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I Don’t Want My Husband’s 8-Year-Old Daughter to Live in Our House, He Is Threatening Me With a Divorce

I’ve been married to my husband Paul for over 3 years now. This is my second marriage, and the same is for Paul. We’re quite happy in our relationship, because it’s mature, stable and transparent. We both have been working hard on achieving that level of mutual understanding and trust that we now have in our family.

Everything seemed good so far, but there’s a problem that doesn’t allow us to move forward with our happy marriage. And this problem is Paul’s expectations from me towards his child, Ella.

Image for illustrative purpose only. (freepik)

Paul has a child from his previous marriage. His daughter Ella is 8. Paul was open about the child from the beginning of our relationship. He has Ella every two weeks on weekends. I’ve always told him that’s fine, I have absolutely no problem with it. I believe he can spend time with her as much as he wants, and I won’t make a fuss about it. If he wanted to include me, I would always happily join on activities as well.

But I also made it clear to my husband that I’m not Ella’s parent, that’s him and his ex. Of course, I would look after the girl if she was left with me, I never ignored her. I cooked too when she was with us, and if she wanted to talk or play with me, I’d do that too.
But I refuse to parent her. I was clear about that. If Ella did something that required grounding, for example, I would not be the one to tell her and ground or punish her. That’s a parent’s duty, which I am not.

Image for illustrative purpose only. (freepik)

10 months ago Paul lost his job and since he couldn’t find a new one fast enough, he got evicted from the apartment he had been living in before we moved in together. He kept that apartment even after our marriage, and we both thought that was fine. I have my own house, and I live in it, Paul lived in that apartment and worked from there, this was the model of marriage we had agreed on, and we did find it convenient. But since he lost that apartment, I told him he can move in with me.

I got a spare room, which I turned into a bedroom for Ella, so she has a comfortable place to stay when she’s with us. Things went totally fine the whole time, just last week Paul sat me down for a serious talk. He told me that his ex-wife found out about his new living situation and since she’s living in an apartment, she told Paul it would be way better if Ella lives full time with us and visits her twice a month.

I was totally furious, and you can probably understand my feelings. Without talking to me first about it, my husband agreed to that and presented it to me like ’Honey, please be happy! Our little girl will be full time with us now’ to which I laughed, cause I thought he was joking.

Image for illustrative purpose only. (freepik)

Unfortunately Paul wasn’t joking at all. I turned him down instantly and told him I’m not ok with that, not at all. Though I don’t work from home, I just never wanted kids and that point didn’t change, and Paul had been fine with that before.

My husband tried to guilt-trip me, saying that it’s not ok that Ella has to live in an apartment now. He said he just wants to provide her a better living situation. To which I reminded him that this is my house, not his. So it’s my decision who lives here permanently and not his, especially not behind my back.

Paul got angry and told me that I emasculated him by saying things like this, and I needed to apologize. I quickly got up and brought his suitcase, told him to get his stuff and move out of my house. He said he would file for divorce.

Stella added, “After Paul left, his ex started blowing up my phone. She keeps telling me what an evil person I am to take stability from Ella, and called me a monster. I told her that she’s the mother and providing stability is her burden, not mine. Though I feel like my decision was justified, I still feel guilty about Ella in this situation. What should I do?”