Jealous of husband's kids from past relationship


#1

I am recently married. While my husband and I were dating, I learned that he had had two children with a previous girlfriend ten years ago when he was quite young. These children live with their mother in another country, and they are 10 and 9 now. He speaks to them on the phone every few weeks and sees them when he flies to his home country, which is rarely. I was upset when I first learned about them, but I’m not anymore. We have all made mistakes in our past, and at the time he handled it very well (he wanted to get married, was refused, etc. The story is complicated.) The children’s mother doesn’t let him communicate with them very often, and I while I will probably meet them at some point, they will most likely never be a big part of my life. He doesn’t have any sort of relationship with their mother now, except to schedule visits when he is home. She is married and has another child.

I’m pregnant now, and what bothers me is that he had these children with another woman, and so he shared the incredibly intimate experience of birth with someone else. I am having my first child, but he is not having his, and I’m worried that somehow this will taint it for me. It bothers me that he’s done it all before, and so he doesn’t have much interest in reading baby books with me or learning about birth. He keeps giving me advice for problems I have with my pregnancy, and I know that he knows it only because he experienced the pregnancy of this girlfriend, and so I’m jealous. Having a baby is really special and amazing for me, and I don’t feel that it is as important for him, though maybe I am imagining that, or maybe it is just his personality. We have talked about this a lot. He is always very understanding, and our relationship is great in general, but I just can’t get over this. He says that this pregnancy is different, that he was really unhappy when his daughter was born, that he’s happy to have a baby with me, etc. I know there isn’t any way for him to erase his past and so I have to come to terms with it before it starts causing real problem in our relationship. But how do I do that? What should he do? Am I being too sensitive?

I’m also jealous when he communicates with his kids, and I regret that I’m jealous. He is trying to be a good father, even though he is so far away, and I think he should have a relationship with his kids. If anyone is blameless, it is them. He doesn’t usually tell me when he’s spoken with his kids, and since they speak in a language I can’t understand, I have no idea what they’re talking about even if I’m there. I feel left out of this part of his life, but at the same time, I have an inclination to want to ignore everything and pretend like these kids don’t exist.

So basically, I am jealous that he was at the birth of his children (this is the one that really bothers me), I’m jealous that they have a relationship, and I’m jealous that they even exist. What should I do?

Any advice would be helpful, but if anyone else has a spouse who has children, I would especially appreciate your advice. God bless.


#2

ok, the greene monster of jealousy has reared its ugly head, I am a divorced mother so I will tell you how I would want you to handle this as we are suppose to treat others as we want to be treated our selves.

I wrote this letter soon after my ex remarried…

Dear @@@@@

I know that you are new in this family and I wish you all the best that I am able to wish. I am afraid of you though you do not know me and I do not know you. I am afraid that you will not love my kids like I do. That you will not care for my kids like I do. I am afraid of so many things most of all that you will be a better mom than I am and not respect me and that my kids in turn will not honor me as their mother. I know that you will probably see all the mistakes that I have made but I beg you to see the good that I have done too. See how they are polite, see how they are loving, see how they make the color of the sunrise a little brighter and the sunset that much more colorful. I know we probably can not be friends but I beg you let thier father and I be friends if only for the time that we are raising our children and understand when I say “our” I mean you too though I am afraid of what you might do or say. Please treat them as if they are yours, Please love them as if they are yours, protect them as if they are yours and kiss them goodmorning and goodnight.
Treasure their mile stones, and forgive me if at times I am jealous. Understand that they may be bad or good in your company and may even say things that upset you, they are just kids living a broken life so please, please treat them with gentle gloves and call them your own while knowing they are mine too. Please no matter what do not say bad things about me, don’t call me names where they can hear or turn thier little hearts against me, instead work with me, They are part of me this is true but they are also a part of him whom You love so give them your best even when you don’t want to. I know this is hard to do and I may be asking to much of you but they are just babies, Little ones that listen to you.

I wrote also about my promises to her. That I would do all I could to have my kids respect her. I to this day will tolerate no disrespect to her though she was found guilty of abuse to my children who once were hers too.

You married a man with children and as such you also have children already, Get involved and ask him questions about his children, treat them as yours because they are.

as for Your pregnancy I say :thumbsup::D:thumbsup: Just let him know that while this may be his 2,or 3 pregnancy it is your first and have him remember how it was with his first and let him know that it is your first and you need him to be as excited as you are. Did I mention:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#3

I think what you are feeling is NORMAL.

That said, you chose to marry a man with children and that means you need to find some way to protect the children (his and yours) from those feelings. That means that despite what you feel you have to behave as if you don’t feel that way when you are around your husband and the children.


#4

Thanks for your advice. I guess my situation is a little different from that of most step-mothers because I have never met or spoken with these children and I don’t know if/when I ever will. Talking to them on the phone would be difficult because we don’t have a common language, which I guess gives me an excuse for keeping them at arm’s length. Since my husband and the children’s mother were never married, their mother has total control of when and if my husband can see them, and she doesn’t often let him call them or them call him. He speaks to them when they are with their grandmother. I don’t have any real feeling towards these kids, except that I feel a bit sorry for them. I know my husband misses them and is proud of them, and has all the feelings that fathers normally have, in addition to being very sad still at the whole situation. He lived with his first child for six months before their mother left him, and didn’t meet his second child (or even know he existed) until he was a year old, so he has only seen them sporadically for their whole lives.


#5

The funny thing about someone’s good points… sometimes they are also their weak points. So a hardworking spouse can be a workaholic. A woman who keeps a spotless house can be obsessive compulsive. It’s all how you choose to look at it. What you have is a man who is a good father in difficult circumstances. Respect that. It will also work in your favor with your own child. Instead of resenting that this isn’t his first go-round as you are inventing the baby wheel for yourself, be GLAD he knows what he’s doing. Just as you cannot resent the fact he created children with another woman, you can’t resent that he experienced the births with her too. Chalk it up to pregnancy hormones. Realize you did not get there first. But you have the advantage of seeing how he behaves with his responsibility, which a lot of first time mothers don’t get with their spouses.

To be honest, most men aren’t as into the pregnancy as their wives. They can’t. It’s impossible. They’re not the one carrying the baby. They will never be as involved as you are. So that aspect is quite normal. Plus, even as a mother, once you go through it once, you’re not hanging on the book rereading every page the second or third time. You know what to expect.

And believe me, when you are in the delivery room, the LAST thing you’ll be thinking about is the other mother and those children. Especially if you try to forego painkillers for any or all of the labor and delivery.

:wink:

The moment of birth is so wondrous that sharing it together will be an experience that only you two can share with THAT baby. Even subsequent births you share will be unique.

So just sit back and know that in a way he’s proven himself. You aren’t dealing with an unknown quantity. Don’t let your insecurity cause problems where they don’t exist. Enjoy this time and the fact that you are sharing it and married and it IS different for him this time. And this is the child that won’t be taken away from him and he won’t be a long-distance dad with it. You have that advantage. So be generous to the other mother and the other children. Many of those kids from first relationships have a different pain… of watching the imperfect dad they had who now is absent go on to devote himself completely to another woman’s baby.

When you resent his kids and ignore them, you force him to have a very important part of his life completely separate from you. You shut him out. That lessens your intimacy and sharing with him. Work to love them because they are part of him. He will love you more for that.


#6

If you think you are jealous of these kids…think of how these kids are probably jealous of you…their dad is off in a new country and having a new kid that he is going to be actually parenting and living with :frowning: Meanwhile, they see there dad infrequently and are not even in the same country. I am sorry if this is coming off harsh, but I have to say this for the benefit of other women reading this who might be tempted by a similar situation. First of all, why is he living in a different country than his kids? If it is for money or opportunity, he should have been saving every penny to send back to those kids, not taking on the financial responsibility of a new wife and child. And I have to say this…I think it is a little bit irresponsible to these kid’s hearts to have married him and anchor him to a country far away from the kids he has and is already emotionally responsible for. Settling down and having a baby…that pretty much seals the deal that he is not coming back. Again, if I sound nasty, I am sorry, I just have to advocate on behalf of kids who cannot speak up about how much they hurt. And it is not just your story, it is a common story. Yes, I know you said that he told you his wife didn’t let him see the kids…but you have never met anyone else in this story besides your husband. You don’t even know their language or an of the back story. Does any man ever tell a new woman that his wife was a reasonable lady who gave him access to the kids? No, he typically paints the ex as some crazy lady who keeps the kids away, etc etc…there are women who post on this board who are being painted that way by their ex’s. Even if his wife did keep the kids away, he still could have moved down the street and kept his door open everyday to let them know he is there for them. THAT is the sacrifice of being a dad. He could still show up at school events and holidays. A real man cannot be kept away from his responsibilities or the people he loves, even if he has to endure a feeling of being unwelcome or go to court for it.
As far as advice…I don’t know. I think feeling jealous is just a cross you have to bear and I would suggest offering up your pain and insecurity to God on behalf of this man’s kids who go to sleep everynight without their father even in the same country, knowing that he is cuddling another child somewhere out there.


#7

These kids did not ask mom and dad to break up and dad to find a new wife and have new babies. These are innocent victims of grown up’s mistakes and selfishness.

Drop it, jeolousy will only poision you. Realize that those innocent kids were there first.


#8

It is a natural feeling, and it would be good to drop it. One thing that might help is when you feel the pang of jealousy come on, pray for the person you are jealous of. Also, mention your jealously in confession.

My dh was never as excited about my pregnancy as I was. He was excited about the baby, but every little detail of the pregnancy itself, not so much. It’s just not his nature. Now that we have had 4 kids, he can give pregnancy advice to new moms because of his experience. The fact that your dh knows more about the topic of pregnancy than a first time dad, doesn’t mean that he was more excited the first time around. Plus, think of the baggage he may be dealing with. Here he is in a perfect situation, with a baby coming, and I’m sure he is excited (although not like you). But might he feel guilty to feel too excited over this one, when he didn’t feel excited about the first two? Might he be afraid of loving this one more, or something like that? His emotions could be complicated here.


#9

Stop living in your husband’s past, you don’t belong there! My husband had two children by a previous relationship with a woman in another country, and lost all contact with them for 30 years, until the oldest got in touch with us, a few years ago. Not knowing their whereabouts, fate or situation brought on a lifelong depression that affected every part of his life and our marriage, be happy that YOUR husband is not living with that guilt. Your situation is not any different, really, than someone who has married a divorced man with children, your husband just never formally married the Mom. It sounds like they have both moved on, and are now married to other people, so their relationship long ago ended in the past, but he still has a responsibility to his children, would you want a man who does not take responsibility for his children? (That would include yours). Just because he has had children before, with someone else, doesn’t mean he is any less excited about having this baby with you, he is just more familiar with the technical details than you are, and when you have #2, you will feel the same way. It all comes down to YOUR choice, you can take the high road, recognize the other children and show some friendly interest in their lives, or keep playing the jealous victim, alienate your husband and make everyone miserable. P.S. I invested a few hundred dollars in RosettaStone and I am making good progress in understanding my step-children’s language; I look forward to meeting them someday; they have 9 children between them, who call me Grandma and practice their English on me when they call us. Too Cool!!


#10

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