It is hard but you have to try not to see this as a competition. OW or the next iteration of the 'luurve' of his life (or the next or the next) will never take your place in your DDs heart.
My girls are only small so this is currently relatively easy for me.
I have worked really hard to separate my relationship with my girls from their relationship with their father AND from my feelings about him.
As a mum I'm happy that OWUmpteen is not unkind to them. As a BS I loathe the thought of either of those whores around my precious girls.
How did the "I have another family" conversation come up?
How old is your DD? Is she in IC? Are you?
Your IC or hers help you navigate this. Please reach out to them.
I sometimes see my girls struggle with feeling disloyal to me for having a nice time with their dad. Even though I don't say anything they pick up at my bristling on a subconscious level so it is something I try to be aware of. I'm a year into this and I don't bristle anymore (except when I hear them recount some manipulative conversation they've had with him).
I remind them that it makes me very happy when they have a nice time. I suspect he drills them about what goes on here and he asks them leading questions about which home they like more or who they love more - they expect the same from me.
When they tell me they love me more or like it better here I tell them that is a nice thing to say and that I don't need them to love me more or to have a better time here as long as they are happy. I am happy if they are happy. I mean it too.
Kids don't need that pressure. My baggage is my own - I don't need them to carry it.
I don't wish for my girls to hate their dad or OWUmpteen - not because of me and also not because of his own actions towards them. If his own actions lead to them being estranged from him or not having a good relationship with him I will not be happy about it nor will I feel responsible. That is all on him.
It is a rough road to walk. But our kids are not betraying us by loving their dad or by bonding with whomever their dad brings into their lives. They are adapting. That is what we want.
Now, if he is actively doing things to alienate her from you then there are things you can do to mitigate that. The book "Divorce Poison" has some great suggestions. He is not the only one who impacts your relationship with your daughter. You do too.
But if she is buying into Disney dad or the newness of the situation it is just a wave you need to ride. Not pleasant and heartbreaking sometimes but what gets me through it is thinking of how the situation could be worse. Him turning his back on them, OWUmpteen being unkind to them etc. etc. etc.
My eldest is quite bonded to her dad. She spent a lot of time with him when I was busy with DD2. I felt excluded a lot but I also had a hand in that - exhaustion and my deep unhappiness in that M wasn't conducive to being an present and involved mum.
We have re-formed that bond and it is stronger than ever. She is still very bonded to him. As is often the case kids seek out the attention of the parent who is kind of distant.
It is difficult but you have to try not to take any positives from that side of the fence as a blow to you.
I use the analogy of how having a second child doesn't mean you need to halve your love, it means your love doubles. I'm focussing on making sure there is enough love in my girls lives to go around so they don't have to be stressed out about metering it out to each of us.
((Ashland)) What you are feeling is normal. Please know I'm not trying to heap some more mamma guilt on you. I'm trying to show you that there are other ways to cope with this - ways that are difficult to see when you are hurting.
[This message edited by StrongButBroken at 9:23 PM, October 7th (Monday)]