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My gf constantly feels guilty about me and my son

(96 Posts)
ConfusedFrustrated Wed 22-Jun-16 12:33:14

I'm so confused.

The basics: My gf is a bit younger than me, in her mid 20s. We've been together 20 months now. I have an 8 yr old son from a previous marriage and when I met my gf I told her on our first date. They did not meet until 6 months into our relationship.

Background: We have had a great relationship so far, amazing and we're so much in love. I initially kept my son and my "old/other" life separate because my gf was 24, single, childless and I thought it would be too overwhelming, so all the meeting and talk about my son happened slowly over time, exactly how it should have happened. My gf has had a difficult time for a number of reasons, the main ones:
1. Her ex was mentally unstable and was sectioned.
2. She is from EU and her family do not live in UK.

We love each other very much, even this early on in the relationship. We have set med-long term plans for ourselves. We've both got savings, we've both got high interest savers, we both want to get a house together, we both want to have a baby together. She sees my mum regularly with me, I've been abroad and met her parents and family twice. They recently visited us here. Both our parents have met. My gf quit smoking over 2 months ago which is absolutely amazing considering the length of time she smoked. So no cigarettes. I'm very sporty so it was contrary to my lifestyle anyway. Initially quitting was really terrible and we argued very badly while she was in withdrawal, and we both hated it - it's so much better now and we both knew and realised it was a symptom of quitting. So that's all behind us and I'm so glad as I hated her smoking, but I love her so much - She now goes to the gym with me too.

The issue: She is so incredibly guilty about my relationship with my son.

And I don't know what to do. She wants me all to herself, which I understand as I only want her to myself too. She accepts that I (we) spend time with my son and that because he doesn't live with us but stays with us a few days a week that when I see him I need to and want to give him attention - however she is still incredibly jealous of that. She never wants to be in the way of me and my son and in fact sometimes really steps back and 'hides' away so that we can have father-son time together and I really don't like when she does this because she gets sad, resentful, she pulls away from me and her issue is that she feels so guilty about taking my time away from my son and me YET is so jealous that we have time that she gives us. She always says "I shouldn't be here. There's no place for me." It's so confusing. Other times, most of the time in fact, we are a great 3 and do things and enjoy stuff and laugh together and it's terrific. Sometimes she says I don't put her first, but she understands my son is no 1. My problem is when we're all together I share myself 50/50. I'm so split. I can't give her 100%, nor him so I have to divide my attention and time equally which as you can imagine, you cannot measure or quantify how to do properly. So I always feel guilty too!! But, I can reason it away to myself (I'm a guy, I'm sorry, it's easier for me). She cannot. She dwells on her thoughts and emotions all day every day.

The truth is, and this is going to sound awful so I expect some flack, I put my gf first virtually all the time. And she's with me all the time, all week, whereas my son isn't so this is a huge commitment for me to make to her because believe me, I truly love my son. And I have told her this, and we've cried a few times because it hurts me beyond belief to put her first before my son, but I do it because I love her and most times I don't tell her how bad I feel doing this because I know she will hurt so much knowing she is the cause of my hurt. I don't resent her at all for this. I know there are two ways of looking at this and the other school of thought is that my son should be no1 no matter what, but if I'm one day going to be starting a family with her, she can't be second because we will be partners. She has to know and feel I love her without condition. But this fills her with so much guilt because she both wants me to, but doesn't want me to.

Bottom line: I put her first, she feels so much guilt. I don't put her first, she feels jealous and un-loved.

Help me. Tell me what to say and do. You're mostly women here (?) some of you must be in that girlfriend position and have felt these same feelings.

Goingtobeawesome Wed 22-Jun-16 12:44:50

You could have said that in four lines and I think that's indicative of your girlfriends influence.

My mother chose her boyfriend over me so I had an abusive childhood in care instead. I'll never forgive her.

Your girlfriend needs to grow up. Your child has to come first as he's a child and your son. He can't look after himself and deserves a father who will prioritise him.

What does she think she will happen if you have a baby with her? Will she want to come before that baby too?

adora1 Wed 22-Jun-16 12:53:31

Massive red flag OP, jealous of your child, sorry but if I got that kind of attitude I'd cut it dead, it's not on, not fair and extremely childish, even if it is a new relationship, this would worry me.

Maybe she will calm down but it's not exactly an attractive trait to have.

HappyJanuary Wed 22-Jun-16 12:54:21

If I understand correctly, your girlfriend resents your son but then feels guilty because she knows she's being unfair?

If she loved you, really loved you in a way that wasn't immature and destructive, she would hide any feelings of jealousy or resentment so completely that you would never know.

This is because any decent person would recognise that those feelings were irrational and unfair, would not want to taint your time with your son or make you feel bad for spending time with him.

If you are determined to stay with this dreadful woman you need - and she needs - to recognise that your son is number one, and will be made to feel like number one, whenever he is with you. The rest of the time, when your son is with his mum, you can dote on your princess.

Helmetbymidnight Wed 22-Jun-16 12:57:41

She sounds horrible, sorry.

She doesn't constantly feel guilty, she feels jealous. My advice is to dump her.

Claraoswald36 Wed 22-Jun-16 12:58:37

She wants a bf with no kids is the bottom line. It's a shame because you sound like a nice person. I'm sure she's able to occupy herself when you have your boy or join in and support you - she just doesn't want to. What's she hoping will happen next? Reduce contact with your son? She is being v u

CalmItKermitt Wed 22-Jun-16 12:59:46

Oh god. Drama drama drama.

She needs to grow up. I'm sure she's very sweet (when she's getting her own way wrt your attention) but this will NOT get better.

And if/when you have a baby together it WILL get ten times worse. Without a shadow of a doubt.

adora1 Wed 22-Jun-16 13:01:53

And stop putting her first, your son should always be your no1, maybe that's where you have gone wrong, she sounds incredibly spoilt.

MyKingdomForBrie Wed 22-Jun-16 13:03:20

Well she's an immature twat then. You need to stop putting her first, that's ridiculous.

tudasaurus Wed 22-Jun-16 13:03:45

Your post is so alien to me OP because if a partner was jealous of my child it would cut my feelings for them stone dead, they'd be gone. But here you are pandering to it. Grow up and put your son first, this won't get any better.

loobyloo1234 Wed 22-Jun-16 13:05:57

Jealous of your child shock

Sounds like she needs to grow up and either a) accept that you would and should want to spend nearly 100% of your time when you are actually with him or b) walk away and let you find someone who isn't such an needy fuck immature child

CalmItKermitt Wed 22-Jun-16 13:09:02

....oh and she doesn't feel guilty. It's just that that sounds better and probably gets her lots of cooing reassurance from you.

adora1 Wed 22-Jun-16 13:10:00

And I'd imagine if you have children with her, your son will be completely left out cos she won't want him to get more attention that her baby, it's all about her.

Littletabbyocelot Wed 22-Jun-16 13:14:42

I have children with my husband. I'm his partner. And I still come second to them. Because they are children. So no, her being the potential mother of your future children does not mean she should come first.

You feel like a shit dad for not putting your son first. Don't talk yourself out of that feeling or justify it, or you will be a rubbish dad. Make this a dealbreaker. She finds a way of accepting your son's importance in your life or its over. Rather like giving up smoking, its something she should do for her anyway - it's not healthy for an adult to need to be the centre of your world 24/7.

Seriously this is your choice. My dad chose his wife. I see him maybe once a year. His loss. My friend is the son of a second marriage where the kids from the first marriage were dropped. Its completely messed with his head.

mumofthemonsters808 Wed 22-Jun-16 13:15:24

I imagine over time this will pan out like these situations usually do, you and your GF will have a baby and your son will disappear from your life. I hope I'm very wrong because he deserves a Step Mother who is mature enough to accept that he comes package and parcel with you.

Sorry to sound harsh, but even your use of the word "guilt" annoys me because this is not the correct word to describe her pathetic behaviour. I feel like you are making excuses for her and justifying her behaviour.

If I were you, I'd let her go and find someone less complicated, but I doubt you will, there really is no advice or solution because you are dealing with such a childish personality.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 22-Jun-16 13:16:22

Agree with all the PPs.

Just to add, if you end this relationship, you'll hopefully find a woman who truly wants to be your partner, who is mature enough to love you because you're a good dad, as well as for all of the other things about you.

You only have one son and if you let this relationship with this gf ruin your relationship with your child you'll never forgive yourself and you'll never ever get this time back.

I'm a stepmum and the "you knew what you were getting into" thing gives me the fucking rage. But you did tell your gf about your son straight away and if she's finding it this hard she's not mature enough to be able to end the relationship, so you have to.

I promise you the sadness of ending it with this woman will be easier to get over than knowing you're fucking up your relationship with your child. He deserves far far more than this. Be a grown up. Have some self respect and put your child first.

DollyBarton Wed 22-Jun-16 13:16:29

Oh dear OP. As painful as this is, the truth is that this woman will do damage to your son. He will notice the situation if he hasn't already. The question is do you think it's worth damaging a vulnerable child for her? As a parent there really is only one answer to that.

Not an easy situation for you but it's pretty clear cut. Sorry.

cbigs Wed 22-Jun-16 13:23:56

Whatever you do op you have to start putting your son first and if this causes issues in the relationship you deal with it. Essentially you're making your son the fall guy because it's less hassle . That's really not on.
And as others I've said she needs to grow the fuck up and stop all this passive aggressive 'there's no place for me' what a load of shit . Be a step parent or find a childless man.

ricketytickety Wed 22-Jun-16 13:24:42

She's made it so you can't win either way. Whatever you do, she's going to make you feel awkward.

Meanwhile, your son is only 8 and the years will fly by. He'll grow quicker than you can imagine and if your gf is manipulating it so you spend all your time with him worrying about her feelings, then one day you will deeply regret the wasted time dealing with it.

It's her problem. She needs to sort it. Either she joins you and your son as a team or she can go and find a man without a child. It really is as simple as that. So my advice is to say 'you aren't competing with my son for my attention, we can all have fun together' and if she still complains then you have to leave her behind I'm afraid.

Don't forget, your son has no choice in who is looking after him - only his parents have that choice. You need to decide if you want someone in his life that feels jealous of him. He's only 8.

Just5minswithDacre Wed 22-Jun-16 13:27:06

She's not guilty. She is jealous.

Who has branded it "guilt"?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 22-Jun-16 13:28:03

What do you get out of this relationship now?. You get something out of it so what it is, what needs of yours is she meeting here?.

Put your son first. If you continue with this you will by your own hand also destroy your relationship with your son. She will also do her bit to put the boot into him because he will know that she does not tolerate him. He will not want to know you because you have put this selfish and self centred woman first. Relationships should not be such hard work honestly.

You have a choice re this woman, your son does not.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Wed 22-Jun-16 13:29:05

She sounds very, very immature, OP but to be honest so do you.

Hidingtonothing Wed 22-Jun-16 13:30:24

I've been where your gf is, was even a similar age when me and my now DH met. The fact that she's jealous worries me and makes me think she's not grown up enough to handle a relationship with a man who has DC. I can categorically say I never felt jealous of his DC, I chose to be with him knowing his situation and they were there first (for want of a better expression) so I accepted from day one that they would come first. DH struggled with it more than me actually, I think his viewpoint was that he needed to make a new life for himself having been forced by the ex to leave his children and so he tended to put me first, it was me who put a stop to that, I made sure his DC were put first and wouldn't allow him to do anything else. Your gf is making life difficult for herself as well as you, the easy way round this is for her to embrace the situation instead of fighting or resenting it and, unless she can get her head round loving your DS because he's part of you and learn to take pleasure in caring for him and the three of you spending time together you all have a difficult road ahead. It's perfectly possible to build a new life which includes your DS, it shouldn't be a competition between her and him but it's her attitude which needs to change. I saw my role as being to ease my DH's relationship with his DC not make it harder and the pay off has been huge, I adore his kids (they're more or less grown up now) and they love and respect me, I think because they can see how hard I tried to make our family work. Me and DH have a DD now and she and the older two are incredibly close, it is entirely possible to make it work but your gf needs to be grown up enough to take on an adult role and support your relationship with your DS instead of competing with him. The problem is that she has to realise that and be willing to try to change the way she approaches things.

Patheticfallacy Wed 22-Jun-16 13:31:03

My dp has a son. He always comes first. Always. He often wants to spend time with his son on his own. That's fine! That's his boy. I would never ever ever expect my dp to put me first over his son, that's utterly ridiculous. I have dc too and am older than your gf so maybe that's why. For me, my dp's treatment of his son shows me that he's a good man.

tiredandhungryalways Wed 22-Jun-16 13:32:29

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