This was sent to Aunt B via email...
Hi Aunt B,
I am in real turmoil. I am 38, have my own company, successful and attractive ("they" say). I have fallen head over heels for a guy who I met a year and a half ago through a mutual friend. We hit it off when we first met, same interests, job understanding and that thing we call chemistry was was really strong. He ended it with me very quickly back then because his recently former girlfriend got sick and needed him. He chose to go back to her. Let me say, he is honest and upfront- not a player, and I have had many of those, so I know. He lives in NJ and I live in MA so it wasn't like I was right there to fight for it. His last words to me then were, "I know our paths will cross again, I have got to be there for her, she was there for me when my dad died"- I cried for 3 months. I know how hard it is to find a connection out there and I was heartbroken that the connection from him was cut so short. Fast forward to this March...I sent him a random text to say I was thinking of him and hoped all was well. Our mutual friend has always kept me in the loop with him. In fact, he has said that he thinks we would end up together and that he always asked about me...blah blah blah. He responded right away to the text and said how he had been thinking of me so much and we continued texting very randomly over the next months. I let him know I would be in NYC on business- he called- asked me to a black tie event and said he really wanted to see me. I had my friends apartment in the city to myself and was there for 3 nights...he stayed with me and we had the time of our life....chatted till 4 am every night - talked about "her" and how he had not seen her in 3 months and that it was over. He took me to amazing restaurants and was a total gentleman- we slept in the same bed but didn't get "physically intimate" for those 3 nights. He than asked me to come back to NY for the weekend to stay with him at his home in NJ. I did. I don't even have the adjectives to describe the time we had. He described it as "a gift" a second chance- and was open with me about his feelings and wanting to move forward with us...he said he never felt this way with anyone before- I felt the same. It was easy and it felt so right. When I got home, we made plans for the immediate future to spend time in MA where I live etc...THEN- I get the call...he's in tears, voice shaking...he says his ex - yes her, called to let him know she was 3 months pregnant ! I fell to the floor. I wished I was her, and thats what I told him. He is in a state of disbelief, not sure what to do. He is now visiting family out of the country for a week to "soul search". I have received a few "thinking of you" and "wish you were here" texts. I told him before he left that I was in this with him if he wanted me to be. He was sick over the fact that I don't deserve this pain- feels guilty for causing it. The big picture seems dark. I hate that she is carrying his child....its all I ever wanted for myself. What would you do if you were me? Should I hang on and hope he choses love over obligation? My life feels like it is on hold. I also feel like God is playing a cruel joke on me. I am able to function but every minute seems like hours. HELP.
Wow!I can only imagine what you are going through? Life can seem so sad, so cruel but I think there is hope for your situation. It will take some work, honesty and understanding. But first, before anything else, I recommend that you pray for wisdom. I also pray for my wisdom, as I do with every letter I get, that as I answer it, I may be help and not a hindrance. We are treading on old school obligation and matters of the heart.
I feel you are extremely understanding and have been. I want you to succeed in your happiness but of course, you'll never want to stand in his way, doing what he feels he needs to do. What I mean by that is the fact that he may also be old school. Not that long ago, if you got a girl pregnant, you married her. Things have changed but for some, they still have those values and beliefs, deeply ingrained.That's why we need complete, unadulterated, honesty here.
My first impression or assumption from your letter, is that this fella is one of a kind, a good guy, one of those, a rare breed, that still wears a white hat. I also feel, that he had deep feelings, for this girl/woman. He may not have been "in love" with her after a certain period of time but he had "a love" for her. There is, of course, a difference. I think he is "in love" with you and not with her but has a deep sense of obligation as he stood by her side, when she needed him. That is an honorable trait. But he need not be a martyr, nor do you have to be.
This is where the total honesty comes into play. I think you need to state your needs and desires, to be with him and not feel selfish for having said it. In all actuality, you have had a whirlwind romance, twice but you do not have an in depth history. This is why, you must give him that opportunity for moving on and a come what may, attitude.You must realize that he may be torn between loving you and doing the right thing, in his mind. Being open about this is something you will be able to sleep with.
I think, he needs to realize, that he can be there for her but be with you. Playing the martyr, as I mentioned before, may be regrettable for you both. He would have stayed with her, if he was in love, I do believe and that's only obvious. But I think he can serve his obligation to his child, be with you and keep an open line of communication with her, at all times. But to run to her, simply because she is pregnant, may not be the answer. I imagine he would marry her, which would surely be a hurt piece, you probably don't want to observe. But for him to marry her and stay in a regrettable relationship, out of obligation, may be the mistake of a lifetime.
Unhappiness and feeling "stuck" in a marriage, does and will reflect on the child. Children are highly intuitive and receptive. They sense when things are not right and we often think they are oblivious, when they are actually right on top of what's going on. That in itself, it something he must consider. A marriage written, in the name of obligation, with no love, is surely a farce and the days of arranged marriages are long gone. That may, very well be, what it would be like.
I almost suggest, that you have him read this. He will see another view point and it will not be as if you had ulterior motives, a selfish agenda. I say this because, if you go to him and say the same things I just said, he may see you as a selfish woman grasping at straws, which you are not. You are a woman in love and I would be willing to bet that, if he decided to go back to her, doing "the right thing" you would be crushed but you would bow out gracefully. I am right,huh? I don't think you have a true, out and out, selfish bone in your body. I believe you do not want to hurt anybody, least of all him or his child. But you are a woman in love with a guy who is probably, your soul mate. Yes, I do believe in the premise that there is no such thing as coincidence, magic or luck, only Divine Destiny.The sooner we realize this, the sooner we see things in a different light, a different perspective. When we adopt this way or outlook on life, we see that every single thing happens for a reason. We meet people for a reason and things, sometimes bad things, happen for a reason. We see that it is a test, sometimes the ultimate test. And instead of saying, "Why me?" we say, "OK, what am I supposed to learn from this." We can then, choose to learn from the experience. You are both being tested, so what is the test for or about and what do you gain or learn from the situation? Of course, I could already point out several answers to that very question but I want you to ask it, of yourself . It's too late to turn back the hands of time and what's done is done. Now, it comes down to what you choose to do with all of this; live and learn.
You met this wonderful guy for a reason. This child was conceived for a reason and you have all these feelings and are going through this, for a reason. Search your soul, for that reason.
As I mentioned before, I think complete honesty, is called for. You tell him that you care enough to walk away but you are willing to share his life, to a certain extent and allow him to keep the doors of communication open, concerning his son, whoops, his child. You tell him, that you are willing to put your jealousy's or whatever, aside, in the best interest of his child. He can meet his child's financial interests and have a close relationship with that child. By you making it clear that he can have the best of both worlds and a semblance of happiness, you will not exude a semblance of selfishness but reality, an actuality, a way of life. You will do your part by accepting his child into your world and add this child into the integral part of your life.
See, you have to make omissions here too. It is a tall order for you to share this man, in a sense with the child's mother and to be kind and loving step-mother, to this child. If you can't do that, you sure as hell, need to back up and walk away. But I feel, you are not that kind of woman and I'd be willing to bet, that you would inexplicably, love this child, as one of your own. This child could have the best of both worlds and a good life because he is loved by you, his father and his mother and everybody is happy, not forced, into a god forsaken situation.
This was, difficult for me to write. I wrestle with old school values, too. But in looking at the whole situation, I think it is in the best interest of the child, for everyone to be in a healthy, loving relationship. The child will flourish, under those conditions.
On a personal level, I can tell you, that doing things out of obligation, can breed resentment, even in the healthiest, most stable person. I married, out of obligation, I was pregnant at 16 and it was a life altering mistake. I grew to love my husband but... I was never "in love" with him. We grew apart and we fought constantly. Don't you know, my children, my beautiful sons, suffered for my choices.
My suggestion, is for that wonderful guy, who has so captured your heart, for you, to have him, read this. He'll know, then, that you only want, what's best for everyone involved and that you are woman enough to do the right thing, if that's what he chooses. I think it would be regrettable, if he did not follow his heart.
It's actually so simple. See, the secret to life is love, laughter and family. If you value these things and seek, these things and happiness, you are a brighter spirit, your life, your love will grow. By misconstruing obligation, with what will make, love, laughter and family flourish, well, it may be a grave mistake.
Yes, he made a mistake, this guy, you love so dearly. If he was not ready for a child, he should have taken precaution, right? But we all live in the moment and sex is probably one of the biggest items in that moment. As I said, we can not turn back the hands of time, we can only learn from it. It is another piece of the puzzle, that which is your life, his life. When you take that piece and put it into the puzzle, "The Big Picture," you begin to see, rhyme and reason. You learn from it and when you do, it is no longer a mistake but a "Learning Experience." You then try to live, without regret and the reason for your life, as well as his, becomes clearer. You met for a reason. You are going through this, for a reason and you love him, for a reason.
Simplify this, as I said before, by taking the complexity out of the equation. Doing the right thing is following your heart, not jumping back into a unhappy situation. Everyone suffers for it, most of all, the child involved. Know that you must embrace his situation and his child and make it clear that, you will love this child as one of your own.
I have every confidence, that you are capable of all this and you have the knowledge, that he has some "baggage," he brings to the table. I am not referring to this child as baggage but the whole kit and kaboodle, the whole shot. This can and will work, if everyone looks at things in the aspect of what is best, for the child and not some dumb idea or what, oh my God will the Jones' say. He can give his name, to the child, on the Birth Certificate and he can represent his financial obligation. You can both continue on in a happy life and in turn, that child will not suffer for bad choices. Now, isn't that what it's all about?