How can I learn to accept my boyfriends daughter?

I’m 19 and I’ve been dating my 24-year-old boyfriend for a few months now. We have an amazing relationship and couldn’t ask for more but I feel like something is wrong. He has a 3-year-old daughter and when she’s around obviously all his attention goes to her and I feel really left out. Once I did try to interact with her, we coloured pictures and stuff then he was like “…I don’t want her to get attached” so ever since then I’ve just stayed away. I don’t know what to do, I really want to accept her but it’s just so hard. Him and her mom are on good terms thank goodness, they don’t fight over custody, he gets her weekends.

I don’t know what to do, I just feel like when she’s around he doesn’t care about me and I hate it because when it’s just him and I we have such a good time together then when she comes everything chances and it’s hard on me going back and forth.

This daddy-mode is really starting to get to me, it’s at the point where when she’s with him I don’t go to his house. I feel really bad because she’s such a good little girl it’s just… I don’t know. Hard to handle going from us being alone all the time to her being around because it’s a huge change.

Am I a bad person for having this feelings? Is there something I can do? We all went out for supper with his mom, sister, daughter, and I barley talked the whole time because all the attention was obviously on the little girl.

This is hard, I think it’s just hard for me to understand because I’m not a mom and I’ve never had a little sibling.

What can I do to help these feelings go away? Or at least how can I explain to him that I’m not ready to take on his daughter quite yet, I feel over time I’ll be okay just not right now.

Answer #1

I totally relate to how you feel, I was the opposite, my partner had a child when I first met him, and he said that stuff to me, I dont want her to get attched too soon, and then for our relationship to end and she gets hurt. First of all , all I thought immediately was, “ok we just met and you are telling me that I am already second fiddle to a three year old?” and he is worried about our feelings. You have to be a mother to get all of that stuff and to accept a child fully. After he said all that I thought he was very responsible, and I admired him. But then a few weeks after when he spent time with me his daughter was always there with me?? hello?

so from the beginning I have had this child in my face, it never really bothered me and I got along with the little girl…until we lived together and I realised this is not going to work.

Do you understand? I was so pissed off, I went from having what I call normal relationships, where you meet a guy, get to know him, spend lots of couple time together and all I had to deal with was me and him…to…dating a guy with a child, and an exwife that gets on famously with him all in my face, his mother who dotes on the child and only speaks of the child, wants to know what I cooked yesterday, and all that. we moved in together which should have been fantastic but it wasn’t, suddenly it was laundry, the childs cooking cleaning up, having accidents on my fabric sofa!! I think you just have to be a mother to put up with all that and still have a healthy happy relationship with your partner.

I felt like cook cleaner skivvy, everything revolved around this demanding child! I lost myself. no one had conversations with me about my day, my plans my week…anyone who visited talked about the child. it gets a bit dull if you feel left out and under appreciated. and after all that, you have to accept, the child comes first, the child is number one and any decision you make from here on in will not just involve you and your man…its all about the kid. mine was a spoilt, demanding stubborn little brat who used to get my back up by hitting my dog with a rake and wetting herself laughing about it and how angry it made me and that I could do nothing about it. and there came a day when she got so angry with me because I was the only person who never spoiled her, I said no to her one night, she wanted to stay up, I kept saying no and when she realised daddy was not there to undermine me, she took off her shoe and threw it and hit me in the face…I was raging, and I picked up the shoe threw it back at her, she cried, I cried but I still put her to bed and closed the door…

dont offer yourself up as a doormat to someone elses offspring and agree to the fact that you are not as important to him from day 1 tell him to piss off …only a mother can love a child wholeheartedly…especially a spoilt b*h that the world revolves around…RUN AWAY FAST

Answer #2

Wow, a bit jaded there aren’t you Ihate? You should have realized that way before you moved in. Kids are a lot of work. You have to discuss what boundaries you have with the children as soon as the relationship gets serious. I’m sorry you didn’t do that, but that is your fault not Stephanie’s

I’ve dealt with this situation before, I hope things are better for you. In both cases the women held their child back a bit, so that if a breakup happened the child wouldn’t be confused, but I still got to know the kids a little bit. Understand if you move in with this guy, or have already, that you will become a mom. Read forums from other moms. Child raising sucks for a long time before you see some results. For reference I considering wiping baby butt and cleaning up pee on the floor sucking. It does get rewarding, and everytime they learn something it is a small bit of joy… ok except when you drop something on your foot and say Oh SH!T and that is the only thing they pick up all day… that part is frustrating, but at least they are learning. If this is something that you can’t handle then you need to talk to him. Also find out the boundaries you have right away. I’d find out acceptable punishments for each age the child is and to ensure that he supports them instead of undermining you. The poster above me didn’t discuss this stuff completely with her partner, or her pleas were ignored. That is what not to do, learn from it, but take it with a grain of salt and know that is what things could end up if you two do not support each other’s decisions.

On a slightly side note, these are formative years you are with this child. These are the years that will help determine if your teenager is a hellion or a good kid. Once they get to 12-13 they are going to take off without you being able to monitor everything, or they are going to at least try to. If you have done well before then things should be ok, if you have done poorly, well, there is a lot of evidence of that around. Best of luck.

Answer #3

Well, a bit late in checking this question, but I still say you’re a jaded woman Ihate.

First you could say the same thing about single mothers. Many guys have been trapped by that as well, this isn’t a gender issue. I am not saying that you should not have a say, you should, but that was something you should have thought of and agreed to long before.

In the relationship I was referencing I felt it was important to have a parent available for the child in the early years and told the woman that I would perfer she raise her child than going to work, going to school (net courses would be ok, but I didn’t want a babysitter around all of the time) etc. She felt the same way, so she stayed at home with her son and I went to work. I also said that since I am the one making the money and paying all of the bills I want to have a say in things that happen at the place. After all she could walk out on me and nothing would be any different for her. I would have to figure out what to do with the place, and replace things that the kid destroyed (have to do that anyway, but she helps some and cleans a lot) etc. While I do expected her to look up parenting information if we had any child behavior issues. It worked well. If I disagreed I’d find information that would back my side and her and I would talk about it. Don’t get me wrong this lead to arguements, but we were/are both very opinionated people. Still I was happy with the arrangement.

You made a bad arrangement. Don’t make it seem like it is not possible to have a good arrangement. I did tell the woman I would have no idea what to say if the kid ever tried to pull the “you’re not my dad” thing with me. I am very steadfast in not letting my authority in the house be undermined. There were many arguments about that as well. Never did resolve that issue, but never had to worry about it either.

Answer #4


I’m sorry that you are going through this Steph! you are not a bad person for feeling this way! these feelings come naturally so please dont feel bad!

as for your Boyfriend, he also is not doing this to make you feel left out, its just the way it is, having a 3 yr old daughter is a Huge responsability & him paying all the attention on her is not done purposley, she needs his attention because of the fact that mummy & daddy are not together!

you have to try & accept the fact that his daughter will always be around & if you want to commit youself to this guy 100% you need to know that you are not only marrying him, you are marrying the whole family!

ask yourself do you love him enough, daughter & all?

or can you live without him?

I think you love this guy 100% & you will learn to live with it, try when she is around & he has all his attention on her, get involved, jump in the middle & cuddle her,

hold her hand infront of her, praise her infront of him,

before you know it he will see the change in you & it wont feel as though hes paying all the attention on her because by this time you would have accepted it without realizing!!

hope this has helped you, all the best & whenever you need to talk I’m here 4 U!!


Answer #5

Your feelings are normal. I felt the same way when my husband and I got together (he had 2 little boys, ages 3 & 1). Eventually when we realized things where getting serious between us I started wanting to be around the boys more but it was hard. When he tells you he doesn’t want her to get attached he doesn’t mean any thing bad against you it’s just that if it doesn’t work out then it will be harder on his daughter. I hated spending weekends with the boys because all “my” attention went to them and suddenly I went to the back burner. Your feelings right now aren’t going to go away, but they will fade in time. Just explain to him that while you love him you’re not ready to “play” mommy yet…he should understand. Explain that while his daughter is wonderful you don’t feel comfortable around the two of them because you’re used to having him to yourself. Start off slow with it, eventually it will get better. The longer you’re together the more he’s going to want you around her. Do not feel that you’re a bad person, it’s hard to accept some other woman’s child. Just give him space when he’s with her. He will start wanting you around her but right now let him lead the way.

Good luck

Answer #6

Thanks so much Irene - (For those who don’t know, Irene and I are friends not only on FunAdvice and that’s how she knows more about him than I posted here)

I’ll just take this slow and over time, you’re right, things will get better and come together naturally.

Answer #7

ok I didnt read all that but I think I know the situation

ok well if he has a doughter or wuterver then just hang around the lil girl and try to love her and allya know I mean one day youl could be a family

I have 4 kids and im married im allso 19 soo ya love maymay

Answer #8

ohhh I totally missed out the bit where he said he doesnt want her to get attached to you, im so sorry…

now things change there im afraid to say!!

now I only can say to you is, just be her friend & treat her as though you were her baby sitter but dont overcrowd her… & steph, Follow your heart on this one!

Answer #9

Relationship wise, the fact that he said: “…I don’t want her to get attached - is very telling…I wish you the best, use your best judgement but proceed with caution - I’d guard my heart.

Answer #10

Your feelings don’t make you a bad person, but you need to understand that she comes first.

If you feel jealous when she’s around, go home and let them be together.

Answer #11

About the whole part that he didn’t want me to get attached, he said that really close into our relationship where things were starting to come together. It’s been almost 2 months since he said that and now it’s like he WANTS me to be around her I’m just not ready.

The last girl he was with ended their relationship because she couldn’t handle the fact that he has a daughter and by then she was already attached so I can see why he said that. I just take things to heart too much sometimes without thinking.

Answer #12

Well, if anything is ever going to go any further, he has to let his daughter and you have relationship. if it does go further then one of you (or both) can end up feeling unloved and left out. you have to tell him how you feel. things may only get more stressful without it. And you don’t have to be like a mom to the child, you’re not her mother, but you can be like a friend, sooner or later you’ll know soon enough how to help her out as more of a mother like figure.:)

Answer #13

Chriswords you are a man I expect nothing less. When a man with “baggage” is trying to start a relationshipwith a single attractive woman, the last thing he will do is be completely honest, if all women were told what to expect in such situations all single parents would be single. And things are much better he does not see her in my house anymore, if I do not have a say under my own roof when it comes to her behaviour then she is not under my roof.problem solved..

Answer #14

oh okay then, well be your sweet little self, this guy does Love you Steph, I can feel it & so I think just be her friend, do praise her infront of him & continue to tell him how much you love him even around him & do praise him on how much of a great dad he is,

I think you will learn eventually how to deal with it if you let it happen naturally on its own but dont push yourself or forse yourself because then it will just destroy things!!

Answer #15

try 2 bond.if she gets all the attention try to do something awesome for him

Answer #16

You are so young and I am so sorry you are having this experience. I have it too, but I am much older.
My advice, and the advice of my counselor is to make boundaries as early as possible. Of course he wants to see his child. Let him know you love the time with her and also let him know that you need to have some special time with him too…alone. When he puts her to sleep, can the two of you cuddle and watch a movie, etc? I would love to tell you to run, because a relationship with somoene else’s child is HARD…very very hard. I would love to see you find someone who does not have children and you two can have a relationship yourself and have your own children together. It is hard enough to argue about how to raise your own child, let alone someone else’s. But I understand love too, and know that when you feel good about that person, you want to work it out. You sound level headed and willing to work with him on raising his child. I wish you such luck.

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