My boyfriend and I lived in different states and after years together, my worst nightmare came true: he cheated on me and ended up having a baby with the other woman. I’ve always felt like I was put on this planet to be a mom, but when parenthood came for my boyfriend and I wasn’t included, my views changed forever.
I couldn’t believe he was starting a family without me. I always imagined we would become first-time parents together and live happily ever after, but life isn’t always a fairytale. One night, I found out that my long-term boyfriend had gotten another woman pregnant as part of a drunken hookup. How could he do this? How was he going to parent a child with someone he barely knew? I couldn’t begin to wrap my head around the reality of the situation.
He revealed his impending fatherhood in such a nonchalant way. He didn’t tell me about the baby until about two months before she was born. I visited him several times while the woman he’d cheated on me with was pregnant, but he only told me he was going to be a dad months later via text. It was like he was telling me what he was having for lunch. Having a child is something that’s supposed to be the happiest time of your life, yet he treated it like something totally unimportant. How could any soon-to-be-dad treat the arrival of a new life so lightly?
I reacted as any woman would and completely shut him out. After hearing his apologies, he quickly turned it on me and said, “It’s different because if it happened to you, you would have the choice to get rid of it.” This man was ready to have a baby in two months and was acting like it was totally not his fault and that it would’ve been more convenient to “get rid of it.” WTF?
I didn’t know how I felt about being a step-mom. I loved my boyfriend. We’d been through so much over the years and mistakes happen. He invited me down to visit several times after the baby was born and let me know when his daughter would be with him. When I thought about going, I naturally questioned where I’d stand in that child’s life. What if we decided to work things out and I became a permanent factor? Would I end up raising a child that was conceived out of my own relationship’s infidelity? Is this something I could truly handle? I didn’t know the answer to any of those questions.
The other woman would always be part of my boyfriend’s life and that hurt. This unknown woman would be the primary caregiver to his baby; she would always be in this little girl’s life and more importantly, she would always be a part of my boyfriend’s life. As selfish as it sounds, this stranger was suddenly more important than me and I hated it. Part of me also worried that they’d end up in a romantic relationship. They’d already slept together and now that they were parenting a child together, what would stop them from getting sexual again?
I felt bad for their child. She’d never be raised with both of her parents under the same roof, and while that’s not all that rare, this situation is particularly strange. At most, her parents would be on friendly terms and she might struggle with knowing that she wasn’t particularly conceived out of love. How would this child view her parental situation when she was old enough to understand? One night of stupidity can instantly lead to a lifetime of questions for an innocent child.
As angry as I was, I ultimately realized that the child served a greater purpose. That litte girl helped me finally leave a toxic relationship. I always found excuses to stay, but this was the final straw. He was on his own destructive life path and nothing seemed to be helping him get his act together. Bringing a child into the world helped him straighten out and get on a healthy life path. I still know nothing about this mystery woman, but that child could have been her saving grace as well. At the time, it was a tough pill to swallow, but everything happens for a reason.
I promised myself I would never accept less than I deserve. This dysfunctional and painful situation made me realize I never wanted to bring a child into the world the way he did, and I was going to be sure it didn’t happen. I promised myself that I would be in a happy, loving relationship when I decided to try for a baby and that I would never hurt my partner the way my ex hurt me.
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