Getting over the Father of Your Child...

Updated on September 28, 2011
N.A. asks from Minneapolis, MN
16 answers

I feel so stuck. The father of my son and I had been together one and off for about 10 years when I became pregnant. At the time he wanted nothing to do it (he wanted me to have an abortion actually). He already had one child with a woman that he supposedly was no longer in a relationship with and they were co-parenting.
So I went through the pregnancy and birth without him, raised him for a year before the court system got involved for child support. He does pay child support, and we had a issues when that all went down. Him calling me horrible names and just being a complete jerk. Eventually he cooled down and I tried my best to be civil with him.
He as seen his son a handful of time, no regular visits. He has no visitation and just pays support. We have tried to keep in touch and I try to keep him posted on his sons life etc, since it seemed like the right thing to do.
The problem is that that contact has no gone beyond just talking about our son and we have been flirting with each other, kissing, and acting like we still have feeling for each other. Honestly I don't even know how I could have feelings for this man any longer after all we have been through! I don't want to have these feelings and I know we don't work, but I still want them too..
He has told me that if I meet someone else he would not like it, it would really bother him, and he also has told me numerous times how much he loves me and his son, etc.
The big whammy is he told me recently that he has decided to move in with the mother of his other child (that child is now school aged) my son is only in preschool. I was so hurt, and confused and just plan like how could he do this. HE IS NOT LIVING WITH HER YET. SO KNOW I AM NOT A HOME WRECKER. He just told that he planned on moving in with her when his lease is up at the end of the month and wanted to do the right thing and tell me. I know I should be like "this guy is horrible" but I still have feelings for him and he has since told me that he still has feelings for me, but his decision is not just about feelings, it's whats best for his life right now. Whatever that's suppose to mean (i.e. prob that she has more to offer him).
At this point I know we need to cut off any contact other then communication that relates to our son, but I am not sure of how to do that and I don't know if I should just do it, or explain to him what is going on and why I am doing that.
Also I think it's best that if he does see out son that we don't have to hang out together and be friendly, but my son is so young that I don't think he could have visits with his Dad without me there and feel comfortable yet. So what should I do there?
I am not sure if I want to date at this point, I just don't have the time or energy, but i do get lonely sometimes and I think that is when I start missing my son's father or when I do things like bring my son to family orientated places and see all the happy families there. So part of me would like a partner, I am just not sure if I am ready to meet someone new right now.

How do I separate my feelings from him with our need to parent our son??

SO to clear a few things up. My son is 3 years old. Also I am in my early 30's. So know I am not a spring chicken.
The mother of his other child has never asked for Child Support (she has money and supposedly he volunteered to co-parent with her and pay for raising that child, and I think he was at the birth of this child). So his other child has much more of a relationship with him then my sons. This woman is also a few years younger then I am.
As far as the kissing and flirting we don't do that when my son is in the room, and his father lives an hour away from us and usually visits in the evening after work.

Also the second woman with the child came after me, she has not known him as long as I have. I didn't even know about his first child until that child was 1 year old and that was when I broke it off, but we went back and forth for the next couple of years then I got pregnant, and I always told him I was against abortion for myself (but I believe in a women's right to choose). So it was not a surprise to him that when I became pregnant I was not going to have an abortion.
Also - he decided to start calling me and wanted to check up on how we were doing after my son was about 1.5 years old. I just tried to be cordial things just got out of hand recently.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I appreciate all the responses, but why does everyone want to call me the OTHER woman?? I was in his life first! I have known him since we were just out of high school we are taking 14 years she has only been in the picture for 8 years...and they were co-parenting. Not together, he was dating other people over the last 3 years since my son was born and we were not together and he was not with her either. So...I am not really the OTHER WOMAN. Yes. when he makes the move if I were to continue to mess with him I would be the other woman, but I will not do that and for the record we DID NOT and DO NOT sleep together!!

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answers from St. Louis on

For the first few years my ex tried to get us back together. I guess because I have always dated I never felt lonely. Still if I did feel lonely I would buy a battery operated friend before I even thought for a second about going back to my ex.

Ignore him when he does it, keep him at a comfortable distance and if he pushes it tell him he is being inappropriate! If you don't he is going to keep drawing you back in every time he wants a piece and you know you don't want that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

It's time for you to start counseling. You need to find out why you are so attracted to an emotionally abusive man.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

"How do I separate my feelings from him with our need to parent our son?"
Simple. Keep it factual. Cash his support checks.
This man is taking the phrase "playing both sides of the fence" to an all new low. Sorry--not trying to be mean, but where's your self respect?
This man had to be COURT ORDERED to support his son.
He's now moving in with the other baby mama.
He's a freeloader.
I'm sorry, I can't imagine what more motivation you could possibly need.
Let him petition the court for visitation and stick to it, no mater how hard, or if the visits are "without you there". Guess what? I doubt he'll even bother.
When would I update him on his son's life? When he calls and asks about him.
Actions always speak louder than words.
Love is easy to say, but it's a verb.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Until you convince yourself that you HAVE let go of your son's father for your own growth and well-being, you will remain emotionally unavailable to a healthier relationship with a more deserving man. So decide, and then give yourself some time to let that resolve take root. Once it does, you will feel better about your other possibilities, and you will have more to offer.

The loneliness you feel is part of the human condition, and it's something we can feel whether in a relationship or not. I was dreadfully lonely while married to my first husband, who was much like your ex. He wanted it all, didn't really care who got hurt as long as it wasn't him, and wanted to take as little responsibility as he could get away with. He didn't even care if he hurt his own daughter, although he professed to love her.

You'll probably feel less lonely if you find yourself more fully. You are longing for the parts of you that feel more complete when you're with someone who claims to love you. But those parts of you can be fulfilled by YOU, too, if you realize it. Counseling, meditation, prayer, good friends, fulfilling activities (even throwing yourself whole-heartedly into your relationship with your son and current friends) can all help. I wish I could give you some clear steps to take, and there are probably a slew of self-help books that have suggestions, but I think everybody probably gets their by finding their own pathway.

But it is possible. I was in a situation that was somewhat parallel to yours for almost the entirety of my first 15-year marriage. When I finally realized that I can and must take care of myself, my feelings/longings for love from that man weakened, and I was able to find a much more authentic and satisfying life for myself and my daughter. And I finally met my true soulmate – have been married to him for almost 30 years.

I had to find my own soul in order for that to happen. I wish the same for you.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

If you had been together on and off for 10 years before you had your son, I'm assuming you are in your mid to upper 20's. So, you aren't a 21 year old girl, I don't think!
But the heart has a way of dragging you into things you shouldn't be involved in, and it sounds like this is one of those things.
He loves you but is moving in with his other child's mother....
If you were looking at a stranger on the street who was in this same situation, what would you say?
I think if you were on the outside looking in, you would see with no problem that if that man really loved the one woman, he would not be moving in with the other.
His words are confusing you. I don't mean to be harsh, but if you continue to wait and hope on him, you probably will never be a part of a "happy family" equation. Ten years of off and on dating, with no marriage, to me, seems like an improbability of your wish ever coming true with this man.
Don't feel like you can't live without a partner right now-it probably wouldn't be fair to a man who wants a family at this point anyway because you are still confused and not sure what to do with your ex.
As hard as it may be, I would set boundaries NOW, and don't give in because of weakness at the moment. You will end up living a cycle that will never end because you didn't stop it. And he, on the other hand, will most likely be smiling on the inside because he has control of two women, but is getting away with not commiting to either.
Hope this helps! Unfortunately, I speak some of this from experience. But fortunately, My baby is now 22, and I've been married to a prince of a family man for 18 years.
Best wishes, dear!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry I can't remember who said this, but I always try and remember it.......When someone SHOWS you who they are, believe them.

This man has shown you by his actions who he is. His words are just that...words!! It sounds like you know deep down what is best for you to do, but are having trouble following through because I suspect your self-esteem has taken a hit and the loneliness is hard to handle.

First of all, I think you need to take some time and work on valuing yourself and building up your self-esteem. Teach yourself that you are worth WAY more than this guy is offering you and when you are feeling lonely.....try thinking about all the crappy things he's done to you and your son. This guy is trying to have his cake and eat it too.....make sure you have the self-respect not to let him!!

You can parent together by doing what Denise suggested.....keep it factual and about your son only!

Good Luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

You already know the answer to your question. Sometimes we can't help who we're drawn to, but the beauty is that we have intelligence & free will to make the decisions that, ultimately, are the right ones for us.

This guy is a zero. You know it. He knows it. He, as a whole ton of people on this planet, would like to have his cake (live with FIRST baby-mama) and eat it too (fool around with you). Seems like a pretty good deal for him, right? At the same time, it's a shitty deal for you AND your kid.

If the 2 of you don't work as a couple, that's one thing to explain to your child. "Sometimes people just shouldn't be in a relationship with each other, but that doesn't mean either of us loves YOU any less." If you continue on the road you're leaning towards right now that conversation will be a lot more like this: "I know you father uses me, but when you grow up I don't want YOU to act that way." See that? No good. You can't explain that to your kid & trust me, he'll be catching on long before you think he's capable of getting it.

Stop fooling around with this guy. When he says he doesn't want you to be with anyone else, but at the same time tells you that he's moving in with his ex, tell him that it's really none of his business what you do with your personal life because that's the honest-to-God truth of the matter. Discuss stuff about the child you have together only. You don't owe him any explanation, you're not currently in any sort of committed relationship with each other. Even if you were, honestly, he doesn't deserve an explanation after treating you the way he has been.

Date when you're ready to date. You'll know when that is because you'll find yourself scoping other guys out & when someone asks you out, you'll see that you actually WANT to go. There's no need to push it. You were in a 10-year relationship that broke up, you had a child, your ex consciously screwed with your head. That stuff takes some time to recover from. Cut yourself some slack but for pete's sake, leave this loser alone!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi MrMansMommy,

I ditto what the other mamas said.... I just want to add that at 3yrs old your son is absolutely old enough to be around his dad (and 1/2 brother) alone. Actually he NEEDS to be around them without you so that they bond.

Especially since his dad has another child - it's not like he doesn't have any idea how to parent. And at 3 when they are verbal it gets easier for the dad.

Also - I don't think you need to have a conversation that you are breaking up with him. You guys already HAD that conversation when HE broke up with YOU by telling you he was going to live with (in all the senses) another woman. What is to discuss?

I hope you find peace. And PLEASE find someone who can teach your son how to be a MAN because his father is certainly not being any sort of role model.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

He's trying to have his cake and eat it too. I hope you find the strength to be firm with him and keep it on a co-parenting only basis. I know you love your little man more than anything. You don't want him seeing this and you really dont want him turning out like him. When you think you love this guy, just remeber you love yourself and your son much more. You both deserve better. And there is better out there. Can you put the word out to family and firends that you are interested in meeting a nice guy with his head on straight. Join a church singles group. Join a co-ed bowling league. Just get out there meeting other people. Too many lonely nights sitting at home leads to those late night phone calls.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

He sounds like a man looking for some easy and free sex to me :( If you will let him touch and kiss you and there is actually no formal relationship and he is living with another woman, it sounds like he has hope for a lot more and no need to do anything more for you. I am so sorry that some men do this, it is so completely rotten of them. You are vulnerable, available and require nothing of him, like dates, time, him being single etc. It is hard to move on though, I do get that, he is your son's father and you had a long term relationship. So I think you gotta get tough and cut him off at the knees where it concerns you. If he is doing these things when your son is not around, why is he still around? If your little boy is down for the night, kick his butt to the curb. Just say 'ok, thanks for stopping by, see you next time' as you are opening the door. If he starts the 'I love you' bullcrap, just say 'oh wow, that is amazing, does your girlfriend mind?' again while opening the door. If you can't stop yourself from a little nooky at your home then either he sees his son alone or you guys meet in public places. You have to be b*tchy with these types, sorry to be so blunt but it's really true. You have a court order for child support and he is seeing his son and it is his responsibility to cultivate a relationship with his own child, not yours. You are not your child's father, he is. If he comes around less, that will only reiterate how ugly his true intentions were, HE LIVES WITH ANOTHER WOMAN, for crying out loud. You are WAY too smart, beautiful and capable to put up with this kind of treatment. Tell yourself this on a daily basis, bc it's true. He is not the last man on earth and is not even available. I wish you the best and my heart goes out to you bc it can seem hard to do what you must. But seriously for your son and your future make a decision today to cut this off now before you find yourself in bed and half way sharing a man with another woman. It's no way to live, you deserve more. Take care!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You cannot force him to be the father you want for your child. Second, he isn't involved with you. He is involved with another woman and that isn't going to change. You need to change. Its unfortunate but he told you before you had the child that he didn't want to be a dad.

Regardless, until you are able to not flirt and kiss with him you need to have either someone else do the exchange or you need to meet somewhere in public. Your son had to get some idea about those questions somewhere. I hope you didn't say anything to him.

You need to be strong for your son and for you. You need to move on. Get some counseling to help you deal with the situation as it is and not how you wish it was. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I just want to know how is it one looser of a guy has two fine women wrapped around his finger.... Makes you wonder. My advise: stop being accommodating! You are 30, it is not too bad yet, though he wasted precious years for you. Get out, date, get a guy who can be real husband to you and a real dad to your son. This leach has got to go!
Good luck girl!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

You have to realize that right now, you're The Other Woman, right?

Stop messing around with him. Just stop. It's confusing your child, it's confusing you, and this guy isn't healthy to be in a relationship with. He's playing you. The best indicator of a man's future behavior is his past. Well, he's proving he's not trustworthy.

Stick to child support and start granting him limited and supervised visitation and make it official. Get a lawyer. None of the other stuff even matters. For the sake of your child, remain friendly and cordial so that you can co-parent, but keep it strictly to co-parenting.

If you want a life partner, this man is not your last chance. He shouldn't even be an option. And think about the fact that if you continue messing around with him, you're not just complicating your life but you're going to likely ruin the lives of his other kids and his other girlfriend. You don't want to be responsible for a mess like that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Keep your meetings around your son only, you can't be kissing and flirting when he is playing with his child and you are remaining aloof and supervising the visit. How old is your son, 9 or 10? Why can't he have visits alone with his dad? Keep them short, drop your son off at the park, your ex can take him out to eat and the movies then you pick your son up at the movie theater.

This guy is a loser, he is probably also flirting and doing all the sexual stuff with his ex, the mother of his other child. Sounds like a two timer who can't make up his mind or enjoys messing with you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If it was me, and it's not, I wouldn't even want a man like this around my child even if he is the biological father. You forced him to pay child support and then say he doesn't see him often, so it seems he does not care about your child or you either. Forget him, don't remind him to see the child, don't do anything to see him. If he shows up for a child visit I guess you have to let him see the child but don't be involved more than you have to and soon he'll be off with the other woman or someone else. Get on with your life, no matter how old you are you are still a person who should expect to be treated right. You don't want a 'ring' or jewelry from a man living with another woman raising another child.



answers from Chicago on

sounds like he is using you! You need to stand up to it and if you don't it will be your fault. You broke up for a reason and now he's back with his original girlfriend and living with her. He's a player and you'll only be hurt again. BTW being in your 30's is a great and awesome thing. You've come a long way in maturity and wisdsom I hope :)

Set the boundary and keep to the Ex having a relationship with your son and your son only. Keep it civil but rather than seek out the father to update him....If your EX really cares about his son let him call and ask you and not the other way around. Get yourself involved in activities you love. Be there for your son and be the best Mom you can be. Meet an emmotionally healthy man and move on :)

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