I Feel as if I Have a Self Esteem Issue
From the U.S.: I’m 21. My reason on writing this is because I Feel I have a self esteem issue and dont know if it’s normal or not?
so I’ve been dating this guy for about two years now. He is a great guy has a kind heart, very sensitive and knows how to be a gentlemen everything you could ask for in someone that you would want to marry one day.
My only issue is that he has a two year old daughter with a previous ex girlfriend. they separated a couple months after the baby was born she moved to another state shortly after. there is hardly any co parenting he does not get chances to see his daughter its a tough situation,
I feel awkward sometimes when discussions about the child is brought up and i’m not sure if I am just jealous that another woman has a piece of him and always will also that I was not the first one to give him something special like his first child maybe I feel as there will always be some type of feelings in both their hearts towards each other
I can see she still has feelings for him from negative stuff she posts on social media towards him and his moving on. We are young I understand nothing is going to go smooth but we are expecting a child now and I catch myself having jealous feelings if the subject is not about our little family. for example if I have to hear about how the mother of his child is not cooperating as a co parent, it seems as if she is brought up often in family discussions as in his mother, sisters in certain subjects not on purpose but only because the child is not present in their lives anymore due to the mother being childish and keeping the child away from him and also his family.
It is tough feelings to deal with I dont know if i am a little jealous and just new to being with someone who has a kid and im just adjusting to it according to my age? but i would like to learn to stop feeling this jealousy of him having another child and being insecure of the mother and just live peacefully and quit over thinking negative and except a mature responsibility.
A: Thank you for writing. You are asking very important questions. It doesn’t help to call yourself names like “jealous” or “immature”. This is a difficult situation. It is very much to your credit that you are looking for some advice instead of just getting angry.
You are correct that your boyfriend will always have a connection to his ex because of their child. That connection has nothing to do with love for her, but it does have to do with love for his child. I do hope that he will see a lawyer regarding his rights to visitation or joint custody.
This child is part of his life and will, therefore, be part of yours, whether or not she spends time with you. Your boyfriend and his family are grieving the loss of the relationship. It speaks well of them all that they continue to hold that child in their hearts. That doesn’t mean that they won’t also love and cherish your child.
My best suggestion for you is that you support your boyfriend in his efforts to include his child in your family life. Instead of seeing the little girl as a threat, consider that she is part of the man you love. It is not the child’s fault that her mother is posting negative statements. It is not the child’s fault that she can’t see her daddy. She is just a little girl who needs her father’s love. Hopefully, you will get the chance to love her, too.
Encourage your sensitive, kind-hearted man to talk about his feelings. Let him know that you support him in getting time with his daughter and including her in your family. Love is one of those things that only grows the more it is shared.
I wish you well.
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2017). I Feel as if I Have a Self Esteem Issue. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/12/16/i-feel-as-if-i-have-a-self-esteem-issue/