Shortcuts: “My Fiancé is Jealous He’s Not My Daughter’s Father”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

My fiancé, Jim, is jealous that my daughter is not his. Her “sperm donor” has no contact. Jim is concerned he will not be able to overcome this and will not marry me if he feels he can’t. I need help on how to reassure him; this will take time to build the relationship. What do I do? — Need to Reassure Fiancé

I would thank him for his candor and for giving you the opportunity to protect your daughter from being raised by a man who lacks the emotional maturity to help raise a child who was biologically fathered by someone else. And, frankly, why are you engaged to a man who needs reassurance about this, and with whom you say you need time to build the relationship? This is a huge issue and one that should be settled well before you agree to marry someone. Your daughter already has one parent with questionable judgment raising her; don’t saddle her with another who resents her presence.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for six months. We live together and we love each other. But over the last few weeks, he has been wanting to leave. When we first moved in together, I told a few guys I was single because I just plain didn’t know what I wanted and, ever since then, I lost his trust. I have been doing everything to gain it back, and he said that we will have to see where it goes and that if, in a couple of months, he stills feels the same, he wants me to let let him go.

The other night he told me the main reason he wants to leave is because of my kids. I have three boys, and he thought he was ready for that but he isn’t. I love this man more then I’ve loved anyone and I believe he is my soulmate. He is everything I’ve dreamed of and then some. I know he loves me and I know a part of him wants this relationship. How do I get him to want to be around my kids? — Wanting my Soulmate Back

No. You have three kids and you moved them in with a man you barely knew, and you told other guys you were single because you “just plain didn’t know what you wanted”? You’re a mother of three — get your shit together!! Move out and focus on raising your three boys. This guy isn’t your soulmate, he isn’t your white knight, and he isn’t (and clearly doesn’t want to be) your kids’ stepdad. Enough said. MOA.

I’ve been married for fifteen years, but my husband and I don’t do things together. He’s started asking me frequently to find someone for my sex requirement. If he finds someone for himself, he said he’s going to have sex. I have four kids with him. I financially depend on him totally. I know that, whatever happens, he wants to keep the marriage. He is a brilliant dad. But I am unhappy, and I don’t get enough sex or emotional support from him. What I should do? — Needs More

If you both want to stay married and you both want to have sex, go to therapy together and see if there’s a way you can have an emotionally and sexually satisfying relationship with each other. If there’s not, and if you decide to stay married for reasons of finance and convenience and you give each other your blessing to have sex with other people, go forth and be honest with potential sex partners about your situation. Use protection, get tested, and be discreet about your extramarital relationships since you have four kids in the picture.


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  1. honeybeenicki says:

    LW1 – What do you do? You move on. People who truly want to be in a child’s life don’t waste time dwelling on what DNA they have. Yes, relationships with stepkids can take time to build, but when you’re already at the point of fiancé, that relationship should already be solid.
    LW2 – You have 3 children and you’re already living with your boyfriend of only 6 months (and I assume they are as well)? That’s totally irresponsible. I didn’t even MEET my bonus kids until we had been dating for 6 months. You need to get your priorities straight and get your shit together. This dude doesn’t want to be part of your kids’ life. So now you move on and focus on your kids. And don’t move people in who aren’t ready to truly be a parental figure. Especially not less than 6 months in.
    LW3 – I suggest counseling (individual and together). And WWS.

  2. LW1: “My fiancé, Jim, is jealous that my daughter is not his.” This cannot be fixed. THIS CANNOT BE FIXED. “Not sure if I want to be a stepdad?” Yeah, maybe that can work, with time, and maturity. Maybe. But “jealous?” That’s…weird. And worrying. And possibly crazy.

    WWS. Why in the name of all that’s holy do you want to marry a man who resents your child? How could you do that to her? You can’t possibly be that desperate to have a man, can you?

    LW2: Oh, FFS, everybody thinks their new boyfriend might be their soulmate. This guy is telling you that you’re not HIS soulmate. If you were, he wouldn’t have one foot out the door already.

    You can’t “get him to want to be around your kids.” He’s done you a great favor by telling you now that he’s not interested in being a stepfather. Let him go.

  3. Wendy, I am waiting for the week when one of your “Picks” is a really stylish helmet. One that you wear when you slam your head against your desk after reading these letters. If you had a nickel for every letter that start off with “we moved in together before we even knew each other” and ends with “and now I’m pregnant” and/or “he doesn’t like my children” – that would be a lot of nickels. It’s just so fucking depressing to know that so many kids are being raised by people with such ridiculously bad judgment.

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Tell me about it!! These poor children. I think that every day, all the time.

      1. jilliebean says:

        Me too! I can already see the kids writing in to you in 15 years….”A little background on why I am so messed up: growing up, my mom moved in and out with a series of men I barely knew, most of whom wanted nothing to do with me.”

        I certainly don’t want to go back to the “living in sin” years, but I do wish people would put a lot more thought into moving in together because it is a big step. Add kids to the mix and it’s a HUGE step.

      2. RedRoverRedRover says:

        If you have kids, moving in together should be an equivalent step to marriage. So should having kids together. Anything short of lifetime commitment is not enough if kids are in the picture. Or at least long-term enough that the kids will be gone when you break up.

      1. LOL! I love it.

      2. I miss the thumbs up.

  4. wobster109 says:

    Yikes, LW2. “Everything you’ve dreamed of” is a guy who makes you grovel for forgiveness for months, hates your kids, and routinely threatens to leave you? No thanks.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      Honestly? If somebody MOVED IN with ME and then paraded around all over town claiming they were single… it would take more than fucking groveling to win me over. It’s HILARIOUS that even with THIS letter, you somehow think the guy is the problem. Whatever!

  5. girltuesday says:

    LW2, just no. Also, if this is a man that you’ve really loved, why did you tell a bunch of other guys that you were single? I would lose trust in you too and MOA.

    1. jilliebean says:

      Really! “I told a few guys I was single because I just plain didn’t know what I wanted “. Then why on earth did you move in with him?!?!! If it were the guy writing in to report that his girlfriend was telling guys that she was single, I’m sure we would have told him to MOA.

      1. “I didn’t know what I really wanted SO I THOUGHT THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION WOUD BE TO MOVE HIM IN WITH MY THREE CHILDREN” ugh ugh ugh.

  6. Letter writer one: Your first priority should be to the daughter you brought into the world. You are her family. You are obligated to keep her well-being in mind when expanding her family to include new members. Your boyfriend is being more considerate of the damage he would cause with his feelings than you are being considerate of the potential affects on your daughter. He is an adult. Adults don’t need to be cajoled and talked out of their feelings. You need to do a better job putting needs before wants.

  7. LW1: Who is he jealous of? The real father isn’t in the picture. Is he jealous of the relationship you have with your daughter? I mean it seems like you and your fiancé haven’t been together that long, you would think this is something he would have taken into consideration before he asked to marry you, and something you would have noticed and taken into consideration before saying yes. It seems like both of you put your needs before your daughter anyways so why stop now…

    LW2: You are the most infuriating person in the world. You have three kids, and after a couple of months you move in with a guy that you weren’t even sure you liked, and now all of the sudden we are supposed to believe he is your soulmate. You are the reason I’m not nice to strangers anymore.

    LW3: WWS

    1. “You are the reason I’m not nice to strangers anymore.”

      ROFL! 🙂

  8. Letter writer two, this sounds like a fake to me. Are you enjoying the attention and looking forward to a dressing down? You make large life choices on a whim. I don’t know why you do this, but it is worth exploring. The consequence of all of this is that your kids don’t have you as a model. You don’t appear to have a model. It is painful to hear you turning your life into a joke.

    1. If the letter is real, the cause may be a lot sadder — she needs some guy in order to have a roof over her kids’ heads, thus the quick move in with him.

      1. Financial restraint does seem to determine a lot in how and under what circumstances a person is able to leave a relationship. For some, it may be the primary motivation for starting a romantic relationship. It is difficult to determine anything about this letter writer in such a short letter. All we are left with is an impression of someone who appears erratic and determined to continue a relationship with someone who doesn’t appear to trust the lw or relationship, a staggering amount of evidence to support the boyfriend’s apprehensions (of course evidence is not AT ALL required to reject being in a relationship and move on). While this letter writer is a person, it is hard for me not to focus on the three children who are slipped in only as an obstacle and who’s well-being and perspective is so casually unaccounted for.

  9. Letter writer three, I’m all out of DW time. But I’ve seen your story somewhere before, right? Of course I regularly experience de-ja-vu as so many of these letters seem very similar to each other… You might want to check the forums or past columns for additional comments.

  10. dinoceros says:

    LW1, your fiance sounds very childish. I also think it’s concerning that you’ve reached the point of being engaged to him when there’s such a glaring problem in your relationship. You shouldn’t have to reassure him because any mature adult should realize that this is a dumb thing to get worked up over. Either he chooses to be a father figure or not. I can’t help but wonder if he is having doubts and is coming up with an insurmountable problem to make his exit.

    Honestly, you sound sort of desperate. I don’t say this to be mean, but so that you’ll realize that the answer to your problems is not to find a guy, move in immediately and then try to hang out for dear life. You need to take your time if you want to find anything that lasts.
    LW2, wtf is wrong with you that you moved you and your three kids in with a man you have only known for six months? Six months is still within the realm of time where a person is deciding whether they want something serious or not, which explains why he. Unfortunately, you jumped the gun and decided he is your soul mate already. Also why would you try to force a man who doesn’t want to be with you to stick around? Do you really want your kids to live with a guy who wishes he were somewhere else?

  11. Unwanted_Truth says:

    I just love how any of these LW’s never EVER chime in , in the comments to the shortcuts.

    With the small exception towards LW3 you other two make me fucking sick, not to mention feel horrible about what your new generation you’ve created will think is A OK. Ridiculous , get your goddamn shit together wtf, it’s a no brainier.

  12. bittergaymark says:

    LW1, LW2, LW3… Trainwreck! Trainwreck! Trainwreck!

  13. Juliecatharine says:

    LWs 1&3 please pull your heads out of your asses and FFS stop having children. Seriously, your kids are supposed to be a *little* more important than some dude you barely know. Is that REALLY something you need a stranger on the internet to explain to you?? Jesus ladies wtf.

  14. Stillrunning says:

    LW2 is why I hate the term soulmate to justify staying in a bad situation. What’s the criteria for soulmate anyway? Until someone better comes along?

  15. LW2
    You can’t possibly be a day of over 15, yet, apparently, you have three children?
    1. You have THREE children.
    2. Your children’s needs come before random boyfriend “soul-mates” (another 15 year old term).
    3. You can’t make someone love you.
    4. There are very few men in this world that want to live with a 15 year old that has THREE children. (Please get some birth control and use it).
    5. Find a way to provide food and shelter for your THREE children and DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, move in with random men you have known for a few months EVER again.
    6. Dating: I would suggest you wait until your youngest child is 18. YOU are F’d up.
    7. Your children are your #1 priority. Not random men you think are your “soul-mates.” (The most ridiculous term EVER).
    8. Get thyself to parenting classes.
    9. Get thyself to parenting classes.
    10. Get thyself to parenting classes.

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