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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
My husband has a child with another woman
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Alors_on_dance posted:
My husband has a daughter. She was 5 when I met him. He doesn't want anything to do with her and I thought I could handle it, but I can't. I'm young, I didn't really ever think about what it means to have children, now I'm thinking about my own and i realize what he is doing to her (she is 9 now). I can't convince him to see his child. He was very young when he had her and really didn't want her. Now please don't tell me my husband is wrong etc, I know that myself! My problem is that she is on my mind constantly and I would really like to meet her and hope that if I establish the contact, he might come around, too. It really bothers me to be married to a man like him. But he has been a great husband to me. What can I do? Is it weird if I try to contact his ex?
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queston responded:
I don't really see how you contacting her could possibly end well. You knew when you married him that he had a daughter that he didn't see, right?

For the sake of the child, you or your husband should absolutely not get into contact with her unless is is part of a life-long commitment to be in her life. Right now, it seems extremely unlikely that your husband is there.
 
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Alors_on_dance replied to queston's response:
Thank you for your opinion. When I met him years ago he said he feels really bad for not seeing her, but back then I didn't encourage him. I was young and really didn't think about kids at all. Now the last time we talked he said it would be extremely awkward if he contacted her because they have not been in touch for a long time. She probably doesn't even remember him. So he said if I can find a way to make it less awkward, he's willing to see her. What if this is the chance for them to get back in each other's lives and I just let it go? Obviously I wouldn't contact the girl, she's only nine, but the mother and let her decide, what is best for her. But you think I shouldn't?
 
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queston replied to Alors_on_dance's response:
Well, obviously you know your husband way more than I do. But I see a distinct possibility that he feels guilty about not being in her life, he realizes that you disapprove, and he's saying what will make both him and you feel better about the situation.

Or maybe he's really committed to being in her life, I don't know. But I think it'd be best not to make any contact until *you* know. And it'd probably be best to wait for *him* to be the one to make contact, which he probably wouldn't ever do if his heart wasn't truly in it. If I were you. I'd continue to talk to him about it and encourage him, but you can only lead a horse to water...
 
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darlyn05 responded:
Has your husband ever been involved with his daughter in the past, like for visits or parental decisions? Does your husband pay child support? I'm assuming from what you have written that your husband has had no contact with the childs mother for many years.

I agree with queston, it really truly is not your place to do anything other than talk with your husband to better understand how he genuinely feels about having a commitment to being involved in her life from here on in/out. Let alone how he genuinely feels about or towards her for that sake alone.

And again, as queston mentioned, I can see how detrimental this would be for the girl/child. Something like this should not be considered on a whim or some notion or illusion that it would be fun to do, something nice to do, a hobby or fleeting fancy. Like looking through rose colored glasses, a situation like this is not a bed of roses or petals. You'd be opening up a door to a host of situations, not all of them pleasant. And the blended family, step-parenting, bio-parenting, etc... The maturity level of all the adults should be considered.

Hope this helps.
 
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fcl replied to Alors_on_dance's response:
Don't do it. This is HIS responsability, not yours.

"So he said if I can find a way to make it less awkward, he's willing to see her."

This is a very wishy-washy reaction. He sounds as if he said it just to get you off his back. If he's not willing to make contact like a grown-up then he isn't ready to make a committment towards his daughter. You do not enter this kind of contact lightly and if you can't make the first move yourself you are either not sufficiently motivated.

"he said it would be extremely awkward if he contacted her because they have not been in touch for a long time. She probably doesn't even remember him. "

This is where I get cynical. I really hate to say this but ... could it be that he hasn't paid child support for his daughter and that he might be afraid that his ex would either decide that she wants child support now (because she never asked for it) or go after him for back payment? (if he should have been paying?

Either way, the first move has to come from him and you should fully support him if he does. However, if you make the first move and then little comes of it, just think of the damage that could be done to the little girl ...
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.


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