I Didn’t Know About My Boyfriend’s Son

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am 24 years old and met my boyfriend when I was 16. When we first got together it wasn’t a serious relationship and neither of us had any idea it would last this long however I was not aware of him seeing anyone else.

After 3-4 months together I found out that he had slept with another girl after a drunken night which he denied for 4 years and at the time I decided to stay with him as even if it was true, it was only at the start of our relationship.
However, after around a year I heard through friends that the girl he had apparently slept with had given birth to a little boy a couple of months before and she was claiming that he was my boyfriend’s child.

When I confronted my boyfriend he denied it as he was still claiming that they hadn’t slept together (the girl also had a reputation for sleeping with lots of other guys). This drove me crazy and our relationship hit rock bottom.

We eventually got over this but the girl was harassing me every now and again, shouting abuse down the phone and via text messages and social network sites.

When she met her boyfriend it all stopped.

Two years ago I thought I would give it one last try at getting the truth from my boyfriend and he admitted it all. I swore that I would leave him once I made my boyfriend have a relationship with his son as I thought that was the right thing but then when it came it to it I couldn’t end it because I loved him and this was the man that I thought I would spend the rest of my life with and start our own family.

Since his confession, our relationship has become stronger everyday, although, the child’s mother stopped contact when she got a new boyfriend.

Since then there has been no luck in him being able to see his son.

I have forgiven him for not telling me and I thought I had got over the negative emotions of him having a son but recently she has got back in touch with him after splitting with her boyfriend, which is great for both of them, but I can’t get the sickly feeling out of my head that I won’t have his first child and that he shares this bond with someone who he hates and who hates him.

I have met his son and he is lovely and I truly love children and always have but I want to know how and if I can get over this feeling and move on with the relationship that I want as he has changed and is completely honest with me and I know he loves me?

A: I appreciate you sending this important and yet complex question to us.

I think it is time for you to assess what it is you want in your life and where this relationship is going. The foundation of your relationship was begun by lies, betrayal, and infidelity. These are very difficult traits to overcome and forgive.

While I admire your boyfriend’s eventual honesty, and the fact that you say you’ve forgiven him, the underlying difficulty is the fact that every time there is a problem all of the old hurts will surface. This makes it difficult in particular because whenever his old girlfriend is not in a good place she can start the pot.

I would do two things: First, I would ask yourself if this whole situation is indeed what you want to be coping with — and if it is what you would like for your future within the relationship. I don’t know that these questions have been fully addressed. Second, I highly recommend couples counseling because of the complexity and ongoing nature of your concerns. Each developmental milestone and every unresolved conflict with his girlfriend has the potential of deeply activating the issue. The two of you are going to need excellent communication, which can be fostered in couples counseling.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). I Didn’t Know About My Boyfriend’s Son. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/14/i-didnt-know-about-my-boyfriends-son/