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Can My Marriage Be Saved?

Question:

I have been with my husband for 8yrs. He claimed to have a child overseas. He made numerous attempts to bring the child to the US, but her mom refused paternity testing through immigration. The mom’s sister brought the daughter, mother, and her other children in the US.

My husband blamed me for not having a relationship with the mother. He always has long conversations with them outside of the house. He does’t answer phone calls in the house.

I only met the girl and spoke to her once. I tried having a conversation about the daughter, but my husband always pushes me away. He spent hours on the phone with the girl. He has time because he drives a taxi. He comes to the house once in a blue moon. When I call him he doesn’t pick up the phone.

He just found out the girl is 16yrs old and has been dating for awhile. He blamed it on me. He stated if the daughter was living with him she would not have boy friends. He wanted to move the estranged daughter to the house but I refused because he doesn’t respect or treat me right. He verbally abuses me and he does that to me in front of our child.

The other woman and his estranged daughter live 2hrs away from us. She calls him all the time because of the circumstances. I found out that he went to them several times and he never told me anything. I confronted him about lying to me about his whereabouts. He decided to move out in order to save his soon to be 17 year old daughter from having a boyfriend and broke up our marriage.

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Answer:

I have learned over many years that, when there are marriage problems, it is easy to demonize the other person. Your husband has done a good job of blaming you for his problems. However, judging from the way you wrote your Email question to me, you also blame him.

For marriage to succeed it is important for two people to talk about important issues without engaging in mutual blame. For example, your husband seems to believe that you are at fault for his daughter not being welcome in your house. It’s important for the two of you to talk about this and reach a resolution to the problem that will be acceptable to both of you. After all, this 17 year old girl is his daughter, or so he believes, and it is understandable that he would want a relationship with her and for you to accept her. At the same time, it’s important for him to not speak to you disrespectfully in front of your child or, for that matter, he should never do so.

Because the confusion and pain that exists over his newly found child, both of you are stuck. For instance, I have a hunch that you do not believe that this girl is his daughter. At least, you may wish she were not. If this is true, then, it may explain why he has become secretive because he sees your disapproval and goes behind your back. The fact is that he should not have to lie to you. He needs to speak to and see this girl.

Because there is such a mix of anger, distrust and misunderstand in this case, I urge both of you to go to marriage counseling together. My sense is that you both need the help of a professional person to help both of you sort things out and find acceptable solutions. I am guessing that you want the same things and that you want to be together.

Best of Luck

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