Guest Wrote: Hello, I am trying to figure out how to make a relationship work, when there is a child from another woman due in a month. It was a child from a one night stand before we were in a committed relationship. I have been friends with my partner for 4 years and our relationship started to get serious, we both expressed our deep love for each other and decided to commit. Only a few days later the other woman (with whom he’d had the one night stand) called to tell him she was pregnant and wanted to keep it –and also she wanted a relationship with him. He told her he was in love with me and they could raise the child as friends. He is trying to be the best father he can be. There still needs to be a paternity test but we both believe her.
She was living in Miami and moved out to Phoenix, where we live, so they could parent together but when she did not get the attention she wanted she bolted back to Miami. She tried to get him to let her stay at his place but he only found other options for her. The other woman seems manipulative and unstable.
It has been so hard and painful. I feel so sad. His mom and dad are very excited about the child and are in contact with this woman. They are already buying gifts for the baby and are going to have a baby shower for her. He even gave her some money already. He is planning to go stay in Miami for the month the child is born, with his mother and father there as well. He has been open with me and shared their email conversations. In the beginning there were frequent phone calls and texts but now he tries to keep the conversations to email out of respect for our relationship. He has to be careful with her though. In a lot of ways she is running the show because she has the baby. When she doesn’t get what she wants she stops contact for a bit. She wants to build a close friendship with him… and obviously more. She barely knows him, but it is obvious he will be a loving father. He is so kind and has been supportive and positive. I know he is happy about the child although he didn’t want it initially and especially not with her.
How do I stay with him and not feel like I am completely disrespecting myself? How can I have a healthy role in all of this? He told me recently that he would like us to move in together in the next few months. We have both expressed our desire to be together and get married. We talked about having our own children as well. This has forced us to reveal our character very early on. He is handling this very well. I try to be supportive and I want this to be a happy beautiful thing, although it is hard because it is so painful and frightening for me. I feel very insecure and sad. I love him more than I have ever loved anyone else and our relationship is incredible. He brings so much joy to my life. Our life together is so beautiful. This part is just so painful. I feel no animosity towards the baby, that part is not sad. I know I will love the child.
The thought of him going to be close to her and the baby for a month (also with his family) feels crushing. The plan was that I would be out there sometimes when I could…but how can this work with us? He now needs to think about providing for them. I imagine them getting to know each other, having this amazing beautiful thing they would share together. They want their child to feel happy with parents who are friends. I haven’t even met this other woman. He tried to get her to meet me when she came out to Phoenix but she said she wasn’t ready. She is clearly not going to contact me so the next option is for me to contact her to see if we could find a way to talk or meet before the baby is born. Ideally we will get through this hard part and all be friends and there will be lots of love for this child. I feel strange about them building this relationship though. He Is planning on traveling to Miami on a regular basis. I imagine it feeling like he has 2 families. It hurts to think of him and his family out celebrating with her and the baby… him at the hospital, them sharing the birth together at the hospital….How do I stay in this relationship?How can this even work? Can someone offer advice to both of us? What do we do? Is it possible? I feel like maybe I should step away so they can just figure out parenting. My heart is so sad. I feel this impending doom. Is it possible? I love him so dearly as a friend and a partner.
Dear Guest, what an incredibly big heart you seem to have. And how wonderful would it be if this were to work out favorably where you and your boyfriend marry and you have the opportunity to shower his child with unconditional love, and where he and his one-night stand can co-parent in friendship, and everyone is happy? That is certainly a possible outcome and the one I wish for you; but is it a likely outcome? That is the question. You might have a big heart, but the other woman seems to be less interested in happiness for all and more interested in what she wants. And you’re right in saying she holds the trump card. Even if your boyfriend remains completely committed to you and never falls for her antics, it sounds as if the other woman could cause problems in your relationship by undermining your sense of security anyway.
Is it possible for this to work out well? Of course. Anything is possible. But only where everyone is on the same page and after the same outcome. If this woman means to cause problems then whether or not this can work will depend on the relationship between you and your boyfriend. How stable and secure is it? What can it withstand?
In a way you’re in a good place. This is someone with whom you’ve been friends for a while. The child was conceived before your relationship took a serious and committed romantic turn. Your relationship is young and this is a test. Perhaps the best approach is to let things play themselves out and allow time to reveal the answers to your questions. Don’t make rash decisions that will complicate the situation. Keep the talk of marriage off the table for now. Just continue to let your relationship grow naturally and deal with this situation as it develops. It will become clear in time whether the situation can or cannot work.
In the meantime don’t play the head games that get people into trouble in their relationships. You have some insecurity that is understandable, but it’s still an indication of where you are more than it’s a reflection of reality. You’re going to create problems or exacerbate existing problems if you get caught up in all that stuff about hurting when you think about him celebrating with his parents and the woman and their child. Either make up your mind to be part of that by tagging along, or make up your mind not to be threatened by it if you choose to not be there with him to participate. If what you and he have together is sound, none of that will affect it. If you are secure in his commitment to you then you’re not going to feel threatened by these things. If you feel threatened, then what you have is not sound enough that you feel as secure as you need to feel, and maybe you need to give that some thought. Is it because of what you’re bringing in from experiences outside of your relationship with your boyfriend or is it the relationship itself?
If you happen to be around with your boyfriend still say 18 years from now you’re going to have learned some things about love that we don’t know (or want to know) in the beginning. And no one can convince us of these things because they aren’t things we want to hear when we feel passionately in love with someone. You and your boyfriend are planting a seed. Whether or not it grows and what it grows into is going to depend on what you both do with it. All of the forces in nature are going to conspire to see to it that it doesn’t grow or that it grows into something monstrous that you eventually have to cut down to save yourselves. In your case some of the forces are already trying and the seed hasn’t even started sprouting yet. You can hang in there and wait and see what happens. You can try to take matters into your own hands and try to make happen whatever it is you want to happen. Or you can run for the hills while you can still do it will as little loss as possible.
I say just relax a bit. Give it some time. Stop feeling sad because there’s no reason. It’s just a child. He’s not in a relationship with this woman. Sure he’s excited about the child, but things will settle down soon enough once it’s born. Parenting is not fun and games. If they’re not close now, there’s not that much likelihood of the child bringing him and the other woman closer together. So stop worry about her and the child and the grandparents and all that stuff; and just attend to the seed you’ve planted. But keep in mind that there’s as much chance of killing the seed by overwhelming it with effort in trying to force it to grow, as in not doing enough to make it grow naturally and healthfully. Love is a process and it takes a lot of time and a lot of work to grow it into what it can become. It doesn’t thrive in an environment of jealousy, insecurity, instability, suspicion, fear and other dark emotion. Let go of what you have no power to control. Take control of what you do have power to control, but be sure you know the difference.
Hope this helps in some small way.