Dear Em & Lo,
I am engaged to the father of my child. Since I met him, it has been one problem after another. He has brought debt into my life; there is a rumor that goes around that he is sleeping with my co-workers; I just found out that any time he goes on a trip, he sleeps around; and he is still in communication with his ex-girfriend, though he claims he has not spoken to the girl for a long time. What surprises me is that he lies so much. I would love to break the engagement, but am feeling sorry for my six-months-old baby. I am confused — I have tried to forgive, but I can never trust him again. Will things work out?
– Love Wears Blinders
Oh, we hate the hard ones!
If we were a Magic Eight Ball, we would answer your question, “Will things work out?” with the succinct: “Outlook not so good,” or “My sources say no,” or “Don’t count on it.” Actually, screw that — the Magic Eight Ball is not nearly blunt enough. Here’s our short answer: Get out now.
This is based on the assumption that he is cheating on you during trips, that you are absolutely not okay with an open relationship, and that his good points do not outweigh his money problems or his chronic lying. You said it yourself: You would love to break the engagement. There’s your answer.
We know your head must be foggy in a newborn haze — caring for a six-month-old baby is more than enough for one woman to handle with a supportive partner. But add in the lying, the cheating, the philandering, and the debt, and it’s no wonder you’re unable to think straight.
Will things work out? Maybe not in the exact way you’d like them to, but they’ll work out for you and your baby if you’re proactive about insisting on certain standards for your lives. You need to sit down with your partner and confirm that all of this is, in fact, true. Assuming it is, call off the wedding (at least for now) and explain clearly what you want and need out of a relationship and a partnership. Tell him that he needs to meet these needs and earn back your trust before you can even consider getting re-engaged — and if he trips up again, you’re out of there for good. (His relationship needs may include being able to get a little somethin somethin on the side, in which case: case closed.)
Of course, if you know deep down in your heart that he won’t change, then move out and move on now.
We feel terrible for your six-month-old baby, and we feel terrible for you, too, but you both deserve better. This is no environment in which to raise a child. You do not need to stay with this guy for the sake of your baby. You are a strong woman — you’ve made it this far, after all! Turn to friends, turn to family, turn to people who you can trust. Those are the kind of people you and your child need in your life right now.
Be strong, and know that, in this case, doing what’s best for you is doing what’s best for your baby.
We’ve got your back,
Em & Lo