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Why am I so confused?
I am in a relationship with a man who has a three year old child. We met and started dating soon after the birth of his child (he wasn't dating the mother, and only was while she was pregnant to try to make it work). Long story short, he cheated on me with her and lied about it. I found out six months later, and after a lot of discussion and anger, we decided to try to make it work. Apart from other issues we have, this has obviously been difficult. I have found it very hard to let go of my anger, resentment, and insecurity, and this is fueled by the fact that this woman he cheated with is a continuing presence in my life and our relationship, especially since his child now stays with us part time. I get along well with his child and love him, but have also felt pressure to be in a step-parent role while being unsure of how that makes me feel. I veer back and forth between wanting to be more loving and content in the situation, and feeling trapped by everything. For the first few months his child was staying with us, I wasn't working and so we had a lot of time to bond and get used to each other. But, I was consistently feeling bored and suffocated by being home and sacrificing my time for a child who wasn't mine. Now I am working again and feeling guilty because I only see the child for a few hours a week. My deep hurt and anger about our past makes everything more confusing, and I just need help figuring out how to know what I actually want and how to approach my role as a step-parent to this child when I am so deeply uncomfortable with the mother and so confused about everything else. Thank you.