New Baby - From the Past

Dear Relationshipper,

My husband had a serious relationship while in college but after 3 years together, they went their separate ways.  We met a few years later and now have been married for a while.  We're happy and have talked about starting a family later this year.

Recently we were zapped like a bolt out of the blue when his ex-girlfriend came to visit after saying she had an urgent matter to discuss and it should involve me too.  She says when they broke up, she was pregnant and didn't want to tell him cause she didn't want to keep him that way.  She went to live with her parents and had the baby - a girl - who is now a healthy 8-year-old.  The girl now wants to meet her father and get to know him.  There will be a DNA test to confirm paternity.

My husband wants to see her and is considering paying child support, both back and present, and wants to have some visitation too.  He said this puts our family planning on a back burner for now and seems to have decided all of this pretty much on his own without input from me.

I'm confused and annoyed with him for making such major decisions without any discussion and am wondering if I'm being unreasonable as he says?


Dear Zapped,

I can understand that you’re in a tizzy about this situation – anyone would be.  However, you should have a little patience for your husband – he’s got even more to deal with than you do.  I think the real error on your husband’s part is not what he’s doing, but how he’s doing it.  He should be focusing on his “new” daughter.  He probably wants to sort out that whole situation before he puts his heart into another child.

Try to put yourself in his shoes – he is probably totally overwhelmed by a) the fact that he suddenly has a new daughter and b) that he’s missed the first 8 years of her life.  I’m sure that if you give him some time he’ll get back to making a family with you.  He just needs some time to adjust.  It’s true that he shouldn’t say that you’re being unreasonable – it would be better if confided his feelings with you in a way that would help you to understand where he’s coming from.  But you can’t change who he is, you can only change your role in this situation.  Feel free to let him know that you need him to have some patience with you as well, since this affects you as well.  Tell him that you support his decisions, but you’d rather he relay them to you as is you’re involved in the process.

It is unfair that you have to wait on having children – but in a “life’s unfair” kind of way.  Your husband isn’t trying to deliberately hurt you.  He’s trying to do the right thing.  Have some patience – maybe even welcome this little girl into your life.  This is not to say that your needs shouldn’t be dealt with – but you’ll need to put them off until this situation cools down for a while.

Best of luck.


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