My fiance and his daughter are incredibly close. She is in her early 20s and still maintains the visitation schedule she had as a minor. She comes over to have special time with her dad three times per week. He gets out of work early and they go together to the gym or store, play games and watch movies. He serves her dinner on the couch and brings her dessert, precut with a morsel on the spoon.
I live at his house and can join them if I want to. If we all go somewhere, they take souvenir photos together that don’t include me. I told him last week that I feel humiliated when they do this because it says to me they want to remember the trip as if I hadn’t been there. He understood, but, my goodness, how hurtful is that behavior? In our early years together, saying anything about this subject would end in a vicious fight with me being called jealous, insecure, immature and threatened.
I went to a counselor years ago regarding my concerns that his daughter was actually his significant other. The counselor said that, in his opinion, their intense attachment would fade over time. Ten years later, this has not occurred. If anything, I think they are grateful to have more time together now that her mother is not able to control her movements so much.
Since graduating from college, she has not gotten a job or gone to graduate school and has never had a boyfriend.
I don’t think this is healthy for her or us.
When he is with his child, his face lights up. I feel the strain on all of us when we are together as they try to balance their desire to enjoy their time unreservedly and his self-correction that he has to make me feel included.
Because I am the one with the problem, should I move out and break off our engagement? Am I displaying ugly jealousy and competitiveness? – Second Fiddle
Actually, they are the ones with the (much bigger) problem, but that’s neither here nor there, for your purposes.
When you are unhappy, and when the source of that unhappiness isn’t changing, words like “jealousy” and “competitiveness” just cloud the issue. This is your life. You are not married and you are not raising a minor child (right?). You do what you want with your life. If you want to leave, then leave.
I hope you do – and, on your way out, give counseling another shot. Ten years is a long time to spend toughing it out, blaming yourself and watching your fiance’s face not light up around you.