I realize that this website is for Stepdads, but I am looking for all the advice and help I can get.
Okay, here goes.
I have a 3 year old daughter with a married woman. She also has 2 other children (6 and 8) with her husband. Her husband does not yet know that the daughter is mine. The woman and I are talking to a therapist right now trying to figure out what to do.
My question is this. I have a close relationship with all the girls. If she gets a divorce and marries me, I will be the older two children’s Stepdad. Should I expect them to begin to hate both their mother and I and lose our close relationship, feeling betrayed? Also, I’m concerned about the husband as he is a nice man as well, but they love to play with me more, I think. I love to do crafts with them, and games, and be silly. He’s a good dad, but I’m not sure they play a whole lot together, just because he doesn’t have that personality maybe. I’m concerned on how to help make him feel connected to them and vice-versa. It seems wrong to not play with them a lot like we love to, but I also don’t want them going back to him and saying, “We froze bubbles and made forts, etc” if that is just going to make him feel more replaced. Advice? – James
You’re putting your concerns in the wrong place. How her husband relates to the kids is unimportant compared to the bigger issue. There’s much more going on than you seem willing to accept.
What if you were in her husband’s shoes?
- Your wife cheated with another man
- She had a child and allows you to believe you’re the father and bond with it
- She leaves you to be with the guy she cheated with –and takes your children with her
And you are worried about how to help him be a better father?! I’m baffled by the way you’re thinking. Consider the situation: You’re breaking up a family. This assures the father will see his kids less… then you write “I’m concerned on how to help make him feel connected to them …” That’s nonsense! What do you think breaking the family up will do? It certainly won’t help him feel more connected. Good men build strong families –they don’t destroy them. If you were truly concerned you wouldn’t have created this situation.
Cheating With His Wife
Expect him to be devastated when she tells him. He’s about to find out the person he should trust the most completely betrayed him. If he isn’t hurt he’s not human. Expect him to be unpredictable and probably furious. To him you will be a constant reminder of the destruction of his family. How can you possibly think you can manage that? It’s irrational to think you can manage this situation –or that he’d be willing to listen to your parenting advice. Why would he? You’re not suited to be a responsible dad or a good role model.
You’re not thinking rationally. You actually believe you can manage this situation? That’s like expecting not to pay a price for tossing a grenade into a busy restaurant. You’re trying to figure out how to make it go smoothly. It won’t! What if the man who destroyed your family tried to tell you how to relate to your kids? What would you say to him? Don’t expect this man to be interested in anything you have to say.
What About The Girls?
Your actions show you care more about your wants than the needs of two little girls. Family is the foundation of childhood. It’s a constant children rely on. Even if they’ve always had just one parent –it’s what they regard as normal. Consistency helps kids develop emotionally as they become adults. It give them strength and balance. Because of you they have to witness the destruction of their family. They will see the people they rely on most go through incredible turmoil. They will suffer emotionally and be forever changed by what you’ve done. And you’re worried about how to make their father behave the way you think he should!? Your attitude is arrogant, Narcissistic and superficial.
These little girls are six and eight- old enough to understand and feel the terrible sense of loss that comes with divorce. Do you honestly think they won’t figure out that you’re the cause? You won’t be able to keep it a secret that you’re the father of their baby sister. They’ll eventually work out the math and realize their mother was cheating with you. Don’t expect them to like you now… and expect them to hate you as they get older. You’re the man who destroyed their happy childhood.
It doesn’t matter how you try to justify it, helping break this family up is evil. You and this woman have created a horrible situation for the kids and their father, but you only seem worried about yourself. This woman should be seeing a therapist but NOT with you -with her husband. You’ve brought destruction and despair to these kids’ lives. You have the opportunity to try and become a better man. Walk away. You say he’s a good dad. So let him continue to be your daughter’s dad. Leave this family alone. Without you they may be able to recover. The girls will be able to be with their father and this family will have a chance of survival.
Understanding Your Actions
You are destructive to other people’s lives and you don’t even notice. That concerns me. You don’t seem to have any empathy for the people being hurt by your actions. You’ve probably been in this pattern most of your life, so maybe you don’t realize your behavior is unusual. Consider being assessed for Narcissistic or Histrionic personality disorder. You’re hurting these children. You’re destroying their family. This man’s wife is a willing participant but it doesn’t change the fact that your actions enable this destruction.