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My bf might be a dad…

… but does this mean he has to leave me for his ex?

I agree he can be a responsible father while still staying with you, says our elder. But ultimately, it’s up to him.

Dear EWC

My partner just found out he might have a four-year-old son. He is very stressed and worried about the DNA tests. He has told me that if the kid is his, he wants to try and work things out with the mom as he doesn’t want a separated family. He tells me that he loves me every day and he is sorry for the stress that it is causing on our relationship. I am very worried that he is going to leave because he thinks it is the best choice on being a family. I don’t know what to say or tell him. I’m really hurting because I might lose him for good and he makes me so happy. I’m so lost and want things to work. I would accept the child into our relationship as I love children so there is no issue with him having a son. I texted him saying that I support him no matter what happens but I feel like I’m losing him.

PJC replies

If I’m reading your letter correctly, your boyfriend has been separated from this woman for at least four years. If I were his girlfriend, I would not be open to his getting back with the child’s mother. It’s my opinion that if she was the right person for him to be with, he would have been with her all this time. And if he’s living with you and in a committed relationship with you, then I believe he can be a perfectly responsible father without living with the child’s mother. He can settle issues of child support and visitation and still remain with you. Especially since it sounds like, from what you have written, that you would enjoy being in the child’s life.
However, he has to live his life by his own sensibilities, and my best advice to you would be for you to accept and respect his choices. State your opinion and your feelings, discuss this issue thoroughly with him — and also perhaps with the help of a trained, professional couples counselor.

You will know more when he gets the results of the DNA test. But there are some things for you to consider while you are waiting.
Regardless of the DNA results, do you want to continue to be with a man who will throw you over for a woman from his past.
If the child is his, and he does get back with the child’s mother, would you welcome him back if things don’t work out the way he wants them to.

I do think you have to cut him a little slack here because learning that he might have a son is enough to turn any man into a tailspin. But I think you want a man who honors, what he says, is his love for you. It’s not necessary for him to abandon you. So… if the child is his, and if he does leave you to try for this “family” situation, my strong advice to you would be to let him go. Decide if you will take him back and under what circumstances if things don’t work out for this new relationship that he thinks is the right thing if the child is his. (It’s really a long shot that the relationship with the child’s mother will work out. It didn’t work out the first time. And it’s a lot more difficult to balance the needs of a relationship with the needs of a child.) You can also decide how long you will wait, if at all, to see if things fall apart in his new family: one month, three months, six months? But from what you’ve described, I think it would be easier for you emotionally to make a clean break, let him go and do what you have to do to move on. After that time, you can do what is necessary to grieve the loss of him, and then move on to find someone who loves you and who won’t abandon you.

From my vantage point, yours is a reasonable solution. He’s got some impractical romantic notion of being a family after this late date. But if that’s the way he wants to go, then you have to let him. You don’t have to let him keep you dangling. For instance, if the child is his and he decides to move in with the child and his mother, you can discontinue all contact with him. Then if things don’t work out for him, he can contact you again, once he’s free. And if you are also free, then you two might decide to try again.

This period of waiting for the DNA test will be stressful. There’s no way around that. Once the results are in, and if the child is his, then he has a decision to make, and while you can state your opinion and try to influence him, ultimately he may have to try to create this family that he believes is so important. And I want to encourage you to release him in love if it is his choice to go. But, if that is the case, please also love yourself enough not to hang on to the melodrama surrounding this situation. Take care of yourself. Let him go, grieve the loss, and move on.
You really are in a difficult position. But I think things will become more clear in a little bit of time. I hope this has been useful.

Letter #: 450442
Category: Dating/Relationship

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