Boyfriend Has a Child

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I met a guy on Facebook we began speaking and all was going well. we then decided to meet for the first time it was spectacular I fell in love with him instantly as he says he did with me. after a few days or maybe weeks we began dating.

everything was going well until one day I logged in Facebook and I saw how he had written a note that said “the truth that nobody knows” I opened it and it was there when I read he had a daughter :( I began crying and I asked him,he didnt deny it he said “he thought I knew” but how would i? He never even mentioned it,

he apologized so much and he still does Up til today he says that if i want to leave him that it’s okay he understands because no one wants someone that already had a kid but then he also says that the mother doesn’t let him see the girl,he doesn’t pay child support or does he see her.

I won’t lie. ever since I’ve found out I feel so depressed. I really love him and he’s really nice and sweet. I just don’t know if I can handle this. sometimes I cry myself to sleep thinking what I did do to deserve this? I tried to get away but I just can’t. I don’t know what to do. im so sad but I really want to be with him,
What do I do?

A: It seems to me that it isn’t the fact of the child that is bothering you. It’s that your boyfriend didn’t tell you himself about this very important part of his life.

There are many red flags in his story: Why isn’t he paying child support? Why doesn’t he see his child? What does it mean that the mother doesn’t let him see his daughter? He may be sweet to you, but to me there are many unanswered questions about his maturity and responsibility. I would think much more of him if he were making a real effort to man up and take on his share of raising his child. It’s possible that your level of distress is that you also have some questions about his character.

I think you tell him that lots of women are happy to be with someone who has a child. What they are not happy to do is to be with someone who lies by omission and who doesn’t take his responsibilities seriously. Since he has these character flaws, he isn’t ready to be in a mature relationship with you or with anyone else.

You haven’t invested enough time in this relationship for it to be this painful to let it go. At 18, you have plenty of time to find a guy who is worth your love. I encourage you to take a big break from this relationship and let yourself be available for someone who is truthful with you from the start.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Boyfriend Has a Child. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/21/boyfriend-has-a-child/