Is leaving the right choice?

Leah - posted on 08/21/2016 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I'm in my second marriage that's pretty much doomed at this point. I came into the marriage with a child from a previous marriage and he came with 2 from his previous marriage. Things have been rocky from the start but we still tried to make it work. My ex is not in the picture at all and I didn't want my daughter to grow up without a father. My (current) husband isn't a bad guy but as time went on it became more apparent that he had no interest in being any type of father figure for my child and his kids were the center of the world. We have other issues in the marriage but nothing at this magnitude. I don't know how I can be in a relationship anymore knowing this. I know the right thing to do is to move on with my life but I'm afraid...Are there men out there that can love a child that isn't biologically theirs?

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Michelle - posted on 08/23/2016

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Then he's not the right man for you.
If he has that much resentment about the situation with his own children, it will never work with you having yours full time.
He will probably just gets worse so I think you need to make that tough decision. He has already told you that he can't be who you need him to be.
You also can't expect someone to change. He has said he can't so it's now up to you.

Michelle - posted on 08/21/2016

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In answer to your question, yes, there are men out there that can love children that aren't biologically theirs. My husband is one of those men. Even before we had one of our own he said he would do anything for my boys and they even came before me! The good thing is, they love him just as much and their Father is around as well. We do 50/50 shared care so it's not as if my husband is the only Father figure they have.
You said things were rocky from the start, that should have been red flags for you.
I could never be with any man that didn't accept my children and want to be a positive influence in their lives. Your daughter comes first and just because you don't want her to grow up without a Father doesn't mean you should settle for just anyone. If he doesn't want to be a Father to her then she is without one anyway.

Ev - posted on 08/21/2016

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If you decide to leave this man I suggest that you wait a while before trying to get involved with another man. Your child needs you more than you need a man in your life and you should be very careful about who becomes a father like figure in your child's life.

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Shelly - posted on 08/30/2016

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Leah, I truly know how hard it is and I appreciate you hearing me out. I will continue to pray for both you and your husband... take care!

Leah - posted on 08/25/2016

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Shelly T,

I respect and value your help and opinion. And I can really understand where you are coming from. Your words were my thoughts up until most recently. I honestly feel like I've done everything in my power to make this marriage work. It's unfortunate that it has to end now. We are both set in our ways and it's clear now that our lives have been moving parallel throughout the entire time.
We can't seem to meet in the middle. We've both given in as much as we could, but at the end of the day, I have my needs and he simply can't meet them. I can't give up what I want in life, and I know that's the only way he'll try to make it work.
But that will never happen, because eventually I will grow to resent him and we will still wind up on the same road we are on now.
We love and really care about each other, but it really isn't enough to fix things. There's too much water under the bridge at this point.

Shelly - posted on 08/25/2016

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Ev Witt, I’ve experienced it both ways… a miraculous healing of two hearts and also a brokenness and devastation. Again, I just encourage trying every avenue to work things out first… that way you have no regrets. I know it takes two people completely committed to one another to make a marriage great, but sometimes we can get stuck in a battle of two wills and it just takes one person to make a conscious decision towards actioning love to see the other one’s heart begin to change as well. I have a strong faith in Jesus and have seen miraculous things happen through prayer… so I will always fall on the side of trying everything.

Ev - posted on 08/24/2016

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Shelly T--
Have you ever been in a situation with a partner that did not want to be there with you and work it out?

Leah - posted on 08/24/2016

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I wish it was just miscommunication or something that we can fix. But he's recently been really honest about the fact that my child is my responsibility in every way. Also he doesn't think that a man can love another man's child, that's his personal belief and he doesn't think he can love her. We've tried therapy a couple of times, he didn't like the doctor and we stopped. He didn't want to try another, I've asked him to speak to his rabbi (Judaism is very important to him). He didn't bother. His family has constantly tried to speak to him. But he's very set in his ways and he gets defensive into thinking that everyone is out to change him.

At the end of the day, I don't think he had the emotional capacity to take on my life and situation. Considering his situation with his kids, there was some underlying guilt there.

I've tried to turn over every possible and even impossible stone, but at the same time I can't make the marriage work on my own.

Shelly - posted on 08/24/2016

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I don’t want to make excuses for him as again I cannot possibly know how exactly things are for you both… but it seems that he feels he cannot live up to your expectations and that is a real pressure and also he would feel you believe him to be a failure as a step-father. Sometimes it is a case of complete miscommunication. He is hearing things differently to what you are saying. You are asking for him to take more of a part in your daughters life and he is hearing that he is a failure… then resentment comes in on both sides. When this happens over a period of time, then walls are built up and no-one really hears the other. I realize how hurt you must feel with him saying he is going away without you. I just hope you talk to someone to help you in making this decision. Marriage breakups are devastating for all involved… and I know that what you are living in now is painful as well. I would just say not to “leave any stone unturned”.

Leah - posted on 08/24/2016

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I still seem to think he might come to his senses and see that maybe this marriage is worth working on. But as the days go by it seems that he's very calm and happy about finally telling me the truth. He seems to be content on decision. Case in point. He has vacation from work coming up and he's told me that he plans on taking his kids away because he wants them to have a good time. Did not mention me or my daughter coming and didn't invite us.

It seems even at this point he's hell-bent on pushing me further away. I feel like this is exactly what he's wanted all along. I need to draw the line and not demean myself in front of this person and keep asking him to make a marriage work. He seems happy with removing himself from the marriage :(

Shelly - posted on 08/24/2016

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I can see how you would feel your being pulled in two directions… one towards your marriage and making it work and one towards your daughter who you want whats best for… that is not a choice anyone should have to make. I would still encourage you to go see a counselor on your own as that will show your husband how serious this is for you and also will help you talk this through with someone who has experience in this kind of situation… and hopefully in time your husband would want to join you. You can discuss your situation with a counselor at Focus on the Family at no cost to you and they can refer you to a counselor in your area. Their number is 855-771-HELP. No-one outside of your situation can really tell you what to do or completely understand exactly how things are for the both of you. I do believe though that hearts can be changed and marriages miraculously healed. Sometimes it just takes the effort of one to begin with. I will continue to pray for you… for wisdom, for strength and for changed hearts.

Leah - posted on 08/23/2016

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Shelly,

We've spoken about this topic many times. His conclusion is this, "I thought I was doing my best and I've come to the conclusion that this is the best I could do. I can't be who you want me to be for her." He shares custody of his kids and I think he resents the fact that he has to see my kid everyday (I have full sole custody) and he doesn't get to have that with his kids. He's afraid to show her any kind of affection and attention just so they wouldn't get hurt or feel rejected. I've stayed this long still giving him the chance and opportunity and time to see if anything changed. His kids are by us twice a week and I do what needs to be done to take care of them.
I can't change his mind or force him to want to be a part of her life. He doesn't think it should interfere in our relationship and I can't put my child's needs on the back burner and be happy.
I've suggested therapy countless times but he's apposed to it. He believes he's right in his ways and doesn't want to hear anything else.

Thank you for your support and prayers. It means a lot

Shelly - posted on 08/23/2016

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Hi Leah, Have you talked openly and honestly with your husband about how you are feeling? Has he said that he doesn’t want to be a father figure for your DD?… or has he expressed why it is hard for him? What is your relationship like with his kids? I believe there is always hope… as long as two people are listening and working towards each other. I would really encourage you both to see a marriage counselor to help you work through this. Blended families are hard work and it takes a lot of time and patience to work through all the difficulties. I’m attaching an article http://bit.ly/2bd2GHB that has some good information on step parenting and blended families… I hope it helps. I will pray for you and your family that your husband will see what an honor it is to be a part of your DD’s life and that the two of you are able to openly talk about your expectations of each other as well as what you are struggling with… and that you find a counselor that will help you work through this and come out the other side with a stronger and happy marriage.

Leah - posted on 08/21/2016

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You're 100% right! If I leave, I know that I need a break from relationships for a while. I just need to make sure that leaving is the absolutely right choice and I'm leaving for the right reasons.

Leah - posted on 08/21/2016

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We've been married for 3 years and I do see now that we rushed into it and maybe ignored some big signs of trouble. He seemed ok with her while we we dating and engaged. Things took a turn when we began living together which was around the same time we got married. He was nice enough here and there but never took an interest in her. Never check homework, had conversations. When me and him would be In a fight he would go days without acknowledging her.
She may have developed a relationship with him early because she was looking for a father figure. ( I divorced her father when. She was 2 and started dating my current husband when she was 5 1/2

As time went by she began to notice that he wasn't reaching out like a father so she was friendly and tolerant and whatever way he acknowledged her.

Ev - posted on 08/21/2016

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In answer to your question about men being able to love kids that are not theirs biologically, it is yes. They are there but you have to find them and that is not an easy task.

How long of a relationship did you and this man have before you met each other's kids. How long have you been married? Did you rush into this? How was he with your child before the marriage took place and when did he change?

Just to let you know, a long relationship with someone is important because then you get to know them better. Introducing them to a child too soon can cause a lot of issues in themselves. If a child becomes attached to that person and the couple breaks up that attachment the child made falls apart and then the child is hurting again. If the new spouse does not make and effort in the beginning before a marriage to be part of the child's life are they really so good for the child?

Children grow up without fathers around all the time. While I do not agree with that, it is what it is these days. A lot of men do not want to take on another man's child either. So they make it very difficult for the mother and make the mother almost have to chose between her child and him. In the case of not having a father around, find someone in your family to be a father figure to your child such as an uncle, older close cousin, grandfather, and even in some cases a family friend such as a friend of your own parents. There is also the Big Brothers and Big Sisters that you can go to and get a older companion for your child that could act as a father figure to your child or even a mother like figure.

You should tell your child of her own father. Explain simply that he was just not ready for the parenting role but he in his way loves her. Just knowing that is enough for now. If her bio dad decides to enter her life or she tries to find him, she can see for herself if he is worth being in her life.

Just one bit to share: My kids lived with their father as primary care parent. I agreed to this because I did not want them to have to worry about custody battles all the time and to have some sort of stability. I was with them a lot. But in dad's house neither dad nor step mom ever treated the kids like they were part of the family. My kids played second to the step siblings and both step moms. So in essence dad was there physically but not emotionally.

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