I’m assuming you didn’t use protection when you two slept together? Did it occur to you that she might get pregnant? Did you consider before you had sex what you might do if there “wasn’t a connection” and she got pregnant? I’m guessing not. I don’t know exactly what you mean by “a lot was to do with motivation and fitness,” but I do know what you mean by “failed pregnancies,” and maybe this pregnancy also won’t last, especially if there’s a history of failed pregnancies. Your girlfriend would be very, very early in this pregnancy, and she’s in her mid-40s (an age when pregnancy risks skyrocket). Regardless of whether this pregnancy continues or not — and she may decide to end it herself — you need to be honest with her about your feelings.
I would tell your girlfriend that you need her to know that you are no longer in love with her and are ready to end this relationship. Don’t leave room for misinterpretation. Tell her that this doesn’t have anything to do with the pregnancy – that you had been thinking about this for a while and were planning to have this discussion with her before she shared the pregnancy news. Tell her that you will support her in whatever decision she makes about the pregnancy and that you are prepared to be a committed co-parent although not a romantic partner to her. The ball will be in her court then. And whether or not you’re romantically involved with her, if she has this baby, you’re as much responsible for it as she is, and you can’t break up with the baby. That’s probably something you should have thought of before you had sex with her to make sure there was no connection…
After we broke up, I didn’t handle communication with him well — I was also diagnosed with MS and had a lot of fear and overwhelming emotions going on — so instead of visiting the kids, he just kept in touch with them through texts. Now, a year and half later, he feels we’ve all adjusted and he wants to start seeing them again. I feel that since he’s now dating a new woman and building a future with her, it doesn’t make sense to have him visit my kids. He argues that he always responded to my kids when they reached out to him after our breakup. The truth is, a quick, two-second text is nice and all but not like physically being there. He also sent them gifts and they, on their own, mailed him cards, called him, texted him, and wanted him in their lives.
I have not moved on. I actually don’t know how to. I know why I cheated (it wasn’t sex but a kiss). In the end, I’m still heartbroken and not really ready to see him, and I don’t know if it’s right that I keep that relationship open when he’s starting a life with a new women. I don’t think he gets how women think. His time will be taken up by that woman and I’m scared my kids will be always on the back-burner. I’m honestly still heartbroken and my kids still cry to this day when I ask them not to reach out to him and to start to give him space. I don’t know how to handle this or if I even have to. — Concerned Mom
First, please get yourself to therapy if you aren’t already. Between a domestically violent relationship, sabotaging a loving relationship by cheating, being diagnosed with MS, raising two children as a single parent, and not knowing how to move on from a relationship that ended a year and a half ago, you have a lot to unpack and get support for.
Second, please do not foster continued communication between your kids and your ex. For all the reasons you gave — you’re not ready to see your ex, your kids have only just started to understand that your ex won’t be in their lives like he used to be, and you are worried that your ex’s new girlfriend will complicate his physical and emotional availability to your kids — it does not make sense to re-inroduce your ex into your kids’ lives more than what they’ve had with him over the past year and a half. It could potentially be confusing and painful – for everyone involved, especially considering your own unstable emotions around your breakup and your ex. What your kids need much, much more than a relationship with your ex-boyfriend is for you to be strong and stable. If their having a deeper relationship with your ex jeopardizes that – and it sounds like it will – any benefits of the relationship (which remain questionable anyway) are far outweighed by the negatives.
Because you don’t know how to move on and your kids still cry if you ask them not to reach out to your ex or to give him space, I would argue to move toward ending all communication among them. Tear off the bandaid and have everyone move on with their lives. I wouldn’t forbid your kids from reaching out to your ex, but I would ask your ex to stop reaching out to them unsolicited, to stop sending gifts and cards in the mail, and to begin limiting his responses to these expressions of communication from your kids (as you begin to limit what they send to him, with the goal being that within a few months to a year an occasional text is the only communication that remains). It will be painful for your kids to eventually lose contact with him, but I think it will be less confusing for them in the long run than having this ongoing text and penpal relationship with a person they want desperately to be physically in their lives and isn’t/can’t be.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.