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Kids have an instinct for sniffing out bullshit, and if you try too hard, they’ll take a magnifying glass to whatever warts they’ve already decided you have.This process is going to take exactly as much time as it will take, and not a moment less. You love this person, and you want to be a part of the good things in his life, and sometimes you feel crappy when you’re not.My friend’s resentment was just fear dressed up as something else, and the girlfriend was just collateral damage. He’s doing the best he can, and the last thing he needs is to feel even guiltier than he already feels.That clear and simple explanation cracked everything wide open for me. Even though I already knew that, it hit me in a new way when my friend explained it. Chances are, no matter where he is, he feels like he’s letting someone down, and between the two factions in his life, you are (supposedly) the grown-up. Sometimes when parenting duties push me off the docket, I can see in his eyes how torn up he feels—how much he hates disappointing me but has no choice.Hell, once they can eat and get dressed on their own, they can practically babysit themselves, right?
(I am not always my better self.) If he was the kind of man who would put his girlfriend before his kids, you wouldn’t want him.Easy or not, the majority of those four years, I was battling some fairly serious depression and anxiety due primarily to the minimal time I was able to spend with my daughter and the ongoing conflict with her mother.Because of this, finding a potential partner to have a serious relationship with was not a priority for me until about the time I began dating my last girlfriend.Almost any potential mate can handle a child that is not their own coming to visit four days a month.It isn’t that big of a disruption in day-to-day life.