My partner and I have been together for 1 year. He has two daughters (ages 12 and 9) and he has them full time. They only have supervised visits with the mother as she is an alcoholic and drug user (though they have not had a visit in the year I have been with my partner). The older girl has regular phone calls with her mum but the younger one doesn't want to talk to her so much. I have two children- a daughter (7 almost 8) who I have full time and a 3 year old boy I have a 50/50 arrangement with. My daughter sees her father maybe 2-3 times a year and barely talks to him.
All I can say is simple: I am frustrated!! My partner used to be caring, loving and affectionate. He would cuddle me at any time and we could talk and we were a team. We live in seperate houses and my kids and I always go to his house because his daughters don't want to come to my house. This is such an issue that he hasn't even met my parents properly!! I try to explain to him what frustrates me- how he is sooo much more affectionate with his younger daughter now (I have no idea why this changed- I get along well with her and we are even trying to organize a regular activity for my, my daughter and his 9 year old.). If we are out shopping, she will hold his hand or be all over him. If I try to hold his hand when it's free he pulls away and makes the excuse of 'I don't like holding hands'. Yet the other day it was just him. My kids and I- and he sought out my hand to hold and didn't let go!!?? I have had a few chats with 9 year old sd in the past about how I'm not here to replace their mum and I'm here to try and make their dad happy and am not trying to take 'their time' with him away from them- but at the same time we all need to work on making our step family work. She has been quite supportive and has even made a real effort to work on her relationship with my daughter - who just wants to be part of a family that had a mum and dad as she has never had that. So I feel the problem is my partner. Everytime I try to talk to him his answer is the same 'stop being childish' or 'I can't believe you are jealous of a kid' or my favourite 'I will not deal with this crap' and then he ignores me for a day or two.
We have been attending a making step families work counselling course (highly recommend it) and I feel that even there- his entire focus is on his kids! He is all about making them happy, making sure they have everything they want (not need). I asked him about setting up the spare room my kids sleep in to accommodate them a bit better (currently they share a double bed when they are both there which I don't like, but have put up with for a year as our relationship is developing) and he makes excuses. 11 yr old wants to move into the spare room. Can't put them in 11 yr olds room as its next to 9 yr olds room and she won't like it. I'll have to give their rooms complete make overs to keep them happy??! What the??! The course facilitator pulled us aside the other week and said we need extra counselling. I agreed and my dear partner said maybe I should try counselling by myself as well to help with my insecurities?! But at the same time, he hasn't returned the counselling msg's - she tried calling me to get him to call her! he also has come out with bits and pieces like the kids have PTSD from his traumatic relationship with their mother but says he will not drag up the past- how am I meant to be supportive if I have no idea on what's going on?! And having been diagnosed with PTSD myself- I know what it can be like!! But he still won't trust me.
Am I just with a dud man that can't see past himself and his kids? Or am I being over analytical as he puts it? I am at the point where I am not sure what is right for my kids and I (my kids are very easy going and regardless of how things go - still respect and like my partner and they like his kids!). I don't know what to do anymore or how to make him see that it's not the kids- but his guilty feelings towards them that is jeopardizing everything?? It is getting to the point where it is affecting our whole relationship because he will not let me say anything negative at all! Please help me.
Sorry that this is so long and all over the place- once I started typing I couldn't seem to stop!! Thank you in advance for your replies and help!