I’m studying counseling in school, so I know how to handle the situation, but I have a hard time helping myself. So, I guess my question is: where do I go from here? I want to remain in this relationship with my boyfriend, but I don’t want his ex to hate me for it and I don’t know if I’m ready to be a second mommy. — Not Ready for Step-Motherhood
Your boyfriend and his ex broke up before you started dating him; you’d been together for two months before he even discovered his ex was pregnant with a baby that, quite frankly, may or may not be his. There’s no justifiable reason for the ex to “hate” you for being with your boyfriend. You’ve done nothing wrong and you’d be betraying no one by staying with him.
That said, you have some things you need to think about if you do decide to stick it out with him. First of all, it’s important to remember that you wouldn’t be jumping into being a “second mommy” to this baby. You’re still just getting to know your boyfriend, so mothering this baby who isn’t due yet for a few more months (I’m assuming), isn’t on the docket. If anything, you’d be a support to your boyfriend as he navigates new fatherhood. Your interaction with the baby would likely be pretty limited until you and your boyfriend become more serious. And you’ve only been with him for two months, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
If I were you, I’d slow things down with the guy. Give him some time and space to figure out his next steps. Be a friend to him during this time, but let your romance cool down a little until the dust of this new development settles. He should probably have a paternity test done to make sure the baby is even his, and while he and his ex figure out how best to co-parent this child, you can take some time to decide whether the investment you’ve made in your relationship thus far and the connection you have with this guy is worth some of the compromises you’ll have to make to be with someone who’s adjusting to the demands of fatherhood and staying in constant contact with his most recent ex.
The early months of a relationship are a time to get to know one another, lay the foundation for a potential future together and decide whether you’re a match in terms of goals, personality and what you’re looking for in a significant other. A baby — even if you were the one carrying it instead of his ex — will greatly change the ability to mindfully achieve these steps. Beware of jumping into a situation you haven’t fully “vetted” for lack of a better term. Insta-families have a way of creating an intimacy and closeness that may not have organically developed on its own, so don’t be shy about slowing things down if it feels like your boyfriend is speeding things up. Likewise, if it seems he simply doesn’t have the attention and focus to devote to you right now, its OK to take a break from the relationship and tell him to get back in touch when things settle down for him a bit.
The important thing right now is to look after yourself. With only two months invested in this relationship, it’s not like the boyfriend’s interests are going to be with you first. He’s suddenly got this child to think about and that’s where his focus is (rightfully) going to be for the foreseeable future. If at any time, you feel cheated or like you don’t have enough of a foundation together to make the sort of compromises you’ll have to make, get out. If you’re meant to be, you can always get back together later. And if not, you’ll have an opportunity to find someone with less drama in his life.
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