Question: What if I your serious long term boyfriend gave his demanding young daughter more attention than you, spoiling her, not being affectionate to you in front of her?
Answer: Your boyfriend has forgotten love is infinite.
He’s afraid if he gives you love, his daughter will take her love away.
He is seeking peace, fullness and comfort from external circumstances (“Does my daughter love me? Does my girlfriend love me? Whew… then I’m enough.”)
As a result his daughter ALSO believes love is finite.
“Mom doesn’t give me much love to start with… and if Daddy loves Marilyn, there is less love for me so I’d better manipulate him to be sure I don’t go without.”
I sense he is guilty for the divorce given he spoils her. I sense he derives his sense of being enough through her approving of him (probably does the same with his mother, his ex).
With men, actions speak WAY louder than words and are FAR more effective (unless of course he’d be willing to coach with me to be a great Dad, Lover and Man.)
There are several angles you could take. You will resonate with the one that’s in the highest good of all.
Perhaps you will kindly unemotionally state you’re no longer going to do things together with his daughter. It just isn’t fun for you to not be acknowledged as the girlfriend so you’ll look forward to time just with him. Wish him well with his daughter and be totally calm and go take care of yourself.
Remember, men don’t change until it becomes a problem for them. Now it’s only a problem for you.
Another angle, as you are indeed in a serious committed relationship, is to begin Dyad Nights every Sunday night.
Question 1: Tell me something you like about me.
Question 2: Tell me something you think we align on.
Question 3: Tell me something you think I should know.
Rule 1: 30 minutes. Q1 (5 min) Q2 (5 min) Q3 20 minutes.
Rule 2: You can only respond with “Thank you” going back and forth with the questions.
Rule 3: You can never say “YOU should know”. That just creates defensiveness. Say, “When another doesn’t express verbal or physical affection with me when another is in Dad mode, I feel hurt, sad and alone.”
Rule 4: Never speak about this conversations again. Let actions shift.
If this is too hot a topic, do a series of private sessions with a coach like Rori or myself to hold space, create safety, create miracles.
Bottom line is your feelings are valid. You see clearly. This isn’t working and a shift needs to occur. MANY underlying uncommunicated truths seem to be hidden making things more challenging. AND there are several solutions AND this can shift into an even more fulfilling relationship. Promise.