Boyfriend Has Child He Didn’t Know About

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend and i have been in a relationship for nearly 5 years, i have a child to my ex and 2 children to my current boyfriend. At the beginning of the relationship my partner told me his ex was 5 months pregnant when she broke up with him and left the country and the baby might have been his but he hadnt heard from her until now. My partner told me in an arguement that his ex emailed him saying she misses him and that my boyfriend’s son is nearly 6years old, she doesnt live in the country but has arranged to keep him update with photos of his son. She said she left the country when she was pregnant because she didnt think my boyfriend was ready to be a father but has been waiting for the right moment to tell him about his son. Im currently pregnant again with his third child and i feel so threatened by his ex knowing that she meant something really special to him years ago. It feels like shes just broken up my family. I told my partner to move out because i need time to get my head around this. How should i deal with this? I feel torn apart.

A: You’re only 25. You yourself have a child from a prior relationship and are now pregnant with your fourth. No wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed and scared by this unexpected situation. But — if you love the man, you’ll find a way to love his son — just as he needs to open his heart to your child with your ex. The kids didn’t ask for this situation. They need to be known and loved by their parents. And they need to be accepted by whoever is in their parents’ life. That goes for all the adults in this picture.

The former girlfiend isn’t breaking up your family. You and your boyfriend can make it or break it. The two of you have the choice to make your family bigger and stronger by embracing all the kids or to tear it apart through your jealousy and his what-ifs. Your children need both of you to be mature, responsible and loving toward each other and towards all of them. Call your boyfriend and apologize for asking him to move out. Have a heart-to-heart conversation about how to be a team and how the two of you, together, can make his son welcome without threatening the family you have.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Feb 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Boyfriend Has Child He Didn’t Know About. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/02/15/boyfriend-has-child-he-didnt-know-about/