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Ask Dr. Sherry: "He Doesn't Know I Have Kids"

If a man bails because you tell him you're a single mom, he's not worth your time.
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, and now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Q: “I met a great guy on a plane and we talked the whole six hour flight. We hit it off, but he never asked me about my family, so I didn’t tell him I have kids. (I’m a single mom!) We exchanged numbers, and have now started dating. Things feel so good between us — only I can’t seem to bring up my two kids. It’s like I’m afraid he won’t stick around, even though he’s given no indication that he’ll bail on me. Should I just tell him already? Is it too soon?” – Rita

A: Unless you are going to hide your two kids from him, I suggest you tell him. If he bails on you, then was he really the right guy for you in the first place? Given that the two of you talked for six hours on a plane and continue to talk and are now dating, my questions are quite simple: What have you been talking about? How do you have repeated conversations and the topic of your children never come up? Was this an oversight? Did you forget you had children? Does he make you forget you have children? Do you have “Bay Bay’s kids,” and you’re embarrassed to have people know that they are actually your children? Do you know if he has children? Do you know if he’s married or not? These are basic questions that I’m sure most people would want to know the answers to — especially within a six-hour time frame of conversation.

The fact that he hasn’t asked you personal questions regarding your family should raise points of concern. What is the basis of your relationship? I have to question if the attraction is only physical. Many women enter into relationships without realizing that the other person’s interest is only physical. When this occurs, women often have “high hopes” of what the relationship could be without dealing with the reality of what is. As a result, women find themselves in a relationship without any real substance. It sounds as if you haven’t shared any personal information regarding each others’ lives. This suggests that the relationship may be somewhat superficial and shallow in nature. If you just want fun and games, he may meet your needs. But, if you want a more substantive relationship, then he needs to know that you have children and a life beyond him.  

He may or may not be willing to deal with that. It will become quite clear that he can’t deal with it if he “bails” on you. He needs to know that your children are part of your life and he will be in for a “package deal” if the relationship continues and becomes serious. Remember, strong relationships are based on honesty. Without a sense of honesty and openness, you only have an “ideal” representation of a relationship. You only have a relationship when both of you can disclose the good, the bad, and the ugly, and you still want to be together.  So dust your children off, and bring them out of hiding! Let me know if the relationship continues! — Dr. Sherry