Wedding Woes

Classic: You have a FI problem and he's hanging you out to dry.

Dear Care and Feeding,

I’ve been with my fiancé for five years. The first six months of our relationship were an affair—I was 24 and he was 31—and I found out early on that he was married, kept telling myself to break things off, but was never was able to do it. His (now ex-)wife learned about the relationship and was willing to try to work things out, but he ultimately chose to divorce her. During the initial months following the revelation of the affair, I put up with a lot of abuse from her. I truly felt bad for what she was going through, and I recognized that a lot of it was my fault, so I would just listen and apologize. I never tried to pass the blame or name-call back. I knew I was in the wrong, and I did what I could not to add to her pain. But after all this time, she still hates me, and to this day I have never met the kid they had together, though my fiancé sees his daughter at least once a week. To his ex-wife, there are no good people who sometimes do bad things, just good and bad people, and I am a bad person.

When the three of us sat down in counseling to discuss my meeting their daughter, she said I was the devil and it would disrupt the daughter’s life to meet me. According to her, the kid barely even wants to see her dad because “she is terrified of him.” I asked why—because there is absolutely no reason for her to be afraid of him, and I think she is poisoning the kid against her dad—and she didn’t have an answer. When I asked if she thought it was healthy for her daughter to be frightened of her father, she responded “really not my problem.” The result of the counseling session was that we agreed that in three months they would tell the child that I exist, but there was still no solid plan for my meeting her. What now?

—Sad and Confused

Re: Classic: You have a FI problem and he's hanging you out to dry.

  • Just leave him now before he cheats on you.

  • This is a disaster you’re wasting your time. Move on. 
  • I think it was Chris Rock who said, "If you've been dating a man for 6 months and you haven't met his friends, you are not his girlfriend!" 

    It extends to, "If you agreed to marry someone who won't introduce you to his kids, you are not his FI." 

    Seriously end it.  
  • It would be great if the LW would set herself free and not waste any more of her life on this guy.  But she isn't going to do that, so here is my other advice.

    I agree the ex-wife shouldn't be poisoning the child against their father, because it's unhealthy for the child.  But that is between the exes.

    Same thing with meeting the child.  It needs to be on the terms for both parents.  I realize the LW has been patient, but they need to be more patient.  Too bad.  It's some of the fallout of becoming involved with a married man who had a child.

    If the LW and her FI have a child together, it could be even more complicated fallout if the mother wants to limit contact with their child and the half sibling.

    I don't know why the LW is surprised the ex-wife still thinks she is a bad person.  The LW probably isn't the only reason the marriage was destroyed, but she is a big part of it.

    I don't think the LW is necessarily a bad person.  She doesn't need to spend the rest of her life wearing a scarlet A on her chest.  But, at the same time, everything she described is largely what I would expect when someone chooses to get involved with a married man.  She needs to accept the longstanding consequences that come with that because they don't necessarily disappear with time.
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  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited March 2023
    So LW, your FI has allowed his ex-wife to:
    1. Blame the affair and divorce on you
    2. Verbally abuse you
    3. Keep his daughter from him 
    4. Sat silently by while you try to 'advocate' for your relationship and his relationship with his daughter while in counseling

    If he's pushed back against her and/or defended you, you haven't mentioned it here.  You also didn't say anything about what the supposed mediator/counselor recommended or how they tried to intervene in this situation. 

    But at the end of the day, there's nothing you can do about his ex-wife and changing her perception of you. Furthermore, if he chooses not to do anything about her dictating his relationship with his daughter, that's on him. 

    Why the hell are you with him? He doesn't sound like a great partner or parent.  If you stay with him, how do you know that he won't cheat on you?  How do you know if you have kids, that he won't leave you a single parent, either in practice by checking out of the relationship or for real by no longer being together and having no interest in fighting for time with said kid?  Also, it sounds like your kids won't know their sibling, ever.   So what makes this relationship worth continuing again? 
  • You guys....I'm out of control.

    I keep reading this as, You have an F-ONE problem.

    I need another hobby.  :D
  • @short+sassy I'd agree with you on giving it time but it's been half a decade and they're "engaged".  

    This is a person who isn't standing up for the LW so he's allowing her to be bad mouthed.  He's going to be a terrible husband because he's already a terrible FI.  And she's going to have a terrible relationship with this kid if one ever happens. 
  • You and your FI both hold responsibility for the affair, and it sounds like he's perfectly happy to make it entirely your fault and let you take all the blame from his ex, even though he was the one broke his commitment to her. He's never going to have your back with anything. Get out and get out NOW. 
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