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I’m a married female in my 30s. My husband and I don't have any kids together, but several years ago when we were dating (living together), he found out he had a kid with a woman he dated momentarily 5 years prior. He was told to never contact her, so he didn't. It was confirmed with a DNA test that the kid was in fact his, so we've been paying $400 of child support every month for about 4 years now. I figured the kid would come into the picture one day, but figured we'd be married with at least one kid before it happened.

One month before our wedding (last year), his family reached out to the mother to develop a relationship with the mother and kid. This infuriated me and my husband because we didn't feel it was their place to do that. We were never asked and had no decision in the matter. If ever given the opportunity, we wanted to do it when we were ready, not during one of the most stressful times of our life trying to plan a wedding. Considering we couldn't turn back time, we had to accept it. I wasn't going to call off the wedding over something like this, especially since my husband didn't do anything wrong. I love my husband more than life itself and was willing to let it go.

We got married and 4 months later, the kid wanted to meet my husband. My husband was actually happy about this and since I want him to be happy, it made me happy too. We met the kid, half-brother, and mother and everything went great. The kids were well behaved and the mother was very nice. Although my husband doesn't have any legal rights, they settled their differences and the mother agreed to allow my husband to be involved in the kid's life.

The mother and kids became good friends with my husband very quickly after the initial meeting. They talk and text quite often and say its only about the kids, but I still feel its a lot when they have 20 texts a day and a more than one call a week. Plus we only met them a few months ago and I feel it's moving very fast. He leaves his phone unlocked for me to read messages if I want and I'm pretty confident I can trust him, but it seems as though he and the mother are becoming best friends. He's even talked about us moving closer (within 10 minutes or same neighborhood) since we're on the other side of the state. I just got settled into our new home and am tired of moving. Plus I'm not sure I'm ready or ever will be ready to be that close.

My husband has even traveled overnight to visit the kid when he knew I was unavailable. I made him stay somewhere else since he's not allowed to stay at her house alone, but I was still very upset he was going without me. I've tried being friends with the mother so she'll talk to me and schedule "play dates" with me rather than with my husband. I'm trying to minimize my husband's contact with the mother so that my husband can focus on the kid. My husband has even told her I'm the one that makes the schedule and runs the finances, but she still reaches out to him. My husband is too nice and is afraid that saying anything that will make her take the kids away, so he continues like no big deal.

Our weekends are starting to fill up with activities with the mother and kids and its starting to cost a lot. My husband likes to pay for everyone, including the mother, unless I stop him. Don’t forget we already at $400 in child support. We were just starting to get financially stable with me making more money and then our expenses went way up.

My husband has been wanting kids for a while now. I only waited out of fear of losing our free time and not having enough money, but my thoughts are different now. Aside from already wanting kids, I figured giving him a child would help him focus a little more on our family again without excluding his son. Not trying to sound mean, but I figured if our free time is already being taken away for his kid and half-brother, why not embrace the kid thing and focus time on a baby as well. Not to mention we're not getting any younger. Plus we can finally afford a baby if he stops paying for everyone.

I recently approached my husband to say I'm ready to try for a baby, thinking he would be super excited. Before I could get it out, he tells me he isn't ready for a kid yet since he's already got enough on his plate with the kid(s) he has with the other woman. As if I wasn't struggling enough with adjusting, this just tore my heart out. It took me a long time to finally feel ready for kids and now that I am, he tells me his other family is keeping him too busy to have a family with me.

I'm not mad at my husband for a kid from his past. I'm not mad at the kids since it's not their fault. I'm not even mad at the mom for wanting her kid to know the father. I am upset though because I feel like my husband is starting to go through parenthood without me and worst of all, with another woman, even if neither of them have ill intentions. I suddenly feel like I went from being his #1 to last place after the kids and mother. Its like I'm watching my husband get consumed by this other family.

My husband is an extremely good man and I know he loves me, but I never thought I'd wake up one day to find my husband's the dad of a young kid, or two, and it wouldn't be with me. Again, I'm very happy that my husband is finally getting to have a relationship with his kid, but didn't think it would come with two other people, one of which is a grown woman. My whole world has been flipped upside down. I'm afraid that if I don't give husband kids soon, I will lose him.

The mother and I are have similar personalities, physical features, and weight. However, she has kids (one that's my husband's blood) and I don't have any. She's single and has a lot to offer, including a well paying job and a better home than ours, so I feel like she will always be on the back burner. My husband could easily leave me for her if he wants to. What’s even worse is my husband feels being a father is his calling, so he often gets depressed when his kid isn’t around and it affects our love life.

I've tried to share my feelings with my husband and he listens, but has a hard time understanding my perspective. He thinks I'm mad at him or the kid and I'm not. He says he missed out on a lot of time with the kid and just wants to do what is right. I want him to take care of the kid, but involve me more and the mother less, but he seems to enjoy involving the mother. What do u do when the mother has so much power over the situation? My husband doesn’t want to go to court, understandably, because he feels we're in the best situation possible. You would think that, but for some reason it doesn't feel that way to me.

I refuse to consider the D word. I believe in working through it, but don't know how. Am I wrong for having the feelings that I do? Is my husband being too nice and needs to scale back to a happy medium or do I need to just learn to cope? Thoughts on the baby situation? I just feel so lost and alone. Its really hard and I have no one to help me through this. Just looking for honest (but nice) feedback. Any suggestions to help me keep my marriage from falling apart? Thanks for reading all of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To add more to the story, I’ve shared a lot of feelings with my husband regarding the mom and other kid. The half-brother hardly has a relationship with his dad who is out of the picture and is affected by this, so my husband feels obligated to take on that kid too rather than separating the kids and making one feel left out. I’m trying to be understanding and have the WWJD approach. As far as the mom, my husband grew up with divorced parents who always stayed friends. He said it just made their family bigger, so doesn’t find anything wrong with being friends with the mom and having her there for every vacation and family get together. He said he just doesn’t want any drama, but I feel like his attempt at no drama is causing drama. I just feel invaded. If it wasn’t for this, my husband and I are great together.
 

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To add more to the story, I’ve shared a lot of feelings with my husband regarding the mom and other kid. The half-brother hardly has a relationship with his dad who is out of the picture and is affected by this, so my husband feels obligated to take on that kid too rather than separating the kids and making one feel left out. I’m trying to be understanding and have the WWJD approach. As far as the mom, my husband grew up with divorced parents who always stayed friends. He said it just made their family bigger, so doesn’t find anything wrong with being friends with the mom and having her there for every vacation and family get together. He said he just doesn’t want any drama, but I feel like his attempt at no drama is causing drama. I just feel invaded. If it wasn’t for this, my husband and I are great together.
Here's the thing. He made vows to you. Now, some people will say that his biological child that he just met trumps all of that. I disagree. He needs to understand that his marriage is at least as important as his child, and definitely MORE important than a woman he is NOT married to and a child he did not father.

Is he conflict-avoidant? Does he tend to have people-pleasing tendencies? You say everything is great before this, but take a look at your entire relationship....is his practice of assuming you should understand and capitulate to whatever is important to him really limited to this situation?

How important to him are you? Of course, it is not meant to be a competition, but if he is at all rational, he HAS to know that this is causing legitimate resentment on your part. And I'll just say it....if a woman was rearranging her life and spending alone time with the father of her child, and the husband came here for advice, pretty much every frequent poster on male threads would tell him she was cheating.
 

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Your in-laws really screwed the two of you over. This is a horrible situation and I don’t think there’s any good solution.

Maybe H’s parents can take his parenting time, and sometimes H goes over to his parents’ house to see his son. The mother can communicate with his parents instead of him. She needs to be kindly and politely kept far away from H.

Your H should understand why you don’t want him having any direct contact with his former lover, the mother. He needs to agree to stop taking her calls and texts. She can contact you or his parents if it’s necessary to reach him. It seldom should be necessary if he has no legal rights.

When you explain your perspective to your H, he should try and put himself in your shoes. He doesn’t need to agree with you, but he should make an effort to understand. Telling you that your wrong and responding with his perspective suggests he isn’t really listening.

His ex-lover, who looks like you but has a better job and is the mother of his only child, has no business being invited to vacations or holidays. His son, perhaps, but no contact between H and her. Additionally, if he’s not leaving you for her, then he should not be acting as stepfather to her other child. I get the WWJD thing, but in this case, no. I think you have every reason to feel insecure about this situation and react accordingly.

If she’s a bad person then your fears are well-founded. If she’s a good person, she will understand and stay away from H and allow him to see his son. If she stops allowing her son to visit his paternal family because she can’t stay in direct contact with her former lover, that tells you what you need to know about her intentions.

I thought that child support obligations and parenting rights go hand-in-hand? If he has no rights to custody then why does he have an obligation to pay support?
 

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"I thought that child support obligations and parenting rights go hand in hand. If he has no rights to custody then why does he have an obligation to pay support?"

Welcome to America, where fathers arextreated like crap by the court system
 

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"I refuse to consider the D word".....That's all I needed to hear.
 

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You’re husband is not “an extremely good man”, in fact he is a selfless *******.
You are in your thirties and he tells you he is not ready for a child. What about you? Do you get to have an opinion?
You will soon be nearing an age when pregnancy risks increase, he doesn’t care, he has his child plus a spare and a ready and willing woman who probably regrets ever letting him go in the first place.
You say that you don’t want to consider the divorce word. You damn well ought to be considering it because you are rapidly becoming the background noise in his relationship with his ex.
And as for your in-laws, they are no friends to your marriage.
 

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Since this woman is such a great catch, she needs to get off her azz and find her own man. She had her chance with your man and...what happened? Why did they split?

How old is the child and the childs brother?

Yes it is sad for the other kid they don't have a dad, but who's fault is that? The mom's, the absent dad's. And it is not your hubby's job to take up the slack. And it is sure not his job to be taking care of this other woman and spending time with her and her other kid, when he made vows to you.

You need to lay down the law and set some boundaries.

The other kid and the mom are not included.

Pick up/drop off is at set times and text needs to be for emergencys only.

He had no business traveling without you to see them.

What do I think?

I think you may want to get the hell out now while you still can.

No kids yet, cut ties.

He can go play happy family with them if that is what he wants.

Terrible.
 

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You say that your husband pays child support but has no legal rights and/or custody of his child. This is a HUGE mistake. He needs to get a lawyer and set up shared custody and a time schedule so that he has equal time with his son.

The way it is right now, the mother is 100% in control.

Right now it's a bit of a honeymoon. It's about 100% that this I not going to last long and the mother will start using the child to control things.
 

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Your husband should be treating this obligation in the same way any non custodial parent would treat it when they break up with the other parent.

That is visitation, should only consider the child not the rest of the family. Has there been a court of any sort? I hate saying it, but maybe speaking to a lawyer or going to a legal clinic may help you know what legally your husband's obligations are.
 

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You say that your husband pays child support but has no legal rights and/or custody of his child. This is a HUGE mistake. He needs to get a lawyer and set up shared custody and a time schedule so that he has equal time with his son.

The way it is right now, the mother is 100% in control.

Right now it's a bit of a honeymoon. It's about 100% that this I not going to last long and the mother will start using the child to control things.
Effectively, he's practicing polygamy. If you do nothing OP, I would not be surprised when you admit that he's sleeping with her ....... and she's trying to get pregnant again.
 

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He told you "his other family (!!!) is keeping him too busy to have kids with you" and yet you still state divorce is not an option?

I fear there is no way you are ever going to be happy in this marriage. And, you'll lose your own chance to be a mother, biologically, due your refusal to face the fact that divorce is probably your only option for happiness.
 

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I won’t advise you to “accidentally” get pregnant by your husband. That would be wrong.

But I think you’d be in a better position if you suddenly got pregnant than divorcing him and trying to find a new man to have kids with in your 30’s.
 

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My husband has been wanting kids for a while now. I only waited out of fear of losing our free time and not having enough money, but my thoughts are different now. Aside from already wanting kids, I figured giving him a child would help him focus a little more on our family again without excluding his son. Not trying to sound mean, but I figured if our free time is already being taken away for his kid and half-brother, why not embrace the kid thing and focus time on a baby as well. Not to mention we're not getting any younger. Plus we can finally afford a baby if he stops paying for everyone.

I recently approached my husband to say I'm ready to try for a baby, thinking he would be super excited. Before I could get it out, he tells me he isn't ready for a kid yet since he's already got enough on his plate with the kid(s) he has with the other woman. As if I wasn't struggling enough with adjusting, this just tore my heart out. It took me a long time to finally feel ready for kids and now that I am, he tells me his other family is keeping him too busy to have a family with me......I'm afraid that if I don't give husband kids soon, I will lose him.
Baby to save the marriage never worked and your plan for baby to keep your husband and bring his attention and focus back to you and the marriage won't work either. His nose is open if you know what that term means.

My husband is too nice and is afraid that saying anything that will make her take the kids away, so he continues like no big deal.
This is called Guilty Daddy Syndrome and is very, very, VERY common among dads who don't live under the same roof as his children, especially dads who are remarried. It's very normal, and your feelings are normal too. But you stated earlier that he doesn't have any rights. This isn't a matter of the system screwing fathers as someone here submittted. It's a matter of there being no marriage between him and the mother that would have given him rights to his child. But that doesn't mean he has no rights. His rights just are not automatic in the absence of marriage, so that means he has to go and get what is rightfully due him as a father and as a support-paying father. He has to ask for his right to parenting time through the court system, and he will not be denied or screwed over.

On top of everything else that you are going through, you're going to have to also accept that it will be expensive for him to get custody. But the expense will be worth it in the end for your sake because it will liberate him from the mother's psychological hold that she has on him. He will automatically be afforded every other weekend but can get 50/50 custody if he asks for it. How much parenting time he wants is up to him. She will retain physical custody if he doesn't ask for joint physical custody (50/50). He will have no say in decision making regarding his son if he doesn't ask for joint legal custody.

Just know that while getting custody/parenting time will eliminate his fear of her preventing him from seeing his kid, he's still going to feel inclined to kiss her arse because the new fear will creep in that she will turn the child against him, so he'll continue to placate her in hopes of preventing that from happening. Keep in mind that she's not going to take kindly to him suing her for custody (taking her to court for his parenting rights). She is very much enjoying being in control and won't appreciate having to relinquish any control, so she will do her best to maintain as much control as she can, which will cause him great fear that his kid won't want to visit him and won't enjoy himself when he does. I'm awfully sorry to inform you that you're in for a life of problems, my dear, that don't always end when the child turns 18.

I'm not mad at my husband for a kid from his past. I'm not mad at the kids since it's not their fault. I'm not even mad at the mom for wanting her kid to know the father. I am upset though because I feel like my husband is starting to go through parenthood without me and worst of all, with another woman, even if neither of them have ill intentions. I suddenly feel like I went from being his #1 to last place after the kids and mother. Its like I'm watching my husband get consumed by this other family.
Lots of stepmoms feel that way - in last place, on the back burner, nothing compared to his kid(s) and their mother. It's something you will have to determine how much of this you are willing to tolerate.

The mother and I are have similar personalities, physical features, and weight. However, she has kids (one that's my husband's blood) and I don't have any. She's single and has a lot to offer, including a well paying job and a better home than ours, so I feel like she will always be on the back burner. My husband could easily leave me for her if he wants to.
It's time you start loving yourself more than you love him. If you don't, you will constantly plague yourself with these fears instead of putting your foot down like you should.

I've tried to share my feelings with my husband and he listens, but has a hard time understanding my perspective. He thinks I'm mad at him or the kid and I'm not. He says he missed out on a lot of time with the kid and just wants to do what is right. I want him to take care of the kid, but involve me more and the mother less, but he seems to enjoy involving the mother. What do u do when the mother has so much power over the situation? My husband doesn’t want to go to court, understandably, because he feels we're in the best situation possible. You would think that, but for some reason it doesn't feel that way to me.
It doesn't feel that way to you because that's not the way it is. There is nothing ideal about this situation. Your husband is dating his ex girlfriend while married to you under the guise of visitation. Is that the best situation possible? For him maybe, but I think you're wrong not to suspect anything. He is supposed to work the child into your marriage and lifestyle, but he's pushing you out.

I refuse to consider the D word. I believe in working through it, but don't know how. Am I wrong for having the feelings that I do? Is my husband being too nice and needs to scale back to a happy medium or do I need to just learn to cope? Thoughts on the baby situation? I just feel so lost and alone. Its really hard and I have no one to help me through this. Just looking for honest (but nice) feedback. Any suggestions to help me keep my marriage from falling apart? Thanks for reading all of this.
As long as you refuse to consider the D word, you will accept and tolerate all manner of disrespect. I know you don't want a divorce and hope it will never come to that, but you really should consider it may be inevitable one day while being convicted to doing all you can to prevent it. However, doing what you can to prevent divorce should not mean allowing your husband to continue disrespecting you.

There are two things you have to do. One is to stop complaining to your husband. You want to complain, and I don't blame you, but it will only serve to alienate you from him. There are many things you do now or will in the near future want to say, and they need to be said, but he won't hear them coming from you. He needs to either hear them from someone else, someone in authority that he respects, or he needs to hear them coming from you in the safety of a counselor's office.

And finding a good marriage counselor is the second thing you need to do.....pronto. But here's the thing: A marriage counselor is not a marriage counselor is not a marriage counselor. Just because someone hangs a sign doesn't make them good at it, and the biggest problem is that they all claim to work with stepfamilies, but almost none of them are good at THAT. Even many of those who are good marriage counselors are terrible counselors for couples in a stepfamily. They try to apply the same principles and methods as with other couples, but stepfamily couples are a whole different breed of a beast and require an entirely different understanding and approach. There are some stepfamily couples whose problems are mostly the usual kind of marriage-related problems, but everything you shared here with us is totally stepfamily-related. You need a marriage counselor that specializes in stepfamilies. The only way to find that out is to interview a few to see if their beliefs and their approach are acceptable to you. Stepmothers used to only be told they need to be quiet and accept everything their husband and his kids (and their mother) dish out at her. You need to interview various counselors to make sure you don't end up with someone who has those antiquated views. Sit down for an initial consultation and share your situation, and then ask how they usually handle these types of concerns, and believe me, your concerns are very, VERY common, so every counselor who claims to specialize in stepfamilies will (should) be familiar with everything you say and should already have a planned approach. Don't let them hoodwink and dazzle you with boasts of their successes. Look for concrete answers. And record their responses during the interview. Just ask them "Do you mind if I record our consultation?" If they do mind, get up and leave immediately.

You need support from the right people - people who are and have been going through your same circumstances, so there are lots of websites and forums geared to stepmoms that you can find just by googling the word "stepmoms". I know of one or two but would rather not suggest them because even though they are supportive, they are not at all helpful. Really just a bunch of complainers who don't do anything about their own bad situations but advise others what to do. Not ideal if you ask me. If you can't and don't bother to help yourself, what kind of help can you offer someone else? Except of the hypocritical kind of course. And they almost always tell newcomers to divorce their husband because he's so terrible but yet they stay with their own terrible husbands. Go figure. See if google can help you find some real support and shy away from the complaining sites or you could become addicted to them and spend years and years complaining and commiserating but making no progress. Good luck to you.
 

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Your husband needs to make this arrangement formal by getting a lawyer. The court will order a formal custody arrangement with visitation. Be advised though that if your financial situation has changed for the better, your husband's child support might increase. If your husband balks at this suggestion, there might be more to this arrangement than just seeing the kid(s). He is woefully neglectful of you and your marriage.

And having your own child with this man to take the attention off this situation is the worst reason to do so.

And your in laws should be hung by their toes. What they did was unconscionable. I'm curious-did your husband read them the riot act? He sounds like a nice guy. And I don't mean that as a compliment. Is he conflict avoidant?
 

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Your husband's actions are telling you to shuffle off to Buffalo. He's got his kid(s) and he doesn't want another one. Babymama is looking for a daddy for her kids and he's saying "sign me up!".

Do you really want a marriage where you're in the backseat and she's in the front with your husband?
 

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I won’t advise you to “accidentally” get pregnant by your husband. That would be wrong.

But I think you’d be in a better position if you suddenly got pregnant than divorcing him and trying to find a new man to have kids with in your 30’s.
Oh sh*! !!

Respectfully this is something that I wouldn't say, either in these words or as advice, without some concrete evidence there are relationship and hubby actions improvements.

Something planned, well communicated between you and hubby, and not as a reason to remain married, yes it may be a blessing.

And in "your thirties" isn't a death sentence. 😊😊
 
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