Dear Wife

I married you because I need and want someone to share my life with.  There are, however, parts of my life that I feel very protective of.  That includes my children.  I didn’t marry you to parent them or to give me advice about them.  Unfortunately, since they are my children and I feel so protective of them, anything you say regarding them seems like you are attacking them. If you make me choose, I’ll always choose them.  I think you and I both know that.  I just can’t bring myself to discipline my children.  I have too much guilt over divorcing their mother and forcing them to be raised in a split family. And I can’t allow you to discipline them either since you aren’t one of their parents.  I’m sorry if they treat you badly or if you think they will grow up not knowing how to show respect to others.  And I’m sorry if you continue to get viewed as evil because I’m not prepared to be a father to my children.  It’s what works for me and I’m sorry it doesn’t work for you.

I feel like you are forcing me to be in the middle when you keep insisting that I make my children mind.  If you’d just keep quiet about it, we could all pretend there’s nothing wrong.  I want to believe that you love my kids.  But I just can’t.  And to be honest, it’s convenient for me to let the kids think you’re evil.  It keeps them from seeing my shortcomings as a parent.  I know you didn’t sign up to be a scapegoat or a punching bag when you married me.  And I’m sorry I didn’t explain that I would expect that from you.  But I was afraid you might not marry me if I was that honest.  So please, can we just pretend that everything is alright from now on?  Can you just disregard my children’s behavior?  Can you please just agree to be their stepmother without ever complaining about it?  Can you please just be my wife, but in only the areas I want to have a partner in?  I know it’s asking a lot, but not only do I not know how to handle this mess any differently, I just don’t want to
know.  The current situation works for me quite well.  Wish it worked for you too, but I guess that’s the breaks.

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on January 15, 2009.

25 Responses to “Dear Wife”

  1. Wow, discipline is a part of parenting, kids needs guidance and to learn self discipline for themselves, and this begins with the parents. I guess the only thing I can leave you with is this; don’t expect a stepparent to do any more parenting than you are willing to do yourself, and if you aren’t willing to parent at all (including disclipline, don’t make your guilt someone else’s problem) then you should perhaps assess your role as a parent. It’s not fair to bring others into a mess like that without their consent, and a letter like this, to me, is like an invitation to the door. Good luck.

  2. Wow…this blew me away. Dad need’s to pull his head out of the sand…”pretend there’s nothing wrong?” I’m speechless. DAD…if you are reading the comments PLEASE run to your nearest bookstore and buy a copy of Kevin Leman’s “Have a New Kid by Frday” or anything by John Rosemond because you are NOT doing your kids any favors by pretending nothing’s wrong. They need their dad to be a parent, not riddled with guilt.

    And your wife? She deserves so much better than this!

  3. Dear Dad, Grow the F up! You had children, so be a parent, not the King of Denial. You are being totally unfair to your new wife, your former wife, your children and really yourself. It’s hard to be an adult, but it’s worth it.

  4. This makes me really sad to read this. Nobody deserves to be a scapegoat, nobody. And, honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything so selfish. I hope for everyone’s sake that you seriously think about what you are saying.

  5. This does not sound real. People, please, let’s keep this real and not project our feelings onto other people when we write these, ok?

    • You know, I think this may be a parody of some sort. It seems like this is a wife writing it from her husband’s point of view – or at least what she thinks is his view. Some sort of sarcastically presented hate letter or something. If it is supposed to be the husband’s it’s a little self deprecating wouldn’t you say?

  6. If my husband had this attitude I’d leave him in a heartbeat! How can you completely ignore the feelings of your wife? She is supposed to be your partner in ALL areas of your life, not just the in areas you want her to be. You basically tricked her into marrying you by hiding how things really are. Have you ever stopped to think about how difficult her life is, being put in such a position? You should be ashamed of yourself.

  7. You are a sad and lost man and you are crippling your children in life more than if they lost their limbs. You are not a husband, you are a user. I pray your wife has the strength and ability to leave you. I would rather be alone all the days of my life than with a spouse like you.

  8. I agree with one of the comments above, this doesn’t seem real. My first initial being “Are you friggin kidding me?” First off, if it is real, step-mom I hope you are prepared with a plan B because there’s no way this marriage will work. For Dad, I hope that you can “just pretend” when the police station calls you to pick up your kids, or the morgue calls for you to identify your children…When your teenager daughter comes home and tells you you are gonna be a grandpa…Grow up, you have no right to ask someone to be “Part of your family” and then pick and choose which parts she’s allowed to participate in. Good luck to you

  9. This was obviously written by the new wike aka stepmom, not dad.

  10. I hope the DAD is reading the replies and somewhere within them there is a word or two of wisdom.

    Dad, Divorce sucks but what sucks even worse is Divorce #2.

    You have a RESPONSIBILITY to your children and it requires discipline. Pretending doesn’t work. Put the guilt aside and do the job you were given on the day those children were born. It didn’t stop just because you got a divorce. It didn’t stop if you were a poor father while you were married to their mother.

    START PARENTING. They need you.

    As for your wife… remember she is your LIFE PARTNER and she will be there when the children are long gone with their own activities and lives.

    Get some counseling if any way possible… Family & Marriage Counseling…. RUN, Do not Walk to the nearest provider! SAVE YOUR FAMILY and MARRIAGE while you can.

  11. Come on, people — did you even read this? It’s quite clearly a stepmom writing from her husband’s point of view. That’s not “fake”, it’s just a tool; sometimes it’s easier and clearer to write that way. What, do you think all books written in the first person were actually written *by* the main character? Try it yourself sometime, in fact — write from the point of view of somebody you’re angry with. It can be very helpful in expressing your feelings, and occasionally you actually realize something about their situation that you didn’t understand before.

    The content and tone in this letter isn’t really that different from many other letters, either — just substitute “you” every time it says “I”, and you’ll see what I mean.

    That said, it probably would’ve been helpful if she made it clearer she was writing from her husband’s POV.

  12. I also think that it’s been writen by new stepmom, and she is expressing what SHE thinks the father himself would say if he was honest. I think she feels that she was tricked, and it seems to be the case. If I was new stepmom, I would go away : you don’t deserve that.

    • I agree with those that said this is likely the new stepmom. And I would leave. Although some aspects of the letter are true

      didn’t marry you to parent them or to give me advice about them

      If you make me choose, I’ll always choose them.

      The rest is just so indicative of a lack of respect I don’t see how the marriage has any chance of survival.

  13. If I were your wife it woudent be for long pal 😦

    that ant in insult its advice and a warning

  14. if this letter is from a new wife not the husband then, its kind normal for the wall his putting up, but its not healthey and that wll needs to be turn down now!, you tell him that not ok you are a step parent and if he dident think you would be a good step parent why did he marry then, you cant live in a broken how like that, now lets point out their is a difference in the term blended family and broken home, a blendid family that loves and respects each other is not broken, and cheldren should show respect to adult in genaral
    I just have one more thing to say consaling, this needs to be aired out 🙂

  15. Well you need to MAN UP DUDE!!!! you and your wife are a united front. In your family she is the mom and you are the dad. You did your kids a favor by divorcing instead of being with their mother. Children learn how to be in a realtionship based on the realtionships they see. If you don’t demand respect for her and allow her to assume responsibility with you for what goes on in your house then you shoudln’t of married her. Stand up and be a man. and to sm if he can’t do this then you don’t deserve him! i am a sm with a bio mom who was crazy vindictive and manipulative and from a blended family that worked! and it worked because my husband and i are a united front to the bio mom to the kids and in life. He always defended me and demanded respect from his kids towards me becuase i am his wife and their step mom who he chose because he knew i would be great to them! I am the motherly role of our family. His ex wife and new husband are the kids family not ours and we do things seperatly except for major events graduations and marriages thats it! the only time my husband discusses anything with his ex is if it has to do with the kids and now they are older and live with us he doesn’t even do that cause what goes on in our house is our buisness! and their relationship with their mother is theirs.

  16. Dad, why the hell did you marry your wife and put her in this hellish situation where she’s stuck? Understood you love your children but you MADE A VOW to love and be there for your wife through tears and joys, in life and in death. Gosh I pity the husband but most of all, I pity you for being so narrow-minded.

    Also, I don’t buy that guilt parenting thing. You had a choice to divorce your ex-wife so it would have been wiser if you through of all implications of divorce before moving with it. It’s totally unfair to the present wife to be dragged on to this mess. GeeZ!

  17. You are an asshole and are going to end up in divorce court again

  18. i don’t think this is made up. i’m pretty sure this is how my husband feels and has actually verbalized some of these things to me, specially this: “If you make me choose, I’ll always choose them.” (except why would i ever make him choose…). it does feel like a choice to them….they have to take sides and will take their side when there is a disagreement regarding the kids. my husband and this idiot both.

  19. Two thoughts: Marital counseling ASAP and/or I hoped your wife has already removed herself from this very unhealthy situation.

  20. Holy cow. I cannot believe he would actually write such a letter and submit it! Didn’t he hear what he was writing? Good lord. He is an asshole, and he will end up in divorce court again. I hope his new wife runs like her before she spawns a child with this jerk. Husband: pull your head out of your arse and step up to the plate. Be a father. Be a husband. And stop being a jerk.

  21. Seriously, this “husband” cannot be for real. It sounds more like the POV of a stepmom in a sad marriage with a total f**ker for a husband w/ self-centered stepkids. If a guy actually did write this and truly feels what he wrote then he should be the man (he thinks) he is for his kids and set his poor, “evil” wife free. Hopefully she has already kicked him and his mean-spirited children to the curb. BTW “Husband,” you might be better off w/ a blow-up doll as your wife.

  22. Grow a set, Dad. I saw much of this in my husband when we first got married, but he has done a complete 180° in the last year or so, realizing that we are a team and the children need to be held accountable for their behavior. Your wife deserves better, and I know you can give her better, since you wrote this and are actually admitting your problems. Unless the above commenters are correct and this is from the POV of a stepmom, and if that’s the case, I am so sorry; I’ve been there and he is the only one who can change himself.

  23. It is not important to determine the POV from whom this letter was written.

    Unfortunately in today’s blended families, the possibility of “a husband” or “a new wife” having the same overall sentement or similar feelings about the topic the author references, is all to common. After divorce, if there is potentail to re-marry; there should be a pre-requisted workshop! LOL.

    Or follow one simple rule………….

    If a married couple is to be successful in the circumstances mentioned above, they must never waiver from putting ONE ANOTHER’S feelings above the children’s, and their own. Of course that doesn’t mean you never consider the kid’s feelings. Only that, If both parties have compassion, empathy, and consideration for one another,… can’t go wrong. That’s the recipe for compromise/communication! (My husband never was a good cook, lol)

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