I have been seeing my boyfriend for six years and have lived with him for a year (we’re both older, and all our children are grown). He is kind and tries hard to make my life easier. He is something of a difficult person, as am I, and it isn’t always easy for us to resolve problems that inevitably arise. One of his daughters lives far away and visits seldom. She has a 1-year-old whom I have never met. When she visits, she stays with her mother, and I haven’t wanted to visit my boyfriend’s ex-wife. It makes us both uncomfortable.
I have asked if we can meet her elsewhere, but the answer is always no. Last time she said yes and then locked her keys in the car. Now she is staying at a vacation rental near us—and her mom is staying with her, although she has a house nearby. His daughter says there is nothing she can do. She’s asked her father (but not me) to be part of family portraits being taken in a couple of days. I feel hurt that I’m not considered enough of family to be included in these meetings. Am I being unreasonable? Should I expect to spend time with my boyfriend’s ex in order to meet his grandchild? Is his daughter setting a parent trap? So far I have tried to let this go so that he can see his daughter and grandson without any drama from me. But I really am very hurt to be excluded—and I love kids.
—Out of the Picture