I am in my mid-40s, a professional like my husband of 16 years, and we have two boys, ages 14 and 12. My life turned upside down earlier this year when the love child of my husband contacted him. I had known of her existence before we got married and I thought I was prepared for her.
The girl’s mother, who is abroad, is separated from her husband with whom she has two other kids. They and my husband’s daughter live in the province with their mother’s parents. They never got married and the woman and the daughter just disappeared after she was born.
The daughter contacted my husband before her 18th birthday as I guessed she would, and I was honestly happy when it happened. I had prepared my two boys of her existence so it wasn’t all a surprise. I opened my heart to her, and she sent me a text message saying, “I wish you were my mother.”
My only request to my husband was not to let us, his present family, feel sidelined when his daughter presented herself. What broke my heart was he did exactly what I asked him not to do. They started texting each other all the time, going to the mall, to church—everywhere. He even had a big party for her 18th birthday—all these without asking me and my kids to join them.
Now, she is planning to go to school in Manila and spend the weekends with my husband. Her presence in our lives has been very disruptive. My husband talks to her frequently in the day, plus texts and e-mail. This is so disorienting to me because I feel I have become the intruder! They are so mushy with each other, they’re hurting me so much. I am so tortured and that I already have gone to counseling.
Aren’t you acting as though your husband were carrying on a passionate love affair and hurting so much? It’s not like the daughter came into your lives to snatch away her father.
She just wants a portion of what she was deprived of. He is being mushy with her because he feels guilty and probably wants to overcompensate for all the years he reneged on his responsibilities. As well, he’s excited she didn’t harbor any ill will toward him to have called him on her special day.
Let him be a father to her for a while. Let them enjoy each other’s company. Let them sate each other’s hunger for that lost bond, and make up for all those empty years without each other. Just you wait when everything subsides and he becomes a real father—asking who her friends are, where she is going, how late she’ll be out, how much she’s spending, etc. Let’s see how mushy they can continue to be, how long before his temper rises and her fangs appear.
Show them both how generous and loving you can be. Your husband will appreciate you more if you act positive and less confrontational. Remember that had your husband married the girl’s mother, you wouldn’t be having these problems. You wouldn’t have had him, to say the least! Open your mind more. And while you’re at it—grow up!