“I’m not gonna like your new girlfriend.”

I got an awesome “out of the blue” phone call from my daughter last night. It wasn’t anything more than a quick “Hi, how are you doing?” type of phone call. The type of phone call that I never would have had just three short years ago…when this post was originally written.

Y’see, my life has obviously changed dramatically over the past three years. Along with the relationship change is the improved relationship I’ve developed with my daughter, which makes me one happy father. In fact, she and I have even discussed her staying with this new blended family the entire summer in 2013!  So here is a glimpse of just how incredibly far my relationship with my daughter (and, in turn, Sunshine’s relationship with my daughter) has come.

It’s one more reason why I know I’ve made the right decision to move here with her…

**********

Rugrat & IMy daughter called me a couple of times yesterday to wish me a happy birthday. The conversations had been jovial and fun-spirited. In fact, her mom called me to say that The Rugrat had just gotten her first zit…on her nose…as a way to kinda embarass Rugrat a bit (in a fun way). So with the pleasantries going on, I thought it would be safe to discuss my relationship with Sunshine.

Y’see, I’ve never introduced anyone other than The Ex to Rugrat…I’ve always told myself that I didn’t want my kids to see adult relationships come and go as they got older. So the girlfriends I had before The Ex were never introduced to Rugrat.

Sunshine, obviously, is different.

Rugrat is expected to spend Christmas with me, so I thought telling her now would help prepare her for the meeting. I mean, Sunshine is going to be a staple in my life for a very long time so I thought it only made sense that Rugrat found out about her.

In fact, Rugrat’s mom had known about my relationship for months now (we’re casual friends on Facebook), but didn’t want to tell her because it wasn’t her place to do so. I respect that decision and I’m glad that I could be the one to tell her.

Well…I was glad, anyway.

I told Rugrat that I had a new girlfriend. She immediately got quiet. She then began to cry. I didn’t immediately understand why she was so upset.

“What about The Ex?”

“Honey, we’ve been apart for two and a half years.”

“But why? I didn’t know it was two and a half years.”

“Rugrat, we told you when it happened. You’ve flown down to visit me at least four times since and you’ve known all along that The Ex and I weren’t together anymore.”

“Is she still my stepmom?”

“Yes, baby. She’ll always be your stepmom and she’ll always love you. But I can’t be alone forever.”

“I don’t care. I’m only going to like The Ex. I’m not gonna like your new girlfriend.

“Rugrat…what if The Ex is dating someone, too?”

“Then I won’t like her boyfriend, either.”

“Sweetie…you’re allowed to like everybody. You don’t have to choose. You can like both people.”

“No. I only like The Ex. I never even get to see her anymore. The last time I came to visit I only got to see her once and spent the rest of my time with you.”

“That’s because I’m your father, honey.”

The phone was then passed along to her mom, who inquired as to why Rugrat was so upset. I explained the conversation to her and then realized that maybe I didn’t approach things in the most tactful way.

“No…I don’t think she’s mad at you or the girlfriend. Two of her friends are moving away and she’s all upset and worried about this pimple. That might be what’s really bothering her.”

“I just don’t understand why she’s so upset now about The Ex. It’s not like she calls her or ever asks about her (she doesn’t). And we told her when it happened what was going on.”

“CBG, after you told her on the phone about the separation I ended up talking to her about things with her stepdad. Everything appeared to be fine and she said that she understood. I really think she’s upset about something else. Let me talk to her and I’ll get back to you.”

“Thanks. I really appreciate that.”

And that was last night. I was immediately shaken-up about the whole conversation. I really didn’t expect that reaction. I guess I understand it…she was pretty close to The Ex and does visit with her every time she visits. But I really just thought 2 1/2 years was enough time to pass by before introducing someone new in my life. I really didn’t think she’d be so closed to the thought of either myself or The Ex dating somebody new. It’s just something that never came up in our conversations.

So now I’m in an awkward state. I’m not sure what to say next to her. I’m not sure how to approach things…especially over the phone.

I’m just not sure what to do.

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14 thoughts on ““I’m not gonna like your new girlfriend.”

  1. You and Rugrat’s mom seem to have such a good coparenting relationship and of course that benefits your daughter. She is going through a very *moody* time in her life but it’s just growing pains and with the love and support that you both show her, she will be fine. For girls sometimes what’s *the end of the world* one day is inconsequential the next, especailly during the teen years. Hang in there and try not to worry.

  2. I’d worry only after she meets sunshine and says she doesn’t like her. she’s a kid and like mine, who say they don’t like applesauce but eat it happily when I am distracting them by some fun conversation or a game of charades, she’ll forget about what she thinks she’s supposed to feel. My suggestion is having her meet Sunshine earlier than later, at this junction. Get her set up with Skype so you guys can skype her. Don’t try and convince her of anything, just “be”. She isn’t in control and can’t be in control of you and Sunshine. In essence, I don’t think you will have a problem in the end, but the waiting might suck. (thus, my suggestion to Skype) (sorry for the rambling, change is hard for kids, but the more they get used to ideas, the easier it gets)

  3. and what I meant by “worry only after she meets sunshine and says she doesn’t like her”…was that it won’t happen (knowing what we know about Sunshine) and you don’t have anything to worry about. Her not liking her wont happen.

  4. Sorry it didn’t go so well. I’m going to echo Rugrat’s mum and say that puberty hits girls early AND hard!

    Could it be that she associates new girlfriend with you having another child? And how about a jealousy factor re: you spending time with Sunshine, and not able to spend it with her (Rugrat)?

    I think Rugrat needs something special from you right now. How about a CD of music you listened to at her age? A pic of you at her age? Something small and cheap that will send the message that you’re thinking of her.

  5. I agree w/ everything Mindy said and everyone else as well…and from a selfish point of view…it is your life. You have a right to be with who you want to be with, regardless of others opinions (including your child) I know it doesn’t stop you from feeling badly about the way it went, but given her age, I think she’ll get over it. Do you think she would be open to getting to know Sunshine over email? That would be a non-confrontational way to get to know her before Christmas. Just a thought – that may be too much to handle at this point in time.

    I’ve had lots of issues with my daughter and my boyfriend and he’s been around for 5 years. They don’t have the most fabulous relationship. But he’s a good person and a good role model and I have to remind myself sometimes I’m with him for ME, not for her.

  6. I agree with her mom, it sounds like there’s something else that’s bothering her that’s making her emotions just avalanche onto other issues that would otherwise not be a big deal at all.

    Believe me, sometimes it’s Mama that knows best.

    Wait it out before stressing over it, I think this will resolve itself without it being as big of a problem as you’re currently worried about.

  7. Oh goodness, puberty is a bitch. Especially for girls. I say patience for sure. Everyone else is right here, patience patience patience.

    I’m sure, SURE, once she meets Sunshine she’ll see all the wonderful LOVING things you do.

  8. I think there’s definitely more going on. At that age hormones are kicking in and suddenly everything bothers you and you ‘lash’ out at anything, everything and anyone. Give her time to meet Sunshine and I’m sure everything will be just fine.

    1. She did ask to see The Ex on her last visit. We watched Ankle Biter play soccer and they got to talk a little bit, but she’s totally loving Sunshine now…and that makes me one happy guy.

      The divorce papers came back yet again last week. It’s frustrating and probably would have been done by now if i could have afforded a lawyer, but we’re both hoping this next time sent in will be the last time.

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