Difficulty in seeing things clearly

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    I’m 25 years old and I have a 4 year old son with an “eternal fling”. Our families are friends and we’ve known eachother for over 10 years. He used to live abroad and whenever he’d come home to visit his parents, we hooked up. While he was away we also kept in touch, but never had a long distance relationship, it was always just very “easy breezy”, but feelings were there, we just never acted upon them because of the distance. In one of those times that he came to visit, we were reckless and I ended up getting pregnant. From the beginning he told me to have an abortion and I always said I wouldn’t and that I would have my child with or without his help. We spoke to eachother often during my pregnancy, but always from a distance. When we spoke about subjects disregarding the pregnancy itself, we got along perfectly and it was very pleasing, however when the topic was brought up things were difficult. He would blame me for ruining his life, for being selfish and spoiled, I would get upset over his insensitivity towards the matter, and accuse him of being immature, etc. He would tell me he had a special someone he didn’t meet yet whom he would want to have a child with and that wasn’t me, he would say “how dare you bring a bastard child into this world?”, say I was insane, etc. The whole time I made it clear I didn’t need him, and that he would only be obliged to support my child financially. His parents didn’t reach out during the whole 9 months, and when my son was born, they requested a DNA test, which I agreed to in a very calm fashion (we weren’t dating and I didn’t take it personally).

    When my son was born, his father came home and we spent a few weeks together, we got along very well, he brought gifts, supported me, but made it clear he would go back home (to another country where he was studying) after our son was born. While he was here it was lovely, but a week after my son was born he was gone. We skyped every week, he contriuted financially to half of every cost regarding our son, and there were calls, e-mails, and I got emotionally attached. Whenever we would get too close he would get defensive and say I was pressuring him to be in a family he had never asked to have. There were a lot of fights, there were a lot of “back and forths” and there were good times where he would tell me how much he wanted to try and make things work when he came back home and bad times in which I would forgive him sometimes for his cruel comments because I would blame myself for having brought on the whole situation when he had made it clear he didn’t want it, but at the same time I would see that we were both responsible for what had happened so there was no reason why I should cut him slack. It was/is all very confusing. During the time he spent away I got involved with another person for a short period of time after I had decided I wouldn’t try with him any longer and I was very happy in this short relationship I had, I was treated with so much care, love and respect and I could be myself. It was very hard to make the decision, but I did.

    After he finished college he moved back home (last year). The first three years of my sons life however, he would visit twice a year and the rest of the time I would take care of everything on my own with the help of my parents and his parents. When he camse back, we started seeing eachother again, we would go out to eat with our son, do things together and it was all very nice and made me happy. When we got involved, it was always very “secretive”, his parents didn’t know about it and he would never admit it to them, his friends wouldn’t know about it, he would never post anything on social networks about it, and never posted any picture of our son, which he demonstrates a lot of love and affection for. In the beginning, I thought my involvement was just “physical” and tricked myself into believing that I was just having fun and was distracting myself since I was so lonely. In the end, things started becoming more constant, we would speak to eachother all the time, see eachother all the time, and I was so happy. I let myself get attached and things were the best they had been in forever, we were in the same country, getting along, and I believed things were going to finally work out.

    After about two months of this going on, I found out he had hooked up with someone else. I have never been a jealous person but I saw a picture of him with another girl (someone I knew) and I questioned him about it, we were doing so well and even though things hadn’t become official (especially since we had a son together and I knew how much pressure he felt towards that) I thought things were great. He told me he was just “drunk” and it was an accident and would never happen again. I had never been through the experience, and although it was very painful I thought it would be more painful to have to lose him again, so I forgave him and decided to move one. One week later it happened again and that was it, it was my boundary. I lost it, he asked to talk and explain himself (he wasn’t working at the time and living with his parents and said he was feeling like a “failure” and just wanted to go out and party and get wasted, that the girl didn´t mean anything – THE SAME ONE, etc.). I didn’t take it and stepped away. We didn’t speak to eachother for around a month and since our sons birthday was coming up I decided to reach out and try and make things at least civilized between us for everyones sake. He had started working and moved into an apatment on his own. We then started talking again, and feelings started to emerge, despite everything (it makes me feel so stupid to even have the guts to have feelings towards someone who hurt me the way he did), and he tried to rekindle things. As much as I want to, I just can’t do it, the trust is just compeletely broken, and he doesn’t make half of the effort I would expect from someone who cares, he says he has real feelings but he is scared that I build up expectations. I start acting very unstable because I like him but I don’t feel I get the attention and love that I deserve, I don’t feel like he is the best parent he can be, and I have an awful time trying to communicate, it’s as if we speak two different languages. Everything is always about him, his timing, his desires and needs. When he’s in the mood he’s a charmer, when he’s not it’s unbearable to be around him, he criticizes, complains, twists situations around and I feel like I am just “Plan B”, when he is lonely he reaches out, but takes me for granted and doesn’t really care. Never invites me to go out with his friends and continues sometimes going out with these friends in which “the girl” mentioned above is a part of the group. Sometimes I feel like he is just lost and scared and I should wait and see what happens, but mostly I know I should just move on from this complicated mess and make a real effort to let my feelings go, that the story will only repeat itself and I will get hurt again (which is something I am not willing to do). I created this illusion that we would end up together no matter what and now it just feels silly. I don’t know if I should really distance myself again to work on myself and strive for something better or if I should just keep up the communication in a friendly way and try to get over it the hard way. Talking to him is useless, I am just having a really hard time letting go and taking a real stance.


    Sounds like you know what to do.

    “I don’t know if I should really distance myself again to work on myself and strive for something better or if I should just keep up the communication in a friendly way and try to get over it the hard way.”

    Actually, you do know. Because one of those is not really an option, is it? You can’t get over this tangled emotional mess if you’re constantly talking to him. He’s the father of your child, and some communication may be inevitable, but to be honest he doesn’t sound mature enough to be a parent. And the stuff he said to you while you were pregnant was horrible, by the way!

    I think you need some distance here. You need to focus on yourself and your boy, on building a good life for the two of you and making room for someone who is ready to be a father to him and a partner to you. Wish you all the best.


    He blew it. It’s over (for him). Now it is all about the child. Make sure your son visits his father, grandparents, all the aunties, uncles, cousins and in-laws on his father’s side. So often that the young dad feels weird for not being more involved/outwardly proud/doting. That he can’t take a step without running into his son. Make it a weekly or at least monthly thing that he is connected to/sees that side of the fam. This young father has to realize that his son does exist, and everyone knows it. Especially when all his family starts Sharing the child’s pic on his FB Wall! That he is and always was, “Wanted”. And that you are “a special someone” that he did meet. Too bad he blew it.


    Reading this post makes me think of my past where i was still a captive of my family of origin’s beliefs, ideas, dysfunction to say the leat….I married 2 alcoholics 1 was very abusive and a loser , would’t work, didn’t take responsibility, but in a way i thank him bc he is the experience that caused me to get into alanon and aca and coda, all 12 steps healing groups and i worked on ME…did worksheets galore on ME…NOBODY else….I cut out all non supportive relationships, told everyone i was geting into recovery and needed only supporters and i re-assessed my relationships and distanced myself from the non supporters, dumped the attackers…..what i am saying is until i got into self discovery through brutal honesty about how i got so dysfunctional, where i got my stinking thinking and my low self esteem and my “need” to be around other “fixer uppers” i would repeat same patterns …to create healthier patterns of thinking i had to go within and start within me…get to know and love ME…AS IS….NO returns…..assets and liabilities, unconditionally loving and accepting me AFTER i worked my self discovery worksheets, etc… was hard…undong all the mess my family had made of me, but I am doing it…..Now i am by myself, but if i did date a man, he would have to have a healthy self love/respect so he could share that with healthy/respecting others….Sounds like you did all you could to save this *unsavable* relationship, but this guy just does not “get it” hes a father and still hasn’t grown up enough himself to be responsible for him, let alone a wife/partner and child……

    Clearly you can find someone who will love you and be there for you most of the time and not be codependent like this fellow seems to be…..If i were you, I would work on me, focus on me, focus on my boy and let this *sire* of the child GO….just detach……as the poster above me said “he blew it” 2x having sex wiht another would be a deal breaker for me…betrayal is the worst… is earned, not given…break it and i am gone…the FIRST offense, I wold be gone b/c a cheater is a cheater and i don’t buy the drinking part…the “devil made me do it” just does not fly with me….studies have shown/proven that a cheater is a cheater a beater is a beater…alcohol only lowers inhibitions of a character pattern that is part of their make up or character….drinking didn’t make my husb. #2 a cheater or beater/abuser b/c it was not him… first X was a beater and abuser b/c it was his character, the drinking only brought it up to the surface…so dn’t buy into the “drinking caused it” he had a choice…now you got STDs to worry about….not just aids but herpes and forms of syphilis and gonorrhea that are resistant to treatment…..i wold never have intercourse with a cheater …its either ME or its “hit the road”…..i don’t share my guy…it is too dangerous, now, and not to mention, it is not something i have to do…plenty of nice guys who will be faithful and love to have a nice little family on which to build……take yourself out of the bargain basement and put you up in the jewelry case with the other gems…..this guy does not deserve you……….JUST saying



    I know full well the complicated feelings involved in such a situation as I have been through something similar. I agree with much of what has been said. I would add that it sounds to me like an abusive relationship really. The charm and discard pattern (and lying in-between). It doesn’t sound like he cares very much about your feelings or the emotional needs of your son and that’s not right. You still want him though, he knows it and this cycle will probably keep going until you put a stop to it. From my perspective, as a lady in my 30s, also with a young child, I have lots of questions. He has clearly disrespected and taken for granted both you and your child in the past – has he really changed? Is he likely to truly change? How will you feel if he continues to be emotionally unstable or unavailable at times? What long term impacts will that have on your child? On you? How does your son interact with him when he is around? Is his father an enriching source of love and security? If you see red flags (ie your instincts are telling you something is not right), why are you ignoring them? If this man embeds himself in your family unit, then promptly changes his mind (which to me it sounds like he could well do), how will you feel? Will you be prepared to share custody if this man wants out? Is he the kind of person to put his family before himself? Im sorry if I sound a bit harsh and not very spiritual but I have been through hell with someone like this. From a spiritual perspective, practices such as mindfulness and self love have the potential to bring you clarity in this situation. From what you’ve said in your post I think you’ve already tapped into your wisdom and you know how this man will probably treat you in a “committed” relationship. Don’t doubt yourself. Your heart knows. All the best to you and your son.



    Thank you all so much for your insights and responses. It is sad how I sometimes just wish I could have this sort of feedback from the source of all of this angst and frustration. At the same time I realize I shouldn’t depend on that sort of answer or communication to decide on how I should act upon what is happening to me – it is more than clear that it is time I let go for good. Even so, it is hurtful to see so much indifference coming from a person who I care about so much, it makes me feel very small. When he wants to “chit chat”, make jokes, and talk about his day, I am the one for him and he is always available and interested and 100% in the conversation. When I want to talk about my feelings, what is bothering me, and about this “girl” whom he basically chose over me more than once, then he is busy, he can not speak, he will get back to me (and never does, and afterwards shows up as if I hadn’t said anything at all). It is hard to open up about my feelings and when I do they are completely disregarded. It is clear I should stop insisting on something that isn’t going anywhere and start focusing my energy on myself and on what it is I know I truly deserve.

    Anyhow, the process isn’t easy, but I do believe in myself and hope that sooner than later I can clearly see why I have no reason to feel bad about losing someone who doesn’t deserve me around.


    He’s outta there.


    @sojourner Out of the picture you mean?

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