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Boundaries

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by avatar Steph 5 months ago.

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  • #682335 Reply
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    Steph

    Hello! I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year. We were friends for a very short time before hand. He has three daughters, 19, 18, and 14. He gets them every Thursday and every other weekend. The 18 year old is graduating from high school this year and has been accepted to two universities. We live in Central Florida – one she could live at home and go to school, but she’d have to do summer school to be accepted to the fall semester, which she doesn’t want to do. The second is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours south of us. At the second school will give her $20K a year plus she can live in the dorms her freshman year. I do not know details on what the first school will give scholarship wise. She also has bright future scholarship that helps in the state of Florida and was planning to apply for other random scholarships. (I do not know the yearly tuition at this school). She was very excited about the school down south.

    Here is where my question will come into play. She has stated that she wants to go down south – but her mom and grandma who lives next door have guilted her into not wanting to go and have even said something about kicking her out of the family. The mom does this frequently in that she guilts them into wanting to do Thanksgiving with her all the time so my boyfriend does not get them.

    She would be financially dependent on her parents so that plays into factor – however, the mom does not work. My boyfriend pays child support on the three of them and she has a 4 year old son with another guy.

    What are my boundaries here? I would never ever say anything to the mom about this, as I’ve never had a real conversation with her. My boyfriend
    keeps things civil and for the most part they co-parent well. This being because my boyfriend doesn’t ever seem to want to upset her or argue with her. If he stood up for himself sometimes it would probably be less civil. That’s a whole separate issue – but am I allowed to express my concern to him? And tell him that I think he needs to talk to mom/grandma about it and what they said? Am I allowed to do/say anything?

    I know I’m just the girlfriend and don’t really have a role in the girls lives. But they do talk to me and confide things in me. My boyfriend has told me that they’re more open with me than most. The 18 year old was talking to me about it – he was around but I’m not sure if he was listening when she told me since it was a conversation I was having with just her. I don’t want to overstep but don’t want this young girl to be held back in pursing what she wants to do in life for what seems like no reason (I realize there could be more at play than what I know/see). I just want the best for them.

    #682336 Reply
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    Steph

    Boundaries bump … sorry so long

    #682339 Reply
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    Marcie

    It’s great that this girl has a positive influence in you, and that she can confide in you. Why don’t you ask your boyfriend these questions? I feel like he’d be the best one to go to with this, since they are his kids.

    #682340 Reply
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    Vathena

    You should tread lightly here. This seems mostly like a “not your circus, not your monkeys” sort of situation. It could be that your bf’s daughter is confiding in you because she trusts you to keep it confidential. If that’s not necessarily the case, I think you could mention the conversation to him, especially the threats to “kick her out of the family”, just to let him know what is going on. I’d steer clear of telling him what you think he should do, though.

    #682341 Reply
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    TheHizzy

    So my boyfriend has some kinds with a not-so-good Mom who does crap like this.

    All you can do is convey SOME of the stuff she told you but keep talking to the daughter. Let her know she has YOUR support. She trusts you so she talked to you about it. Just keep that communication going. I’m having to do so much of the similar with two of his kids.

    #682344 Reply
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    Steph

    Thanks guys. It was general conversation, I don’t think she was telling me in confidence to keep it a secret. The way her mom and grandma are is normal to her that I don’t think she’s thinking it’s “wrong.” I just wasn’t sure if I should mention it to him.

    I know what I think he should do I can’t really express. But he needs to have a conversation with his ex-wife and MIL. He is still on really good terms with his in-laws so talking to them (mostly the ex-wife IMO).

    I appreciate it and want what is best for them. They seem to be dealt a not ideal card when it comes to their mom. I’ve heard her yelling at them on the phone and whenever they get in trouble she calls my boyfriend to deal with them.

    Thanks for the advice – I’ll talk to him tomorrow when we have dinner.

    #682345 Reply
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    Steph

    so talking to them, wouldn’t be too big of a deal*

    #682348 Reply
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    LisforLeslie

    Tread carefully – as the gf you are standing in a field of landmines because this is not your “family” and not your money. I put family in quotes because clearly you have a relationship but without your bf in the picture, you might not keep in touch with this girl.

    All you can do is help her outline her options and the pros and cons. Be realistic. Don’t factor “and mom and grandma get butt hurt” because that’s not a factor. It’s what is the right option to maximize my learning and minimize my costs?

    #682351 Reply
    Copa
    Copa
    Participant

    The first few sentences of this letter, I was expecting to cringe thinking you were going to be an over-bearing girlfriend who wants to run the show in her boyfriend’s kids’ lives. But you’re not! And I think it’s so great you have a positive relationship with his kids, enough so that one of his daughters is confiding in you. That said, I do think this is tough because you are “only” the girlfriend. I’ve never been in this kind of situation, or anything like it, but I think you can voice your concerns to your boyfriend. As others mentioned, tread lightly when you approach the subject, and be mindful of when it’s time to drop the subject. (Like, if he makes it clear he doesn’t think it’s any of your business, don’t turn this into your battle.) It also may be worthwhile having a more general conversation with your boyfriend about what he thinks your boundaries should be insofar as his kids are concerned. FWIW, I do think he’s lucky to have a girlfriend who seems to have the best interests of his kids in mind. Good luck!

    #682418 Reply
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    Steph

    Thank you all for the advice and helping me see that my intentions are in the right place. I’m confident that I’ll be able to openly talk to my boyfriend about it. He respects me enough that I feel that I can talk to him about my concerns and what our plans are for our future together.

    My plan is to get him to talk to the 18 year old. Have him ask her what school she wants to go to and what she sees for her future. And from there bring up going to the school 2 hours away and what her thought is on going there and how she feels about it. From there he can address Mom the way he chooses and sees fit. But I think the biggest start is talking with his daughter first and getting a feel for what she wants to do.

    I was blessed with amazing parents who supported any decision I made even if they knew it was right so I could from it. I want to be that parent some day. But I want to respect his girls and do whatever I can to help them grow into amazing young ladies.

    #682775 Reply
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    Steph

    UPDATE: I talked to my boyfriend on Tuesday about the conversation. He was furious (at the girls mom and ex MIL). His 2 oldest daughters ended up coming by his place unexpectedly that night so he casually asked her about school and colleges. She brought up the school down south and close to him and expressed that she’d like to go down south over the school close. He supported her and is going to talk to her about it more extensively tonight since it’s Thursday. He told me he would talk to his ex wife after he talked to her.

    He thanked me for having her best interest in mind and everything seemed to go well there. I’m glad I said something.

    #682777 Reply
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    TheHizzy

    Woohoo! That’s great.

    When you come into a relationship with older kids where the mom wants to destroy their child’s potential it’s hard. I’m in something so very similar.

    So glad your boyfriend took it seriously!

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