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'AITA for refusing to adopt another child and possibly divorcing my husband over it?'

'AITA for refusing to adopt another child and possibly divorcing my husband over it?'

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"AITA for refusing to adopt another child and possibly divorcing my husband over it?"

I, 33F, met my husband during university. A mutual friend of ours set us up, and we hit it off instantly. My husband made it immediately clear that he wanted to foster/adopt children in the future and that if I wasn’t okay with it, I would be gone. For context, my husband was adopted when he was 7 and wanted to do the same for others.

I also made it clear that I wanted biological children as well, which he was okay with. We ended up married after two years of dating, and both completed our degrees. We currently have two daughters, "Rosie" 5 (bio) and "Julia" 7 (adopted). We started fostering when my bio daughter was a newborn and adopted Julia around year ago.

Since then, we stopped fostering and chose to focus on our family. However, I’ve noticed my husband clearly favors Julia over Rosie. He takes her out for bonding time, but either leaves my daughter or drops her off somewhere else.

He doesn’t tuck Rosie into bed anymore. He doesn’t make an effort to go to her events. And he practically ignores her when she’s at home, unless it’s to do something for him like chores. I’ve brought this up constantly to him and I’m at my breaking point. Rosie and Julia are both smart, beautiful, joyous girls.

Rosie is both in ballet and gymnastics, highly advanced for her grade level, but has a hard time making friends. Julia has started cheerleading, makes lots of friends, but she does struggle a bit in school, which my husband uses as an excuse to not pay attention to Rosie.

I’m currently three months pregnant with our third child, and my husband's reaction to finding out was “when can we start fostering again?” Two weeks ago, my daughter asked me “why doesn’t daddy love me anymore” and that was when I knew the problem wouldn’t be fixed unless I made a drastic move.

I contacted a divorce lawyer and he said nearly everything would be in my favor. We have a prenuptial agreement that allows us to keep nearly everything separate. The house is in my name, we have two separate bank accounts and one joint account, which would be split, I would not be required to pay alimony, and keep one of our cars.

Considering I make a substantial amount more than my husband, ($250k a year while he makes around $55k) I would be able to continue our lifestyle while he wouldn’t. It also would like prevent him from adopting more children in the future. The situation is ideal for me, besides paying child support, assuming my husband would even be able to support our kids with 50/50 custody.

I have no intention of keeping our daughters from him. After speaking with my lawyer I gave my husband an ultimatum, treat both our children equal or I would be filing for divorce. He was enraged after this, screaming at me for trying to ruin his life goals and saying how I don’t understand what it’s like for children who experienced the foster care system.

He said our daughter (Rosie) was selfish and she needed to understand why Julia needed more attention than she did. My girls ended up waking up from the noise and came downstairs crying. At this point I was both trying to calm my husband down and comfort my girls all at once.

Finally, my husband stopped yelling and I could put the girls back to bed. But I have to admit, I’ve started to resent Julia. I know very well it’s not her fault and I don’t let that affect how I treat my girls, but I sometimes find myself laying awake at night wondering how it would be if we just didn’t have her.

I always imagine myself with a toddler, and our last one on the way, my husband loving all our kids, being so kind the way he used to. Again, I do not blame Julia whatsoever and I’m very ashamed of these thoughts. However I’m afraid if something happens again I’ll snap and I don’t want to shout at my daughters or husband.

I have both girls in therapy already (Julia needs it because of her past, and we had Rosie go when started fostering.) Any advice is appreciated, as well as criticism. I’m also willing to answer any questions. So AITA?

Info:

Third baby was unplanned, though I love him/her already. Baby is a pleasant surprise to me, even with all of this. Though this pregnancy will not affect my decision.

My husband was in therapy until he was 21 or so, he stopped right around the time we met. His parents had him in therapy about a year after he was adopted, so when he ended at 21 he believes he is no longer troubled. His last therapist is also part of the reason he is so hell bent on adopting kids. She told him it was a great way to give back to the world and encouraged it.

I don’t think he hates himself at all, I think he just sees himself in all adoptees/foster kids and wants to make their life better.

Both of us wanted a big family, we agreed on 4-6 kids, depending on if we could handle it. I very much enjoy motherhood and loved being a new mom to Rosie (despite the stress) and that’s why I want to continue being pregnant.

With Julia, the experience was different for sure but I still loved it. I got to watch her go from this shy, scared little girl to this energetic, outgoing kid who can’t sit still. It’s amazing both ways. It makes me sad to realize my husband doesn’t feel the same.

Here's what people had to say to OP:

So Julia needs more love and attention because she was abandoned by her parents, the same thing your husband is doing to Rosie. He needs to be in therapy. NTA

NTA. This is a tough one. Obviously your husbands blatant favoritism is bad and you know that. Causing his daughter to question his love for her is a sad and sobering realization. I’m surprised that didn’t whip him into shape. It sounds like he’s projecting how he felt in his childhood onto Julia and feels like he can relate for her a little more?

But the way it’s impacting his behavior is unacceptable. You however shouldn’t resent Julia. The source of that is your husbands behavior not her. If you don’t want to be like your husband, you should keep that in check.

OP responded:

I know I shouldn’t resent Julia. I promise I treat her just like Rosie. Tell her I love her, kiss her, tuck her into bed, cuddle, play together, go to her events. I 100% understand that my husband is the problem and not Julia.

She’s a delight to have around, and (though I probably shouldn’t) I love it when she has a little trouble in school so I can tutor her and watch her get so excited when she can complete homework/reading on her own.

She’s my daughter and I love her as such. For me, the resentment is something that I feel at night or after a big fight with my husband. Never something that Julia has done or acted as. So I will be doing my best to fix this problem.

You sound like a wonderful mother and I think it’s cute that you look forward to helping Julia w her school work. It will work out, sorry if I came off too mean.

OP responded:

Not mean at all. It’s good you’re addressing my resentment. I have thought about going to a professional, I just need to find the time. June has been a very busy month getting our kids adjusted to their new childcare routine now that school is out, so hopefully I’ll be able to find sometime in July to start going.

Sources: Reddit
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