Agony Aunt Annie offers advice to a reader whose boyfriend neglects her to spend time with his children…

Dear Annie

I have a boyfriend that I have been in a relationship with for the last year. He is a stunning man and we have so much fun when we are together. He takes care of me and spoils me with flowers and vouchers on a regular basis.

He also helps out with things that I find challenging, like recently my car broke down and it was major work. He offered to pay as he knows it would have been a real strain for me.

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The problem is that this is a long-distance relationship

He lives in the UK since his divorce and I only see him when he comes to South Africa on holiday to visit his two girls.

I know that he wants to see his children but I am, really wondering if I am actually a priority or not

The last time he came down he went straight to his his ex wife to spend time with his girls. It was only four days into his ten-day trip that I saw him for the first time. We had a big argument about this and so the remaining time that we did have together was spoiled.

He only comes out three times a year and so I hardly ever see him. He says that he loves me but that he has to spend time with his children alone first. He then brings them down and we normally go away somewhere together. The last time he was down I only had him to myself for two days.

I’m tired of playing second fiddle to his children but don’t know what to do. When I broach the subject it is always an argument. Please can you advise.

Second fiddle girlfriend

Dear second fiddle girlfriend

Thank you for your letter. Long-distance relationships are always challenging. To make it more complicated, you have a couple of kiddies thrown into the mix. It would seem that your boyfriend is a good father and genuinely does miss his children.

I am sure that the children are thrilled to have him to themselves for a few days.

Remember from their perspective, they used to have Daddy every day. Now their parents are divorced and Daddy only appears a few times a year. If you find it a difficult adjustment, can you imagine what it is like for them?

Although your Facebook may say relationship status is a year, you have only spent a short amount of real time together

Perhaps you are just wanting different things, and a different partner for each of you would better meet these needs

Happy, visiting, fun, make-up on, dating time… This is not real-life stuff that determines if you have a future together or not. This is a holiday romance with the same person. There seem to be perks in between to keep the continuity going.

Kind of like paying a monthly levy on a timeshare that you occasionally get to enjoy.

Unless he is planning on moving back permanently or you are moving over there, it seems that this is the way things are going to be. His children are his life and you are his holiday romance, with the monthly upkeep factored in.

He sounds like he is a decent guy and I am sure that you deserve to be a one-man act, as opposed to second fiddle.

Perhaps you are just wanting different things, and a different partner for each of you would better meet these needs?

You are beautiful!
Love and Blessings