how i feel, my fears of him just leaving me and i have wasted my youth, if we do end up living a full life together what if she doenst accept me, what if im not ready to be a"step mom", and at last fears of jelousy. i have realized that all these fears are jelousy towards them together, when im with them i try to be someon im not because subconsiously i feel i have to be strict and in order, but im not like that, and when i dont think and i am myself i feel like its not right and of course when im then strict grouchy lady i then feel remorse and jelousy because he distances from me.

so, in reality i dont know if its that im jelouse or mainly bothered.

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A female reader, Jinx South Africa +, writes (21 January 2010):

Jinx agony auntI know exactly how you feel. I am actually so glad to see that I am not the only one out there that feels this way! I 'Google'd' "I am jealous of my boyfriends kids" and was genuinely surprised when I saw several results!

I have been with my boyfriend for over 1 year now. I am 21. He has 2 kids from a previous relationship. A 3yr old boy and a 4yr old girl. I met my boyfriend when I was teaching his kids at Nursery School. By that stage I had been teaching the kids for a year, so I already had a relationship with them. I do understand that the transition from teacher to daddy's girlfriend was difficult, but they adapted incredibly well.

My problems came in when I moved in with him. The kids only stay with us twice a week, so that isn't an issue for me. My mom died in 2006, and ever since then my relationship with my father became very rocky. I was daddy's girl my entire childhood, so not being able to have a relationship with my dad was incredibly difficult. He became resentful towards me and used to pack my bags and lock me out the house because I 'look like my mother'. My father kicked me out the house for the last time and my boyfriend took me in. Living in an independent environment is incredible and I have an amazing relationship with my boyfriend.

For some reason though, once my family stopped speaking to me because of my dad, I started to develop a jealousy towards the relationship that my boyfriend has with his kids, specifically his daughter. My boyfriend is an amazing dad and he has a wonderful relationship with both of his kids. I went to see a psychologist about my father and the issues that were growing within me. She told me that my jealousy was because I longed for that relationship with my father.

It makes complete sense to me, but it still doesn't make it easy to deal with. Whenever my boyfriend's daughter is at our house, I move into "maid-mode" and scrub every possible dish available to avoid feeling the way I do. Every time I see him hold her, hug her or kiss her, I feel an emptiness in the pit of my stomach. Whether that is longing or pure jealousy I am not sure, but I do know that I hate it.

I spoke to my boyfriend about it, and he does make an extra effort to show affection towards me when his kids are around. We have a very affectionate relationship, so that is important to me.

I think the best thing to do is to chat to your boyfriend. I know, if you are anything like me, you would rather stab yourself in the foot with a blunt object, but I promise, you feel so much better when it is out there as opposed to being bottled up inside. Also, it really helps both of you when he knows what's going on inside your head - at least then you can try and find a way to make you feel more comfortable when his child is around and make you better able to deal with your emotions.

Hope this helps.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 October 2009):

I'm in a similar situation also. I'm 20 and I'm currently dating a guy who is 25. He has a 4 year old daughter (almost 5). Its very difficult. I mean it wasn't in the beginning.

Things were so good at the start. We were inseparable, I had no problem with his daughter being around or taking her out or even him being affectionate with her. I thought it was awesome. (her mom works at a strip club and maybe sees her daughter 16 times out of the year).The first half of our relationship was good. But then see we live with his family (grandparents, mom+step dad, sister and his daughter). Things started to get bad when his family started to get involved.

To sum it all up things everything was good from months 1-6. but then everything started to go downhill. His family tried to make her be with us every minute. They even made her sleep with us every single night for the first year. And thats hard. I feel that I need some alone time with my significant other. She had her own bed with his sister who is 9. I got so frustrated you know. And it started to build up inside a little bit around month 4, but I just ate it up, because I had never met anyone like him, he just completes me. I figured it would go away.

I guess Around month 5 almost 6, I started to get more to myself. I didn't tell him how I felt, my jealous feelings started to get stronger and stronger. I don't like drama and people getting into my business but thats what happends when you live with you boyfriends family.

Our relationship went downhill around month 7. His family just kept nagging and nagging. I cried so many nights. Soon I felt like he forgot about me. I would complain that I wish that his family would mind there own business, and it just put him in the middle. He stopped being as affectionate with me and it seemed like it he was happier and more affectionate when his daughter was around. And that just hurt me and killed me inside. I didn't want her around.

Finaly around our anniversary. We didn't do anything, he was hung over because the night before was his best friends bday party. I begged him not to get too drunk because the next day was a special one for me to be with him. But he did anyways. And he didn't care. And to put it on top his family kept doing there same routine and guilt trips to him.

The first 3 months into our 1yr and 3 month relationship I broke up with him. I tried to tell him how I felt between months 6-1yr. how I felt about his family getting involved, his daughter sleeping with us, and him telling me his friends were more important. And he told me I was selfish and immature, I need to grow up, go back to the mainland and that I needed to find someone else like a high school crush. I was so hurt by that.

One day about a month before our 2nd valentines day he went out with his friends. He left like 9pm and said he'd be back around 12am didn't come back till 2am. It was like that for the rest of the week. I got tired of it. I left and went with friends. The next night I was gonna do the same. He came back early before I left and I told him it was over. That I gave up, That since his friends are more important and your daughter and your family always getting involved that...I gave up. I packed my bag.

That was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But someone once told me "that if you tell someone how you really feel and they just shut you down, and if things get worse and never betrer

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 April 2009):

I totally understand where you are coming from. My relationship is totally different. I have been dating my B/F on and off for the past four years. He has a fifteen year old daughter that is jealous of my kids and me. Her father and i had a daughter a year ago, and she is jealous of that baby.

She lies and does things to try to get her dads attention. He usually falls for it. She runs away and so that her dad can come down there and it does not matter rather she is getting positive attention of negative attention. As long as she gets attention.

She comes to my house and hides things so that my kids can not find it and her dad usually defends her by saying she does not have a reason to do that and she does not have a reason to lie and it was to the point where him and I were fighting because when she would come over I would get an instant attitude because I knew she was coming up there and something bad would happen, so it put me in a very foul mood.

The last time she came to my house she tried to set the house on fire by hiding a remote control inside a lamp. The lamp was smoking when it was turned on. She denied it of course and her dad asked how do I know she did it. I told him well my kids are not going to try and burn down there house. I told him she was never allowed back to our house and he does not like it he can leave.

I have to worry about my children not his. That is not my obligation so your situation could be WORSE. COUNT YOUR BLESSING!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 April 2009):

n answer to your question....no......it won't.

And the resentment will build. She WILL come between you.

Sorry.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 March 2009):

I have been married for almost 5 years. I re-married and stated that to be successful, we have to make each other a priority before the children. It has not been the case. His 23 year old daughter worships the ground my husband walks on. If I am around and disagree with him, she makes sure to prove him right no matter what. She follows him around like a puppy dog when here. She now lives out of state but they talk and connect. That is the key word. His kids are priority, he gets his ego boosted by them, he even was going to keep my name off the deed of the house we built and paid for together to have them inherit telling me they would not rip me off. I have two kids too, one living part time her. His kids chose his ex-wife.

In counseling I said that he and I do not connect and I despise the connection he has with his daughter because he does not connect with me on anything. The deed issue os resolved, I try to find ways to connect, now he is worried I will rip them off if he writes a will.

I want to be first, like a man and wife should be with each other. That way the kids learn to cherish their spouse's as well....

He is visiting his daughter, taking two days off work to deliver a bookcase he built her for her birthday. He can plan that but I feel like an obligation. I do not do well being second fiddle.

Stepfamilies stink!

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A female reader, Lady D-Vyne United Kingdom +, writes (10 June 2008):

Good morning,

Firstly I'd like to say thank you to everybody who's been willing to share their experience in search of advice - I've spent the last 2 weeks in a very emotional state, trying to figure out whether or not I am capable of continuing my relationship with my bf.

After having read this thread yesterday I decided to talk to my bf. I am 25, he is 21, his son is 2. One thing I'm happy about is I do not feel this jealousy that you do, but this could be because his son is still so young, maybe that will come later..who knows...My bf told me he doesn't expect anything from me, says I can get as involved or not as involved as I want. I told him I was scared of his ex thinking I'm trying to mussle in on her son and play mum when she isn't around, he told me he thinks she will be happy to see me getting involved... he also said it would make him appy to see me getting involved and wanting to get to know his son.

My bfs son has been over 3 times now, twice I have hid away in my room and cried, last sunday was the first time i've made any effort to interact with him - and it was hard. I've realised after reading everybody's accounts that I need to grow up and accept my bf and my sons relatrionship and do what ever I can to help them have a good relationship.I'm not a big fan of children, I don't like interacting with them, I don't understand them and really really feel I don't want children of my own at all. My bf and I have such a special, loving connection that I feel like i'd be a mug if I threw away what we have because I can't deal with the fact he has a son. In a way I suppose I am actually a little happy about the situation because my bf has told me he doesnt want any more children... and I do like the idea of watchin him be a good dad without having to change the nappies or give the "sex" talk!

One thing that is playing on my mind alot regarding this situation, and I feel very under pressure, is the fact that my mother is a devout catholic, has been with my dad and only my dad, married at 21, first child at 23. She had a very poor, caged childhood, an abusive father, I know she longs for both of her daughters to raise a family, so she can be grandmother and see us do what she did... and stay at home and play housewife - this is not the life I want and I know that by sticking by my bf who has a son she will always resent me, what I am doing is very against what she believes is right.... my sister also had an abortion a couple of years ago and my mother expressed how she would help my sister take care of the baby if she wanted to change her mind and keep it. My sis felt terrible about going through with it, she knew how disappointed mum was :(, but also knew she wasn't ready for a child.

I feel like I'm being selfish, but its MY life, isn't it?

If my mother had not married my English dad and come to England to raise her family, she may have had the Italian raised daughters she always hoped for... unfortunately as much as she loves us both, we haven't given her what she wanted from 2 daughters.

I don't think she will ever be able to accept that I may become a step-mom. I do secretely hope that one day I may have a change of heart and want a child, then at least I could give something back to my mum :(

I just hope I'm making the right decision in taking on my bf and his son... any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou,

DVyne

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 May 2008):

I have these feelings too. I like my boyfriend's 3 yr old son we have a lot of fun together, the 3 of us. I like our relationship then... but once in a while I feel kind of jealous, and I know it is wrong. I hate the feeling I get, and I hate this side of me.

Sometimes I feel this.. when we kiss or hug, he protests verbally and/or physically pushing us apart. Not always, sometimes he just competes with me. Also I've had some sleepless nights after he wakes up crying for him, and I'm left alone. I know his son needs him and should have his time and attention mostly, considering he only gets his dad 1/2 the time.

I love my boyfriend. He is definitely "the one". I know he is a great father. I love and respect him so much for who he is.

I want a way to get past this feeling. I know it's not ok, that's why I don't act on it. I do NOT need the judgments like I've read in the past replies. I already feel bad enough. I just want help to get over this horrible feeling.

I know I could talk to my boyfriend about it. He's very easy to talk to, but on this particular subject I feel embarrassed because it does sound selfish and immature, which I am not! This feeling is real! Even for the most loving, caring person. That's why it hurts me so badly to feel this way. It is a vicious cycle.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2008):

I know this is an old post, but it appears that people are still reading it and replying, even after 3 years. While I don't know the ultimate fate of the relationship of the particular girl who posted the question, I feel it is something a LOT of us are going through and it ought to be addressed, for the sake of many families or soon-to-be-families out there.

I am a young woman (21 years) dating a guy my age who has a 2 year old daughter. He's not even divorced from his wife; they're still sorting out custody issues. She lives two states away, thank goodness.

My boyfriend and I have been living together and dating for 3 months, and I've only met the child once. She stayed with us for ten days. It was a challenge for me, but also a learning experience.

A little background on me (which I believe is important, because upbrining has a lot to do with how we handle things later): I grew up an only child, and my parents divorced when I was 3. My father never wanted or had anything to do with me after that. He refused to even pay the required child support, and purposely didn't hold jobs for very long just so his salary wasn't garnished. So, you can probably imagine the lack of fatherly affection and the feeling of instability already caused by the first man in my life--or, I should say, absent from it.

So back to my first experience as a "daddy's girlfriend..." His daughter was young enough to have all the demands of a baby, but old enough to recognize that I was an 'intruder.' She wiggled her way between us a bunch of times. My kissing, hugging, or holding hands with Dad was often interrupted by "Nooooo!" and "My daddy!!!" and even her occasional physical intervention. I did my best not to show any signs of being bothered by this (even though it made me uncomfortable), and I could tell my boyfriend was doing his best to make us both happy. "Honey, she can hold my hand if she wants! Here, come and sit with us," he told his daughter sweetly.

During the day, things generally went fine. Most of the time, his daughter would play nicely with both of us. She didn't seem to mind me too much, overall. (I'm sure that'll change though.)

Night time was probably the hardest for me, and I think it's situations like these that cause the most problems for women who are new to the guys-with-kids situation. My boyfriend would go lay her down to sleep and stay in her room for hours, usually falling asleep with her. It was hard to fall asleep alone, and I did feel jealous and even angry.

But I talked to my mom on the phone about it the next day, and she made me realize something VERY important. "Do you remember when you were little, and I would do the same thing? I'd tuck you in, and you'd be scared or just unable to sleep... you just needed someone there."

She told me I also did the same things my boyfriend's kid does when we kiss or hold hands. "You used to throw a FIT if I was affectionate with anyone," my mom said. I imagine most little kids get jealous in this situation, just like we adults do. Even though we're not 'intruders,' it's nearly impossible for them to understand this.

It goes for older kids as well, because I remember my mom dating men, and I remember eventually being a stepkid. I didn't want a new dad. I liked it when it was me and mom. Why couldn't it just be us?

I imagine if I stay with my boyfriend, I'll have to deal with his kid feeling the same things about me eventually. But at least I understand how she feels, and I don't blame her.

I guess what's most important is not to treat children like the 'intruders.' Children need that special, nurturing love from their parents. I wish I would have had the same love, but I certainly won't take it out on my boyfriend's kid--or him, for that matter--and let jealousy grow into hate. No one wants to be the evil stepmom (or stepdad).

So you're with someone who has a child. You're new to such circumstances, and maybe things aren't the way you thought they would be. At this point, you need to ask yourself some VERY important questions. Child aside, is this the man you want to spend the rest of your life with? Does he try his best to address your needs even when the kid is present? And at that, are you perhaps being too demanding?

A good man will express his love and admiration for you and do things to make you happy. If it seems like he doesn't do that when his child is around, it's probably because he is trying to balance his child's comfort and happiness with yours--not because he doesn't love you just as much. Think hard about the minimums of your own needs: Do you want 100% of his attention at all times? If so, you're asking too much of someone who also needs to raise his child. You should talk to him about what you want from him that maybe you aren't getting when his kid is there. But before you do so, remember that his child only grows up once. You can either give all your love and support to both of them, or you can be selfish and earn nothing but their resentment.

Maybe the child will never warm up to you. I never did to my stepdad until after I was an adult and realized he was the best father I could have possibly had. I only realized this because even through all my stubborn refusal to accept him as a parent or even as my mom's husband, he still loved me and mom unconditionally. That had to be HARD, but it paid off for all of us.

I chose to stay with my boyfriend and stick it out. We love eachother to death, and I know in my heart that no matter how much attention he's paying to his little girl, he still loves me to death and wouldn't want any other WOMAN in his life.

Find a balance with your partner and the child. Communicate. And remember that demanding 100% from anyone -- kids or no kids -- is still asking an awful lot.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 February 2008):

Does anybody think about the child?? It's great that she has her daddy (or a father figure) there to show her affection and love. How can you be so selfish and say you hate that?? You don't have to be in a relationship with anybody with children if you aren't mature enough to handle it. I can understand feeling jealous but maybe your communication is subpar and should be addressed so that you feel more complete in this situation. Try to be a little more open to what others are feeling instead of such selfishness...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2008):

I understand totally, my boyfriend is taking care of his ex girlfriend's kid and the kid isn't even his. I can't stand the little girl she even calls him daddy! and even worse the little girl is in the will!!! but he wants to marry me while dragging his baggage along, hell no, it makes me sick how he loves this fat ass begging little girl! so I truly understand.

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A female reader, scp Canada +, writes (29 December 2007):

number one, you are not a step mom, give it up. To be a Step mom you have to be married. You are not with this man in marriage. YOU ARE HIS GIRLFRIEND. I would be more pissed that he has not married you yet. even if you do not believe in marriage, you are still not legally the Step mom. Think about it. He is her father and they need that father daughter bond, and if you don't like it, go.

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A female reader, scp Canada +, writes (29 December 2007):

number one, you are not a step mom, give it up. To be a Step mom you have to be married. You are not with this man in marriage. YOU ARE HIS GIRLFRIEND. I would be more pissed that he has not married you yet. even if you do not believe in marriage, you are still not legally the Step mom. Think about it. He is her father and they need that father daughter bond, and if you don't like it, go.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 December 2007):

I am another woman in the exact same situation. I am trying my hardest to get rid of these feelings of jealousy, I feel like an evil person for having these feelings. I am also worried that my boyfriend will sense these feelings and finish things with me, that would be unbearable coz I've never loved anyone this much in my life but I just don't know what to do.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 November 2007):

I know exactly how you feel and my man has a son. I cant even imagine what it would be like if it was a daughter. I cant stomach it now. Its terrible. And the problem with mine is that he doesnt make time for me or take me anywhere. He has no energy when its just us but when he picks up that kid, all he wants to do is run like a little kid and he is 30. I doubt the jealousy feelings will ever go away on your part bc its a female and the older she gets, the more she turns into a daddys girl. Its terrible for me and I need to get out. I suggest you do the same if you feel like that!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 November 2007):

Oh my gosh, im so greatful i found this page and discussion. I am 25 and am dating a man with on on 4 year old son. Its so good to know that i am not alone in my feelings. I have no children. There are parts of every post on both sides of the issue that i agree with. Sometimes i feel like on on bad person but i feel like im just a filler in his life when his son is around. He crawls into bed with us at night, which i thought was inapropreate and said so. I have kept my own apartment and refused to move in with him simply because there are times i dont want to see either of their faces. Last night my boyfriend locked the bedroom door so he would not get into the bed with us. At 4 in the morning this child began beating on the door. When 'dada' opened the door for 'baby' and baby saw he was in trouble the waterworks started. My bf gave in left me and slept with his son on the couch. I dont know how to deal with these feelings and have asked for his help but he refuses to help me and even accuses me of hating his son in front of his son!!! WTF?!? Somebody please help im desperate and have reached the breaking point.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 October 2007):

yes it will

as a step son we feel the same way

we see it as our parent spends more time with you than us

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 September 2007):

I'm in the a similar situation and I'm so glad I'm not the only person who feels like this. I'm 20 and my bf is 22 and he has a 3 yr old son. We've been togeher fior just over a year. I like his son but I get jealous when he's around, like I'm being ignored. His son is always lookin for my bf and rarely wants to play w me when dads around. I hate this jealouisy feeling bc iknow its wrong. I have no kids, and hate knowing when we have our first child it won't be his first. I love kids and work ina daycare, but I don't know what to do. Ialso get jealous of my boyfriends ex calling all the time, and he puts up with a lot of crap from her, liking picking his son up dirty and not dressed. Someone help!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 August 2007):

I am 26 and my boyfriend is 37 with a 7 year old daughter and a 16 y/o son. I get on great with them, and i love being with them and hate it when they have to go home. MY boyfriend gets his kids every saturday and i used to go to my pals to drink. I still do sometimes as its good and important for my boyfriend to have that time with his kids. but now w'eve started to do things on a sunday day time and i love it. sometimes his 7 year old gets all his attention, and i do not, but i just think of later on when i do get him all to myself!

i think it can work and im willing to give it a go. it can be really good, just give it a chance. she has him wrapped around his finger etc, but i always think, maybe one day if i have his kids , he would be the same with them. it shows he is a good dad.

she does still share a bed with him because he only has a 2 bedroomed house, which means i either sleep on the sofa or go home. but hopefully that will not be for too much longer as i do think she is getting a little old to stay in her fathers bed.

Good luck all xxx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 August 2007):

I'm so glad to see this forum, because at the moment I feel very alone with my thoughts and feelings on this problem. I'm 29, and my boyfriend is 43. He has a 16-year-old daughter. I feel so torn apart by jealousy sometimes. I understand that there are different types of love, blah, blah, but that doesn't change how I sometimes get angry that she was ever born and that the man of my dreams (in every other regard) should come with baggage. All I ever wanted was a "normal" relationship. I don't know yet how I will get over this.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 August 2007):

i'm so glad i'm finding info regarding my similar problem...i am 34, bf is 39. i have two children 13 & 6, he has one daughter 8...she has him wrapped around his finger...i am prohibited to kiss him or show affection when she's around because it "hurts her heart". i told her it hearts my heart when she doesn't want me to be around her daddy....she lives with her mom (who left him & is preg from live-in bf) he has basic every other weekend custody...i even set up my kids to be with their dad on the 2nd & 4th weekends, so we can all spend time together, and my bf & i can have solo time on the off weekends. well, his daughter never fails to call him crying to pick her up on "my weekend"...of course he does & i'm totally ignored. i can't even sit or stand next to him because she will squeeze her way in between & start to whine....we've been together for 3 years & my kiddos love him & don't give me a hard time. he still has her sleeping with him, even though she has her own bedroom at his house....if they stay at my house, i end up in my daughters bed, while they get my big comfy bed...NO MORE! last night the situation came up again & when she asked me where I was sleeping, i told her MY bed...they ended up sleeping in my daughter's bed. I'm sorry, but i think she's too old to be sleeping with her daddy....he still has to help her with her baths too....i'm not jealous...i treat her like i do my 6year old daughter...but she's always telling my daughter that her dad doesn't want to marry me & that her mom & dad will get married again. my baby finally told her to get over it...but it's still a huge problem....i spent all morning in the shower crying about the situation....i love this man soooooo much, but he turns on me when she's around because she's his life & i feel like chopped liver. how can i make this better & have the love in my life at the same time?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 July 2007):

I've felt this before, and for me, the only way to get rid of this jealousy is to consider the child as your own. Or at least, imagine. I still cringe when the bf tickles/hugs/kisses the kid the same way he does me, but I get past that by thinking that she is my daughter too, and she deserves all that love.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 June 2007):

I understand how you feel my boyfriend may have a daughter and i am worried about what it will do to our relationship, reading your response helped me feel like my feelings aren't so abnormal, thank you

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 June 2007):

I agree with the previous poster. I am in the same situation. I am 34, successful, single and independent. My boyfriend is 38 and with a 7 year old daughter he raises all on his own with help from his mother (not the best situation, but hey.. it's better than "no mom" right?)

In the beginning I felt like you did. Began to hate and doubt myself for becoming so envious of what my boyfriend had.. and started to hate myself for feeling "jealous" of his daughter. How horrible was it of me to feel that way!!! (I thought to myself)

After ALOT of soul searching and a short break from my relationship.. I realized it wasn't jealousy. I wanted what he had. A little child of my own who loved and looked up to me just like his daughter did. I've come to care for her deeply.. and we are very careful with our relationship around her. I want to protect her and give her all the things a mom should.. something her mom didn't want to give. I wanted to be a piece of his world with his little girl. Though I am not, it is a possibility we've discussed that may happen one day. I continue to have the isolated/envious feelings and even want to have a baby with him. But inside, I know I am not ready. And I have spoken to my boyfriend about these feelings.. he's touched and understands. I don't tell him everything, but the communication has helped.

Hang in there.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 June 2007):

I am in a similar situation myself, ive been with my boyfriend for 6 months and he has a 3 year old daughter. I havent met her yet as we wanted to be sure our relationship would work, but now its on the cards and im finding it difficult to get my head round my feelings.

When he talks about her and i see vidoes and pictures, i can help but feel jealous. The mistake i made was thinking i was jealous of their relationship as i wanted the attention myself, when having thought about it i realised it was only that i feel envious that he has a beautiful, dependant child all of his own, and i dont. Whilst i want children im not ready for them myself yet, but it doesnt stop me from wanting the feelings that go with having your own child. Also to know that i am not a part of what he has with his daughter makes me feel a little isolated as i feel i have no right to get involved. I think that as long as your boyfriend loves you and knows how much you love him and his daughter, he will appreciate that and doesnt mean to give more love to his daughter, its just that children crave more love and affection than we as adults do.

I would advise you to tell him you feel you would like more affection in your relationship and not assiate this feeling of jealousy with his relationship with his daughter as it sounds like you really get along with her so i doubt thats really the root of it.

And to the other lady who replied - i think you need to understand your partners point of view in this, it is hard to accept someone elses children and it is not something you can prepare for. It sounds like your not giving him enought attention. Just because your showing him love doesnt mean you have to take it away from your children. Your partner and you children should be EQUAL.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 June 2007):

dealing with the same thing but i am a dedicated mother with two sons...one 13 and one 8---both with whom i have a beautiful relationship with. they survived divorce only because of the love they recevied and will continue to receive. i recently told my boyfriend who i felt is jealous of my relationship with my 8 yr old (he doesnt seem to have issues with my oldest)...that my children come first. i refuse to change anything about how i nurture or care for them or love them---why the hell would i. i am commited to them---i brought them into this world and they deserve my heart and all of it. it doesnt mean i dont love my boyfriend but the more he tries to change the way i care for them the more he is pushing me away---i think it is a terrible, selfish thing for anybody to ask of anyone----to change love or attention to a child---OMG! i am so exhausted at trying to please him and help him to understand. if this continues it will be the end of us because i am here for my sons morning noon night and for whatever their sweet little hearts desire...they are precious souls and i will never ever treat them with anything less than what this mothers love has to give---NOT for anyone---and if asked to do that----what kind of a person is he anyway...seriously...what kind of a jealous selfish person would dare to try to get in between that...thats just crazy insane.....i protect mine ---my babies--and i dare any man try to conflict with that---he will always be the one out on his tail---and a lame ass tail it is acting like that! and if the week that i DONT have my kids isnt enough of "alone" time for us---well then he needs to stop being so damn needy----

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 February 2007):

You know, I am in an amazingly similar situation. I am 23, and my boyfriend has a daughter of 10 years old. I love this girl and we have a blast together when she comes to visit. I get a tad bit jealous too, but I try to put it at the back of my mind and get on with the rest of the day in the best mood possible. A few evenings a week, after she has gone to bed, we'll sit in bed with a candle lit and a lamp and talk about the day. This is our special time together and it reminds me that he does care for me. Make sure to directly tell your boyfriend how you're feeling. Tell him you understand his position, but make an effort to open up and tell him one or two specific little things he can do each day to make you feel wanted--snatch me in another (private) room for just 15 seconds to kiss me and tell me you love me--kinda thing.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 February 2007):

im 25 years old and my boyfriend(34) of two years just broke up with me. when we first started dating he hid the fact he had a daughter. he played his cards right, because i would have ran if i knew. his daughter is now 10. it has been a little over a year since ive met her. my ex would not show me any kind of affection when his daughter was around. im talking about not even holding my hand! but the situation with her oh no a complete different story.i was jealous because he went out of his way to please her. in terms of me i felt like a second class citizen. i attempted to talk about how i felt. i told him he was building a barrier between his daughters and my relationship. it was to the point that i didnt wanna hang out with the two of them. because i was always the odd ball. his kid had the liberty of hugging him, kissing him, making little girl voices to get her way. and he would jump through hoops to satisfy her and give her her way. i dont want him to love her less or me more. i just want him to be able to juggle being a parent and a boyfriend at the same time and not leave anyone out.its his duty to fix this problem im not the one with a kid. i think that i am jealous of her is because he acts like a stranger when she is around. so his solution to the problem was to separate us. that super immature of him. so i told him that was not going to fix things and he said fine this is not going to work out bye! dating someone with kids is horrible.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 February 2007):

This continuing discussion has really made me feel better. I have been dating a guy for about a year and a half now and he has a 6 yr old daughter. He is 25 and I am 22. He stepped up to the plate when he got his girlfriend pregnant and I love him for that, but...I don't think that he still has a grasp on what being a "parent" is. He hates his ex, therefore I hear negative things all the time, so I in-turn hate her too. His daughter looks nothing like him, but everything like her mother...who we hate. He and his ex never married or lived together as a family. He left town and went to college 3 hours away to "better himself for his daughter"...he actually went b/c he wanted to play football and dreams of being a big coach somewhere. So he still hasn't moved closer to her to "better her life", but he does send child support every month that he complains about. He drives home to see her every other weekend, but if he has something else to do he doesn't go see her. He only calls her when he is going to pick her up to make sure she wants to come see him...if she doesn't he doesn't pick her up or call to reschedule. SO does he seem like he really wants to be a father or that he is just doing what society says he should...I think in the back of his mind he feels overwhelmed and if he had a choice he would erase the whole mistake. His resistance really confuses me when he wants me to develop a "relationship" with his daughter. Mind you I have no children and don't plan on having children till I'm ready..so this mom thing is strange. Don't get me wrong...I love her and know its not her fault...but he is not a good dad right now. When he does get her, she acts like a snot and he ignores her while he watches TV. He has never had her totally alone...he picks his daughter up and takes her back to his moms house where they stay for the weekend due to the fact that he lives 3 hours away. He doesn't call her during the 2 weeks he doesn't see her, but when he gets her he grills her with questions about her mom. That makes her and I uncomfortable...Can you understand my frustration? He can even recall the entire night of his daughters conception...and yes he remembers the details. He has even described how he felt when his girlfriend was pregnant and how happy he was when she was born...blah blah blah. As selfish as it sounds I just wish that the whole situation would disappear. Oh, the mother is psycho...was placed in a mental hospital and went through drug rehab (child was with grandparents during all this)...I'm just waiting for the day that she relapses and I will have to clean up the mess along with maintianing my own family. Grrr...thanks for listening and there is tons more that I can talk about, but its late. He is good to me, loves me, and has made me very happy...I love him, but this "baby mama drama" is the pits. Suggestions or comments would be nice.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 January 2007):

I feel the same, I've been with my boyfriend for just over a year now. I got with him just before christmas last year and at this time i didnt really mind where he was or who he was with as i didnt love him at this stage. Although his ex partner & he were not together, he would act as if they were, they would talk like good mates (They were together for 8 years) - Maybe me being jelous is to do with my age. I like him daughter & she always says i love you to me & i find it really sweet, i play with her & hug her but i cant help feeling bitter, as if i dont want her to get in the way of me and her father. I love him so much and one day want kids with him. Thing is he doesnt see her that often sometime its 2/3 months but when he does its like i get shut out, and he gives me the simplist attention which is understandable after all she is his daughter but i feel like it should never be like this. Im only young & could leave him but its not his fault really & i love him too much to chuck it away. I hate them being alone together. To be honest he is a bad dad to his daughter, not seeing her often and not ringing to say hello but i know thats because his ex was messed up in the head and made him like that. I know that if he has more kids he would be a terrific dad. I dont know what to do, i want to just accept it. Today is her birthday and i get paranoid that he wants his ex back to be around his daughter even tho he and his ex dont talk. I feel really jelous. I'm stuck.

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A female reader, samsara +, writes (10 January 2007):

I was jealous of my BF's relationship with his daughter until I recognized what it was a symbol of. For me, it was a symbol of my own resentments of not having one Daddy. [I had

several and therefore had attachment issues and feelings of instability and no feelings of security in my world from the young age of four.]

Once I recognized that deeper truth within myself I gained peace. May have been a different story if my BF ignored me when she came around and I was codependent on him to the

extent he was my world and I needed all of his attention. THAT would have perhaps been jealousy of his time all by itself - but was not the case [is not the case] because she doesn't

live with us. AND even if she did he is opposite. If I try to exclude myself he gets mad. LoL

I think it's great of you to be able to get so honest with yourself. Many people can't bring themselves to even admit the jealousy! I swear you're over 50% to solving the problem!!

{{Hugs!}}

So comforting to read all of this and knowing I am not the only one with issues and problems in this area. My BF has a 3 yr old. When it's her and me we're great and fine. When he's

around she is AWFUL to me and he cannot see it. She grunts and ignores me...hangs on her dad and regressively says "MY DaDa!"

He's almost a champ though. He has commanded her to thank me, to say please and so forth in being polite but her attitude, alas, he cannot change. Half the time he cannot see what I

see [physically] and I usually don't mention it out of fear he would accuse me of being anti-her.

Tonight though had been a tough day for me and so her ignoring me while at dinner was fine. My BF trying to get her to engage me also in the conversation was unsuccessful.

So when she told him she had to potty and he asked me to take her I said No. He asked why not. I said: "Because she can ignore me and make faces at me that you cannot see and all

of a sudden I am to take her to the potty? Oh no!"

As expected he rolled his eyes and said it wasn't true. I told him he couldn't see it but as she was hanging on him she was staring at me almost with purpose! I have seen this before

because I was this before! [I had a few stepdads and knew exactly what I felt about these intrusions of my mother's attention.] I ended up taking her to potty and she was back to her

normal sweet self. Even gave me a kiss before we left the restaurant. [I was in such good spirits I decided to vacuum her room. I had cleaned it earlier but didn't vacuum. Out of care I

decided to vacuum.]

He's about to take her to her mother's and here we go again. She grunted and said "Ow!" I think I squeezed her too hard - but I think it was more out of general disdain because I asked

her outright if I hurt her and she just stared at me. [With purpose seemingly again.]

So then I coddled her and apologized since my BF was quick to put it on that I hugged her too hard [he can't believe that if she never saw us together again as a couple she would be

overjoyed] and asked if I could give a make up hug - still being playful not letting anyone know this was on my last nerve - STILL she quit talking.

He asked her to leave the room so he could speak to me. [So she hid outside where he couldn't see her and stared at me but jerked her head back when she saw I saw.] I am

convinced she sensed her ability to divide us and wanted to watch it. He had attempted to place blame on me: "She is only three.." Me: "Oh what did I do NOW?" I asked. "You

squeezed her too hard." Me: "Yeah. And I apologized and tried to hug her again!" Meantime she'd made it all the way back in and I drew his attention to it so we stopped after he made a

snippy remark to me.

He ended up commanding her to come in and say goodbye. [I'd overheard him] She came in alright. I turned around and gave her my attention and she ran into the chair and hid. [He

wasn't in the room.] I decided ONE MORE TIME TONIGHT GOD please let it work... SO I got up - which I am against in principle - and went to her softly.

I am not a mother. Never wanted or had the desire to be a mother and according to friends who DO have kids - the fact it's not your kid seems to make all the difference in the handling

anyway. I say this because I imagine were I her mother or *a* mother I may have unconditional love even in spite of being treated like dookie. As it is, if she stayed on her side of an

imaginary white line during the duration of my and my BF's relationship that would suit me just fine.

I am fine with her not speaking to me - unfortunately my boyfriend expects me to share in the "us" time. And even more aggravating is that because I DO "do" for her [I have changed

her butt, washed her body, cleaned her room, made her food, picked her up from school, played with her and so forth... So I DO expect common courtesy and NOT getting ignored

when I treat her with civility.]

As I said...So I went to her softly and rubbed her back as she hid her head..."Are you being shy of me?" [Playfully.] Nothing. "Hey...Are you being shy of me?" [Boyfriend came in:

"What have we here?" Me: "I don't know. Him: "Did you say "goodbye?"] I don't remember what she said but I waited and she stared at him. He had to order her two or three more

times. Whiney "Byy-yye..."

I said nothing. Called a friend when he left because he blames me. She shared her experience and it lined up with: Daughter is jealous and is employing dividing technique. She says

until he can quit being biased and recognize it that she'll continue. Like I said...her and me alone = great.

He [Nay, "Dada"] comes in, refuses to recognize her belligerent attitude played out toward me - as a natural acclimation of possessiveness of bio parent particularly of little girls and

their daddy's AND, though being good at letting her know that she cannot get away with certain things - blames ME for her dissuasive attitude.

WELL of course it's ME. It would be ANY woman in his life.

I am so frustrated with him! He went to bed a while ago after I wanted to clear the air and he again blamed me for "taking responsibility of nothing". I finally told him. I finally told him, as

my friend suggested, as well I could about where daughter was coming from but before I felt like I could get to the important parts he shut me down.

He always thinks I could do more or do better or do something differently. To that I say: "If he wanted one big happy family where the woman in his life would contort herself to insure

the utmost BEST from a BABY...from a BABY?... he should have stayed with BioMom."

Good grief. Score a big one for the kid tonight - by proxy.

He needs to forgo his biasness and SEEK the help and experience of either a trained psychologist in step situations or people who have been in them - which he never has.

I don't see how people do this crap. One child has the super-power to destroy a relationship. And here's the joke: When the relationship is finally over, the bioparent will believe in the

fiber of their being that it was the "intruder's" fault.

[But there's one more joke to even THAT joke - unless biparent works out their "pride or guilt" of offspring: "That the NEXT person who comes along will have an even MORE difficult

time acclimating, and by extension, bioparent and "intruder#2"'s relationship will be even worse because the child has been trained perfectly in what works and what doesn't!"]

Are you kidding me? Ha! What a world.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest! Wow! I needed that. ...and wow. I'm *not* the angry hostile person he likes to claim. I haven't been this upset and deeply in a while and yet

still I managed to sound not like a lunatic.

:)

Thanks again you guys!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 July 2006):

i am also in the same situation ..to all i understand..i get jealous because ..situations with my dad...and yes when i look at this little girl i often see her mom..i hate IT! but you know what im trying to work through it..i didnt want a guy with a daughter..but hes a great man..he takes care of his daughter and he shows me how he appreciates me...right now there are many things going on with jealousy on her part...but i cant figure if its directly towards me ..or her wanting over attn..which she gets from dadi,.she got mad while playing monkey i the middle saying that her dad gave the ball to me and not her..and she took the anger out on me...??? shes only five so obviously the concept of the game wasnt understood..but it hurt me..i often feel guilty when my boyfriend comforts both of us..hes great...and i talk to him openly about this stuff ..i think it makes it better...then again hes understanding...i get mad when i feel im not as inportant to her too..funny right? ine particular time he wasnt there for me when i needed him..and it was supposedly because of her??? but please people understand i needed his ear for twenty minutes..and her uncle was home ..y couldnt her uncle take care of her...im trying

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 July 2006):

I am in an emotional tornado myself. I am 27 and dating a 33 year old who has a 7 year old daughter. I am aware that I must have an emotional problem to feel the way I do about his relationship with his daughter. I cant stand all the hugs, kisses and I love you's that he gives her. This is constantly ladies! I look at her and see her mother, which is repulsive and the thought of seeing her mother in her and him loving her that much really does a number on me. Often, because I have a son, I wonder if it is possible for him to feel this way about him. So I try to switch places and look from both angles, but yet I still cant shake it. I often find myself praying for the day that she doesn't want to visit her dad as often as she does now. I imagine our life without her everyday. I know that it is so selfish and probably I should leave the relationship for her sake. I find myself doing little things to bother her, such as hugging her dad in front of her and making sure he shows affection back to me. At the same time, I know I would leave the situation if I thought he was doing so to my son. I just want all of his attention and I know it is not fair to him or to her. I guess maybe I just remember what it was like for me being "daddy's little girl" and I know what little girls can do to their father's. I am threatened of her and her hold and bond to him. I think I may answered my question!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 April 2006):

Wow i've been reading all this stuff and it's great to see what other people are going through. I havn't looked up anything before but about half an hour ago i was in the loungeroom doing my bf's daughter's hair (he's at footy training). She was telling me about mum & dad's wedding song and wanted me to sing it with her. I could feel my eyes welling up (also have PMS at the moment) and i said "How about you just sing it? I'm not a very good singer."

My bf's ex fell pregnant when she was 19 (he was 21) it was very unexpected and they stayed together to try and make it work for their daughter. I asked my bf what was going through his mind as he was about to take vows to marry his ex. He said that he doesn't really remember, all he was looking at was his daughter walking along in a beautiful flower girl dress. He really is such a wonderful man and such an amazing father. He is 27 and i'm 23, he's little girl is 6. We've been together now for over two years. I still find it so hard at times with his daughter. I will drop her at school in the mornigs because he starts work early (we have her thurs and fri night every week). And i will watch her if he has footy training (like tonight). Sometimes though i feel like i am unappreciated and he can't understand how i feel. I have made a huge effort to establish a positive relationship with his ex (and we do get along). I'll text her if i need to get a reader or clother from her house for school. I've even asked her for a photo which we have in his daughter's room so she can say good night to mummy.

Sometimes it really does get so hard though and i think what it would be like if he didn't have a daughter. Then i feel guilty because she is just a little girl who wants to be loved and cared for. Then i start to feel like a bad person. But then i think well if he didn't have a daughter i wouldn't feel like a bad person. It really is a viscious circle. I guess it's also because he has been married to someone and he has had a child. My fantasy of meeting this man who married me and we go through having a child for the first time together is gone and that's hard.

Anyway enough from me, to everyone going through the same thing i know it is hard. But i also think that i came into this little girls life for a very important reason and i need to do whatever i can to make our relationship work.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2006):

I whole heartedly agree with "salsa detomate 18+". Why should a woman in love be made to feel inferior to her boyfriend's child. The child is not the boss and should not be untouchable. By him ignoring his girlfriend/ wife when the child is around, he is condoning to the child that they do not have to respect his spouse. And that is bullsh*t. Some of you say that "it is not the child's fault that their family has been 'torn apart'. It is NOT THE GIRLFRIEND'S FAULT EITHER. The love is NOT the same. Obviously the man should make time for his child but it shouldn't cause problems in their relationship. You may look at this and say obviously I don't have a child. I don't... yet. However I do have a boyfriend that has a child. He was never married, in fact the child's mother was never even a girlfriend. She was in fact, a booty call who decided to trap him into taking care of her by becoming pregnant (to this day he still occassionally wonders if the child is his even though it wouldn't matter - for all intensive purposes he is the child's father). She unilaterly chose to have this kid and he has made every effort to be the best father he can be. I respect that. I even love him for it. At times, I can't stand his child. I never take this out on the child though. And the more I analyze it I have found that it is NOT the child as much as it is him... his behavior and his reactions to the child.

I do not think the child should come first over a spouse. I think that mentality breeds disrespect and is a problem waiting to explode. In an ideal situation you fall in love, spend time together, get married, have a child and raise a family together. The child doesn't come first. The spouse/family comes first. The foundation of the family starts with a man and a woman (speaking strictly hetero at this point and am in no way homophobic..just to clarify). That is not to say that both the spouse and the child could be first, my point is that the spouse or potential spouse should never be made to take back seat to a child's whims....

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2006):

ok, well I wish I had an answeer for you. I too am in the same situation. When I first met my boyfriend he used to open the car door for his 12 year old (prettier) daughter and not me or his other (pretty but, fat) daughter. He said that I lagged behind which is why he didn't do it for me. He is so protective of his 12 year old daughter vs the 13 year old and me for that matter. I don't know about it either but it doesn't seem like my feelings are getting better. There are other circumstances that surround this problem like my boyfriend not following through with discipline when his youngest daughter is disrespectful to me, even though he threatens to discipline her if she is. So, she basically feels like she doesn't have to worry about it. She is only difficult when you ask her to do something which includes a chore or work (which I rarely ask her to do because I can't stand to bicker with her about it). I am overwhelmed and feel like I would be better off in a relationship where I didn't feel like I was fighting to get the support from my boyfriend on issues of respect when I GIVE, GIVE GIVE to his children constantly when all I expect respect from them is respect (and mind you, I know they are going to be rebellious at times---but when I have had enough and ask for his support, why can't he give it to me with his youngest daughter???)

Confused and Tired

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 February 2006):

I've noticed quite a few answers from young ladies who appear to sympathize with your feelings; however, for anyone to agree that it is okay to blame a child in a situation like this shows immaturity, lack of wisdom, and selfishness.

Remember--that child had to endure the breakup of her family. Now she has to cope with her father being with another woman.

I commend your boyfriend for being a loving and involved father. This is what a MAN is supposed to do--take care of his children and nurture them. You are entitled to the romantic love of your boyfriend, but you are NOT ENTITLED to the nurturing love that he gives to his daughter. She needs that sort of attention because she is a human under development. You are not under development, and so you do not.

The best thing for you is some family counseling. You need a wise and mature disinterested person who can help you see your proper role within the family that you share with your boyfriend. And you need to grow up.

A grown-up woman is wise enough to know that it is NOT ALL ABOUT HER.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 February 2006):

You have every reason to feel the way you do. Humans can not change the way the feel, because subconsciously there are reasons for your emotions. I am also a young step mom and am over joyed that i am not alone with the feelings that i have towards my step children. I know through patience and understnading the only way it works is if he makes time for you, there is no other resolution. Think of your future children together and fix it now or get out.

We have our step children half the year and i have a baby on the way. I got on the internet to find a solution to my jealousy problem and have realized that I'm worth and you are worth having a spouse or boyfriend that loves you and wants to spend time with you and make a life with you. Be happy with yourself and think of your future.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2006):

I am in a similar situation. My boyfriend recently moved to be with me, and left his daughter with the mom. Let me give a little history here... When he and I started dating I was aware the he had a child. It was hard for me to accept because I don't have children, and I am still trying to get out of graduate school. Well, after nearly getting over the fact that he has a child, and she will come to visit over the summer and spring break, I said to myself,"ok, you can do this, no one is perfect". WELL, when he decided to move here, things changed. The mother became neglectful and he had to constantly go back to count and stuff. Well, here were are today, on president's weekend and he is gone for four days to be with his daughter. I am stuck here again. Because he lives here with me in washington, dc, he has to travel back and forth. Which in my opinion prevents us from saving for a home, and so forth. I want to marry this man, but I really don't see that happening. I am from the south and we believe in big tradional weddings...how can we afford it if he is going back and forth to visit his child. Oh by the way, the courts decided to place the girl in my boyfriend's mom's home, until the next court date in June. Then it will be decided if the little girl comes here or goes back with the mom. The mom is in parenting and drug education classes, right now. AND my boyfriend is petioning for custody. So, in my situation my boyfriend is asking me to be a mother....FULL TIME... I so far from ready to take on that responsibility. Does anyone have any advice?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 February 2006):

Yes, dear-you will overcome it. You just need to open yourself up to gaining more wisdom and understanding-and knowing these jealous feelings will dissipate. Keep being patient and kind with this little girl. Her father is doing the right thing. He should never feel 'torn' between you and her. Your boyfriend has an obligation to his daughter to be a role model and make her feel loved. That's what parent's do for their children. Please understand, us humans all have the amazing capacity to love many different people in many different ways. He sounds like a wonderful Dad and he's right, his daughter is only 8 years-old and she needs to feel his love and your love, in order to grow up in a healthy and happy way. Try to understand, when her Mom and Dad split up..her world and little heart was likely broken. Every child deserves an intact, happy home. She's likely been through hard times and now she has regained her sense of safety and security in a home, with you and her Dad. You have become this little girl's friend by also reassuring her and loving her. I respect that. Keep up the good work. If I were you, I'd let your boyfriend know how special he is for wanting to be a good dad and a responsible person to his child. He has to do a juggling act and try to make everyone happy. If you aren’t more supportive to his situation, eventually, it will become too much for him and you won't have any dilemma because he'll be gone and you will lose, hun. So change your perspective to one of understanding of his love for her and realize...that by being the best stepmom you can be to her. Rest assured, he is taking note of your kindness and givingness to his daughter. You sound like you have a good, nurturing spirit, already. I'm sure someday you will have a child of your own. It will be then that you will completely understand that the feelings you have for a child are completely different than the ones you have for your life partner. Be patient..I wish you the best, dear and hang in there.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2006):

I am in a similar situation and my advice (which I should listen to myself) is to GET OUT. RUN AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE. I am 25 and living with my boyfriend who has his daughter staying with him half the time (the mother gets the brat the other half). I openly admit to any one who will listen that I HATE kids. They are parasitic self-absorbed disgusting creatures who suck up your time and energy. I love my boyfriend and he tries to understand my reluctance but in the end, the bottom line is he isn't willing to give up his baggage and I'm not willing to give up my principles. The person I love and want to spend the rest of my life with with be first priority in my book and I better come first in his as well. My boyfriend isn't willing to do that which is how I know he isn't the one for me.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 January 2006):

I am engaged to a 32 yearold man who has an 11 year old daughter. I am 22! I am half her age. It's hard! She looks exactly like her Mother. It's like every other weekend she's here and he is scrambling to entertain her. She is totally spoiled and whines and calls her mother to come pick her up if she isn't busy every second. Her father tends to blame his daughter's withdrawl on me. But in fact, I am not jealous of her. I just am not a kid person, because I am so young myself. I love him, and I like her, but everytime she visits the situation gets worse. She is going through that stage, and really doesn't want to hang out with her Dad. He thinks her withdrawl is my fault. But honestly, I am not doing anything different than before. HELP! I am not going to let her ruin my relationship with him. I think that if it doesn't get better, he'll end up leaving me. I don't see why it's so important if she likes me or not. I am here to stay. She is a child, not me. I am just young, and not ready to play the ready made family scene. I am completely nice whenever she is around. But somehow that isn't good enough. I honestly am at my wits end, and do not have a clue what to do.

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A female reader, salsa_de_tomate18 +, writes (20 July 2005):

I don't understand why a lot of you think that this poor girl should be made to feel guilty about how she feels.

Why?? I am sure many people out there are exactly like her feeling like they HAVE to take second place to their boyfriends child. Why, i say? It's a different kind of love and not one should be more important than the other. It's natural to feel jealous of a female wanting the attention of your partner. This might sound terrible but the child isn't yours so in many ways that can be threatening, another female taking the afection that you'd prefer to have for you. Feeling like you have to take the back seat all the time just to spare the feelings of the ex and baby. No!!! That isn't how it works. Why did the guy get in to a mature relationship with you if you have to hide it all the time. Being in a relationship of my own with a man who has a daughter i am well aware of the fact that your other half has to make time for his child but that shouldn't cause problems in your own relationship. Like i said they are two different kinds of love and there has to be boundaries. The child has to realise that you and their father have an adult relationship which is very different from the one they share. Why should you have to hide the fact that you love their father just so they don't go in a huff? It's not fair on you. They have to be made to realise that you are not someone bad that is taking their father away from them, YOU are their fathers' wife or girlfriend - something that is for keeps - and something that they are going to have to get used to just as you have to accept them in your partners life as part of the package, they will have to accept that YOU are part of the package as well.

Making this poor girl feel guilty isn't going to help the situation. Everyone needs to know their place and putting her in the shadow of his daughter isn't going to help. She's his girlfriend and she is a primary focus in his life. The child has to accept that as well. A lot of you wouldn't like to think that you were in second place. If i thought that then i'd get out cause obviously he's not worth it, and may'be just may'be he'll be YOUR kids father someday, What happens then? Do you and your kids go in to the shadow behind the step-kid as well. That's not on. Wake-up!!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 June 2005):

I logged on the internet tonight specifically looking for something to encourage me about my new stepson. I am 19 years old and recently reunited with a past love. My boyfriend recently found out that he had a three year old son that he knew nothing about. As I watch them bonding, I am proud of my man for taking on such a responsibility, but now I don't know exactly what my place is in this situation. I decided to be like the best step-mom ever and everytime I would see my step-son, I would be loaded down with gifts for him, but his lack of interest in me made me realize that I can't buy his love. I would say the best thing for all troubled step-moms to do would be to take everything one day at a time. It is easy to get overwhelmed in this sort of situation, so I say step back, take a deep breath, and go at it again with a positive heart and confidence in yourself and your relationship.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 June 2005):

hello,im in a simular situation,i live with my partner an his son of 15yrs,i get on great with my stepson,but he has a sister who lives with their mother,who is 14yrs,and i get jealous of her if she comes to stay,my partner calls her princess,an babe,and its as if she trys pushing me out of the way wen she stays,makes me feel uncomfortable in my own home,she has big issues of her own with me,she calls me,says im only with her dad for his money,an wen i was away for a week couple months ago,their was a big argument between them both plus his ex wife,who he divorced 10yrs ago,his daughter wants them back 2gether,i only found tis out after my stepson told me,my step daughter has not been up to our house since then,as to be fair my partner stuck up 4 me,but this last week his daughter keeps txtin him an he dosent tell me wat she has said,its basicaly none of my business,which hurts!! But i am going stay strong like you should,i bite my tounge,i have to because i love my partner,and i no in couple yrs she will be independent,an be making alife of her own,and it is true love for a child is different love,we have to take our selfs back as to wen we were kids,the love that we had an wanted from our parents,its not a competion but i no you probaly feel like it is,i do at times myself,but i realise i am being stupid,an imature.an when i do get thos feelings i go out 4 walk,bit shopping or somethg,take a deep breath.an it does go away,i promise you.try make some quality time for you an your partner at least once aweek,go meal,or go watch a film,an rest time be a family,have days out,go on adventure weekends,which quite a bonding experince,which you can all benifit from,we have to sum extent.gud luck.

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A reader, Your big sis +, writes (9 June 2005):

Your big sis agony auntGet used to it because their relationship will continue to grow as your step-daughter gets older. If you cannot overcome your childish jealousy, your boyfriend is better off without you. You entered this relationship knowing he has a 5 year old daughter. She's daddy's little girl. Any woman should know that this is a special relationship between father and daughter. You should be proud of your boyfriend! This is a peek into his fatherhood skills. Suppose the two of you have a son together? Are you also going to compete for your son's time with his father as well? I think you need to look inside yourself. You have some serious insecurities issues you need to overcome before you marry this man. I personally advise you to get professional help. This type of feeling could eventually grow and create hate towards this innocent little person. I hope your boyfriend catches wind of this.

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A female reader, Bev Conolly Australia +, writes (8 June 2005):

Bev Conolly agony auntI really feel for you, because this is a tough situation for you, especially because you're so young.

But you have to remember that his daughter is part of a package. You got the boyfriend - but wait, there's more! - you also get the daughter... free! Forever! As a unit!

You got to choose the relationship with your boyfriend, but the girl didn't have any say whatsoever. What must she be feeling, that she has to share her daddy's affections with some strange lady now? Had you thought of it from the kid's point of view?

You mustn't resent her presence, because she isn't stealing a single thing away from your relationship with him. A father's love for his child is no challenge to his romantic feelings for you! In fact, he sounds like a great dad, and a loving and caring man. You should be encouraging their relationship, and your boyfriend will love you more for doing so.

The only risk here is that you will start demanding that he restrict his affection for his daughter, and in doing that, alienating him from you. This may already be happening because your resentment is clearly only barely contained. I reiterate: you can't ask him to stop showing affection to his own child, just so that you get more of his time. That's unfair to him AND his daughter. It's selfish and it's cruel.

You need to speak with him privately about this, and without the petulant me-me-me overtones that your letter shows. You need to explain that you're new at this step-parent business and you feel unsure and conflicted around his daughter. Tell him that you're going to try your best to be a good stepmom and ask him to reassure you that he loves you, too.

I know that you're still very young and didn't expect to find yourself in this role, but you're almost old enough to be this girl's natural mother, and if you want the relationship to work, you will HAVE to treat her as a child you love, if not as your own daughter. Remember, if you stay with this man, you get the child too. And that's the way it's going to be for the forseeable future.

You either accept them both, or you will have to admit that this isn't the relationship for you.

As for your feelings of jealousy, they will fade as soon as you recognise that parental love is different from romantic love. I'm not suggesting that that his daughter is like a pet, but your worrying that his affection toward her detracts in some way from his love for you is like worrying because he loves his dog! They are two different types of affection. Love isn't a finite resource that he's "wasting" elsewhere. He can love you both.

Now it's your turn to love both the new people in your life.

Be strong. This is your chance to grow up and be a good female role model in a child's life!

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A reader, jrs +, writes (8 June 2005):

I totally understand this feeling. I am also in a relationship where my boyfriend has a daughter who lives with us. IT IS HARD! I am also 23 and it really sucks because his daughter is 14.

I never wanted to be a stepmom either. Sometimes I get so angry with her I don't talk to her for a week. Deep down I think my problem is that she is not my child (I also have a 4 yr old boy of my own) and there is that barrier, that I cannot feel for her and love her like my own child.

I think it also doesnt help that you have to look at this girl every day and probably see that she is a part of her mother so that will always make you wonder about your boyfriend's past relationship. One thing I experienced is that my boyfriend (whom I have been with for almost 3 years) sometimes will say things like "did you have fun today baby?" to his daughter and that bothers me for 1) she is to old for him to be calling her "baby" and 2) he never says those things to me.

I do understand that once you have a child that is biologically yours, that child becomes the most important thing ever, and you feel guilty for not spending enough time with them. Even though you think that your boyfriend is spending plenty of time with his daughter I'm sure that he feels like it is never enough time.

One thing I know is that you have got to have him and you time only. And if you feel like he kisses you goodbye only because he thinks he has to, you should talk to him about it. As long as you get enough time with him and you feel like he really does care for you, maybe he is worth it. You can come up with traditions, like spending every Friday night together alone, and maybe you will start to feel diferently. However, I think that unless you love him so much that you are willing to endure years of drama that a stepchild will cause (especially when you, and I, are so young), that it will probably just drain the hell out of you and cause you to resent him and his child.

It is A LOT of hard work and I guess your feelings for him will tell you if it is really worth it. P.S. I also think maybe when she gets a tad bit older, it could be easier because she will want to hang out with her friends instead of her dad. That equals alot of alone time on weekends for you two! Good luck and I feel for you!

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A reader, NG +, writes (8 June 2005):

You know what??? You are very lucky:) You can see the way your future husband relates to his children. You are making sure that he gives them attention and love. You shouldn't be jealous, because that's how it's going to be for your own children. Being a stepmom is not easy, but if you really like the kid it shouldn't be a problem.

I advise you to involve yourself with them. Organise picnics and days out to get you closer. If your bf sees you getting involved he would love you more and more.

If the problem worsens or it doesn't get better, speak to him and tell him how you feel. I'm sure that if he loves you, he will understand:)

Well Good Luck.

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