DEAR DEIDRE: MY girlfriend let me bond with a baby she knew might not be mine – how am I meant to stay with her now?
She got pregnant pretty quickly after we became an item.
I never even considered she might have been pregnant before we met
I never even considered she might have been pregnant before we met.
I’m 31, she’s 29 and we’ve been together for a year and a half.
Three months into our relationship, she told me she was expecting and that I was 100% the dad. My feelings for her were strong anyway, so the commitment didn’t phase me.
When the baby, a little boy, was born, I was the happiest man alive – I hadn’t realised how much I had wanted to be a father until he was in my arms.
We spent the next six months bonding as a family, and I loved every second. The guys at the construction site where I work were sick of seeing pictures of his cheeky smile.
But a few weeks ago, one of my partner’s friends sent me a message on Facebook.
She’d seen my posts about ‘our son’ and couldn’t keep the truth to herself any longer.
She told me that two weeks before we’d met, my girlfriend had a one-night stand. She had admitted to friends that she didn’t know who the father was.
When I showed the messages to my partner, she admitted it was true. She wanted us to be a family and knew there was a chance I’d walk out if I knew the truth.
The thing is, after growing up without my dad around, I would never leave a child in the same position, whether they were mine or not.
But I can’t stand lying, so now I’m considering ending our relationship.
I’d still provide financially for the child, but I just don’t see how I could ever trust my partner again.
DEIDRE SAYS: This is a lot of information to take in.
The only way to be sure he is or isn’t yours is to have a DNA test.
This doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship. If you can both rebuild the trust between you, it sounds as if you would be a committed parent to this boy, whether he is biologically yours or not.
Your girlfriend needs to acknowledge she made a mistake and understand why she can’t betray your confidence again.
Fixing this will take time and effort, but it is possible.
It benefits a child’s emotional development to grow up around both parents. But your happiness is just as important, so take some time to decide what you want.
Relationship counselling will help you both. Contact tavistockrelationships.org (0207 380 1960).