Should I continue to push for a relationship between my husband and his son?
October 21, 2012 7:08 PM Subscribe
Should I continue to try to have a relationship with my husband's son from his ex-wife?
posted by getyourlife to human relations (28 answers total)
This is long, so, sorry in advance. My husband of 20+ years & I have known each other since junior high. We dated during our senior year of high school, went to our senior prom and everything. I broke up with him because I was going away to college and didn't want to have a long distance relationship. He told me he'd wait for me. Fast forward to a couple of weeks after we graduated from h.s. and I find out he enlisted in the military. He didn't tell me, I found out after speaking to his mom. I was upset that after professing his undying love for me he didn't even call to say goodbye. Several months later he wrote me telling me he missed me and how he'd like to have someone to write home to while he was away. I was still upset with him and ignored his letter. Some months later I find out from a mutual friend that he and a girl that was now a senior at the h.s. we'd just graduated from, were getting married. I was really shocked and hurt because of his "I'll wait for you" comment.
Anyway, I wrote him wishing him well and good luck in his new life. He and the girl got married, had a child, and had filed for divorce before I ran into him at a random, crowded place 2 years later. I had ZERO contact with him before running into him. We rekindled our relationship. However, now he had an infant son and was a single dad. His ex had abandoned their child while he was on military assignment. Her family was caring for the baby until he returned and took over. He lived with his soon to be ex in-laws while he worked a crappy job trying to make ends meet. One day he got a call from his ex wife's mother saying to come get the baby or he'd be sold on the black market. They also asked him to move out. He had nowhere to go. He and his ex wife decided to put the baby up for adoption. A family that cared for the baby during the day adopted him.
My now husband and I were married a couple of years after he was divorced and have been together ever since. I should say that his ex wife was intimidated by me and the torch she thought my h carried for me. He told me they fought about it while they were married. Anyway, after the adoption was finalized we moved on with our lives, we had children of our own, moved away, we did not keep track of the son they put up for adoption. My husband felt it would be too painful for him and the child and he wanted the child to look for him when he was ready to have an adult relationship. My husband's ex wife tracked me down several years ago asking if my husband wanted to have a relationship with their son. She told me she reconnected with him when he turned 18 and they were very close. She claimed to have told the son that everything that had happened was her fault. She also said their son was upset that his father never tried to contact him through the years.
I immediately told my husband and he reached out to their son. Initially the son never responded. A couple more years past and a couple more ignored e-mails from my husband, before I contacted his ex via e-mail to ask what was up. She wrote me back and flip flopped saying the son never asked about his father and if my husband "tried" their son would respond. My husband e-mailed again and now there was a response. A couple of years have passed and my husband and our children see the son whenever we go back to visit our home town, which happens at least 3-4 times a years. However, when we aren't there I feel like we don't exist to him. I recently friended him on facebook, he accepted my request. I was surprised when he actually wished me happy birthday recently. I thanked him and told him I hoped he was ok, he said he was. I have commented on a couple of his statuses and he's liked my comments. He just posted that he got accepted into a tough college program that his biological mom (my husband's ex) had really been pushing for him to get in. I commented wishing him congratulations, from all of us (his bio dad and half sibs.) About 15 minutes after that his bio mom (my husband's ex) commented about how proud she is of him and reminding him of what they spoke about the other day and how she loved him. Her comment was right under mine. I took that as a warning to me that she is "here".
Later on in the day, I noticed he'd deleted my comment and liked hers! I was shocked. The times I've spent with him have been pleasant. I feel like I am wasting mine, my husband's and our children's time hoping that we will ever have a real family relationship with him. I feel like his bio mom thinks I stop my husband from talking to her. When I e-mailed her trying to figure things out a couple of years ago she said she wanted to talk to my husband about "their son". I told my husband, he said they had nothing to talk about since their son was 21 at the time and had been raised by someone else, what was there to talk about.
How should we proceed? I really had to restrain myself from saying something I'd regret when I saw he went to the trouble to delete my comment. Am I naive to think that since he never tries to reach out to my husband he is just checking a box when he spends time with us? Any suggestions about how to handle this is appreciated.