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Meeting the Child - What do I do?

Posted by: Anonymous
Sun 28, Oct 2012 at 8:29pm

Hello everyone,

Long story short, my partner had an affair which resulted in a child. This was over a year ago. We split and go back to together a few months ago.

It has now come to a time when I am due to meet his daughter. I'm so nervous. He's bringing her round next Sunday and I don't know what to do!

I've never been around kids or babies (I am the youngest in my family including cousins etc) and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Obviously I'm nervous because I have no idea how I will feel when I see this little girl due to the circumstances in which she was conceived.

I hope my partner gives me loads of support while she is here and appreciates that this won't be easy for me but I'm concerned about what I will do with her while she is here? I can just see myself freezing, not knowing what I should do.

Any advice/suggestions will be gratefully received.

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  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I can understand you feeling anxious - it is a strange scenario after all, especially because the baby is the result of his affair. My view is that you shouldn't be worried about you and the baby. The baby is your bf's and it's his responsibility to look after her not yours. Your job is to stay in the background as 'back up'.

    You say that you hope he gives you loads of support, but I think it will be the other way round and he'll be looking to you for support! There's practical support - making lunch; loading the car etc but you BOTH also need to know you have the emotional support of the other.

    Have you told your partner how difficult this visit is going to be for you? Does he worry about how you will manage ?

    Mon 29, Oct 2012 at 11:23am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    But surely if I'm just going to be in the background as back up then I might as well be invisible?

    I also don't understand why I shouldn't be getting support from him and more the other way round. It's difficult enough as it is that he went off and did what he did all that time ago. How come I am seen as being the one that has to be the strongest when I'm the one having to deal with all these new experiences which weren't my choice and weren't my fault.

    Am I just to sit and watch tele and make his lunch while he interacts with his daughter? Maybe I've misunderstood your comment but that is sort of what I'm getting.

    All my partner has really said is that its a strange situation but I'm sure he'll be thinking that it is going to be hard for me because I don't have kids myself and I've never really been around babies or kids at all.

    Again, I'm sorry if I've misunderstood your comment but its just how it has come across to me.

    Mon 29, Oct 2012 at 12:38pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    What a daunting thing meeting this baby is going to be for you. It's great that your partner is understanding of the fact that it's going to be strange for you. In which case he won't be expecting you to be his daughter's next best friend! Any relationship takes time to develop, just try to relax and be yourself .

    What's the thing that worries you most - is it that you just aren't used to children or is it your feelings about the affair that you will be reminded of? Or something else completely?

    This article has some tips about how to manage when your partner has their children around. I accept that your situation is much more complicated but there may be a bit of advice here that helps.

    Mon 29, Oct 2012 at 2:58pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Thank you Bern, it is very daunting and I'm nervous already and I've got 6 days until she gets here yet!

    The thing that worries me the most is that I'm not used to children whatsoever. I don't know what I'm doing as far as talking to children is concerned plus what they find amusing, what to do with them etc. I've bought her a present, its a play mat thing that has pretty colours and nice music plus a lot of dangling animals that all do something different and have different textures. I was told that she doesn't have one so thought I'd buy it for her. She's 5 months old so I guess that's suitable and she's at the age where she'll be able to interact more with you and the play mat?

    I am also concerned whether it will remind me of the affair and bring all those awful memories back but at the moment I have got my head round the fact that it is not her fault and that she didn't choose to be in this position but I won't know how I will feel about this properly until I meet her I think.

    My partner also mentioned the other day that he got the impression that I didn't like kids and to be fair I've never been keen but its not because I don't like them as such, its more that I feel awkward around them and haven't got a clue how to act. It sounds pathetic typing this because they are just human beings but I guess people who have no experience with dogs wouldn't know what to do with mine.

    Mon 29, Oct 2012 at 5:11pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    You sound like you're being really honest with yourself and your partner about your worries. Don't be too hard on yourself, as you said a lot of people feel awkward when they don't have experience in a situation. I remember feeling the same around friends kids at first, and that was without the added memories that this might hold for you. You obviously care and are doing what you can to make it go well.

    I guess if you can hold on to any anxiety or emotion you feel at the time she's visiting, it'll avoid putting extra pressure on anyone and you can talk about it at a later time if you need to. That might be tough but hopefully the conversations you've already had with your partner will help.

    Good luck!

    Mon 29, Oct 2012 at 7:16pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Just be yourself........don't let it phase you hunni, admit that you don't know a great deal about babies and children and let her help you to see your weaknesses and how they may be altered to suit both YOU and your partners daughter. Don't leave yourself out of these feelings, her conception was obviously a time you would rather forget so admit these feelings but don't allow them to stand in the way of your relationship with her. You can do it hunni - just remember that she has not asked to be born and she is just a child that needs love and care no matter what the circumstances and you sound like a lovely sensible person so I'm sure she will receive that from you.
    Good luck just enjoy her and your relationship

    Tue 30, Oct 2012 at 12:16am
  • User-anonymous jlizzie Flag

    Is it really that you'll feel jealous when you see your man being loving towards his child and you're pushed into second place? It sounds a bit like it to me. You may just have to be grown up about it and see what's easier for you - getting involved or taking a back seat. As previous person has said 'you can do it!'
    Just don't give your man a hard time about it afterwards, don't make him choose between you and his daughter.

    Take care

    Thu 1, Nov 2012 at 9:47am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    How did it go? Are you ok?

    Wed 7, Nov 2012 at 10:21am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    It actually went really well which I am completely surprised about. I was very nervous and when I heard my partner pull up on the drive it got worse. She's really sweet and within 5 minutes of her staring at me, smiling and sticking her tongue out she wanted to get off dad's lap and sit with me!!

    Spent about 3 hours with her and she loved the jungle gym I'd bought her. She's a lovely little girl and not once did I see her as the product of the affair which was what I was afraid of. My boyfriend was really supportive while she was here and I helped him when it came to feeding time like getting the food and juice/milk prepared and cleaning up after. I didn't feel awkward around her either and was able to interact easily with her which was a nice experience for me.

    I even look forward to seeing her again!

    Wed 7, Nov 2012 at 11:56am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    That is such good news - she obviously likes you and will no doubt have picked up that you like her too!! It was perfectly natural of you to be apprehensive when you're not used to being round children but you're obviously getting the hang of it! The good thing about very young children is that they are totally spontaneous, and fun - plus the fact that young children don't make any judgement's about you! All this helps you relax and be your true self.

    It's also good you were able to see her as the lovely little girl she is with no bad feelings attached regarding the affair and I'm sure that's been helped along by all the support your boyfriend's given you. Hope it all continues to go well.

    Wed 7, Nov 2012 at 5:08pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Thank you. Its nice to hear positive comments like yours after a big experience. I hope it all continues to go well too. She's coming over again for the day on Saturday now too I've just been told - I look forward to it.

    Wed 7, Nov 2012 at 8:29pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Hope you have a good day on Saturday. Any problems, post again.

    Thu 8, Nov 2012 at 9:01am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I found out yesterday that her mum doesn't feel comfortable with me seeing my partners daughter. I've not done anything to make her feel she isn't safe plus my partner is always there and I would never hurt her of course. I was warned that she might feel threatened by me in a previous post so I don't know whether she is?

    When my partner told her that I'd met her she completely flipped at him and then said that she's going to arrange supervised visits at hers so I won't see her again and so he can't take her away. He managed to reason with her and they agreed that he would take her away every other week and she can see how it goes.

    Why doesn't she like the fact that I'm seeing her when she's perfectly okay with his family and friends seeing her? I've never done anything to her.

    Sat 10, Nov 2012 at 11:47am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Maybe she does feel jealous that you are back with your partner after he had an affair with her. Its certainly not uncommon for mothers to find it difficult to accept their child's fathers partner being involved in their child's life.

    maybe you have to take it slowly. If your partner is having an increasing part in his daughters life, and you are part of his life as well, at some stage she will hopefully come to terms with it.

    I appreciate it must be making things horrible for you at the moment, particularly as you were getting on so well with your partners daughter.

    Do you think that your partner could talk to her about the situation? Do you think she would be prepared to meet you, would you be prepared to meet her? Would you be prepared to keep away for a few visits? If the next few visits go well and your partner continues to get more involved in his daughters life, maybe he could talk to her again about her daughter seeing you as well?

    Sat 10, Nov 2012 at 2:53pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    My boyfriend did eventually calm her down and that's when they agreed at him bringing his daughter to ours every other week and the week he doesn't bring her back here, he's just goes to hers for a few hours to spend with his daughter. They're going to see how that goes and whether she's happy with it.

    As far as meeting her is concerned, part of me thinks we need to 'get on' to a certain extent because hating her for the rest of my life probably won't get me anywhere. I have thought about perhaps getting her email address and just dropping her a sort of 'hello' email and see how she responds and then take it from there. I'm a generally nice person, I don't tend to fall out with people and I'm easy going so part of me wants her to know that and that I don't wanna hate her but then there's that little bit of me that still sees her as a home wrecker. The amount of times I've thought about contacting her is into double figures but its just knowing what to say.

    Sat 10, Nov 2012 at 6:10pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I agree you should aim to get on with her in the long run. I think it's a bit risky contacting her yourself as you don't really know what's going on in her head or how she'll react. You have mixed feelings about her and she probably has mixed feelings about you too. What about your partner testing the water - perhaps he could pass on your message and gauge her reaction? It might take a bit of time for you both, but getting the message out there that you want 'to make peace' for the sake of the child, would be a good start.

    Sun 11, Nov 2012 at 11:11am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I put that message across to him last night but he didn't agree. He said that he's only just managed to agree these regular visits with her and that her receiving a message from me won't help and will make things worse. He said that we should take things a step at a time. I guess that means she won't appreciate a message from me. Guess I'll just take a back seat, only wanted to make things easier.

    Sun 11, Nov 2012 at 11:20am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I've just been reading how well the visit with your partner's daughter went. That's so nice and you must feel so relieved. It makes me think that what you're struggling with is that you want to get everything sorted out immediately and for everyone to be happy. I'd be the same! Only thing is that some things just can't be rushed. My advice is to keep reminding yourself that things are all going in the right direction and then try to be patient. I think you've done fabulously well considering everything. So happy that you had a nice time with this little girl and no bad feelings.

    Sun 11, Nov 2012 at 5:13pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    That's exactly right, I do want everything to be sorted now but I understand what you're saying that some things can't be rushed and I think this is one of those things. I'm going to concentrate on mine and my partner's relationship and rebuilding that as well as my relationship with his daughter. She really is a lovely girl. I knew nothing before about babies and they made me nervous but by just seeing and spending the day with her has made me so much more confident. Thank you for your advice and saying that I've done well with everything, it means a lot :)

    Sun 11, Nov 2012 at 8:33pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Oh god....I've just found out that my boyfriend is taking his daughter swimming on Saturday but is going with the mother. Why is he going with her? I may be letting my feelings go over the top but I'm feeling really uncomfortable about this. I don't know whether its the fact that its like a family day out and its like why is it not with me or whether its because they'll barely be clothed or both! It hurts anyway plus I found out by looking at his phone so he hasn't even told me and she called him 'babe' in a text which is inappropriate and weird because she's never called him that since they've not been involved. I don't know what to do or think.

    Thu 15, Nov 2012 at 7:38am
  • Pc Bern Flag

    OK - deep breath, don't panic! There's probably an innocent explanation for the mum going swimming with your partner. His daughter is young isn't she - 1 or 2 ? We don't know how used she is to the water but the chances are that the mum wants to show your partner the ropes and check he's confident in the water with her before letting him go solo.

    The other questions you're asking are, do you trust him? Is his relationship with the mum just based on them being co-parents or is there more to it?

    If your partner has a good relationship with his ex, then it will be better for this little girl growing up, so it would be a shame for him to have draw back from that. On the other hand you need lots of reassurance about the boundaries of their relationship. Because he had the affair it's natural for you to be hypersensitive about this. I wonder if he didn't tell you because he knew it would upset you? Can you explain to him how uncomfortable you are about it?

    Thu 15, Nov 2012 at 7:01pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    The baby is 6 months old. She's never been swimming before. It seems to be more that he'd rather the mother be there to calm her down if she's upset but he can calm her down fine on his own.

    I do think that he didn't tell me because I'd be upset and he apologised about that. I've told him how uncomfortable I feel about it but he didn't understand at first but he's agreed that he won't arrange anything like this again because of how much it upset me. I still don't think he understands completely.

    I struggle to trust him at the moment, obviously because of everything that happened but also because she still insists that he has to go to hers every fortnight to see his daughter which makes me feel really uneasy.

    This is so hard for me and there just seems to be one obstacle after another and it seems to be her doing all the time.

    Thu 15, Nov 2012 at 11:14pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Its good that you have been able to discuss this with your boyfriend and there is a reasonable explanation - after all if she's never been swimming before so it's no wonder her mum is anxious and wants to be there, your boyfriend is probably apprehensive (any new parent would be) and it's also one of those 'firsts' that neither want to miss. I'm sure the day will come, when baby is a bit older, that it will be you going swimming with your boyfriend and baby instead of mum. The other thing is that it looks like your boyfriend is doing his best to work this out with you - he's apologised and is not going to do this again - looks like he really does love you. You are both trying so hard - I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end ..... just keep talking ... jump over each obstacle again.........remember how much you love each other again ......

    Fri 16, Nov 2012 at 11:26am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Thank you. You wouldn't believe how much I've been blubbering over the past 24 hours. Its horrible.

    I just can't help but think sometimes that the mum is trying to get my boyfriend to be around her all the time. She wasn't happy with me seeing the baby but as soon as one week with me around at mine and one week at hers is suggested then everything's fine but I'm still seeing her. The only difference is that my boyfriend spends 4-6 hours at hers every other week rather than always taking his daughter away which was what we preferred to put my mind at rest if anything.

    Maybe I'm over thinking but she's getting in the way and making things difficult, I'm trying to trust my boyfriend again but her insisting that he goes up there for hours all the time doesn't help at all :(

    I do agree that he's trying his best and he's simply finding it hard to please everyone but I really need her to back off and just be a mum and let me and my boyfriend move on as smoothly as possible. Most of the time we need to talk or we fall out its because of something she's done or said it seems.

    Fri 16, Nov 2012 at 3:04pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    You are doing really well on this, staying in there and keeping the child's interests in mind despite the reminder of what happened in the past triggering your feelings of insecurity. If your boyfriend genuinely loves you and is committed to making it work then he will be willing to see and understand how hard it is to rebuild a sense of security and trust again. If you find yourselves going round and round in circles saying the same things each time the pain is triggered then you might need help to find a way of dealing with it that allows you to move on as a couple. Does this ring any bells?

    Fri 16, Nov 2012 at 6:45pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Yea sometimes I need him to understand what I've been through but by helping to gain trust and reduce the insecurities, the things that'll need to happen won't be acceptable to her for some reason like taking his daughter away every time rather than him spending hours over there, and me not having a clue what's going on. Maybe I need to be patient as mentioned in an earlier comment and by her finally allowing him to take her away every other week, she will eventually allow it every week but its just not knowing how long it will take or whether it'll ever happen.

    It is hard and tomorrow when he's off swimming with them it will be so difficult, he's literally spending all afternoon and evening with her around so I'm anxious plus I worry that she takes things the wrong way. I'm off out with a friend and hopefully that'll take my mind off it.

    Fri 16, Nov 2012 at 11:10pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Good call to go out with a friend and take your mind off things. I hope you're feeling stronger. I came across this article on another forum link - ignore the stuff about fathers' rights groups - I was interested in what the research says about the importance of fathers having a good, supportive relationship with the mother of their children. It made me think that your boyfriend is really stuck in the middle between you, the woman he's chosen to be with and his daughter's mother. Why is life so complicated! Take care.

    Sun 18, Nov 2012 at 8:11pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I wondered if things were going ok now with your bf and his daughter?

    Mon 10, Dec 2012 at 12:38pm