'My fiance's ex is causing trouble with his daughter and driving a wedge between us - we're struggling to cope' - Lalala Letmeexplain - OK! Magazine

11 March 2024 1733
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Lalalaletmeexplain is a popular columnist known for providing expert guidance on love, sex, and relationship issues that readers bring to her attention.

With a following of over 200,000 on Instagram, Lala is a revered voice who aids women through various challenges in romantic relationships. An experienced sex, dating, and relationship expert, she uses her firsthand experience with relationship drama to enlighten her followers on social media. Thousands of people seek her advice weekly, regardless of how awkward their questions might be. Her humorous, straightforward approach to love and relationships has earned her a reputation as an ultimate guru.

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A reader who is engaged and has a great relationship with her partner writes in with a concern. She met her fiance's 7-year-old daughter last year and enjoyed spending time with her, cooking meals, and gifting her on birthdays and Christmas.

However, the girl’s mother disapproves of their bond and has manipulated her daughter into distancing herself from her father and his fianceé. This has led to the father feeling reluctant to communicate with and fight for his daughter due to the mother's harmful influence and constant negative messaging. Despite this, the father continues to financially support his child.

In response, Lala recognises the complexity and sensitivity of the situation. She highlights that this is an unfortunate example of co-parenting, which ultimately affects the child negatively. While Lala notes that the mother may be acting out of jealousy and hurt, she also believes that the complete truth may not have been presented.

She expresses concern over the father's reluctance to fight for his daughter. Lala believes that loving parents should be willing to brave any difficulty for their child and not giving up shows a failure in fulfilling parental responsibilities. Lala advises seeking legal counsel or approaching a local family law solicitor. Alternatively, she recommends trying mediation or using co-parenting apps as a way to manage schedules and contact without direct confrontation.

In terms of your position here, in your longer letter you told me that you’d been together for 9 months before meeting his daughter, and that he consulted with his ex before introducing you to her, that they had been on and off for 7 years since having a child; and that she had anticipated them getting back together before he met you. It sounds like he managed the introduction to you correctly, but I can also see why it must have hurt his ex. You’ve been a supportive partner to him and it is lovely that you wanted to embrace being a bonus mother to his child, but I think the best thing you could do now would be to step back and encourage him to have a relationship with her without you being present. You don’t need to be there when he sees his daughter.

If that’s what it takes to quell the conflict for now, then that is a reasonable step. That doesn’t mean never having a relationship with her, it’s important for you to develop that over time, but whilst things are so fraught, the priority should be the daughter having a chance to bond with her dad. If the absence of your presence during their contact can heal things for a bit then it’s worth it for the long term goals.

Look after yourself within this, it’s a difficult thing to be subjected to when all you’re trying to do is love and be loved. Continue to support him through this difficult process and be there for him as much as you can, but also encourage him to do the right thing and not give up on his baby, he has to put her before you, always. And, I would strongly advise you to think long and hard before ever having a baby with someone who could give up on an existing one without a proper attempt at resolving things through legal channels by whatever means necessary first. Maybe nothing will change, but at least he, and eventually his daughter, will always know that he tried his very best. Mediation and legal action is definitely the way forward and he should seek advice as soon as possible. I wish you all the best of luck with this.