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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Wasnt sure if this is parenting or relationship question,

Resolved Question:

Wasn't sure if this is parenting or relationship question, but here goes: I have a daughter with someone I had only been with a month and it didn’t work out - she is now 6. I was a single mom from the very beginning, but when she was 2-1/2 I moved with her back to where my family lives as where we were living I had no family or support. I get along much better with her dad than I did before – he loves her like crazy and is very involved though now that I moved and he lives far away I get to live with that guilt of taking her away. I didn’t have family support down there and my family can’t stand him. He’s a fun dad, an incredible dad and she goes down every school break, half the summer back and forth, etc. It’s hard. She either misses her mom or her dad. I have solely supported her – he gives and has given me nothing. But I can make it, and he loves her like crazy. In 2008 I got together with a single dad with 4 kids – his second child with his ex wife was natural triplets - they are 8, his older daughter is 10. I have been with him/them for four years - we bought a house together 2 years ago and that was the first time we really lived together – before that for a year we lived in a duplex house – they were in the front, we were in the back, so we shared the yard, cooking, houses kind of, the garage, etc. We did this to transition the kids slowly into living together. Along with big financial problems (I do well working at a non profit – he does not so well as a special ed teacher – I am angry that I feel that I am supporting his kids though it’s not his fault. I worry about my daughter’s future). Anyway, for me it has been so much more stressful than I ever imagined to have 5 kids (even though we have his half time and mine most of the time) - the noise, the crying, the whining, the mess, the cleaning, even the crazy fun they have. I think I'm losing it. We're engaged and have been for a year and a half but I don't think it's going to happen. We fight about the kids all the time and it has gotten worse and worse and worse. We went to a stepparenting therapist for a while - it didn't work. He just got incredibly angry with everything I said was going on with me and takes it all personally, and sees me as against his children and I was sick of paying a hundred bucks for that. I've seen a therapist on my own but I simply can't fit it into my life – full time job, home, etc. and I stopped a few weeks ago but am going to find someone new with more flexibility I hope. We are fighting all the time – stepparenting issues, my kid vs. his kids, why my kid didn’t get her own room and has to share with two of his kids, while his other two have their own rooms, why the 10 year old with the nasty attitude – thinks she’s a teenager already – can get away with that, us accusing each other of undermining, so on, so on, blah blah blah. Now he has begun to fight and yell in front of MY child – never in front of his – in front of MINE. And it’s awful. It has scared her. That’s how I grew up and I won’t do it to her. But I don’t know what to do with this big mess and this previously so sweet man. We’re considering breaking up, but that would be devastating to our kids who have spent so much of their lives together, and in this economy, not sure we can sell our house and I don’t think he can make it on his own at this point – he used to but things have changed. I am also really moody (I’m mildly so they say bipolar) and have bad PMS which really affects my mood and ability to cope at home with all these kids. So we tried counseling with a stepparenting expert, it failed. We have tried to communicate, we have failed. Is there anything else I can try? I’m so devastated. Either way it goes it is going to affect my daughter, as if her transitional, painful life isn’t bad enough. By the way, he spends more time with my daughter than his own kids – he picks the kids up from school. When I come home 5 lunches are being made, dinner on the stove, kids in and out of showers. He’s amazing, but it doesn’t matter, I can’t take it. I'm at a loss. I'm so sad and scared.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi welcome.

CoachJenK :

I am so sorry to hear of all of this for all of you.

CoachJenK :

The stress of it all isn't wonderful for anyone involved. is there a way to back track a bit to take the pressure off? I know that you live together but is it possible to change the nature of the relationship almost to like how it was before everyone moved in? The reason I say this is because of your overwhelm and your worry whether you should go through with the marriage. Is there a way to structure the living arrangement so it is more like two friends living together? And I am only suggesting this since you have expressed your concern for your daughter and for his kids.

CoachJenK :

If moving out with your daughter and keeping up family ties with his kids is not an option then it becomes about creating that same type of environment in your current living situation but removing the stress of the potential marriage and couple relationship.

CoachJenK :

and this can be both a parenting and relationship question as we are dealing with both issues.

CoachJenK :

I see you have gone offline, so I am around if you need more support. I am here to help.

Customer:

Hi, I missed the chat but did see your response. I am going to respond again later, because I'm at work. Just wondering in the meantime, are you suggesting we live as friends? We pretty much just argue and he sleeps in another room, or if with me he leaves cause he is so stressed out he isn't really sleeping at night... and he's upset that we don't have sex much anymore, which I think is just ridiculous considering the constant fighting. Are you suggesting that as a way to keep the kids ok, like "staying together for the kids" idea - or are you suggesting that as something that could actually help our relationship?

CoachJenK :

Hi. I think I was trying to follow your lead....since you said you didnt want to upset the kids and their connections i was suggesting that you "end" the relationship but live as family roomies...if that is possible. If you hadnt siad anything about worrying for your daughter I would most likely be telling that it seems like the relationship has run its course and neither of you seem happy. So, I just want to help you figure out what works best for you, what you truly want and need and if you decide to leave how we can help ease the transition for all.

Customer:

Hi thank you so much for your feedback. I really appreciate it, and it made me think about "ending" the relationship part for a bit of time, even if not a true breakup (until we know for sure) could help take the weight off and put the arguing aside for a while. I want to try that before going further. Yes, worrying about my daughter - I don't want her to live with hearing arguing or feeling negative energy, etc. again, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX you for listening!

Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K.
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Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.