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Ask Dr Maymunah: Handling Relationships As A Single Parent

Q:

Good day, Dr Maymunah.

I will like to remain anonymous if you don’t mind. My friend is having an issue that needs answers I cannot give, so I think it is better she hears it from you. She is 25-years-old, works for an automobile company and is the first daughter from a family of four. While growing up, she made some wrong choices that resulted in her getting pregnant. She comes from a family that does not believe in abortion, so she gave birth to a son whom she cherishes very much.

The problem now is that she is finding it difficult to keep a relationship. Whenever she is in a relationship and it looks like it is about to go to the next level and the men find out that she has a child, they develop cold feet and leave. Now, she is in another relationship with a guy she loves so much that she is willing to deny her son just to make it work. Please Doc, what can she do to avoid this lifetime mistake?
– Anonymous writer, Nigeria.

A:

Thanks for the mail and I can see from your letter that you mean well for your friend. Now, your friend needs to know how to put things in place before it becomes messy. No matter what, she should neither deny her child under any condition nor keep him as a secret in her relationship with anyone. As it is now, she is in a relationship without introducing her son to him. This might compromise how she relates to this man she is in love with. Yes, other men grew cold feet and left; that might possibly be that they were caught unaware, which might not be if they were told from the beginning.

Now, these are some actions I suggest she takes:

Don’t be afraid to open up
Your past relationship should not be a yardstick for future involvement or any other relationship you are engaging in. Don’t let the actions of others cloud your judgement about the one you are in love with. Trust him and trust what you feel for him and not let fear control your actions. Do the right thing now by telling him about your son before it gets any worse than it is.

Let it come from you
Go to the one you love and tell him about your son before he gets to hear it from someone else that wants to spite you or from your family members. Sadly, it may come from your son himself which will not only hurt your man but also your son whom might think that you are ashamed of him.

Test how much he loves you
Tell him about your son to know how much he loves you. If he does, he will accept him but might want to know about your relationship with your son’s father which is only fair that he knows. If he chooses to leave, it only shows his feelings for you and his strength to handle such situation.

Handle your next relationship with care
If this present man leaves after you have opened up to him, it will hurt. But all you have to do is give yourself some time to heal but don’t stay in that healing stage for too long. Try to find love again and, when you do, put all your cards on the table before you get too attached and too deep into the relationship. When you do that, there won’t be any trust issue that might scare him off and, even if he leaves, you might feel less hurt.

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