Dear Guys,

So this is a complicated long message. Five years ago I began a relationship with my partner who was married at the time. He said it was an unhappy relationship and he wanted to leave, so six months later he left her. Six months after that he realized he had feelings for her again so he spent a week over Xmas with her. I had to let him go to see if it was 100% over.

So anyway he came back after one week. We moved on; it was hard, but we got through it. He always talked about a divorce but never submitted the forms. So almost four years later I discover I’m pregnant and we are both happy. He seems really keen and excited, buying things and being really caring. So last week he tells me he has been seeing her again for the past six months and thinks he has feelings for her. Anyway, he spent a night at her house after I asked him to leave and the next day turns up at the door saying he’s made a massive mistake and he loves me and he was filled with guilt for leaving her the way he did and their relationship was just about sex and nothing else.

Now I’m so confused. How could he not have told me when we discovered I was pregnant tha he was already seeing her again? What do I do? Can I let myself believe he is over her? Can I trust him again? I just don’t know. I love him and want to be a family but what if he really doesn’t love me? He won’t answer any questions straight and keeps avoiding things when I ask about us.

Sharon

Dear Sharon,

Thanks for your question. We’re sorry you’re in this situation, especially during a time—having your new baby— that should be completely blissful.

You’re right to figure this out now. A lot of people think having a child will solve all of their problems—we’re not saying you think that way—but actually, having a baby only intensifies any issues that are already present.

Obviously your guy is confused about his feelings, and well he should be. He was unhappy in his marriage; but instead of dealing with those feelings directly with his wife, he sought out comfort and love from another woman: you. We’re not trying to make you feel guilty, we’re just trying to help you see why he’s so conflicted. Any person with a conscience and a heart is not going to feel good about doing what he did. He feels guilty; he feels remorseful; but he also is pretty sure he doesn’t really want to be with his ex. And this would account for his flip-flopping.

So part of what’s going on here is the way the two of you came together. It was a covert union, one destined to have holes. That doesn’t mean the holes can’t be filled, and the ship righted, but the two of you need to start hashing all of this out as soon as possible.

He’s got to start being more honest with you. Maybe the first time, you let him try to figure out his feelings for his ex, but these last six months he’s basically been cheating on you. What’s striking is that he just expects you to take him back like he made some little mistake. The thing is, betrayal is a very serious issue, mainly because it undermines the trust that’s been built up over years. We get the sense he wants you to forget his whole foray, move on, and be happy with him; but you’re right to wonder. Who’s to say he won’t cheat again sometime down the road, possibly with his ex, or some other woman? He’s shown a pattern of behavior and those patterns are very difficult to break.

We don’t doubt he cares for you, but the bigger question is, what is he willing to do to regain your trust? Right now he’s not doing anything; all he’s doing is avoiding the discussion. But he can’t keep doing that. The two of you need to have some serious discussions about many matters: How did his indiscretions and explorations affect you and make you feel? How do you know you’ll be able to trust him? What is truly going on with his ex? Is he committed to changing his behavior pattern? How committed is he to you? What do you both need from this relationship? How will you plan on dealing with problems that will surely arise in the future? (They always do, especially with kids.) We also might suggest exploring these issues with a professional. (Couples counselor)

Sharon, if he doesn’t get 100% on board with all that you propose you need to seriously think hard about whether or not he’s the man you want to spend your life with. We’re hoping he’ll rise to the challenge, but frankly, raising your baby will be your number one priority very soon, and you’ll need a partner who will be a solid part of your team. We hope the two of you will be able to solve your problems and get on the same page.

Your thoughts? Leave us a comment, or ask a follow-up questions.

We truly wish you all the best.

THE GUYS

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