I’ve been dating this guy for a little over two years. During the time we both were studying for the bar, we were on a break. He slept with his ex-fiancee once, and now she’s pregnant. I’m devastated and broken. I feel like a part of me has died. He’s the only guy I’ve ever loved. I put so much into this relationship, gave my everything and was super patient, since it was hard for him to get over his failed engagement. The reason they broke up is because she couldn’t have kids, so this baby is a “miracle baby.” He says she may have to abort the child because she’s high risk because of her age—37. He said it was completely unplanned; there was no emotion. I’m just so torn and don’t know what to do.
I know I deserve better. But he’s a good man, a God-fearing man raised in the church. He says he knows he was wrong and he’s disappointed in himself that he did this to us. I know you’re going to say, “Don’t waste your pretty,” but if I’m deeply in love with him, what can I do? —Anonymous
Oh, bae! I feel for you. I truly do. And I know you want to stay because despite the hurt, you’re very much in love. But you already know I won’t co-sign this and you know my exact answer: Don’t waste your pretty.
There have been a couple of celebrity “break babies” that made headlines after the guy got another woman pregnant, allegedly while the relationship he was in was on hold (Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union and Ludacris and Eudoxie come to mind). We read about the “scandal,” and then months later, we saw pictures and videos of their beautiful weddings. On Instagram and Snapchat, we see the couple smiling and traveling and living life to the max. It gives the impression that everything is peachy. And maybe it is. I have no inside knowledge of those relationships.
But I’ve heard this story before many times with noncelebrity couples. And it rarely ends well for the girlfriend, even if she becomes the wife. Maybe you’re the exception to the rule. Or maybe you’re not. Actually, it’s likely you’re not. Let me explain.
Your man, if you’re back together now, had a difficult time getting over his ex. He loved her and he wanted to marry her. He says the wedding was called off because she couldn’t have children and he wanted them. Fair enough. Well, what do you know? It’s a miracle! As it turns out, she can have a child. So the big dilemma that hovered over their relationship is now gone.
That woman you patiently waited for him to get over because he was grieving that love so hard is now carrying his child. That woman he was so in love with, that same woman who, out of all the women in the world, is the one he just happened to find himself entangled with one night, allegedly with no emotion, is about to be the mother of his child. And that child will forever and always be a part of his life. You can’t compete with that, hon.
Also, unless her life would be put in danger by carrying the child to term, she’s absolutely having this baby. He flat-out lied by suggesting to you that she was considering an abortion because she was “at risk” because of her age. She wanted children, thought she couldn’t have any and now she’s pregnant by her ex-fiance, a man she once pictured spending her life with? A man with a freshly minted law degree? And she’s 37?
Yes, medically it’s considered high-risk, but 37-year-old women have healthy babies every day. She’s not aborting; she’s going to follow her doctor’s orders to fanatically take care of herself to make sure she can carry the baby to term and the child is healthy upon arrival. Even if there were no chance in hell that they were getting back together, she wouldn’t have an abortion because she wanted children and this may be her only shot.
Understand, this baby is coming. I wonder if you’ve played out any of the scenarios you’ll be faced with in the upcoming months if you stay in this relationship. Let’s say the woman is the most easygoing, accommodating lady ever and you have no issues with her at all. But when you go to his house and see the sonogram pics, are you cool? When he's posted up on social media at the baby shower with the woman carrying his child, how will you feel? Are you invited to the baby shower? If so, how will you feel sitting on the side, watching your man celebrate the child he’s having with someone else? How will you feel with the side eyes from her mother and aunties?
When he gets the text that the baby is coming, are you going to the hospital with him for the delivery? Are you going to be as excited as he is about the birth of his first child? Are you changing this baby's diapers? Are you cool looking at your man posting pics celebrating his child who ain't yours, that everybody you know knows isn’t yours? Are you cool with explaining all this to your mama, your girls and the rest of your family? Are you cool with the pitiful look his people will give you both because they feel sorry for you? Are you OK with knowing, as you said, that you deserve better but are still staying in this situation?
You’re signing up for months, if not years, of inner conflict, suppressing your real emotions and badly pretending that it’s all OK. Is that the life you want?
If so, stand by your man! If not, wish him well and run for the hills as fast as you can.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. She is also a blogger at SeeSomeWorld.com, where she covers pop culture and travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Previously in Ask Demetria: “To Those Who Think Women Who Enjoy the Club Aren’t Marriage Material: Stop Judging”