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Accepting H's toddler daughter from an affairpost #1 of 1411/20/13 at 3:32pmThread Starterpost #2 of 1411/20/13 at 3:47pmpost #3 of 1411/20/13 at 3:47pm
I'm so sorry, mama. I just wanted to give you a big hug. I couldn't stay with my H if he had done that to me. (Not only had an affair, but also failed to use adequate protection.) I wish you peace in your life. Do you have children of your own? If so, this child will always be your children's half-sibling. But that doesn't mean you have to keep H in your life. He will continue to be in contact with the OW for at least the next 18 years because they will have to talk about this child. And he'll be paying child support to her. I couldn't put up with all of that--I would be too angry.
Robin Williams said, "The worst thing is not being alone. The worst thing is being with people who make you feel alone."post #4 of 1411/20/13 at 3:51pmThread StarterYes....its been heart wrenching. We have two young ones....3 and 6. I have no idea how to begin explaining this to them. H wants them to meet at some point...so far he has respected my wishes to wait....surprisingly. I'm still undecided and not sure if I can handle all of this....just wondered if there was anyone out there who has been there.post #5 of 1411/20/13 at 3:55pmpost #6 of 1411/20/13 at 3:55pmpost #7 of 1411/20/13 at 4:21pmThread StarterWhere would free help be available? I did manage to go to one counseling appt under my insurance but couldn't afford to go more than that.
A&A that is so true. I wonder that 24/7. Especially when he picks up the child. I have chosen not to accept her at this point so I have nothing to do with drop offs or pick ups....not sure if I can handle it....how can I explain the child to my own kids...I don't even know what to tell them. Whether I stay in the pic or not I'm sure he will definitely want our kids and the child to have a relationship so they'd be spending lots of time together on visitation....at this point as dumb and pathetic as it sounds....its the only thing I feel I have control over....post #8 of 1411/20/13 at 4:25pmI'm so, so sorry.
I know someone who has been in this position. I don't want to say much about her very personal situation publicly but I do want you to know that you aren't alone in this. It was incredibly difficult for her (and still is, at times) and has taken a ton of hard work & therapy, but she & her family are very happy now.
If this is the choice you make -- to stay with H and/or to accept his DD and/or have your children meet her -- I think that is a very valid, very strong, though very difficult choice. I do think that the ...assumption?... in our society is that many would leave their H in that situation, have nothing to do with his DD, etc., and I think the decision to stay is so under-recognized and hardly talked about that it can feel even more scary and painful and even shameful for some reason. The one thing I want to you to hear is that his affair is not your fault... and neither staying nor leaving, accepting his DD or not accepting her, is the "right" or "wrong" choice -- you will make the choices that are best for you & your family. I hope that you have some supportive friends to be there for you through this, whichever choices you make, and that you can find others in similar situations to talk to. Are you seeing a therapist? If not, I would recommend both private one-on-one therapy for you, as well as couple's therapy if you are both open to it.post #9 of 1411/20/13 at 4:33pmWe cross-posted...
Finding free counseling is really tough. You could look for support groups run through local hospitals or community centers. Also you can get some one-on-one help from pastors, ministers, etc. if you are open to that... contact churches in your area. I am in therapy for completely different reasons, and I can't afford it, but at some point I realized I can't afford NOT to go either. It's something I absolutely have to do if I want any sort of a life worth living (and, honestly, at times it's something I need to actually keep myself living...) It is worth going into debt for... whatever it takes. Of course that's only if you can find a GOOD therapist who's helpful & effective... otherwise it can be just a waste of money. Focus on finding someone just for you and, for now, forget about the couple's therapy I just mentioned, especially if you aren't sure you want to stay with him. Whether you stay or leave you need support, it's a trauma and it's something you shouldn't have to deal with on your own.post #10 of 1411/20/13 at 4:36pmThread StarterIt definitely feels shameful....I feel very embarrassed about the whole situation... I feel very angry...bitter....resentful....my kids are what keep me going...
People don't deserve to go through this. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve this....I'm not perfect but I'm a good person...a good mom...don't drink or do drugs...etc....why?
I'm in my mid thirties and never in a billion years did I ever see myself going through this...post #11 of 1411/20/13 at 4:47pmYou did NOTHING to deserve this. His faults, his poor decisions, etc... that's all on him. And you being married to him does not in any way mean that you have to share that guilt or shame.
You don't deserve this. No one does. My eyes keep welling up with tears for you. I'm really, really sorry that you are in such a crappy situation. Sending you lots of peace and healing.post #12 of 1411/20/13 at 5:00pmThread Starterpost #13 of 1411/20/13 at 7:01pm
I read your other post, and it's such a huge red flag that he lied (by omission) about this child for over a year, and won't even tell you her age/ birth date! If he were a man you could at all begin to forgive and trust, he'd at least tell you when she was conceived/born! And he would be so profoundly sad/empathetic for hurting you, which he isn't.
Honey, I know this isn't the question you were asking, but you deserve better! You will find someone to love you in the traffic of life--you just have to turn on your cab light and kick out the riders who are not paying full fare.post #14 of 1411/20/13 at 7:49pm
oh mama, this is not your shame to carry. I totally hear you on your feelings and want to validate them, but please remember that his choices are HIS choices and have nothing to do with you. whatever you decide is what it is. it's no one's business or decision. there is no shame in whatever you decide to do. take care of yourself and your kids first and foremost. don't punish yourself by leaving OR staying. you don't have to leave and you definitely don't have to stay. my heart goes out to you. personally, I would probably stay and work through it, but you know your marriage better than I do. I will support you no mater what.post #15 of 1411/21/13 at 10:57ampost #16 of 1411/21/13 at 12:20pm
I know somebody who went through this - but it was some 50ish years ago. My ex-husband's grandmother. She cheated on her husband, and had a child, and the husband was aware of it and decided to stay with her. They went on to have other children, after that. Honestly it was such a dysfunctional situation that none of the children came out of it without their own problems. She favored the "love child" over the other children, and the whole thing sounded like such a mess. I don't even know what to tell you. I would have SUCH a hard time with this, I can't even imagine. Especially the part about having to explain it to your children. Man.... WHY do people do such crummy things to the people they claim to love?
Yes, what others said - take care of yourself and your children. Every decision you make moving forward, make in the best interest of yourself and your children. Yikes, what a mess. =( I'm so so sorry you're going through this.post #17 of 1411/21/13 at 12:36pmThread StarterWhichever direction I decide to take....I still have to explain this child to my own....because at some point they will be introduced to this child.
If someone can offer some advice as to how to introduce and what I should tell my own children I would be so appreciative.
At one point H just wanted to bring the child over and tell my children that it was just a child he was babysitting....post #18 of 1411/21/13 at 12:56pmOh, ouch! That he would even think of that move shows horrible judgment.
My dh was one of the kids in a similar situation, and his parents completely chickened out, choosing to lie and conceal the child from dh and sil for nearly twenty years. This did not end well, and dh and his sister don't speak to their dad anymore. I do not recommend this route, obviously.
I don't think you have to tell your kids the entire unvarnished truth - and it might not really be appropriate - but they need to know that the new baby exists, and is part of their family. Everything else I can think of to say starts getting pretty judgmental about your H. For that reason, I want to say you should maybe give yourself, like, a week to think about what you want in your relationship going forward, since that will affect what you say. He should maybe sleep on the couch during that time, if space will help you gain clarity.post #19 of 1411/21/13 at 1:49pm
I haven't been through this situation, but I know someone who has. I have always admired her remarkable strength at being as angry as she needed to be at her husband, and still recognizing that this child who was born of the affair had NO part in his father's horrible and hurtful decision. She refused to make the child pay for his father's bad choices. She allowed the child to have a relationship with his father and with his half-siblings, and eventually even welcomed him as part of her family. He was included in family events and is in many family pictures.
I absolutely admire this woman's remarkable strength, and hope I never have to find out whether or not I would have that strength. In discussing this situation with my own husband, I said that I might be able to do it but that it might not be for such lofty reasons-- it might simply be my refusal to make this situation any easier for him by allowing him to live life without having to figure out how to deal with the consequence of his horrible behavior. To me, allowing him to "opt out" of any of his obligations would be letting him off too easy. Of course, I say this theoretically because I'm not living it... so I can only imagine how I would handle it. I don't imagine I would do it with any sort of grace. You are right, no one should have to figure out how to navigate this situation.post #20 of 1411/21/13 at 2:34pm
I haven't been through this situation and can't imagine what you are going through. I am so sorry for the pain you have been caused.
Quote:Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy
Finding free counseling is really tough. You could look for support groups run through local hospitals or community centers. Also you can get some one-on-one help from pastors, ministers, etc. if you are open to that... contact churches in your area. I am in therapy for completely different reasons, and I can't afford it, but at some point I realized I can't afford NOT to go either. It's something I absolutely have to do if I want any sort of a life worth living (and, honestly, at times it's something I need to actually keep myself living...) It is worth going into debt for... whatever it takes. Of course that's only if you can find a GOOD therapist who's helpful & effective... otherwise it can be just a waste of money. Focus on finding someone just for you and, for now, forget about the couple's therapy I just mentioned, especially if you aren't sure you want to stay with him. Whether you stay or leave you need support, it's a trauma and it's something you shouldn't have to deal with on your own.
I just wanted to agree with the above post from crunchy, particularly the bolded parts. I went to some therapy sessions myself a few years ago, followed by couples counseling with DH and even though it was a huge expense for us and we had to stretch in other areas to make it happen, I am so glad that we did. Even if things hadn't worked out between us, I would have been glad I'd gone because I wouldn't have wondered "what if" and I would have felt like I didn't leave a bunch of lose ends. I do think going yourself for now is good advice too. That's where you need to start.
Quote:Originally Posted by chikeemomma
Whichever direction I decide to take....I still have to explain this child to my own....because at some point they will be introduced to this child.
If someone can offer some advice as to how to introduce and what I should tell my own children I would be so appreciative.
At one point H just wanted to bring the child over and tell my children that it was just a child he was babysitting....
Young kids are very accepting of whatever is in their life as being the "norm".
This is an example from my family (being a bit vague for privacy reasons) that isn't the same, but isn't entirely dis-similar from yours. A male family member (we'll call B) dated a girl (we'll call L) for a short while many years ago now. L became pregnant. L had just broken up with a long time boyfriend when she started dating B, and broke up with B to get back together with the boyfriend before finding out she was pregnant. She told long time boyfriend the baby was his, and told B there was no way it was his, and married long time boyfriend (knowing baby was Bs all along). 4 years later, L tells B and her now DH the baby is actually his (Bs). They worked through this and B has an amazing relationship with his DS. It was tough in the beginning, especially for Ls DH as you can imagine but they worked through it and are still married (not saying that you should "work through it", just that some people do manage to).
Anyway, B and L and Ls DH were very upfront with the DS when he was about 4 and explained that he had two daddies. This didn't phase the DS a bit. He knew other kids who had "two daddies" (a dad and a step dad). He's grown up knowing that B is his biological dad, and that the DH is his "dad". But can you imagine if they'd waited until he was a teenager to tell him the truth?
It sounds like regardless of if you work things out or if you leave, your DH plans to have this child in his life and for the child to know your children. I agree with PP to be honest and up-front, but age appropriate for the type of conversation. An honest way to explain would be to say that "some daddies have a baby with more than one mommy and some mommies have a baby with more than one daddy". I am sure that you know someone who has children from more than one relationship that you could use as an example? I think it will be harder for you to say this to them than for them to hear or understand. I am so sorry, it is such a hard thing to try to talk to your children about, but I think that it will be easier now than in the future. They shouldn't feel shame for what their dad has done or feel shame towards this sibling that they have.
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