Wedding Woes

This is not for you to manage.

Dear Prudence,

When I started dating my husband, he had two kids from his previous marriage. They are good kids and only lived an hour from us, so we spent a lot of time with them. He was a great, devoted father to them. Unfortunately, work required us to move. After we moved, we had a child together. My husband does a lot for our child, but over the years his contact with his other kids has really waned. I encourage him to call them more, but he just doesn’t. Anytime they visit, I coordinate the bulk of their trip with their mother. They do both have their own cellphones so contacting them would be fairly easy. Should I just start calling them myself? I want my child to have a sibling relationship with them, and my husband just doesn’t seem to care.

—Distant Dad

Re: This is not for you to manage.

  • IDK I'm kind of in the minority here I think.....If she wants her child to have a relationship with his half-siblings, she doesn't need her DH's permission. She should talk to him about it and make sure he feels involved in the decision making, but if he ultimately decides to take dead-beat road, she can coordinate visits for the kids if she wants to. 
    She IS coordinating the inviting and activities when they're there, and she has tried to encourage her H to reach out, but he won't.  So at this point, she manages the visits and whatnot and she can choose to reach out to her stepkids on her own, but she has to stop trying to manage what her husband does because that's not on her. 
  • mrsconn23 said:
    IDK I'm kind of in the minority here I think.....If she wants her child to have a relationship with his half-siblings, she doesn't need her DH's permission. She should talk to him about it and make sure he feels involved in the decision making, but if he ultimately decides to take dead-beat road, she can coordinate visits for the kids if she wants to. 
    She IS coordinating the inviting and activities when they're there, and she has tried to encourage her H to reach out, but he won't.  So at this point, she manages the visits and whatnot and she can choose to reach out to her stepkids on her own, but she has to stop trying to manage what her husband does because that's not on her. 


    This is where I am.  I think it's fine for her to maintain her own relationship with his kids, because it seems like she has been a large part of their life also.  Sure!  Call them if she wants to.  Though I'd recommend she focus more on their preferred form of communication, ie FB or texting (if applicable).  They would probably appreciate occasionally hearing from her and getting updates on their half sibling.

    I think she should also continue to gently prod/remind her H to get in touch with his kids.  But, ultimately, he's the one who needs to have some kind of motivation and set the tone for those relationships.

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  • LW can talk about sibling relationship with the kids, but I would leave the dad out unless someone knows he'll be there.
    You can't force a relationship.

    M often calls his family, where as BIL doesn't really. I don't think BIL's gf or M & BIL's mum steps in. Sometimes when we go visit FIL, we'll see if BIL is free but that's about it.
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