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My second husband feels I care more about my adult children than him
Married Life / 12:06 PM - Wednesday June 23, 2010

My second husband feels I care more about my adult children than him

I am 47 and have been married (my second, his third) to a man that's 50. He has a 19 year old daughter, very religious and according to him, a disappointment with regards to how he had hoped her life would turn out.
I have a 25 years old daughter and a 24 year old son.
My son is presently in medical school, doing well. My daughter, has emotional and financial issues, and recently moved back into our home. Though he wasn't thrilled, her moving back in was with his consent.
His daily life is very stressful. He's an attorney and works 60 hrs/wk, sometimes more.
I also work, 30 hrs a week, maintain the home and most of the household chores, and am the emotional caregiver of all 3 children (my 2 and his 1)
With all on my plate, I have offered to help him do things related to his practice that might help alleviate some of his stress. However, his response is, "without a law license there's little I can do to help"
I find whenever he's stressed, I become an easy target for him to yell at.
Lately, whenever he hears me talking to my children, he accuses me of caring more about them and their needs then his.
When his own daughter comes to visit, he falls asleep on the sofa and I am the one talking and spending quality time with her.
I have been googling "second marriages and dealing with adult children" on the internet.
Many seem to think that his stress from his job, and his frustration with his own child makes me an easy target to dump on.
I told him I am not choosing my children over him. The way I deal with things is as they come, one step at a time.
I will pose to you the question I always pose to him, when he acts this way. "If you do not feel I treat you well what is keeping you in this relationship?"
Personally, I would not want to be married to someone I felt was treating me lousy.
This is not new. Ironically, this is something that started after we married. We dated a year and then lived together a year before marrying. He showed little sign of feeling this way then.
I also find myself emotionally withdrawing from him.
The more he tries to make me choose, the more resentful I become, especially when he tells me I am a lousy spouse for not putting him first.
I would appreciate feedback from those who are in second relationships dealing with adult children from the first.

- Asked by zritzistme, A Thinker, Female, 46-55

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I have not the experiences you have but as I read this I am wondering - what does he want that you're not giving him?

Perhaps just asking him if there is something specific he wants or needs that is going unfulfilled than be sure to let you know. But continuing with a vague "you care more for them than me" isn't enough evidence. Make him be a lawyer and give you proof that would stand up in court :-)

- Response by momto11, Female, 46-55, Home Maker

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My suggestion to you is marriage counseling.
An outside perspective often helps a great deal.

- Response by roaminginsomniac, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Law Enforcement

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Community Rating: Community Star

I don't know if it has anything to do with your blended family per se. Your husband has a bit of a narcissistic attitude. What I think happens is these guys work and work and are stressed out to the point where they become detached from the family and don't know how to gracefully fit themselves back in. Somehow you are supposed to know when he needs attention in between work, sleeping and stressing. He only knows how to get it by bellowing about nonsense. If he really wants to fix the problem, he needs to do the work himself. He has to be more consistent. Because that is what it sounds like you are doing, living your life in a consistent manner and being with the children in a consistent manner. He is an adult who has to take measures to make himself more comfortable.

- Response by maryea, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Retired

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Okay I have to be honest here yes we do all we can for our children and yes for most of their lives we do put them first. But children grow up and have children of their own and do the same thing we did.
This is where we can truly relax and enjoy "LIFE" enjoying our spouses and yes put each other on the number one spot. But do not let your husband manipulate you to thinking that you're not doing your job as a spouse in fact from what you are saying it sounds just the opposite he's working too much. I would guess to say that he is feeling a tad bit guilty knowing he should be enjoying "Life" and taking it out on you.
I would recommend he finds a less demanding job in the long run anyway, think about your future and where you want to be as a couple.

Meanwhile the two of you should take a vacation and reconnect as lovers...
This is just an outsider's perspective.

- Response by seasons4, A Sportif, Female, 46-55, Financial / Banking

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sit down with him and tell him how much you love him and adore him.
let him know that you care for him and if he cannot see how much you care for him by what you do for him, tell him to cut his hours at work and help with the house.
he should not feel jealous about your kids. this can be a very bad thing if these feelings continue.

- Response by amandasboy, A Father Figure, Male, 66 or older, Atlanta, Retired

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No offense to your husband, but you SHOULD put your children first in your life. That's the only way for a mother to be. I'm not saying to neglect him in the process. As for his jealousy, he just needs to be petted and reassured like the old dog when you bring home the new puppy. Show him in little ways that you are thinking of him and he means a lot to you. But do not let him bully you into backing off of your children. You got them this far in life and they are lucky to have you. PS I'm sure much of his resentment comes from the fact that you were a more successful parent than him, as is evident by his relationship with his own child. He's the only one who can fix that.

- Response by 1junebug, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45

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It very well could be stress from work. This is not an excuse, however. You have every right to put your children first to a point. He should not be jealous. You can be a 110% parent to the kids as well as 110% Wife to your husband. He may be going thru a life change that is causing his outbursts. I suggest you guys make time for some one on one and if it doesn't help improve his mood, then seek a counselor.

- Response by seashiner, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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ANd now the 3rd marriage think makes sense. The truth is he married you and your responsibilities. You certainly took on his didn't you?
By the way, what type of attorney is he?

- Response by whatdat, A Life of the Party, Male, 26-28, Denver

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Your hubby is a whiner. No matter what the situation he will whine. The best way to deal with a whiner is partially what you did. Ask him what you should do instead. Listen to his answer. In most cases people who whine know and think very little of solutions to problems. If they do, the solutions are never viable. So when he gives you his "what you should do instead " answer you can wither agree if it is reasonable or point out the ridiculousness of his suggestions. Eventually, you will be able to say to him "whining is useless so please stop it. If you have a good suggestion for improvement I am happy to hear but please STFU if you are just trying to anger and upset me with your whining."

- Response by 7zebras, A Career Man, Male, 36-45, New York, Financial / Banking

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I am not in your shoes, but the "kids" are adults now, so you SHOULD focus on him. Read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" Schlessinger

- Response by A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Los Angeles, Medical / Dental

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I can't help but take into account your age so this may be biased but you're both respectable, accomplished people who really shouldn't be dealing with your 'adult children' quite so much, they should be leading very independent lives and only drop by when they feel like it not because they need or have to.

You've offered to help your husband with his job, which to most people is impressive yet understandably stressful. Maybe you could both take a holiday together just you and him and no-one else that would put work safely aside and allow you to take care of each other.

- Response by mimosa10, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Leeds

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Now. it's HIS turn... this is HIS second childhood!

- Response by fehkarfight, A Couch Potato, Male, 56-65, Who Cares?

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