Relationship with ex-girlfriend's 9 year old daughter following a breakup of a 3-year relationship
My ex-girlfriend and I started dating a little over 3 years ago during what was the tail end of 3 year separation between her and her ex-husband. They had 6 year old daughter when we met.
Six months later, her divorce was finalized and I began regular interaction with the daughter. Essentially, for a little over 2 years, we have all lived together with visions of a life together forever. Four months ago, there was a series of events that lead us to couples counseling that ultimately ended in a breakup initiated by me.
From the onset, I expressed concern over what was to be said to her daughter, only to be told that she would handle it. I love the daughter, and want to try and help her understand why I was involved daily and then gone. I spoke to the mother on 3 occasions since our breakup 4 weeks ago. During these conversations, there is a lot of anger and resentment toward me, which is justified in her opinion.
My opinion is that she failed to take accountability for her actions and statements and they were the most hurtful things that I have heard. She has no recollection of saying these things, so there was no forgiveness and growth possible, only an open wound that I would have to accept forever. I provide that information as it affects what the portrayal of me to the daughter is going forward.
My perspective is that I have loved and cared for this child as
if she were my own for over 2.5 years. I taught her how to hit softballs, kick soccer balls, cut down Christmas trees, comforted her during anxious filled nights....There is a long list of positive memories that have now become questions - who will help me with softball, how can we cut the christmas tree on our own, who will fill the bird feeders?
Can someone provide some insight and advice for how to handle this. My suggestion was that we sit with her daughter and explain that the relationship between her mother and I has not materialized into what we thought it would, and consequently, that will mean a shift in the relationship between myself and the daughter. However, she should not question the love that she felt or the good times that we all shared, and should she need anything from me, she can contact me.
The mother feels that I have walked out and that there are consequences for such actions and that my consequence is that there is a child that has been abandoned and I cannot receive the closure that I seek because it would be too confusing for the daughter.
I am extremely saddened by what has happened, but the mother belittles this idea saying that she doesn't believe me. Just like the 4 months of therapy was only a token action so that I can say that I tried, and how this post will likely be perceived as a mock attempt to demonstrate how I say I feel.