Oh, come one. You’ve been together a few years, have multiple children, are planning to get married, and you didn’t know he was financially supporting this 8-year-old girl who isn’t even his?? Can you imagine what kind of future you would have with a man who keeps that kind of secret? Furthermore, if you are “planning” a future, and a marriage together, what’s the damn hold-up? You live together, you have multiple kids together… what are you waiting for? Obviously, there’s something keeping you from truly committing, there’s something keeping your baby daddy from being honest with you about financially supporting a child that isn’t is. Whatever that something is, it’s definitely enough for you to “take your kids and walk.” Actually, I’d run. And then go sue his ass for child support and make sure the money he’s been giving to that other kid goes to the ones who are biologically his instead.
What do you mean it doesn’t add up? Of course it does. Hooking up with you and getting you to pay her car payments and insurance was convenient for her until it wasn’t. In the days between your last hooking up and her saying she was dating someone new, she probably had a talk with the new guy about being exclusive. Maybe it even happened before your last hook-up and she wanted one last joyride for old time’s sake. New guy is probably going to be driving her car, or maybe she just doesn’t want new guy to know her ex-boyfriend still takes it for rides, which is why she told you you can’t drive it anymore. She asked you for money for insurance because: why not? That’s what scummy people do — they take advantage of suckers. Don’t be a sucker.
His sister did back off after we had a chat. I explained to her that they weren’t supportive. She never apologized and instead laughed and said, “We must have driven you crazy.” Shortly after, his mom told me how her son could never hurt anyone and how special he was. She knew he did something to hurt me and cause us to seek counseling. I still have anger towards him at times, but it is getting better. I am healing, but it is hard when there is added stress coming from other people. I don’t want to deal with them. — Done Dealing With Them
It sounds like telling nosy Mom and Sister that “he did something to you” probably wasn’t the best way for your husband to let them know you guys needed space. I would suggest that since they aren’t going to leave you alone until they know wtf is going on, your husband should tell them that he cheated on you, he was wrong, he’s trying very hard to work things out with you, and that their relentless phone calls and defense of how special and wonderful he is is not helping. He needs to tell them that it was his behavior that led to this need for space, not theirs (and not yours) and at this point they not only are driving you both crazy, but also they are putting his job at risk and delaying the healing of his marriage. He needs to tell them how often he can/will check in on them during this time and that, unless there is an emergency, they are not to contact him or you in the meantime so that you both can focus on your marriage. If they can’t respect that, continue blocking their calls.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
Ale November 14, 2017, 10:33 am
LW#2 I agree with Wendy’s advice on setting boundaries with the family, however I wouldn’t tell them that he cheated. I think that would make the mom and sister think they are entitled to know all the details of ther relationship and ask questions about the affair, or not to believe him. Setting boundaries is the best but I would make the cause of the separation private.
Fyodor November 14, 2017, 10:37 am
The timeline here is really weird. He broke up with the ex three years ago, got together with the LW1 a year after that and they already have two kids?
I also think that Wendy is being a little hard on the guy-it’s not clear what exactly the financial support entails and when he told her. She says that “she didn’t know” but that could mean at the start of the relationship she didn’t know, not that he concealed it from her for an extended period of time. I agree that he hasn’t been terribly responsible or careful but I don’t know that he has been dishonest with her or that this is the kind of thing that justifies walking away with two kids. I think that they need some kind of counselling, both relationship and financial but the advice seems a little abrupt extreme to me. This isn’t to say that they won’t get to the point where she needs to cut bait, but I don’t think that it should be the initial response.
MMR November 14, 2017, 11:49 am
I was thinking the same thing about LW1. I don’t hold it against the guy that he supports a child who he was a father figure to. But, he definitely should have told his girlfriend about it. Is it possible he didn’t her because he knew should would have this kind of reaction?
The LW clearly isn’t comfortable with the situation, but the time to voice those concerns was before they had a kid. He should probably set some better boundaries with his ex, but she wants a future with him, she needs to accept that this (completely innocent!) girl will be around.
MaggieB November 14, 2017, 2:44 pm
It seems needlessly harsh, and uncharacteristically callous, of Wendy to say: “And then go sue his ass for child support and make sure they money he’s been giving to that other kid goes to the ones who are biologically his instead.”
That doesn’t mean leaving him and suing him for child support isn’t the right thing to do, but framing it as taking away money from an innocent child he feels obligated to help is pretty icky. That said, if there’s a possibility the mother is spending his money unwisely, perhaps there’s a more formal way future payments could be set up so that it goes directly toward expenses for the girl, rather than left up to the mom’s discretion.
Skyblossom November 14, 2017, 2:50 pm
I was thinking that it is overacting to take your children away from their father just because he is also supporting another child. The man who refuses to abandon the other child is likely to not abandon your children. That’s a good quality in a man.
Skyblossom November 14, 2017, 3:49 pm
My guess is that they have only recently moved in together and when they did move in together she found out he was taking care of this other child. In that case this is a lie of omission because you would sooner or later mention the child in some way in casual conversation about what you were doing or had been doing. He has been keeping his care of the other child a secret but to jump to taking the kids and leaving seems like an overreaction.
Fyodor November 14, 2017, 3:59 pm
The other thing is that it sounds more like he’s pitching in periodically rather than paying regular expenses. I could see why he might not feel, especially if their finances weren’t joined, that he didn’t need to disclose it.
Skyblossom November 14, 2017, 4:02 pm
It’s possible that the financial help hasn’t been ongoing. The girl’s mother may have hit a bad spot and is asking for help at this point in time.
wobster109 November 14, 2017, 3:09 pm
LW1 – It looks like the other child IS his. Nowhere in the letter does it say he’s not the bio father. Am I missing something?
Dear Wendy November 14, 2017, 3:24 pm
I think in my initial edit, I accidentally made that ambiguous. Sorry about that. I re-edited and hopefully it’s clear that the child is not biologically his.
wobster109 November 14, 2017, 3:26 pm
Oh ok. Yep, it’s clear now.
dinoceros November 14, 2017, 4:21 pm
LW1: If you’re ready to walk, then do it.
LW2: I don’t think the ex is scummy. Up until now, they were both getting something out of the deal. Perhaps she wants the money because her premium went up because of the LW’s accident (which I’m sure it did), but it’s not really feasible for him to continue driving it — plus, the insurance issues probably stemmed from the fact that she was regularly letting someone not on the policy drive a car. Hooking up doesn’t mean you’re together, so while it sounds like she maybe is not being honest to her current boyfriend, I don’t see that she’d done anything wrong to the LW. If you don’t want to pay more money, then I guess don’t pay — but be grateful that she’s the one whose insurance went up and not yours after the accident.
LW3: What they did was annoying, but you both could have limited it. Don’t answer. Turn the phone on silent when at work. Yes, block them. I think if you had done that from the start, you’d be less exasperated now.
carolann November 14, 2017, 6:46 pm
I don’t understand why the ex isn’t going to her real baby daddy for child support? These days it us pretty hard (not impossible, but pretty difficult) to get away from child support…unless she isn’t pursuing it. I give him credit for being a father figure, but he shouldn’t allow himself to be taken advantage of. He could still be there for the girl while her mom pursues child support enforcement.
Why the LW is having child after child with a guy she obviously doesn’t even really know is another issue…
Dora November 14, 2017, 8:27 pm
It’s very possible for the little girl’s bio-dad to be a deadbeat, in prison, hiding income, etc… Just because a support order is in place doesn’t necessarily mean a bio-parent is going to honor it. Given the ex of the OP was in the girl’s life for two years and is staying in her life and caring for her…including financial support… doesn’t necessarily mean he is being taken advantage of. Sounds like he is the real dad of this girl, rather than the “sperm donor”.
Ron November 14, 2017, 11:06 pm
Because she’s trying to prove she is the REAL baby mama. She thinks the more of this guy’s babies she has, the better chance she has to hold onto him. She is afraid he will go back to ex. The ex calls LW’s bf her baby daddy, which as the term is use around here is limited to basically sperm donors and does not include non biological fathers who help raise your kid. So, maybe the bf is actually the father of his ex’s child. It sounds like LW only knows what bf told her about this situation. At least in the back of her mind, I think she suspects he is this kid’s bio father.
Cleopatra Jones November 15, 2017, 11:15 am
These days it us pretty hard (not impossible, but pretty difficult) to get away from child support…unless she isn’t pursuing it.
Eh, I think in an idyllic world this is true but unfortunately, there could be a zillion reasons that the real child’s father doesn’t support the kid. He could be in jail, in the military, getting paid under the table, hiding money, moved to another state, low wage paying job, no DNA test on file, or just about a million other reason, other than ‘she’s not pursuing it’.
That’s not even the real issue of the this letter. Let’s be real, once she gets him to stop paying any ‘child support’, next she’s going to demand that he stop seeing the kid altogether. As Ron noted this is all about her establishing that she’s the real baby mama.
Dear Wendy November 15, 2017, 8:04 am
From LW 3:
Freckles November 15, 2017, 8:33 am
You might enjoy and find some support in this subreddit about bad MILs.
irhie November 15, 2017, 9:46 am
For LW1 – in some jurisdictions, if they lived together and he behaved in a “parental capacity”, he could be liable for child support regardless of whether he’s the bio-dad or not. Once you are a parent, you’re a parent-in the eyes of the court, if not in the heart.
Dear Wendy November 27, 2017, 9:04 am
From LW 3:
Dear Wendy November 27, 2017, 9:05 am
What did your husband think would happen if he called and wished his mom a happy birthday? Or if he sent a card? There’s setting boundaries and then there’s totally cutting someone out of your life. It sounds like he’s trying to do the latter, and, I mean, of course a mother is going to be angry and hurt and reactionary when her kid is cutting her out of his life. I don’t know what you want me to say? It shouldn’t be such a surprise that totally blowing off one’s mother on her birthday is going to upset her and the siblings…