I just got married, and my husband and I are having problems. I know that it is normal to have problems in marriage, but what hurts me the most is that one of the problems is my twelve-year-old son. My husband is not my son’s father, because when we first met I was a single mother. But I feel like my husband doesn’t like my son, although he didn’t show that until after we were married.

My son lives with my mother, and he doesn’t want to even come and visit me, mostly because on one occasion my husband complained about him openly. It’s as if my husband doesn’t really want my son to come and see me or stay over with us on weekends….

What should I do? I don’t want to have more fights with my husband (we just got married), and I don’t want to distance myself from my son either. I love my husband, but my love for my son is greater. It hurts me to be separated from my son, and it hurts me to argue with my husband.

Dear Friend,

What an impossible situation you have gotten yourself into! Although it is never helpful to ask why, I wonder about your reasons for getting yourself into this predicament. Were you so anxious to get a husband that you ignored warning signs?

Any good parent must put the welfare of their children above their own wishes and desires. You say that your husband did not show his dislike for your son before you were married, but did you provide many opportunities for your future husband and your son to spend time together so you could know how they felt about each other?

Did you speak with your fiancé about where your son would live after you were married? Did you agree with him about plans for your son’s future? Or did he have a good reason to assume that you were giving up primary custody of your son so that you could be his new wife?

There are no good answers for you. You can’t change your husband’s opinion or desires, so continuing to argue with him about it is worthless. Plans and decisions should have been made prior to wedding arrangements, but unless one of you deceived the other, there has been no fraud or betrayal. On the other hand, if your husband did deceive you, then you may have grounds for an annulment.

My heart breaks for your son! He is the one who has been betrayed. How can he face the future emotionally strong when the one who was supposed to love him the most has abandoned him?

We don’t know what happened to your son’s father, but it appears that he abandoned the child before you did. I can’t tell you what you should do, but I can say that the boy’s life and future depend on you.

Ask Jesus to come into your life and to give you the wisdom and strength that you need. Jesus gave His life so that He could give you eternal life. He is our model of the extreme sacrifice that is possible to make when we truly love someone.

I wish you well,