From the U.S.: My husband had an affair with my brother’s first wife 29 years ago. I forgave both, and we stayed together and had two children, both boys now 26 and 24. A child was produced from that affair, not disclosed until my children were 8 and 10. My brother was unaware for many years after that and paternity was never established. That child is now 28.
At the age of 15 her step father, in a fit of rage, told her that she wasn’t my brother’s daughter. She apparently had tried to commit suicide and they, her mother and step father, decided they should send her to us. I welcomed her openly, as I never thought that any of this was her fault. But she would not accept parental guidance and the rules of our home and went back to stay with her mom.
After this, she had minimal contact with my husband, any dialogue would end in her cussing, ranting, and saying hateful things to him, usually ending in “I hope you die” or something of that nature. Each time, he would extend his hand, she would bite it viciously. At one point, she asked me for my social security number, saying that her school needed it. Her mother had used each of her kids SSN’s and ruined their credit before they were adults and also had stolen my brother’s identity after 15 years being divorced from her. I knew better than to give it to her, so I didn’t.
Fast forward to today. My children are aware of what happened, and they were old enough to know what is going on. But this now grown woman verbally lashed out recently on social media and my name was tagged showing this to all of my friends. I have great remorse for how things turned out for her, but feel, and felt, powerless to change her circumstance. Her mother would never tell my brother until it was too late for us to do anything, and it seems that we are the ones that she hates the most. I have tried many times, but honestly now feel that I have to cut her out of my life completely, because bringing all this hate up over and over just opens the old wounds of betrayal that I suffered all those years ago. Am I right or how should I handle this appropriately?Husband’s Love Child Is Hateful to Family
Husband’s Love Child Is Hateful to Family
This scenario is too complicated to respond to adequately in an advice column. This young woman seems to need a scape-goat but you couldn’t provide enough information in our format for me to understand why. For example: You didn’t mention your brother’s role in his daughter’s life. I also have no information about your and your husband’s relationship with her mother and what her mother may have been telling her about the rest of her family.
It is to your credit that you were able to forgive and to not assign blame to a child who was the outcome of the affair. You’ve done what you can on your own from your position in the family. But you are only one member of the family system that is still struggling with the reverberations of something that happened almost 30 years ago.
If you came to my office with this problem, I’d consider this a family therapy case; not one that could be sufficiently helped by seeing any one member of the family. I’d want to meet with the young woman and her two biological parents as well as with you and the step dad.
I therefore suggest that you consider talking with a licensed family therapist. Cut offs often have toxic effects in a family, but clearly you all can’t go on as you have been doing. You need to talk with someone who can provide guidance after coming to an understanding of the whole picture.
I wish you well.