You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
Here's my convoluted mess of a life: About three years ago I moved to a new city. Six months later, I began seeing a person I worked with during my internship experience. He was a good guy. When we started, I was adamant that everything be kept casual. He really wanted a relationship, but I did not want to have drama at my new work place. He respected my request. I told him that it would just be between us and when he tried to push things further, I quickly, and a little rudely, rebuffed him. He eventually began dating someone else. Since I was the one who decided not to take things further, I understood. He dated this woman for several months. I was eventually promoted and moved to another division of the company.
In October 2012, he began calling again and he told me that things were over between him and the other woman. He and I still work for the same company at different locations, but I am in a leadership position now. Even though I still had reservations about dating him, we began a physical relationship. He came over in November depressed but could not (or would not) explain what was wrong. In December, someone that still works with him told me that the other woman he dated revealed that she was pregnant. I know him. I know he wants to be a good father and make things work with anyone who has his child. I asked him if she was pregnant and he told me "no.”
Fast forward to last week and I see a photo of the girl and the baby, who looks just like him. I asked him again and he finally admitted that he was the father. He asked me to forgive him for lying, but I feel betrayed. I cannot handle this, so I told him that it was over after a year and a half of dating seriously. He asked me how long I thought I would be mad about this. Umm, forever! Then he said that she is here (meaning the baby) now and that we can't be mad anymore. The baby is four months old.
I know he did not cheat on me but he damn sure lied about his child. He didn't want me to end things again, but I do not feel I can trust him. I love him truly but this is some Maury mess and we are too old for this foolishness.
I went to the doctor recently and found out that my blood pressure has gone way up and I’m a month pregnant. He used condoms every time; I really don't know how this happened. I have decided not to tell him. He is going to have to see her and what if things kick up for them again. I couldn't take him leaving again. I'm tired of the stress. Is it best we cut ties and I raise this baby by myself? Am I being fair? Does he deserve fairness?
Oh, everyone in this scenario is over 30.
My Life’s A Complicated Mess
Romantic relationships in workplace settings can quickly become messy, and your situation is no different. Yes, it is complicated because you have a lot of emotions invested in this guy. It appears that you had become involved with him emotionally, if not physically, before you decided to "rudely rebuff" his advances. Although he moved on to the next person, you had not let go. That is what made it easy for him to return to you once he broke up with the other women. You made a choice to continue to be with him even after you were told that the other woman he dated was pregnant.
He lied to you with the hopes of keeping you and it worked. Now that he cannot escape his lie, he admitted the truth and wants you to accept his baby because he apologized. You must decide if you are really angry with him because he lied or because he has a new baby? The lie may fade away but the baby will not. I am sure you wanted to believe him when he told you that he was not the father because you loved him. That’s understandable. But, I’m also sure you strongly suspected that he was the father when you were first told the other woman was pregnant. Now that you are angry and you’ve broken up with him again, you find out that you are pregnant. Whether you tell him about your pregnancy or not, it is highly likely that he will find out. Why should your child be denied his or her father because you’re angry with him? If you are not careful, you will find yourself doing the same thing to him that he did to you – lie!
Tell him the truth and allow him to choose what role he will have in his child's life. He may decide to take responsibility as a father or deny it like he initially denied his other baby. You are not in control of how he chooses to deal with your pregnancy or if he returns to the other woman. You are in control of how you pull your life together and prepare to be the best parent you can be. That will be up to you. Best of luck. -- Dr. Sherry
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