My wife and child hate one another.

XoltanJuly 22, 2012

My wife and I started dating in late 2008. At first, she and my son got along famously. When she would come over, he would crawl up in her lap and she would love on him. She would watch him play video games, talk to him about school and the things he enjoyed, they would watch television together. They were great friends.

One night, she kept my son for me to attend a meeting. When I returned to pick him up, she was crying and he was smiling. He had refused to pick up his toys in preparation for my arrival. She made him stand in the corner until he was ready to pick up his toys, which never came to pass. At one point, he told her, "Me and my daddy are going to move far away and not tell you where we're going so you can never see us again!" She wanted to end our relationship then and there. That probably would have been the best decision.

Their relationship continued in this manner for some time. Since I had joint custody of him, the real problems were only on my seven-day visitation. Nothing too bad on my three- and four-day visits.

Well, we decided to get married in the late summer of the following year. Their relationship continued with me telling her to discipline him and not take his abuse and telling him he needed to be respectful of her, myself, and our marriage.

Then, we had a child together. As if flipping a switch, my wife went from victim to tyrant. However, her anger was not focused on him. I endured the brunt of it. We started attending family counseling along with my ex-wife. My son also attended personal counseling. We made no progress.

In 2011, my ex-wfe decided to move with her husband out of state. The initial decision was for my son to remain in this state and in my custody. However, he became aggressive and eventually struck his little brother (ex-wife's son) several times in the head causing a mild concussion. My wife told me that he could not live with us because she would not subject herself to the anxiety or our son to the threat of bodily harm. Therefore, the decision was made for my oldest son to live with his mother in another state.

This caused even more trouble between my wife and child. Now, my son resents her because he cannot live with me and she resents him for the emotional torture he has inflicted upon her over the years.

The custody decision was made in July of 2011. The next month, August, I discovered that my wife was having an affair with a co-worker and long-time friend. Of course, I felt betrayed, but I bore the weight of fault on my shoulders. I told her that it was my fault more than hers because I was incapable or unwilling to communicate with her which eventually pushed her to have the affair. I resolved to try harder and be a better husband and she vowed the same.

Over the following months, I did everything I knew to do, and many of those things were extremely difficult for me. How do you speak candidly with a person who has betrayed you so? How can you trust that person ever again? To top off those feelings, she became more demanding, threatening several times to leave.

One particular time, she threatened to leave and I told her to get out, that it was over, that I would take no more of these threats, and that I was no longer able to cope with her infidelity nor her hatred for my son. That was on a Friday. I worked nights that weekend, and helped her pack during the day with the expectation that she would be moved out by Sunday afternoon.

I got home that Sunday morning and decided to sleep a little before helping her move her things to her parents' house. When I awoke from my nap, she was crying beside me in bed. She told me, basically, everything I wanted to hear. I also told her that, whether he did or not, she was going to have to try to make things better with my son. I also told her that she would have to understand that I may never be able to forgive her her trespasses, and I had no intention of doing so in the near future. She agreed that that would be okay and that she would stay in spite of my admissions.

Here I am just a few months later. My job is relocating me to another city 120 miles from here. My wife is still vengeful toward my son and is very unhappy about the move. She comes up with another plan to keep us at home almost weekly. I have been with my company for nearly eight years, and I have excellent benefits including a stellar retirement. I have no intention of leaving my job and the future it can provide for my children and my wife (if she sticks around).

I do not want to lose my wife, but the combination of her relationship with my son and her infidelity are tearing my emotions apart. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the affair or the absence of my child. I don't know what to do to fix either of these problems.

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Just in case that this wasn't posted by a melodramatic insomniac teen-ager:

Read your wife's words as you wrote them;

"she would not subject herself to the anxiety or our son to the threat of bodily harm"

exactly as it should be...
& where is your concern for your young child's safety?

Read your own words:

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about the affair or the absence of my child."

Where is there any awareness of anybody but yourself?

You have a violent son who has given his young brother a *concussion*, who has tortured your present wife, who punishes everybody in the family, & rather than having him in intensive therapy, you pine over his absence?

As for the affair, people get lonely, people need someone who connects with them emotionally.

& it looks like your only emotional involvement is with yourself.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 12:07PM
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I did say that we have all been in counseling. I think you skipped that part. I didn't mention that he was admitted to a behavioral health hospital late last year.

As for infidelity, how can you advocate that? I am not steeped in self-pity. This post was focused on this issue. It would take me hours to type a post in which I explained the entire dynamics of my relationships with my wife and children. I expel energy units on my family until there are none left. I try.

Why all the I and Me? You attacked me in advocation of my wife's infidelity and sending my son away to a place where I know his care is an afterthought. I wonder if you have children or are even married. You sound like a self-centered twenty-something.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 12:50PM
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I am a Biomother and stepmother. So I have perspective from both sides of the fence.

First off- your wife had an affair. You need to accept it or forgive her. There is no grey area. Trust me I know! My first husband had an emotional affair with a woman, and I was so angry and could not move past it. So hence, my marriage ended.

Now please don't get me wrong, but I know now that it was not the affair that ended my marriage. Because looking back on it I should have solved the real problem. Which was what was I not giving my husband that he felt the need to stray. I am not holding him blameless, but he ended it. He was sorry that he did it. It was my bittereness towards him for what he did that I accept responsibility for.

SO therefore, like I said, you can either work on your marriage and the adtermath of the affair, or you can make her miserable until the point that she really wants to leave you. The choice is yours. Sorry to sound so blunt, but I have been in your shoes.
Now as far as your son. That is all I read in your post was about YOUR son. Now if I read correctly, you have another child with your wife. And apparently you are okay with your first son physically abusing YOUR other child.
When my daughter was born, my step-son tried on numerous occasions to hurt my daughter and his own brother. Physically attacking, clawing at faces, throwing large items at. So my dh and I talked with a therapist about the issue. He told us that he was doing it out of jealousy, sibling jealousy. BUT that he should NOT be rewarded for his bad actions. So, if he did it again, then he would not be allowed visitation with his dad or our family. His dad was not to take time alone with the child away from our family, because that was basically rewarding his behavior. Kids aren�t stupid, and this was the desired outcome he wanted.
So we told him, you ever hit or hurt either child, then you will be considered out-of-control and dangerous to others, and daddy will have to protect the other children from you, and therefore you will not be coming over. With that said, it was the last time he ever hit either child in our presence.
Am not telling you that you need to forget about your son, but you need to make sure that he becomes a responsible young person who has consequences for his actions. I will tell you that if any child, mine or a step were to hurt another child of mine, then there are consequences, and you better be sure as hell that I am going to be pissed at the perpetrator.
It seems to me that you are bitter at your wife for her bitterness towards your son. Perhaps you should allow her to disengage and have two relationships. One with her and your other child, and one with your son. Don�t expect her to like him, and of course don�t expect him to hurt her. It sounds like he is quite bitter at her two.
You also have a responsibility for your other child as well. Do you think it is in the best interest of the child to have divorced parents, because the of the child�s older sibling. Don�t you think that will make your younger child bitter towards the older child AND you?
So, my suggestions are:
1. Either forgive the affair and move forward. Or just end the marriage and save both of you a whole lot of grief. I will tell you that in retrospect from personal experience that letting go of that bitterness and anger will be better for you. People make mistakes, and this is just one of many that your wife will make. And this is from someone whoms ex-spouse had an affair on.
2. Be a part of your son�s life, but because of his behavior to the rest of the family, realize that you have another child to protect and thus must keep them apart.

I hope you take this advice to heart.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:13PM
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And another thought...

Your wife did not send your son away. Your ex-wife is the one who decided to move away.

So it is either your son lives without his mom or without his dad. Unless you had a child with a totally inept woman, I am assuming that your ex-wife loves the son. As a mother, all of my children, the children I have with my ex and with my husband, matter to me all the same.

And please know that to the child, any woman that you are with will always be a part of the problem. Your son will never accept any woman that you are with. As you said, she tried, she accepted him, it was him who told her that he and you would move far away. At that point her only crime was that she was dating his father.

So in all seriousness, if you decide to end your marriage then I strongly suggest that you do not date or have your son hate and be bitter towards another woman. It is not fair to any woman to be put in a situation where she is hated just for being a step. Is it not fair to you? No it is not.

Divorce is a horrible thing to do to a child, I whole-heartedly believe that if you decide that having two parents that are together will always be in the best interest of the child. Think about how your divorce affected your first son, and now think of how you are willing to ruin the life of your other child.

This situation actually makes me sad for everyone that is involved. Esp. the children who did not ask to be born. :(

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:17PM
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Every parent needs to take charge of the children in their home, and you failed to support your wife and exercise appropriate authority over your son, who is clearly out of control. Your wife's anger toward you is very understandable. You can divorce her, but you'll end up in the same situation with any future wife or girlfriend.

My advice is to get more counselling, and try to work it out with this woman. She has certainly made mistakes, but so have you. An affair is hurtful, but so is allowing your wife to live in a home run by a damaged child. You should find it in your heart to remember that she stuck by you while your son wreaked havoc in your household, and that's no small thing. Two divorces, and two children in broken homes won't make your life any better. Letting go of your hurt and anger, and building a happy life with the wife and child in your home will make for a much better life.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:24PM
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"Not a day goes by that I don't think about the affair or the absence of my child."

It sounds like you can't move past the affair and regret giving primary custody of your son to your ex-wife. I agree with icequeen, your wife didn't send your son away. You agreed to give custody of your son to your ex-wife. You made the decision to continue with the marriage after she had an affair. You can only get mad at yourself for making the choices you have made.

"You attacked me in advocation of my wife's infidelity and sending my son away to a place where I know his care is an afterthought."

It sounds like you want someone to tell you that your wife was wrong for cheating on you and that you should not have sent your son away. If deep down in your heart this is how you feel, you don't need to ask us how to "fix" this.

If you can't move past the affair, get a divorce.

"However, he became aggressive and eventually struck his little brother (ex-wife's son) several times in the head causing a mild concussion."

This is serious. You don't mention how old these kids are, but for a kid to give another child a concussion is serious. Like icequeen said there should be serious consequences for this behavior.

Read the posts on this forum. Most of the problems step families have are because the bio-parent refuses to discipline their child. Now, you don't go into any details as to what specifically is the problem between your wife and your son, but is it possible that the problem is you don't want to discipline your son? When he gave another child a concussion what did you do to punish him? If your wife were to post on here, what do you think she would say about your son?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Xoltan, you said

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about the affair or the absence of my child."

Don't for second think that that is not ex cheated on me too, first time 8 yrs ago, second time about 5 yrs ago. Flash forward we are now happily (lol) divorced, 50/50 custody of the kids, and get along fine about 98 % of the time. I have rebounded financially, own my own home again, actually in much better financial position that she is since I make more and spend (a lot) less. I have a wonderful GF of 4+ years, and I also pretty much "got all the friends in the divorce", since she is very antisocial, I have remained close to them, she has not. In other words, things are pretty good for me, I am very happy, so you would think if anyone could "move past" the betrayal of their spouse, it would be me, right?

Wrong....I will never truly get over it, I've come to accept that. For me, I think its not just how she betrayed me, but how she insured that our kids will not have a grounded, safe, secure upbringing like I had (she didn't have that) Don't get me wrong, my kids are ok and have adapted nicely, but trust me I know because I lived it and most of my friends are like this, no matter how good you do "joint custody", it cannot compare to a traditional family when the parents get along, are both involved and act as a team doing what's best for the kids. I think this is where a lot of my resentment/bitterness/whatever comes from.

That, and having to basically not say anything about it to my kids, as much as I cannot stand my ex, I know the worst thing I could ever do would be to bad mouth her to our kids. It's tough though, let me tell you....

Anyone saying you need to just "get past it" is seriously underestimating how hard that can be.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 5:07PM
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Mr. Kroopy,

I was in that situation with my ex. It ate me up inside. I could not let it go. I was extremely hurt and bitter. After I divorced him, I was still bitter. He told me years later that he was sorry that he hurt me. It didn't matter.

But then I began to see that he was wrong, that he was sorry. But where did that leave me, still bitter and hurt?

At that point I made a choice to let it go, it was over and done with. I needed to move on. I had made already made a choice to move forward without him, but I had to make a choice to move past the feelings I had and to let it go, not for him, but for myself.

After TRULY getting over it, and moving on, I realized how truly insignificant it was. He had made a bad choice in having an affair, but I had made an even worse choice in not trying harder for the sake of our children.

In the end, it is not me he hurt, because I eventually moved on... but it was our children who do not have two parents that are together. It is what it is.

I am now madly in love with my dh, who is an incredible guy. I have kids with him as well. And although I know he would not have an affair on me, because he is the type of guy who would tell me what he is missing in our relationship, I realize that if he did, I would need to think not only of myself, but of our children.

Life is short Mr. Kroopy. You owe it to yourself to let go of all the bitterness and hurt. My ex is marrying someone who is literally half his age, and he is doing great financially.

And you know what, I am only happy that my children are benefiting from his prosperity. I could care less about him and his life, but I am happy that my children are happy with him and his new lady.

I was wrong in that when it happened I did tell my kids that their father was a horrible human for what he did to "us". As I grew up and past it, I realized that he did it to me, not to them. I was wrong, and I regret that.

Bitterness and hate is not good for you. Regardless of whether Xolten decides to stay with his wife (which for the sake of their family I hope he does) I hope that he is able to move past his bitterness, not for the sake of his wife, but for his own self and their child.

My dh now was hurt by his ex, when she became pregnant and didn't know who the father was, and then she told him to leave. But he has moved past that, and now his concern is about our family, which includes the children with his ex.

He too hated her for the longest time, to the point he wished ill on her. It was me who told him to never wish ill will on her, because that would not be in the best interest of his kids.

The opposite of love is not hate, but is indifference. That is where I hope that you will be Mr. Kroopy, not for your ex, because she is now an ex and is moving on, but for yourself.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 5:39PM
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" You owe it to yourself to let go of all the bitterness and hurt."

icequeen - maybe I made it sound like I'm sitting around all day obsessing about what she did....I can assure you that is not the case. Just will always be a burning little thorn in my side, thinking about how she completely disregarded me as a person and just did whatever she wanted.

"He told me years later that he was sorry that he hurt me. It didn't matter. "

My ex never has. She can justify anything (umm...yeah having a 9 month affair with a contractor that did some work on our house was somehow completely MY fault...ok), and has not once given me anything that even resembles an apology. I know it would help me to get past it though...because I look at what she did and how I was the one that had to completely turn his life upside down and move out and only see my kids 50% of the time...while she basically just replaced me in her life with another guy (affair #2 dude). In her mind, no big deal....a little different from my perspective.

I know, life goes on and in the end it is what it is...but I have to see this person nearly every day dropping off and picking up the would be a lot different if I could just say F her and forget about her....which is what I will do when the kids are older.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 1:31PM
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I'm bothered by the fact that in the OP, he says that he told the girlfriend/wife to discipline the child to defend herselr. It is not and has never been her job to discipline your child. It is YOUR job as a parent to teach your child to be respectful and it is YOUR job to protect your wife (and your other child) from your child's abuse. In my opinion, your child is probably better off living with his mother since you did not see that YOUR lack of parenting was a tremendous contributing factor to the problem.

I would also agree that it probably would have been best for your wife, if you had ended the relationship "then & there" the first time your son mistreated her... then she may have found someone that was willing to step up and be a partner to her & protect her.

My husband would not stand up for me. We are getting divorced and he still has a child that does not want a step mother or any woman in his life... it wasn't just me like he wants to believe... I'm happy & he's alone. He's gonna start dating & I truly feel sorry for whatever woman agrees to date or be in a relationship with him. God help her if she marries him.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I just have one observation. The fact that your wife had an affair is NOT your fault. It is a decision she made and should take responsibility for, period. If things were not working out, she should have tried to talk to you about it and work it out. Affairs are never the answer.

I've never been in that situation, but I know that I would have a lot of trouble getting over it. However, people who have been in the situation recommend forgiveness, it liberates you. It doesn't mean that she wasn't wrong - it just means you aren't going to carry the anger around with you which is not in your best interest.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:37PM
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