Do you ever wish your DP didn't have DCs with another woman?

(40 Posts)
hatemyselfmostofthetime Tue 16-Apr-13 21:41:24

I've name changed for this as I'm expecting to get flamed and I'd like to be able to come back here as this board is a real lifeline for me.

DP and I are TTC at the moment. It looks like I might have some fertility issues and it may take longer than we thought.

DP's ex can't really be bothered with DSD and we have her most of the time. Her mum likes to wheel her out for family occasions and then give her back to us once the spotlight's off her amazing mothering skills.

Anyway, I just feel really really pissed off that DP had a child with this horrible woman who's not even that bothered. When I desperately want his child and can't.

It doesn't seem fair. And the bit I'm most ashamed of is it affects how I feel about DSD. It's like her presence is rubbing my face in that fact that DP can have children with other women that aren't me.

I know how bad that sounds. That's why I've name changed and it's why I'm saying it here. Anonymously. Because I would never tell anyone in RL how I felt because I know it's terrible. I just need to get it out.

My yearning for a child has turned me a bit crazy I think. And finding out recently that we may have trouble conceiving has tipped me over the edge of reason. I'm having more and more thoughts like this and I know it's not okay.

I can't be the only person to have felt like this. To have felt jealous that their DP had children with another woman? I'm starting to feel resentful at paying half for everything for DSD like holidays and food and stuff. I know it's wrong. I paid for half of her ski holiday. If we were a family I wouldn't bat an eyelid. Why do I feel like this? I'm miserable. How can I change?

CookieDoughKid Tue 16-Apr-13 23:06:51

Are you married? And even if you are not married, have you made a life commitment to your partner? Because if you have answered either of those above questions, then you should be treating your step daughter like your own flesh and blood and do everything you can to support her.

Having said the above, it must be extremely painful for you for the issues you are dealing conceiving and I strongly recommend for you to seek therapy. It will help you deal with your emotions and reconnect with yourself and put things in perspective. it may help for you to have some time on your own to think things through.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Apr-13 23:44:40

Well done for saying it thanks

I don't think your feelings are unusual. There is certainly no obligation for a SM to 'love DSC as if they are her own' and when their presence is a painful reminder of something you desperately crave that someone else has (especially if, in your opinion, they are undeserving) then of course you are going to have an emotional response.

Your DH can reasonably expect you to support him in his role as a parent, to respect that and to acknowledge that it is a part of who he is. His DD deserves to be treated with kindness and respect by you. Anything more than that is a bonus and it sounds like you are doing a great job - have embraced his DD into your life and I really don't think you need to worry about how you feel underneath. IMO, your feelings are perfectly natural.

breaktheroutine Wed 17-Apr-13 06:11:03

OP your feelings in you situation are totally understandable. It's impossible for anyone not in your situation to understand how painful it must be not to be able to conceive. I would recommend counselling for your own benefit as much as anything, because if you feel such guilt then it will impact your self esteem. Really feel for you.

Btw though, it sounds like you do a lot for your DSD, there's certainly no obligation for you to pay half of stuff for her and you're doing a great job by treating her with care and respect.

Bonsoir Wed 17-Apr-13 06:28:23

You should not be paying for your DSD! Of course you feel resentful.

I don't have stepchildren but we did struggle to conceive for 3 years and what you're feeling is completely normal. I used to break down in tears every time my husband came home with a pregnancy announcement from one of our friends (why wasn't it us?). It's such a hard and isolating place to be. Like the poster before, I thoroughly recommend counselling, it really helped me to pull myself back from the darker places that I found myself in.

Hope you find a way through all of this.

Flixy102 Wed 17-Apr-13 09:58:44

OP I completely identify with your situation, I'm in a similar position myself. DH has a teenage DD from a relationship when he was just a teenager. Now we are trying for our own child but I have fertility ishoos so will need some help to conceive.

On the one hand, I do sometimes think of how 'unfair' it is that he was able to conceive so easily in such a casual relationship, but then I also see what a great dad he is and what a great dad he would be to our children. smile

It's so difficult to be a step mother sometimes; my DSD has hit the teenage years with a vengeance, her latest thing being that she doesn't want to go on a school trip that we've already paid £500 for hmm.

Don't feel bad about how you feel, it's completely natural in your/our situation.

Kaluki Wed 17-Apr-13 10:34:06

Don't feel bad. You are only human.
DP and I always say we wish we had met 20 years ago and had dc together. I wish he didn't have dc with his ex and he feels the same but it doesn't mean we don't love our dc.
My biggest regret is that we will never have a child of our own but some things are just not meant to be sad.
I can understand the resentment you feel but you need to get it into perspective - I agree that counselling is a good idea.
Incidentally - why did you pay for half of her ski holiday? Surely your DP should pay for things for his DD?? hmm

dignifiedsilence Wed 17-Apr-13 10:54:12

In short....yes. Sad but true.

MoodyDidIt Wed 17-Apr-13 10:55:00

yanbu OP

i bet loads of people feel like this, they just don't admit it

i am well jealous that my DH had a dc with someone else, even though it was years before we even met. is irrational i know, but i can't help it <shrug> and i certainly would never show it

i am lucky as me and DH have a dc together, and another on the way and a horrible little part of me feels good about the fact that soon me and dh will have 2 dc together and his ex only has one dc with him blush

runawaysimba Wed 17-Apr-13 11:03:35

It is very cathartic to hear others admit this. I think it's frankly unrealistic to expect to love someone else's children as your own. It's a lovely thing if it happens, and it can certainly grow over time, especially if the stepparent and child don't feel like they are under some sort of obligation to love each other.
Even in the best of step family relationships, having a step child and, therefore, an ex, to contend with adds a layer of logistical difficulty that other families never have to consider. And that's before all the extra emotional stuff going on.
OP, my heart goes out to you. I wish you all the best, and know just how you feel xx

hatemyselfmostofthetime Wed 17-Apr-13 14:09:08

Oh you're all so kind. Thank you. This is very cathartic.

Re me paying for stuff, I think DP sees us as a family and I sense he's very disappointed in me when I don't fully engage.

For example, I hate DSD getting into bed with us in the night. It means I can't sleep naked, which I like to do, it wakes me up and i take ages to fall back to sleep, means the bed gets really crowded and hot. If she wakes up she'll spend ages coughing or having whispered conversations with DP. When I can't stand it any more I do suggest to DP that he takes her back to her own bed. But then there's this unspoken thing that I'm somehow the bad guy and I feel guilty. It's like just because her getting into bed doesn't bother DP, I'm not supposed to say anything about it.

The other day I was eating something and DSD said to DP 'daddy can I have some of that?' DP said yes without even asking me, so I had to give DSD some of what I was eating even though I didn't want to. She just expected that she could have something from me and DP just expected that I would give it unquestioningly. It pissed me off!

Someone asked if we're married. We're not, but we live together and are TTC so are obviously committed. Does that mean that this sort of thing shouldn't bug me as much as it does? I genuinely can't tell if I'm in the wrong.

I've been a bit grumpy the past couple if days and feeling very down. DPs been sympathetic to a point. But yesterday I had a piece of good news (finally) and I cheered up a bit. DP said he was happy to see me smiling again and then added it was a shame DSD wasn't around to see it (she's at her mum's) for a couple of days. I asked him what he meant and he said 'well you are quite an angry person'. I don't think I'm angry, just frustrated and hurt by the situation and by feeling like second best in my own home.

It's as if he was trying to tell me in a passive aggressive way that I need to be all nice and smiley all the time around DSD even if all I want to do is cry in the bedroom. But I'm allowed to feel how I feel aren't I?

I really don't know how to explain this all to DP. I won't feel like a family with him until we have our own child. And i want him to understand that what I want is as important as what he and DSD want.

hatemyselfmostofthetime Wed 17-Apr-13 14:11:10

It's like DPs affronted when I don't treat DSD like my own. But I don't want to treat her like my own because she isn't.

He'd be so hurt if I said that to him. But I think I'm just being realistic.

Celticcat Wed 17-Apr-13 14:29:48

I apologize now for my own thoughts on this, OP:
Could your problem possibly be psychological?
I know it sounds far fetched, but your angry responses to dh and his dd sound quite normal and natural IMO. Are you perhaps sensing some underlying issues that need sorting before you ttc?
Dh and I could not have own dc because he got a vasectomy during first marriage and did not want a reversal. It still depresses me on occasion but I'm too old now for a serious discussion.
On the other hand, although he's always seemed a great dad, dh does have an obvious favorite and now I feel both his dc would have received preferential treatment anyway over any of mine (ds) or joint.

Hullygully Wed 17-Apr-13 14:34:47

You should treat her "like your own" tho, poor kid.

Good for dp for standing up for her, mildly and kindly, a lot of men don't.

I am sympathetic to your feelings, but you are the grown up.

breaktheroutine Wed 17-Apr-13 14:58:07

He shouldn't be allowing her food you're eating. That does not a "kind" father or partner make, just an indulgent one.

Sorry OP but I foresee a lot of problems for you in the future in this situation. You should NOT be paying half of trips to somehow prove to DP you're a good SM.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 17-Apr-13 15:09:41

*It's like DPs affronted when I don't treat DSD like my own. But I don't want to treat her like my own because she isn't.

He'd be so hurt if I said that to him. But I think I'm just being realistic.*

You cannot just pull pure love out of nowhere. You can't fake it, how long would that last? Most people would go mad if they tried to put on a front declaring that they love another woman's child as their own just to please everyone else. Don't feel guilty OP. Nobody can force you to treat her as if she is your own, nor can they tell you how to feel about her. She's not yours, and the feelings you have for will be nowhere near as strong as people (like your DP), expect them to be.

Kaluki Wed 17-Apr-13 15:25:30

Well both examples you have given are things I wouldn't put up with.
Your bed is your personal space. I had issues with DSD getting in our bed and stopped it. I had a thread on here and got a good MN flaming!
And the eating thing - I'd be really annoyed. DSD used to help herself to my stuff (make up, perfume, etc) and I stopped that too! It's about respecting boundaries and personal space - things which should happen in all families!
Your DP is asking too much of you. Particularly because you don't have dc of your own yet - maybe you should hold off from TSC until these things are ironed our though.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 17-Apr-13 15:32:40

It sounds to me like your DP is trying to airbrush his DDs mum out of her life - that really isn't the actions of a good dad, regardless of how he feels about his ex's behaviour.

I think you should put TTC on hold - your DP appears to have a very low regard for the role of a mother in a DCs life and very little respect for you - once you have his child, things will only get worse.

The two issues you mention - co-sleeping and a parent indulging a child by securing what they want on their behalf (your food) are both issues that cause friction between 'together' parents. They should be discussed and agreed, not forced upon you.
If your DP wants to parent his DD his way and expects you to do the same, then what is his model for parenting your shared child?

StrugglingStepMum Wed 17-Apr-13 17:37:46

Op, I sympathise.

I have been a step mum for 3 years. I also have my own baby.

I do love my dsd. But not in the same way as I love my own child, I just don't. In fact I've name changed because I have my own thread to start sad

Is your relationship otherwise good? Have you been together long? Do you LIKE your dsd? I suppose I'm thinking that maybe you should think about starting again. Maybe.

The bed thing is hard. I actually hate my dsd coming into bed with us. She used to do it a lot when she was younger 4 or 5. My dh loved it and found it really upsetting if I ever protested, so mainly I kept quiet. Now I have my own dc and I love it when he sometimes gets in with us! Complete double standards. It's just different when it's not your own child. But I do sympathise with your dp and dsd too.

Step families can be tough.

Genuine question for people who say you should treat your sc as your own. How? I treat my dsd and dc equally but I love my dc more. So probably in my heart there are inequalities. I'm much less patient with my sc but try to hide it (pretty successfully).

WakeyCakey Wed 17-Apr-13 18:29:15

I am in a very similar situation. Have a DSD and TTC.
I do hate the fact DP had a child with another woman, I love DSD but that doesn't change the fact that I wish I had been the only mum of his only children!

I got home tonight to find my laptop gone and found out DSD popped round to borrow it. She has one of her own. She has an iMac in her bedroom (at her mums), her mum has a laptop and We have a family desktop computer.
When I asked DP where is was as I need it he told me and doesn't see the issue because if she was my child I would let her use anything of mine.

As step parents we have to deal with all the things parents do but with none of the recognition. Told we have to love a child that we didn't have a chance to carry ourselves. Have a daily reminder that DP had a previous life before we came along. And come second best from the beginning, not just after we have our own children.

It is totally natural to feel some resentment and anger towards the situation but it should never turn into anger or hatred towards the child, I always try to remind myself that DSD didn't choose for me to be in her life or her parents to split so to have some compassion.

I feel for you OP and I could have written your post

Flixy102 Wed 17-Apr-13 19:29:02

Wakey that's a great post, says everything I wanted to say but failed miserably to do in my own post!

parttimer79 Thu 18-Apr-13 09:09:30

I sympathise. When DP and I were talking about having children it did ocur to me how much harder it would be if we struggled because he already had 2 DCs - I felt all kinds of preemptive feelings of resentment and inadequacy (I study infertility so certainly overthought it far too much!!)

I am now pregnant and totally agree that whilst I feel love towards the SDCs it is not "like they are my own". It is like they are members of my family (which they are), the same feelings I have for my godchildren.

Happily DP understands this and is glad that DCs and I have a good relationship, he doesn't expect me to love the SDCs like my own just to understand that all the DCs are his own and he loves them all equally- including bump.

You sound like you do care very much for DSD - do you feel that she is family to you and would this be "enough" for your DP?

MoodyDidIt Thu 18-Apr-13 10:38:39

i will also say op you are very lucky that you and your dp have a relationship with your DSD, my DSD has almost no relationship with DH, and does not want anything to do with us, and has never met her half sister (my dd) because her mum has spent the years since DH left her poisoning her against him sad

i would do anything to have her in our lives. sorry i know thats a bit off subject but just wanted to say x

foolserrand Thu 18-Apr-13 10:49:12

I could have written your op a few years ago. Dscs are newly into adulthood now, but my dcs are only little.

When struggling to conceive with dd, it was made worse by dsd announcing she was pregnant. I was irrationally jealous, felt betrayed, all sorts of awful things. But it isn't the dsc's fault you feel this way.

I say that with compassion and no blame at all, but your dsd cannot help who her mother is, by the sounds of it, you are a better maternal figure for her.

Sorry this isn't particularly articulate, but it does get easier. Give her a chance to show you she's special. It isn't actually her you resent, but the situation. Feel free to pm me if you ever want a non judgemental ear.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 02-May-13 04:49:09

Definitely put a stop to dsd sleeping in your bed if you don't feel comfortable.
I did the minute it first happened, it would just build up alot of resentment if you are not honest about what you can/can't put up with.

WaitingForMe Thu 02-May-13 12:51:19

Yes in one sense. We can't afford a fourth child (two DSSs, one DS). I feel a bit sad it's not really an option.

But I actually rather like that I have a houseful of kids (albeit part time) but only had to give birth once!

I adore my DSSs but my life is crucially different from OPs in two ways. Our bed, bedroom (and ensuite) are pretty much out of bounds. And everything that is mine (from a banana to my car) is mine and subject to my rules. I would really struggle if DHs boys slept in our bed or felt entitled to what I was eating.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 02-May-13 13:28:31

I'm in the same position op I have 2 lovely dsc who I am very fond of but we are ttc and have fertility issues, in our case it is dp who has the problem. Some days I really struggle with feeling resentment towards the situation, never towards my dsc as I know it isn't their fault.

Dp's ex uses the children to get her own way and to upset dp a lot and it's those days that I find myself feeling really angry, why did he have children with a women like her but can't with me, I just remind myself that I can't change the past and concentrate on making sure that my dsc know they are safe and loved in our home and try to be the best role model I can for them.

Dsc aren't allowed in our room unless we ask them to go in there, if they need us at night they knock on the door, but they are 9 and 14 so I would be very surprised if either of them wanted to get into bed with us.

Like waitingforme anything that's mine is mine, we did have a slight issue with dp letting dss eat my emergency stash of chocolate, I wouldn't have minded if he had asked me BUT the dsc have their own treat box it was just that dss wanted what I had and not what was in his box, fortunately dp has since learnt that the answer to any question about something that belongs to me is you need to ask smiling.

TigerSwallowTail Thu 02-May-13 13:39:51

I think it's normal for it to cross your mind now and then, ttc with such a struggle must be very difficult and this must make it very hard to see your DSD's mother not bothering with her. I have the opposite thoughts, DS's father is just an awful parent and it sometimes enters my mind how much easier it would be if Dfiance was DS's father instead of his real dad. I know this isn't a very nice thought, I can't change who his biological father is, but it doesn't stop me from thinking it now and then.

nicknamegame Thu 02-May-13 15:47:14

Op I do think you're overly invested in your feelings about your dss's mum and they're quite negative, what do you think she'll do to your future children? Has she given you reasons to feel the way you do?

nicknamegame Thu 02-May-13 15:48:10

Sorry last message was meant for other thread!

KittenCamile Thu 02-May-13 20:42:47

I empathise, I'm going through the same thing at the moment. Dsd was an 'accident' that happened just a few months after a termination. Dsd mum didn't want DC's. DP and I are desprately ttc and so far no luck. I can't help but feel a little gutted that a woman thaat didn't want a child got my lovely dsd and isn't that bothered about her, she spends most of her time at the CM or here.

I think its natural and honestly I love my dsd but I know (if/when!) I have my own DC's I will love them more because they are part of me.

I have been working over time to avoid my Dsd as I'm struggling being around her for long periods but iam suffering quite badly from depression at the moment. My DP is very understanding and just wants me well. Your DP really should take your feelings in to concideration. He can't change anything but if he wants a DC too he should look after you a little too. Your state of mind can really effect ttc.

Xalla Thu 02-May-13 20:50:21

In a word, yes.

Playerpleeeese Thu 02-May-13 21:11:14

I think that there are two separate issues here.

IMO your DP is spoiling his DD. Maybe to make up for her mother being absent or maybe because this is how he will be with all his children, I wouldn't have DS in my bed, or eating food off my plate etc.

But I think that your DSD is a child who did not ask to be born, you entered into a relationship with a man with a child willingly, she came before you. In your posts it's coming across like you blame her. She's a child and will pick up on your negative feelings towards her wether you say them or not.

As a PP said, you need to treat her with kindness and respect, anything else is just a bonus.

I think you should see your doctor about speaking to someone about these feelings, as they are normal for your situation, but destructive and you will only make yourself, your DP and your DSD suffer if this gets out of hand. If I have a DP in the future and he spoke about DS like this, honestly I would ask him to leave.

brdgrl Fri 03-May-13 00:47:32

OP, I think your feelings are quite natural and normal. And I see no evidence that you are allowing your feelings to have a negative impact on DSD - the only worry there is that you might find yourself feeling a bit withdrawn and distant and so miss out on enjoying your self with DSD, but I think you are working hard not to do so. The examples you mention - the co-sleeping and the indulgence by dad - don't show any unkindness toward DSD - you are perfectly right to want to set your own boundaries.

I think it is harder in some ways to be childless and be with a man with children. (At least emotionally - there may be fewer logistical and practical issues, and less at stake.) I was not 'supposed' to be able to carry a child to term, and when I met my DH, one of the things I had to think about was how I would manage that while also raising his children by someone else. (I didn't ever meet their mum, she is deceased - so I have no direct feelings about her, IYSWIM - no dislike or on-going issues between us as there might be with a living mum - but I will admit to a bit of resentment over some of the choices she made in regards to the kids' upbringing, or financial decisions that have carried on affecting us, or even the fact that she will never be the one to get the brunt of a teenager's bad mood!)

Please don't take seriously the demands that you treat your DSD "like your own child". You will tie yourself up in knots trying to meet a standard that isn't necessarily appropriate, that most psychologists and family counselors don't recommend, and that may actually exacerbate problems in your family.

What's more, most of those who say this, don't even mean it - they are often the same ones who will be quick to say that you are "overstepping" when you take on a parental role, or that you are being unkind or unloving when you do treat your DSC as you would your own child, right down to the discipline and standards you'd hold for your own child. You cannot win in that game, so don't play. Spend your time figuring out, instead, how to build a strong relationship of equals with your partner, and establishing the boundaries and roles that are right in your circumstances.

BruthasTortoise Fri 03-May-13 18:43:35

I have never wished my DSSs away but if my DH (then my DP) had had any real fertility issues or had I not been able to have children at all I probably wouldn't have stayed with him. I think it's one thing for a couple to go through a fertility "journey" together if they are both on the same footing, entirely different if one member of the couple already has DC. I also don't think I would've happy with just DSC, had I not been able to have children I would've wanted to be along with someone who was in the same position and not be faced with constant reminders of what I couldn't have.

WaitingForMe Fri 03-May-13 23:47:03

I struggled with TTC as DH impregnated his ex in the first month of trying with my stepkids (he was quite bitter about this as she wasn't terribly interested in sex). It felt unfair that it was less easy for me, like I was being punished for being the slutty second wife blush

I know that is bonkers but it seemed really unfair!

thegirliesmam Sat 04-May-13 22:04:41

I dont think our dp/h (unless they are in the same situation i expect) know just how hard it is and how strong we need to be to take on our dsc's. To have a child in your life and treat them, on face value, as your own, when am sure (though the majority would never admit) our inner mum is whispering "but they aren't your babies". Until i had my own children i realised that the emotion i was putting in to my relationship with dsd was effort and not love. Since having my kids i realise it isnt even like! How awful! I have a child in my life who i know is brilliant but looks and acts like her mother. The mother who lied to my dp and said she could not have children and removed all discussion of wether he was ready to be a parent at twenty off the table. Who then proceeded to have an affair with his friend/neighbour, took my dsd to live with this man and encouraged her to call him daddy. Needless to say she was pregnant again within a year! Am sure there is a case for entrapment somewhere in there. And its not dsd fault ofcourse. But when i say she acts like her mother, her mother has an attitude problem and superiority complex. And dsd has these in seven! But i'm the bad mpther for realising my kids will always be treated differently to the poor dsd who is given everything she WANTS at the drop of a hat so she knows that shes loved. And yes i knew about her before we got together and yes i did take on a man with "baggage" (for want of a much better term) but am only human. A human mother and a human woman and a human partner. I try to be the best at all these roles and the role of step mother but i cant help but be overwhelmed by the negative emotions i experience towards the child i know didnt choose to be in her position. So horrendous. So difficult.

colditz Sat 04-May-13 22:10:24

Yes but not for the same reason. I wouldn't wish any of our children away, I wish they were all mine AND my partners, just to simplify all this "this child has to be here at x time on ex date, other child must be forty miles away or face the wrath of her mother, I will never hear the end from his father if we don't etcetcetc" oh god it's endless.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 05-May-13 10:26:32

I can totally relate to that, colditz - it is very hard to stand by and watch DSC being hurt, abused, neglected etc and I have often thought that their mum 'doesn't deserve' such wonderful DCs if that's how she chooses to treat them sad

In recent weeks, I have found myself 'wishing them away' though and wonder what life would have been like if DPs ex had just disappeared with the DCs so we weren't a part of their life.

Sorry, OP, that's a bit of a hijack blush

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