I’m finding myself feeling rather sad today. Not for myself, but for my boyfriend’s daughter. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before but W has a daughter from his previous marriage. Her name is M and she’s 9 and a sweetheart. For those of you who have followed me over from my previous blog you’ll remember that my last experience with the daughter of a boyfriend was less than stellar. In fact, it was horrible. So much so that I wasn’t sure I could date a man who had a daughter. But I thought that would be a selfish thing to do to myself because by dismissing the idea of dating a man that had a daughter already it could mean that I might miss meeting someone amazing. And I did just that. I met someone amazing who just happened to have a daughter as part of the package.
Things were instantly different this time around. I never really felt nervous about meeting his daughter. We talked about it at length because we both wanted to make sure we did things the right way. Something that never happened with my ex. And on the day that I met her for the first time I felt completely calm and the visit with her turned out to be great. Since that first meeting I’ve spent every other weekend with her and W. She’s written “I love you” to me on pieces of paper and even on a chalkboard at a museum the three of us visited one afternoon.
She likes it when I visit with her and her dad and I like spending time with the both of them. It’s all been really great and I’m hoping that it will continue to be that way for as long as I’m a part of their lives.
So you must be wondering why I said I was feeling sad for her. The reason is her mother, W’s ex, and the bullshit that she’s been pulling for years. It’s a long story. One that would take me days to write so I’ll give you a quick run down of what’s happened since I met W.
Things between W and his ex-wife went from bad to worse after the divorce. She’s done many, many things to make his life unpleasant, and often times even difficult. The only reason why she is even a factor in his life now is because of his daughter. He loves his daughter so much that he will put up with just about anything the ex throws his way if it means that his daughter might come out of it unscathed. Personally, I think he’s done an amazing job of it. Given the circumstances up to this point M is really quite well adjusted to the situation. And when compared to the way my ex’s daughter was because of that divorce, M is a complete 180˚. And it’s really nice.
The ex recently remarried. She married a real turd of a guy. I have now met them twice and the word that comes to mind when I think of him is “asshole”. Because that’s pretty much what he is. An asshole. The ex isn’t far behind either. She is truly a piece of work and I have now witnessed first hand a taste of what W has had to put of with. Granted my taste was a small one but it was a taste none-the-less.
The thing that has been irritating W the most with regards to his ex wife and her new husband is the speed at which that relationship happened and how it’s affecting his daughter. Apparently they had gone to grade school together and reconnected through Facebook early last year and not long after that he moved in with her and M. Not long after that they got engaged and were married this past New Year’s Eve. All of this happened in the span of less than a year. Now, I’m not an expert at child rearing but I can’t help but think that was not the best way to bring him into the daughter’s life. Talk about a HUGE life change for her! With me we took it slow. Even now, almost five months in I still only see her every other weekend. But this guy, he moved in weeks after meeting up with the mother. Moved in! I can’t tell you how incredibly stupid and irresponsible I think that was of her mother to do. Did she even think of her daughter at all when she made that decision? No, she didn’t. And that’s how it’s been ever since this guy came into the picture.
Then there is the “daddy” issue. What I mean by this is that the ex and the new husband have decided that the daughter should call him daddy, even though she has one already. One that is very much involved in her life. When this first started, which was soon after he moved in with them, it pissed off W. And rightfully so. He asked them to not have her do that because it would be confusing for her. The ex argued, saying it had been the daughter’s idea to do it, something I find very hard to believe. Now, a rational and responsible adult would have known better than to go along with it if, in fact, the daughter had been the one to start it, but instead they went along with it. Which tells me that they love the idea and the fact that it pisses off W. That, to me, is very messed up. On top of that, she hashtags every single picture of the daughter and new husband together on her Instagram page with “#daddysgirl”. And she comments on the photos referring to him as her “daddy”. A move that W feels is her way of trying to erase him from the picture, a picture that she has carefully been painting ever since their divorce. One that makes it look as thought W is not a part of M’s life. Which is total bullshit and an incredibly shitty thing to do to someone. If W were a deadbeat dad and truly wasn’t involved in M’s life, I could understand why the ex would be doing it, hell I might even agree with it, but that’s not the case. He is very much involved in M’s life. He has her for a few hours every Monday and Wednesday after school and every other weekend. She has her own room at his house. He pays child support every month. He is very involved in her life and yet the ex is doing everything in her power to make it look like he isn’t. It is infuriating and, quite frankly, psychotic. Or something to that degree.
This is why I feel sad for M and what she is caught in the middle of. Especially because her mother, someone who should be looking out for her best interests, is primarily responsible for screwing things up. She doesn’t care about how this could all be affecting her daughter, she only cares about what she can do to piss off W. And she married a man that’s more than happy to not only go along with it, but to encourage the behavior. M is also a people-pleaser from what I’ve noticed so far which leads me to believe that she will go along with whatever craziness her mother forces on her if it means she can keep the peace between her mother and W. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid that age. Why can’t her mother see that?
It’s a mess. And I feel for W. There isn’t much I can do to help except be there for him and be a friend to M. I tell him I think the normalcy she sees when she’s with him and us, when I visit, can only serve as a positive in her life. I hope I’m right. I’ve seen what divorce and irresponsible parenting can do to a kid. I would hate for that to happen to M. She’s a sweet kid already. I really hope she stays that way.