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.


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Feb 02, 2012
Am I jealous?
by: Dating non bio father

I found this article because I was looking for insight on dating people with children. Specifically dating someone that raised a child that was not biologically theirs. I know that this man is a shining example among men. .. But even after having a part in raising a little girl, shouldn't there be some distance?

In the situation I'm talking about. Makes me feel horrible for even questioning it. A couple was breaking up. Father died in an accident. New father figure, my boyfriend steps in. They date for four to five years. Little girl is now seven. They have been broken up for a year, but "emotionally" broken up a long time ago. He considers the little girl, still has moved on emotionally. The mother of the children has not moved. My worries are when she does how much it will break his heart to not be as much of s father figure to the child. Right now I feel she has the best of all the worlds. Someone to co-parent, even taking care of here other two older children that do not consider him as close of a father figure.

I can see taking the children to do something special but lately as I'm getting attached in this relationship, I feel it's a much larger situation then him being s father like figure. It's as if he has joint custody.

Since I have been seeing this man it was him taking the lil girl to a movie. Sweet yes I know. Then she spends the night. Then the rest of the kids are spending the night. Then it's three nights in a week. Shouldn't there be distancing?

It has never interfered with our relationship, but my fear is with meeting the children or moving out of state like he and I have spoke of with an ex so closely dependent on him. With his love for the child and a complete trust that he has no feelings for his ex, isn't there worry for s child who is seven and becoming even closer to someone no longer in their life?

I do not want is relationship to fade, and I feel a father figure is important. But I feel In this situation no one is moving on.

Ultimately, I feel his love and relationship does not need to fade with the little girl. ..and I'm trying to convince myself that I'm being selfish in just wishing he would limit thud relationship to "hey let's go to chucky cheese once a week with an occasional sleepover at "dads" instead of confusing the little girl of his role. I am looking for honest feedback.... Help me realize what I need to?

Aug 03, 2010
Girlfriend Using a Child as a Pawn in a Breakup
by: Laura Ramirez

First of all, I want to thank you for your insightful question.

It always saddens me when I see an ex boyfriend or girlfriend using a child as a pawn in a breakup. In this case, it seems that your ex is using the child to create a deeper sense of loss and pain for you over your decision to breakup.

Unfortunately, I can only assume this is so since you did not provide the details of what led you to breakup and I do not know why your ex girlfriend hates you so much that she would want to hurt you by sacrificing the feelings of her own child. Perhaps it is her way of avoiding responsibility for her part in the breakup. This way, she gets to make YOU into the bad guy.

One suggestion would be to wait a bit and then contact her and express your desire again to bring some closure to your relationship with her daughter. I realize that you truly do love this girl and in a world where many men refuse to pay child support for their birth children, you are a shining example of what a man should be and the child in question isn't even your daughter.

If you want to talk more about this and help resolve some of your pain, you might consider my parenting coach service which is more about creating good relationships than anything.

A note to single parents out there: realize that when you have a relationship with a man or woman your child gets bonded to that person, especially if he or she is a nurturing caregiver who is an important influence in their life.

Resist the urge to use your child in a breakup to add to the other person's suffering. Realize that by refusing to allow for closure, you are hurting your child.

Let's be grownups here and good role models for our children. Let's show them that even though we may unable to live with someone for one reason or another that we can part with humanity and honor the relationship for what it gave us while it lasted. (Obviously, I'm not talking about abusive relationships here.)

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