Reader reaction was strong, and divided, when a woman wrote about her controversial pregnancy’s potential impact on her husband and family if they learn the truth (July 23).
But the most serious question which no one can as yet answer, is this: Who’s the Baby’s Father?
Reader #1 – “The writer needs to determine who is the biological father, and inform him.
“He may wish to be part of the child’s life. Or, if she decides to put the child up for adoption, the biological father may wish to have custody.
“The child also has a right to know, if possible, who is the biological father. There are medical and psychological benefits to a child from this knowledge.
“While it’ll open up a potentially big mess, when someone brings a child into the world, one has to do the right thing.
“A positive note: I know someone who became pregnant with someone other than her partner.
“She and the partner worked through it and he became the child’s father in all practical ways.
“This may not be the norm, but it does show the possibilities.”
Reader #2 – “This woman isn’t responsible or mature enough to raise this child. She’s selfish.
“She says "I'm a happily married woman" but then had unprotected intercourse with many men.
“She’s more concerned with "shame, embarrassment, and humiliation for us and our respective families,” if it’s discovered that the child is of a different ethnicity/race than she and her husband.
“Depression (which she had) is real and can be debilitating, and everyone copes in different ways (not always healthy ones).
“This child will always be a reminder to all involved of his/her mother's actions.
“Resentment and anger will surround the child growing up.
“But, if the child is the same race as her and her husband, the mother will think she “got away with it."
Reader #3 – “I completely agree with your advice about owning up and confessing to infidelity - not only for the baby, but also for the husband.
“The wife had unprotected sex with the other men, so she should tell her husband to get checked for sexually transmitted diseases.
“Putting the health of her husband (and his potential future partners) at risk is the most selfish thing she could do.
“Unless, she tops that by saying nothing and making her husband believe the kid is truly his, while also putting his health at risk.
“The unborn baby is a ticking time-bomb, so it's not like she can avoid the conversation for much longer.
“She could do everyone involved a favour by coming clean so that her husband can make the choice of whether he wants to be involved with her and the child.
“She claims she's discovered new-found love for her husband. But what is love without respect? She's been keeping this secret for too long already.”
Reader #4 – “The "Call the Midwife" TV show had exactly the same situation in one of their episodes. (Ellie: It’s a BBC period drama series about a group of nurse-midwives working in London’s east end in the late 1950s and early 1960s)
“In that episode, the white father did accept the black child, and handled it very well.
“It might help the letter-writer to watch it and get a sense of the ways people were informed, and the support the midwives and others offered her.”
My husband of 45 years died suddenly, near Christmas.
Our adult children were here to celebrate the holiday with us.
The service went beautifully, with many friends, relatives, and co-workers present.
Though few of my former co-workers attended (I’m retired), I felt at peace about them recalling him fondly.
Then a once-dear friend and past colleague said how sorry she felt for me that, "hardly any of your former co-workers bothered to come. "
I was speechless. Her comment still upsets me.
I no longer consider her a dear friend and prefer to no longer communicate at all.
Am I Wrong?
Grief lingers after a loss in many ways. But cutting her off won’t ease that inner sadness.
Also, some people are awkward at expressing themselves at funerals. It’s unlikely she meant to hurt you.
Give yourself a year to mourn without focusing on this indelicate remark or small slights.
Then decide if the friendship’s worth communicating again.
Tip of the day:
Having unprotected sex with multiple partners is a set-up for future problems you never considered.