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Advice Needed about OW, OC, and contact

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Can Not Believe posted 1/8/2020 09:31 AM

Another thing -

DO NOT ASK OR WAIT FOR YOUR HUSBAND to set up child support for your own children.

He has proven to be irresponsible.

YOU DO IT - regardless of his feelings. YOU must look out for you and your children.

He has already shown you that he wonít.

See a lawyer for protection of you and yours. He wonít do it so you are your childrenís ONLY advocate.

Just YOU!

Can Not Believe

northeasternarea posted 1/8/2020 14:42 PM

In some states you can't get a support order when you are living with the other parent.

fournlau posted 1/8/2020 19:33 PM

UPDATE:

Well, we had a discussion about this yesterday, and while he had, from the beginning, made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with OW/OC, even if he was the father (aside from CS), he did admit that he liked receiving those updates because it was the only link he had to a child that could be his.

Here is the problem with that. While I don't blame him for changing his feelings on this (I don't think I would be able to go NC with a child of mine either), I feel as if it turns out to be his child, our marriage is not going to survive.

I don't want anything to do with OC and if he is to stay married to me, he will have to go NC period. Which means that he might end up resenting me later on because I am the reason he did not develop a relationship with OC. We live half a country away now and it isn't as if he would be able to visit often or at all. We are not well off enough for that. A worse possible scenario is that at some point he will secretly contact OW to get those updates, photos, etc. so that he can have some connection. That would be a disaster as it would once again introduce OW and WH having a secret from me and I'm sure she would use it to try and convince him that I don't understand him and his need to develop a relationship with OC and what a monster I am for that.

On the other hand, if I go against what I feel and let him bring OC here, I will most likely end up resenting WH for it. Let's be real here, if OC came to live here for any length of time it isn't going to be WH that takes care of OC. It's going to be me. I'll be the one watching OC, making breakfast, lunch, dinner, entertaining OC, taking care of, watching over etc. And when WH does come home, how much time is he actually going to spend with OC? How much of his time is he going to sacrifice in order to build that relationship/bond with OC. And what is that going to look like? Because whatever he does, it will be more than he ever did with his own children. How is that going to affect my kids? Are they going to end up resenting him as well?

For the record, my children are all older, my youngest is 14 and my two oldest are out of the house already. My youngest daughter is 22 and still living with us because she is finishing up her education. My oldest son is 16 and will be graduating HS next year.

If we go with what WH wants and just wait it out until we are in a better place as a couple, more healed from the A, I don't think it will go as well as he thinks it will. After all, finding out 5 years down the road that it is indeed his child is just going to rip that wound wide open again and we will be left with the same decisions, only having wasted years.

If he decides to stay married with the thought that at some point in the future I will change my mind, that is a mistake as well. Because what happens if I don't? And every year that goes by that I don't he might become more bitter, leading to that resentment. I'm not saying I might never get there, but I certainly don't want to stay married based on that possibility.

Also, if he attempts to have a relationship with OC that means that he will once more be in contact with OW. Communication will no longer be one sided, it will have to become a two way street, after all, they will be co-parenting. I can't be around that! I can't have her in our lives, sitting on the sidelines, sneering at how she has a piece of WH all to herself. And she does, no matter what, if that child is his, she will always have a piece of him that no longer belongs to us, his family.

I suppose I am not as selfless as some on here who would put the life of the child ahead of their own wants and desires. Certainly the child is innocent, but not my responsibility.

WH can't ask me to raise OC, even if it is his. And I can't ask him to not have a relationship with his child if he desires it. I see no way out except that we have to separate and he can have his time with OC without my nose being rubbed in it. Because that is how it would feel if I had to be part of OC's life. A constant reminder of the betrayal, the infidelity, the devastation.

I see no answer here. No way that our marriage will survive. If he doesn't want to see a lawyer then I will go see one myself. Not sure what can be done at this point, especially because we still live together and my kids are almost grown.

Any more advise would be appreciated. Maybe someone has a solution?

The1stWife posted 1/8/2020 20:42 PM

Here is my suggestion.

Since paternity has not been established there is no issue. I would make it clear to your H he is not to have contact unless paternity is established legally.

Period.

If the mother never moves forward you and your H have no issues. He can be left wondering but there is a reason if she refuses to establish paternity - most likely the child is not his.

And then cease all communication. At whatever means necessary.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 4:34 AM, January 9th (Thursday)]

deena04 posted 1/8/2020 21:44 PM

Iím going to take a harsh approach. First off, demand the paternity test through a lawyer ASAP. Tell hubby he contacts a lawyer tomorrow or he moves out. Next, demand child support for your kids now! This one you would do. You would contact a lawyer or use the same one he is and make sure your kids are taken care of first on the just in case the paternity test shows that he is the father. If he does not jump on these things now, heís already telling you he does not want to. Donít put up with it. Tell him to get on it or get out. Right now, he has not done any of the things you are asking. That is extremely concerning to me.

Phoenix1 posted 1/8/2020 22:14 PM

A lot of "what ifs" based on an unknown. You've got to get paternity established or you are going to spin in circles constantly wondering. That is going to emotionally drain you. Tell WH it is a nonnegotiable requirement.

Get legal support for your minor children established. You can take the lead on that.

If the OC is his, you get to decide what boundaries you want regarding OC. Nothing wrong with that, but be prepared to lose the marriage if WH doesn't agree.

I could not have either OC in my life. That's my right and my choice. Xhole is not in their lives either. The infidelity was a dealbreaker for me before I even knew about OCs so it was really a moot point.

Stick to your convictions or YOU will become resentful, but be prepared for potential marital fallout for doing so.

sassylee posted 1/8/2020 22:44 PM

Fornlau:

Please remember, you are getting a lot of advice - much of it good advice - for the most part from members who have never had to face the addition of an OC to their lives. So while the advice to seek legal counsel is excellent, any opinions about how YOU should feel or how anyone else would feel in your position is all hypothetical. I always said Iíd never stay with a cheater, but that was before I found myself married and legally/emotionally entwined with a cheater and here I am 7 years reconciled. So someone could say ďI could never blah blah blahĒ but they donít really know. They know what theyíd hope to do coming from a position where itís not an issue - but unless theyíve been in that position (like Phoenix) they donít really know what theyíd do.

Remember, itís easy to be selfless when itís not yourself involved! I agree with seeking legal counsel. Formally initiate the paternity test. Then, when you have all the facts, you can make the necessary decisions that are fair for YOU and your children, because ultimately, thatís all youíre responsible for.

Hugs Fornlau - this is a very difficult situation with only difficult solutions. I know youíll choose the best solution for your life.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 10:47 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)]

free2016 posted 1/9/2020 04:35 AM

Seriously, you don't understand this "wisdom":
I do not even understand where this wisdom of "WH must take responsibility for OC" comes from.

Why is that exactly? Because my womb is the incubator for my and a man's future child that it is only my responsibility later??? Holy ____! My head is spinning. I simply cannot fathom that type of thinking. Look out women, if you get pregnant and a guy leaves you, you better be 100% sure that you have done nothing wrong to "make him leave" or it's your responsibility and yours alone to deal with the aftermath.

Please do not generalize and apply my comment to every child. My statement applies to the child of OW and MM, born as a result of A. You can argue that WH has responsibility for the child, but to assume and act on it will always come at the cost of his BW and children of the marriage. BW has a right to make him choose where his loyalty is going to be. Is it selfish? Possibly. Or maybe it is just a need to protect herself and find a way to live in existing circumstances.

In difficult situations involving OC, the interests of one party would always be in opposition with another's. Why BW must accept and tolerate OW shoving OC in her face every time she feels like it? There should not be any shame or guilt in refusing to accept OC in your family and WH's life which will of course affect BW as well.
As many have advised, it is better to use a lawyer to deal with OW/OC and refrain from the personal contact.

I also believe it is cruel to push BW to accept OC, even in the form of WH visiting OC, unless she makes such choice in her heart, and not because everyone around tells her that it is the right thing to do and OC has a right to see his/her father. A BW might need years to accept the existence of OC or it will not happen at all and it is alright because she DOES NOT bear any responsibility for OC. OW sets herself, and by extension a child, up for the scrapes off the WHís family. Neither WH nor OW are innocent and understood perfectly well the position of any child born as a result of their interactions. Both parents refuse to act maturely and responsibly, yet BW now must step up and put things right, act nobly, etc.

As to the responsibility of WH, the only one enforceable is financial, and it is not a secret that enough men evade it successfully, if they wish to do so, not to mention visitations and time spent with a child. I am not saying that WH should not pay CS but pointing that the presence of OC must be minimized, if BW wishes so, and she should not feel guilty setting up such boundary.

I love my half-sister (who was the "affair child") - why on Earth would you teach your children shame about that?!?!?!
Sorry for the TJ - that just blows my mind that anyone thinks that way. Talk about making a bad situation worse...

Good for you but you do not know how your mother felt and what sacrifices she made to accept this child, not everyone is capable of it.
Lucky guys in your world - they can be cheating scumbags but the aftermath isn't their problem. Wow. Just wow.

What a nonsense. How did you make such conclusion? Of course, he must pay CS but why is it right that a man starts multiple families and plays a sultan with children/OWs waiting for him, dragging his BW in this mess. I know a guy who is divorcing his third wife, and he has a child with each of his ex-wives, who now compete between themselves for the time he spends with their children. This is humiliating and painful but apparently, if he does the right thing, such arrangements are acceptable in society, because he did not abandon his children. Never mind how his ex-wives or children feel and cope.
A man should have ONE family, OC gets financial support and no communication that BW does not approve, which in some cases means no communication at all. Family traumas following infidelity, particularly the ones involving OC, last for decades if not for life.
Any more advise would be appreciated. Maybe someone has a solution?

I obviously do not have a solution but it appears that an honest conversation with WH could bring more clarity to the way forward. Make it very clear that you might never accept OC and he should not hope that your attitude will change with time, which means he has NC with OC and OW as a condition of your marriage survival. He must make a decision now, considering the above, and any violation of this boundary would be seen as his desire to end M.
Do not worry about his resentment, he already stepped out of the M and was able to justify it. No guarantee that he won't betray again is a sad reality of staying with a cheater. Take care of yourself, of what is best for you and your family. Kind wishes to you!

DevastatedDee posted 1/9/2020 09:53 AM

I get your points and I accept that my viewpoint comes from growing up with an OC whose father abandoned her, but I am of the opinion that the OC is the most important factor here. I'll grant that I also would be unable to stay married to a man who had an OC. I couldn't stay married to him if he was the parent he needed to be to the child nor could I stay married to him if he abandoned the child. Not the BW's fault, not the OC's fault. Infidelity ends marriages all the time without an OC. That is an extra devastating complication that does have consequences for everyone for life.

I don't know how I could respect a man who abandoned his child. I could not deal with continued contact with an OW. So it is what it is. Sucks, but that is a risk the WS takes and the BS NEVER wins in any infidelity scenario.

Pretending the child doesn't exist doesn't make the child not exist. You can't make this not so if this is his child. It's a reality that has to be faced for what it is.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 9:56 AM, January 9th (Thursday)]

Catwoman posted 1/9/2020 10:02 AM

I reiterate that you need legal advice on establishing (or not) paternity so that you know what you're dealing with. ALL of this is speculation at this point since you do not know who the father of this child is.

Obviously, paternity being established as the WH of the OP has far-reaching and devastating consequences for the marriage of the OP and her WS. That goes without question.

However, we've spent 3 pages on this site in speculation, not fact.

Find out first, then deal with the fallout, whatever that may be. Even if the child is not the WS's, infidelity is still an issue in this marriage and will need to be dealt with however the couple determines that will be.

Cat

fournlau posted 1/9/2020 19:04 PM

Update:

I wanted to take some time to calm down before posting again. I understand that what advice I am getting, and the opinions expressed are just that, opinions. However, I can say that some of these opinions have left me feeling judged and as if Iím a monster for not putting the best interest of the OC before my own. I suppose not all of us can be Mother Theresa.

I get your points and I accept that my viewpoint comes from growing up with an OC whose father abandoned her, but I am of the opinion that the OC is the most important factor here.

I will state here that being the sister of an OC is not the same as being the BS. I do put me and my family ahead of what might be best for OC. Financially, yes, while I might hate it, WH is indeed responsible, but he is not compelled to be a father to this child. When OW informed him she was pregnant, he asked her to have an abortion (self-preservation Iím sure). She refused and said she would have the child. He then told her that she would be doing it on her own then since he was not going to leave his wife or his family, nor was he going to be any type of father to the child. She still made that decision. You all can judge him for that, as it seems I am being judged as well, but it seems to me that OW knew exactly what she was in for and decided to go ahead anyway. So, which is the better choice? No father, or a father who only feels obligated with no real interest in OC?

I don't know how I could respect a man who abandoned his child.

Again, this feels like judgement. How could I possibly stay with a man who abandons his child? Well, would it make you feel better if he abandoned his wife and 5 other children instead? It must be nice to sit and judge from the sidelines. My decisions obviously would not be everyoneís decisions.

Setting all of that aside, my intention is still to R with WH and am moving forward the best I can. We had another discussion about this specifically and he did set some of my fears at ease. He, like free2016 stated, made it clear that I should not worry about him resenting me as this was a consequence of his actions and he would never ask me to raise OC. We will be seeing a lawyer next month to see what all our options are before making a decision about whether we will be pressing for paternity (we are not in a good place financially at the moment as WH lost his job and his current job pays less, also, because we moved, I had to quit my job as well) . But weíll deal with that in the near future. I think the biggest issue is protecting our own children. We are also going to change his phone number so she will no longer be able to contact him at all. She will need to go through a lawyer if she wishes to file for paternity, there does not need to be any more contact from her at all. We will also be using a third party to set up CS. This will be a major inconvenience, but doable.

Obviously, there is no good solution, and no matter what, everyone involved will suffer in one way or another.

I do understand that there are sometimes good reasons to use a 2x4 if posts warrant them, somehow it doesn't seem like I do here, simply for seeking the best interest of me and my family. If that makes me a monster, then I guess I'm a monster.

[This message edited by fournlau at 7:06 PM, January 9th (Thursday)]

RosesandThorns posted 1/9/2020 20:51 PM

I completely understand where you're coming from, fornlau. OW could also have decided to place the baby up for adoption, so that he or she could start out with a stable, 2 parent home instead of a heartbreaking situation. No, it is not ideal, but she and WH blew ideal and healthy out of the water when they made these choices.

Free2016 said everything I was thinking, much better than I could have said it.

northeasternarea posted 1/9/2020 21:28 PM

Nobody thinks you're a monster.

If the AP is in the US, all she has to do is go to the child support agency and open a case. No lawyer involvement.

wishing you peace in this very difficult situation.

DevastatedDee posted 1/9/2020 22:24 PM

I don't think you're a monster and I apologize for sounding judgmental. I think all of your options have terrible side-effects and none of that is your fault.

The1stWife posted 1/10/2020 04:45 AM

I hope you find out your H is not the father and then this issue will be resolved.

I wound never judge a situation until I am in it. How many of us here at SI swore we would never stay married to a cheater - yet here we are.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 4:46 AM, January 10th (Friday)]

fournlau posted 1/10/2020 08:24 AM

I appreciate your apology DevastatedDee and I also apologize for my reaction. I suppose I'm a little sensitive at the moment.

How many of us here at SI swore we would never stay married to a cheater - yet here we are.

This is all I'm saying as well. I was also of the opinion that cheating would be a dealbreaker for me. That was before almost 30 years of building a life with WH and 5 children.

I do appreciate not just the advice but the comfort. I don't know what I would do without that!

swmnbc posted 1/10/2020 08:47 AM

Glad to hear that you're on the same page about next steps. You've got a lot of stressors with the move, change in financial situation, and potential OC . . . please be kind and gentle with yourself. Hugs.

DevastatedDee posted 1/10/2020 08:51 AM

I appreciate your apology DevastatedDee and I also apologize for my reaction. I suppose I'm a little sensitive at the moment.

If there was ever a time to be sensitive, this is it. I get it. I have not faced this particular situation, but I can only imagine that it is profoundly difficult for you to even wrap your mind around. It would be for anyone. I don't think that there are any right answers in this kind of situation. None of it is fair to you.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/10/2020 10:46 AM

Fournlau, after reading your update post to me, the answer is crystal clear unlike most questions I see on here.

Get the DNA test immediately so YOU can set your future path. If the child is not his you can try to stay together if you want to. If the child is his, you divorce.

To me, based on your comments, it is clear that is the right path for you (and consequently the OC as well). You expressed without doubt how you will feel if the child is his and how there is nothing workable from all possible outcomes to YOU. It matters not how others have handled it. And itís a good thing your kids are old enough to make decisions for themselves so my only advice is NOT to encourage them to hate/dislike/ignore the OC or put them in the position that they feel they must choose between you or the OC. You donít need to encourage them to contact it but do not discourage. One of my very best friends (who herself became a WW who is reconciled for 11 years now) had an OC for a half sibling and was encouraged by her mother to hate and ignore that child...and it put my friend in a terrible position as she always felt like she would be betraying her mother if she contacted the OC although secretly she wanted to. It bred a lot of resentment and a whole host of other issues for her that she is still working through...and yes, eventually as an adult she has contacted the OC and regrets not having done so sooner.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:24 AM, January 10th (Friday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/10/2020 11:22 AM

Additionally...

I don't mean to be harsh, but the response to this is simple too:

Would it make you feel better if he abandoned his wife and 5 other children instead?

No, it doesn't make me feel any better...but the fact is by having the A he already did abandon his wife and other 5 children. Unfortunately for all victims involved (you, your kids and the OC), your WH's decisions may have ended up having a longer term impact than most affairs do...but that is the way it played out if he is the father.

I think what most people are stating is that the ultimate victim here is the OC and the weight of their concern lies with the child - in a situation where all of the victims deserve a heap of concern. I will admit, mine is too. As the sibling of an OC in my personal experience, your kids will struggle the least with this IF they are encouraged not to take out whatever anger/negative feelings they have from your WH's A on the OC. I love my sister - we are great friends - as she is with my other full sibling and her other siblings from her father and his now ex wife (the OBS - who has minimal contact with my OC-sister except for weddings and graduations etc - is always pleasant and never discouraged her kids from being sister/brotherly towards their half-sibling, and I have huge respect to her for that, even though to this day I'm sure she hates my mother). I cannot restate enough that by ignoring the OC your kids are robbed of the opportunity to know their sibling and that is profoundly unfair to them, heaping yet more unfairness on them from an already immensely shitty situation, which brings me to my next question:

Do your kids know about the A?

If the OC is your WH's child then they should be told, not only so they can make their own choices about the OC but also so they don't get blindsided by that information later...with the rampant use of DNA testing via ancestry etc you would be shocked to find out how many people learn of a half-sibling inadvertently due to online DNA testing (I'm very into genealogy and I know of no less than 7 people who have found out they have siblings and/or kids out there recently - my own Uncle being one of them). But I digress...

The OC has to live/deal with the fact that not only were they the product of an affair, and (if your WH chooses to avoid the child and go on with his life like this never happened) live with the fact that their father abandoned them and that they were not "wanted." Being abandoned as an adult (as many of us on here can attest to) is beyond difficult. Being abandoned as a child is a mindfuck that can have lasting consequences well beyond anything most adults experience simple because a child's ability to reason isn't on par with an adult - not in a long shot.

I have spoken about my nephew (whose father only appeared in his life after the court forced him to take responsibility and then vanished again, never to be heard from since my nephew was about 8) and his abandonment issues have been immense and still are. I have also spoken of my representation of children who were wards of the state, all of which had absent parents where at least one if not both of the parents had their parental rights terminated. Abandonment of a child messes them up and oftentimes creates self-doubt and self-esteem issues like anyone who didn't experience this cannot imagine. I have no doubt my WH having an A and deciding that after 12 years he did not love me anymore and wanting me gone, after asking me to falsely reconcile for over a year, is nothing compared to what my nephew and former clients have felt. It messes with a child's mind in ways that it usually does not with an adult for multitudes of reasons.

Personally, when I read your update, I thought to myself: that is exactly how I would feel, in regards to your inability to stay with your WH if the child is his. I couldn't either, and although yes, I don't think I would be able to stay with someone who abandoned their child simply because I would lose all respect for them, that doesn't matter. The fact is that YOU listed every possible scenario where the OC was your WH's child and none of them seem tenable for your to stay. So be it...you are completely entitled to feel that way.

But please don't think that simply because a bunch of us express equal/more/different concern for the OC means there isn't enough concern to go around for you. There is. And my concern for YOU is that by not knowing the DNA results, you will be living in a form of limbo which will hurt YOU even if years from now you discovery your WH isn't the father. The fact is that you won't KNOW, and that is going to weigh on you until you do, or until you die, whichever comes first. That is NO WAY TO LIVE.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:26 AM, January 10th (Friday)]

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