QUESTION: I’m in love with my kids’ dad but he has cheated on me and now has 3 kids going on 4. The 1st and 3rd are from me but the other two are from someone else. We are trying to work it out and move forward with our family. However, I’m still hurt and I’m not sure if I’ll ever completely be over him getting this other girl pregnant. But I can’t see myself without him. Am I doing the right thing by staying with him?
DR. LORA’S ADVICE: Trust is a basic and necessary component of any healthy relationship. It sounds like your kids’ dad has violated your trust by going outside your relationship and cheating on you. In addition to his cheating, he has clearly been putting your own health and well-being at risk by not using condoms, as evidenced by the fact that he has gotten other women pregnant.
In order for you to be able to move forward with your family and have a real chance of making through together, you and he will need to deal with the feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, and resentment that have likely been caused by his infidelity. You will need to be able to forgive him and you will also need to be able to trust him. For his part, he is going to need to prove to you that he is worthy of that trust and forgiveness.
Begin by having honest conversations about what it is that each of you wants for the future out of your relationship. This way you will know that you are both on the same page and working toward the same goal. Once you have established that he does want to be with you and make your relationship work, then you can move forward together. Set very clear boundaries and expectations, such as “I expect you not to cheat” and define in very clear terms what cheating means to you. Allow him to make up for his cheating by doing something special and meaningful for you and when he does that, leave the baggage of the cheating behind. It is difficult to walk freely if we are carrying around a bunch of baggage from the past.
Truthfully though, his actions indicate that he either doesn’t want to be committed to you or he is not ready to settle down. Both of these things have to do with his own issues, so don’t take them personally. By waiting around for a man who is not ready or willing to commit to you and his children, you are wasting your time. We can never get back wasted time! So, be very honest with yourself as you take these steps to try to make your relationship work with your children’s father and make sure that this is really what is in your best interest. There are plenty of good, faithful men out there so don’t settle. Good luck.
Dr. Clara Lora
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