Question: Dear Luise: I’m a 30 year-old single mom, with a live-in boyfriend of 4 years. We share a child together, a little girl. I have 3 other children, all boys. He has a daughter from another relationship and I don’t like her coming to my house. Whenever she is over here, he leaves her with me as if I’m a babysitter. He barely gets to see her himself. But my question is should I leave him because I don’t like it when his daughter comes to my house. I start to feel like I need to leave whenever she comes over. And I’m afraid that I will always feel like this as long as I am with him. I don’t know what to do because I love him. But I am willing to sacrifice my relationship just so that I won’t have to deal with his daughter. I know that this may sound horrible, but that’s how I feel. Please help! A.
Answer: Dear A.: One of the strange things in our culture is that it’s OK to have poor chemistry and a strong dislike for an adult but not for a child. It doesn’t seem realistic to me that we would like everyone, no matter what the age, or that everyone of every age would like us.
So, no, you don’t come across as horrible but you do need to communicate to your guy that the visits aren’t working out for you. See if you can find a way for him to visit with his daughter somewhere else without your being involved. Surely that’s your next move.
It also doesn’t seem reasonable to me that you would need to split up over the situation. You have a family and it is working except in that one area of visitation. If he often leaves her with you, it may not be working well for him, either. It’s time for some truth-telling and some brain-storming. Blessings, Luise