Dear Aunt Becky,
Girl, I need advice.
I’m 28, have never married, and do not have any children – although I am hopeful for both in the future. So here’s the dilemma. I have been dating the same fellow for the last 3 months. Pretty early on I picked up from his conversations with other people that he had a daughter from a previous relationship, but he never spoke about her with me.
I should clarify that it was apparent who this mystery person X was, although she was never referred to by her status as his child, only by her first name, so it took a few instances of her being brought up before I caught on who this person X really was.
Although I don’t have children, I understand that being a dating parent must come with complications I don’t have to typically face as a childless dater. So I tried to be patient and let him tell me in his own time. However, after 2 ½ months of exclusive dating my patience had worn thin. We had become physically intimate; he had introduced me to his parents; he had dropped the L bomb. But he still hadn’t brought up his daughter.
So I did. I tried to do so gently, and with an open mind. I asked him why he never mentioned his daughter. His excuse? He had meant to, but had apparently procrastinated too long. And within a week of that conversation he was planning a whole Easter weekend with me meeting not only his daughter (who he was seeing for the first time since Christmas), but his whole extended family over the course of 2 days. I expressed my discomfort with the speed of meeting everyone – particularly his daughter — but he ignored it.
And now I am disenchanted with the whole relationship. To top it off, his custody situation is changing and he will have his daughter every second weekend, so I feel I should decide whether or not I want to continue dating him asap before I establish a significant relationship with his daughter.
Please stop me if I’ve just hopped on the crazy train, but really, shouldn’t the child have come up sooner? I am having a hard time letting go of this. He never explicitly denied having a child, but I still feel lied to.
And seriously, how do you just forget that you ought to mention you have a child? Seriously? (My head is spinning here, a la the exorcist.) And now that the dynamic of our relationship and how and when we spend time together is going to change pretty drastically as his daughter becomes a bigger presence in his life. I’m not sure if I should continue to be a part of his life. What makes me really sad is that I’m actually ok with dating someone who has a child in principle. But I’m not sure I want to date someone who feels the need to ‘hide’ them from prospective partners.
Many, many years ago I met someone who had The Sex with a random girl in a tent at a party. Later, when asked if he was going to call the girl he said, “Absolutely not.” She had a kid, you see, and she didn’t mention it to him, and in his words, “anyone who doesn’t bring up their kid before having sex isn’t someone you call later on.”
That girl wasn’t me, because the kid was like 8 or something and she was some ho-bag (per this guy), but to me, I can’t imagine why the hell someone wouldn’t choose to bring up their child. I got your email and rolled it around in my pea brain and simply couldn’t think of a single good reason why this could happen with someone I’d want to continue dating.
My kid wasn’t something I was ashamed of, even when I was 21 and freshly single. Like, my kid is cool, you know? Sure, it maybe didn’t make me the world’s most eligible co-ed, but you know what? THEIR LOSS. My kid and I, WE were going to be fine with or without you.
(and we were)
And really, that should kinda be his attitude.
If I were you, I’d probably sit him the fuck down and tell him that this is really bothering you. Make it clear that it’s not that he has a kid, but that he didn’t mention that he had one. That should have been a Date 1 or Date 2 conversation. I’m sure the relationship with Baby Momma is rough because hi, they always are, but you know what? If he loves you and you love him, you’ll work it out.
So my advice is to have an honest heart-to-heart with him before his daughter moves in because you owe it to that child to have the slate wiped clean before you meet her. Her dad was the one being a dip-shit, not her.
I still don’t understand his logic and it makes me uncomfortable, but I’m also willing to discuss my bowel movements with The Internet, so maybe I’m Captain Overshare over here.
Pranksters? Your thoughts?
Dear Aunt Becky,
What do you do when you are too tired to live properly, let alone find joy? I mean, do you ever have those days when you sit on the toilet longer than necessary because you are too tired to even wipe your own ass?
I have a great life, and I’m already on Zoloft…so more pharmaceuticals are out.
What do YOU do?
Fuck, girl, you’re talking to the person who is considering a recreational speed habit just to make it through the day. Between the Topamax (street name in MY house “The Max”) and the screaming children, I’m counting down the moments until I can go on my cruise.
(aside, it’s mostly the Topamax that causes, per my neurologist “cognitive impairment.” Street name: “makes you dumber-er”)
Your Zoloft might actually be making you sleepy. You might want to consider a change to a different drug because so many of the SSRI’s are similar enough to provide you with relief from your depression (I’m assuming it’s depression) while reducing the unwanted side effects. It’s something worth mentioning to your doctor because I know that feeling well. I considered napping at Target today!
If it’s not that, or if you don’t want to tweak it, which I TOTALLY get, try giving yourself a wee time-out in your bedroom. Just 5 minutes. Alone. Lay down, turn off the lights and listen to some music and just relax. It’s quite rejuvenating.
Barring that, have some more of The Sex because OBVIOUSLY. Wait, no, just have more of The Sex, anyway even if it’s with yourself.
Also, make sure to cut some time out of every day for yourself. I don’t mean like plan an extravagant spa day or something because really, who has the fucking time? (answer: no one I know) but, you know, something you can look forward to.Something that makes you feel good about yourself.
Buy some makeup that makes you feel pretty and wear it, or paint your toenails, or go and walk around Target alone for half an hour. I have this thing that I do, where I try and buy myself something that makes me feel good about myself every week. Baby steps, girl. Baby steps.
It’s hard, and I’m sorry. Anyone who ever says that life is always easy is full of bullshit or so heavily medicated that I want the name of their doctor RIGHT NOW.
If none of those work, I’ll go halvesies on some speed with you.
As always, Pranksters, please pick up where I left off in the comments. Because, OBVIOUSLY.