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Wife says she wants to give up her daughters for adoption after 9 year marriage. Updated 2X

Wife says she wants to give up her daughters for adoption after 9 year marriage. Updated 2X


"Me [35M] with my wife [33F] of 9 years, wants to give up our daughters for adoption"


Using a throwaway because I'm pretty active in some other subs and don't want this associated with my main account. My wife and I have been together since college and got married a little while after she graduated.

When we first got together she told me she didn't really like kids and while I was a little disappointed, I didn't care too much about it. I didn't feel very strongly about it either way. We were very in love and things were perfect for a good while.

Her birth control failed six years ago, and I told her that I would support whatever choice she made. She scheduled an abortion, but backed out the day before and we became loving and enthusiastic parents.

Later on down the road, she decided she wanted another child and so we had our second daughter. They are five and three years old, and absolutely perfect. They are both very well behaved and ahead of the curve for kids their ages.

Another thing that's worth mentioning, my wife is a SAHM. My job is very demanding and I am out of town for weeklong stretches at a time once a month, and then 9-6 the rest of the month. I've had this schedule since we were married, basically. I make good money, in the low six figures, and we've never had any kind of financial struggles.

For the past few months, I've known something was up with my wife. She is obviously the primary caretaker of our daughters, but recently she's been completely hands off when I'm at home. I don't mind spending the extra time with my daughters taking care of them, but it's more than that.

She will completely ignore them while I'm around. If they ask her for anything at all she tells them "go ask Daddy" and will go in our bedroom and lock the door to get away from them. I've been asking her if she's alright, and she had been insisting everything was fine until last night.

After we put the kids to bed, she came to me and sat me down at the table. She started talking about fun things we had done right after we got married, what a great adventure everything had been, just generally reminiscing.

She was being sweet and funny and loving and my guard was down. She said "back before we had the girls, we could do anything we wanted. I wish we could go back to that." I asked her what she meant. After much prodding she admitted that she regretted having kids.

I said that there were times where I felt overwhelmed too, but that I would always love our daughters. She got quiet. She mumbled something and I asked her to say it again. She yelled "I DON'T LOVE THEM" and then started sobbing.

I sat there with my mouth hanging open. She composed herself and then started talking again. She was saying how she had been looking into adoption agencies and foster care. She had contacted one agency already.

She was making plans to give away my CHILDREN. I continued to listen, too dumbfounded to say a word, as she babbled on about how amazing it's going to be to have our lives back, how great our relationship will be when we don't have kids anymore.

I didn't know what to do. I let her talk herself out, and when she went to bed I went and got my babies, packed some things, and drove to my mother's house. I called in sick to work today. I told them I'd probably be out the rest of the week.

I have a ton of missed calls, voicemails, and texts from my wife. I haven't looked at any of them. I've spent the day talking to my mom about things and keeping the girls occupied. My mom doesn't know what to do either.

I'm thinking I have a couple of options: start calling lawyers or start calling mental health professionals. Maybe both. I don't know if she's having some kind of psychotic delusion or if she's just that awful of a person.

I really don't want to go back home to her now. Ever. I'm thinking divorce is the best choice, but I can't take care of my kids on my own. What should my next move be? Should I try to call my wife?

EDIT: Additional Info

She's not at home all the time with them. They go to pre-k for six hours a day four days a week. My mom takes them pretty much every other weekend. She gets a lot of time to herself, even though it could be more.

On nights when I'm home she goes out with her friends often, and lately when I'm home she doesn't see the kids at all... It's still possible that she's overwhelmed, but she's not the isolated 'barefoot and pregnant' chained to the stove woman you're picturing here.

We've both always been pretty low libido, I would say we have sex once a week and we try to have a date night every other week (leaving the girls with my mother). We are very affectionate towards one another.

She graduated with an art degree. When we first got married she was working as a teacher, she taught english and art in a local high school. She hated it, and she quit when she was pregnant with our first.

She has a "studio" in our house, basically an extra bedroom with all her art stuff in it that the kids aren't allowed in, and she paints when the kids are out of the house. She feels like her degree is useless, but told me she wasn't interested in going back to school.

We used to pay for a weekly maid service, but my wife decided she didn't want to spare the expense. I'm just looking for input right now. Honestly I feel like her response to this situation was completely out of line and nearly unbelievable.

I'm not sure I want to continue a relationship with someone who considers giving away her kids before even asking for help. She has consistently denied that anything was wrong and apparently put up a front to make me think that she wasn't struggling.**

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


Okay I'm going to get downvoted to Hell and back but I think she's completely at fault here. Yes she may need professional help, yes she may be burned out but for God's sake, SHE ALREADY CALLED AN AGENCY BEHIND OP'S BACK!!

She's already started the steps towards getting rid of their children! Right now he needs to make sure his children are safe and together with him. His wife made a decision to not have the first abortion, and she "wanted" to have a second child. She's now making the decision to get rid of their children because she regrets it.

I understand that she's overwhelmed, that she may be completely burned out or that she may have never wanted children. But the fact that she took that step without speaking to her husband about it before hand is sickening.

And then continued on to talk about how "their lives" will go back to the way it was before and all the stuff they could do. OP please look after your children. Once they are safe and out of the equation please help your wife seek the helps she needs.


I... don't know what's up with people in here. A woman goes behind her husband's back to call an adoption agency, and everyone is jumping on him? Yes, she needs help. But also, yes, he did the RIGHT THING in packing the kids up and taking them to his mother's. The children come FIRST AND FOREMOST.


Any person who says they don't live their children and have called adoption agencies, all the while dreaming up a new childless life for her and he spouse.. Is CLEARLY in crisis. Get her some help.


Just out of curiosity, I know the girls are little, but have you asked them how mommy is when your not there? Not to say she would neglect them, but that's just an interesting situation to me. What's life like when dad is gone?

I think you're doing the right thing removing the girls from the situation. It sounds like she needs some sort of help. I hope it works out for all of you. Good luck dude! You sound like a pretty good Dad.


I don't know why everyone is being so hard on you for taking your babies over to your mom's place when YOUR WIFE HAD BEEN CONTACTING ADOPTION AGENCIES WITHOUT YOU!!!! That is nuts! Totally nuts! Your reaction is completely understandable, holy crap. That said: I think that marriage counseling and individual counseling are in order. And a nanny. And everything u/hopefulthr0waway says.

ETA: Keep your kids at your mom's place as long as you can, they shouldn't be around your wife if it can be avoided. Also, talk to a lawyer. If you divorce your wife, what would the alimony situation be like? I mean, I feel like you OUGHT to be given primary custody, if it comes to that, and if you're making six figures you can probably hire someone to help you take care of them.

Two days later, the OP returned with an update.

"[UPDATE] Me [35M] with my wife [33F] of 9 years, wants to give up our daughters for adoption"


I second-guessed myself a little after the initial responses I was getting from my first post. I didn't expect anybody to side with my wife. I should have given more information from the start but I didn't realize all that stuff would be relevant.

I thought that from the fact that she was trying to adopt out our kids without my knowledge people would realize that the issue was with her. (I'm not trying to say I'm perfect by any means, but I took a lot of unwarranted criticism.)

Anyway, after I elaborated on our situation a little more, I got a ton of helpful advice and support! Thank you to everyone who commented, or sent me a pm. I took a lot of the advice to heart. This update is going to be long. A lot of really crazy shit has happened.

I'm in the process of finding a live-in nanny now, and I appreciate everyone who suggested it. Yesterday I contacted a lawyer for advice, and then bit the bullet and called my wife. One of my close friends lives a few houses down, so I explained the situation and had him on standby. I left my daughters with my mom and came back to the house to meet with her.

She was absolutely furious. The first words out of her mouth were "Where the fuck have you been, you piece of shit?" When I got to the house, she berated me for leaving without saying a word to her or answering the phone.

She accused me of cheating on her, called me a pig and an asshole, and ranted for a good fifteen minutes straight. She didn't say a word about the kids. Didn't ask me where they were, or if I had taken them. It's like she had forgotten they existed.

I cut her off, told her where I had been and that I had taken the girls to my mother's house. She seemed caught off guard. She asked me why. I explained to her that the way she had talked about adopting them out was not acceptable, and since she didn't care about them I didn't think they were safe around her.

She blinked, and said, word for word, "wait, you want to keep them? Don't you love me?" I lost it. I'm not proud of it but I couldn't hold it together, reddit. It devolved into a screaming fight with me telling her she was insane and her yelling that I didn't love her.

I went through the house and packed up all my valuables and personal documents with her screaming her head off at me the whole time. My friend came in to try and calm her down, but she threw a plate at him and told him to get out.

At this point I called the cops. She dug her hole deeper by punching one of the cops, and then biting the other once she was cuffed. I am now 100% certain that she's having some kind of psychotic break.

She will be evaluated soon, but either way I'm going through with the divorce. I doubt I'll have any trouble getting full custody, especially with that call to the adoption agency on her phone records.

After my wife was arrested, I cleaned up the house and brought my daughters back home. They haven't asked where mommy is yet, but I don't know what to tell them when they do.

I'm looking into taking a lower responsibility role at work, at least to where I'm not gone for a whole week at a time. I will still be heavily reliant on a nanny, but I can't stand the thought of my daughters not having a parent there to put them to bed every night.

EDIT Growing up my father was a schizophrenic. I'm not interested in putting my daughters through what I went through. Even if she gets treatment, it will be a constant worry for me.

If she had cancer, or some other illness, it wouldn't affect her love for our daughters. I wouldn't have to worry that she would murder them or abandon them or hurt them when I wasn't around. That's the difference.

EDIT 2 I called my mom and she said she told my daughters that their mommy had to go on a trip for a little while. That's why they haven't asked about her so far.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's first update:

esprit_de_escalier_ 883

Definitely a psychotic break, particularly when you look at her violent reaction towards the cops. I hope she gets the help she needs.

Aucurrant 124

The danger with depression is not the actual manifestation it is recovery. That is when people all of a sudden have the energy to do all of the awful things they dreamed about doing when they were in the dark throes of it.

If someone is depressed you need to watch them during recovery when they start showing glimpses of healthy behavior because that is when they have the "strength" to jump.

_Discard_Account_ 296

If it is a mental break, then she needs help - but he doesn't need to stick around for her to get better, if she ever does. [Edit: because this affects his kids and THEIR wellbeing is at stake, despite his vow to be with her in sickness and in health.] And if it isn't a mental break, then she's a scary, manipulative person whom he would do well to get away from forever.

Almost three months later, the OP returned with another update.

"[UPDATE 2] Me [35M] with my wife [33F] of 9 years, wants to give up our daughters for adoption"


It's been a good while since my last update, but things are progressing so I figured I'd post something. My wife has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She is undergoing extensive therapy and trying to work out her legal issues as well.

I'm still not sure what direction that is going to take, my wife's parents have been helping her with legal arrangements as she refuses help from me, and didn't even want to use my insurance to help with her medical bills.

She ended up having to anyway, and I've been sending her parents money to help with paying what's left over. We mutually decided to go ahead with the divorce. She didn't want custody of our daughters, or even visitation.

I practically begged her to at least come to their birthdays and holidays, but she said no. I'm hoping that it's a symptom of her illness and that once she progresses through her treatment enough she will change her mind, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

I found a wonderful au pair who is fantastic with my daughters. According to her, they're very self sufficient and don't need much help with keeping themselves entertained or anything really. I suspect my wife had been ignoring the girls even when I wasn't around.

They've been constantly asking me when mommy is coming back and I don't know what to tell them. I have to try really hard not to cry in front of them because I don't want them to worry about me.

We've been going to family therapy together but still haven't found a way to explain that mommy might never come back, or she may show back up and not be nice, or she may show back up and be her old self again.

My friend (the one she threw a plate at) and his wife and kids have been hanging out at my place a lot to keep us all company. He's been a godsend throughout this whole experience. He decided not to press charges against my wife for the plate thing.

This will probably be my last update. The feedback I've gotten from you guys has really helped to ground me during these events. Even just getting validation that I'm not crazy helped. Thanks for everything, reddit.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's second update:


I wonder how those 13- and 11-year-old girls are doing now.


You are worried about now, and I’m worried about their future. With a schizophrenic grandfather and a bipolar mother, plus the trauma due to the way their mother just disappeared from their life one day, they are at very high risk of developing a mental illness too.


I can’t help but wonder if OP’s ex ever felt differently about the girls if she came out of her manic episode. Sometimes I read the bipolar SOs sub and sometimes the partner will cheat and do extreme things and later beg to come back, but not always.

I have a relative who is bipolar with a spouse and kids and it’s tough. The kids didn’t always realize something was going on until they got older. Her episodes got worse as she got older but lately her new medication seems to mostly keep it under control. I hope OP and the girls have found healing.


I really, really want to know what's going on now, with almost a decade of time gone. Did she get treatment and stabilise? Did she reconcile with her children? How are they coping with the aftermath of their primary carer having an apparent psychotic break that endangered them?

Did other family members step up? It's such an incredibly sad story and I'm just left wondering about what happened to them and where they're at now.


A friend of mine had multiples. Their dad left when they were 3 or 4 months old. There was a lot of family support and friends supporting her, but it was very hard. When they were about 18 months old, my friend went into an adoption agency and asked about giving them up.

She had a whole plan, and when she told her family, she was shocked they didn't think it was a good idea. The more they talked to her, the more she unraveled. She went inpatient for a brief time and was diagnosed with post partum psychosis and depression.

Apparently, it had been slow brewing a long time, and she had convinced herself that this was the best thing for the babies. 100% convinced. It was unreal to everyone around her how she had this whole notion and plan without anyone knowing until she had nearly signed papers.

Fortunately, hers wasn't a lack of love. Once she got treatment, she was horrified. She was just sick and had a whole delusion in her head, telling her that this was the right decision and the best thing for the babies.

Her kids didn't even know it was happening because they were tiny. I can't imagine OPs kids who had a Mommy one day and then never saw her again. Those poor girls. Old enough to know and remember.

So, if you could give them OP any advice, what would you say?

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