Hello, this is my first post and it's going to be a long one. I am in need of major advice & some perspective.
I will start this off by saying that both my husband & I are 26 years old. We have been together since we were 17 and I have always known he is adopted from the beginning, especially considering we were friends long before dating. We have been married for 6 years and the last 3 have been painful to say the least.
My husband has always known he is adopted as he is bi-racial and his adopted family are entirely white. His parents have obviously never kept it a secret from him & gave him very basic information about his birth parents as a child while maintaining that they loved him no different than their 3 younger biological sons. Here's some backstory. My in-laws are a bit strange to me (and to my husband)...they are traditionally Christian (my husband & I are not), his adopted mother is pretty judgmental of lifestyles different than hers, however she also suffers from clinical depression (due to her twin sons having extreme mental illnesses/delays and having to leave the family home to live in care facilities at the ages of 12/13), I disagree with the way she judges most people, however as a mother myself (and beforehand) I always sympathized with her depression and heartbreak. Their family dynamic is quite strange - mother stays home, is very controlling and the father works outside of the home, yet is responsible for almost all household duties, is a devoted husband to her and usually agrees with her to avoid friction in their marriage. Adopted mom loves my husband as her own, however has never truly KNOWN my husband as her judgmental tendencies make have made it difficult for him to completely open to her. Due to 2/3 of my husband's siblings (adopted parent's biological children) being sent to care facilities and being non-verbal, he has always wanted strong sibling relationships & I believe always wondered if he had biological siblings out there as well.
The story of his adoption is that his 14 year old birth mother became pregnant from his 17 year old birth father, they were not together and because birth mother was white and birth father was black, his birth mother's racist father forced her into putting my husband up for adoption. The birth father was in a relationship with another woman & apparently signed his rights away with his girlfriend and newborn daughter along with him. The adoption took place in a different state than where my husband & I were raised and lived our entire lives so the adoption was set to be semi-open and his birth mother was to receive pictures & updates throughout his childhood...her father ended up having a problem with this & she ran away from home not long after giving birth, essentially ending the contact between her & adopted parents. Birth father was rarely mentioned to my husband & he showed very little interest in finding him.
When my husband turned 18, adopted parents gave him a letter his birth mother had written to him giving him her name and reasoning for giving him up, ensuring she loved him and wanted to meet him one day if that's what he wanted. My husband did his research, found some criminal records of hers and decided he'd wait to go further into his search for her. Still had shown no interest in birth father.
Around 22 years old, my husband showed interest in finding his birth mother finally. Through background search websites, we were able to find her, contact her and we met her and her two young daughters Christmas of 2016. Immediately, I was excited for my husband as I knew this was important to him and I was looking forward to learning about his mother and sisters. We welcomed them into our home and they stayed with us for a week. By the time she had come to visit for Christmas, my husband had been speaking to her for about 5 months. They became incredibly close which I thought was great, but it started to bother me that my husband was already calling her mom (I'm probably wrong for this), but I did not speak on this out of respect for this blossoming and new relationship. What bothered me more was that my husband was confiding in her about problems we were having in our marriage, saying negative things about me that I felt were unfair as she did not know us that well & she was giving opinions that were unfair. This was a trying time in my marriage as my husband had recently became more and more disrespectful to me. When they finally met in person, EVERYTHING became about his mother and sisters. He went out and bought expensive gifts for them with money we didn't have and actually bought his mother jewelry that I had hinted to him about wanting myself, which he never got me. I don't mean to sound materialistic, it just bothered me that he didn't seem to care about the things I had voiced wanting (for quite a while at this point), but he had care enough to do it for her. I got over it eventually, but I also expressed to him months later that it hurt my feelings. To this day, he is close with his mother and sisters and while I'm happy for him, it bothers me that I am constantly criticized for little things and he speaks of his birth mother with the utmost respect even though I do so much for him and try to support him while she simply just has to communicate with him for him to give her love and respect. She's a good person, but she also has a shady past and I am careful with what I share or include her in. While this relationship bothers me, because it seems as if he's idolizing her, I have learned to stay quiet because I cannot understand the feelings they both may have in this situation.
Here's where it gets tricky. As most marriages, my husband & I have hard our hard times together...marriage isn't easy and in early 2017 I suffered a traumatic miscarriage. In February of 2017, my husband's adopted parents also gave him an Ancestry kit for his birthday so he could find information on his heritage. He completed the kit, sent it back, got his results & moved on with his life. Flash forward to January 2018, I had recently found out I was pregnant and not long after, my husband received an email on Ancestry from a biological family member asking who he was. It wasn't long before my husband's older sister (remember the baby that was with his father when he signed the adoption papers?) emailed him asking if he knew who his parents were and when he gave them his story and biological parent's was her father's name as well. His sister is 2 months older than him and has known their father her entire life. She extended an invite to travel to the state they lived and stated they never knew about him, but considering that her dad had a lot of children, she wasn't surprised he existed and that they would all love to meet them. I later found out that in addition to my husband's father being aware of my husband's existence, his father's mother did as well and never spoke about it. The strangest part about this all is that my husband has a biological brother from his father who was adopted at birth 2 years after my husband's birth and the entire paternal family & siblings knew about it and had been searching for him (they have yet to find him to this day). It turns out, the biological father has several children from several mothers, totaling to around 11 children. My husband decides to travel to meet his family, I ask him if he wants me to join as I was invited by the family as well, he insists I come with & thanks me for being supportive the entire time we travel to them. We spent a weekend there and my husband left me alone with them the entire time, spending his entire time there with his father and being verbally abusive and ignoring me the entire trip. He ends up telling me months later that he never wanted me to join and I "should have known" not to come with. It was hard to hear, but I accepted that I was most likely uneducated in this situation and he was correct. I should say that this biological father has never been a stable person in any of his children's lives. He's a textbook narcissist, he abuses his many girlfriends both verbally and physically, sells drugs for a living, has never had a "real" job and constantly lies to his family, never carries through on being an actual father & is very much in need of counseling of some sort. I thought learning this would turn my husband off to further getting to know him, however they have shared interests and hobbies and they bonded quickly over them. I assume this is because my husband has always been different than his adopted family as far as interests go. It bothered me, but I knew how important it was for my husband to get to know his family, where he came from, and especially get to know his siblings. As my pregnancy progressed, he became less and less available emotionally, I was constantly ignored & his attention was almost always on his siblings & father. Before this, my husband & I had a great friendship and were so close, he was loving & helpful and always seemed to actually care about my feelings. I had a hard pregnancy physically & when it was asked of my husband to visit them for a weekend, I said I didn't want to go as I was heavily pregnant, uncomfortable & 1.5 months from delivery. I asked him not to go as well, because I just really felt like I needed support and time together before our daughter was born. He said he felt it was the right thing to do and he was going. I felt disrespected, but what could I do? It doesn't help that he initially told his sister he was not going to go and she insisted he did until he agreed. I'll add that his sister had found out she was pregnant with her second child around this time and his focus quickly shifted to his excitement for her. In the initial months since my husband met his father, he started becoming distant, cold, disrespectful, changed the way he dressed, the way he talked, EVEN THE WAY HE TYPED/TEXTED, he started accusing me of being jealous of his relationship with his family when I expressed that I felt he was no longer there for me emotionally. I'll add that I was working 55 hours a week throughout the majority of my very rough pregnancy. When I delivered our daughter, my husband was happy and loving initially & then slowly expressed sadness for his biological family not being there. I offered to pay for them to fly to visit and they came. He left me in the hospital alone with our newborn at 2AM while he hung out with his sister and cousin smoking weed until almost 6AM, ignoring every text & call I made to him. When he got back and I expressed how I felt about it, he told me I was being a bitch and promptly fell asleep. The next day when we were discharged from the hospital, he allowed his family to come to our house as we were bringing our baby home (something we had discussed would be something we did ONLY as the 3 of us). His father called me fat, they made the entire day about them and I was even criticized for not wanting to breastfeed in front of them. I had met these people ONCE and they had already disrespected so many boundaries.
I'm going to spare a lot of the details over the next year or so, but my husband became abusive physically & verbally. He started mentioning moving to the same state as them, I expressed that I did not want to as we both have family where we're from and I wanted a strong family presence for our daughter & I had already seen so many toxic changes in my husband since meeting his father. My husband agreed we would stay put, but often brought up how he could take over a family business from them & that he was considering making the move regardless how I felt about it. As luck (for him) would have it, my husband got fired from his job February of this year & immediately left by himself to work for this family business. My daughter & I stayed behind as we had agreed to finish out our lease in our hometown and he would be back once he found a job back home. The family business ended up paying very little and we relied almost solely on my income alone for months. He was sleeping on his father's couch and constantly making me feel bad for not visiting him every 2 weeks even though we could not afford the travel/hotel costs, I did not want to sleep on a couch with my baby when we had a beautiful home. Regardless, we borrowed money from family & visited once a month. Most of the visits consisted of my husband doing whatever he wanted, sometimes working, mostly spending time with his father, their friends & selling drugs. He became so controlling and unapologetically abusive that I looked forward to our time away from him. My husband ended up getting a full time construction job there and forced me to move there September of this year or else he would try to take custody of my daughter if I decided to divorce him. As someone who grew up with separated parents, I've always dreamt of a stable family for my own child. The physical abuse stopped, but the manipulation and narcissistic ways continued.
I do everything for my family in addition to working. He works and then goes out with his father's friends all of the time until the early morning. Something he never did before meeting his family. He has talked negatively about me to his biological family & made me out to be unstable & unloving, despite his own abusive ways. I finally came back home with my daughter almost two weeks ago & am seeking legal separation.
ALL THIS TO ASK, has anyone ever experienced this with an adult adoptee spouse? The sudden change of personality, priorities, attitude, style, etc. after a reunion with biological parents? This is not the person I married and it breaks my heart to know he is so willing to treat me horribly in order to seemingly fit in with his father's side of the family. Is there a disorder associated with this or is it just an adopted child who never felt like he fit in, finally feeling like he does? It's devastating to me watching my once very respectful, loving, GOOD man become such a different person with no apologies or awareness for his behavior? Is it normal for an adult adoptee to change their entire life, move to their biological family states away? I can't find anything as specific as this. I'm so lost.
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I am in a very similar situation, down to the comment about the adoptive parents. I am just beginning to realize what has happened to my marriage and I don't have any answers for you. i am wondering how it is going for you and if your husband has come back to the way he was before meeting his biological mother. My husband is completely obsessed with his and she has become his close friend and confidant. she lives out of state and leaves me and my daughter once a month to fly to see her and he stays with her for 4 nights at her home alone. this has been going on for 8 months and no end in sight. in fact its gotten so much worse she has completely taken over our lives. he is like an entirely different person.