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My husband refuses to acknowledge my children from a previous relationship

Tagged as: Family, Marriage problems, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (9 August 2017) 7 Answers - (Newest, 11 August 2017)
A female Zambia age 36-40, *endy2012 writes:

Am 39 years married to my husband for six years. I had two children before marriage. On of them her dad is alive but is not interested in financially supporting her or co parenting. The other his dad passed on. I hve two more kids with my husband who had none. My husband has no interest in my kids welfare (his step kids). I no longer ask either men to help financially, but i feel my husband cud be more helpful emotionally since the kids live with us. He would never join us for birthdays, never inquire about their heAlth when they are ill, never bother about their school progress, etc. When am in the middle of making decsions and stuck, when i ask for his input he brushes me aside and changes topic. I feel lonely even when am married. Am i expecting too much from him?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 August 2017):

I must add, that it's six years later; and this is still going on!

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 August 2017):

There must have been a whirlwind-romance and a foot-race to the alter; for you not to be aware that your husband doesn't care about your two children.

The first thing that should have come to mind and should have been a deciding-factor in accepting his proposal; was how this guy felt about a ready-made family. Guys don't fake that. You simply over-looked it. Figuring they'd grow on him. You come as a package. He can't take you, and not your kids.

He should have been put to the test. First given time to bond with them, and get to know them; so some kind of emotional-connection could be formed between him and the children. You could have taken their feelings about him into consideration.

I think he's frustrated and resentful that you're asking nothing of their father, if you want to be truly honest.

He's handling it badly, but could he be trying to force you to get child-support?

You couldn't have married him based only on how he felt about you? How were you fooled??? I just don't get it!

I don't think he fooled you. Your maternal-instincts couldn't be fooled whether a man likes your kids. You married first, and this is all hindsight. Necessity and loneliness overrode your better judgement; and you were racing against time. It's not easy to correct such situations. But you have to do what you have to do for the sake of the children. They're totally innocent. The poor things! No matter what age they are. Their ages must be close to teenagers; at least one of them. Teens are aware of these things and able to form opinions. Younger children act-out and develop social-issues; and may become withdrawn. Sometimes they have night-terrors.

What's this stuff about you don't ask either man for anything? It's not for you, it's for the children.

There is no bargaining or negotiating whether the biological-father should pay child-support. It's a necessity, and his moral-obligation. All you need from him is a check in the mail, you don't even have to look at him. You can't make him care about the kids; but he should see to their financial-needs, dental-care, and healthcare. He owes some contribution other than sperm!!!

Now you're married to another winner; who lives in the same house as your two children. Whom he completely ignores.

Now you have four kids you're going to have to provide for; because you cannot stay with a man who does not love your children. That is a deal-breaker.

Both men should be contributing financially, if not morally, as fathers. Marriage blended your families. I hope the kids love each other.

How can he marry you with kids, and not support and care for the children who were already there? Why should those two sperm-donors bring children into this world and not support them? You can't force anyone to love anyone. You can force him to pay child-support for his two kids, and you had better get your act together; and make the other father pay his share.

Without financial help, you'll stay with this guy merely because you can't afford to raise four kids all by yourself. Yet, isn't that what you're doing? You did say you don't ask your husband for anything. So they watch him buy and provide for his children; while doing nothing for them? That makes me furious!!! I'm glad I can't see their poor faces! It would break my heart!

The children come first, and if you have to remove him from the home, and require him to fight for visitation; you are justified. Mainly because he ignores the two other children. That could damage them psychologically for life. Watching him treat his own children differently.

You're asking for advice, and there are children involved in this situation. I go nuts when it's about kids, the elderly, or abused women. This is psychological-abuse; for all of you!

Sorry, but he has to go!!! If he wants to see his kids, when and how often should be decided by the court. To include child-support, and alimony!

You also need to get your legal ducks in a row, and start bringing in money for the other two; because he didn't legally-adopt them. Getting him to support them after a divorce is a long-shot.

I think you rushed into a marriage looking for a father for your kids, and got just the opposite. I think you were putting your kids first, but made a drastic mistake.

My prayers go out for all of you. You'll find a way. You're a mother. They can do wonders when they're backs are to the wall! Just out of love for their kids, they work wonders!

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (11 August 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntIt's rather late to be questioning this. Of course he should care about his step-children, especially if they are under 18 years old. However, you shouldn't have married someone who doesn't accept your children *PRIOR* to marriage.

You've married a man who doesn't care about your children. What are you going to do about it? This isn't about your loneliness; it's about your children being denied care from their stepfather.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (10 August 2017):

No you are not expecting too much from him. But I'm sure he was this way prior to marriage but you married him anyway and had two children with him. After 6 years it's too late to expect himto change.

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A male reader, judgedick France + , writes (10 August 2017):

judgedick agony auntthis guy has some thing blocking him off from you first kids, No matter how little you know someone if they are seen to be sick you will care for them unless you are hurting in some way,

I am not an expert but think he's got a jealous side to him in regard to the fact that you have been with other men in the past, the kids feel this and have gotten used to it and don't expect any warmth from him, it is you that feel it most,

all you can do is be there for all your children, show them that in your eyes all are equal, and let them know you love them all, in the same way, something that is hard even for a family that has all the same father, you know from when you were a child you might have felt closer to your mother than your other sister or you might have felt she was closer than you

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A female reader, like I see it United States + , writes (10 August 2017):

like I see it agony auntWhat a shame your husband is so petty. If you lived in the US I'd tell you to leave him and let him pay child support for the ones he DID "father". It's not fair to your first two children to grow up constantly feeling less loved and less valued than the others, and it WILL affect them emotionally. It will likely affect the relationships they form as adults, too.

I have a feeling your options in your home country may not be so easy, though, and since I don't know if that course of action would be financially realistic or culturally permissible for you. So the second best suggestion I can give you is to let the first two know, as EARLY as they are able to comprehend it, that the person lacking in this situation is your husband, not them. This will probably have to be a discussion you keep discreet from your husband and from your other two to maintain peace in your household, but it's a conversation that needs to happen. What you cannot do is allow him to treat them like second-class citizens and then go on acting, yourself, like it is perfectly normal and OK for him to do that. That will only reinforce to them that they are not good enough and not worthy enough of love from their family members. Let them know that you see it, and that it is unfair, and try to make up what differences you can with your own love and kindness.

I hope this helps you. Good luck and best wishes!

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (10 August 2017):

janniepeg agony auntIt's not too much to expect a decent human being to be more caring about your children. Many parents find it too tiresome to care for two children, let alone four. I think he's a bit selfish to agree to marry you knowing that he would not be invested in your children. Many people, men and women, would look at other kids as their kids, their problem. But a more considerate person would be to tell the truth and walk away, instead of creating more children, and more burden to the woman. You on the other hand, married him and had children with him. Maybe in the hopes that your kids can have a father. Now your kids feel unloved and unvalued. It's better for them to stay with a single mother than to witness other kids being loved and getting special treatment while they are the ones missing the privilege.

If I were you I would not be able to suck it up.

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