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…
I have a daughter with a man who was single when we conceived and married before her birth. I was 41 and he was 29. He asked if I had children and I told him I did not and had had several unsuccessful attempts to conceive in a prior relationship. I figured I could not have children. We dated less than two months before I was pregnant. Despite this, termination was not an option. I learned about his wedding plans the day of my three-month scan, which he attended with me and at which time he shared his excitement about having a black child. (We are both Afro Caribbean). He is in an interracial marriage with a woman who has three of his children and is a stepmother to another girl by him. When I learned this at four months pregnant, I moved on. As of now, his wife does not know about my child, who is nearly three. I am not sure I should be the one to reveal this news. I do not want him. If he can cheat on her, I know he will cheat on me. However, interactions between us have become complicated. When he comes to visit, he expects to have sex with me. I have made clear to him that I do not want to have sex with him anymore, but twice in the last months, he has forced himself on me. He has pinned me down and pulled off my clothes despite my protests after visiting and putting our baby to sleep. I have fought and told him “no” to no avail. I did not have my father growing up so I try not to deny contact between my daughter and her father, but my boundaries are not respected. What should I do?
I think you are considering telling the wrong person about the baby. Forget telling the wife, you should be telling the police about his behavior and that he was there only to see his child. What you have described is rape and nothing less. Rape is a crime, and he is a criminal. He should be in jail. The fact that he is your daughter’s father does not give him the right to violate and totally disrespect you. You do not have to accept his behavior. For whatever reason, you feel powerless, but actually you hold all of the power—the power to report being raped to the police, the power to insist on supervised visitation, the power to refuse to allow him in your home, and the power to disclose your daughter as well as his behavior to his wife. You can actually blow up his world.
Just because you have a baby with him does not make you his on call side chick or his personal concierge who will meet his sexual needs. Silence is not golden in this case. If you do not speak up and speak out, he will continue to rape you whenever he pleases. Your unwillingness to continue to be violated has nothing to do with his relationship with his daughter. It is up to him to decide how he is going to be viewed as a father. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to address the rape and other issues. It is time to dig deep and find your inner strength to stand up to him and use your power. You deserve so much more, and you must not except less for your life. Dr. Sherry
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