MC session ends with a weird vibe. WW is waffling again despite saying she knows what she needs to do. We exchange some words but she has to run to pick up the kids and I have to go meet the OM. At a pub. So clichť. Mercifully, I get there first. Itís semi-crowded so I find a seat at the bar. He comes in and sits down next to me. Hey, OM. Hey. He buys a drink and we sip in silence. I realize heís not there to do much talking so I begin. Well, OM, never in my life would I have imagined that Iíd need to have a conversation like this. I stressed not just how Iím willing to be flexible but also why. How I canít be the reason his child doesnít have a great relationship with his/her father. Thereís no manual for this, OM. And for you, itís a good thing there is no manual. Everything I read and most people who have offered an opinion tell me to do the opposite of what Iím doing. Thatís good for you because you know what I say is coming from a genuine place; Iím not just doing what society or a book or a website is telling me to do. He asks if I will have this same position down the road. I give him the same spiel I gave my WW, that my commitment will have to be enough. OM, I say, a guarantee isnít worth anything. Iím sure that ten years ago when we got married my WW would have guaranteed that we would never be in this situation. So Iím not going to blow smoke up your ass and guarantee that everything will be fine. All I can do is say that Iím committed. Eventually I can see why he is so quiet. Heís mortified. Wracked with guilt. I ask him, ďOM, I get the feeling that this conversation is harder for you than it is for me.Ē Immediately, he replies, ďBecause Iíve done wrong and you havenít.Ē Hmmm. Good point Ė his best of the evening. But he didnít apologize, so I didnít have to punch him. (This was one of my conditions of meeting. He has no standing to apologize because he has no comprehension of the damage he has done. Maybe Iíll let him apologize in ten years.) He goes into wondering how he can reconcile being happy for the baby with feeling guilt over the circumstances. I mention how this baby just may be the thing that saves my marriage (a notion my WW and I have explored together. If we survive, we agree that the baby will be a big part of it. Long story for another post). If thatís true, then how could he look back and feel guilty? He mentions guilt a few more times. I basically tell him, I know youíre not asking me for help with this but I canít help you. Thatís something you have to work out on your own. Iím well past pointing fingers in the blame game but guilt is internal. Now Iím counseling him. Ugh. All of this, of course, makes him feel even worse because he sees just how magnanimous Iím being about everything while he looks like the villain. Impossible to avoid that, I suppose, given the circumstances.
I tell him that I can be very flexible and committed to a path forward which involves him being a parent to his kid as much as possible. Then I also confess that I have a hard time envisioning my being so nice about it if it goes the other way. This isnít an ultimatum, I say. Itís just that I can barely even comprehend what my life looks like without my wife and children in it. That this has shaped so much of my identity. That my WW leaving me is far more disruptive and damaging to my life than her ďleavingĒ him would be for his life. Iím not telling him this to make him feel badly but I think he should know why Iím struggling to speak so generously about a future in which my ex and kids live with him. I canít even picture what that world is like for me, so how can I comment on it?
OM expresses concern that my WW and I would cut him out of major decisions that impact his kid (i.e. moving for a job out of state). I assure him that we would not do that. Then he says that he doesnít want to get in the way of my making decisions that are best for me and my kids. Sorry, OMÖI donít mean to be rude here but itís way too late for that. What has happened will put tremendous restraints on my ability to make those kinds of decisions. Even in the best of circumstances my life and the life of my family will be unimaginably more complicated because of these additional entanglements.
He asks why I wouldnít let him see my kids. (He says that hurt him. Poor guy. Wait until someone impregnates his wife. That really smarts). I explain. Heís excited to be a dad but canít imagine how he can be a father if he isnít in a relationship with the mother. Welcome to the club, I basically say. He says he never wanted to have a family like this. Welcome to the club, I basically say. What am I going to tell my mother, he asks. I donít know, OMÖthe truth? Towards the end I tell him, look, if my goal tonight were to make you leave feeling like you were a terrible person, Iím pretty sure I could have accomplished that. I have some good ammunition here. Yet that wasnít my goal. I didnít say anything for the purpose of making you feel badly. ďOh yes you didĒ he says. Untrue. When I tell you how much my family means to me, thatís not to make you feel guilty. Itís to reinforce that those are the principals which inform my desire for him to have a strong relationship with his child. If you feel guilty, thatís on you, not me. (Basically, my point was that I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. But you feel guilty because you ARE guilty.)
He tried to be sincere. He was certainly guilt-ridden. Yet he still doesnít grasp what he has done. He says he gets the feeling that I donít think his and my WWís feelings for each other are legitimate. I tell him that I presume they must be or that at least they have convinced themselves they must be. Cognitively, though, I have a hard time grasping how this could have happened given the brevity of the affair and the infrequency of their outings.
Basically, Iím rather ambivalent about our conversation. The entire dialogue revolved around the assumption that my WW and I will try to work it out. OM says that this is what he wants. I think heís being a bit of a martyr here because there are certainly things he could do to help us do that. For example, he could tell my WW that he is doing the difficult but proper thing by forever foregoing any kind of romantic relationship with her. That would be a great start! Iíll mention that to him sooner rather than later. Instead, he told my WW that he feels a bit better and that I seem like a really nice guy and that he hopes we can be friendly to each other someday. I mentioned that last part to him myself. Not because I feel that in my heart today (far from it) but because I think it would be best for the kids if they saw us at least respecting each other, if not the best of friends. Some final words. Meeting over. No shaking of hands. I tell him I could be flip and say something like, letís do this again sometime. Iím wonít, though, because we actually are going to have to have this meeting many, many times over the next 18 years. Thanks for meeting me, he says. The end.
The encounter took about 90 minutes, 30 of which consisted of speaking. He was the one who really wanted to meet so I was surprised he didnít have more to say. It turns out that he was skeptical of what my WW was telling him about how I wanted to handle things. He needed to hear that from me. It was a good thing we were seated at the bar. He had no interest in looking me in the eye. He stared at his drink most of the evening. We were facing the same direction, though, so he didnít have to be obvious about it.
Was there any positive take away from our meeting? None for me, Iíd have to say. Maybe because I did most of the talking. If anything, I feel a little worse because the obvious has been confirmed: he is unwilling to fully take responsibility for what he has done. At least right now. I donít know what the next step is, if there is one. With paternity still not 100% settled (scientifically, anyway) this all seems premature. I didnít intentionally bring down the sledgehammer in terms of making him feel guilty but it appears that happened as a matter of course. Itís actually more effective that way, I believe.
Thatís all. I donít have much of a point for the post other than simply relaying the details of the conversation. I donít know if/when we will meet again or under what circumstances.
Please, please, please, try to step outside of yourself. You can have the best intentions in the world, but your situation involves three adults and, frankly, two of them are bat shit crazy with horrid morals. You have no control over your situation. Are you really ok with signing you and your kids up for an unstable, unpredictable, crazy life?
I totally get your intent but you can not control or even predict CRAZY.
Your wife called you a 'stepdad' to the lovebaby she and OM intentionally created. That is sickening
No, it's not. I am the stepmother to the child my husband created with his OW. My husband's acknowledgement of that (OW won't acknowledge that I have any connection to her precious) is not "sickening". It's validation that he understands that I am connected in some way to the child he created with another woman, and that I do indeed have a role in his relationship with OC (even though he is currently NC). Now, if he were to sit there and tell me it was none of my concern, that OC was "he and OW's baby", NOT mine, now THAT would be "sickening".
Strange, reading through these responses, please keep in mind that an "OC situation" is exactly like a "cheating situation": you don't know what you'd do, until you've been there.
We can all sit here and say we'd leave, but I'm pretty sure that Pre-DDay, most of us would have said we'd leave if our spouses put us through half the stuff that they have. Had you asked me 8 years ago if I would have stayed with my FWH if he had cheated on me, I'd have laughed in your face. If you had told me I would stay after he cheated and created a child, I may have thrown my drink in your face.
SAF, coming from an OC situation, where I have spoken to the AP several times, I could only dream of having conversations like the one you had with OM. Instead I am met with a woman (I can barely call her that, due to her immaturity that knows no bounds) who would rather rub the details of their sexual escapades in my face, and assert that FWH preferred her to me, than speak rationally about the welfare of her child. I think the fact that you were able to meet and have this discussion is a good sign that this dynamic may one day work out.
The only variable left now is your wife, who I honestly do not think is showing true remorse, but I am here, behind a keyboard, and you are there, so only you can truly be the judge of that.
[This message edited by Want2help at 6:48 PM, February 9th (Sunday)]
Sending strength and wishing you peace in the midst of the chaos you are going through.
WW takes no responsibility for what SHE has done.
And here we have SAF having to assume the entire responsibility load. Not only that, but he us doing so while allowing WW and OM to continue to have no responsibility.
I think there is something terribly wrong with this picture.
Why haven't you drawn a line in the sand with regards to your WW and NC with the OM? At this point, there is no proof of paternity (he could be shooting blanks, for all you know) and there is no legal reason for him to be inserted in your life. None. NC would be helpful for you WW to grow up and stop this ridiculous Three's Company fantasy where you all raise the child of her OM. If there is one thing she should do for you and for your marriage, it is that.
From personal experience, allowing your WW to take no responsibility for her actions and to experience no consequences does no one any good. Been there, lived that. Lived through more affairs as a result.
Look at this through your WW's lens: she gets to have clandestine contact (and who knows what else) with OM, she gets the new and improved version of SAF and she doesn't have to do anything to have her cake and eat it too. Such a deal.
A successful reconciliation requires being all in. Right now, she has taken a toe in the water stance and you are permitting it, validating her behavior by trying to out-nice her into staying.
Until you know for certain this child is the OM's child, I would require your WW to have NC with him. In fact, until the child is born, you can communicate (if necessary) entirely through your attorney.
Based on your conversation with the OM, I wonder now if he would be amenable to signing over his parental rights (if the child is his) and allowing you to adopt the child. He seems woefully lacking in maturity. Perhaps him thinking about how he explains this situation to his family or to a woman with whom he develops a close relationship will show to him that perhaps it is time for him to do something completely unselfish.
OM and a future relationship haven't even been discussed here. So you have two children of the marriage, the OC (who will be different by virtue of his having a relationship with a parent and his extended family with whom the COM do not have a relationship. What happens when the OM gets married and he and his wife have their own family and they want more (or less) parenting time with the OC.
I am of the opinion that the Three's Company scenario is doomed to failure and I encourage you to determine paternity at the earliest possible time and to get good legal advice as well as good IC before committing yourself to travel a path that may be very painful for all parties involved.
Thanks for the update.
Your wife does not deserve you.
Her "love" child will not deserve you.
The OM definitely does not deserve.
And before you try respecting the OM for the sake of your kids.
I think your wife and the OM need to learn the definition of respect. They have shown you, your kids, your marriage and themselves absolutely no respect.
7 year olds have made better decisions than they have.
I would just like to add that I think you are completely misreading your WW's and the OM's "guilt".
When another woman takes your husband,
sometimes the best thing you can do for
yourself is to LET HER HAVE the worthless
OC born 2001
Remarried 2008 (New Guy)
Her "love" child will not deserve you.
I don't understand what you mean by this. Every child deserves to be in a stable, loving family no matter the circumstances.
Perhaps I misunderstood you.
I know you don't want to 180, that you think it will drive your wife away. Maybe it will. If it does, she's not your wife in the first place. You can't nice a person back into a marriage. You say it's because you want to be with your children, but what happens when she does this again? When she takes off for this guy again (although I should say still, because she is still involved in an affair. She's still communicating with him.) and decides to divorce down the road? You still don't get the happy family, you've just added another layer of disfunction.
It's sad to see her so narcissistic as well that she won't cut out contact FOR YOUR CHILDRENS SAKE. She is choosing OM over her children. She does not care about her current children. She is NOT being a good mother. To become one again, you know what she needs to do.
I hope you find your anger soon, because you are such a caring person. To see you treated this way is terrible. I am so glad you made an appointment with a lawyer, maybe this will give you a path to take. Don't forget to drink water, and take something to help you sleep. Sending you courage.
I would strongly recommend based on your conversation with OM that you quit assuming it's his. He is scared as F that he is going to be a dad. If given the opportunity to duck and run he will. I really do believe this.
So if all goes well, you have a 3rd child, and you raise it as yours. Awesome. But what about her. Your Wife? She isn't showing even an inkling of remorse, and has some serious F'd up thinking, and if you do not force the issue of her dealing with her need for attention, and being the center of the universe I am afraid you will muddle through this, and life with her will be ok, until she decides it's not, and has another A.
We all want to make it work, but if you ask us 9 out of 10 of us, will tell you that its truly up to the WS to heal themselves to feel safe, and secure in the fact that they will not do this again.
In most situations we say MC isn't going to do any good if the WS isn't clear of the fog, and I tend to agree with that, however I think in your situation there is so much to deal with it could help. But I also urge you to make her go to IC, and would consider her going to the MC so you know that she is going to directed down a path of truth. Many WS's are not helped in IC because they are not truthful, and a new IC doesn't really know what the situation is.
Wishing you much luck and strength. Force the paternity test issue, and get it done sooner than later, this is going to help you set the table for R.
[This message edited by cliffside at 10:18 AM, February 10th (Monday)]
One thing that is worse than having to *share* your kids, is remaining married and having to *share* your spouse. And that, my friend, is the exact scenario that your WW is proposing to you. It doesn't matter how big-hearted and magnanimous you are, not one of your proposed *solutions* to this issue is going to work for you (long-term) until your WW gets *on board* with you and sees OM as the interloper that he truly is.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
Just a quick question, and you don't have to answer if you don't want---but how much of your mindset has changed...if at all...since you first posted here?
I only ask because you seem so predispositioned on this matter. I just want to make sure that you are being as subjective as possible.
We want the best for you, and will support you, but we are also going to continue to drop the hammer of opinion...especially when it flies in the face of what many of us would consider "normal" behavior.
COMMITMENT--Where is your WW's commitment to YOU? What do you see, other than your past with her, as reconcilable material?
Unlike you, I have the luxury of breaking things down in your situation. So, for a moment, put aside the OC, and for arguments sake, the child's father. What is she doing to show her commitment? Isn't this where it really starts?
I credit you with your strength, even if you feel weak. But please be as open with the advice you have been given as humanly possible. Don't sell yourself short. Good luck, friend.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
First, sympathies for the horrific situation you and your kids are in. It is terrible.
It is strange that you are willing to believe that this love child will heal your marriage. I hope you are right and we are wrong.
But I urge you to see merit in jb3199's post. Your wife, despite all your protestations that she is showing remorse, has zero commitment to you or frankly, your kids. That is not a personal attack on you. I know, and I understand, why you wish to think it is true.
She put one bullet into your family's heart. What on earth makes you think she is anything but biding time waiting to fire the next one??
It all sounds so do-able but, only IF it all goes according to the plan. What happens if somebody decides they don't want to? What happens when your children start realizing what their world is really all about? Anyone here who has been through the teenage years will attest to the difficulties that are encountered just through NORMAL adolescence. You have so much more dysfunction than you are even allowing yourself to believe and you have yet to realize that YOU cannot control this mess.
The other two adults in this situation are so messed up, they are allowing you to plot the course. Do you have a plan B for when somewhere along the way either one of them deviates from it?
From what I am seeing on this thread is that every decision you are making comes from fear. The very real fear that your life is not going to play out like you had planned. Fear of abandonment? Fear that has allowed you to believe that this can all work out and even make your marriage better. Can it work out? Of course. Anything is possible. The probability though is something you really need to think about because, despite all of your very good intentions, there are so many ways that this can and probably will backfire on you.
I hope that the meeting with the lawyer will give you some confidence to know that you don't have to put up with this mess just to keep your children living under your roof. I fear that your staying with your remorseless WW and, her lover, is only setting you up for only more heartache in the not so distant future. I hope I'm wrong. Using unconventional methods to reconcile is another way of saying I'm just taking a shot in the dark.
Sorry. But you can put as many explanations around it as you want. You're attempting to build a family with a wife who doesn't love you or respect you. You want a life like that? The next 40 years of wondering who she's fucking? A life where the other guy is peeking his nose in (and, probably, his dick, too) whenever he wants? Really? That's the family unit you want to project to your kids? Give me a break.
This notion that he would have your kids and wife 50% of the time - it's a common theme for those who divorce. No one likes that arrangement. But you know what? The other 50% of the time your kids are with YOU.... 100%. In a stable, loving environment with a Dad who has principles. In a home where people actually love each other - where your kids can see what sanity really looks like. Where they don't have to wonder why Dad cheapened himself by allowing such a ridiculous arrangement.
Telling your wife to get out is the best example you can give your children. Not because she cheated - we've all been through that. But because she doesn't respect you. And a life with a spouse who isn't remorseful is sad, indeed.
I'm sorry for the nastiness but, man, you need to stick up for yourself and your kids.
On the working assumption that you're for real, good luck as you will need it.
I appreciate your posting here. But this is the second time someone has publicly doubted that this is really happening to me. Please, if you have doubts then please keep them to yourselves. I don't need a thread hijack as people place their bets as to if I'm telling the truth or not.