Dear Steve and Shirley,
Me and my girlfriend have been dating for two years now. We're both 30 yrs old. At eleven months in we decided to get a place together to save money, but to also make a house a home. She has two kids (2 boys 11 and 3) from a previous relationship which I knew it would be up to me to be the the father figure in their life. Boy I was wrong. The kids' father who is thirty six has never had a job until now. Who has never really been there to help decides now he wants to be a father. While on the other hand my girlfriend decides to let the oldest son stay with the him and the youngest son stays with us. Ever since we moved in together she's gone home almost every weekend to see her oldest son. He comes to visits here and there but not enough for us to have a bond. I hate to say but the kids are so spoiled they get whatever they want when they ask their father, Ipods, Ipads, etc etc. I'm mad at the fact that he's doing all these material things but not teaching these boys life lessons. When the boys are with us I've tried my best to instill life lessons to them but my girlfriend intervenes or tells me why do you say certain things to them. I'm trying my best to develop tools and knowledge for these boys so when they get older they will be a little prepared for life but my girlfriend always puts up a defense when I tell them something or try to discipline them. She also claims she wants to get married but her family doesn't even care if I'm alive or breathing. Especially her mom but I can't see myself getting married to a person and their family doesn't want to get to know me. At the end of the day I'm just fed up. I feel defeated like we're not on the same page. I still care and want the best for her but at the same time if we can't work together then why should we be together. Any advice on what to do would be greatly appreciated.