My ex-wife and I couldn’t have a baby, we tried everything for years with no luck. I accidentally got another woman pregnant, and when she told my wife, that led to my marriage ending. My ex was the one who filed for the divorce, and within months I went from happy to absolutely shattered. I still love my ex, and so do my family, and though I love my child, I feel trapped. My baby’s mother wants to get married, but I’m not feeling it, especially since she was the cause of my marriage ending. My ex-wife has also moved on, and is currently pregnant by her new guy, which just rubs more salt in the wound. What can I do to get out of this state of mind? My family also dislikes my baby’s mother — everyone basically blames her for what happened. The only good thing to come out of all this has been my daughter. How do you suggest I proceed?
It would be difficult indeed. And it is understandable that your then wife would be very hurt to find out about an affair and the presence of a child, and especially to find out from the “other woman” and not you. There are some couples that have survived similar situations, but it’s not easy to achieve at all. Wanting a child and working through the dynamics of delay, that of itself can be difficult. That delay of having a child has impacted many marriages in very different ways. But that breach of trust is an additional weight that can indeed utterly shatter a marriage.
So this is a new reality which you must accept. A reality of lost and found — The lost being an old relationship and the found being a new one with your daughter. Loss is never easy, and a loss of a loved one from divorce can be as painful as a loss due to death. For reasons such as this, the Bible instructs us to protect marriage. It says that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and He admonishes men especially to ensure that everything possible is done to do right by our wives. Here’s my advice to you:
1) Show your ex-wife support. Support her in the new life she has now chosen. She has a new relationship and a child on the way. She now will need to do what’s right by them. This is her new role and responsibility. If she’s happy, hard as it may be for you, be happy for her.
2) Support your child. Your daughter will need your unconditional love. There really is no “accidentally” pregnant. A child is a gift, even when there’s a poor decision involved. She is your new family and your responsibility.
3) Be truthful about your relationship. If it is that you’re not in love with your girlfriend, do not proceed with that relationship. Don’t wrong her further with giving her any false hopes. If it’s not to be, don’t force it. The only thing you should guarantee her is support for your daughter. Remember, she was not the ultimate cause of your divorce. Don’t lay that at her feet, even if others seek to do so. Your choice was the core cause.
Mistakes are made everywhere, every day. The mature way to handle an error is to accept responsibility and the consequences and work with it. The hand you’re dealt is the hand you must play. You’re not trapped at all. I have seen many people distraught about a loss and then elated about wonderful new opportunities. You have lots to be thankful for. Keep the truth of “existing opportunity” at the forefront of your mind. I pray that your blessed little bundle experiences all the best this world has to offer, including through your unconditional love and support. Don’t worry, choose to be happy!
Get on The Counsellor’s Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.