Hi Dr. Lora. Here is my story. I was with my baby’s father but he cheated on me. I was living with him for awhile then I left because he started being very aggressive with me. It’s been 8 months since we were together and now he tells me he loves me and wants me back. However, I am dating another guy now. My child’s father told me that if I don’t get back with him that he will take me to court and try and get custody of our daughter. What should I do? Hopefully you can help.
DR. LORA’S ADVICE:
It is important to remember that once you have a child, most of your future decisions have to take into account what is best for both of you. Being with a man with a history of aggressive behavior may put you and your baby at risk, especially if he has not made any real changes to improve his behavior. The father of your child does not have any right to be abusive to you or your baby in any way. You didn’t say much about the new person you are dating, but if he is good to you and your baby then it may be worth giving this new relationship a chance. How involved is your baby’s father in the life of his child? Does he visit or provide financial support? As you know, being a parent is so much more than just having a baby, so what is best for you is to be with a person who understands what it takes to raise a healthy child.
Even though your baby’s father says he loves you he is acting in an aggressive manner if he is threatening you with legal action if you don’t get back together with him. That is very manipulative and “passive-aggressive” behavior and it gives me some indication that he may not have changed enough or even at all. The fact is, that if you have been, and continue to be, a good mother to your baby, the father cannot just take the child away. You should seek to have some legal advice from an attorney to find out what your legal rights are in terms of custody of your child. However, if he wants to be involved in your and your child’s life, the father needs to prove that he can be respectful and supportive in the way that you both need him to be. Maybe you can arrange some supervised visits through the court system to allow him to prove to everyone that he can be a good presence in your lives. A father has rights and so do you, so try to find a way of balancing your rights as parents with your responsibilities to your child. Your baby needs and deserves a steady, and safe environment to grow up in. And you need and deserve a healthy relationship with someone who is respectful, loving and supportive.
Dr. Clara Lora
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