I’d been with this man for a while, but then we took a break for some months.
Today, his ex came up to me and said, “I’m one-month pregnant by him.”
He didn’t inform me about this, so am I supposed to confront him? If so, what am I supposed to say?
Start with “congratulations on becoming a father.”
That’ll certainly start a conversation. He may tell you it’s not true (it may not be). Or, he may not even have been told yet.
What matters is whether your break was over. If not, this affects him, not you.
He’ll have to take responsibility as a dad and be involved with his child and the mother.
But, if your break had ended and you two are back together, you do have a decision to make: Are you willing to be a part of this family scene for years ahead?
Or cut out now.
My husband is drop-dead gorgeous… I’m serious about this, not exaggerating.
We emigrated together to the United States with our international background, had two kids, and enjoyed some very good times.
But during the past three years we faced financial insecurity, had to move to a smaller home, and things weren’t going well between us.
We tried to work through our problems but it’s been rough.
Last week, he left.
I’m not the kind of person who could ever walk away, especially as our children are young.
However, I didn’t think I’d be this devastated by his leaving. I can barely get out of bed.
Also, without our having any discussion or mediation about custody, he just announced that he’d have the children half the time.
The days when I’ve been all alone without them this past week, I felt I had nothing to live for.
Even when I got the children back home, I’m still barely functioning.
How do I get the strength to handle this separation, and be the mother my children need?
Ask your husband one direct question: Is he willing to get counselling with you and try to work on ways to re-connect and strengthen your marriage?
If he’s unwilling, get “out of bed” immediately and get legal advice.
A family court clinic may be a good place to start, to learn your rights and your responsibilities regarding child custody and support.
Once you’re informed, talk to your husband directly once more.
Tell him the first thing to resolve is a legal agreement on sharing custody with a set schedule for the children staying with each parent.
If you can’t agree, mediation’s a necessity.
There are other issues to face and despite your hurt and despair, you must call on your inner strength as a parent and as an individual.
By starting with a description of your “gorgeous” husband, you hint that perhaps he’s found someone else (or someone else has found him).
Nevertheless, this isn’t the time to cave in to jealousy and anger. You had previous premarital problems and he’s chosen escape.
Your children are more confused than you are by these events, and need reassurance that they have parents who love them.
Their adjustment to the current changes and how they function at school and with friends, depends on this.
So does your own well-being and future.
If your husband would rather run from problems than try to find compromises, you still need to know what you’re willing to try, and if those efforts fail, how to manage on your own.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man whose son gets bullied by his uncle, while the child’s mother defends her brother (Nov. 14):
Reader – “To this father: Way before you call child welfare, step up and be a parent.
“Tell your brother-in-law immediately to STOP. Protect your child in the moment.
“Say that he’s upsetting your son and needs to cease or leave.”
Reader #2 – “As a retired childcare provider, I encourage both parents to be fully engaged around their son when “Uncle” is around.
“Note his body language and play techniques.
“Many well-meaning adults resort to what children perceive as bullying: e.g. singing that horrible “nyah nyah” tune, holding a toy just out of reach, or other little power plays.
“The parents can address the situation in front of the guest: “Son, you look upset… Are your feelings hurt?”
“Hopefully, the uncle will back down.”
Ellie: The other worrying issue is the mother’s compliance.
Tip of the day:
A pregnancy “during a break” leads to serious decisions about whether to stay with the baby’s father.