Just found out my husband has a daughter

surferchicky08January 5, 2010

Hi everyone,

the subject of my post has more info. My husband and I have been married for 4 years but been together for 10. About 5 years ago we found out there was a woman that said he fathered their child, that came to us as a surprise he didn't even know. He started paying his child support and life went on. About a week ago, his daughter contacted him through email and asked if he was her father and if it was ok for her to contact him, since she wanted to meet him. She's now 12. He responded fine and then told me what had happened. He asked me what did I think about him pursuing a relationship with his daughter; I said that it was his decision, that it didn't surprise me that the girl wanted to know who he was. But now my question is, is it very hard to be a stepmom?

I have a stepmom, she called me names and made me feel awful when I spent time with my dad. I know what it is like but I can't help to feel weird about the situation. We don't have kids together yet but trying to concieve for 6 months now. I don't want to be selfish to a child that has the right to know her father, but I had other dreams of having her firstborn and now I don't want my children (future) to come to a second level. I know I'm wrong but has anyone been through this? I need advice. Please. And thank you!

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caphillsm

Did you verify paternity through a DNA test?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 5:01PM
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sylviatexas1

You knew about her 5 years ago, & married 4 years ago.

"I had other dreams of having her firstborn and now I don't want my children (future) to come to a second level"

so what would you like at this point?
your husband should put his daughter at "second level"?

This girl isn't a puppy that he may bring home if you let him;
she's a little girl, & she's *entitled* to her father.

& her entitlement trumps any wife's dreams or fantasies.

Adjust gracefully & find it in yourself to love her.
She can use all the grown-up love she can get.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 6:39PM
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ulrike1

Just to clarify, did he tell you about his daughter five years ago when he first learned of her existence? Or did he just break the news to you now that she wants to know him?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 6:41PM
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surferchicky08

No, we found out of the existance of a child at the same time. He went through DNA testing resulting positive. He tried to find out where the child was but the mother didn't allow communication. Now the child, daughter contacted my husband and wants to know him.
I know it didn't sound good what I posted but all of a sudden I have our lives completely changed and I have fears and questions. Nothing against a child, she's not to blame for my husbands actions or her mother's when they were young.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 7:13PM
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finedreams

I would not want to be with a man who knew he has a child for 5 years and did nothing about it. No such thing not allowing communication, there are courts and visitations, did he file for visitations? I bet you he did not. Not a man you want to build a family with.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 7:48PM
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imamommy

I have to agree with FD, how could he take a DNA test that comes back positive on a child that is 7 years old and just pay his support & go on without trying to have a relationship with his child?

That's a sign of his character right there!!! ~or lack thereof~

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 8:17PM
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justmetoo

Your subject title is misleading. You did not *just* find out your husband has a daughter, the correction should be "I just found out my husband has agreed to meet with his daughter and he did not tell me first".

Cause that's it, said and finished. You husband has chosen to meet with the little girl, his daughter. He made his decision and seems he did not really care what you thought or think. But that's okay, he has a little girl who would like to see him (and him her) and I suppose if you think that will be too hard for you, they can arrange to meet on neutral ground. A first meeting between only dad and daughter might be a good thing to start their relationship.

I don't understand why you state you know what's it's like to be a stepmother cause your had one and she was mean to you and called you names. NO. That's how it was for you, and I'm sorry for that, but that's not how it has to be nor is it how all stepmothers are like.

I hope the meeting between daughter and father goes well for the child, and I hope you decide to give the little girl a chance.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 8:49PM
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mom2emall

I think it is great that the girl wants to meet her father and I am also left wondering why he allowed his daughter to be kept from him. The mom found him, told him about their daughter, and then wouldn't allow visitation but took child support? All seems kinda wierd to me.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 11:07PM
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ulrike1

As I suggested a few days ago, let's help the poster with some practical solutions rather than condemning her DH without knowing the whole story. It sounds like he was quite young when he fathered this child, is that true, Surferchicky? Unfortunately, this does happen--a young woman gets pregnant by a person she hardly knows, she (usually with family's assistance) edges the father out because it is easier, except for the child support. And the young man takes the path of least resistance and accepts the situation, and time marches on.

But Surferchicky, it is good that your DH's daughter has finally made contact with her father--the sooner the better, really. They will have a challenging road ahead of them if they want to build a relationship, but it can still be a good one, especially if SD is able to work through her grief about not having her dad in her life for all those years. Hopefully as she grows older she will be able to understand why he didn't fight for her. (And maybe he will be able to forgive himself too--he will probably have a great deal of remorse about it.)

I don't mean to dismiss your feelings, either. The loss of your dream (and having an intact family, giving a man his first baby, is something most women want) will no doubt make you sad for a while. But really, it was always hanging over your head even if you didn't think about it. And think about your future children: they would want to know their half-sib at some point, probably, so the sooner you all create a relationship, the better.

I bet you will be a wonderful stepmom, as evidenced by the fact that you have experience about what NOT to do. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 12:21PM
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lamom

Surferchiky, I agree with ulrike, I think your mixed feelings about the situation are justified.

It does sound like your DH did his legal duty if not truly fatherly duty by paying child support for a child he did not know and now is open to starting a relationship with that child. It's pretty harsh judgement to come down on your DH without knowing all of the facts about the estrangement from the mother, their relationship if any and so on.

Don't worry too much about any child you have with your DH playing second fiddle to his first daughter. They don't really even have a relationship yet and are strangers to each other. It would be pretty unusual if they quickly developed such a close father/daughter relationship that your child together would be relegated to some lower position in DH's life.

That being said, this girl IS his daughter and DID come first. You did know about her years ago and although you may not have expected her to enter DH's life beyond child support she has and both of them have the right to know each other. Relax your anxiety about it, she may like you both and you may like her. A deep relationship between them will take a lot of time, in fact, if you have a child that might facilitate closeness all around. who knows?

I applaud your DH for doing the right thing. I can understand the other posters thinking he should have played an active father role all along but once again, we don't have all of the facts and it's pretty common for many women and their families to not even want fathers involved especially if there was not a real relationship in the first place. Easy for me to say but just be fair to the girl, flexible with DH because this must be major for him and be easy with yourself. You don't have to be a mean SM like yours was, be yourself and don't forget how it was for you.

there is no suggestion of her living with you is there?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 3:44PM
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lamom

Surferchiky, I agree with ulrike, I think your mixed feelings about the situation are justified.

It does sound like your DH did his legal duty if not truly fatherly duty by paying child support for a child he did not know and now is open to starting a relationship with that child. It's pretty harsh judgement to come down on your DH without knowing all of the facts about the estrangement from the mother, their relationship if any and so on.

Don't worry too much about any child you have with your DH playing second fiddle to his first daughter. They don't really even have a relationship yet and are strangers to each other. It would be pretty unusual if they quickly developed such a close father/daughter relationship that your child together would be relegated to some lower position in DH's life.

That being said, this girl IS his daughter and DID come first. You did know about her years ago and although you may not have expected her to enter DH's life beyond child support she has and both of them have the right to know each other. Relax your anxiety about it, she may like you both and you may like her. A deep relationship between them will take a lot of time, in fact, if you have a child that might facilitate closeness all around. who knows?

I applaud your DH for doing the right thing. I can understand the other posters thinking he should have played an active father role all along but once again, we don't have all of the facts and it's pretty common for many women and their families to not even want fathers involved especially if there was not a real relationship in the first place. Easy for me to say but just be fair to the girl, flexible with DH because this must be major for him and be easy with yourself. You don't have to be a mean SM like yours was, be yourself and don't forget how it was for you.

there is no suggestion of her living with you is there?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 4:50PM
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surferchicky08

Thank you so much for all the support, I really needed advice more than a scolding. I appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out sorting out all these emotions, thanks Ulrikel and Lamom! You have helped a great deal with your insight. My husband was young when he and this girl got pregnant. They only dated for about a month or so, she dissapeared from his life just as fast as she started dating him, he didn't even know she was pregnant. Like I said we both found out at the same time. He tried to contact the mother thru child support enforcement office and they said she wasn't allowing visitations, their daughter would have the choice. He wanted to get to see her, he's not a bad person so please I appreciate people not judging him. I've been next to him through the whole thing and I know he tried. But now his daughter wants to meet him, I think that's great that they finally get to see each other and repair their relationship. So, I really don't know why the mother acted like she did, I cannot say what her motive was but I'm nobody to judge.
I think my fear was that my husband would be so involved with his daughter that he would put our baby plans aside. He wants a baby with me the sooner the better, so my fears are gone. We had a chat and he told me that he wants a baby more than anything. Thank you again to the ones that answered exactly what I needed to know, without passing judgement and with an open heart, you have no idea how much you've helped. Thank you!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 2:48PM
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