Every relationship comes with unknowns
Dear Carolyn • I'm in a new relationship (two months in) and the guy I'm seeing let me know that his ex is four months' pregnant and there's a good chance he is the father. The baby is due this winter. Any normal person would run in the other direction. I, on the other hand, truly care about him and a part of me wants to stick around, since I know we will have a bright future together. The other part of me thinks about all of the repercussions, from this child possibly coming to search for him one day, to the ex changing her mind and wanting him back, to her wanting him to pay child support, etc. The ex-girlfriend allegedly wants nothing to do with my boyfriend and she is fine with his signing over his rights. I'm just pretty torn about whether I should stick around since I do see a future, or should get out now to escape what's to come once this baby arrives.
Dear "Lilly" • If you can't accept the presence of a child in his life or the expense of child support without feeling resentful, then listen to the part of you itching to flee. Assuming he's the father, these are realities to plan for, not possibilities to fear. Plus, "I know we will have a bright future together" is a seriously flimsy notch in the "pro" column when you've been together all of two months. Even couples of long standing know that "know" is a word not to be tossed about lightly. If instead you can see yourself being part of his complicated picture without resentment, and supporting him in handling his responsibilities whether they start now or years from now when the child shows up, curious, on his doorstep then stay with the relationship at least long enough to see where it takes you. So, again, if you don't like the foreseeable directions in which your life with this or any man might go, then break up (simple logic, tough execution, I get it). If it's just the fact of looming, significant unknowns that bothers you, then please know that you're due for some regardless, as the price of admission for caring. It's OK not to feel ready for that, and to go it alone till you do.
Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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