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Dear Gay Best Friend,
I liked the “REAL” responses you have given to previous writers so I decided to write you myself.
I am in a unique situation. I am 21-year old black woman and I have an almost two year old daughter. I say that my situation is unique because her father, who is 37-years old, wants to have a family with me, but I have my reasons of why we cannot and/or should not be a family together.
In the beginning of our relationship, about three years ago, he told me many lies about his life. How many children he had (told me one of them had died, but she is alive and well at the age of thirteen) SMH! He told me he had a life threatening illness (Kidney failure). Told me he was divorced (the divorce wasn’t final until a month after my daughter was born). We were together for two years while all these lies were going on and I didn’t find out that they were lies until after I broke it off with him.
I found out his daughter is still alive through Facebook by hacking into his Facebook account. I came across a picture he commented on stating that two of his children (whom he no longer see’s because of whatever situation with their mother) had grown up so much. When I read the description of the picture, I recognized her because her father showed me pictures from when she was little (before she had supposedly died). When I saw this I almost died myself. Then in the process of moving out of an apartment we shared together I came across his divorce papers which showed he had been married /separated the whole time we were together. Not to mention his family knew the whole time he was married and never said anything and his sister knew he lied to me about his daughter but decided to keep quiet, SMH!
Now I understand married people separate from each other but if you are married, then that’s just it, you are still married and I am not dating a man that I know is committed to another woman. After that, I found out from his mother that his illness he claimed he had and the doctor’s appointments he claimed to have scheduled were all a lie! After finding this out I was devastated.
Here I was, not even 25-years old, with a baby, not even a year old, and a baby’s father whom is a compulsive liar. I told him he would never see neither one of us again, which didn’t last for very long. I moved in with my parents until I could get myself together. After staying with my parents for six months, I felt it was time for me to move out and be back on my own again, not to mention I was paying $650.00 to live with them in a room with my daughter when I could pay that much or even less to have a whole house and privacy to myself. Let’s just say staying with parents worked for as long as it could.
During the six months I stayed with my parents my child’s father and I got back in contact with each other. I felt bad for taking her away from him because a little girl needs her father more than anyone could ever know, so I made the decision to give him the decision to be in her life or leave us alone. I didn’t feel it was my right to make that decision based off what he had done to me. As long as he didn’t physically hurt my daughter I wasn’t going to interfere with their relationship.
After leaving my parents home I moved into a place with just my daughter. As I said, during the time I was staying with my parents me and her father were in contact with each other and he constantly apologized for the things he did and the lies he told, but I was skeptical. So, I told him I would give him a chance but we weren’t together. I told him he would have to prove everything he was saying. After catching him with another woman numerous times (the same one who started this mess…which is another story for a later time) when he told me he wasn’t seeing anyone and he was focusing on me and our child, I was finished and I finally started to date someone else whom my family strongly approves of, opposed to her father whom they strongly, strongly, STRONGLY!, disapprove of.
The man I started to date is 32-years old. “Hey, I like older men, what can I say?” Anyway, this guy is very nice and completely different from my daughter’s father and the other men I choose to date in my past. He is educated, driven, extremely handsome, spiritually in-tune; I mean he has it together, for the most part. I mean he is anything and everything I could possibly ask for but he has his baggage as well. He was going through a DNA test with a woman from a previous relationship when I first met him about seven months ago. He recently found out the child was not his after four years of him believing she was his. I decided to wait until after the DNA situation was finished to speak to him about whether or not he could see us being together in a relationship.
He has made many excuses in my opinion – my age (which wasn’t an issue when we slept together on many occasions), his recent situation with his child, his trust issues, etc. So, I told him we could be friends but I kept a distance from him after I moved into my own place since I knew he didn’t want what I wanted, even though he constantly emphasized how attracted he was to me and how much he “LIKE” me.
So, in between this situation, my daughter’s father is still trying to prove to me that we should “be a family”. Once I moved I knew her father would try to move in with me to get closer to me even though he had his own place at the time. So, like the dummy that I am, I let him move in because honestly I needed the help not financially but as far as having a helping hand with my daughter, and him paying half the bills didn’t hurt much either, but he now wants us to be a family and has asked me to marry him.
He has done everything I have asked him to and then some. He has been a gentleman and the best father. I admit I love that we are parenting our daughter together. We are potty training her together, we took her trick – or – tricking together, we discipline her together. These are the things that I think about when I think about not being with him. I think of the things I will do alone and not to mention she adores her father, but I feel as though I am missing something like this isn’t the life I am supposed to have and he is not the one I am supposed to end up with, but he takes care of me and my daughter like we are queens and that’s when I think he deserves a chance.
Now, then there’s the guy I was dating that I do want to be with but I am not sure what he wants or if he even sees himself being in a committed relationship, not just with anyone but a mother. I don’t want to leave a relationship that I have been through “HELL” and high water for, and a man that takes care of me and my daughter for someone who isn’t even considering us as a priority in his life. So basically, I am stuck between keeping my family together and being with her father or just moving on not just with this guy but with my life period. Does her father even deserve a second chance for us to become a family? I just don’t know what to do anymore. I just want to do what is best for my daughter and her future. PYT – (Pretty Young Thing)
Dear Pretty Young Thing,
Girl, did you give me enough information? Sheesh! This was a looooooooooong letter for advice. But, I digress because I am not going to spend my time giving you a looooooooooong answer.
The short of it, yes, I think everyone deserves second chances. We all make mistakes. We do and say things foolishly when in love and relationships. But, uhm, sweetie your man is 37-years old, and you’re 21 with an almost two year old daughter. Which, by my calculations, mean you were 19 and he was 35 when you got pregnant by him. What the hell does a 35-year old man have in common with a 19-yeard old? I can’t, and I won’t.
I find it particularly disturbing that you’re very young and he’s much older, and you’re talking about marriage and family. What about school? What about living and discovering life? Yes, you are grown, but the things you’re doing is definitely what married folks go through in life. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you, and by the time you’re 30-years old, he will be in his mid forties. There is nothing wrong with that, but as you get older, remember, so does he.
And, Ms. Honey, I certainly don’t like the games and lies he did. That was beyond shady. That was fierce. He went through all that trouble lying to you about a daughter he had, claimed she died, but she’s alive. He lied about his Kidney failure. He lied, lied, and lied, and on top of all that you’ve caught him several times cheating with a woman. As, I’ve said many times before, and I’ll say it again, when someone shows you who they are belive them. When someone tells you who they are believe them. He is a liar and cheater. WHY ARE YOU GOING THROUGH ALL THIS MADNESS WITH HIM, AND YOU ARE NOT MARRIED TO HIM? GIRL, YOU DON’T OWE HIM ANYTHING. Move on with your life.
Yes, he is the father of your child, and I agree that no man should be prevented from seeing his child and being a part of their life, but his relationship is with his daughter. You can have a cordial relationship with him, and it doesn’t mean you have to sleep with him, or be in a relationship with him for him to be involved in his daughter’s life. You and he can come to some sort of agreement on the terms of his involvement with your daughter. But, first you got to get him out of your apartment. All this talk about he helps me out, and it’s a big help financially, girl, if you’re unhappy, trust me, it’s not worth it. Your happiness matters. Your sanity matters. And more importantly, YOU MATTER!
And, in regards to the other man, he’s not ready to be in a relationship with you. He’s not ready to settle down and play house, and quite frankly, Ms. Thing, you need to stop thinking about playing house, and build your house. Get your house in order and that entails you working on you. Loving you. Building your self-esteem, and building your backbone. No man makes you. No man can bring you what you seem to be searching for, and it seems you are searching for self, love, and happiness. All those things are within you. I strongly suggest you pick up my new book, STRAIGHT FROM YOUR GAY BEST FRIEND – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Work and Having A Fabulous Life! In it, I fully explain the importance of building your own life, self, and happiness. I show how you can build and re-member who you are and when the right man comes along you will be able to identify him, but it all begins with you.
So, Ms. Pretty Young Thing, get you some prayer and meditation. You obviously know what you don’t want, because you said it at the end of your letter, and it appears you don’t want to be with your child’s father. Now, answer your own question of what you need to do next, and those next steps should be getting him out of your house, cleaning house, getting into somebody’s college or university, and spending time with yourself, and your daughter. – Straight From Your Gay Best Friend!
Make sure to get your copy of my new book, STRAIGHT FROM YOUR GAY BEST FRIEND – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Work, and Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden – October 2010; $15). It is available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, HERE!