Meeting his family and the ex wife??

Hannah - posted on 10/03/2016 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I recently moved to Germany to marry my husband who is stationed there in the military. We met about a year and a half ago while he was stationed in California. His ex wife had moved back to his home town with their daughter after the divorce. She's 3 years old. But I have yet to met anyone in his family, nor have I met his daughter. I don't have any nervousness about his daughter, but about his ex wife and his family. Will they compare me to her? I am also 13 years younger than him. Me being 20 and him being 33. And I think she's 30? She also has two kids from another man. So I am not sure how she's going to react to that. Any advice?

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Ev - posted on 10/05/2016

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And also to add to that of Jodi's comments--walking into this situation was never easy whether you met the child before all this or not. You and he did not think of the child at all really. She is the one that suffers the most out of this because she has no choice in all this. Her world was broken once already when her parents split up for whatever reasons. Now she is going to have to get used to a new woman in the picture she has never met before and that is going to be hard for HER. It is about her.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/04/2016

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OK, I misunderstood. I thought his family was overseas.

However, you still haven't really given a good justification for rushing to the altar. Many relationships stay strong without being married. So, your passport was about to expire, then either come home and correspond, or apply for a visa or renew your passport.

Throwing yourself at a child, who will have either no or negative information about you is stressful and problematic for the child. You may have the best intentions in the world, but he went about the whole thing the wrong way. It is simply not acceptable to bring another parental figure into a child's life without introduction and interaction prior to the marriage.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/04/2016

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If he jumped into marriage with you before introducing you to his daughter, the he is NOT being a good parent and putting her first. He put you, and himself before her, and really had no consideration for her feelings at all. Her age doesn't matter. Stellar parenting...not.

It isn't actually going to be any easier if he is stationed stateside either. The REST of his family is in Germany, and I can't see any judge or magistrate being in favor of multi continent custody. You really didn't think things through, at all. Neither did he.

Jodi - posted on 10/04/2016

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I'm sorry, but if he married you without even introducing you to his daughter, then she's apparently NOT that important in his life. I'm not buying it. I would NEVER have chosen to marry my current husband without meeting his children first, (and guess what, his youngest at the time was also "only" 3) even though they didn't live with him.

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Jodi - posted on 10/04/2016

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Isn't asking how to walk into the situation a bit like asking how to ride the horse when it has already bolted? We honestly don't know how they will react. But I know, if I was the mother of that child, I'd be PISSED at the two of you for disregarding the child altogether in this entire situation. So be ready for that.

Hannah - posted on 10/04/2016

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Yes I did read it. And yes, we probably could have waited until I met her. But we didn't and now there's no going back, I simply was just asking for advice on how to walk into the situation, coming from mothers or ex wives. I have never been married before, this is still brand new to me. And he already has. I'm trying to do the best that I can with what I have. I'm still settling into being a wife, and that's a job of it's own. I have no friends out here and I have no family. My husband works all day and sometimes leaves to go on missions for weeks. So I'm struggling over here. I didn't want to upset his daughter or his family. I'm just trying to make the best out of it and get as much information as I can. That's all

Hannah - posted on 10/04/2016

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Actually his family is in the states. He's the one who's is gone. And there was no jumping into a marriage either. We've been together for a year and a half and he thought it was time to get married. I get all of yours point of view but I also understand mine as well. And no, sadly a judge is going to be in favor of her mother. She isn't going to be moving around. But how do you juggle being divorced and having children and being in the military? She'll be with us in the summer? She's also too young to travel on her own even if she was allowed to come here and stay. There's a lot more to it than just rushing into a marriage. I couldn't live with him unless we got married, my passport would only last so long. But I UNDERSTAND where you are coming from. I am NOT A MOTHER. And I won't ever be able to have children of my own. So I'm going to try to be the best one to her when I do get to meet her.

Hannah - posted on 10/04/2016

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You are all correct. I have never been a parent before. But I am all in, and me not being able to have children of my own due to medical reasons made him having a daughter that much better. She is very important in his life, but she also isn't with him a majority of the time. Not because he doesn't want her to be, but due to him being in the military and now stationed out of the country. I came into this knowing that things weren't going to be easy. And I don't think him deciding to marry me wasn't putting her first, more that he knew things were going to need to be adjusted and that she might not take to me right away. I would love her to be here with us, but she is more stable at the moment with her mother. When we get stationed somewhere stateside it will be much easier to have her on a normal bases. But where does it end? She'll be starting school. And we will probably not be living anywhere close to where she is currently living. It's tough. Because how is she really ever going to truly get to know me? It would only be at short times anyhow. I didn't mean to be disrespectful to his daughter or anyone else in his family. We just did what we thought was best to help our relationship.

Dove - posted on 10/04/2016

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When a person becomes a parent... life is no longer about them. Period. The fact that this man ever thought to get married w/out his wife even meeting his daughter is a red flag that I would want nothing to do w/ the man. Then again... my children come first in my life and will until they are all at least 18. Yes, I still take care of myself as WELL... but anything major that will impact them... they come first 100%.

If I was the ex-wife... I would certainly not react favorably to you... or him.

Ev - posted on 10/04/2016

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Hannah--

I can speak in the experience of watching my own two children gain step mothers in as little as 14 months the first time after their dad and I were divorced and then again 6 months after their dad divorced the first step mom to get married again to a second step mother. It really, really turned their world upside down not that it had not been done already. These kids were between the ages of 12 and 14 for the oldest and 5 and 7 for the youngest. Dad decided from those points on to give his attention more to his wives and their children than to his own. Do you know how the relationship is now? It is not good. He has lost their respect. He has lost their trust. He has lost a lot of other things too. He would not spend one on one time with them at all because it had to be the whole family or not happening. They would get in trouble for things they did not do and he would not even listen. So on and so forth. Also he did not know these women long...a few months at most and then got married. Neither woman ever took the time to get to know them on their level and try to really make them part of the family but for the second step mom who had no daughters of her own until she had two kids with my ex. My kids were second rate in the house....Do you think that was fair to them?

Addition:
The current wife and step mom is 13 years younger than their father and about 13 years older than my daughter. I do not think that made much difference.

Michelle - posted on 10/04/2016

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I'm with Jodi, you aren't actually reading what is being written.
Your husband has a child, she should be his #1 priority, NOT you. You both should have taken your time to get to know his daughter as well as the rest of the family.
If you are meant to be together then it would have lasted if you had even waited 2 years! Admit that you were both in hurry and didn't really think everything through, that's why you are now asking about meeting the family and ex wife.
I would say they won't be impressed with the age gap and that you rushed into getting married.

Jodi - posted on 10/04/2016

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You know what? I give up. I can say to you "but it isn't about you" in so many different ways and you still aren't going to understand that when there is a child involved, it actually isn't just about the two of you. It's about the child and everyone else in that child's life AND about the two of you, and the two of you DON'T come first. Maybe, one day, when you are a parent, you will have a better understanding of that. Maybe then you would have a better understanding of how they might all react. We've tried to explain their perspective, but I don't think you are "getting" it.

Hannah - posted on 10/03/2016

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He wanted me to be with him. It's doable to make a long distance relationship work but it's not the most enjoyable thing either. The military doesn't make it very easy to set plans to see each other, and with me working it's hard to get time off. So what we did was the best thing for our relationship to strive and also our now marriage.

Ev - posted on 10/03/2016

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From your post and comments below, I take it you guys did not consider everything. To just suddenly show up as married to him and his daughter has a step mom without knowing the person is going to come as a shock to her. She may only be three years old but that does not mean she does not note changes around her. You should have waited to meet his family and her and got to know the child before getting to become his wife. It is hard enough on kids of any age to have lost their family unit and then to have something like this happen without the gradual changes coming along is a lot for a 3 year old let alone an older child.

Hannah - posted on 10/03/2016

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Now this is how he put it to me. He married me for a reason correct? We had a nice long talk about it. Our marriage is about us, whether they choose to accept it or not. And his daughter is still fairly young. I married the man knowing things wouldn't always peaches and cream, especially since he's in the military. But it's nice to get an outside opinion on things.

Jodi - posted on 10/03/2016

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So you married him without bothering to meet his daughter? Wow, that's a brave move. Personally, I think that is a HUGE mistake if you don't want to be judged by the ex and his family. Put yourself in their shoes....she married my daughter's father/son and didn't even bother to get to know my daughter/granddaughter. Put it in that perspective and now look at the situation.

Hannah - posted on 10/03/2016

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They're more protective I guess. His parents are older, and one his sisters is really close to the ex wife.

Michelle - posted on 10/03/2016

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None of us know how the family will react to you.
Has he said that his family is judgmental?
I suggest you be yourself and see how things go. Not knowing any of you and the situations we really can't give you any advice.

Jodi - posted on 10/03/2016

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Have you already married this man? Seriously, please do NOT marry this man until you have established a positive relationship with his child.

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