The demeaning child psychologist that says I don't matter...
My boyfriend and I have been in a committed relationship for 3 years. He currently has full custody of his 10 year old daughter and we have decided that marriage is in our future, but not until his custody battle is concluded (the legal fees have put a hold on any financial splurges e.g. a wedding). While the custody battle with his ex-wife continues, we have been attending family therapy sessions. This therapist has been a part of his daughter's life for 5 years and is a crucial part of the court proceedings, but she constantly belittles my role in the family.
In one of our sessions, she said that my opinion on raising his daughter was of "no consequence." Until my boyfriend and I make a marriage commitment, I "don't really matter" in this little girls life. This bothers me for a number of reasons... Not only do I spend more time with her than her father (and a LOT more time with her than her mother), attending school functions, helping with homework, planning birthday parties, craft projects, etc... I do not want this little girl believing that a family can only consist of a married man and woman and their children. What about my gay friends that cannot marry and have adopted children into their lives? Do their relationships not count? Are they not a family? How can I put my faith in this therapist to tend to this little girl's mental health, when I find her beliefs to be so far askew from my own?
If she were not such an integral part of the custody case, I would have kicked this therapist curbside a long time ago. How do I deal with someone with so much influence in this little girl's well-being that so significantly undermines my role in the family?