In order to ask my question, I feel that I have to give you some background information. I´ve been in a relationship with a man for nearly eight years. When I met him I was separated and and had two daughters that were about 9 and 13, and he was divorced and had two daughters that were 10 and 12. I was really attracted to him, and felt that I had met the love of my life. Still, I was exhausted from a challenging job and the turmoil of getting divorced (my husband left..). I was depressed and had a lot of anxiety
, and so this was not easy to deal with - both I and my boyfriend stuggled and had quite a few difficult moments, but we were always very motivated to get through it and stay together, because we´re so fascinated by each other.
We bought a house together after about a year and a half. My children stayed with us every other week, and one of his girls would have the same arrangement, but his 14 year old daughter had severe problems with her mom and her partner (that she refused to acknowledge), and so she stayed with us most of the time. Because of this we had little time for ourselves, and I found it hard to be a stepmom. I always tried to be a good wise and supporting adult, but it cost me.. She had behaviour problems, and I felt that if I didn´t get along with her, she would start hating me, and then he would have to leave me because we couldn´t live in the same house. I suppressed a lot of feelings, and found it hard to relax in my own home. I loved her, but didn´t agree with the way her father dealt with her. She had so many problems, and was so destructive that it was my opinion that she should see a therapist. He agreed to some point, but she would manipulate him and tell him that she didn´t need it. I loved my boyfriend so much, so I hoped things would get better. We kept talking and trying to find solutions, and kept trying to reach out to his daughter so that we could help her. We did
manage to make some "progress", and after three years in the first house, we were optimistic and decided to buy a new home.
It was a beautiful house, and we redecorated and looked forward to staying there for the rest of our lives. But, around the time of the move, his daughter started using drugs on a regular basis. Having worked with teenagers i spotted this quite easily. My partner refused to realize how serious it was, and thought that it was a phase she was going through. I became more and more concerned, and was worried 24/7. He would make deals with her in order to make her "behave", but of course she´d just forget about it and go on as she had. Things just escalated and she got in deeper. Finally, the whole family was suffering, and I told my partner that we couldn´t go on like this, she would have to move out and then we could try to help her. I felt that at this point we couldn´t even help ourselves. She was now in her 19th year. He was not able to make her do that (which I understood, she was still his child), and we had to sell our home and buy two separate homes.
I had just started a new and very demanding job about a year earlier, but by the time this was happening (last spring), I was exhausted, depressed and had panic
attacks regularly. The process of selling the house and moving was a lot of work, of course, and so i worked just a little bit through the spring and the summer. My employer was very understanding. At first we didn´t think we would be able to stay together, but we still loved each other, and were able to continue seeing each other. But, we both felt we had lost the family we had struggled so hard to keep together. I didn´t see his oldest daughter for a long time, but she has now been drug free for about six months, and we´re rebuilding our relationship. My daughters, though, doesn´t want to see her, and are not ready to forgive her. This is a long text, but it´s so complicated, so I felt I had to show you part of the picture.. I worked so hard to get back on track at work this fall and winter (I´m a project leader), and I also tried to rebuild the relationship I have with my own daughters. They suffered and didn´t get a whole lot of attention the last couple of years we lived together. A few weeks ago I just couldn´t cope at work. I haven´t slept well for months, back and neck has been killing me and I never feel rested, just wired and tired. I´m no longer able to do my job properly. I went to the doctor who put me on sick leave from my job, and referred med to a psychologist. She says I´m burned out and need to rest. Now I feel such doubt.. The love of my life seems so caught up in his daughter´s problems, and even though she has shown tremendous improvement, I know she´ll struggle for years. Sometimes I wonder if I should end the relationship because this is so exhausting. I fear it will break my heart, but still, all the stress
is making me sick and depressed. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this? I feel torn.