So confused. Not sure what to do
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default So confused. Not sure what to do

My husband and I knew each other in high school, and although never dated were very close friends. About a year after I moved and switched schools we started becoming even closer. He was in the marine corps and wanted to take leave before I left for basic training for the army. Our relationship previous to that was phone calls and long distance.
When I finished my training, I was stationed 4 hours from him and we would take turns seeing each other on the weekends. He deployed for a year soon after and when he came back we got married right away. He was dealing with PTSD, depression, and had a sever drinking problem. We got pregnant 7 months after we were married, and he continued to drink and not get treatment. He got out of the marines 2 months before our daughter was born, and after the baby came he still continued to drink. He was drinking while watching our daughter, not feeding her or changing her diapers. I tried to get him to go to rehab, but he refused and stopped going to marriage counseling when the counselor told him he should go to rehab. He left in the middle of the night when our daughter was 3 months old and stayed without contact for several months after. It has now been two years, and he has seen his daughter 4 other times since we have moved back to our home state. I just found out the other day that he recently had a baby with another girl, which I found this out on the internet. I confronted him about it and he says that he doesn't even think that the child is his, the mother was cheating on him at the time and didn't give the baby his last name. I don't understand how to process all of this, but was sort of waiting for him to finish his recovery and was hopeful that he would have had a change of heart and came back to me and his daughter one day. I don't know how to feel about all of this, but it really hurts that I have no one to talk to because all of my family hates him for walking out on us. I had since tried to be in a relationship with another guy, but it didn't work out at all because I have never gotten over my husband. I don't know if it's even worth trying to fix now that it has been 2 years of separation and the fact that he may have another kid. I really don't know how to bring all of this up to him, but know that he isn't exactly happy about being with this girl he is with, and that he misses his daughter. We have talked on the phone recently, and he has told me that he is a changed man and quit drinking, but never has enough money to make the drive to see his daughter and is in a lot of financial burdens. He told me that he was sorry for how things happened and that he really wishes that things could have worked out for us.
Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, or any helpful information for me.
I did ask my husband to please get a DNA test done, so that I could know for sure if our daughter has a half-sister or not, and I feel like if the test shows that the baby is not his I could open up to him about trying to work this out? Or possibly even still trying to work all of this out even if the baby is his?
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

The big question to ask yourself is, "do you want to work it out?"

I think the question of if the other baby is his or not is kind of moot. You know he had sex with the other woman. Do you still want to work it out?

If they answer to that is yes, then the 2nd question is, "does he want to work it out?"

Getting those 2 questions answered honestly is important. Don't worry at 1st about the details, the hows/whys, the what happened while you were away stuff. That's all noise and yes, it will have to be worked through or it will hinder the relationship. But first and foremost both of you have to want to work it out. If either one of you isn't 100% committed, just walk away now. Mending such a broken relationship is going to be painful and it will only work if both parties are committed.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

Do you have such low-self esteem? What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror?

I still can't understand the rationale of some women, they sure do like to be a glutton for punishment. Here is a guy who abandoned you with your daughter, has disappeared, got another woman pregnant, an alcoholic, and doesn't have a dime in his pocket, and you want him back?

I bet it was he who initiated the recent contact with you. Was it? I bet because he isn't doing so well with his current girl and is looking for a fall back plan, one he knows he can always get back, you. He says he is reformed and all these other things, but yet gives every excuse to not drive just four hours to see his daughter. Actions speak louder than words.

This world has plenty of single mothers who have picked themselves up and did good for themselves and their children. You don't need someone to make yourself. You have to be your own person.

But its your life and you decide what you want to do. Just don't say you weren't warned.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

Acoa, I really don't understand how if the baby is his or not if that is unimportant. I didn't know that he was in fact sleeping with other women, although maybe I thought he had. And I don't think it is me I am concerned about when it comes to the baby being his or not. We have a daughter together who is 2 years old. I don't understand how to explain to her one day the situation of having a half sister. And now another innocent child involved will have to deal with their father not being there. But when it comes to questioning if I could deal with him being involved in another kids life, then yes of course I wouldn't want him to be a deadbeat. I would go so far as to have a relationship with the child for their benefit. I agree with you about the details but can't seem to overlook this. Other than that yes I would like to work things out and yes I believe that he does too though he has said he misses me wishes it would have worked out. I really don't wan to straight out come clean and talk about this stuff to him over the phone but will be seeing him in 2 weeks and figured then would be an appropriate time.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

Alpha, logically speaking you would probably be very close to being correct. Yes he was having a serious drinking problem when he left, however it was because he was self-medicating from his PTSD that he received while deployed to Iraq. I truly believe that he didn't mean to get this other girl pregnant, if indeed the baby is his kid, and I don't think he understood the consequences to his actions when he left. Also, for the first year of my daughters life we lived about 15 hours away from him not 4 after he moved out of the home. Now we live about 3 hours away, but we are both enrolled in school, he is working, and we both have gas guzzling trucks that we can honestly not afford the $150+ to make the trip so that he can spend time with his daughter. When it comes to my self-esteem, I don't understand how this really has anything to do with whether or not I am decided to be with him again and work things out. I think it has to do with missing him and wanting to work out our marriage instead of throwing it away.
Also, He wasn't the one who contacted me, I had contacted him after I found out about the child to ask him about it. I wanted to hear from him if he was happy with the mother and the child, which I found out that he wasn't. Also, his having a child has been a turning point to me, I think right now is the time for our final shot, if we go through with our divorce he will probably feel pressured to marry this girl he doesn't want to be with and have another kid or two with her.
Thanks for your opinion. I really think it is motivated more by irrational feelings. After all, I don't suppose I could ever get over this, and though it is a lot to deal with, I feel like trying to work this out might be the best thing for both of us. What I am worried about is my daughter, and this child if he is the father and how to raise my daughter with her knowing she has a half sister that is 2 years younger.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

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Acoa, I really don't understand how if the baby is his or not if that is unimportant.
I'll try to explain my opinion on this. It is of course my own and you are free to disagree.

The fact the baby's paternity is even a question lets you know he did indeed sleep with another woman. So, you have to be comfortable with the fact you can get over that.

The other woman did not put his name on the birth certificate. Some other guy's name is there. Some other guy is going to raise that baby as his own. Your husband has walked away and has no reason to be in contact with this woman. That is probably in the best interest of any chance of reconciling.

The lingering doubt of if he has another kid in this world needs to rest on his shoulders. Not yours. It's possible the baby is not his. The other woman has claimed as much. He would likely have to sue her to have the paternity test performed. She does not have to consent. In the eyes of the law, the man who's name is on the birth certificate is the legal father. Even if you prove paternity, changing that is another battle entirely.

Unless the other man is a total Dbag, the baby may be better off just being raised by him and never knowing another possibility exists. That other possibility is just that, a possibility. It's equally possible (perhaps even probably) that the other guy is the father. If he wasn't, why would he accept that? Why would the mother no push your husband into a paternity test? She could get some child support money out of him if it were true.

My brother dated a girl shortly before he met his now wife. That girl slept around a lot. Shortly after they broke up, she let him know she was pregnant. There are 3 possible fathers. One of them decided to stay with her and marry her. He is in every sense of the word the father to that child. My brother and his wife went on to have their own family. They seem to live with it just fine.

It's definitely complicated. But I wouldn't hinge reconciliation on that issue. Reconciliation should only be attempted if you both want the relationship to work and have a shared vision of what that means. What does your reconciled relationship look like?
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

Answer this, the man that he has chosen to be. Would you want that for your daughter when she is older as the kind of man she would marry?

Fact is, he fathered your baby but he's never been her father and he's never been a husband.

You and her deserve so much better than him.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

Acoa, thank you for taking the time to offer some advice to me. I seriously feel that I have no one in my life that I can talk to about this and gain an outsider's perspective. I don't know the actual birth certificate of the child, but I do know that the mother gave the baby her last name, not my husband's or any other guy's name. I don't believe that she wanted to get a DNA test done for the simple fact that she is probably scared and wants my husband to stick around for her and this new baby. I don't think that the other girl knows the extent of how unhappy he is. I honestly believe that my husband only wants to try to work things out with her because as he has told me, that he couldn't go through another break up with a kid involved. I urged him to get a paternity test, an over the counter one and to take the dna sample, which I am not sure if he will do in a sneaky way without telling the other girl, or be straight forward with her about it, either way it really doesn't have much of an impact on me. I guess what I really feel what is important is that I don't want my daughter to feel confusion when she is older and hurt about why she has a half sister. But ultimately, it really doesn't matter in that aspect I am guessing because if she really does have this half-sister, it is irrelevant if I stay with my husband or not.
What happened was that my husband and her were casually seeing each other for awhile, he found out that she was seeing other people, and decided that he didn't want to put up with that. Then she found out she was pregnant and they got back together. I think she is using the fact that he feels hurt about walking out on me and his daughter to persuade him to stick with her, and that is why she hasn't insisted on a paternity test. I don't believe that the other possibilities of the fathers would stick around with her. And I honestly can't see my husband wanting to stick around with this girl much longer, that is if we decided that we don't want to reconcile.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Shaggy, I wouldn't ever want my daughter to go through this situation. No parent ever wants their child to be unhappy. I do feel like this situation right here though has torn me apart inside and literally proved to me how much I do not want to live my life without him in it. I really wish things wouldn't have happened the way that they did, and yes I do agree that their is a lot of hurt involved and you are right that I deserve better than what has happened to me and what is happening right now. But my oppinion is that honestly what is better for me and my daughter is not me spending my life alone or in relationships that never cut it because I am too emotionally out of it. I feel like if my husband and I can work things out that it would be in the best interest for my daughter and myself. I don't know how I could stand to be around him for our daughter's sake and watch him build a new life without me or her in it. If I don't reconcile with him I will just have to hide all of this when I see him for casual encounters with our daughter, and as a result will probably want to avoid seeing him, and making an even bigger distance between him and our daughter, which will have psychological damage to her in ways I would never intend.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

Sef,

I'm a Marine veteran and combat veteran of OIF who has been diagnosed with PTSD by more than one mental health professional, and I can relate to a large part of your story.

Some guys, when they come back, they can't handle the real world anymore. They deal with this by engaging in self destructive behavior, like binge drinking, fighting, doing drugs, getting arrested, etc. After a few years of that, some guys finally seek help and start to recover. Some guys do not. I've been home from Iraq for 8 years, and some of my buddies are still drinking themselves into oblivion.

Guys like that can't hold down a job, a marriage, a meaningful relationship with their children, nothing. They just drift from job to job, woman to woman, all while existing in a barely coherent drunken stupor. It's a heartbreaking thing to watch.

Some guys also come home and act like worthless human beings and then blame all of their behavior on PTSD. I'm not saying these guys don't have it, but I've seen with my own eyes plenty of guys use their PTSD as an excuse to continue acting immaturely and irresponsibly.

You need to evaluate where on the scale your husband really is. Is he truly seeking help? Has he truly stopped drinking? Is he really working on making a better life for himself? Or is he telling you all that because it sounds good over the phone?

I don't have to tell you that a man, Marine or not, PTSD or not, who leaves his wife and young child and then gets involved with another woman and possibly fathers a child with her, while still married to his wife, is an irresponsible and selfish man. You really need to evaluate whether or not that's the kind of man you want as a husband and father to your child.

If you think that he is, then he needs to demonstrate to you that he is working on improving himself.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Dave, thanks for taking the time to say all of that. I really feel awful that he is suffering or anyone suffers from PTSD or any kind of disability after having been in war. I completely agree with you that he needs to prove himself to me and that talk is one thing but actions count more. Thanks for your insight. It's been a very long and frustrating road, and isn't getting any easier any time sooner, I feel bad for him like I let him down and wasn't there for him with his problems but can honestly say I tried my hardest and had to concentrate on our newborn daughter and he went on the back burner. As a result, he left. Idk I think it might be able to be fixable but not unless he is willing to stop drinking completely.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: So confused. Not sure what to do

I don't know Self. I think you are setting yourself up for misery. I believe your best move is to Divorce your husband then focus on improving yourself--finish your education, find a nice career, be a great mother to your daughter. Worrying that your husband is confused and might marry that other girl and have more children with her is the WORST reason to take him back. That is not your concern.

You deserve the best man you can get. Let your husband clean up his act and get his life in order. You get your life in order. Divorcing him now doesn't mean that you cannot remarry him down the road. But you are only setting yourself up for trouble now if you don't detach and move on and better your own life.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't know Self. I think you are setting yourself up for misery. I believe your best move is to Divorce your husband then focus on improving yourself--finish your education, find a nice career, be a great mother to your daughter. Worrying that your husband is confused and might marry that other girl and have more children with her is the WORST reason to take him back. That is not your concern.

You deserve the best man you can get. Let your husband clean up his act and get his life in order. You get your life in order. Divorcing him now doesn't mean that you cannot remarry him down the road. But you are only setting yourself up for trouble now if you don't detach and move on and better your own life.
I have to agree.

In order to work through his issues, your H has to want to. No amount of guilting, shaming, begging, or pleading on your part will make him want to seek help. Only he can decide that he wants that help.

You can always get back together if you two divorce, but I think your life has been on hold long enough.

Also, do some research on toxic codependency. You might find some interesting information there.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks to both of you alpha and Dave. I don't really believe the actual root reason why I would want to try to reconcile with him is because of the other girl, I don't really see her much of a threat honestly. I just think that now would be the best time to figure it out either reconcile or divorce because life gets messier the longer a separation exists, and especially when children are involved. Also, Dave I am aware of co dependency. I grew up with an alcoholic father and my sister is a recovering heroin addict. I understand that it isn't limited to drug use but surely most people on this forum are dealing with co dependency to some extent, I believe it is involved in nearly every separation or divorce to some degree however can be overcome.
I again appreciate your perspectives so thanks.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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surely most people on this forum are dealing with co dependency to some extent, I believe it is involved in nearly every separation or divorce to some degree however can be overcome.
I think it's more likely involved in cases where there was no separation or divorce. Us codependents like to be the 'honorable' part of a couple. The worse the other's behavior the more saintly we can look by comparison.
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