Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Husband’s Girlfriend Had Twins For Us and My Parents Are Very Hostile About it”

My husband is my “nesting partner” and we are ethical non-monogamists (polyamory). We have always been open about this with his parents, but my parents only found out about two years ago, right before my husband’s girlfriend gave birth to twins for me. I couldn’t have kids because, just as we got married, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and then very shortly after had a hysterectomy. I still have the cancer, but it is controlled with chemo – meaning I’ve been in treatment for seven years and could be in for another twenty years or more. Cancer is a chronic condition for me – but, of course, there is always uncertainty and I could be gone in a year. I’m the main breadwinner in the family because my husband has a felony record from twenty years ago (literally half his life ago) that makes it hard for him to get steady employment. The best he does is restoring cars and selling them – which, when he can get the up-front money together, he does well with. Currently, his main job is stay-at-home dad.

I’m a teacher who makes very little money and the medical bills were burying us, so my parents have helped us (and they have the resources to do so). However, they have been very hostile towards my husband since they found out we were non-monogamous, and the atmosphere gets more and more toxic between them – with me stuck in the middle. My parents keep holding over his head the fact he isn’t making any money right now, and they generally keep inappropriately crossing boundaries (something they have notoriously done my entire life anyway). My husband is battling some medical issues of his own, including most recently severe depression with suicidal ideations, and my parents know he goes to therapy. This has become a whole new front for them to attack him on since my boomer parents think therapy is bunk. When I’m around, they don’t argue, but since he’s the stay-at-home dad and my parents are among the back-up babysitters, they inevitably see each other and fight when I’m not present.

I’ve spoken to both sides – I’ve tried to get them to see things from the other’s perspective. As soon as I think things are going okay, something blows up again. We recently had to move to a larger house to accommodate our larger family, but I had to have my mother co-sign, and her specification was my husband not be on the title to the house. Now I’m terrified about what could happen when I’m gone, and I’m getting papers drafted by a lawyer for my parents and husband to sign that will guarantee that if I die, my kids and husband will keep the roof over their heads and my parents will promise not to try and take the kids from my husband.

I’m looking for any advice for how to bring my family back to at least civil discourse when I’m not present. Any suggestions? Do I just need to limit my parent’s contact with my husband? I’ll try anything to take this extra stress off my back! — Torn Apart

You say you’ll try anything to take this extra stress off your back, so I will take you at your word and offer this suggestion: stop accepting help from your parents. That means financial help, help buying a home, and logistical help in the way of babysitting. As long as you are still accepting help from them, not only will they feel entitled to basically police your lifestyle and attack your husband, but also you will feel beholden to let them so you can continue taking advantage of their assistance. Honestly – and I say this with as much kindness as possible – you all sound very entitled. You are a school teacher who makes, in your words, very little money, you are married to a man with a felony record who can’t get a solid job, and you are drowning in medical bills. And yet, you feel entitled to raise two children, enjoy free childcare, and own a home — even upgrading to a larger one than what you lived in previously. Most couples with only a small, single income don’t feel entitled to all these things. They compromise and make sacrifices. They don’t have children, or they just have one kid, or they rent a small home where maybe not everyone has his or her own bedroom, they work two or three jobs (or find a better-paying single job), they apply for government assistance, etc. And, yes, sometimes people who are lucky enough to have parents who are able to help, accept assistance from them, but then they usually sacrifice something like privacy and autonomy.

The thing is, you want a certain lifestyle that you and your husband are unable to attain on your own and, instead of making sacrifices and compromises, you want your parents’ assistance without the strings that come attached to that assistance. Maybe, since they have the resources to help you, you grew up with certain privileges that are hard to give up as an adult. Maybe you think you’re entitled to those privileges if you grew up with them, even if you can’t afford them on your own as an adult. But that’s not the way the world works. Unearned privileges often come with strings attached (meddling parents, bankruptcy, impeachment…). The assistance your parents are offering comes with strings attached. You don’t want to deal with the strings? You have to give up the assistance. You have to give up certain privileges. You have to make some sacrifices and compromises. It’s that simple. There really isn’t a way to talk yourselves into your parents’ good graces and string-free assistance. They don’t like your polyamory lifestyle and they blame your husband – since that’s easier than blaming you and thereby, in their minds, taking some responsibility in the way they raised you — and they don’t like that he doesn’t earn an income. You accept their assistance, and the payment for that is that they criticize and attack your husband and make you feel like their help is conditional (because it is!).

You say your parents have notoriously crossed boundaries your entire life and that that continues to this day, but you’re the one letting them cross the boundaries! You didn’t have much choice when you were a kid, but you do now. Build bigger boundaries! Don’t move to a house you can only afford with your parents’ help, don’t put your mother’s name on a title to a home your husband has no ownership in, don’t let them babysit your kids when doing so means your husband gets attacked. Don’t you see that none of this help from them is actually free? It’s just like when people get married and the parents pay for the wedding and the couple – or bride, usually – is pissed when the parents want to make big decisions about the wedding. The bride says, “But it’s *my* wedding, not theirs!” To which I say: then fucking pay for it yourself! Well, LW, this is *your* life and not your parents’. With all due respect: fucking pay for it yourself. Quit handing your parents free reign to treat your life as theirs by giving them a financial stake in it. And if that means downsizing and giving up some creature comforts — which it sounds like it does, make that compromise. When your kids are older and in school and you don’t need your husband home all day to watch them, he can theoretically work more and earn some money, and you can move into a bigger rental home. (Or he can work on restoring cars in the evenings or on the weekends when you’re home from work and can watch the kids. Why is he not doing that?) Until then, squeeze into a home you can afford with your income and consider taking on a summer job when school is out to make ends meet. It may not be as comfy or cushy, but the privacy and autonomy you’ll gain will make up for it.

I live with my daughter who’s 33. She has a restraining order against her brother who is 31 because he had a drug problem. He’s been clean and sober for a year now, and I’m trying to get her to forgive him and drop the restraining order so we can have holidays together. Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t the same without my son with us — it’s just me and my daughter and her wife. I wish my son could join, but they won’t talk about it. What do I do? — Mom Missing Her Son

 
Again with the entitlement. Your daughter doesn’t have a restraining order against her brother simply because he had a drug problem. She has a restraining order against him because he must have crossed boundaries and threatened her security in some way. Your daughter still feels threatened by him. You don’t get to decide when she she should stop feeling threatened just because you’re her mother or because you feel entitled to a family holiday with both your kids present. You’re living with your daughter and her wife in what sounds like their home. They call the shots. If they want to continue protecting themselves from a man they feel threatened by, that is entirely their right. You have the right to move out or to have separate holiday celebrations with your kids, independently. You do not have the right to force what YOU want on your daughter who does not want the same thing, period, and who probably has a pretty good reason to want to avoid her brother right now.

***************
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.

56 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Moe December 2, 2019, 9:37 am

    What do you mean that your husband’s girlfriend gave birth “for me”. Do you have any legal rights as a parent? What is her role in all this?

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    Part-time Lurker December 2, 2019, 9:39 am

    LW 1 Two things in your letter really jumped out at me. The first is that your husband can’t find “steady” employment due to a 20 year old felony. I can understand not being able to get hired due to a felony despite the tax incentives offered to employers, specifically the WOTC credit, but it sounds more like he’s getting hired and then being let go. So unless he’s lying about the felony and then getting fired when they find out, why is he actually being fired? Second, have you looked into having his felony expunged? In most states, unless the crime was extremely violent or sexual in nature, it’s a fairly straightforward process.

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      Helen December 2, 2019, 10:18 am

      I’m also questioning if the felony is why he can’t, won’t, hold a steady job. Background checks only go back so far, and usually only check for offenses in that state or county. He should be able to explain a 20 year old felony even if it was discovered.
      You’re right to worry about custody of the kids should anything happen to you. You need a lawyer to get everything in writing. Have you formally adopted the twins?

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      csp December 3, 2019, 10:11 am

      So normally felonies are expunged after 7 years, unless he was in jail for a big part of that time. Then he might be under the umbrella that it can be searched.

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    • avatar

      SM December 3, 2019, 11:43 am

      I see your point, but 10 years ago I was arrested for driving on a suspended license, that I didn’t even know was suspended. I have a problem registering to volunteer at the local school as a mentor. It’s a program set up from my job, that allows me to work with classified information…but I can’t volunteer with kids for driving on a suspended license? I had so many hoops to jump through it was absolutely insane. All of this to say, it is possible he’s having problems finding a job.

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  • avatar

    bagge72 December 2, 2019, 9:51 am

    LW1: Stop making decisions you can’t afford and then you wont have to listen to your parents. But let’s be real here you say you want to keep the peace, but you really just want to keep their money coming in. You needed a bigger house you couldn’t afford to house the kids you can’t afford. What are you going to do if your parents cut you off? I bet your husband finds a steady job real quick.

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  • avatar

    bagge72 December 2, 2019, 9:53 am

    LW2: Care more about your daughters feelings or move in with your son, and spend the holidays with him. I wonder how much he’s taken from her over the years?

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  • avatar

    FYI December 2, 2019, 10:02 am

    Couple of things …
    “… since my boomer parents think therapy is bunk.” Um, no. Whatever they think has nothing to do with being boomers, so don’t put that crap on a whole generation.
    Also, your husband’s felony was 20 years ago. That shouldn’t be this big obstacle to steady employment anymore. I just found, with a quick Google search, 42 major companies that hire felons. That took two seconds. C’mon.

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    • avatar

      Kate B. December 2, 2019, 10:40 am

      Thank you for the “boomer” callout. That really bugged me.

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      • avatar

        Kali December 2, 2019, 1:46 pm

        I was going to say something to this effect as well. Thank you.

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    Prognosti-gator December 2, 2019, 10:24 am

    LW1 – The poly thing does add complexity to this whether you want to think is just “old fashioned values” or not. If something happens to you, there is still a birth mother in the picture. There are going to be legal rights of hers that will be taken into account.

    Grandparents’ rights to see kids are tenuous at best, if you factor in that they aren’t related, your hubs could conceivably strip all visitation from them and there’s nothing they could do. So, they won’t see the kids, could get stuck paying for the house (because he can’t get work) that he lives in with his girlfriend and can’t even kick him out because he’s been there long enough and eviction processes are lengthy and convoluted.

    LW2 – you are a terrible parent. Full stop. You’re putting “can’t we have a nice holiday” at a greater level of importance than your kid’s safety.

    So, you have to have two Thanksristmaseasters – big deal. Kids of divorced parents have been doing it for ages. Seems like a small price to pay to be able to have your child feel safe.

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    • avatar

      golfer.gal December 2, 2019, 11:35 am

      I agree with the lawyer suggestion. If you haven’t then you really need to iron out custody, legal adoption, and plans for placement in the event of you or your husband’s death.

      Honestly I can’t really hold it against your parents for being pissed your husband doesn’t have a job. They have a right to be mad that half of the adults in your household aren’t working when you’re running to them for money, housing, etc. I also have a feeling the non monogamy thing may stick in their craw more because it makes your husband appear frivolous, running around spending time and money on multiple other partners when he should be putting that time and energy into contributing to the family they are instead supporting.

      Why, why, why are you buying a home you can’t afford? Why are you telling your parents about your husband’s depression? Why do you feel entitled to their resources? Listen to Wendy. If you keep accepting their help then, rightfully, it comes with their conditions. You seem almost hateful of them- the snide boomer comment, the comment about how they can afford to, and therefore are apparently required to, help you financially. When really a lot of their frustration seems pretty reasonable- even if their judgement of your lifestyle is not. Stand on your own two feet and you’ll have the leverage to put them on an information diet and walk away from any judgements they bring.

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  • avatar

    Kate B. December 2, 2019, 10:50 am

    Welcome to Entitlement Monday! I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around LW1’s decision to have kids when life is so unstable. You have an expensive, chronic medical condition, your husband is dealing with some pretty serious emotional issues and can’t (won’t?) hold a steady job. It seems pretty irresponsible to have children under those conditions. What happens if your cancer gets the better of you and your husband succumbs to his depression? Who gets the kids? Your parents? The girlfriend? Can she support them on her own? Did you think about these things? Get to a lawyer ASAP.

    LW2: Be a better parent. Your daughter is trying to protect herself and her wife. If you want Christmas with your son, have it somewhere else.

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  • avatar

    Kate December 2, 2019, 11:55 am

    LW1, you’re a child, that your parents are caring for. You and your husband can’t support yourselves, so they support you. And then you tell them, oh, by the way, I’m getting twin babies in two months… what? Oh, btw, Mark has a girlfriend and these are her babies… yeah, no, I didn’t tell you he has a girlfriend because I knew you wouldn’t like it. And oh yeah, he’s just going to stay home with the kids now, and he’s suicidal, and we’re also gonna need a new house. But stay tf out of my business, okay?

    Really?

    What Wendy said.

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    Jkl187 December 2, 2019, 12:13 pm

    LW1 Why the hell would you want to have kids if you are possibly dying of cancer? You essentially brought children into this world and you are the only person in their life who can provide for them and you could die this year! (You said it). I support polyamory but if your husbands gf has time to bang your husband one has to assume she has some time to help take care of those kids too? Why is it just your husband and parents who have to do it?

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      Buttery December 2, 2019, 2:57 pm

      It’s not the girlfriend who had the kids’ responsibility to take care of them. She had them “for” the LW1 – which, if I were her, I certainly wouldn’t have seeing as this couple is a total sh*t show.
      As for the rest WWS – y’all are… incredible.

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      • avatar

        Skyblossom December 2, 2019, 3:22 pm

        If she is the biological parent, instead of a surrogate, she can be found financially responsible for the kids unless she has legally given up custody. Unless biological children are legally turned over for adoption the biological parent is responsible.

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    ele4phant December 2, 2019, 12:52 pm

    On the one hand, I want to be sympathetic to LW1.

    On the one hand, should having a family be a privilege only available to the rich?

    On the one hand, I think it’s pretty well documented that yes, having a felony can make it very difficult to get a well paying job, even if its an old charge.

    On the one hand, mental health problems are every bit as valid as physical health problems (like say, chronic cancer).

    A lot in your life, LW, is unfair, and the cards are stacked against you.

    HOWEVER, it is your life. Its not like you started a family when things looked different, both your healths and finances were in better shape, and then things shifted underneath you. You knew what your life, and your constraints, were like, and you decided to have children and bring them into your unstable lives. That was a choice you made. The only way you are able to make it work (or make it work the way you want), is to accept your parents conditional help. And it’s not a surprise that it’s conditional, they’ve been this way your whole life. Again, you knew what you were getting into by accepting their help, you took it anyways.

    You have made your bed here, you either need to lie in it, or figure out another way.

    I think it’s good you are consulting a lawyer. It’s not clear whether this children are biologically yours or not, but given your health it seems critical that you establish custody issues in case anything changes.

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    Kali December 2, 2019, 1:54 pm

    LW1: So… I have cancer too. I am on chemo for the rest of my life too. It sucks. My children are grown, thank goodness, but you have just brought two new lives into the world and now you want to cut them off from their financially stable grandparents because they don’t approve of your lifestyle? You definitely need that attorney.

    How do you think your felon spouse will support the kids with a part time hobby job if you die? Or is the plan for him to go on government assistance? Seems like you need a succession plan pronto. Cancer is a tricky disease and, while I hope we both live to be 100, chances are, we won’t. Plan for that eventuality. I’m betting it will involve your parents. You owe it to your children not to get all caught up in ego and entitlement and to ensure that your babies have a secure future whatever happens.

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  • avatar

    ron December 2, 2019, 2:36 pm

    Let’s be honest: you didn’t ‘need’ a bigger house, you wanted a bigger house.
    You are a mooch, who has the audacity to blame your parents for giving you a lot of money and enabling your mooching.
    I don’t understand why you would worry that your parents would take your children from their father if you die. They’re his biological kids, not yours. Your parents have zero right to them.
    As others have said, guys with 20-year old felony convictions can get jobs. It sounds like your husband is allergic to work.
    Yes, it was selfish and unwise to bring children into this situation. What were you thinking? If you talk of maybe only around for a year, it sounds like it was your husband, rather than you you sought the kids.
    Basically, your parents are left supporting your felon husband and his kids with another woman. Is it any wonder they’re unhappy?
    You seem totally incapable of understanding what a HUGE risk your mother took in co-signing your mortgage. Your lack of gratitude is stunning.

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    Skyblossom December 2, 2019, 2:49 pm

    “I’m getting papers drafted by a lawyer for my parents and husband to sign that will guarantee that if I die, my kids and husband will keep the roof over their heads and my parents will promise not to try and take the kids from my husband”

    So you are drafting a document that you want your parents to sign that would effectively make them continue to pay house payments but have no say in who lives in the house they are buying. Would they be able to sell this house if they ran into financial difficulties? What if they needed money for their own healthcare? Could they sell it then? That’s quite an ego trip.

    What happens if your parents die? Who would own the house? Do you expect your parents to live long enough to pay for this house for 30 years? Do you expect that they will always have the income to pay for this house?

    You are very much expecting to tie up a large sum of money that belongs to them for a very long period of time.

    Then there is the fact that your husband being severely depressed and suicidal may not always be fit to raise those kids so you should be glad that your parents love them enough that they would want to take them if he wasn’t caring for them. You shouldn’t demand that grandparents never seek custody of children. The courts side with parents and the parent must be proven unfit to lose custody. If you really think that your parents could get custody then you are already assuming your husband will be unfit. Don’t harm your kids by taking away that backup security. They may need your parents. What if your husband needs residential treatment or becomes so severely depressed he doesn’t get out of bed? Is he still better than your parents?

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  • avatar

    Buttery December 2, 2019, 3:07 pm

    BTW LW1, let me tell you how many dollars my mother or father have contributed to my housing and my child rearing since I became an adult. The number is $0 and I’m not even kidding. Most people WAIT to do things UNTIL they can afford them, not just do whatever and them complain that every-fricking-one else isn’t stepping up to take care of themselves and all of the problems that they themselves created. Oh and then try to insult them and their rationale or whatever. The rationale that is stupid AF here is yours and not your parents who are allowed to have whatever thoughts they want. You’re quite lucky that they give you the time of day, because they are probably more than ready to tap out of this situation by now. That line where you wrote that they can afford it says everything that we need to know about you. You don’t even care about your parents, hmmm maybe they might want to retire someday? Maybe? Is that too boomery for you LW? Wow.
    You are tripping, perhaps from the things you’ve been through that are out of your control, but you have also made your life harder on your own – figure out how to get a better job PRONTO, stop seeing multiple partners – you and your man because y’all do not have the time – and get to work.

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    • avatar

      Donna December 4, 2019, 12:02 pm

      @Buttery…..same here! I couldn’t imagine taking a dime from my parents, mostly because I know they wouldn’t have to give to me. I was brought up to take care of myself and my family, and I do. But you can bet if I did need my mother to co-sign for my house upgrade, I would pretty much expect her opinion to be included in the package. And the cancer….the kids by another woman…ugh ugh and ugh.

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      • avatar

        Buttery December 4, 2019, 1:28 pm

        Yes in order to live your own life YOU need to fund it!

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    ron December 2, 2019, 3:27 pm

    If husband is a stay-at-home-dad without a job, why does LW even need her parents to babysit. That’s the husband’s job. Yes, they may go out as a couple for necessary errands, dates, etc, but it sounds like the disputes with husband occur when the parents are asked to babysit during LW’s work day, when husband is supposed to be in charge of his kids.

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    • avatar

      Kate December 2, 2019, 3:33 pm

      He has a girlfriend he spends time with.

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        Ange December 2, 2019, 3:42 pm

        Must be nice! Lol

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        golfer.gal December 2, 2019, 4:33 pm

        Exactly. I’d be pretty pissed that my jobless son in law was dropping the kids off with me and sauntering back to the home I paid for to “entertain” a woman who wasn’t my daughter

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    brise December 2, 2019, 3:49 pm

    LW1: you think you are the reasonable one in the family, the breadwinner and the rock, but no, your parents are. They are the only responsible people here. If they sign your papers, they are really mad: don’t rely on it. Your husband has to find a job, whatever. He has to do his part of the family task by earning money. When he will, the tension will decrease dramatically with your parents. His call: each time he complains, tell him to get a job. He must do it also for you. I am shocked that he is basically financed by you, who are sick, and by your parents who despise him. How could he have a good self-esteem in this situation? Don’t play the strong one: ask for his help as your partner and the other necessary breadwinner in the family.

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    Prognosti-gator December 2, 2019, 4:19 pm

    LW1 – I think you may not understand how co-signing works.

    It isn’t just your parents telling the bank “she’s good for it” – it’s them taking on the legal burden of paying back that loan in the event you don’t. It also is viewed as debt to them even while you are paying it back, so it affects their ability to get other loans and other credit. Your mother was absolutely in the right to not want your husband’s name on the deed if he isn’t paying into the house.

    You thinking that you can wrangle them into making sure he has a house in the event you die isn’t realistic. The way to accomplish that is for him to be able to afford to pay for the house without them co-signing for it. At best, this agreement you want drawn up should secure him any built-up equity in the house at that time. That way your parents can sell the house to alleviate their debt burden, but your husband will retain the value of what you’ve already paid into (though, you don’t build a lot of equity in the early stages of a loan, so don’t expect it to be lots.)

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    • avatar

      dinoceros December 2, 2019, 7:55 pm

      Considering the fact that her mom probably feels coerced into co-signing (because what’s the alternative?), I’d be pissed if I were her too.

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  • avatar

    Oracle December 2, 2019, 4:53 pm

    LW1. Fake letter. Uterine cancer does not respond well to chemo. Not one of the cancers that would ever be considered chronic. LW2. Either the mother is a nut job or this is fake too.

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    • avatar

      Dear Wendy December 2, 2019, 6:05 pm

      I found enough corroborating evidence to suggest that this is not a fake letter.

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      • avatar

        Oracle December 3, 2019, 3:46 am

        Wendy, I am in the medical profession (dentist) and have had to deal with patients undergoing cancer treatment. I was also diagnosed with uterine cancer a little more tha 5 years ago. It was made really clear to me from the oncologist that this type of cancer does not respond in a favorable manner to chemo. So much so that if my staging had come back a stage 3 or higher I would have turned it down. Some cancers can be considered chonic – this is not one of them. Even with a diagnosis of a stage 1A the five year survival is about one out of seven (85 to 87 %). And who gives birth to twins to hand it over to the unemployed father? And it not that impossible to get a job with a 20-year-old felony.record.

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        Dear Wendy December 3, 2019, 7:58 am

        Look, maybe some details were changed to protect privacy. But I’m telling you I was able to find evidence that at least some of the details shared in the letter *are* true, so I have reason to believe that the gist of the narrative is authentic. It’s fine if your expertise makes you question the authenticity of the letter. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I also have some expertise – as well as a way check the identity of LWs to see if they’re who they claim to be. I’ve also heard it all and this is not even the craziest of scenarios that have turned out to be very true

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        Bittergaymark December 4, 2019, 12:33 pm

        Eh… As a layperson who knows NOTHING about this, I googled it and there were plenty of links talking about which chemo(s) is used with uterine cancer….

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        Oracle December 4, 2019, 6:08 pm

        BGM Its not whether they can give chem its whether it will be effective. For example my the FIL was diagnosed with lung cancer in the 90’s. It was inoperable. He wanted the most aggressive form of treatment (chemo) and radiation. Did my homework and found that those recieving chemo for lung cancer actually on average lived several months less than those that did not have chemo. Plus they were really sick. He went ahead and had the chemo – after all I am just a dentist. As a layperson many times you do not know where to start asking questions

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        Dear Wendy December 5, 2019, 7:42 am

        I can see the LW’s instagram, I can google her name. I’m able to find proof that she is a teacher, she has twins, and she’s taking chemo. I don’t know why you’re so hellbent on proving this letter is fake but it’s not.

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        Bittergaymark December 4, 2019, 10:20 pm

        My best friend’s mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer two years ago. Went on aggressive chemo and is presently in remission. A lot has changed since the 1990s…

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      CurlyQue December 4, 2019, 7:25 pm

      It’s so bizarre to me that as a dentist you think your medical advice/research is somehow more knowledgeable than an an actual oncologist. (going off the example with your father-in-law) OF COURSE someone faced with dying by cancer may choose to fight it rather than to wait and die.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse December 2, 2019, 5:25 pm

    I think it’s completely understandable that your parents are angry with your husband. He’s in a relationship another woman, not contributing financially to your household, and on whose dime is he making dates? Your’s? There’s? It’s ridiculous that he has the “free time” to see another person while his wife is suffering through chemo and working probably more than full time for a small salary. You have medical bills. Your finances are such that you just bought a house you can’t afford on your own. And the twins! It’s amazing he has free time in his non busy schedule to spend time with another person. How nice for him.

    They are also probably angry at you for a serious of bad choices you’ve made. Who is going to support these kids if you do die? His gf? Your parents? Are they your biological children? It’s confusing.

    You do need to speak to a lawyer but I urge you to take some real inventory of your life. Your husband needs a way to contribute other than childcare. He needs to start building a career. His priorities right now should be you and his children, paying down your debt and building equity. It’s bs that you are supporting everyone. Therapy is a luxury that many can not afford, and I don’t understand how you can afford that on top of everything else. Please, listen to your parents.

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    anonymousse December 2, 2019, 5:30 pm

    LW2- Respect your daughter and see your son on your own, on your own time. He made choices that lead him to this spot. It might be true that he’s doing a lot better now, but if he wants to make amends with your daughter, she needs to be respected and choose to hear him out. She didn’t get a restraining order for nothing. Something bad had to have happened. My guess is you haven’t really listened and took stock of what she experienced. Check yourself before you force her into an uncomfortable place.

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      Sea witch December 2, 2019, 6:38 pm

      This. I’m willing to bet that he’s physically threatened or assaulted her, perhaps stolen from her, and mom is just dismissing it. A year of sobriety is really not very much. He’ll have to prove himself over a much longer period of time before his sister will ever trust him again.

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    dinoceros December 2, 2019, 7:53 pm

    LW1: I’m not really sure where to start. My initial thought when I started reading is that you’re not really acting like someone who wants your parents to respect boundaries. You tell them very private info about your family that you probably realize they will criticize. You get them VERY involved in your finances. You repeatedly have conversations with them where you’re not setting boundaries, but instead are seemingly pleading with them to create the boundaries for you.

    But then I read more, and I wasn’t really sure what to think. Based on your family situation and your husband’s lifestyle, I just can’t really tell whether your parents are normal people who are finding your poor decision making very frustrating or if they are truly judgmental.

    I think that you are focusing on the wrong precautions in case you die. You seem like you’re basing those decisions solely on spiting your parents and treating your husband like a saint. The main thing is to make sure your kids are taken care of. If your husband can’t work and support them (regardless of if they have the house) or if he is experiencing severe depression/suicidal ideation, is that truly the best thing for your kids? I don’t even really understand how you can ensure they get to keep the house unless your parents agree to pay for it indefinitely, which is unfair and unreasonable.

    To be honest, I don’t see how it’s at all possible for your husband to support your kids. Considering your kids’ well-being would probably solely be in the hands of your parents, you may want to do a little more to see their perspective and work something out than trying to rebel against them.

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    CET December 3, 2019, 7:47 am

    So, your husband cannot work and you may die of cancer and yet you chose to have children?! You expect to have your parents support you. You chose to be with a man who cannot work and you chose to be a teacher which doesn’t make much money. I feel so bad for your kids. What if you die? How is your husband going to support them then? They will not have a mom or will his girlfriend step up and be their mom? It’s all just messed up. I’m sorry to tell you that you have made very poor choices…think of the kids first. 🙁 You have chosen to bring them into a very unstable situation. It seems to me you made decisions based on selfishness and your wants instead of looking at reality. I wish you luck.

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      CET December 3, 2019, 7:49 am

      Oh and on top of that your husband is depressed and suicidal.

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    LadyClegane December 3, 2019, 8:43 am

    I don’t get this “can’t work” thing that seems to be popping up more and more. People are endlessly astounding in their ability to overcome true strife to support their families and then we get a turd like this guy. Somehow undocumented immigrants can find work without social security numbers, but this able-bodied man can’t? More like his “pride” won’t let him take *any* job that might be out there that’s beneath him. When things get tight and you’ve got kids to feed and no magic money tree family members, you lose those ideas about being better than any job real fast.

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      Miss MJ December 3, 2019, 9:10 am

      Yeah, me too. I know it’s harder to get a job with a felony conviction. But, it’s not impossible to find some kind of paying work. Good paying work, even. This guy just doesn’t want to work and doesn’t see why he should have to since the LW’s parents are buying him a house and picking up his (their) financial slack.

      No wonder they’re pissed, LW. They see you – their daughter diagnosed with cancer – pissing away what time you have with a dude who won’t get a job, cheats on you (and yes I understand that it’s not cheating, but they’re not seeing a functional three person relationship, here; they’re seeing a dude freeloading and banging his GF while their sick daughter supports him) and gets into fights with them every time they see him.

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        Kate December 3, 2019, 9:24 am

        Yes, this guy is a freeloading little child, and so is the LW. Though I have more sympathy for her because she works and has had serious health struggles. He’s just a piece of shit. I feel like he made some sketch deal to get these babies (which who even knows who they legally belong to) to secure an even freer ride. He’s gross.

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    Vathena December 3, 2019, 9:58 am

    I agree with pretty much everything Wendy and all of the commenters have said, but I also want to point out that with infant (? unclear how old the children are) twins, or really any young child/ren, having a parent at home can be a real blessing. Especially when the cost of child care would likely be crippling. In my metro area, daycare for infant twins would be a) damn near impossible to find and b) upwards of $3500/month. If kids are sick, they are excluded from care, so someone would need to take time off to stay home – and teachers don’t get a lot of sick days. A nanny could solve that problem, but would cost the same or more. Like everyone else, I’m giving some major side-eye to the “can’t get a steady job” reasoning. HOWEVER, given the felony conviction coupled with the lack of employment history, the husband in this situation would probably not be able to earn enough to offset the cost of child care. It probably doesn’t help his mental health to be a SAHP, and maybe it’s not the best thing for the children, but financially it probably wouldn’t help them for him to go to work and put the kids in daycare. (I’m betting the parents know all about the mental health diagnoses/therapy because they watch the kids while the husband goes to appointments.)

    That said, I heartily agree that it was irresponsible to bring two babies into this unstable situation, and that if you don’t want your parents in your business, then you and your husband should live within your means. You don’t have grounds to complain when you have made ALL of this their business by asking for their money.

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      Skyblossom December 3, 2019, 3:52 pm

      Any job he worked probably wouldn’t cover the cost of childcare. If her parents are willing to provide childcare then they might get that care for free. Another option would be for him to get a part time job working some evenings and on the weekend. If he hasn’t worked in 20+ years he’s going to have to get a beginners job. Something like fast food or a grocery store. Places like Walmart are always needing people to stock shelves. If he worked a part time job for a year or two he might then be able to move on to a full time job. He needs job experience to help him move up.

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        Skyblossom December 3, 2019, 3:54 pm

        That’s assuming his crime wasn’t too violent and that it wasn’t sexual. If he did serious prison time for a violent crime then he is going to have trouble getting hired.

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        ron December 3, 2019, 4:26 pm

        Well, if his crime was too violent, or sexual, then LW and the 2 children ought not to be living with him and supporting him, because he is a danger in addition to being an extreme mooch.

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    Bittergaymark December 3, 2019, 5:03 pm

    Yeah. I can see why your parents are a wee bit judgemental here. Really — there is simply a lot to judge…

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    Bittergaymark December 4, 2019, 12:46 pm

    LW2). Oh. Sure… it’d be nice of your daughter to forgive your son. But it’d also be nice for us to know exactly what he did to her that was so awful. I suspect it was pretty terrible…

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    Skyblossom December 4, 2019, 12:57 pm

    LW2 You can forgive, as in not being angry or hurt anymore, and still not trust or allow someone into your life. You shouldn’t push your daughter to have her brother in her life. Sometimes consequences are permanent. That’s her decision and you shouldn’t push against it. Maybe sometime she will change her mind. Maybe she won’t. If you want to live with her and have a good relationship with her then drop this topic permanently.

    You can see your son away from your daughter.

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