My husband’s daughter and family live in Texas and we live in Hawaii. He has a 10 year old daughter there who stays with us over the summer for nearly 3 months. We go there, to Texas or she comes here over Christmas break, and etc. I have an 11 and a 14 year old girl living with me.
Last week my husband went home, packed his things and told me that he was moving back to Texas because he couldn’t be away from his daughter anymore. Nothing has happened in our relationship. it’s very good and we love each other very much. We also work together running my family business. By the time he left the following night he said that he can’t leave me either and promised that he would be back in 2-3 weeks after his daughter’s birthday.
I know and understand that being away from her is very hard on him. His divorce agreement demands daily contact by phone or skype but his ex makes sure this doesn’t happen. He is plagued with guilt being away from her and getting closer to my girls makes this worse.
Now, a week later, he hasn’t said that he’s not coming back but has asked if we could make it work to have him stay there and work. He says he can make more money there, in Texas. H wants to live there while I live here and we can see each other when we can.
We’ve only been married for 7 months and we had discussed many times before deciding to get married that, if it was too hard for him to be away and make a life here, that we needed to not get married. He still says that he loves me, will never cheat, doesn’t want to be with anyone else, wants to stay married and I feel the same.
Does the commitment we made in marriage mean that he can do this and I’m supposed to be ok with it? He now seems to want a part time wife that lives in another state. I feel selfish because that’s how he feels. He is with his daughter but he did make this decision knowing what it meant. Do I go along with this indefinitely? Do I give up and move on? How can I force him to make a choice between his wife or his daughter?
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Marriage is a full commitment. Once he decided to marry despite his loving feelings for his daugher, he entered a contract with you. The two of you had discussed the possibility that it might be too hard for him to be away from her and, therefore, you should not marry. However, having made his decision to marry, he has an obligation to you and even to your daughters. After all, it’s disruptive for them to have him present for seven months and then gone after that. I am not sure why you feel selfish? He’s abandoned the family for the sake of his daughter and you are angry about this. That is understandable.
Your husband never had to make a choice between you and his daughter nor does he have to now. Judging from your description of the arrangement, all of you had plenty of time to see one another. As for his wife, if she is not honoring the court decision about daily contact via skype and the telephone, he can go back to court and demand his paternal rights under the divorce agreement. The bottom line is that you are not forcing him to make a decision between you and his daughter. Rather, he had made a choice of his daughter over you.
As to whether you can go along with this indefinitely only you can answer. In my opinion you cannot. You did not marry in order to be apart. It seems that, if you are angry now, you will become even more angry with him as time passes with him away.
I would recommend that the two of you have a very serious conversation during which you let him know that his proposed arrangement does not work for you. You may have to impress upon him the fact that you and your daughters also have feelings that he must consider. If he cannot do this then it might be in your best interests, and for the sake of your daughters, to move on with your lives.