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Don’t know how I should feel

Jk2020
Community Member

Hi.

When my husband and I first started our relationship he told me he had gotten another woman pregnant years earlier. she didn’t tell him until the baby was born and she didn’t want anything to do with him. It was a shock and I seriously questioned wether he was the right man for me. We eventually married and now have children of our own. I am also now pregnant with our 3rd child. Then suprise- the “secret” child (now in her teens) has found him and contacted him. I knew this would happen one day, but not now.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. One minute I’m trying to support him and the next I feel like I hate him for putting our family through this. I also think this child has a right to know her biological background and so I am torn and very emotional. It’s really getting me down, and I feel the joy of having a new baby has been taken from me. I start to feel ok, and then as soon as she makes contact again, the emotion and anger all floods back. I want him to do what he feels he needs to do regardless of my feelings but I’m just so confused, I’m not sure how to support him but look after myself and pick myself up and move forward.

6 Replies 6

missep123
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jk2020,

I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this challenging time. It sounds like on the one hand you are trying to be as understanding as you can but on the other hand a lot of emotions and anger arise when the child is in contact.

It sounds like you must have carried this on your shoulders for a long time. From my experience I always know what's happening or what to expect so when something unexpected gets thrown in the mix I find it hard to cope or it really throws me off. What has really helped me is to make sure I take care of myself, have a cup of tea, go for a walk or listen to music when I can feel the emotions starting to rise in me. Is there anything you like to do to help you relax? I also have gotten into mindfulness and meditation which helps us accept what is happening and letting our negative emotions go.

May I ask if you have thought about seeing your GP and being referred to a mental health professional? The reason I ask is because mental health professionals can understand what is happening and provide useful skills to use in this difficult situation.

Here for you

Jk2020
Community Member

Hi missep123,

i have thought about going to a gp. I have a couple of pregnancy appointments coming up so I might mention it then. A bit of extra support can’t hurt. I’m worried about the stress effecting the baby/pregnancy. I don’t know if there ever would have been a “better” time for this to come out, but I just wish it didn’t have to be now.

Hi Jk2020,

I think that's a great idea! Do you have a good rapport and relationship with your current GP?

I agree, a bit of extra support can't hurt!

I like the way you framed the situation by saying that you don't know if there ever would have been a 'better' time for this to come out, unfortunately we can never foresee what is to happen and when. I think it's a great first step that you've reached out on the forums. We are definitely here for you!

SarahZ
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jk2020,

Hope you are feeling better these days! I can't imagine how overwhelming all of this must be for you, especially being pregnant with your third child (congratulations by the way!)

Have you talked to your husband about how you are feeling about all of this? Potentially communicating with your husband how all of this is sitting with you might alleviate some of your burden and tension?

I agree with missep123 - whenever something extremely unexpected occurs it is always more difficult to cope with. I think getting some additional support will be helpful and ensure you don't over stress yourself or the child out.

Wishing you all the best x

Jk2020
Community Member

Hi Sarah,

I have talked to him on a number of occasions, I feel like he can’t understand my point of view. He can’t put himself in my shoes. Every time the subject is brought up it seems to end in an argument. I hate what this is doing to our relationship. I get upset or defensive when he refers to the child as his daughter because I feel like he’s not her dad If he hasn’t been there for any of her life. I feel like a dad is someone who’s there for you regardless of biology. And in this case he’s merely been a sperm donor. And just because they share some DNA doesn’t mean they will have this instant bond. It feels like a betrayal to me and our kids. I don’t have any anger towards this girl but life was much easier before this all happened and I’m not sure that I can take this challenge on. He sees that as though I will never accept her. How can you ask someone to just accept another person when you haven’t even met them & don’t even know them? It feels intrusive to my family and I’m not ready for the dynamics to change. I like things how they were. I feel almost as though I’m grieving the life I knew and nothing will be the same again.

SarahZ
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jk2020,

Thanks for replying and keeping us updated - it means a lot.

I can't imagine how difficult and frustrating this must be for you; it sounds like an emotionally complex situation that is taking a toll both on you and your husband. I can see how you feel your husband is betraying the family you share, a sudden change in family dynamics is never easy and always takes a long adjustment period. However, potentially after sharing kids with you, and creating all these wonderful memories, your husband has realised how important it is to rekindle his relationship with his other child? From what I read (just my opinion), it does seem like that the only way to overcome this is to accept the change unless your husband is willing to stop his relationship with his other child. However, even as you said, you want him to do whatever he feels he needs to do. Undoubtedly, this process of acceptance and readjustment will be long and emotionally taxing. Give yourself time to grieve, cry, and let your frustrations out about the "past" times . Keep all your closest support systems close by and let them know what your are feeling, why you are feeling like this, and how you might plan to move past this ( parents, siblings, best-friends). Once you gradually let all these feelings of anger and resentment out, focus on progressively pooling all your energy together into positive ones directed towards the future. Creating new memories with a new baby on the way must be exceptionally exciting to think about!

Have you also maybe considered seeing a relationship counsellor? they can be helpful in facilitating communication to ensure both you and your husband's thoughts, vulnerabilities, and fears are clearly communicated. Your husband might also have important things he wants to say but might not be able to communicate effectively, and as we all know, sometimes poor communication may come off as anger/defensive even when it comes from a good place.

Please continue to keep us updated if you feel comfortable with it.

Know that we are always here for you!