“My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want to Be a Stepdad”

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    March 22, 2024 at 12:04 pm #1128613

    From a LW:

    “My bf and I have been together 2 years. We did long distance for 1 1/2. I have my 6 year old daughter for a week on and then week off. I introduced them about 9 months into the relationship when he was visiting. He was great w her that first date. We had several visits since then before him finally moving in 3 months ago. We have worked through his discomfort in having dad right down the street. He agrees to babysit her when I need and is nice to her. However he won’t drive her anywhere or do school pick ups. But he doesn’t go out of his way to play with her and I wish he was more loving with her. When we got together I did not tell him I was looking for a step dad. That became clear like a year and a half into it. He said he would “try” harder but he just doesn’t seem into parenting and I doubt he could really ever love her on a certain level. Should I wait and give it time to develop or just end it because he will never be what I want with her? My dream is to have “family” trips. And him initiating play and planning activities etc.. are there single men in the 37-42 age group that would be into that? Or am I just hoping for a miracle here. “

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    March 22, 2024 at 3:48 pm #1128615

    There are men in that age group who would absolutely be into having a blended family with you/being an enthusiastic and present stepdad! I hope you aren’t staying in this relationship because you believe on some level that your “baggage” is too much and this is the best that you can hope for. Your daughter deserves to be more than tolerated by your choice in partners.

    If you’d like uplifting anecdotal evidence, one of my cousins married for the first time a couple years ago, they had both just turned 40. His wife was previously married and had a kid from her first marriage. Similar to what your situation sounds like, the wife’s ex-husband lives a short walk away (he moved to their neighborhood to make their son’s life/coparenting easier). There has never been any jealousy or weird feelings toward the ex-husband. My cousin is a great stepdad and was even before he officially got that title. He proposed to his now-wife twice… once privately, once including his stepson where both got down on one knee to propose making their little family official. They’ve had two more kids together and the stepson is a very proud big brother. They do cute stuff on weekends as a family, travel as a family, eat family dinners. He’s involved. He loves all his kids, bio or not.

    March 25, 2024 at 3:22 am #1128631

    LW, this is really sad. It might feel like by extension your boyfriend is rejecting you. It’s clear he doesn’t share your idea of what family is. My children’s father didn’t share my ideas either, and when we separated (and I had an extra special child), I thought no one would ever take me on. I was wrong! My partner now, though adamantly “child-free” for her own body, has more communication with my kids than either of their biological parents do, loves them, and wanted to do age-appropriate activities with them when they were younger. You and your child deserve to be loved in your whole selves, and you have to make sure you don’t keep making room in your life for people who are okay with either of feeling less than. (It’s of course crucial to exercise caution & discretion for other reasons).

    March 25, 2024 at 6:53 am #1128632

    I was your kid. My mom was dating someone who adored her and tolerated me. He really didn’t want me around. They broke up (whew!) and she started dating another guy who was thrilled to have insta family. He treated me like a little sister, I wasn’t his kid, but I was family. His entire family lived a few blocks away and treated me like family right away. Suddenly I had extra aunts and grandparents.

    I wasn’t into having a second parent, and he patiently put up with a lot of boundaries that I put in place. My mom and he had a kid together (my beloved sister) and he always referred to us as “his daughters”. He was a better dad to me than my own dad (I did tell him this on several occasions when I was an adult).

    There are men who are ready to be a parent to any kid. I got super lucky.

    Miss MJ
    March 27, 2024 at 5:22 am #1128642

    This should be a deal breaker, LW. If she hasn’t already, your daughter will pick up on the fact that your bf only tolerates her and that’s a horrible way to live. Being The Other Guy’s Kid will ruin your relationship with your daughter because it puts her on the outside – basically she’s the third wheel instead of you all being a family unit. Doubly so if you have a kid with this bf and he plays favorites (which he will). You need to break up with him, for your, your daughter and even his sake. Find someone who is who you want them to be, not someone you’re hoping will change into someone they’ve shown you they’re not.

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“My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want to Be a Stepdad”

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