Hi there. I'm hoping someone may be able to give me some advice. I've been with my boyfriend nearly 2 years and we are very much in love and have a great bond. He has 2 children (16 and 11) from his marriage. They live with their mum and come over and stay some weekends. However, whenever we are alk together, I don't feel happy. I find it very difficult to identify with my feelings and that causes tension with my boyfriend sometimes because i just cannot deacribe or explain how i feel. I come from an abused background and I'm aware the my own issues are being triggered. I've had councelling on and off for years. I suppose my question is, although I know i have come to terms with him previously being married and having kids (jealousy?), how can i deal with the feelings i get? Identify with triggers? The kids are polite around me. Could it be jealousy that my boyfriend is protecting and loving his kids the way i wished mt father had done when i was wee? Isn't that feeling wrong/inappropriate? I feel bad for thinking like that but I cant help it. Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated. I just want ti stop feeling like that and just be happy but it's like i'm not allowing myself to be and i dont know how. Thanks for listening.
Talk to your therapist, and try to figure out what is making you insecure in your relationship. If you felt certain you had all you wanted of him, someone else having something different with him would not trigger any emotions such as you are describing. Then, work with the therapist to deal with the insecurity. The kids are not really the issue, they are just bringing it up. Good luck!
Well, definitely DON'T superimpose your issues onto his children. I would recommend you getting a full understanding of what's going on with these feelings of yours and finding out the what, where, how, who and why of the situation. If you can't pinpoint it or find that you can't get a handle on this, I would recommend you NOT be around his children and rethink this relationship.
"I find it very difficult to identify with my feelings and that causes tension with my boyfriend sometimes because i just cannot deacribe or explain how i feel." This could or could not be related to your past.....difficult to say. Perhaps you are a person who wants NO children involve in the mix.
Are you able to bond with them at all or is this feeling or feelings keeping you from doing so?
"how can i deal with the feelings i get? Identify with triggers?" Well, sounds like all the children have to do is show up is the trigger. They aren't doing anything to you in particular as you even stated they are polite, so I would assume say this is stemming from some unresolved whatever in your life OR you aren't up for being involved with someone with children. Like I stated earlier, it is difficult to say what the exact issue is.
Reconsult therapy for this ASAP. DO NOT stay in this relationship if this is worsening or you just can't get this sorted. Don't do this to him and his children.
Thank you for your comments AnnieBrooke and Londres70. I think AnnieBrooke you may have hit the nail there. It is an insecurity thing. Because I am insecure in myself, I am insecure in my relationships and this rears itself in many forms; the mere presence of his children being foremost.
I am not able to bond with them at all. I don't know whether that is because they are not around much or what.I feel I don't have a right to bond with them. I have tried to but then reel myself back in. I think this is from a fear of becoming someone like my stepmother used to be to me when I was younger than they are. We went on holiday camping a few months back and that was great. I had no 'issues' at all. It is just when we are together doing 'normal' things.
"If you felt certain you had all you wanted of him, someone else having something different with him would not trigger any emotions" Yes I struggle with this. That someone else had been married to him before and had his children. The one thing I want more than anything in my life is a family of my own so maybe I struggle with it because he has already achieved the thing I most want (that is completely ignoring what his marriage was like or how badly it turned out for him so I know I'm not looking at the big picture when I think like that).
I knew he had children when we first got together but thought I was mature enough to deal with it. Fortunately, I do have the maturity not to impose my issues/feelings onto them. I have had to fight many battles in doing so but have achieved that. Yes he does know how I feel and he tries his best to understand. He is very supportive the best he can be and the last thing I want to do is come between any of them (like my stepmum did to me and my Dad). I am too aware of the mistakes my parents and 'extended family' made with me to make the same mistake again because I know how much it hurts.
I will go back to therapy and see if I can't fight this last demon. It seems to be the last big one that needs resolving. All others I am stronger in dealing with.
Sounds like this is related to unresolved issues from your past and that would be what is fueling this "insecurity." I did make mention in my initial post that this could all be related to unresolved issues and that you should explore this as SOON as POSSIBLE with a therapist.
Well, at least you are aware of the problem, so that is the first step. Plus, your bf is supportive as well.
Sometimes we repeat what is comfortable and known to us (patterns) unintentionally.
I think that sometimes women who get into relationships with men who have children (and the woman does not have kids of her own) at first in their mind sort of gloss over the fact that they are getting into a relationship with all of those people, the man and each child, not just the man. Most of the time, they didn't start to date the man because they loved the kids so much (unless they were the kid's nanny first). They accepted the kids as more or less an adjunct issue. I'm guessing you maybe put off having to (emotionally) grasp their existence for a while, and now you're facing the fact that a child has a complete and infinite right to his or her parent.
It's kind of funny -- a mom has this unconditional access thing entirely in her head and heart, and knows as a matter of "well, duh" that it's true, but a stepmom sometimes feels pushed back by it. (Even if she would feel that way about her own child.)
Maybe it would help if you stay aware that you should never go down the road of feeling "either they get him or I get him." If you had a biological child right now, you would be annoyed if your boyfriend put out that attitude, and would rightly point out to him that your child is your dependent and you owe the child 100% love, attention and care simply by being the mom. But you would also feel like he was missing the point if he acted like love from you was a finite resource. A couple who has kids together, OF COURSE they know and agree that the kids' needs are primary, but also OF COURSE they know and feel that their relationship has to be nurtured in order to have the strength to go on. You need to get to that point about his kids.
When you talk to your therapist, do talk about what you want from this man, and what you expect. Please don't worry that your insecure feelings mean you resent the children. Do try to put on the mental hat of an adult that agrees with her partner that the kids matter, and are the future, and should have all the love and concern that every adult in their lives can muster for them.
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