i am starting to resent his child

Dear Suzie, my boyfriend has a two year old son. i know the mother and she is the nastiest piece of work you could ever come across. My boyfriend doesnt bite back. Basically she says jump and he says how high?! I knew them when they were together and even when the baby was born as i was with another person, which makes it even more difficult beacuse i absolutly hate her and have done for a long time.

The reason i am e-mailing you is because i am now starting to resent the child and actualy have done for some time. all i can see in him is his mother and when i hear my boyfriend say how much he loves him and thinks how gorgeous he is, i cant help but feel angry as i think he is some strange way relating back to the mother. i know it sounds horrible and i know all you will probably say is its not the chils fault, he is the one stuck in the middle or he didnt ask to be born. all this i know but i cant talk to my boyfriend because it has got so far, whenever her name is mentioned i end up causing a row, i suppose i am jealous that she has had his first child, in fact i know that this is the reason and so does my boyfriend but i dont know how to deal with it without hurting my boyfreind and even the child.

I sometimes pretend that i am ok with some situations but deep down am not which i acnt always hide which starts off another row. I am only 20 years old and my partner is 26 which is probably why i am finding it harder but i love my boyfreind so much i know this is awfull but i just wish the child wasnt born and the ex didnt exist! i dont know how to deal withh the fact that i will never have my own little family without them being involved, i will never give my boyfriend his first child, things like that really bother me and i dont know how to deal with it. Please help! Thank you so much.

I feel so sad for you and I do want to quickly and thoroughly reassure you that your feelings are normal and natural and very, very common. If you had a look at my book (it’s listed on my books page) ‘Stepfamilies – thriving and surviving in a new family’, that I wrote to go with the Stepfamilies series you’d see that I talk about this. Such feelings are ‘par for the course’. To look at a child and see it as living proof that someone was there before, is painful.

But, my dear, while your feelings are okay and you shouldn’t feel guilty for having them – it’s a human thing to do! – you do have to consider what you are going to do about them. Because left unchecked they are going to poison this relationship and make that poor child, who didn’t ask to be in this situation, very unhappy. I’m afraid you are the one who is going to have to change. His son was there before you and is going to remain there. Your boyfriend is his father, and is responsible for his well being. He loves him and so he should; he can’t and shouldn’t change that.

And I suspect your hatred of her, and her in the boy, has increased with your involvement with him, and your fear that the link with is ex somehow take something away from you. It doesn’t, unless you let this spoil things.

So – what to do? I strongly urge you to take the opportunity to talk these feelings out with someone like myself, who can let you pour them out and dump them where they may do no harm. You could ask your GP if the surgery has a counsellor attached, or contact Relate who offer counselling for relationship and family issues. Look in the local phone book for your nearest centre or go to www.relate.org.uk . They also do phone counselling – call 08451 30 40 16 for an appointment.

Or the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy can suggest a counsellor in your area. You can ring them on 0870 443 5219 or write to BACP, BACP House, 35-37 Albert Street, Rugby, Warwickshire CV21 2SG or go to www.bacp.co.uk.

If you can’t do that maybe you have to consider the final option; if you can’t adjust to this and accept his son is always going to be part of his life and any relationship and family he has…you may have to leave yourself. Tough but true. Good luck!

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