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Is being a step-parent as fulfilling as the real thing?

  • No way!

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  • At least you're a parent.

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  • I has its moments.

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  • For some people.

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  • If you work at it.

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  • Who cares?

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  • Absolutely!

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Hello everyone. I am hoping that I will be able to receive advice that will illuminate issues that i have been facing in my marriage.

My wife and I began dating 8 months ago. it began as a long-distance relationship, though I would drive to see her ever weekend (when I did not have to work). We fell for each other quickly.

Four months into our relationship we got married. This was my first time getting married and I was her second. There is no lack of love in our relationship, however, everything else seems to be lacking.

I have never had children, though I have always wanted them. I was never in a position, in my life, that I had felt I was ready to have them, so I took precautions to make sure that I did not "accidentally" produce any. My wife has six children of her own. I love her children very much and treat them as though they were mine (as best as I can).

I knew her and I were different when we met. Our attitudes about life are different in many regards. She remains friends with every person she has ever met, including ex-boyfriends and lovers. Her six children are a result of three of her relationships, and two of the fathers are somewhat active in their lives (which I respect). One of the fathers passed away a few years ago. Two of her children live with their father, and she get them on weekends and holidays, and most of the time during the summer. Her third child by this man lives with us, and he visits his father some weekends, on the odd ones that she is not taking the other two.

The father of her youngest two actually lives in our basement! He had need a place to live for a couple weeks, but it has now been months (4-5 actually). Though she would like to see him move out, she feels that it is good for the children to have their father around. She is afraid that if he were to leave he would not try to be a part of their life (as is the case with his other two children from a previous relationship).

Her past relationships, and six children do not concern me. She is a great mother, and I really love the children (maybe not as much when they are being terrible--6 boys...arggg). After her last child she had her tubes clamped. before getting married we discussed getting them "un-clamped" and having a child together. However, now it seems that they have been on too long and she will not be able to to have any more children. I am resigned to the fact that I may not ever have any children of my own, and I truly do feel like a father to her children. Nonetheless, I still feel like I am missing something. Is it terrible of me to feel like the children are not MY children? My wife tells me that they are my children because I am her husband. However, knowing that they have their own REAL fathers in their lives (all but one--whose father passed away, though he has always considered the father of his youngest brothers as his own father and calls him thus), and being called by my name or introduced as their step-father really takes a lot of the "zing" out of it. I provide for the children, discipline the children, play with the children, and help the children in any way I can (which is one of the reasons, she says, that she considers me to be their father--as the other fathers do not participate as actively in their lives).

Besides this (or these) issues, is also the fact that we have nothing in common. She has no interest in any of the things I am interested in. Our tastes are completely opposite as are our attitudes towards social issue (most of them). She does not like my kind of music and I do not care for hers. She is not interested in art, science, music, or other areas of interest to me. Actually, i have not found much that she is actually interested in at all. She says she does not kknow what she is interested in, but whatever it is or will be is not any of mine.

I know that she loves me, and I really do love her. But, outside of the bedroom (and many time within) we are complete opposites. Sometimes, I wonder what keeps us drawn to each other and whether we will remain so. Other times I wonder whether I was over-eager to jump into this relationship. She is not like any woman I have ever been with before. I have always been attracted to brunettes, she is a blonde; I have always been with slim/athletic women, she is heavy. I have liked brown-eyed women, she has blue/green. I have always been interested in education and learning, she dropped out in the 8th grade (and still shows no sign of being interested in learning more).

I feel as though these issues are a result of pettiness on my part. Should I just be content and satisfied with having a woman I love and adore, and the family she has given me? I am not a perfect catch, and I am sure she has many issues with me (at least one a day :lol:).

Finally, I am worried about her health and our finances. She has a medical condition that requires her to get a hip replacement. However, she refuses to do so because she will need to get it replaced in 15 years...making her about 47 years old. However, condition limits her ability be too active, without being in pain. She suffers even when she is not being active. I am not worried about finances so much, since I can provide for the family myself, however, a second source on income would really take the strain off. She is not really interested in working, and I do not want to make her feel as though she is required to work. She tells me that she can work, and that she has done so for many years, but I do not think she really wants to. I can understand that. With six children, she would be working to pay for a sitter which is a job she could do more effectively at home.

Anyhow, thank you for giving me a place, and allowing me to rant in this way. It feels better to have expressed these feelings. Thank you.
 

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It is OK not to have a child of your own. My husband doesn't want to have children. Right now there are so many people decide not to have children. Children can be a bless, they can also be disasters. You had decided to marry her, her age is already too old to have children. It is not healthy for her to have children even though she could.

Raising children is not easy, and when they grow up, what do you really get from them? They come to visit you, they give you a phone call, anything else? She already has six, so you don't need to worry about company when you need it.

For interests, few couples have exactly the same. If our attitude about life is similar, then it will be easy. For example, she likes to spend money, but you don't, it is a big trouble. She doesn't want a clean house, but you want it, it is a problem. She doesn't want to cook, but you like home cooked meals, it is a big problem.

My husband and I have different interests, we are getting along just fine. I respect his interests, he respects mine, we share what we like, it is actually more interesting.
 

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There are some relationships in which the two partners have little to nothing in common and make it work anyway. There are relationships in which the partners are total opposites and they make it work. They make it work because the respect each other's differences, and appreciate the differences. They don't feel resentment or frustration. It sounds like you have some frustration here.

You met and married after 4 months in a long distance relationship. In all honesty, to me, that does sound very rushed. With her having 6 kids, I find it hard to believe that you guys found enough time together, whether in person or on the phone, to really get to know each other very well before you got married. In fact, I kind of wonder if you didn't perhaps get married so your relationship would be more convenient.

Whether or not you two can make it work is really up to the two of you. If you have nothing in common, what holds you together besides love? Do you have any common interests at all? Even just the same TV shows? Have you tried, or could you try, to develop some common interests? Pick a new hobby or interest that neither of you has tried before and see if it's something you two could build on.

What I also noticed, and find interesting, is you mention in 15 yrs she'll be 47. So, she's 32 now. She's 32 with 6 kids from 3 different relationships. It kind of sounds as though she's never really been not in a relationship, been single and on her own. If that's the case, then I would wonder if perhaps she's afraid to be alone, and so she jumps into relationships quickly to avoid that.

The best advice I can give you is that you have to work on it, if you want it to work. If you are unhappy with an aspect of your relationship, or if she is, you need to talk about it. Discuss what is making you unhappy, and brainstorm ways that that can be changed. Go to counseling if you need to.
 

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It is OK not to have a child of your own. My husband doesn't want to have children. Right now there are so many people decide not to have children. Children can be a bless, they can also be disasters. You had decided to marry her, her age is already too old to have children. It is not healthy for her to have children even though she could.
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The woman is only 32 years old, i think you may have misread.

Anyway to the OP... methinks you may have lept...before looked. 4 months seem kinda fast to me, especially with so much going on, on her part. I mean, you are a better man than me to take on all of this. I mean having 6 kids would be enough for me to know consider anything more than a hit it and quit it. 3 baby daddies, even with 1 being passed away that would be a major concern for me, borderline red flag? 1 baby daddy in the basement? Tubes tied even though you want to have your own kids? Medical concerns? Not on the same page involving interests? You've overlooked a lot of things my friend to be with this women.

Are you sure you aren't playing Captain Save-Em? Its kind of an urban reference when you are the nice guy witih things going for you, and the woman has multiple baby-daddys, with not a lot going on with her. You guys meet, and she basically provides the world to you, just to keep you involved, but in her eyes you are an immediate upgrade to what she's had going on. I mean it can work, but how much are you willing to personally sacrifice of yourself to make it work. What is she willing to sacrifice?
 

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The woman is only 32 years old, i think you may have misread.

Anyway to the OP... methinks you may have lept...before looked. 4 months seem kinda fast to me, especially with so much going on, on her part. I mean, you are a better man than me to take on all of this. I mean having 6 kids would be enough for me to know consider anything more than a hit it and quit it. 3 baby daddies, even with 1 being passed away that would be a major concern for me, borderline red flag? 1 baby daddy in the basement? Tubes tied even though you want to have your own kids? Medical concerns? Not on the same page involving interests? You've overlooked a lot of things my friend to be with this women.

Are you sure you aren't playing Captain Save-Em? Its kind of an urban reference when you are the nice guy witih things going for you, and the woman has multiple baby-daddys, with not a lot going on with her. You guys meet, and she basically provides the world to you, just to keep you involved, but in her eyes you are an immediate upgrade to what she's had going on. I mean it can work, but how much are you willing to personally sacrifice of yourself to make it work. What is she willing to sacrifice?
Yes, I did make a mistake. I saw number 47, I thought she is 47!

32 with six children, WOW!
 

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Yes, I did make a mistake. I saw number 47, I thought she is 47!

32 with six children, WOW!
This may sound unfair, but i think she has a problem when it comes to picking men, or not properly sizing up the men that pick her. And that's not a slap at the OP, but the sex must be like sunshine itself... before i overlook all the things this woman has going on. I mean for all we know the 2nd baby daddy that passed may have passed why he was already out of the picture, so you are kinda forced to ask yourself, why did all these relations with people she actually had kids with...not work? After having kids out of wedlock the first couple of times, why did she continue not to protect herself?
 

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I see women like her all the time-on the Maury Povich show!
 

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I think the "step-father vs. natural father" is very low down on the priority of your relationship issues. The other posts have covered things pretty well, but I see them as (in no particular order):

  1. Dated for 4 months prior to getting married, and it was a long distance relationship to boot. How well can you get to know someone that way?
  2. Other than "love", "everything else seems to be lacking"
  3. 6 children from 3 different fathers. While "stuff happens", it doesn't exactly speak well of decision making and commitment strengths
  4. One of the other fathers is living in your basement, and has been for as long as you've been married. While this might be a good way of keeping him in the child's life, I'm thinking this isn't going to help your relationship with either the wife or the child, as either one can turn to him if they're having an issue with you.
  5. You're "resigned" to the fact that you won't have children of your own. Being "resigned" to anything at this point is not a good sign.
  6. "Nothing in common".
  7. Neither of you know what she's interested in.
  8. Many times even within the bedroom, you're opposites. What does this mean? Are you sexually compatible or not?
  9. You're talking about being content and satisfied with her after 4 months. It's pretty early to be asking that question. Or late, since you should have been asking that before you got married.
  10. She's not willing to fix her health issues now because it might need addressing in another 15 years. This limits her activity, which I would guess may cause weight issues in the future (big logic step, I know). But you mention she's "heavy", and you've been attracted to slim/athletic women. And she's only 32 years old now.
  11. You're worried about your finances after 4 months, but she's not interested in helping. How did she survive before you? What's the age range of the children?

If nothing else, I'd suggest you need to be much more proactive than most couples in addressing issues. Do you two get any "alone" time, with 6 kids and some guy in the house? Date night, or something? Does the father in the basement at least contribute financially? What's his issue that he's living in your basement?

So what exactly attracted you to her in the first place? Just asking.

C
 

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32, 6 kids, 3 babies daddies. You knew her for four months in a long distance relationship and got married. Give your head a shake man.
and to top it off....one of the babies daddy lives in your basement..........Good luck to you because you are going to need it.
First thing is - thank god she cannot have more kids....that is the last thing you two need.
I don't know what else can be said....good luck
 

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32, 6 kids, 3 babies daddies. You knew her for four months in a long distance relationship and got married. Give your head a shake man.
and to top it off....one of the babies daddy lives in your basement..........Good luck to you because you are going to need it.
First thing is - thank god she cannot have more kids....that is the last thing you two need.
I don't know what else can be said....good luck
Seriously OP, just make sure you remind the basement guy to be sure to keep his eyes open when he goes to have sex with your wife, to make sure you don't happen to be on top of her at the time, could be a pain in the rear for you otherwise.
 
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