Ask Evie: Help! I’m Extremely Jealous Of My Boyfriend’s Daughter And I Don’t Know How To Accept Her

Welcome to Ask Evie, our advice column. Readers can submit their questions, and our editors will dish out their best advice!

By Evie2 min read
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Shutterstock/Halinskyi Max

READER’S QUESTION: "I am with my boyfriend of one year, and he has a daughter. I am very jealous of his daughter and the fact that he has a good relationship with the mother (she’s remarried). I have not been able to accept the fact that I have to accept them two in my life. I have no kids, I am a woman of traditional values with a lot to bring to the table, and he is an amazing man… I don’t know what to do or how to accept this reality! Every time he has his daughter, I don’t even want to spend time together."

EVIE’S ADVICE: In order to accept that your boyfriend has a past that includes a daughter and the mother of his child, you will need to reflect on why his daughter bothers you so much. Do you view her as competition for his affection and attention? Do you feel like she is an inescapable reminder of his past choices with another woman, choices you wish he would have made with you instead? You need to recognize that his daughter and his past relationship with her mother do not take away from your current relationship with your boyfriend or your potential future/family together.

Your boyfriend having a healthy relationship with his daughter’s mother is a great thing for his daughter. Children are only hurt when their parents are at odds. We can understand why you might be worried, but the fact that the mother has remarried means there’s little chance of them getting back together. Additionally, if you’re a woman of traditional values as you say, then wouldn’t you want a man who adores his kids and respects their mother? If you’re jealous now after only a year of dating, it seems like it’s only going to get worse as your connection deepens. 

He is a father first, and that does unavoidably change the dynamic of his romantic relationships. 

We would actually argue that if you can’t accept his daughter and develop a good relationship with her, your boyfriend might rightly view that as a dealbreaker. If we were to reverse the roles here, we’d likely tell you to run if your boyfriend could not accept your child and co-parenting relationship as it highlights a concerning level of immaturity and selfishness. It’s not fair to him that you’re upset with him or his daughter over something they can’t change. He is a father first, and that does unavoidably change the dynamic of his romantic relationships. He is not just looking for a wife, but also for a second mother for his child. If this is something you simply cannot get past, it’s best for you to end the relationship and allow him and his daughter to find someone who will welcome both of them warmly into their life. 

However, if you decide that your relationship with your boyfriend is worth working on, you should try to shift your perspective and, instead of avoiding his daughter, spend time with them and get to know her. If you can develop a positive relationship with her and grow to like her, it will help you to accept her. You could also think of it as seeing how you and your boyfriend would work together as parents with your own children in the future.   

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