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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.

QuackQuackChicken Wed 17-Apr-13 06:28:43

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.

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