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SECRETS’ CORNER – He kept child a secret

Sanka Price

SECRETS’ CORNER – He kept child a secret

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 “HOW CAN you trust a man who has had a child for nearly as long as he was involved with you, yet he never told you?” asked the voice on the telephone.
The tone of the woman’s voice suggested she was serious and was seeking an immediate, definitive answer.
I told her I had to get more facts on the matter as when it comes to questions on relationships, things are not often what they seem.
She countered: “Shouldn’t partners reveal their past liaisons to each other, particularly when there is a child involved?”
Again, I said I needed more information before I could adequately respond.
She sighed.
The woman then revealed that she was involved with a man for nearly three years. She loved him and had grown to trust him because he seemed very straightforward. She felt for the first time that she had met someone who respected her and was honest in his dealings with her.
“I thought my prayers to find a good man had been answered,” she sobbed.
This comforting situation, however, turned to anguish when she went to his house and saw his mother with a child. She began playing with the lad and, of course, asked whose baby he was. That’s when she was told it was her boyfriend’s child. The mother thought she knew.
The woman said she was devastated and felt betrayed. Hence this week’s question: How would you handle finding out that the man you have been involved with for nearly three years has a two-and-a-half-year-old child but never told you about it? He also never revealed that the woman and child live three houses from where he does.
The woman said when she confronted her boyfriend he never denied it. He said he could never find the right time to tell her about it. Besides, he was scared she would have the wrong impression about him.
According to the distraught woman, her boyfriend said he and the woman had a brief affair – they were intimate only three times. He said they had known each other from childhood and only got involved after she had broken up with her long-time lover.
The woman said her boyfriend told her it was a rebound situation and that was why after he and the woman became intimate it just did not feel right and they agreed to split. She said that he met her after that and they began going out together.
Her boyfriend only realized that his neighbour was pregnant for him when she was about five months on. But as she did not have children she decided she would have the child and raise it on her own, and all he would have to do was support it as its father.
According to the woman, her boyfriend’s former lover did not want to complicate his life as she realized he was happy with his new love.
But the upset caller said because he did not say anything upfront, she felt it showed he could not be trusted and she had taken a break from the relationship to decide what she wanted to do.
I explained that I understood her position as I, too, would feel betrayed if someone did not tell me she had a young child nearly as long as we were a couple. However, I did have compassion for the man’s position as he clearly did not want to lose her and obviously vacillated on the matter.
I told her to take into account what the man did and said otherwise throughout their years together. If she could fault him on that as well, then clearly he should be dumped. However, if this was the only thing he did not confess, and if he was remorseful about not talking about it, then she should weigh these facts too.
The following are edited versions of readers’ comments:
– She is not living with the man in a house, so what is the problem? It’s his choice if he wanted to tell her about any kids he might have. Should he leave the area because a former lover is living on the same street? Of course not.”
– He had this woman for three years with no problems between them – that tells me the man is treating her well. I concede he should have told her about the child. Yes, she is free to leave him if she wants to, but that is a foolish reason to leave a good man.
– That’s like pulling back your sheets and finding a snake in it. I’d leave him.
– Time to leave that man. There is no good excuse for him not speaking up.