Girlfriend wants to be #1 Don't know what to do?
01/14/2011 at 19:31 PM

My girlfriend has 2 kids 5 and 10 years old. My kids are 15 and 18 years old. I work at a job were I can spend 1 day with each on the weekend. I do see my girlfriend during the week just us for a few hours. I spend Saturday with my kids and Sunday with her and her kids. I know this is maybe wrong but trying to make the relationship work. My girlfriend says that I spend time with my kids is wrong. I like doing stuff with my boys that are older now and they enjoy spending time together. Because I spend 1 day with my kids as father is wrong and that she should get both days. My girlfriend says that my boys should spend there 1 day with her and her kids and then I should spend the other day with her kids and her. I did all the little kids stuff years ago. I don't want to do that anymore. She also mentions that her kids need a father figure in there lives. Her kids have a father. Is it wrong that I want to spend time with my kids? Is it wrong that I should make my kids or force them to do little kids stuff when they don't too. What should I do or advice. I am so frustrated that I am ready to give up on my girlfriend.

The thing your daughter does not need is to see you being affected by this incident. It is very easy to get caught up in the drama, but you need to take an adult perspective.

If you've showed your disappointment and anger in front of your daughter, tell her you were caught off guard, but that these things do happen, and you can't believe that you were so upset. Then just get through the coming weeks with dignity.

Hey, who has homecoming in 8th grade? Whoever is running the school should have enough developmental psychology to understand that kids this age are not mature enough for that experience.


Jim, the people who ask questions about parenting on these message boards are already looking for things that they can do differently than they have in the past. You keep harping on the same note--your position that every problem any child ever has is the result of inadequate parenting. This is neither true nor helpful.

Referring people to a google search for parenting tips is also not helpful. People present specific problems in hopes of finding perspectives and ideas that are based on personal experience, rather than research-based recommendations. There are many problems which are not addressed in research because they affect a small number of people.


Please, reflect on the problems that people present here, and offer thoughtful, specific comments based on your experience. I have no doubt that your perspective could be valuable for some of the parents who are seeking help.


re:respectfully yours. None of your posts are respectful are they Jim.


jimrich, I hope you notice that the responses you have been getting are such that you feel invited to continue to participate. I am glad about that. Although people have expressed their distaste for the way you frame your comments, you haven't been told to shut up and go away. In fact, the points you make are often valid, but you are going for the obvious. Sometimes I compose my response on a separate document, then wait 24 hours and read it, just to see if I think I am offering something that is useful and kind. I think you would agree with me that kindness is a valuable thing.

>>Please exactly quote the opinions you are referring to and I will attempt to explain.

Search these comments for kindness:
>.. start by fixing your self! You, not your kid, are the problem!
>You could help your child by teaching her how to love, respect and accept herself just as she is.


>Parents have the DUTY to teach, train and model good, loving, respectful behavior and attitudes in their own home and ours FAILED miserably to do their DUTY so we ended up fighting a lot while assuming it was all the other kid's fault.
>If your child has drifted away, it's because you let it happen and the outsiders can provide the respect, support, love, happiness, interest, etc. that are not available at home.
>Why did you allow that? Why didn't you teach them to be good friends and get along?
>Why didn't you or someone teach them to love and respect each other when they were little?
>Sorry you failed to teach him better behavior and attitudes when he was little and trainable.


>She is getting some needs met from them that is probably missing at home! That's what makes me sad
>Your parents FAILED to teach both of you to be loving, respectful, friends!
>If you want to UNDO the hateful conditioning from your parents, you can begin by treating your sister with respect, friendship, LOVE, acceptance and other things your parents FAILED to teach both of you when you were little and teachable.
good luck
>So, I suggest that you examine the emotional psychological nature of your family to see if there is evidence of chronic: FEAR, ANGER, WORRY, SADNESS, DEPRESSION, STRESS of any kind that might be stressing your kid


I don't need you to explain. It is obvious that your parents did not know how to offer constructive criticism, and that you simply don't know how.

Perhaps you could use this forum as a place to begin to practice criticism. Use that 24 hour strategy that I sometimes use: compose a response, then look at it the next day and re-frame it so that it is kind. Criticism does not have to include "Why did you . . ." and "You failed . . .". It usually is more effective without those themes.


Where'd he go?


He has been kind of quiet. Maybe he has moved on. Maybe he has found another forum with members so impressed by his insight and wisdom, he has no time to come back here and answer any of the questions asked of him. If he ever has kids, I hope they never do anything wrong; he would have no one but himself to blame.


I never do this, but that last sentence of yours--LOL!


Jim, well welcome back buddy. Well yes I was being kind. Just as kind as you were when you called my kids animals. What advice were you trying to give when you call them such a thing? Or, were you just being unkind? Tell us again Jim, how many kids do you have? Thats a simple question, let's see if you can answer it. I would almost be willing to bet you will respond to the first part of what I said, but you wont answer the question of how many kids you have. Give us some examples of your superior parenting. If the things you say are true, tell us how you applied them in raising your children. Give examples Jim, I have asked several times and you have yet to answer.


Just as I thought, you give advice based on books you have read or internet sites you have visited, not through experience of your own. I am safe wherever I wish to be. Safety is not the issue here, honesty is. You keep giving advice in areas that you have zero experience, oh other than something you read somewhere. Take your suggestion and place it firmly where the sun never shines. You have been asked several times if you are a parent but have sidestepped the question because you know that it renders your opinions baseless. You're still so angry at your parents, that you lash out at other parents the way you never could with your own. Get help.


Good insight SnglDad.
Jim, have you ever had effective therapy? I have a couple of strategies that are really useful for resolving issues with people. One is, compose a very thoughtful letter to your parents. Take a lot of time over it. Polish like it is for publication. Put in details, and feelings, and sensory stuff. Put in every bit of memory that you can dredge up. Include the emotions that you have about each incident as you look back from the vantage point of 40 years and more. Work on it a lot. When you have poured everything you have into it, set it aside for a while. The length of time would depend on you. When you are ready, pull it out again. Revise it. Include more information, make it more concise, expand it, whatever you need to do to improve it. Avoid profanity and vulgarity unless it is necessary to the telling of the story. Don't worry if it is not well-ordered as you make these drafts.


Let it lie fallow again for a while, then pull it out again and revise it. Keep doing this until it is perfect. Then set it aside for at least a year. Don't even look at it. If you can't do that, it isn't perfect yet. After you have let it age for a year or more, read it carefully. Then, if your parents are still living, decide if it would be helpful to you to send it.

I didn't send mine. Then Daddy died. I still didn't send it. When my mom was having a difficult recovery from surgery, I stayed at her home and helped her until she could take care of herself--not because I desired her attention or gratitude, but because she needed care. That would not have been possible if I had not used my second strategy.


I have a trustworthy girl friend. I asked her if she would be my 'surrogate mother.' I warned her that I would be yelling and swearing and crying. She accepted the assignment. She didn't say a word while I carried on for half a day. I voiced the things that I had written about in the letter. Hearing those things I needed to say was the greatest gift anyone has ever given me or my family.


There you go Jim, some very sensible advice from Singledad and Mayamay. Hope you take it. I do feel sory for what you had to go through personally, but your replies to people are not very helpful. Many parents come on here to ask for advice when they have exhausted other avenues. They have already researched the problem. Sometimes, it helps for people to hear what others in the same situation have done and how it worked out for them. I hope you can get some sort of therapy to resolve all your pain.


I think the abuse you endured was constant and horrific. Worse than what I went through. But the point is, I'm through, and you aren't. You are still mired in the things that happened 40 years ago and more. I'm living now. The actions of your parents inform your outlook now. I don't think you can just 'get over it'. I think it is way too big for someone to get over on his own. Hire somebody.
It wasn't lack of guts. It was about the necessity I had to actually be heard. From your description of your interaction with your mom, she did not hear you.
and yes, half a day. What would you give to be able to leave this behind you, to be able to appreciate and enjoy the present? It is not sensible to prefer the painful past. I don't think you prefer it, you just don't know how to escape it.


Jimrich >mayamay (I quote you so I won't miss quote you - try it some time!)
re: you just don't know how to escape it.
>> When you spot it, you got it!

Could you please clarify this for me? I'll try to amplify my statement to make it more clear, and then you could do the same.

It seems to me that for at least 25 years, you have been an adult. That for about that period of time, you have had relationships with other people than your parents, other authority figures, too (bosses, for example). You have had opportunities to at least casually observe other families. You have developed some ideal against which to compare your own childhood, and yet the only perspective that you consider to be valid is your own. You have had half a lifetime to develop a different script for your life, but you are still playing from the script your parents handed you. Every sentence you write is full of pain. Not only do you not know how to leave that behind, you don't see the possibility.


>I confronted our mother (dad was dead and gone) about horrible things that happened in our family AND offered my apologies for my part BUT she never admitted to any failures, wrong doing, errors, mistakes, etc. and went to her grave with the "we did our best" LIE/EXCUSE.

Sounds to me like your conversation with her was not effective. Her rebuttal--'we did our best'--was left hanging in the air. Your anger at her would be none of my business, but you keep taking swings at me and the other people on this forum because you are powerless against her. You took your best shot, and it was a dud because she didn't follow your script. My suggestion is that you stop picking on bystanders on this forum and do something effective.



Your most recent responses you sent to me were perfect illustrations of another point. You have terrific insights. Please be open to the notion that you have figured out what you need, but you sent it out into the internet void, because it is a frightening prospect, to be responsible for your own competence and happiness. Here is the advice that you sent out, please accept it.
>We "get over it" by venting and reducing the pain by sending our pain back to it's original source - something you have failed to do so you continue to fix others hoping it will somehow finally fix you!
>Follow your own advice!
>Fix your self and then you won't be so DRIVEN to fix all of us.


The sources of the pain are often unwilling to accept it when we send it back. If they are dead, they are unable to respond in a way that will bring closure. If they do not cooperate, do you remain at their mercy? Is it hopeless for you? I tell you, there is hope for healing. I hope you believe me.

I will be marking your responses to new people as spam if I even imagine that they could be perceived as hostile. The judgement about whether to remove them is in Marti's hands.


Jim, you don't have to replace all the posts that you can edit. You aren't in trouble, you are just a bit annoying.