I became pregnant with my daughter, now six, through a casual relationship. This man’s connection with my daughter was spotty but she knew him as dad. Recently, I married someone else and my daughter calls him daddy. After extended absences, her biological father admitted no interest in remaining in her life. It broke my heart that he could cut ties like that. When she finally asked about him, I took my mom’s suggestion and said her dad moved far away. In my heart this felt wrong but my mother said that if I told her the truth she would blame herself. My daughter is asking about her father again and I don’t feel right continuing the lie. Please help.
One of the realities of life is that everyone comes to pass, not to stay. If your daughter understands that people arrive and depart in our lives on a schedule that we cannot control, she will rise into the world with a freedom that few people possess. She will not blame herself when someone leaves; she won’t imagine that she has been abandoned and descend into depression. Her response to the ebb and flow of change will be simple: People do come and go. What a gift you can give her by delivering reality unadorned by drama.
I suggest that you practice telling your daughter the truth by preparing for a new freedom yourself. Your daughter’s biological father prepares to exit her life just as her stepfather steps in. Perfect. Give yourself permission to accept the smooth transition without judging your former boyfriend. His choice to not be a father as you define it is his business. Your responsibility was to sort those issues out before you had sex with him. How could you cut ties with your responsibilities like that? The answer to that question is the real heartbreaker because it will teach you about a tendency to seek pleasure, which is temporary, rather than genuine love, which sustains us even after the relationship ends.
My boyfriend has lots of female friends, including ex-lovers. His work brings him into contact with female athletes, which is how we met. He still gets phone numbers from women who express interest. I think these women are interested in him! He sends them newsletters and invites them on our weekly rides with the local cycling group or our personal training rides on the weekends. He admits that he would date them if he was free but this is just business. He says he cares for me and won’t go out on me. But I feel anxious riding with these women, since I believe they would like to date him. Do men and women invite each other places when they are dating others? Do singles and couples socialize together? Maybe if I had some male friends it would be a big party, but where do I find them?
Potential guy friends aren’t squirreled away in a secret spot. You can find them anywhere new female friends are found. But it’s best that you don’t initiate these friendships until you get over the idea of using them to get back at your boyfriend. That’s not friendship. It’s jealousy. It’s insecurity. It’s deadly to your relationship with your man and yourself.
A successful romantic connection is one built on honesty and trust. If your man tells you the truth and does not have a history with you of lies or cheating, there is no reason to doubt him. Trying to control who he talks to is futile, so accept that he has found a way of mixing work with a hobby. See this relationship as an opportunity to grow your self-esteem and shed the habit of seeing intruders everywhere.