I have been married 10 years to a lovely man. We have no children. Now my husband wants to adopt his brother’s child from overseas.

My husband often returns to his home country, and he has formed a close relationship with the boy who is now three. I am 45 and reluctant to embark on this undertaking. I have always worked long hours and want to ease up to have more time to myself and develop some hobbies.

In addition, I don’t know if I could love someone else’s child. I regret not having children, but I accept it.

My husband is 40 and just now earning good money. I was the main earner while he waited to get his qualifications recognized in this country. I thought once he was earning, he would help me out with the home loan and retirement borrowing I made for him, but not so.

We still get on well and have a lot of jokes, but we’ve lost that special feeling, and I wonder if he ever cared for me as deeply as I cared for him. I always used to initiate sex, but it became a one-sided chore, so I stopped. He never touches me voluntarily, though he responds if I kiss or cuddle him.

We do get on well and I know he is fond of me, but is it worth living as brother and sister, especially now that I am resentful my past efforts and sacrifices have not been acknowledged? Meanwhile, he expects me to bring up someone else’s child for him.

~ Tisha

Tisha, hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some things are clear only in retrospect.

You’ve examined the last 10 years, your sacrifices and your finances, and found the scales out of balance. You put your husband on his feet in a new country, now he wants more. It is clear you gave out of love and the need to have someone. Did he take out of necessity?

He has not rewarded your sacrifices. If his motives were pure, why would that not be a moral imperative for him?

The child isn’t the issue. The child is the catalyst to examine the nature of your relationship. Evidence is gathering that you were taken advantage of. A person with ulterior motives, once they get what they want, usually doesn’t feel the need to keep up the pretense.

Your husband claims a strong bond to his brother’s child, but there is no mention that he is an orphan. Do you wonder if the child is a foot in the door for a bigger ask? “He misses his mom and dad…”

It’s time for “the talk” with your husband. It is not selfish of you to say, “This is not what I want.” Your husband doesn’t get to force altruism on you, and he needs to know he cannot do this without your agreement. He also needs to understand the concrete consequences if the child simply “shows up.”

But before you have a sit-down with your husband, have a sit-down with an attorney, so if legal issues arise, you already know your legal standing.

It’s also time to face your anger. It’s time to decide if your husband is spending money owed you on his relatives, because they matter to him and you don’t. You can’t go forward in a relationship founded in finances and ulterior motives.

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Airing this issue now will help you see the future with equal clarity.

~ Wayne & Tamara

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