Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“We’ve Been Married Two Years and I Still Haven’t Met His Kids!”

I have been in a relationship since 2014. It went pretty fast — we got married in 2016 and had two kids, back-to-back. My husband has two other children from a previous relationship who are now six and nine (I also have a 13-year-old). I have never met them!!! Last year, he took our two boys to meet them at his son’s football practice. And now, recently, he has mentioned he wants to plan a boys’ weekend (without me).

His excuse is that he couldn’t tell his ex about me for a long time because she is jealous and wouldn’t have let him see the kids. In fact, he never told her I was pregnant or that we moved in together; she found out through social media creeping. Then she got full custody of the kids and asked for child support. She clearly knows we are together now — our wedding was in 2016, and there has been a lot of anger between the two of them because, again, he did not tell her about the wedding.

He has allowed me to say hi to his kids on FaceTime, but I still have not met them. WTF is going on? I’m ready to honestly give up on this marriage. When I bring it up, he says he doesn’t want to confuse the kids. I desperately need advice. — Mom of three boys

Why did you marry a guy who refused to introduce you to his children and who prioritized his ex’s feelings over your own? What do you say to him when he says that meeting you will confuse his children with his ex? It would only confuse them if they believed he was still in love with their mother. Is he? Do you feel like he’s in love with you? Besides this craziness, do you feel otherwise supported and valued and appreciated and like your marriage is on strong footing? Or is this rejection of you — and let’s be honest, rejection is exactly what this is when he refuses to introduce you to his children and integrate you into that very important part of his life — sort of par for the course? If it’s the former, get some marriage counseling to work through this. If it’s the latter — and I think it probably is — you might want to save your money, skip the counseling, dump his ass, and let every weekend be boys’ weekend from here on out.

P.S. 17 Things Every Couple MUST Discuss Before Getting Married (check out number 2).

My hubby and I have been married 34 years. We have never lived more than 25 minutes away from his parents whom he sees once a week at least but usually two or more times. Now that they are elderly he is helping them a lot because of doctor appointments and lawn mowing, etc. I only have one brother who lives in another state from me, a day’s travel by plane. My husband doesn’t want to leave our existing home not only because his family is there but also because so are our four grown-up children (three of whom still live with us, while the one who is married lives cross the street). I, on the other hand, have no family here at all. My family is all deceased except for the one brother living a state away. I need to mention that I was adopted at age 8 in a different state, and my brother and I only reconciled eight years ago but can’t see each other because of distance and finances. My husband and I are not wealthy and my brother’s even less so.

My dilemma is: I want to live in a cooler climate but my husband won’t even consider it because he thinks he won’t get another job anywhere else. My upbringing was dreadful as was my brother’s. Hence, why we were farmed out. I’m just wondering: Do I keep compromising all my life or do I fight for what I want (literally, for the first time in my life)? I’m at a loss as to what to do. Any suggestions are welcome. — Tired of Compromising

I can feel your pain in being abandoned as a child, being cheated out of a relationship with your brother, and missing a happy family life as a kid. I think it’s normal now, as an adult — one whose kids are grown now and whose in-laws are nearing their end — to take stock of where you are, physically, mentally, and emotionally — and to want more or want something different for the next chapter of your life. And while a move to some place cooler, away from memories that may or may not bring comfort and away from family obligations and responsibilities, may feel like the most logical choice, I think if you were honest with yourself, you might realize it’s not terribly logical.

You keep saying none of your family lives near you — that you just have this one brother who lives in a different state — but that isn’t really true, is it? After all, you have your husband and his parents, and you have your four kids. One of them is already married – maybe there will even be grandkids on the horizon. You may feel lonely and unfulfilled, but it isn’t because you lack family near you. You have more family close to you than most of us do. Your dissatisfaction is based on something else, and that something else is going to follow you wherever you go.

I’m sorry to tell you this. The day of reckoning may be upon you, and no amount of running or trying to hide from it is going to save you from the work you need to do to face it and slay it. You had a shitty past. That is not your fault. Your husband is devoted to his parents and perhaps failing to see that you need him too. Speak up. Tell him you’re running on empty. Tell him you need to see your brother. Scrape together the money you need to make such a visit possible. It is cheaper and less traumatic than picking up your life and moving to a cooler climate without jobs and far from family.

Lean on your loved ones — your kids, your husband, your friends. In life and love we make compromises, but if you feel that you are the only one doing so, ask that others shoulder some burden now too. What tasks or sacrifices are you making that keep you unhappy? Can you pass these tasks to someone else? If you stop doing them, will everything fall apart or will people learn to adapt? There are ways you can start living more for yourself without as much disruption to yourself and your family as a move to “a cooler climate” would entail. I know you’re searching for an easy solution — one big action you can take to make everything better — but, with the exception of maybe going to therapy, I don’t think there is one solitary action that is going to bring you the peace you crave. It certainly isn’t a move away from all the people you know and love, no matter how much cooler the climate might be.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

39 comments… add one
  • avatar

    JD February 25, 2019, 2:01 pm

    Why the heck would you marry a this man to begin with. Think then do. There are no words.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    LisforLeslie February 25, 2019, 2:16 pm

    WWS on both

    LW#1- something is really really wrong that your husband never even introduced you to his school aged children. Why weren’t they part of the wedding? Why would they not be there for the celebrations with their siblings ( I don’t use “half” terms – they are family). Your husband is making excuses and they don’t make sense. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the two of you were to separate he’d tell his new girlfriend that you’re jealous and crazy and he couldn’t bring the four children to meet the new girlfriend. Too crazy for my taste.

    LW #2 – this is not about your brother. You were estranged for decades and now you’re finding a lot of reasons to uproot you and your husband and move elsewhere. What do you hope to find? Do you feel that your husband is spending too much time caring for his elderly parents? Is it that he and his parents have a good loving relationship and you don’t have that with your family of origin and you’re feeling out of sorts about it? Why do you want to move away from your kids? Do you feel that they won’t care for you as you get older so you’re going to move away now so that you never confirm your suspicion?

    I’m making a lot of assumptions / leaps here – many of which are probably wrong. But I think you have to do some really hard work to figure out why you’d want to pick up and leave everything you’ve created with your family, for someone who wasn’t in your life for a long time and reminds you of bad times. I’m not saying your brother doesn’t deserve your love, I’m just saying, you’re glomming on to an idea that is questionable given the circumstances you’ve shared.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Jo February 25, 2019, 4:48 pm

      I m sorry but I forgot to mention that I want to move to a cooler place to live because I don’t cope with the heat. I live in Sydney in Australia. 30-40+ temperatures half the year. We have until now , lived where we could afford ( Sydney is the dearest state in Australia). This is where we both grew up. (Me intermittently as I mentioned before). My only living relative whom I was not able to see growing up, lives in a much cooler place in Australia. A days trip away , by plane. 2 days by car. I have always wanted to live in a country atmosphere (like where my brother lives). I have never liked city life. To busy and stressful. I have compromised all my life. Is it wrong to now want something for myself of my choosing or am I supposed to keep compromising all my life because I had children ( I stayed home for 25 years raising them (no daycare ). I put in the hard work. I do have two granddaughters 20 months old & 5 weeks. (Marrieddaughters children, who live across the st). I now help a lot with them. I guess I’m asking, “Is this my LOT or am I allowed to expect more from my life. Realise My Dreams. Is it too much to ask my husband to compromise now.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Jo February 25, 2019, 4:52 pm

        I am seeing a therapist as well but how long do I just keep rehashing the past. It will always be my past. I am sick to death of thinking about it. It doesn’t change anything. I am who I am. I want to go forward not keep reliving it. And its costly

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 25, 2019, 4:59 pm

        What are you dreams though? Beyond living in a cooler climate? What are your dreams?

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 25, 2019, 5:00 pm

        Because, I don’t think moving – leaving all your family behind and starting over in a rural environment that is cooler but you know nobody is going to fulfill you the way you might think.

        Link
      • avatar

        Kate February 25, 2019, 5:02 pm

        I know you mentioned finances being somewhat of an issue, but is there any chance of you being able to get away to the country during the height of summer, or even have a modest second home??

        Link
      • avatar

        anonymousse February 25, 2019, 5:07 pm

        What are the dreams you have that are being hindered?

        Instead of rehashing the past that you can never change- why not discuss this new idea of moving with your therapist? Or discuss why you’ve compromised everything you ever wanted your entire life?
        Have you spent any amount of time where you’re considering going? Why don’t you start there. Go for a long visit, see how the country life suits you. See how it feels being without your children and grandchildren around. The grass is always greener, right??

        Link
      • avatar

        JD February 25, 2019, 5:12 pm

        You are fine to want that but it sounds like you have a grass is greener mentality that you suddenly are pushing since you have been reunited with your brother.

        Chose a different therapist if this one isn’t helping you.

        And what about your kids who still live at home? Screw them I guess?

        Link
      • avatar

        keyblade February 25, 2019, 5:38 pm

        Jo, I can sympathize with you. It sounds as though you’ve experienced the role of caregiver and put everything into that role for most of your life.

        You were adopted when you were eight. Then you got married and adopted your husband’s home as your own.

        It sounds like you just want to be selfish at this stage of life because you feel as though you have put in a lot of time taking care of the people around you and their wants and needs. Maybe it has been difficult to live around your in-laws and maybe your daughter’s take it for granted that you want to spend a large portion of your life helping to take care of your new grandchildren and maybe you’ve spent twenty-five years walking that path but it’s difficult to manage other people’s expectations when they live so close to you.

        I don’t know if it is realistic to leave everyone and move far away if you can’t afford it and you have no support but I think your instincts are telling you it’s time for some adjusting and understanding from others while you figure out how to find some more personal fulfillment.

        Link
      • avatar

        LisforLeslie February 26, 2019, 9:00 am

        OK, I get it. I’m currently in a warm place while the rest of the country freezes. But what’s your dream? When you get to the country, what are you going to do with your time? Will you isolate yourself? Or will you work hard to join the community (and that is work). What happens if the community is territorial? Will you be able to continue therapy? Do you expect your relationship with your brother to change and what will happen if it doesn’t?

        Can your husband get work? Can you afford to move there if he’s not working? What will happen to his parents? Can they afford care or additional services? If something happens to his parents because he’s not there – will he blame you? Will he be able to travel to see them fairly regularly?

        Do you expect your kids to visit? Do they have the means to do so? Would you be angry/upset if they didn’t?

        You don’t have to push off your dreams but it doesn’t sound like you have all of the puzzle pieces in place yet. Could you start investigating this as a retirement home? A lot of people rent homes to test out communities and see if they find a place that appeals before buying. Could you spend a month or two away in the country and leave your husband at home and he can then come on the weekends?

        As for your past – at some point you have to make the decision that your past stays there. If your past is bubbling up leading to destructive behaviors, then focus on behavior therapy. Change your behavior despite your past.

        Link
      • avatar

        Ange February 26, 2019, 5:14 pm

        I understand wanting to leave Sydney but if you do I can see your husband’s concerns. Where are you looking, Tasmania? Because the employment situation there isn’t ideal and housing is expensive and hard to get. You would be cooler but at what cost? I totally get wanting to do something for you but it can’t be at the expense of your family’s financial security.

        Besides all that Sydney is nowhere near as hot as you’re making out. Yes it’s warm in summer but definitely not over 30 half the year.

        Link
    • avatar

      anonymousse February 25, 2019, 6:08 pm

      If you’re feeling unappreciated, you should work with your therapist on how to communicate that to your family effectively.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        keyblade February 25, 2019, 6:45 pm

        Good point. I wonder if the three grown kids who still live there are pulling their weight?

        Link
  • avatar

    Northern Star February 25, 2019, 2:19 pm

    LW 1: I disagree with Wendy. “Besides this craziness, do you feel otherwise supported and valued and appreciated and like your marriage is on strong footing?” It is impossible for this to be true. I can’t believe you married a man—and HAD TWO CHILDREN WITH HIM—without meeting his sons. You are an absolute fool.

    LW 2: Think really hard about what is making you unhappy and what you DO want. You should probably see a therapist. Your husband is not going to move away from his family, children, and job. And that is absolutely understandable. If you want a cooler climate, you’ll be shivering in the snow by yourself, post-divorce. If that’s what you want, then be honest about your reasoning.

    Reply Link
    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy February 25, 2019, 2:21 pm

      I posed a rhetorical question for the LW to answer for herself in the first letter. Not sure what you are disagreeing with me about.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Northern Star February 25, 2019, 2:37 pm

        I disagree that this is a scenario which is fixable through marriage counseling.

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 25, 2019, 2:57 pm

        Darlin’, I never said it was.

        Link
      • avatar

        jahaafincher February 25, 2019, 2:38 pm

        Wendy I think we all assume that he is a shit husband in all other respects. But you can’t just say that to the LW. You have to let her answer it for herself because maybe she is okay with him otherwise. I like this solid introspective question as I think its gonna be helpful for her.

        Link
      • avatar

        Northern Star February 25, 2019, 3:03 pm

        Darlin’? What?

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 25, 2019, 3:22 pm

        Stop. It.

        Link
  • avatar

    JD February 25, 2019, 2:24 pm

    LW2, no state in the US is a days travel. 6 hours at most. If you can’t afford a plane ticket once a year what makes you think you can afford a cross country move?

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Northern Star February 25, 2019, 2:42 pm

      If he lives in the middle of Montana and she’s in a small town in a southern state, it could actually take a full day to get there, counting up all the travel time (driving).

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        JD February 25, 2019, 2:45 pm

        Ok fine but the point was the LW suddenly must move to be near a brother she barely yet knows and isn’t at all considering the logistics or her husband. Also, apparently she doesn’t consider her four grown children her family?

        Link
      • avatar

        Northern Star February 25, 2019, 2:55 pm

        Well, yeah, I definitely agree with you on the rest of it. But I’ve lived in nowhere, USA and know how long it can take to get anywhere from there. Glad I only live half an hour from an airport now. 😉

        Link
      • avatar

        JD February 25, 2019, 2:57 pm

        I didn’t think about it until you said it. I’ve always lived about 15 mins from the airport and have been spoiled. Then I remembered a flight to St. Louis to get the BFE Illinois many years ago and it was about a four hour drive. Ugh

        Link
    • avatar

      LisforLeslie February 25, 2019, 3:54 pm

      Moving to be closer to the brother may be nice, but unless the brother lives in South Florida, Hawaii, Sedona or another tourist / family area – she’s pretty much guaranteeing her kids are not going to visit.

      Traveling with kids is hard enough. Travel that takes a long drive or a long drive to the airport and a flight…. not going to happen.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Miss MJ February 25, 2019, 3:18 pm

    LW#1: Honestly? If you’d written in in 2014, we’d all have said that you need to meet his kids before you get married and that your husband needs to suck it up and stop letting his ex-wife’s feelings dictate his relationships. Yes, even if she tries to use the kids as emotional chips. We’d have said, don’t get married and for the love of god, don’t have kids with this man while he’s still so emotionally entangled with his ex. (And, yes, not disclosing your marriage or insisting that you meet his kids, ffs, is emotional entanglement, even if the emotion is fear or stress or whatever.)

    But, coulda, shoulda, woulda, here we are. You have a marriage and two kids with this man. So, now you’ve got to deal with a much larger mess. Insist that he go to counseling with you to address these issues and any others in your marriage.
    Even, or especially, if the marriage cannot be fixed, because you’re going to have to co-parent with this guy and his conflict avoidance – or whatever this is – will be an impediment to that. Best of luck to you. You’re going to need it.

    LW#2: I think that before you uproot yourself and move away from your entire known family to be closer to someone that you barely know, you should seek the help of a therapist to work through your issues related to your childhood, to see what it is that you actually hope to gain from this move, and to see if you cannot achieve that in a format that doesn’t involve chucking it all out and running away. Wendy is right, your problems will follow you.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    anonymousse February 25, 2019, 5:00 pm

    LW1: I’m shocked you would get married and have kids under these circumstances. You knew he was keeping you separate from the rest of his life, now you know it will never change. Have you combined finances? Do you have full transparency about anything in your relationship? Marital counseling, STAT. Ugh.

    LW2: You haven’t met your brother since you found each other, right? And yet you want to leave your home, your kids, your in-laws and husband to be with your brother, a man you haven’t seen since you were eight years old? Why do you think this is what you want?

    I definitely think you should speak to a counselor or therapist. There are phone lines you can call, or your husband might have access to some service through his job. There might even be support groups around. There are definitely groups for support with adoptions and dysfunctional families online.

    I think going for a visit is a great idea, but if not think you should move on a whim. You’re not in a financial position to do so, and it doesn’t sound he is either. Visits and FaceTime are the best substitute you have, I think.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    golfer.gal February 25, 2019, 8:58 pm

    LW1, listen to Wendy . Red flags should have been waving high in the air a long time ago. Your instinct to leave is correct. That he would get married without his sons even knowing his new wife and vice versa tells you everything you need to know about what kind of person and father he is. Something is very, very wrong here. Marrying him was a huge mistake. Cut your losses.

    LW2, I feel for you. I think it is perfectly understandable to want to move into the next chapter of your life focusing on yourself instead of living soley for others. Of course you are entitled to, and should get, what you want. It is likely not realistic to uproot your husband a full 2 days of travel that you cannot easily afford away from his elderly parents. Are there other ways you can feel fulfilled? Maybe you need to move your adult children away from living in your home, or cut back on helping with your grandkids so much if you feel burned out? Maybe there is somewhere you would like to live that is not so very far away but isn’t your current location. I agree with Wendy that it’s time to put the money together for a trip to visit your brother (perhaps your grown children can chip in to help make that happen?), and to start talking with your therapist about the future instead of the past. Do you have strong friendships and your own community where you live? Maybe look at ways to strengthen your own “tribe” so you don’t feel so far from people you connect with. Maybe take up a hobby, take a class, join a book club, take an exercise or self defense class, or volunteer for a cause that speaks to you. Think about things you’d like to do more of (day trips away from the city, more time in nature, whatever). Maybe bring your husband with you for a session or two of counselling so you can explain how truly stuck you’re feeling and enlist his help. I think maybe there are ways to find happiness between “things stay exactly as they are” and “we uproot our lives and move thousands of miles away”. Or, maybe after trying some new things you realize there isnt and you make the decision to strike out on your own. Or, if your husband and kids are not willing to make some changes or sacrifices to help you be happy, you make that call. But maybe spend some time researching, soul searching, and trying new things. Maybe moving your grown kids out of your home and trading your current place for a smaller one in a new town would leave some money for annual travel to your brother, and alleviate some of the caretaker burden your feeling. Maybe taking more day trips and adding some things to your life thsat make you joyful will fulfill you enough in your current location. Or maybe not. But if you start looking at these things and making an effort, you’ll find out

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    saneinca February 25, 2019, 9:45 pm

    LW2/Jo,

    I think after all these years of marriage, raising kids, and other associated responsibilities, you just want to move away so there are fewer demands on your time. I get it.

    But you need to be honest with yourself regarding your need to move. Which is definitely not because you don’t have a family where you live.

    I know you stayed home many years but you don’t have access to any funds whatsoever ? Then may be you need to start earning some. Or borrow from your kids.

    Then you can first take a long vacation in the place you want to move to. And, if you still feel like that is where you to live for the rest of your life, you should make a permanent move. Which may mean leaving your husband and kids behind. But if that is what you want to do, that is what you must do.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Jill February 26, 2019, 5:19 am

    In 2014 LW got into a relationship with a man with a 1 year old and 4 year old. She doesn’t say whether he was still in a relationship with the mother at the time, which could certainly explain why he kept the progression of his relationship with LW a secret. With three young kids between the two of them already, the LW and her husband decide to have two more back-to-back? It doesn’t sound like the husband sees his first two children very often or for any significant amount of time if they have never met the LW. LW should try to encourage her husband to a improve the coparenting relationship with the mother of his first set of kids, especially since she herself is likely to be coparenting with this man in the future.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      JD February 26, 2019, 8:36 am

      Ya it seems like there could be some overlap, even if LW isn’t aware since he lied. At the very least he moved on so damn fast that he knows his ex will find it horribly offensive and hurt. But it is wayyyy past the time to handle this. You had kids with a not great father. Why? You need to tell him this is insanely wrong and be prepared to leave if he doesn’t rectify it right away. I can’t even imagine ho deceived his first set of kids will feel. I can almost guarantee he has ruined his relationship with them once this comes out.

      Reply Link
  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy February 26, 2019, 9:40 am

    Jo/LW, I keep coming back to this statement you made: ” I have compromised all my life. Is it wrong to now want something for myself of my choosing or am I supposed to keep compromising all my life because I had children,” because I think it’s one that a lot of people, especially moms, especially moms who stayed home with their kids, can relate to on some level.

    I am, in a sense, one of those moms. I am home with my two small kids. I have this site as work that is non-domestic and provides a small source of income for me, but mostly I am a stay-at-home mom and have been for 7 1/2 years and I can understand the compromises you’ve made and the desire to have and do something that is solely for yourself now. I fantasize about that a lot myself… but I also made sure that I do things NOW , even small things, that are just for myself. And I also think of my kids as an investment. I hope to enjoy my kids well into their adulthoods. I hope we can be friends when they are grown-ups, and I hope they introduce new people and loved ones and family into my life as they grow up (their own friends, their significant others, maybe children of their own one day). I realize that with a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old, I am still in the trenches of this parenting thing, but it won’t always be so physically laborious and exhausting and the fruits of my labor will grow bigger and more enjoyable.

    Aren’t you enjoying some of the fruits of all your labor as a mom of grown kids and a grandmother of babies? Wouldn’t you miss them so much if you moved across the country from them? What dreams did you sacrifice while you were raising kids that you can pursue now? Besides just moving away, I mean. What do you want to do with your TIME? Your skills? Your self? Because all those things would follow you to the country and unless you can articulate what you want to do with them and how living somewhere else would free you to pursue dreams you aren’t pursuing now, I believe you’ll still feel just as empty and unsatisfied and compromised as you do now, only without your loved ones with you.

    I urge you to continue working on these things with your therapist. I can sense so much regret and sadness in your tone, and from one mother to another: I want you to be able enjoy what all your hard work helped to create. You have a family who loves you, grand babies who will want to know you, a husband whose parents won’t be around forever. No life or lifestyle or home will ever be perfect. But what if you made some changes to what you have now so that your life met your needs a little better? And that could include visiting your brother or takin some vacations. And if you can’t afford to do that, then I’m not sure how you think you’ll afford to visit your kids once you move… and doesn’t the thought of not having them in your life anymore kind of break you heart? Like a lot more than living some place hot?

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    anonymousse February 26, 2019, 10:45 am

    Wendy is right, Jo. I think there’s a lot to explore in between taking care of your adult children and family forever and moving far away to a place you haven’t been to be with a brother you don’t really know, to get away from your family and real or imagined obligations.

    Why are your adult children still living with you? Do they work? Pay rent? Do they have household chores and duties? If you are supporting them, cleaning up after them and cooking for them, it’s time to pass the baton to them. If you were banking some cash with their rent payments, you could take a vacation. If they did chores and cooked, you’d have time to engage in things you’re now interested in- maybe there’s a class, club or gym you’d want to join. Friends you’d want to see. It’s time to make yourself a priority but I wonder if you need to leave to do that.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    brise February 26, 2019, 12:07 pm

    LW2: This sounds like a late midlife crisis. Take care: it tends to produce radical and sometimes destructive decision. But it also reflects deep needs and if handled with reflexion and caution, it can make your life better, more genuine.
    You present your options in a either/or mode. Heat vs cooler climate. Family vs brother. Your duties vs yourself. Reality is never that simple. Try to mediate between this poles to be happier without destroying all what you have constructed.
    First: your husband. It is good that he takes care of his elderly parents. But loyal spouses should value both in-laws on both sides. He ought to accompany you at least once a year to visit your brother. You could take a couple vacation there during the summer. His parents can be taken care of by someone else for a while. Insist: state your rights. Both family matter. If the money problem occurs in the discussion, say that family trumps other costs. Propose ways to finance it: sell something. Give up on something. Meeting family once a year is a priority that can’t be denied. If he won’t go: go yourself and sell something to go.
    You don’t have the babysit like a professional child carer for free for your married daughter: charge her some money or downsize it to a lighter scale. It is fine to enjoy your grandchildren, but to a certain extent. Or make it really professional with a cost.
    Why wouldn’t you try to find a job? You seem to be a mother at home. Now you can surely find some independence? This would help for the costs regarding your visits to your brother.
    In short: don’t give up on your family. It would just repeat the trauma you experienced as a child. You would regret it and I bet that in a couple of years, you will see your life differently. You perceive your marriage and children only as a list of duties; but you need them too, and they need you, there is love. Try to see also the positive aspect of your real life.
    But do state your needs as such: needs that won’t be ignored. You matter. Your brother matters. Don’t run away. Assert yourself. Find a way to go between your two options.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    brise February 26, 2019, 12:14 pm

    LW1: Lots of gaps in your story. I don’t think the husband is still in love with his ex-wife. I bet more on a lame avoidance of costs and responsibilities. If he wanted to avoid child support by hiding your wedding, I am glad his ex-wife asked for it (I am more reserved about the request of full custody: why?). He created this mess. You say (he says) that this is a revenge by his ex. But he managed very badly the situation. He should have informed his ex, of course, this is a major change in their children’s life. And he should have introduced his children to you – and to her, too. He acts like a coward, but you somehow enabled it – acknowledge it.
    Summon him to organise such a meeting with his children, with a mediator if needed. But you seem to check out of your marriage. Wendy is right: all this should have been discussed and handled before a wedding. If you are fed up: Ok, get a divorce. BUt for your babies, I would first take the summon/mediator/couple’s counselling road.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Sapphire February 26, 2019, 8:19 pm

    I’m confused. How did you not meet his kids? I understand for the first couple of months of dating, you don’t introduce your kids until the relationship is established. But you guys should have met and see how that was going to work out before he popped the ring and ask you to marry him.

    Reply Link
  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom February 27, 2019, 9:11 pm

    LW1 Was your husband still married when you got together? Did he need to hide your marriage because he wasn’t actually divorced? Do you know for a fact, like you’ve seen divorce papers, that he is divorced? I’ve known someone in this situation and he wasn’t divorced. He was being secretive for a reason. Even if you didn’t know the reason it should have made you back away from the relationship when he actively hid that you were together. Did you get married because you were pregnant? That’s what happened with the woman I knew who married a guy who was still married to his first wife. She was pregnant and they went to the courthouse and got married. It turned out he wasn’t actually divorced and so they weren’t legally married. Something to think about. Look up the court records and see if you can find a divorce. Ask where their divorce happened. Which county and in which court and which year. Most states have those documents online.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply