Don’t marry…after divorce…

Question: I married two years ago.  I have three kids with my previous partner.  My kids and my husband seem not to get along at all. They don’t argue or say anything to each other.  Whenever they are around each other, it seems as if they are strangers.  I feel uncomfortable with this situation.  I have spoken to my husband about it but he says that it will never work.  He says he has tried talking to them but they don’t seem interested.  At first they used to say hello and talk a little bit but now they say hi to him and he does not respond.  It really hurts because I love them all.  My husband and I have a baby together and my kids love him so much but my husband thinks they will mistreat them.  Sometimes I don’t want to bring my children to my house because my husband says that they are very disrespectful-I don’t know what he means by that. Yeah they make noise and fight with each other but I have never heard them say anything to him but according to him they are disrespectful.  I feel bad because my kids what to stay with me all the time and I always make excuses for them not to stay.  Whenever they come around, my husband goes to his work room and stays there. He does not talk to me at all sometimes for days.  I have to be the one that talks to me but he ignores me or says nothing at all.  I have asked my kids if they have something against him but they always say no–they tell me that he does not talk to them so they don’t talk to him.  I have also said to my husband that they are kids and he is an adult but does not say anything at all.  I have asked him to go see a consoler but he refuses.  I don’t know what to do because my kids need me and I don’t want to push them away.  I also love my husband and my baby and I don’t want to push them away either.  Please give me some advice on how to approach this situation…
Answer: Canela,
This is the exact reason I tell people not to remarry when they have divorced and have kids. The problems you describe become too insurmountable. You have put yourself in more of a predicament because of the child you have with him. There is really no good answer. He obviously doesn’t love your kids like you do. He is also worried that his child will become like your kids and he doesn’t want their influence around. He doesn’t need a counselor. His focus is on his child not your other ones. Thus, you have a problem. I would suggest you acknowledge the poor behavior that your children do have and work with your husband on ways to help this behavior change. Don’t let him give out discipline, but at least listen to his observations about your children and then act on them. He probably doesn’t want anything to do with them because he thinks you protect them and it annoys him. I would suggest you listen to him and respect what he says when it comes to your kids.

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