Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “I Hate My Husband for Making Me Carry His Second Child”

I’ve been with my guy three years and married for one. I forgave him for seeing someone else two years into the relationship mostly because we were still long distance at the time. A week after we got married in January, 2018, he confessed to me that the girl was pregnant! After two months of a hard breakup we got back together. He moved to be with me last November and now I’m pregnant. I still can’t get past the betrayal of his having his first child with someone else; every step they took broke my heart more and now a part of me hates him because I have to carry his second child which was not what we dreamed of. How can we get past this? Part of me wants to let go. — Mother of His Second Child

I don’t understand why you got back together with the guy after your “hard breakup.” I don’t understand why you went on to marry him and then get pregnant. It sounds like you got married before you even lived in the same place, too. No one made you marry this guy and no one made you get pregnant – unless you were assaulted, which you don’t mention was the case. You had agency through this whole thing. You knew this guy cheated on you, you knew he was having a baby with another woman, you knew your relationship had been long-distance without the benefit of establishing a connection in the same town, and yet, you married him anyway and got pregnant anyway. At this point, with a baby on the way, you have to focus on being a great mom and that may mean letting go of your relationship; it most certainly means waking up and taking responsibility for your decisions and fostering better mindfulness as you face all the many decisions you’ll have as a mother. I think it’s time for some therapy to give you the tools you desperately need to let go of the hate you’re cultivating for your co-parent and to make more mindful decisions going forward.

From the forums:

My fiancée loves doing provocative photoshoots, and I am completely against them but am trying to be reasonable. However, now she wants to do a another shoot with a guy I hate the most because he did a nude/seductive shoot with her before she and I were together, and it haunts me like crazy. This upcoming photoshoot is not a nude shoot, but it’s in a hotel room and some concepts include my girlfriend wearing towels (with underwear beneath, so she says), the thought of which is driving me crazy. I’ve tried explaing my point of view and the fact that I am a very jealous person. Other than that, what can I do? — Very Jealous Person

 
You don’t get to tell your girlfriend what she can and can’t do, but you do get to express your feelings and to draw a line in the sand between what you’re ok with in a relationship and what you aren’t and to leave a relationship if your partner does something that falls on the “not okay with it” side. You say you’ve tried to explain yourself and your point of view and you want to know what else you can do. You can ask what her point of view is. You can ask her to explain what she loves about these photoshoots and why they’re important to her so that you can be better able to understand where she’s coming from. And if you simply don’t understand and she’s not interested in quitting something she enjoys simply because her boyfriend is a “very jealous person,” then you should split ways.

I’ve been a step-mom for going on 10 years. All of my husband’s family, except for his sister, dislike me (and my two daughters). His three sons have come around but are very distant. The oldest — “Jake”—is on his second child, and his girlfriend’s family has been brainwashed with stories from her about me. When Jake’s first baby was born, I was told not to go see the baby at the hospital; only my husband was invited. Now, they’ve sent a baby shower invite for us for the second baby! Jake and his girlfriend do come visit, but she is very distant the whole time she’s here and I can feel she wants to leave. So my question: Should I attend this shower?? I feel like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I honestly don’t want to after being hurt so much by them. I tried and tried all these years from my heart, and if I go now, I’m being fake. Please help. — Unliked Stepmom

 
So, you were hurt when you weren’t invited to the hospital for the birth of Jake’s first baby, and now you can’t imagine going to the baby shower of the second baby because you’ll feel fake? You know, being fake gets a bad rap. Being fake is sometimes better than being rude. Being fake can help save feelings – and in some cases, can help save a relationship. Have you asked your husband what he wants? If he wants you to go to the shower, go. If he tells you he doesn’t care, go. The only reason you should NOT go is if he specifically and convincingly asks you not to, which he probably won’t. So, take two or three hours and go to the baby shower for your husband’s newest grandchild, and if you need a good reason that you can embrace so you don’t feel fake about supporting people you think don’t like you, tell yourself you’re supporting your husband (whom I hope you believe does like you!), because you are and because the birth of a new grandbaby is an exciting occasion worth celebrating.

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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.

27 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Fyodor September 23, 2019, 8:24 am

    LW2, get out of the relationship ASAP. It’s not going to end well for you. It’s her body and she can do what she wants but I tend to think that recreationally doing nude photoshoots is at the very least a strong yellow flag about the way that she treats physical/sexual boundaries. I think that doing this when she’s engaged to someone else shows a certain lack of regard for her partner.

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      SpaceySteph September 23, 2019, 10:12 am

      He definitely should get out of the relationship but I don’t feel like there’s enough info to tell us that this is a serious flag on the fiancee’s part. Why does she do this? Is she a model? Is she a photographer and exchanges modeling with other photographers? Is she just friends with a photographer and does this as a favor? Or is this some random hobby she has, just for the heck of it.
      Its very grey to me. A lot of people in the arts are much more sexually permissive and wouldn’t see anything wrong with this. The big issue is that the fiance is jealous and can’t control his jealousy so there’s a fundamental mismatch there.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant September 23, 2019, 11:43 am

        She’s allowed to just love taking these sorts of photos as a hobby. That’s as much of a reason as is required. This is fun, I like doing it, I like the process, I like having the photos, I like how it makes me feel.

        She doesn’t need it to be a professional or serious vocation.

        He can not like it, but like you say, that makes him the wrong person for her. It’s not like she got into this after they’d already been together. She was doing this when they got together, so…it’s his problem to accept it or move on.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse September 23, 2019, 11:39 am

      I did go to art school and have neutral feeling about most nude bodies, and I don’t think its comparable to you posing or being a photographer. You presumedly didn’t do any of that before marriage. We know she did this before they got together and he willingly chose to start dating her.

      She likes posing. Maybe it is for her self confidence, she likes attention on Instagram, she could be a model and be paid.

      That said, it’s fine for him to not like her posing, and he can not like her doing something he is “completely against.” It sounds like a dealbreaker for him, and that’s fine. You can’t make someone change their hobbies, career, etc unless they choose to willingly, which she is not. He chose to date her, he has to choose what to do now. She’s made her choice.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor September 23, 2019, 8:24 am

    LW2, get out of the relationship ASAP. It’s not going to end well for you. It’s her body and she can do what she wants but I tend to think that recreationally doing nude photoshoots is at the very least a strong yellow flag about the way that she treats physical/sexual boundaries. I think that doing this when she’s engaged to someone else shows a certain lack of regard for her partner.

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    • avatar

      Ele4phant September 23, 2019, 11:14 am

      Oh jeeso-peeso.

      I agree they should end this relationship probably, but the yellow (red really) flags I see are his insecurity, possessiveness, and desire to force her to change despite dang well knowing she did and enjoyed these sorts of shoots long before he came along.

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  • avatar

    ArtsyGirl September 23, 2019, 8:41 am

    LW1- WWS! You are acting like all these things happened to you, but you are responsible for your own actions. Take ownership, make a decision on how you will continue, and then follow through.

    LW2- Your fiance apparently was doing these photo shoots long before you met her. You can either accept that she enjoys this or you can walk away. Insisting that she change because of your own hangups is unfair.

    LW3 – I feel like there is some detail missing in this story. Why would your stepson’s girlfriend hate you? Why is her family even talking about you? Were you having an affair with your husband while he was still married to his first wife? I agree with Wendy, if you want to forge a better relationship with your husband’s extended family, go to the shower and be as charming and gracious as possible. Bring a nice gift, offer to help set up and clean up, do not say anything negative about any one. Hopefully you can win them over with kindness and then will have a chance of bonding with her husband’s grandchildren.

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  • avatar

    Buttery September 23, 2019, 8:49 am

    Wendy’s 3rd comment made me LOL
    My mom is very much a total nut throughout my whole life, but I include her now on my terms as I wouldn’t want to keep her grandchild from her. Once she came to visit us when he was in pre-k and it was grandparents day so I had to give her the rundown – there are these types of people there and yes, we are fine with it as we aren’t bigots but I know you are, but this is OUR community and you’re being invited because your grandson wants you there. She says “So, I should be fake?! Not be myself ?” all little girl innocent style, because unless she’s being abusive she’s playing the victim. But I said “Yes! That is exactly right! Do not be yourself, fake it! But if you can’t then just stay home”. She did, kept it zipped and all was well 🙂 So get a grip and fake it.

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  • avatar

    ron September 23, 2019, 9:35 am

    LW#1 — If his having his first child with another woman bothered you so much, you could have divorced him as soon as you learned of it. If carrying his second child would be so awful, you could have avoided pregnancy. He can’t ‘force’ you to carry his second child. You can go to a women’s shelter and make arrangements for an abortion from there, then divorce him. Sounds like you really do strongly dislike/hate him, which makes your behavior seem very odd. You have three choices: stay together and have child — even though you can’t have your dream of having his first child, divorce him and be a single mom, abortion. Your choice. Your and his(?) dream that you and he would have both of your first child together was dead shortly after you married and before you became pregnant. By staying married and becoming pregnant, YOU made a decision that, even without your exact original dream, YOU wanted to be married to this man and to have a child with him. You can still change your mind, but focusing on resentment and drama helps nobody.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. September 23, 2019, 9:51 am

    LW1: I would end this marriage. It doesn’t sound like there’s much to it, anyway. The guy cheated on you and lied to you (or at least hid some very important information from you). In addition to a therapist, as Wendy suggested, you should talk to a divorce lawyer. You went into this marriage ignoring some really big red flags, now you need to set an example for your child. For me, that would mean a divorce.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs September 23, 2019, 10:33 am

    LW3….this is going to be an unpopular opinion…..but here goes…..i absolutely hate when people don’t give you the time of day and then because they are having a child all of a sudden you get invited to the baby shower….the only reason being that they want the gift from you….if they exclude you from their lives then i think you are under no obligation to go

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy September 23, 2019, 11:01 am

      But that isn’t the case here. First of all, the couple comes to the LW’s house regularly. Secondly, any gift that would come from the LW would already be coming from her husband, the baby’s grandfather, so it’s not like there’s some promise of another gift. And it’s not like the promise of an extra set of onesies or some personalized bibs is a bigger motivator than, you know, trying to show some respect to the step-grandmother by including her.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse September 23, 2019, 12:10 pm

      Okay, but surely since she’s the step-grandparent it’s not exactly the same as say, a frenemy inviting you to a shower. They don’t exclude her. They would get a gift from FIL regardless. I think it is a peace offering in a way to invite her to the shower.

      She wasn’t invited to the hospital after their first child was born. That’s not abnormal.

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    • avatar

      saneinca September 23, 2019, 12:41 pm

      I agree with cdobbs. No need to appease rude people. Nothing will change even if she attends the baby shower.
      LW should plead another engagement for the date and bail.
      The dysfunctional relationship will continue as it did for the last 10 years.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark September 23, 2019, 12:46 pm

        Right. She should go on continuing to be a whiney, petulant, fucking real pain in the ass. Her husband will simply LOVE her for it… 🙄

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      • avatar

        anonymousse September 23, 2019, 1:07 pm

        There are zero examples of rudeness in her letter.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark September 23, 2019, 1:14 pm

        ^^^ EXACTLY.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark September 23, 2019, 11:09 am

    LW1). Simple. Abortion. Go have one. Then get divorced. Resentful women make lousy mothers. And you clearly dont want this baby so spare everyone a whole lot of pointless and needless drama.

    LW2). Eh… A woman can damn well pose for all the sexy photos she wants. So either deal with it. Or end things. PS — Joe DiMaggio couldn’t get past this sort of trite bullshit either and I suspect he regretted his own abject pigheaded stupidity for the rest of his life.

    LW3). Oh grow up for fucks sake. If the rest of the world couldn’t handle being fake we’d all be killing one another left and right. (In hindsight, that wouldn’t be the worse thing — as the world is vastly overpopulated with useless needy nitwits like you, but I digress. ) Go the the fucking shower already. I know you love playing the woe is me martyr, but trust me… Your husband is long fucking over it. Keep it up and he will wisely be long over you.

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    • avatar

      LisforLeslie September 23, 2019, 2:47 pm

      It’s great when someone offers an olive branch and the recipient smacks it away while ranting about never receiving an olive branch.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark September 23, 2019, 4:13 pm

        Exactly. If she wasn’t invited she’d bitch about it even more. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

        And the family has been slow to warm up the the LW? Gee, I wonder why…

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom September 23, 2019, 12:34 pm

    LW1 I don’t think you can or should get past this. He cheated on you and then waited until you were married to tell you she was pregnant. If you stay with him you will be in for a life of cheating and lies. So far he has taught you that he will cheat, he will get other women pregnant and he will lie. You’ve taught him that you will break up but then get back together. He’s learned that there is no real consequence for cheating. The only change you can make is to opt out for good. Get a divorce. If you will be unable to love this baby consider an abortion or adoption. If you are keeping the baby make sure the divorce settlement includes child support.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue September 23, 2019, 1:03 pm

    LW1 i’m curious to know how far apart you guys were living. Since he’s moved to be with you that means he’s also moved away from his first child. I hope regardless of your personal feelings your helping him foster a good relationship with his child and child’s mother.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant September 23, 2019, 3:44 pm

    LW3 – you have been their “step-mom” for ten years, but your husband’s children are already adults, yes? So, were you ever really any sort of “mom” figure to any of his children?

    Let’s say his son is fairly young, in his early to mid twenties. At most, *maaayyyybbeee* you had a couple of years in which he was a minor and you were with his father. And, did he even stay with his dad (and therefore you) that much, or did his mother primarily have physical custody?

    It sounds like, absent evidence to the contrary (that you haven’t really provided), it’s not that they dislike you, they just don’t really know you. They don’t treat you quite like family because to them, they never got to know you like that.

    Honestly, after giving birth, I think it’s understandable, and forgivable, if a woman doesn’t want someone whose basically a stranger see her in the hospital (the wife of her father-in-law with whom her husband doesn’t really know that well). Excuse this young woman’s rudeness, she had just pushed a human out of her whoo-ha, she’s entitled to invite who she wants immediately after experiencing something like that.

    Let it go. It seems like they are being civil. That’s enough. You can’t force affection where it doesn’t exist, regardless of what the official relationship is. Maybe it’ll grow in time, maybe it won’t. But if you push them for an intimacy they may not feel, you definitely will never get there.

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    • avatar

      Ele4phant September 23, 2019, 3:55 pm

      For what’s worth, you don’t have to be more than civil, either.

      You don’t have to be all “fake” gushy and lovey dovey if you don’t want. Go to the shower, give a nice gift, say congratulations, and stay a short but polite amount of time.

      That’s all you need to do.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse September 23, 2019, 4:43 pm

      I invited zero people to visit me the two times I pushed a small watermelon out of my body.

      It’s really not a personal slight to not be asked to visit. It’s a pretty intimate time, even if it’s hours/days afterwards and everyone is good and healthy, which is the best case scenario.

      Be the “bigger” person, LW.

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  • avatar

    Liz September 23, 2019, 4:56 pm

    LW#3, The stepson’s girlfriend is trying to be pleasent in an uncomfortable postion. She comes to visit and that says she is trying and LW worries are getting in the way. She invited you and her ‘father-in-law’ because she wants to include you. Put your defences down, smile during the silly games, tell the expentant mother she is glowing and when you meet your grandchild ohh and ahh and tell her she made a beautiful baby. Trying is a two way street.

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  • avatar

    Hazel September 24, 2019, 6:43 am

    LW2, you really need to try to sort your head out if you want this relationship to survive. There is nothing wrong with people doing sexy looking photoshoots, I know a few young women who really enjoy doing this, and all of them are in committed faithful relationships with partners who trust them, and enjoy the pictures. I don’t see it as any different to life modelling at an art college, just probably a LOT more fun as life modelling for painters is achingly hard work.

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