Love is not a limited resource. I know adults who still have not learned this and it’s very sad (and annoying). The result is someone who feels threatened for absolutely no reason.
These individuals can be identified in many ways. The most common is that they use titles when you know exactly who they are referring to. My friend, my mom, my dad, my brother, etc. Yes thank you, we just had dinner last week, I know who “your friend” is. They do this because they have to point out that they are “theirs”. Note: If you know me personally and do this, I may punch you in the face. Stop it. You are probably cuter/can walk up stairs without being winded/more charming/have a better ass/can walk in heels/smarter (I could go on), than me. NO ONE should be threatened by me.
Just because your kid, parent, or friend loves someone in their lives, does not take away from their love for you.
No one is going to say, “I’m sorry but I can only love 10 people. If you want my love, Herman here, has to go to make room. It’s OK, he always smelled like cigarette smoke and invaded my personal space anyway.”
This is especially true for your children. You are their parent. No matter how much your child loves their other parent, they will always love you. They may not like you, but they will always love you. You do not need to be threatened.
Hanging on to your children to make them love you will push them away. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Remember, your kids love both their parents and step-parents (if applicable) and loving them, doesn’t take away from their love for you. Whether you’re the sperm or the egg, your role is important.