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#121 of 141 Old 01-25-2013, 09:06 AM
 
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I'm going to give you the best advice I was ever given and I hope you'll take it to heart. Do what you would want your daughter to do if she were in the same situation.

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#122 of 141 Old 01-25-2013, 03:45 PM
 
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  It does not have to be today, but waiting does not always make things easier.  Indeed, it often means you just worry for longer.  Moreover, at some point "taking time" becomes "keeping a secret" and that is not healthy.  I will also stand by what I said earlier that sibling have a right to know each other.  

Yeah, that.  I have known women who were cheated on, and then took a long time to make a decision.  Waiting to make a decision became a long-term thing.  Waiting to make a decision became a lifestyle.  They became hollow ghosts of themselves. 


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#123 of 141 Old 01-25-2013, 10:28 PM
 
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Thinking of you.

 

In addition to what other have said most recently, I think it would be very useful for you to give yourself a timeline - not an ultimatum timeline where you MUST make a decision by a certain date, but one where you can say, this week I will work to find a therapist, I will use this month to figure out what to do about my relationship with H...

 

It's kind of like giving yourself homework. It really helps me to have a framework like this - it makes the decisions I have to make more tangible by separating them and giving them each their own space, although I know you can't really separate them because they are all part of the same, but I do believe you can choose to focus on certain aspects over others.

 

xo

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#124 of 141 Old 01-27-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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You can get a divorce, ex-h can get his own place, and he can have visitation with all three of his children there.

 

Dingdingding! We have a winner! 

 

OP, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. You deserve so much more - a husband who puts you and your children first, a husband who you can trust to me a good role model and coparent for your children. You will not get any of this from your current husband. Kick him to the curb. You are better off raising your kids with the help of a child support check than with the "help" of a shameless liar and adulterer. 

 

I believe in forgiveness for a momentary lapses - but this is not a momentary lapse. It's a desired lifestyle (two women to have sex with, two sets of kids to be a Daddy to) being pursued against your wishes. Your children will be stuck dealing with the fallout of his terrible character for the rest of their lives - but you can at least provide a refuge (your own home) where there is no lying, no cheating, no enabling relatives, no illegitimate "surprise" half-siblings. They'll still see him and his extended family, they'll grow up knowing about and probably seeing their half-sibling (until/unless that mother also wises up and cuts ties). You can't spare them that. You CAN give them a stable home where that kind of soap-opera nonsense doesn't go on. 

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#125 of 141 Old 01-27-2013, 11:33 AM
 
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If I ask myself "what do I hope my daughter would do..." in this situation, I have to be honest, I'd hope that she would leave this man.

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#126 of 141 Old 01-27-2013, 03:18 PM
 
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Your children will be stuck dealing with the fallout of his terrible character for the rest of their lives - but you can at least provide a refuge (your own home) where there is no lying, no cheating, no enabling relatives, no illegitimate "surprise" half-siblings. They'll still see him and his extended family, they'll grow up knowing about and probably seeing their half-sibling (until/unless that mother also wises up and cuts ties). You can't spare them that. You CAN give them a stable home where that kind of soap-opera nonsense doesn't go on. 

 

You know, this has really got me thinking...at first, I was feeling so strongly that, in this situation, I'd want to do whatever I could do to keep my kids from having ANY contact with that OW, even if it meant staying married and having the other child in my home for visits. I was so focused on wanting them to not have to spend ANY time around her that it didn't occur to me that staying married would mean they'd have a lot MORE contact with HIM than they'd have if we divorced, and if I was smart enough to take every advantage I'd have as the wronged partner to make sure it didn't end up being some sort of joint custody arrangement where they'd have to spend HALF their time in a crappy situation.

 

I know of one woman who did her homework and wrote up the arrangement herself, because she didn't trust her lawyer to make sure that the ex would never be able to interfere with her homeschooling (I don't know whether the divorce was due to adultery, only that the need for the divorce came as quite a shock to her). I'm not saying that (homeschooling) would necessarily be your stipulation, but now would be a good time to think about any ways that he might try to interfere with your ability to raise your boys in the way that you see fit -- I've heard that even stuff that they seemed to agree about before the divorce, such as co-sleeping, can end up being stuff they'll try to use against their ex in a custody battle, counting on the fact that many judges haven't read up on the benefits of many of the practices that are common among many MDCers, but not so common in the mainstream.

 

I'm not a lawyer, but I feel pretty sure that if you sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery and emotional abuse, and don't go for any goofy no-fault crap (I mean goofy in this particular situation), you can be pretty sure that you'd end up being the custodial parent and he'd get something like every other weekend, and some holidays and some summer vacation time. At least their home with you would be their main reality.

 

I know he's their dad and they're his sons, and his child with OW is their half-sib, and they all have the right to a relationship. But he lost the right to have the same amount of say that you have in these boys' upbringing, and to get to spend the same amount of time with them as you do, when he showed such complete disregard for the life that you all had together.

 

So even though I'd hate to move into the camp of making you feel like you have to rush, I think you might want to consider being proactive here, getting a lawyer, seeing if there's a way to talk with other moms in your state who've been through similar situations and managed to get a successful divorce and custody arrangement for themselves and their children. I think in some states, you can even get a generous amount of alimony for yourself simply because your spouse cheated on you. 

 

I know of one wronged ex-wife in my state who managed to stay home with her kids for several years, living on what her ex was court ordered to pay her. He didn't like it that we was busting his butt to take care of his new family while she continued being the housewife that she was while they were married, but he still had to pay for it. I actually think his new wife got to stay home, too, so it seems fair to me that the kids from the first marriage continued to get as much one-on-one Mommy time as the ex's child with the OW.

 

Since some folks here have been pointing out that your husband has the right to just bring the child into your home right now, or just up and spring this whole situation on your kids, with or without your permission, I think you should also be aware of the advantageous position you will be in if you claim all of your rights as a faithful wife who was cheated on. Yes, he has rights, but you actually have more rights and more power in this situation (when it comes to your kids) if you are willing to use it.


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#127 of 141 Old 01-27-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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Again, I'm totally with mammal_mama.


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#128 of 141 Old 01-27-2013, 08:22 PM
 
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I know of one woman who did her homework and wrote up the arrangement herself, because she didn't trust her lawyer to make sure that the ex would never be able to interfere with her homeschooling (I don't know whether the divorce was due to adultery, only that the need for the divorce came as quite a shock to her). I'm not saying that (homeschooling) would necessarily be your stipulation, but now would be a good time to think about any ways that he might try to interfere with your ability to raise your boys in the way that you see fit -- I've heard that even stuff that they seemed to agree about before the divorce, such as co-sleeping, can end up being stuff they'll try to use against their ex in a custody battle, counting on the fact that many judges haven't read up on the benefits of many of the practices that are common among many MDCers, but not so common in the mainstream.

 

I'm not a lawyer, but I feel pretty sure that if you sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery and emotional abuse, and don't go for any goofy no-fault crap (I mean goofy in this particular situation), you can be pretty sure that you'd end up being the custodial parent and he'd get something like every other weekend, and some holidays and some summer vacation time. At least their home with you would be their main reality.

 

 

So even though I'd hate to move into the camp of making you feel like you have to rush, I think you might want to consider being proactive here, getting a lawyer, seeing if there's a way to talk with other moms in your state who've been through similar situations and managed to get a successful divorce and custody arrangement for themselves and their children. I think in some states, you can even get a generous amount of alimony for yourself simply because your spouse cheated on you. 

 

I know of one wronged ex-wife in my state who managed to stay home with her kids for several years, living on what her ex was court ordered to pay her. He didn't like it that we was busting his butt to take care of his new family while she continued being the housewife that she was while they were married, but he still had to pay for it. I actually think his new wife got to stay home, too, so it seems fair to me that the kids from the first marriage continued to get as much one-on-one Mommy time as the ex's child with the OW.

 

Since some folks here have been pointing out that your husband has the right to just bring the child into your home right now, or just up and spring this whole situation on your kids, with or without your permission, I think you should also be aware of the advantageous position you will be in if you claim all of your rights as a faithful wife who was cheated on. Yes, he has rights, but you actually have more rights and more power in this situation (when it comes to your kids) if you are willing to use it.

I agree with mammal_mama about getting a good family lawyer ASAP if you are thinking of seperating from or leaving DH.

 

I would point out that what you are entitled to in terms of custody, alimony, child support, etc. will depend on the laws where you live. Where I live, the adultry or whatever of a spouse has NOTHING to do with who gets custody.  It also has nothing to do with how much child support is paid, or how much alimony is received by a spouse or for how long (technically, at least, but the judge does have some discretion in this area and so the circumstances of the divorce can play into that decison.  If you are a SAHM this would be more weighty than the circumstances of the divorce, for example).  

 

Again, this may vary on where you live but in Canada at least the only way you can make sure that your spouse can't interfere with your decisions in how you raise your kids is to get SOLE CUSTODY of your children.  Again, in Canada, cutody is different than visitation.  Your DH can still have visitation rights with your children (every weekend, every other weekend, half time, whatever is agreed upon in the divorce and custody settlement), but as the parent with SOLE CUSTODY you make all the parenting choices for your kids.  Where they go to school, if they stay home for school, if they go to church and if so, which one, medical decisions, etc. etc. etc.  If you have JOINT CUSTODY your DH will always have a say in all these things.  

 

Again, please discuss this with a good family lawyer if you are thinking of leaving your spouse as the laws vary from jurisdiction.  Lawyers are expensive, but money on a good lawyer who will get you what you want is money well spent as these decisions and outcomes will affect you and your children at least until your kids are adults.  So please get referals, and check around, daunting though it may be if this is a path you are considering.  Also, if finances are an issue for you then you can also discuss this with your potential lawyer(s) as lawyers do often charge less depending on ability to pay or may do some work on a pro-bono basis. If you are in a really, really tough situation financially then please also check into legal aide options.  There are many good, senior lawyers who contribute time to legal aide.

 

Good luck and really big hugs to you mama.  Again, my thoughts are with you and I do hope you can find the support you need.


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#129 of 141 Old 01-28-2013, 06:12 AM
 
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SOLE CUSTODY- it's not easy in most parts of the US - you really have to get the other party to agree with this, so I would not get my hopes up too soon. For a judge to just grant it without a struggle would mean the other is really bad parent and sadly nothing he has done would even warrant that. As it  has been pointed out, sole custody will only get you so much as best, it doesn't get you a point of view over your children - there seems to be no reason to indicate we won't have visitation and he can still have a huge influence over the children even if he can't make decisions and as the children age they can later decide to be with him.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Again, please discuss this with a good family lawyer

 

I think protection as far as finance will be your first priority as with custody could take a very long time to reach an agreement. Many use sole custody to get other things - such as a better financial agreement in exchange- it's usually it's a give and take.........get a good lawyer!


 

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#130 of 141 Old 01-29-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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How are you, mama? It's been a few days. I've been thinking of you and sending you warmth.

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#131 of 141 Old 01-29-2013, 03:58 PM
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You can get a divorce, ex-h can get his own place, and he can have visitation with all three of his children there.

 

Dingdingding! We have a winner! 

 

OP, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. You deserve so much more - a husband who puts you and your children first, a husband who you can trust to me a good role model and coparent for your children. You will not get any of this from your current husband. Kick him to the curb. You are better off raising your kids with the help of a child support check than with the "help" of a shameless liar and adulterer. 

 

I believe in forgiveness for a momentary lapses - but this is not a momentary lapse. It's a desired lifestyle (two women to have sex with, two sets of kids to be a Daddy to) being pursued against your wishes. Your children will be stuck dealing with the fallout of his terrible character for the rest of their lives - but you can at least provide a refuge (your own home) where there is no lying, no cheating, no enabling relatives, no illegitimate "surprise" half-siblings. They'll still see him and his extended family, they'll grow up knowing about and probably seeing their half-sibling (until/unless that mother also wises up and cuts ties). You can't spare them that. You CAN give them a stable home where that kind of soap-opera nonsense doesn't go on. 

 

 

  Agreed!  

Your concerns seem to be centered around, "How can I accept this child into my home," well you don't have to!  She can see her daddy, in his apart-from-you-because-you're-divorced place!!!! 


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#132 of 141 Old 01-29-2013, 06:56 PM
 
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I disagree with Mammal Mama. If you're going to stay married to your dh, I think you have to accept that this child is in his life, and therefore in yours. I think it's unethical to do what MM is describing and make him keep his daughter on the side. Either you accept this in your life or you get a divorce. You can't just paper over a child's existence so long as you never see her.

I also think it does hurt your children to not be told about their sister. Maybe not today, but having seen my husband go through this - that pain can be for life. Your situation is NOT like having had a baby you placed for adoption before they were born.

There is no amount of foundation you can lay now that will keep your kids from judging you harshly if they discover this info as teens or adults. There is no guarantee that their judgment will fall where you want it to fall either - they might blame you. Especially if their dad can argue that he wanted to tell them, but you were opposed.

This child affects your life. She affects your household budget. She affects your H's availability to your kids. You need to be open about her existence.

 

 

I agree with this. And frankly even if you divorce dh...the child will be "in" your life. Do you really expect him never to have all of his children in the same place or share time? your children have a right to meet and know their sister. I think it would be more damaging to the existing family to have this "secret" that everyone knows about but no one must speak of around you, then to just say people make mistakes and deal with it(whether through working on your marriage, divorce, whatever)...i dont think keeping this child out of the picture, and having dh see him on his own, on the side, etc will work or be healthy for anyone.


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#133 of 141 Old 01-30-2013, 04:09 AM
 
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I agree with this. And frankly even if you divorce dh...the child will be "in" your life. Do you really expect him never to have all of his children in the same place or share time? your children have a right to meet and know their sister. I think it would be more damaging to the existing family to have this "secret" that everyone knows about but no one must speak of around you, then to just say people make mistakes and deal with it(whether through working on your marriage, divorce, whatever)...i dont think keeping this child out of the picture, and having dh see him on his own, on the side, etc will work or be healthy for anyone.

 

I actually have, since my original post, backed down and realized that the siblings really do need to get to know one another. I also realize that, if the OP decides to stay in the marriage, the child would need to come over for some visits. But I still stand by what I, and some others, have said about there being no harm in her taking some more time to work through all this (one poster suggested six months and this doesn't seem unreasonable or harmful to the children's future relationship), especially if she decides to stay in the marriage, because the way her spouse is treating her right now is just so very disrespectful, and bringing the new child into the home while everything is so raw and awful between the OP and her husband seems very unkind to all of the victims in this situation.

 

The OP, her children, and the other child are all victims in this case. I know some believe the OP is the only victim because he only cheated on her, but entering into a monogamous contract with someone and starting a family, and then deciding on your own to change the rules and start a harem, is very, very unfair, not just to the spouse but also to the children who have no say in the situation and are just along for the ride. And it's not "childish" for the OP to not know exactly how to proceed from here.

 

I know you weren't accusing the OP of being childish -- that last comment was to those who've made comments to the effect that she just needs to "put her big girl panties on" and be the adult, as if SHE'S the one who just took a huge dump on the living room floor.

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#134 of 141 Old 02-06-2013, 07:37 PM
 
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I've been thinking of you, mama. I'm worried that we haven't heard from you in a while. Are you ok? We're here for you to vent if you need. You can also PM me if you feel you need a more private outlet.  Take good care.  sending you love and light.

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#135 of 141 Old 02-15-2013, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the support. I'm still in the midst of deciding what to do. I really with all my heart want to keep my family together....I just wish that h would even feel the slightest remorse for the intense pain he has caused me...I really need to just sit and talk to him but I've been putting it off...not sure how much longer I can do that....my anxiety is at high levels and I don't like to live like this everyday. My mind never stops thinking. I just need peace in my heart and soul.

I will talk to him soon...I need all the cards on the table.
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#136 of 141 Old 02-17-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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I admit that I don't know you or your husband, so there are a lot of things I can't understand about this situation. I can only go by what you've posted here. Everything you've written here points unmistakably to the conclusion that your husband has a serious personality disorder, and that he has you right where he wants you. I'm sorry to be so blunt, I just know what it is to be stuck in the vortex of a mentally ill abuser. You can convince yourself that his outrageous behavior can be brought around, if you can just get him to see your point of view. Or that his ugly words and actions fit somewhere on the continuum of normal marital problems. I know how your head can feel cloudy and spinning when you try to finally make sense out of the situation, so let me be really really clear.

THIS IS NOT OK. What he's done, knocking up another woman and not telling you about her and the child until approximately a year after she's born. Acting like it's no big deal. The way his family closes around him and blames you- that's a classic sick abusive family for you. He will never understand that what he's doing is wrong, because he isn't capable. It will be an insane roller coaster ride until you decide to step off and get on with your life.

The cards will never be on the table, Mama. He is in control, playing you and the ow like puppets. Please consider the situation as if it were your daughter's husband. What would you want her to do?
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#137 of 141 Old 02-18-2013, 09:55 AM
 
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Chickeemomma, I can only imagine what it is like to wake up in such an abusive nightmare.  I've read all your posts and most of the responses and, from what I can glean, your husband appears to be incredibly manipulative and abusive.  I was raised in a home with such a dad . . . because my mom thought it was best that we kids had a dad and a "complete" family.  All I can say is that no child should be subjected to a family where the parents are not truly equal respecting partners.  No child should be left vulnerable to a parent who is untrustworthy/manipulative/uncaring of his wife. 

 

I would not let my children be alone with a husband who not only had an affair, but wants to continue having a relationship with this OW and her child while not disclosing important details.  This is not a safe person for any child to be around unsupervised.

 

I would talk with my husband only with a trusted counselor/therapist present to witness the conversation and with the children completely out of earshot.

 

I deliberately used the word abuse in my 1st sentence because many red flags are popping up for me.  A husband does not need to be violent to be extremely abusive.  In fact, many abusive men are held in high regard in their communities as upstanding, caring, respectful people.  It is insane.  

 

Do you have access to all your and your H's financial information?  (his paycheck stubs . . . all bank accounts and lines of credit . . . . credit reports, etc)  Hiding financial information is another red flag.

 

Anyway, big hugs to you.  If you will disclose your general area I am sure we can help find resources for you - support agencies, therapists, lawyers.  I understand if you want to stay anonymous, though.

 

Do you have a trusted child care provider to give you some alone time to gather your thoughts/feelings and find good support?  Can your sister do this?

 

Also, I feel strongly that your children should not be introduced to this other child using the term "sister".  This is incredibly confusing for little children.  I recently witnessed this within my own extended family.  To kids of a young age "sister" means someone we live with.  If your kids do not know how babies are made biologically, this complicates things even further.  It can be less confusing to say that daddy made a baby with another woman and that baby is the little girl you might see sometimes.  Forcing a "sibling" relationship could be really bad.  Let the kids claim "sister" as a sibling on their own timeline.  My thoughts:  If there is pressure to tell the children, because the H or another family member might beat you to it - Give the information when you feel settled and as calm as possible . . . and without husband present so you are completely in control of how the info is presented.  Be ready for questions, but don't be surprised if there are none right away.

 

Sending you all the strength and self-worth you need to get through this crisis and move on to smoother waters.

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#138 of 141 Old 02-18-2013, 10:41 AM
 
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Wow mama, I am so sorry for all the pain you've endured. What a huge betrayal. I see you considering your children's needs first and I think that is great. From that perspective, do you want your children to grow up in a home in which their mother is torn apart (and rightly so) by anxiety, grief, betrayal, and continued disrespect? Your marriage is completely broken and there is absolutely no way to fix it because your husband is unwilling. Behavior is communication. He is communicating to you that your feelings do not matter. He is communicating to you that he does not care if his children are raised in a two parent household and he does not care if they witness their mother being hurt. He does not care if they are hurt by his actions. He is communicating to you that he understands that at this point, he holds all the cards. There is nothing he can do that will have any negative consequences for him. He can run around with another woman, lie to you, lead a second life, and there are no repercussions. Personally, I wouldn't want this man in my children's lives on a daily basis. Every other weekend? Sounds great. This wasn't one mistake that he's remorseful about and trying to make right. This is an ongoing pattern of emotionally abusive behavior. It is not going to change. The life you are leading right now, full of betrayal, disrespect, stress, anxiety...this is the life you will lead every day until the day you wake up and decide that not only do you deserve better, but your children deserve better as well. Imagine them trying to explain this to their friends as they get older. Much easier to say "my parents don't live together" than to say "ummm my dad lives here but he kind of lives with my sister sometimes too who has a different mom."

You can't see it now, but brighter days are in your future and your kids' futures. You think they don't feel the tension and the pain? You think you can hide it? You can't. They are perceptive little beings and they are feeling it. Take the time you need to, but pull yourself together, make an exit strategy and get out. A two parent household is worthless when there is no trust and only pain. Wishing you the best. You can do it.
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#139 of 141 Old 02-18-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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APToddlerMama's last paragraph is right on.

Chikeemomma, your DH is showing you who he is. Believe him.

Make a plan and get out. You will be OK. Better than OK.
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#140 of 141 Old 02-23-2013, 01:09 PM
 
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To the OP - I came here looking for something else and saw your post. First, your H doesn't respect you. He has lied to you for a long time. Your happiness comes first. If you stay in this marriage it should be on your terms or you will be miserable. If he wants to stay in this marriage he should be asking you to forgive him and answering any and all of your questions. He shouldn't be hiding anything from you.

A long time ago I had to leave my H because he was so abusive to me. Very controlling, mentally abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and then finally physical abuse which was my stop point - I couldn't stay any longer. I had no place to go. I had no job. I could only leave with one of my children. I stayed with my SIL or in my car. If I told my parents, I feared what my father might do. Five days later my brother in law set up a meeting with his pastor for us to talk to. Basically we prayed and then he said it was okay that I go back home. I don't think he had any idea what I had been through. I asked my H if this is what he wanted. Did he want the marriage to work? Would he change? I got a commitment from him and I came home. It was a little rocky for a good year and half. Good times and bad. Respect was a big issue. Then two and half years after I had left he told me about his other girlfriends he had during that time he was so abusive to me. Our relationship at that point was really good and then this. I sought counseling. He had to come clean with me and tell me what I wanted to know. There was no time limit either. If I wanted to know where he was and what he was doing, it wasn't a problem. He had to rebuild the trust. If he wanted to stay married to me then it was on my terms. This is what happened to me twenty years ago. He is no longer that abusive person - he changed. But I did worry what effects his abuse would have on our children seeing him treat me that way. I guess my reason for telling you this is you need to wake him up to what he could lose. Find out if he is committed to your marriage. Because from what you are saying right now he has no respect for you. If you stay under these conditions, I guarantee, you will not be happy. Your happiness comes first then your children will be happy. Get your marriage in order or get out.

Second, your children - don't let your husband or in laws dictate what to do. They have betrayed you. Look at it from the point of doing what is in your children's best interest. The courts look at it that way also. I would be recording everything that happens in a notebook. If you end up in divorce court it will come in handy. Otherwise, it could be a good way to sort out your feelings. I hope you do come to realize that this ow's child is innocent and you can accept this child as your children's half sibling. Whether or not they have a relationship is up to you and your children. I think right now you are having a hard time accepting this child because of the way your husband is treating you. You really need someone to talk to.

I know the day I woke up was when I heard this fact - if he would treat a complete stranger better than he treats you then he has no respect for you. It took me a few years to get my husband to realize what he was doing to me. I prayed a lot. This is my story and I don't expect anyone to do as I did. My husband admitted to the abuse to the counselor but he also wanted to stay in the marriage and made the commitment to change. I wish you the best and I hope you find your happiness!

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#141 of 141 Old 02-23-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Getting over an affair is possible, and accepting your husband's child would be possible too. The problem is your husband. He is refusing to help you, refusing to tell you about the child or his affair. He is acting like you should just get over this and he doesn't need to do anything to help you through the process. Well, he's wrong, and ultimately, his lack of compassion for your feelings may be what ends this for you guys.

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