Posted by tieben23:
I (28f) have been married to my husband (28m) for 5 years & we have been together since high school. We have one daughter together, Erin (10f), who is severely autistic.
Our family situation isn’t ideal, & has put a strain on our relationship with both each other & our child. My husband works in the Navy & is usually gone for 6-9 months at a time. This means I am left alone to look after Erin, which is extremely difficult as she is essentially non-verbal, has ARFID, etc
I love my daughter & I wouldn't change her for the world, but it can still be very stressful & my husband does not always understand that.
I don't have many friends & live far from family so life can feel very difficult & lonely. When my cousin (37f) got in touch to reconnect, it felt like an answered prayer. However, I found out she was battling alcoholism & neglecting her two children, Mia (16f) & Corey (6f).
I reported the incident to CPS & got emergency custody (their father is not in the picture), & at this point my husband was very supportive.
The girls & my daughter became very close. I have never, ever seen my daughter love/trust someone as quickly as she did with Mia & Corey. Mia is a very maternal soul & Corey, although young, is fascinated by Erin. I have never seen a child so young be so inclusive & accepting of my daughter & her needs. I truly believe these girls were sent to us.
I now have full custody of them, & their mother is still drinking. I may not have given birth to these girls but they are as much my daughters as Erin. They are the first friends Erin has ever had as other children tend to be intimidated by her & her needs, & seeing them all get along so well warms my Mama heart.
My husband does not feel the same. When I originally told him that I applied for full custody, he was angry & told me that was not my decision to make, that it's his house too & I shouldn't go adopting children wherever I find them, & hung up.
I can understand where he's coming from, but I'm not asking him to adopt them. I'm asking him to respect the fact that they need us & that I'm not going to give up on them like their parents did.
When he came home for Christmas last year, he completely blanked them & pretended they didn’t exist. He would also frequently say to our daughter that she was the only child he was ever going to love or need, right in front of them, which was just cruel. On top of that, he barely spoke to me the whole time either.
His behaviour really hurt them & they’re terrified of Christmas. My husband & I rarely speak, & there's a part of me that wonders if we're better off separate but I know the girls will think it's their fault.
I feel like I’m the asshole for bringing these girls into his life but I would have also been an asshole if I’d have done nothing. AITA?
Sorry, but, you entered your husband into a serious commitment without even consulting him beforehand. You say, 'I'm not asking him to adopt them.' Yes, you are. I guarantee you would expect him to co-parent those girls with you.
You'd expect him to help drive them to places, get them ready for school, prepare meals. You'd expect him to help pay for their needs and wants. You'd certainly be expecting him to be involved with birthdays, Christmas, and so forth.
You'd expect the girls to be included in any 'family vacations'. And other events with your family and his, you'd be bringing the girls along too. Whether his name is on the papers or not, that's essentially expecting him to adopt the girls, too.
Bang on. She’s using these girls as companions/caregivers for her child.
It's definitely a YTA. He didn't want them there permanently. Yeah, it's not their fault, but it also isn't his, because he was given a commitment and responsibility he had no say in.
OP framed this post as if she's the hero. But she's not. She took these kids in temporarily for a good reason, that even her husband was supportive of. But then, she saw how good they were with her daughter and took them in permanently without consulting him.
ESH. You for adopting children without your husband’s knowledge. Your husband for the treatment of the children who are totally innocent