I must be feeling frustrated.
by, 07-16-2011 at 10:00 PM (436 Views)
Since my marriage ended last year, I've been on something of a quest to really understand myself. This has been something that's had its ups and downs, but overall it's been pretty productive. I've been in therapy now for over a year, but I'm thinking about walking away from it because I'm not sure it's helping me anymore. I'm active here on PerC and I think I've gotten a lot out of that too.
My daughter's doing pretty well, too, but not long ago she asked me if I was going to get married again. This was kind of out of the blue, she wanted to know if I was going to remarry, because "that's what people do," and she added that she really likes girls. She even made a suggestion, mentioning a woman I was seeing at the time who she thought was just a friend. It was kind of adorable and awkward at the same time.
That relationship has since ended, and I've been weighing things over in my head. Around the time I joined PerC, I wrote a post about being a single father.
[QUOTE=Stephen;968146]Most of the concerns I'm seeing seem to stem at least partially from the father not doing their part to keep the relationship balanced, or to do an effective job of caring for and containing the child. A father with a child has no reason to involve a new girlfriend in anything relating to his child. Yes, he needs to make it clear that he has a child or children with someone else so that he and the girlfriend both can think about what that means about the relationship's future. I don't think it's appropriate for the child to even meet the girlfriend early in the relationship, at least not in any kind of a context (sleeping over, public displays of affection, etc) because it's confusing to the child. :frustrating:
I've heard the argument, "I couldn't handle the child coming first, because he would come first for me," before. I don't think that's selfish. I think that it's best for everyone if you're aware of that from the start, and of course it's up to the father to minimize such conflicts so that if they're not an issue, they don't become one. But I also have to agree with those who have said the child should come first, and that's not a problem. It wouldn't be for me, if I were dating a single mom, but of course I'm in the cheap seats on this topic. :sad:
The subject of the child's mother being in the picture struck me hard, I have to admit. While I have custody of my daughter, her mother does have some visitation. Children are chatty. I had a platonic female friend who came over to visit for a few hours once and she stayed past the time my daughter went to bed, and I eventually got a phone call from my ex-wife saying she'd been told the friend had slept over. So, yeah. There's drama with the ex, and there's only so much I can do to contain that. I mean, she knows where I live, you know? If she interfered with my life I could file a complaint, but then it's too late, right? :frustrating:[/QUOTE]
I still struggle with some of this stuff today. Even after writing that post, I introduced my daughter to the woman I was seeing (as a friend) and we all even spent some time together. That was kind of a mistake, as it created an amount of pressure in the relationship that I didn't expect. I never asked her to take any kind of a role in my daughter's life, but hey. Whatever, it's over.
I'm back to thinking that quoted view is the right one for me and my daughter. If I meet someone new, I think it's going to be best for me to keep her away from my daughter for a long time until it becomes very serious. I think it will simplify things a great deal for everyone involved.
What's frustrating is starting this process over from the beginning. I've been living alone with my daughter now for about nine months, and I'm used to it. I was telling an ENTP friend today about how I really don't want to start over, and she said that's the fun part, learning about a new person, flirting, etc. She even helpfully laughed at me when I talked about knowing how to flirt, because I'm an ISTJ.
We'll see how it goes.