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#1 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some womanly advice.    I am a 42 year old father of 3 gorgeous daughters that I had with my first wife.     We divorced in 1997 and the girls lived with me and the two youngest continue to live with me to this day, although they're in their late teens now.    One attends college about 100 miles away and is 19 and the other is 18 and still very much finding herself.    My oldest daughter is 24 and mother to my 3 year old grandson.     We live in St Louis.      I love and adore my children and always have and always will, ever though they're not children anymore.

 

Fast forward to 5 years ago...........I met and fell in love with a wonderful woman who had never been married or had children of her own previously.     She very quickly wanted to get married and have a couple kids of her own.    At the time it was a difficult concept to consider given that my own children we nearing an age where they would be more self-sufficient and hear I was considering life with a new baby in the possible near future.     After a year and a half together, I proposed and we were married in fall of 2009.    During this time, my wife moved in with my 2 daughters and I and played a very active role in their lives.    She also got very close to my mother.   She was a very positive force in all our lives for a period of time, but shortly after we were married, she began to pull away.    Her mother committed suicide 7 years ago and her mom was her best friend.    It was difficult for her and she always said that I had restored the light in her heart.     But after the wedding was over, she began to drink quite often and watch hours and hours of TV.   she grew away from my family over time and even began to resent my daughters.    I began to wonder if she had been so focused on trying to be the perfect fit for my family that when she realized that my kids were already doing well with me, and not necessarily in need of a super-step-mom, it began to hurt her.     She also began getting very critical and judgemental of everyone, including my mom and myself.      I'd sit and talk to her and try to help her the best way I could, but to no avail.     After several months of this I began to truly question our marriage.     And then when she was on a business trip last november, she sent me a divorce email to my work on a monday morning.      She was in atlanta and i left the office and drove down to atlanta to find out if this is what she really wanted.    she said she felt it was one of the most loving things i'd ever done and we then entered a period of about 4 months which were the best months of our lives.........it's why she ended up pregnant in march.    

 

but here's the thing............my wife's family are from the south, and out of the blue, she begins to tell me that she has to move to atlanta or, rather, that we need to move to atlanta.     that she is miserable in st louis and that she's more or less paid her dues with my family and my kids.     this hit me like a ton of bricks b/c to me, this was never somethign we discussed prior to our wedding.    i was never the weekend dad with my kids, and my kids are the most important thing in my life, and even though they are older, i often had to play the role of father and mother while they were growing and they were living with me.    we have a very close bond and the thought of leaving them make me sick to my stomach.     plus i felt like had this been important to my wife before we got married, she'd have said something about it at least once.     my response to this was to tell her that i needed at least a few more years to see that my kids would be established before i could move, but that after that, we could move wherever she wanted, more or less forever.

she said this was longer than she could wait and that she'd changed her mind about her willingness to stay any longer in st louis and that she needed to go.  

 

i should point out that during our the course of our relationship (and truly, the main reason i thought it might be great to have a couple more kids with my wife after closing that door many years before), we would tlak about how cool it would be to raise our kids with my existing kids and grow the family here in st louis.    And honestly, had i known that she would have to move so soon after our marriage, and in essence, kill one of the main reasons i agreed to make these changes to my life, i would not have married her.     In other words, i never told her before any of this that i was planning on leaving at any time.........that my children and i had suffered through the first divorce and that our family dynamic wasn't the same as hers..........that i wasn't comfortable just moving out of state, 700 miles away, just b/c they were no longer 10 year old little girls.     this move mandate hit me like a ton of bricks.   but after i drove down to atlanta to see her after her divorce email, we were as good as we've ever been.    all talk of atlanta went away.........we agreed that we would move there in a few years most likely but that we needed to stay here for now........that my kids were her family as well...........that my mother loved and she loved my mother.     and then a recruiter called her with an opportunity to work in atlanta and then it all came back up again.     we also found out that she was pregnant.

 

so here i was, dealing with a pregnant wife that needed to go to atlanta.........that needed me to view her needs as more important than my sense of responsibility to my kids here.     she had an anvil over my head.     i knew that if i couldn't bring myself around to moving, i'd lose her to atlanta anyway.........and if i left my daughters and my grandson, which in my heart just feels wrong, i'd hurt them.     and no matter how many times i asked why this never came up in all of our time prior to the wedding, she just said she chagned her mind.   

 

we sought counseling, but we continued to grow further apart...........she felt like i would never want to leave and that she had paid her dues and i should be willing to leave NOW.     this only drove a deeper wedge between us.

 

she finally left for atlanta a few weeks ago and i'm now moving into another house and my youngest daughter is moving back in with me (she left last july b/c she could feel that my wife was totally sick of her and she didn't want to cause anymore problems which in itself was painful).     we are apparently going to get a divorce. 

 

the truth is i blame myself for much of this.   i truly thought we would have a happy wonderful life together with my kids and our new kids.    but she's left and has no intentions of ever living here and now we're faced with divorce and i have son that will be hundreds of miles away from me.

 

I'm not in any way trying to demonize my wife.    I do know she tried with my family.     but i also know that her mother's suicide has messed her up in many ways.    i thought i was helping her for a while but i suppose my kids have often gotten in her way and interfered with what she truly wants.........for our life to just be OUR life and not one with my daughters.     I feel betrayed and like now that she has her baby, she just wants to run away..........the truth is, i suppose, we just don't fit right.    but now i have to decided what to do....here are my thoughts:

 

1)    get the divorce and see my son on holidays and summers.............this sounds heartbreaking b/c i'm not the every-other-weekend father type.........i LOVE my children and can't fathom having to be relegated to that.

 

2)    move to atlanta and lose seeing my wonderful daughters as they grow into young women in addition to not having much of a relationship with my grandson

 

3)    relinquish my parental rights now and let her raise our child in atlanta where she has to be where i'm sure she'll find a new man who will love her and love this child and spare he, her and myself the pain of raising a child through divorce.

 

I'm not a deadbeat father.    This isn't about money.    This isn't about me not wanting to be a father to this child.    but i feel like she's totally changed the rules.........the point is that i agreed to have more kids as long as we could do it with his sisters being close and around..........i'm not suggesting she did this on purpose, but this is a totally different ballgame where i'm now forced to choose between my existing children and this unborn baby that she has more or less taken out of my life.     it breaks my heart to think of not knowing my son, but i also don't know if i have the strength to suffer through another divorce with a child, having to see this child infrequently and not enough while she just gets to take him and do whatever she wants.    it just feels wrong to me.

 

i'm sure people will judge me for even considering cutting all ties with my wife and my son, but i've done this before, and it was so heartbreaking to see how divorce hurt my kids.......it was hard.    i almost feel like the gift i'm giving my wife is this child to fill the hole her mother's suicide left in her heart...........that i'm not necessarily any different than a woman that offers her body to couples that cannot have children..........more or less, i feel like she's made me a sperm donor.     I mean, to me, she should stay as the baby should have both parents close by.........if the situaiton were reversed, i don't think i could leave my ex behind and reduce her role to more or less, barely anything, just b/c i got sick of where i was living.

 

I don't know what to do.    My oldest daughter called me yesterday and said, "Dad, thank you so much for not leaving.   I can't imagine not having you around." - I mean.......I LOVE kids and I love my kids..........but she's leaving........she has changed all the rules.     I just feel like she doesn't care if i'm in the baby's life or not.    

 

And so I ask everyone - what would you do?   Am I a horrible person for feeling like I should just lovingly wish them luck and say goodbye?

 

heartbroken in st louis    

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#2 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And my sincere apologies..........I realize this is a site for single moms and for women.    I just didn't know where else to turn.    My mother and my kids look at my wife now and pretty much hate her for how this has all played out.    I still love her very much, but I'm losing that because of how this is all playing out.

 

I appreciate any insight and thank you all for your time.

 

 

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#3 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 04:47 PM
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Hello, Father of 3, 

 

I wish that I had advice for you, and maybe some wiser ladies than I will, but I couldn't read your post and not express that I am sorry you are going through this. I can feel your heartbreak. You sound like a very committed dad and a kind man. I really wish you all the best, and I hope this resolves for you.

 

Take care, Dia


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#4 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank You, Dia - it's no small situation and there are no easy answers.    I know my wife will be a great, loving, mother......she's very strong and clearly, very strong-willed.   My sadness is that I just don't know what the right thing is to do.........it's not in my nature to say goodbye to a child I helped create.......but by the same token, the thought of subjecting him to any of this will be conceivably even more heartbreaking.

 

My wife and I both make very good livings.   When we were hashing out scenarios, I did raise the concept of not being in the picture and she said that she understood if that's how I felt.    Clearly, in her own heart, this marriage is long over, even though as recently as six months ago, we were still, seemingly, very much in love and hopeful for a child.     Her sudden change of heart worries me a great deal, but I also didn't want to put up too much of a fight.   She does seem somewhat broken inside and is convinced this is what she must do.     But I also know that she very much hates my love for my daughters, as much as my dedication to them was one of the reasons why she fell in love with me.     I even said that if we decided to truly cut ties, I would send money and she said no......she didn't want it.    She doesn't like feeling dependent on anyone, including me.     On some level, I pray the baby helps fill her heart.......but clearly, I failed.   

 

I make a good living, but I wouldn't be able to see my son very often at all.    I HATE the thought of that.     I know my wife will find another partner.........she's gorgeous, smart, amazing in so many ways........but she just seems to throw in the towel when things get to be too much.     I just don't know.    We are also so differently in how we parent and I know we'll argue over silly things when trying to do this with all this distance between us...........and I'll miss so much of his life.........i HATE this.

 

And that's why I feel my heart continuing to tell me to just let them go........

 

I don't know.   I appreciate any insight anyone has.

 

 

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#5 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And please, ladies, don't misunderstand.......I wasn't always a perfect husband or partner.    I'm human and wasn't always mr. empathy and compassion........but I was as much as I've ever been with any woman.    i tried my best.   and I'm sure if my wife were here she would tell you the stories of how much heart she put into my family and that would be true.    She did many amazing things.......I just felt like she truly wanted to be the heroine for me and the girls and we didn't need a savior.........we didn't need "fixing".......we aren't perfect but we have forged an amazing life for each other these past 20+ years.    And it was one that is more precious to me than life itself.    The thought of life without them being around (and yes, they could all move away in the next few years and that would be fine b/c i want them to do what they want) makes me very sad.    When my wife pushed to have my youngest moved out it coincided with my next oldest going away to school..........the empty nest syndrome was the WORST.    i've never felt so cold and sad..........but that's life.....i get that.     But now my oldest has my grandson and her ex isn't much of a man at all..........and i do feel a role to provide solid, male modeling for him.    and i just end up feeling like she was just playing a role and that this was what she planned to do all along.  

 

ugh.

 

this situation sucks.

 

 

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#6 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fatherof3 View Post

and i just end up feeling like she was just playing a role and that this was what she planned to do all along.  

 

ugh.

 

this situation sucks.

 

 


Wow. That does suck. I have to say that based on what you've shared here, it does sound like this was her plan all along. I'm sorry. I hope you can find a living arrangement that you can live with. greensad.gif

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#7 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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I'm not single, just saw this on new posts and wandered in. I wonder if it would make the most sense for your relationships with your daughters and son for you to stay a few more years in St. Louis, get everyone settled, and then move to Atlanta. If your wife was willing to make it a long distance relationship for a time, that might work out, but it sounds more likely that you'd still end up divorced. Still, then you'd see your daughters grown and then help raise your son in Atlanta. I would certainly talk through such a plan with a divorce lawyer first and make sure that you could get more visitation with your son when you move to a closer city in a few years. 


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#8 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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I hate to say this but I wonder if your wife is depressed? What ever is going on I don't think it is a good idea that she is so far away from you durring this pregnancy, even if the marrige is over. I speak from personal experience, not from any medical qualification or background, but there is a high chance that as the daughter of someone who commited suicide she will have depression with possible suicidal tendencies. My mother killed herself when I was 13 months old (A fact I didn't know) and I was adopted. I have ALWAY suffered from depression! I also suffered from PND which wasn't fun.

   It doesn't matter if you love your wife or not, this is your child as well and thats who you have to think of. The options are you pursuade your wife to see a doctor and be assessed or you seek legal advice on preventing her from moving away perminantly (in which case you need to move fast!)

    

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#9 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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i'm not a single mom either but i was at one point in my life. i saw this on the new posts, too. i agree with the PP who said your wife could easily be NOT a great parent to your son... because of her depression. i can appreciate that it is very hard for a man to bond with an unborn child, but i would argue that your son NEEDS you in his life. desperately. he IS your kid, as much as your daughters are. you will be amazed to see him when he's born, and you will know then that you could never leave him, no matter how much it hurts you to face other consequences in your life. JMHO.

 

my advice would be to take no quick action. hang in there. keep up the dialogue with your wife. is either of you actually pursuing a divorce at this time? if not, then keep it as such. be there for her when your son is born. make the trip down at the end of her pregnancy, and plan to stay through the birth and for at least a few weeks after the birth and bond with your son.

 

if it all goes to heck and you wind up getting a second divorce, you will at least always be a part of your son's life. he needs YOU, not a potential new man to step in and take over. there's no guarantee that would happen, no matter how gorgeous the woman is! and certainly no guarantee that any new man would be a good influence on your child's life.

 

i feel for you, and i'm sorry for your pain. but you are a grown man, and you will survive.

 

and ps: plenty of people have long distance relationships. think movie stars and the like. but if you are both highly paid professionals, you are also in a similar category. maybe the reason you can't leave st.louis for atlanta is simply work reasons. would that make it easier, to think of it that way? reading between the lines, i think you are hurt that your wife seems to be rejecting/distancing herself from your first family. pure conjecture here, but i'm gonna guess that her mother's suicide really did screw her up mentally, and on some level she has a fear of being hurt/hurting others that is, in turn, screwing up her relationships with other people she was close with. try to find some forgiveness for her over this.

 

finally... your daughters ARE becoming young adults. particularly the 24 year old with a 3 year old son of her own. he is NOT your responsibility, and i don't think you should assume the burden of being the man influence for him, you should let your daughter's ex-husband rise to that occasion for his own son, just as you are having to suck it up, hard, for your soon-to-be-born son. maybe that guy has complicated reasons, too, for why he's not being there for his own son... and so do you, for contemplating doing the same. however part of being a parent, and a very very hard part no doubt, is letting go when your children are no longer children as you yourself noted. 24 is old enough to be married (and divorced) and a young mother, who needs to find her own way. this daughter, at least, won't be worse for the wear in the long run if you let her figure it out for herself and i would not consider relinquishing responsibility to your own child (your newborn son), in order to "be there" for an adult child.

 

best of luck to you! i think this situation will work itself out, you may never get everything you want 100 percent, but you can find ways to compromise and figure out what for you is the right thing to do.

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#10 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A sincere thanks to each of you for your insights.    I do too worry about his future with a woman that at the very least, seems to be acting on the advice of counseling (no less) with somewhat of an irrational, bold response.    And I too agree that when somebody as instrumental to one's view of the world and sense of safety as your MOTHER, kills herself after she's built 25 loving years with you as your biggest fan, it has to be crushing.    I've always tried to be sensitive to that as much as possible.    But I have seen the efforts to, IMHO, overcompensate and try to (in her own words) to do things that would "make you (me) love me (her) more" to maybe create enough love to offset the loss of her mother.    But what do I know?

 

The point made about my role in my grandson's life versus my own son's is well stated too.  

 

She leaves for Atlanta, officially, on August 1st.   As it stands today, we do not plan on talking for a few months.    Originally, the idea was that 3 months of silence between the two of us (primarily her idea) would give us enough clarity to perhaps let some of cycles (joy/sadness) in our relationship finally peter out, and maybe we could rekindle our original connectivity again.   But she clearly (at least for now) is finished with us at this point.    She really has taken it personally that I couldn't provide her a deal that proved she was my number 1.    Obviously, we'd discussed this dynamic in years past - the idea that my kids will always be number one and that she'd only really know that when we had kids of our own.   The birth of the baby might change her mind, possibly - I suppose any number of you could vouch for that or not - and it might only serve to solidify her resolve further.    But sitting in limbo is sheer torture.   At some point, I have to ask myself if this is healthy for me......am I holding out for somebody that truly needs serious help?    And how does this effect my son?   My thinking in general has been that taking a child away from an opportunity to have two loving parents together only four months after she became pregnant - a mere five months after a period of sustained bliss - is somewhat precarious and almost overstated.    I'm not saying necessarily that two people that have no business being together should stay simply b/c of a pregnancy, but I would be lying to say that we were dealing with abuse, drug or gambling issues.    This really boiled down to her feeling like my refusal to Atlanta was anti-her and anti-baby and all pro-my family..........at some point she broke off from our master plan that we had a unified family. 

 

It's tough.   I'm not sure I can ever trust her to even play fair after a divorce.    And again, seeing this child on a highly limited basis might be fine for a lot of fathers.........but again, I'm used to having a significant role in my children's lives.     The thought of having to wait months to see him.......hold him...laugh with him is unbearable to think about.     She's taking that away from me and downgrading my role to a distant level, and yes, that hurts.   It's almost as though once she had the baby, those broken pieces inside her said it was time to nest closer to home, come heck or high water.   

 

Again - I'm rambling now..........I'm not saying that relinquishing my parental rights is right in the grand scheme of things, even if it becomes something we both think is best for the baby in the long run........but i am wondering how it will be something that doesn't make me depressed over time.    This just wasn't anything i saw coming, and maybe that's my fault.

 

We have some time........baby is due 10/28.    So we'll see.

 

Thanks again to all of you - I really appreciate your help and your time.

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#11 of 77 Old 07-13-2011, 10:37 PM
 
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I just have a couple thoughts for you.

 

My spouse is my number 1.  I love my children with every fiber of my being, but my spouse is definitely my number 1. 

 

Second, if your children are YOUR number 1, does that include your unborn son?  It wouldn't appear so based on your idea to let her leave, remarry, and have another man raise him.  Or that you chose the screen name father of 3 when in fact you technically now have 4 children.

 

Not trying to offend at all, just a couple things that stuck out to me.


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#12 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"Let her leave"?

 

I'm not sure what you think I should have done here.     We had an arrangement.    She broke that arrangement.    We had a plan and she changed it.    The baby isn't born yet, so right now, I'm a father of 3.

 

No disrespect, but honestly, if you had to chose between your children and your spouse, are you really going to chose your spouse?    It's somewhat apples to oranges comparing one's love for his/her spouse to one's love for their children.     Love for children is unconditional.      A spouse's love may or may not be.    In my wife's case - it was not.     My wife chosing to take personally the fact that I don't think it's right to suddenly change important family plans just because her needs change in the blink of an eye, when I offered a rational, thoughtful plan to address her needs that didn't compromise my role in my current children's lives, is really unfair to me, the baby as well as the baby's future siblings.    I think it's easy to look at my wife and go - "well she just needs to be closer to home" - and I get that...........but asking her to wait 2-3 more years before I move down to the south for the rest of my life, well in front of my son starting kindergarten, seems fair and loving.

 

Sorry - but what she did was selfish........I would love to be able to leave and move with her now, but I cannot.     Again, had I known this was suddenly become front page news before we were married, I would not have married her.

 

 

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#13 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My apologies for seeming defensive, but this has all happened rather abruptly and also happened during a time when my mother's partner died two weeks ago.    My wife left at the beginning of the month to spend some time with her father and his new wife and didn't send a card or flowers to my Mom.    She has avoided having to see my kids b/c she said it would weaken her resolve to leave.     So here's this woman I love with all my heart essentially taking a fairly cowardly approach to all of this and it has been difficult.     I would love nothing more than for us to work this out in the long run, and raise our son together.     And no, I don't really think I could live my live without seeing my child.......it's just not how I operate........but it is heartbreaking to think that he will never have a normal life and that this outcome is the number one reason why i was hesitant to get remarried again, ever.     We talked about this at length in the years leading up to our wedding...........so to face this outcome so quickly has been unreal.

 

I can see she and I meeting in Nashville every few weeks to handoff the little guy.    It sucks, but that would at least be something he became accustom to at such a young age.    He might benefit from the diversity and maybe that is the right choice.    And yes, I would miss the little moments more often than not, but it would be better than my wife having to explain to him why I'm not in his life.

 

Again - this is why i came here to get some perspective.     Hopefully, with some time and space, my wife and I can stay focused on why we fell in love in the first place...........a year from now, my kids will be even older and maybe then i can move..........and maybe i never move.    Maybe once a month for 4-5 days at a time, summertime and every other major holiday would be alright.

 

Just so much to process in such a short period of time.

 

Thanks again to all of you:)

 

 

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#14 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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I'll take a stab at this... you likely won't like it... but it's honest.

 

 

If I was your wife, I'd be pretty upset too.  So, yes, she changed the plans to move back to where her family base is sooner... Well, I can tell you that pregnancy hormones screw you up.  lol  A woman isn't neccessarily all logic while pregnant.  There is HIGH emotion, and many woman become Mama Bear immediately.

 

To be honest, if I was your wife and you were putting GROWN ADULT children (because from what I gather your youngest is 18/19? that is an adult)... before me and the marriage... yeah, I'd be pretty hurt and would definitely take it personal as you against the "new" family as well.  Just my humble opinion on the matter.

 

It may do you good to truly put yourself in her shoes for a moment.

 

I don't think it's healthy to put anyone as a constant number one.  It should be a balance given many considerations.  Obviously young children's needs often are more pressing and come first a lot of times... but there should also be time made for a spouse, as that relationship will continue once those children are grown.

 

Your children are grown.  Wether you want to admit that or not... they are.  ;-)   So the ball in in your court what to do with your YOUNG family.  I would think a baby's needs for his Father trump that of grown adult daughters....

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#15 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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My apologies for seeming defensive,


 


No worries.  It's understandable.  You're dealing with a lot right now and my post was pretty abrupt as it was written in the middle of the night while I was in a bad mood because I couldn't sleep.

 

I would have to agree with Phoenix Mama on this one though.  Your grown adult daughters may still need their father, but as an adult they are much more able to travel to see you, talk to you on the phone or via skype, text message, etc. than is a baby.  Likewise, you could travel up to see them 4-5 days a month and every other major holiday instead of doing that to go see your son.  It sucks that she pulled such a big switch on you, I get that.  But she did, and now we're just trying to give you advice on how to move forward given the circumstances.

 


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#16 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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Really, that's it? So you are this totally dedicated and commited father to all your kids but one? This baby chose you to be their father for a reason. You need to open your mind up to the possibilities. Just because you don't ever want to be just a weekend dad doesn't mean that you should cut all ties to this child because you have a set idea of "what should be." This child deserves a father just as much as any child. Barring any abuse or neglect issues. Being apart of this baby's life in any and all ways is important for you and the baby. Just because the mom decided to move it doesn't move you need to give up on the baby. She is doing what is in her best interest and possibly not in the baby's best interest. You can have a totally lovely relationship with this child even if you don't live right there. I think you need to stop thinking about what is best for your older daughters, what is best for you, and do what is best for this sweet little defenseless baby. Being a weekend dad, every holiday and summer dad is better then being a dad who signed off his rights because he couldn't deal with the situation at hand. You are a grown man and this is your child. I guarantee if you sign off your rights you will regret it every day of your life.

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#17 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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Father of 3 is stating that the plan was for him and his wife to raise their new additions to the family in the place that they were currently living, at least for the first few years until he felt like his young adult children were fully independent, and his wife has now changed her mind and is not considering the other members of this family that she has married into in her decision making process. She has pulled a bait and switch on him. Pregnancy does make women more hormonal and self-protective, as it should, but that doesn't mean the world revolves around her. It really strikes me that the previous posts describe a woman who is considering only her own best interests and not those of her child or his father.

OP, I'm really sorry that you have such a tough decision to make and it's obvious that you will likely regret not taking a large role in this new child's life if you choose to do so. It must be difficult to deal with your lack of rights over what happens during this pregnancy.
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#18 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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You sound like a fantastic father and I think your new baby deserves to have you in his life.  If you cut ties completely, your son is going to miss out on knowing his father, and I don't think that is a gift at all.  I see you're coming at this with the best of intentions, but I strongly believe your son will want to know his father and have you in his life.  There are ways to dial down any animosity, etc. that may arise with your wife (or ex-wife) to minimize the impact on your son while still being a father to him. 

 

I am not of the opinion that since your youngest is 18 that your daughters should just have to deal with you leaving.  If in your heart you feel you should stay, I think you should.  I can completely understand feeling like your kids still need you.  If you move, who is to say that things are going to work out and you won't end up being divorced and a "weekend dad" in a place where you have no friends or family and would have to find a new job.  I wouldn't move but I would talk to a lawyer and make it clear to your wife that you expect to be part of this child's life.  You are married...you have rights.  At least in my state, parents need permission to move far from the other parent.  Maybe this is different since she's still pregnant, but since you're married, I am guessing there has to be some sort of agreement so that visitation/custody is possible.  A lawyer can help you figure that out. 

 

Best of luck to you.  It is obvious your heart is in the right place.  It is a really tough situation to be in. 

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#19 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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It's tough.   I'm not sure I can ever trust her to even play fair after a divorce.    And again, seeing this child on a highly limited basis might be fine for a lot of fathers.........but again, I'm used to having a significant role in my children's lives.     The thought of having to wait months to see him.......hold him...laugh with him is unbearable to think about.     She's taking that away from me and downgrading my role to a distant level, and yes, that hurts.   It's almost as though once she had the baby, those broken pieces inside her said it was time to nest closer to home, come heck or high water.   

It sounds like she probably won't play fair.  It also sounds like this is going to be a long, painful process for you, as it would be for any parent.  Consider though that you are an adult and created this situation (in part.  Obviously your wife is not playing fair even now, but you did choose to bring a child into this world with a woman who definitely has some issues going on.  I'm not blaming you and I'm trying to be gentle, but you are also in part responsible for this child's life).  Your son is going to be a child for a long time and will undoubtedly feel as much pain as you if not more if you choose to essentially abandon him.  He also won't have the maturity or the perspective to process the pain as you will have being an adult.  Cutting ties will shape the person he becomes.  It doesn't sound like mom is wrapped too tight and seems like your son is going to need you to provide some stability.  You have a lot to offer him.  Don't walk away to save yourself the pain, and transfer all the pain to your son.  You will experience a completely different sense of pain and guilt. 

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#20 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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I'll take a stab at this... you likely won't like it... but it's honest.

 

 

If I was your wife, I'd be pretty upset too.  So, yes, she changed the plans to move back to where her family base is sooner... Well, I can tell you that pregnancy hormones screw you up.  lol  A woman isn't neccessarily all logic while pregnant.  There is HIGH emotion, and many woman become Mama Bear immediately.

 

To be honest, if I was your wife and you were putting GROWN ADULT children (because from what I gather your youngest is 18/19? that is an adult)... before me and the marriage... yeah, I'd be pretty hurt and would definitely take it personal as you against the "new" family as well.  Just my humble opinion on the matter.

 

It may do you good to truly put yourself in her shoes for a moment.

 

I don't think it's healthy to put anyone as a constant number one.  It should be a balance given many considerations.  Obviously young children's needs often are more pressing and come first a lot of times... but there should also be time made for a spouse, as that relationship will continue once those children are grown.

 

Your children are grown.  Wether you want to admit that or not... they are.  ;-)   So the ball in in your court what to do with your YOUNG family.  I would think a baby's needs for his Father trump that of grown adult daughters....



I agree. Your adult children can move to Altanta if they want to be closer to you, but this baby doesnt get to do that. Do you really want to be 700 miles away from your newborn? It may be that your wife thinks you are more interested in being a father to adult children and a grandfather than you are starting a new family with her. I understand that you didnt get what you bargined for with your marriage, but hey, most people know the exact details of how everything will go.

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#21 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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Father of 3 is stating that the plan was for him and his wife to raise their new additions to the family in the place that they were currently living, at least for the first few years until he felt like his young adult children were fully independent, and his wife has now changed her mind and is not considering the other members of this family that she has married into in her decision making process. She has pulled a bait and switch on him. Pregnancy does make women more hormonal and self-protective, as it should, but that doesn't mean the world revolves around her. It really strikes me that the previous posts describe a woman who is considering only her own best interests and not those of her child or his father.

 


I just wanted to clarify something.  I haven't really addressed what the wife has done wrong because she isn't the one on here asking for advice.  Clearly she has done several things very wrong and continues to make this situation very difficult.  I don't want to minimize her role in this.  But clearly she is not going to step up and do what is best for the whole family unit, so we can either have a thread to discuss how bad she is, or give Fatherof3 some advice on what we feel he could do to make the best of it.

 

 

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#22 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll take a stab at this... you likely won't like it... but it's honest.

 

 

If I was your wife, I'd be pretty upset too.  So, yes, she changed the plans to move back to where her family base is sooner... Well, I can tell you that pregnancy hormones screw you up.  lol  A woman isn't neccessarily all logic while pregnant.  There is HIGH emotion, and many woman become Mama Bear immediately.

 

To be honest, if I was your wife and you were putting GROWN ADULT children (because from what I gather your youngest is 18/19? that is an adult)... before me and the marriage... yeah, I'd be pretty hurt and would definitely take it personal as you against the "new" family as well.  Just my humble opinion on the matter.

 

It may do you good to truly put yourself in her shoes for a moment.

 

I don't think it's healthy to put anyone as a constant number one.  It should be a balance given many considerations.  Obviously young children's needs often are more pressing and come first a lot of times... but there should also be time made for a spouse, as that relationship will continue once those children are grown.

 

Your children are grown.  Wether you want to admit that or not... they are.  ;-)   So the ball in in your court what to do with your YOUNG family.  I would think a baby's needs for his Father trump that of grown adult daughters....

 

With all due respect, i find it amazing that you think it's okay for anybody, whether she be a pregnant woman or not, to make a lot of big promises specific to our situation with my children, blow them off completely, and look at me as though I'm somehow the negligent one in this equation.    As I've stated previously, had I known this was going to be a paramount necessity this soon after our marriage, I would not have gotten married.     My children being "grown" means what - that I should kiss them goodbye and wish them luck?   See them on the holidays?   You make this sound like I've taken it too far or that I'm being selfish for having an active relationship with them.   Most men would run off to Atlanta, kiss their kids goodbye, and that would be that, but as I've already established, I wasn't the weekend parent.      I played both parental roles throughout their lives and that developed a very tight bond.    Asking my wife to wait another two or three years, given that she already knew the dynamic between myself and my kids in addition to wanting to play a role in that dynamic - in addition to wanting the girls to have a a close relationship with the baby (in essence the agreement i needed to commit to growing my family with additional children and getting married to her) - and finally, in addition to her saying she understood this need, is not unreasonable at all in my opinion.    There is an anxiousness to her decision that has more or less rendered both her word and her credibility in declarations of love to my children false.     Are you suggesting that she should not be held somewhat accountable for breaking her word?      For not being more patient?   I just feel like you see no wrong in what's happening here and that keeping one's word isn't as important as the will of somebody acting, IMHO, slightly irrationally.

 

And sorry, but 18 may be an adult legally, but that doesn't mean the kid is an adult yet.

 

I respect your opinion and obviously you share her point of view and I'm not foolish enough not to comprehend that things change and people do as well.     But I do think that when we married with an understanding that we would be living here for a long time, agreeing to a move to another city in time for our son to make friends and start school in the same city is a good compromise.    Obviously she disagrees, as do you.    The bottom line is that she changed the deal and truly made this all about her when it could have been managed in a way for all parties to get most of what they wanted.

 

Let's face it.........if I were to leave with her now, for example, there would be people calling me out saying that I was selfish for ditching my "adult" kids in St Louis.     But I doubt I'm the only parent on this board that doesn't empathize with my not being ready to leave my daughters today.    And I hardly think I'm out of line for not just picking up, leaving my kids, the rest of my family and my career because my wife HAS to suddenly change our arrangement.     Even if I were to agree to do this in the short term, it would take a long time for me to find something that pays as well as my current job does........I just think rushed decisions like this are dangerous and in this case, her decision will hurt many people.

 

Thanks for your insight though.

 

    



 

 

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#23 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to clarify something.  I haven't really addressed what the wife has done wrong because she isn't the one on here asking for advice.  Clearly she has done several things very wrong and continues to make this situation very difficult.  I don't want to minimize her role in this.  But clearly she is not going to step up and do what is best for the whole family unit, so we can either have a thread to discuss how bad she is, or give Fatherof3 some advice on what we feel he could do to make the best of it.

 

 


I need to thank all of you again......even those of you I may not agree with, for taking time to humor a father on a site dedicated to mothering.    I suppose on some level it is typical of a man to assume that such a community would at least embrace the discussion (and you have all been truly wonderful hosts) and give me a woman's point of view, but I did come here in hopes of seeing this outside of myself as I've attempted to do with my wife for the past 6 weeks.    And truly, emotionally, I go back and forth between anger, compassion, understanding and angst.    This certainly isn't pleasant times around my world.     But I do want to make clear that I know (as well as a man can understand if not FEEL what it is) that pregnancy is a monumental task for any woman and that all the changes that occur are massive in scope and magnitude, not only to your body, but especially to your emotions, heart and mind.    I don't claim to know anything about any of it, other than what I've learned through 3 and a half pregnancies.   But this is so hard to understand at times.    So please forgive me for seeming at all like a jerk in some of my responses.

 


 

 

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#24 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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OP, if you think that divorce is a legitimate option for you, I would start talking to an attorney immediately. I'm not sure why you think that just because you're the male parent, you would be relegated to seeing your son only a few times a year. I'm no expert here, but as far as I know, courts are much more likely to divide custody equally (or at least more equitably) than they used to. And once there is a legal custody agreement in place, your wife is required to adhere to the agreement or risk losing custody altogether. My personal knowledge is only n=1 (a family member), but in her case, she was not allowed to move out of state with her child--and in that case, she was not even married to the father. Whatever you decide to do, I think you should go into it knowing precisely what your parental rights are. 

 

I also think people are being a little hard on you. I don't think anyone would so easily uproot his entire life (I assume you have a job and friends in St. Louis, as well as your children and mother) for what seems like an out-of-the-blue demand. I'm not saying that I don't think you should at least consider the Atlanta move, but it's not clear to me why your wife's desires should automatically trump every other consideration.

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#25 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And thank you all for reminding me of the simple truth that signing off on my son would haunt me forever.    I suppose on some level, since none of us have any real control over much of what happens to each of us in this world, that my wife doing what she is doing is quite simply what it is.......I've often wondered what happens if I do move there and she finds out that atlanta isn't the answer to her prayers.......that the pain she's felt at losing her mother so painfully is still there - what then?     But the point is the same.......deal upheld, or deal broken - this baby is innocent and he is my baby as much as her baby.

 

So........I will be in this child's life:)    Not sure my own daughters would have understood it any other way either:)

 

I realize as a man, I'm pretty much an outsider on this board, but you all have been very thoughtful and considerate to let me talk with you.     Would it be out of line of me to continue to request insight from you all in the future?     Is there a man board on this site?

 

God Bless all of you in your own challenges and with your own joys and children.

 

Thank You for helping me find some obvious clarity!

 

John

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#26 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP, if you think that divorce is a legitimate option for you, I would start talking to an attorney immediately. I'm not sure why you think that just because you're the male parent, you would be relegated to seeing your son only a few times a year. I'm no expert here, but as far as I know, courts are much more likely to divide custody equally (or at least more equitably) than they used to. And once there is a legal custody agreement in place, your wife is required to adhere to the agreement or risk losing custody altogether. My personal knowledge is only n=1 (a family member), but in her case, she was not allowed to move out of state with her child--and in that case, she was not even married to the father. Whatever you decide to do, I think you should go into it knowing precisely what your parental rights are. 

 

I also think people are being a little hard on you. I don't think anyone would so easily uproot his entire life (I assume you have a job and friends in St. Louis, as well as your children and mother) for what seems like an out-of-the-blue demand. I'm not saying that I don't think you should at least consider the Atlanta move, but it's not clear to me why your wife's desires should automatically trump every other consideration.


Thank you:)

 

Was starting to think I was going a little crazy for feeling somewhat betrayed on a lot of levels.

 

Yes......it's hard to say with certainty that I know a divorce is best when my first hope would be that we maintain our union and raise our son as an intact unit.     But I will seek legal counsel to figure out my options.

 

Again, ladies - I would LOVE to keep talking with all of you - you've really been a beacon during a weird time.


 

 

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#27 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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Is there a reason moving isn't an option at all?  It sounds like you have the means for your older children to visit regularly, they certainly are capable of relocating if they feel the need to be closer, and simply put you ARE choosing your desires to keep things as they are as superior to the needs and wants of the newly created family.  I was in college and on my own before I was 16.  Yes, I still was in contact with my parents- usually by phone and occasionally for holiday trips, but by early adulthood- I would absolutely be in favor of explaining to adult children that my life was pulling me to a new home and they would be welcome to stay where they are or come with me.  

 

What keeps you where you are at the expense of being the parent you want to be to a new child? You are using the older kids as reasons, but at their ages, that isn't a reason- even if they AREN'T independent.  Parents move all the time, and they take their kids with them.  Your adult children can relocate or stay where they are, they should not prevent you from following the life you want, and they certainly are not reason to abandon a baby because it's inconvenient to think about having to change things to be closer to him. 

 

My parents decided when I was in college that it was time to relocate.  They certainly told me that I was welcome to come there when I wanted/needed, and tht I had a home with them if I chose to, but they also were clear that I was an adult, and if I chose to stay where I was that was ok as well.  It was time for me to choose what I wanted in my life.  That wasn't a rejection of me, and there didn't become any less parents to me because their lives took them elsewhere when I was in that halfway into adulthood phase.  When I needed support or help I picked up the phone or took a road trip. 

 

You can't cling to them as an excuse here.  You can choose not to leave to follow your wife and baby who will be here very soon, but you aren't making that choice for your adult children- you are making it for yourself, and if that IS the choice you make, you should certainly be able to understand your wife's anger and disappointment and you should do it knowing that you will be choosing NOT to be terribly involved in your baby's life.  You alone have to own the decision you make now- regardless of the way your wife has gone about things so far.  What she has done is certainly not the most ideal path, but the question isn't bout that- it's about what you should do going forward that is in the best interest of everyone involved, including and especially this new baby who you chose to bring into the world, and who deserves to grow up knowing two parents on a regular basis, but doesn't have a voice of his own.

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#28 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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I just wanted to clarify something.  I haven't really addressed what the wife has done wrong because she isn't the one on here asking for advice.  Clearly she has done several things very wrong and continues to make this situation very difficult.  I don't want to minimize her role in this.  But clearly she is not going to step up and do what is best for the whole family unit, so we can either have a thread to discuss how bad she is, or give Fatherof3 some advice on what we feel he could do to make the best of it.

 

 


Okay, you are right. I shouldn't pass judgment, since I don't know her side of the story. I was too harsh on her in defense of the OP and I mainly wanted to point out that the OP has no control over this situation until the birth and that he does have an obligation to his existing children, who are nearly grown, but still largely dependent on him for the time being.

I am curious why she needs to move to Atlanta right now. There are completely valid reasons to make a decision like that. Career or mental health reasons could be reasons that make her leaving now mostly unavoidable, especially if she knows the marriage is over regardless.

Aren't there some women here whose relationships ended during pregnancy? I bet they'd have some great advice about how to proceed with this. lurk.gif



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#29 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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Thank you:)

 

Was starting to think I was going a little crazy for feeling somewhat betrayed on a lot of levels.

 

Yes......it's hard to say with certainty that I know a divorce is best when my first hope would be that we maintain our union and raise our son as an intact unit.     But I will seek legal counsel to figure out my options.

 

Again, ladies - I would LOVE to keep talking with all of you - you've really been a beacon during a weird time.


 

 


This is not a women only forum. In fact, there are two forums Im sure you would be interested in. One is just for dads (which is usually not very active, but you could change that!) and the other is for people who live in your area. Then, there is also a forum called Parents as Partners where people can discuss both positive and negative things about the people they are raising a child with.

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/list/40/dads
http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/list/86/missouri-illinois-iowa
http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/list/41/parents-as-partners

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#30 of 77 Old 07-14-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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Hi,

 

I'm sorry for your pain.  You'd said that she was drinking heavily for a while due to her unhappiness adjusting to the new family life after the initial honeymoon.  It seems to me that was possibly the "real" her.  That is not a normal reaction to stress.  Here are some words that helped me see my relationship with my husband was unworkable:

 

Drug/alchohol abuse is an attempt to escape from what is felt to be an untenable reality. It is believed that the escape is the solution but this is part of the illusion.

Any solution that is not based in reality is no real solution at all.  When one member of a family retreats into this drug induced illusion it becomes impossible for the family to sustain itself in a healthy and life giving way. A link in the chain is sorely damaged. What is real can no longer be relied upon as common ground. Communication cannot make its way across the gulf between reality and the escape from that reality.

 

I would suggest that you not give away/lose your parental rights by letting her move to Atlanta.  She can't move out-of-state without your consent.  It could be that she will not adjust well to motherhood & you'll want to be watching that.  Children need protection & a healthy parent can do that, an unhealthy one can not.  Are you sure she's the type of woman you want to raise your son, solo?

 

P.S.  I just want to add that doesn't all this seem a bit crazy to you??  You put forth a plan for moving in a few years, not drastically changing the vision you two had shared....but modifying it to suit her changing needs.  She rejected that, abruptly.  When there is a lot of crazyiness/things that don't jibe & make sense...pay attention.  There is more going on that the words she is saying to you.

 

Your son will need you in his Life.


P.P.S.  I wouldn't want to leave my young adult children either.  It would be great if your wife could understand that & feel secure that you will move with her in a few years. 

One_Girl and APToddlerMama like this.
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