Spouse May Nix Visit With Son's Absent Dad
Ask Demetria: If your ex wants to see his kid, you should do what's best for the child.
I am married to a wonderful man, and we have a child together. He loves my oldest son like his own and has been in my son's life since he was 2. After four years, my ex now decides that he wants to see my child and wants me to let my son come over to him. My son never asks about him, ever. He feels like my husband is his father.
I know my husband's reaction will be, "F--- him; he wasn't around. Why is he calling now?" I feel like I would be wrong if I tell the ex, "No, you can't see my child; beat it. Don't you have, like, three other kids somewhere?" He is a deadbeat. I'm so confused and scared to tell my husband. I don't want him to feel disrespected. What should I do? --R.D.
Put your child first. Any woman in your position would be worried about offending her partner, since he is the one who's been doing the heavy lifting to nurture, protect and love the child the two of you have been raising. And surely your confusion about what to do comes from mixed feelings about your son's father, the man who hasn't been there to co-parent your child. But your decision shouldn't be based on how your husband feels, or even how you feel, but what is best in the long run for your child.
It probably somehow seems wrong, if not a little unfair, that your ex can show up out of the blue uninvited like some sort of Adele lyric and expect to be taken seriously. And it's tempting to ignore him, since it's not likely there's much your ex can do to force your hand.
You referred to him as "a deadbeat," which leads me to believe that not only is he not around, but he's also not paying child support. It's not as if he's going to run to the courts asking for visitation if he has an outstanding debt. Still, for all that he hasn't done (or paid), he's still the child's father, and that carries a lot of weight.
My favorite Drake line is "Better late than never, but never late is better." I wish this were the case for your son and for your family so you wouldn't face this hard dilemma. For whatever reason, your ex has decided that it's time to do what he should have been doing all along. If he wants to have a relationship with his child, put aside the discomfort you may have and focus on at least letting the child's father try to forge a bond with his son.