When it is not marriage…
A lady’s message to me actually informed this discourse.
Read her first… “When I turned 39, a few years back (following numerous sad experiences with men) I made up my mind to try for a baby-as a single mum.
A friend in particular (although married) even offered to help me out.
And also be there for me and the child. I had twin girls. But one died at birth. The surviving twin has remained my joy.
Prior to this time, the father and I have maintained a close relationship and he was always involved in the child’s life.
Something happened recently and I will say that our relationship has not been the same again.
Our daughter developed a high temperature that wouldn’t come down.
I told myself that I would feel more comfortable having her pass the night in the hospital, as doctors observe her, than being alone in the house with her.
So, I called the father. He didn’t pick. So, I sent him an SMS.
By 8:00am the next morning, he came to the hospital to see us. And he also gave me some money.
But I sensed that he was distant. I thought it was because of our daughter’s situation.
He came around to take us home in the evening, but he barely spoke to me.
When we got home, I asked to have a word with him. I started by asking what’s up with his mood of recent.
He blurted out: MY WIFE READ THAT SMS YOU SENT.
I felt bad but how was I to know the wife was going to get hold of his phone? We have always communicated via phone calls.
I only sent SMS because I wanted him to know about the emergency at hand.
I did apologize but the problem right now is that he’s kept his distance. We used to be such good friends.
I don’t want this incident to soil our friendship. I just do not know how else to handle this.
And that is why I seek your opinion on the matter, please.
Nothing in the said SMS gave anything away…just that the girl (I mentioned her name) had taken ill and we were headed to ‘so so and so’ hospital.’’
It was easy to promise standing by you. But he probably didn’t bargain for what it (standing by you) entailed.
So, when the reality (midnight calls, financial responsibilities, etc) hit him…he probably was like “in addition to the wahala at the home-front?’’
You must realise that the decision to have a baby is solely yours (regardless of who played a role in making it happen).
And so, whether or not this guy comes around, you carry on with your life…the way you would live it on your terms.
I think your best option is to give him TIME to come around.
I love the fact that he has not reneged on the promise he made you…as regards being there for you and your baby.
But you should also help him to be at his optimum (towards you and your daughter) by not doing anything that will jeopardise his home-front.
If that happens, it will greatly affect what you two share.
Only make do with the part of him that he CAN offer you…if you want more, you look elsewhere.
Focus on is his active involvement in your daughter’s life…so as to give the girl an emotional stability.
When he visits, let him have his moments with his daughter.
Make small TALKS with him…asking how his day went, offering him meals or generally sharing the gist of the moment with him.
What you feel he should know about his daughter…don’t shy away from informing him.
The idea is not to take this personally and NEVER to create a hostile atmosphere that may discourage his efforts towards the daughter.
So far, he has kept to his own side of the bargain but I think it will be foolhardy for your life to revolve around him because you two had a child together.
He may not even desire more than he is offering you…FRIENDSHIP!
Still build your life outside that setting.
Go out with friends. Meet people. Pursue your hobbies/passion.
Men tend to ‘misbehave’ when you smother them with attention…especially when ‘how you are seeing things’ is far from their intention.
There should be rules of engagement…e.g. agreed channels of communication.
This is the difference between a marriage and your circumstances.
In a marriage…it is 100 per cent commitment from the man. In your kind of situation…you make do with what the man can offer, and still have your freedom.
It is called TAKING YOUR DESTINY IN YOUR OWN HANDS.
The most important thing is that you are happy. Nothing else matters…not even the judgmental opinion of anybody.