I was a single mother to an adorable son for the past four years. My child’s father and I were involved in a very long relationship that surpassed the six-year mark, and was very troublesome.
I just now got myself involved in a very loving relationship with my fiancé (not the biological father.) The father of my baby has failed to pay any child support for the past year and has had a drug issue that he is now working out. My problem is balancing out parent visitations and my new relationship. Both my family and my fiancé have a problem with me allowing any type of visitation rights to my kid’s father. They feel as though since he has problems — and is not financial stable nor financially responsible — he should have no right.
My heart tells me that I should let him see his child. Although I already let him see his son once and my child came back refusing the idea that I was with my fiancé and not his father. My fiancé and I live together with my son, so that makes the balancing act even harder.
I am not sure as to what to do here. I do not want my past to affect my present, but my child represents my present, and he has every right to see his father… even though daddy may not make the clearest decisions. What do I do?
In the Middle
I like your heart and I agree with you completely. You are very strong and I hope this support from the outside helps you be even stronger. Since you already know what you want and need to do, I’m just going to shore you up.
I agree you do not throw people away… especially your child’s father because he is not in the best shape today. Today is not tomorrow or next week or next year. And that is his son. He is the father and you are the mother, so everyone else is just going to have to deal.
Your family is going to have to accept and comprehend the fact you are an adult now, and you will run your life according to your innards. You don’t need to be disrespectful though. ‘I appreciate your input, but I have decided to do a, b and c…” And then do it. They’ll adjust. Same with the boyfriend.
Now I understand why and how this is dicey. You’re from a machismo culture and I am sure your new man wants to be rid of all remnants of your old man. He’s the new King. He’s the new rooster. And I forgive him this, to an extent, okay? Because I like machismo-type men, but also because he does not have children, so he is naïve.
However, that’s too bad. He is still going to have to clutch it up if he wants to be your husband. He going to have to transcend his insecurities and be an even manlier man or frankly, I don’t think you’re going to keep him. And I’m sorry to say that, but it’s very clear. You are not going to kill off your son’s father to keep a man, are you? Your responsibility to your son comes first.
But you can be sensitive to him as well. But he really needs to get this loud and clear. If you are going to live together as a family, he cannot be in a power struggle with your son’s father. Otherwise you will have nothing but the trouble you are already having: two men using your son to try to dominate each other, that is.
So your job is a hard one, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You just have to state things very plainly… low and slow, like John Wayne.
And since you probably don’t John Wayne was, I’ll tell you. He was a giant cowboy actor in western movies with great physical presence. And an old man told me once, when I was a young girl like you, that no one paid attention to a girl’s voice. To a shrill sound. But if you talk low and slow like John Wayne… well they may just listen to you.
Because I’ll tell you one more thing. You’re special. You are special standing up in these circumstances. You are rare and powerful and I don’t anyone is going to want to lose a person of your quality.